At its core is the idea that if you consume tea, either in the form of a beverage or a supplement, you will lose weight.
It may sound simple, but there are many potential pitfalls.
As you read this article in detail, you will learn why consuming a "proven" tea product is important.
Green Tea Diet #1:
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Consuming green tea for weight loss has many advantages. Compared to other foods and beverages, it has one big advantage: it has been shown to raise energy and burn fat in reputable scientific studies .
Every weight loss program advocates drinking lots of water. This is because water fills you until your next meal arrives. But drinking cup after cup of water can be boring. Why not drink tea instead?
Contrary to what many people believe, tea is hydrating. Hear what Dr. Carrie Ruxton from Kings College London said:
"Drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water. Water is essentially replacing fluid. Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it's got two things going for it."
Learn what the other 6 benefits are at Tea Diet Benefits .
How about the disadvantages?
If you have a lot of weight to lose, drinking tea is not enough. As you will see later, a well designed program to complement your tea diet is essential for maximum weight loss.
Green Tea Diet #2:
Does it matter which tea I drink?
Yes, it does matter.
Scientists have discovered that the ingredients that are responsible for green tea's weight loss effects are catechins (of which about half is EGCG, green tea's most active antioxidant) and caffeine .
To reap the health and weight loss benefits of green tea, you have to use catechin-rich tea or supplement. Ideally it should be naturally caffeinated.
Now, you are going to ask me: which green tea contains the most catechins?
Tea research has consistently shown that EGCG and caffeine are found in the highest concentration in young tea buds. These high grades are naturally flavorful. Unlike supermarket teas, you don't have to add any sugar, lemon or honey. They taste good by themselves.
In case you are concerned about caffeine, let me put your mind at ease.
Young tea buds contain the most theanine. which is naturally decaffeinating. Theanine is a very special compound that gives tea its characteristic sweet taste. It has been shown to reduce anxiety in young women, and is what makes green tea such a soothing beverage to drink.
Shown on the right is a high grade Chinese Dragon Well tea. which I heartily recommend. Other popular choices include the Japanese Sencha tea, which being a later harvest is more mature and leafy.
Green Tea Diet #3:
How many cups to drink?
There is no easy answer. The higher the tea quality, the less you need to drink. This is because higher quality tea contains higher amounts of catechins and caffeine, which have been shown to promote fat burning and metabolism.
In my green tea extract article, I concluded that an effective dosage of catechins is 300 to 700 milligrams per day, with the lower end requiring a significant addition of caffeine. So the real question is: how many catechins does one cup of green tea contain?
The answers really vary. For high quality loose green tea, you are talking roughly 100 milligrams per gram of leaves. That means 3 grams of tea leaves infused in 3 cups will give you 300 milligrams. 3 to 6 cups contain 300 to 600 milligrams of catechins, which should satisfy your daily need.
The thing to remember is not to fall into the classic consumer trap of buying flavored teas, decaffeinated teas (unless CO2 decaf) or instant or bottled green teas. If you drink the wrong type of tea, you might need to drink 10 times as much to make up the difference!
Tea Catechin Rich Food and Beverage
Green Tea Diet #4:
When is the best time to drink tea?
If you are new to green tea, you may want to start off by drinking tea between meals or in the morning.
This is because green tea contains catechins and caffeine, both of which may stimulate the production of gastric acid and cause stomach indigestion. Green tea may also interfere with the absorption of dietary iron. If you have a sensitive stomach or are prone to anemia, drinking tea between meals is a good idea.
Now, this is a safety precaution. During human trial studies, participants who drank green tea with meals experienced no side effects.
The advantage of drinking tea with meals is that it will help block nutrition absorption and increase fat excretion. A recent 2008 study found that pairing meat with wine helped remove food toxins. Since green tea contains many times the antioxidants found in red wine, it may help neutralize the free radicals released when animal fat is being digested.
Personally, I drink 3 to 6 cups of Dragon Well tea first thing in the morning. A 2007 study conducted by the University of Arizona found that
green tea cleanses the body by boosting the production of detoxifying enzyme GST. Morning is a good time for cleansing after a long night's rest.
