Since the 1990s, high rates of obesity have plagued the country, with the figures only rising. For the first time, the national rate has passed 40%, with the adult obesity rate now standing at 42.4%.
There are many reasons for this epidemic, but, in general, the issue can be attributed to the popularity of processed foods, and the prolific nature of unhealthy diets among U.S. citizens.
According to Jeffrey P. Koplan, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “overweight and physical inactivity account for more than 300,000 premature deaths each year in the U.S., second only to tobacco-related deaths”.
Indeed, people who are obese are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, or other problems such as type 2 diabetes.
Fortunately, managing your weight while still enjoying the things you love is possible, if approached correctly. Tea lovers, in particular, rejoice! Green tea has been shown to aid weight loss. Keep reading to discover how drinking green tea can help you to lose weight.
Green tea and weight loss
Green tea is packed full of antioxidants, and it’s also a popular weight loss aid. It’s possible to buy green tea in tablet form, which is known as green tea extract. Some individuals even participate in green tea diets, whereby they must drink several cups of green tea daily, to lose weight faster.
To fully understand how green tea affects weight loss, we’ll take a look at the science behind the composition of green tea.
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In green tea leaves, there are small amounts of caffeine, and an amino acid called L-theanine. Caffeine is useful for boosting energy levels, helping to energize you for a workout. With coffee, the caffeine hits tend to be sharp. The L-theanine present in green tea controls the release of caffeine, slowing it down, meaning the energy boost is smoother.
Green tea also contains plenty of antioxidants, which are known as polyphenols and catechins. The primary catechin is called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and it increases the oxidation of fat, which helps individuals to shed excess body fat.
Studies show that “positive effects on body-weight management have been shown using green tea mixtures”. Additional studies show that moderate consumption of EGCG can improve the health of overweight individuals.
Interestingly, there is research that suggests the benefits related to EGCG are more pronounced in some individuals than others. For example, people of Asian descent reacted more to EGCG than those from other ethnic backgrounds.
One thing is certain, researchers agree that the consumption of green tea is beneficial to weight loss.
Drinking green tea to lose weight: Which is the best?
There are different types of green tea on the market, and all of these types carry weight loss benefits. The main differences between the varieties are their taste, aroma, and texture.
High-quality, organic green tea tends to provide more health benefits and is therefore preferable. Here are the different types of green tea available:
Matcha green tea powder
When it comes to weight loss, matcha is a top choice. The tea leaves are not removed after steeping. Instead, the leaves are ground into a fine powder, and the entire leaf is consumed.
As such, the powder contains a high concentration of the healthy compounds present in green tea, including EGCG. It is also one of the most effective green teas for weight loss purposes.
In terms of flavor, matcha green tea has mellow vegetal and floral notes, a touch of bitterness, and some sweetness. For those with a sweet tooth, it can help to suppress cravings for unhealthy sweet snacks and desserts.
For those who can’t seem to give up sodas, matcha green tea is a great replacement. When made into a matcha latte, it has a creamy texture, so it feels indulgent, without piling on the calories.
Sencha green tea
Sencha green tea is popular in China and Japan, and it is traditionally served in most restaurants.
It has a delicate flavor profile, with a fresh herbal taste, and additional possible notes of grass, melon, kiwi, and sprouts, depending on how long you steep it.
Whenever you feel like eating an unhealthy snack, make yourself a cup of sencha green tea instead, as it will help satisfy your craving for something sweet.
Genmaicha green tea
When it comes to flavor, Genmaicha green tea comes top of the class. The green tea leaves are blended with popped rice kernels, resulting in a toasted flavor.
Of the different types of green tea, Genmaicha offers a flavor most similar to coffee, with a rich and full body.
It can help reduce hunger pangs, due to the mixture of healthy compounds and rice kernels. The toasted flavor has the effect of increasing the temperature of the body, which prompts fat burning.
Ginger-infused green tea
Some people dislike the inherent flavor of green tea. Fortunately for them, blends exist. One delicious pairing for green tea is ginger root. As a well-known appetite suppressant, this addition to your green tea will enhance the weight loss benefits of the beverage.
Additionally, ginger helps to control blood sugar levels, which can limit the desire to overeat. It also helps to reduce cortisol levels, which are known to increase the likelihood of stress eating.
