Add Green Tea to Your Weight Loss Plan

green-teaIf you are weight conscious and trying to find a healthy beverage that can help you to manage your weight, try green tea!

In one random controlled trial, moderately overweight subjects who consumed 1,900 mgs of green tea catechins per day for 90 days lost 1.2kg on average and 1.9cm from their waistline [1]. There are many other similar studies, conducted over the last 10 years, suggest that green tea may boost metabolism and help to burn fat. [2]

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an active compound found in green tea, is believed to be responsible for its many health benefits including metabolic effects. The caffeine content in green tea also appears to work synergistically with EGCG to help the body to burn more calories from fat [3]. Physiologically, it appears that EGCG may be able to prevent adipose tissues from accumulating fat; as well as lowering Leptin hormone in the blood which in turn help to increase energy expenditure.

How much green tea should you drink in order to enjoy the weight loss effect? Many studies on green tea have been based on the effect of 3 cups daily, a dosage easily achievable by many. Therefore, it should not be hard to add it to your daily routine. A suggestion will be to drink one cup at breakfast, one cup at lunch, and another cup of afternoon tea. Use green tea to replace your coffee, hot chocolate, or milk tea. You can even add it into your smoothie or make it into soup.

In additional to weight loss, clinical studies also found many other potential health benefits of drinking green tea, including lowering cholesterols, reducing inflammation, controlling blood sugar levels, preventing liver diseases and cancers [4]. Again, ancient wisdom has been confirmed by modern science! Green tea, which originated from China, has been used by many eastern cultures as a beverage as well as medicine for thousands of years.

However, please do not take green tea as a magic pill for weight loss! Without changes in diet and lifestyle, any positive effect of green tea on metabolism can be easily negated by unhealthy high-fat, high-sugar diet as well as a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, use green tea as only a part of your weight loss plan, not the only plan.

Success Strategies for Weight Loss [5]

  • Make a commitment – it is a lifelong commitment for change
  • Find inner motivation – find your own motivational factors and stays focused
  • Set realistic goals – aim to lose a small amount of weight (0.5 – 1 kg/wk) over a period of time
  • Enjoy healthier foods – lower your calorie intake is by eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Get active, stay active – Exercise and extra movement helps burn calories
  • Change your perspective – honestly assess what is stopping you from weight loss and change it.

References: 

  1. Wang, H. et al (2010). “Effects of catechin enriched green tea on body composition”. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Apr;18(4):773-9.
  2. Richards, B. (2012). “The Effects of Green Tea on Weight Management”. WellnessResources.com
  3. Phung, J. et al (2009). “Effect of green tea catechins with or without caffeine on anthropometric measures: a systematic review and meta-analysis”. Am J Clin Nutr, January 2010 vol. 91 no. 1 73-81
  4. University of Maryland Medical Center (n.d.). “Green Tea”. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide. Umm.edu
  5. Mayo Clinic (n.d.). “Weight loss: Strategies for success”. Healthy Lifestyle. MayoClinic.org
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