If I want a tea to go with my meals, I usually pick a more oxidized tea such as an Iron Goddess oolong tea. It has been proven by research that oolong tea increases fat excretion. It is also more gentle on the stomach.
Tea contains caffeine. So drinking green tea after dinner is not a good idea as it may keep you awake.
Green Tea Diet #5:
Can I drink tea with milk, lemon, ginseng or honey?
It is fine to drink your tea with various additives such as lemon, honey or milk. Further information on what to watch out for can be found in the Tea FAQ forum.
Even though you may be drinking green tea with additives, there are 3 common pitfalls to avoid.
Avoid flavored tea. Add your own lemon and ginseng to regular tea. Every industry insider knows that flavored tea exists for a reason; the tea itself just isn't good enough! The 2007 USDA study found that flavored green tea contains 25% of the catechins found in a regular tea.
Beware of calories. Green tea by itself doesn't have any calories. Add honey sparingly. Avoid or minimize refined sugar.
Judge a tea by its taste. Drinking your tea without any additives is the only way to tell how good the tea is.
Green Tea Diet #6:
Are better tasting teas better for weight loss and health?
According to a 2004 study conducted by the UK Institute of Food Research, high quality green tea is described as "delicate" or "sweet". Sweetness is attributed to amino acids, especially theanine, which has the taste described as "unami" or "brothy", while the catechins and caffeine contribute to the astringency.
The same study found that better tasting tea contains the highest levels of EGCG and caffeine - tea compounds chiefly responsible for green tea slimming effects.
Best Green Tea Chemical Secrets Revealed By Study
Green Tea Diet #7:
Which is better, brewed green tea or dietary supplement?
The ingredients in green tea that are responsible for its slimming effects are catechins and caffeine. As long as you consume quality products that contain sufficient level of catechins (and caffeine), you will benefit.
Personally, I prefer drinking green tea. Taste is the most reliable guide to tea quality, and you are the most reliable judge of its quality. Tea contains more than 200 bioactive compounds. They act in synergy; i.e. the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Dietary supplements will never be able to replicate this miraculous effect.
With supplements, you have a harder time telling the good from the bad. Nevertheless, there are also good supplement products out there worth trying.
To help decide the pros and cons of green tea supplements, read Tea Supplements Vs Beverage Pros and Cons - 6 Pitfalls To Avoid.
For an in-depth analysis of tea extract products, read Green Tea Extract Diet Supplements .
Green Tea Diet #8:
Would other teas have the same weight loss effect?
Not all Camellia Sinensis has been proven to cause significant weight loss. Green tea is one. The other tea worth considering drinking is oolong tea.
Other popular weight loss teas include Chinese diet tea, herbal laxative tea and hoodia tea. Click on the links below to find out why they are likely to disappoint.
Weight Loss Tea - Best of 7 Types Reviewed
Green Tea Diet #9:
What is the secret to maximum weight loss?
There is a lot more to permanent weight loss than green tea. Green tea keeps you in optimum health. It helps you achieve your goals more easily. It will complement any food and exercise program you choose to follow.
What do successful weight loss stories have in common? In the following article, I have pulled together 7 features of a successful diet plan.
The National Weight Loss Registry tracks over 5,000 individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time. An average registry member lost 66 pounds and kept it off for 5.5 years.
These are some of the key findings of the Registry:
98% of participants modified their food intake in some way.
94% increased their physical activity.
In other words, your best chance of maximum weight loss comes from following a well designed program that incorporates diet change and exercise. There are many weight loss and diet books around, but none of them is as comprehensively written as Tom Venuto's Burn the Fat.
Knowledge is one thing. Motivation and follow-through is another. We often struggle to find time to prepare nutritious food and do regular exercise. A 2005 study conducted by Tufts-New England Medical Center concluded that the key to successful weight loss is not the diet itself, but actually following the diet!
I was initially skeptical about weight loss hypnosis. But Enjoying Weight Loss by Dr. Roberta Temes is excellent. The 4 CDs are very relaxing and beneficial to listen to.