This beverage has a unique taste, as it blends the vegetal notes of green tea, with the warm and spicy flavor of ginger. As a result, it invigorates the body and helps to focus the mind.
Butter tea blend
A blend of green tea, mate tea, and pu-erh tea, butter tea provides a myriad of benefits beyond just weight loss.
It has a flavor profile combining earthy and grassy notes. It makes a good pairing with butter, or MCT oil, which brings out the robust flavor and provides a more even energy boost.
This blend of teas can help to suppress food cravings, and it won’t lead to big weight gain. Instead, it’s a good opportunity to add healthy fats to your diet.
How to maximize green tea for weight loss
In China and Japan, people drink green tea with each meal, to support their health and digestion. It can also help you to feel fuller, more quickly, so you consume fewer calories. The polyphenols and catechins in the tea increase the metabolic rate, meaning your body burns fat at a faster and more efficient rate.
For best results, drink a cup of green tea alongside each meal. The general recommendation is to consume the tea before or during, rather than after the meal. Drinking green tea in the morning can also be beneficial, as it helps to kickstart your metabolism.
How to make green tea?
Making a cup of green tea couldn’t be more simple. Simply add one teaspoon of green tea leaves or green tea powder to a cup of hot water. Make sure the water isn’t at boiling temperature, as this will result in a bitter-tasting tea. Steep the tea for 1-2 minutes. For optimal results, ensure to use high-quality leaves.
Are there other teas that may have weight loss benefits?
Many people find that green tea tastes too bitter. While this can be avoided by brewing the tea correctly, there are other types of tea than can benefit those following weight loss programs. Although the most amount of research, regarding weight loss, has been conducted on green tea, other teas may have weight loss-aiding potential.
All types of “true tea” have some fat-burning potential. True teas are those which are made from the Camellia Sinensis plant, and they include the following teas:
- White tea
- Oolong tea
- Pu-erh tea
- Black tea
The above teas contain varying amounts of caffeine, L-theanine, and antioxidants.
If you find that you prefer the flavor of these alternative teas, then they can be added to your weight loss program. Although the weight loss results may be slower than if you were consuming green tea, you are more likely to continue drinking a tea that you enjoy.
If you’re trying to avoid caffeine, or it doesn’t agree with you, try rooibos tea, otherwise known as red bush tea. This tea comes from the red bush plant, which is native to the Cedarburg mountains in South Africa.
When brewed, rooibos tea has a deep magenta color, and a nutty, full-bodied flavor. It can be consumed both with and without the addition of milk.
Red bush tea also contains antioxidants, as well as a chemical compound called aspalathin. Aspalathin helps to reduce hunger pangs and can keep you feeling full for longer. It can also help reduce the likelihood of stress eating, as it inhibits the release of cortisol.
To find out which tea suits you best, why not try a selection? After all, the best way to ensure you stick to your weight loss program is to find an approach that you enjoy.
Puerh tea, also known as pu’er or pu-erh tea, is a fermented Chinese black tea.
It has an earthy aroma that develops more over time. It is often consumed after a meal.
Studies conducted on animals have demonstrated that puerh tea can lower blood sugar levels.
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A traditional Chinese tea that has been partially oxidized, oolong tea is between green tea and black tea.
It tends to have a floral, fruity flavor, and a thick mouth feel. The flavor can vary significantly, as a result of the level of oxidation.
Studies show that oolong tea can decrease body fat levels, and reduce body weight, as a result of improving lipid metabolism.
White tea is one of the most delicate tea varieties, as it is minimally processed and made from young tea plants. It is harvested when the young buds are still covered in small white hairs, hence its name.
It has a very delicate, subtle, and slightly sweet flavor, that distinguishes it from other types of tea.
There are many benefits of white tea, such as protecting your teeth from bacteria. There have also been studies that suggest it could help fight cancer.
The bottom line: Is green tea a winner for weight loss?
From the mountain of evidence available, it’s clear to see that drinking green tea can help individuals to lose weight. The best green tea for weight loss is matcha tea, as it has a higher concentration of antioxidants and healthy compounds. That being said, any type of green tea can help encourage weight loss, as long as it’s consumed regularly.
The best green teas for weight loss are those of higher quality, so it’s worth spending a little more to ensure you’re getting good value for your money. If you really can’t stand the flavor of green tea, then any tea that is made from the camellia sinensis plant will help with your weight loss goals.
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