For millions of people, weight loss is a struggle, something always on their minds and frequently dominating their food choices. But opting for lower calorie foods is far from the only route to weight loss and weight management success. Certain foods and drinks pack additional weight-loss benefits that can aid in your attempts to get healthy. Green tea, with its anti-cancer and heart-healthy benefits, is just one of those foods that is also a weight loss wonder.
Not all teas are created equal when it comes to weight loss. The difference between green tea and black, oolong, or other popular varieties, is its production method.
Green tea leaves are not processed in the same manner as these other teas. They are not allowed to oxidize before steaming and drying. As they are “green” when they are dried, they retain more catechins, or beneficial polyphenols.
Catechins, and specifically epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They are also able to speed weight loss efforts through a few different mechanisms.
EGCG stimulates a process known as thermogenesis. Thermogenesis refers to the use of fat as an energy source. In essence, it is the metabolism of stored fat. Both ECGC and the caffeine in green tea have thermogenic properties. When put together, these properties are only enhanced.
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In addition to boosting fat metabolism, green tea can quell your appetite, help stabilize blood sugar, and regulate triglycerides.
One study from the University of Chicago suggested that drinking green tea could aid in reducing body weight by as much as 21 percent. Another, from researchers with Geneva University Hospital in Switzerland, found men given a green tea extract had far more thermogenic activity than either those given a caffeine supplement or a placebo. Who knew the health benefits of green tea could be so awesome?
So how much green tea should you drink to get the maximum benefits? In the Geneva University Hospital study, men were given an extract with 90 mg of EGCG and 50 mg of caffeine. In comparison, the average conventional green tea bag from your grocery store contains anywhere from 25 mg to 86 mg per serving, according to ConsumerLab. In other words, it will take more than a cup. In general, two to three cups a day ensures enough to aid in weight loss efforts.
Consider making green tea a part of your daily rituals. Try it in place of coffee, or after meals as a digestif. But be cautious of adding sugar or sweeteners to the tea. It’s a beverage that’s lasted throughout the ages because of its benefits, but also its taste. Learn to appreciate the nuances between brands and find a favorite that doesn’t require additions.