Green Tea and Weight Loss

"Tea, especially green tea, is rich in antioxidants that have been proven to speed metabolism," explains Mark Ukra, also known as “Dr. Tea” and author of The Ultimate Tea Diet. Research has found green tea to be rich in a catechin antioxidant called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which triggers fat burning in the body. It has been shown that regular green tea drinking can help in boosting your own body’s metabolism naturally, thereby firing up the process of thermogenesis (fat burning). Being a safer, natural option, EGCG is also quickly replacing ephedra as a weight loss supplement worldwide.

Clinical Studies:

When it comes to determining the effectiveness of any weight loss product, clinical trials are of utmost importance.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that four cups of green tea a day assist in weight loss of more than six pounds in eight weeks.

Swiss researchers also found tea drinking to help people burn an impressively substantial 266 more calories per day.

In another French study, administering 90mg of EGCG three times daily raised resting metabolic rate, which can contribute to more energy expenditure and even weight loss while at rest or during sleep.

According to a study done on 60 obese Thai participants, those who took green tea showed significant weight loss as compared to those who were on a placebo. The study concluded that green tea helps in losing weight by increasing fat oxidation and body metabolism.

In another study reported by Michael Boshmann and other researchers at the Center for Clinical Studies, it was found that participants who drank three cups of green tea daily metabolized fat cells more quickly as compared to those who took a placebo.

The University of Chicago’s Tang Center for Herbal Medicine Research has also observed that EGCG caused rats to lose up to 21% of their body weight. The animals lost their appetites and consumed up to 60% less food after seven days.

In another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea extract was shown to increase fat loss during exercise, while improving insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.

Green tea catechin has also been found to target abdominal fat when enhancing exercise-induced weight loss.

The above are a few examples of the effects of green tea on weight loss. Many other studies have also been carried out across the world to continue researching the benefits of the magical drink.

How Green Tea Helps in Losing Weight

It was once believed that the fat burning power of tea could be simply attributed to the presence of caffeine, but new studies discovered that the unique tea catechin antioxidants, especially EGCG, found in abundance in green tea, play an important role in assisting fat loss.

Caffeine: We all know the effects of caffeine. This vital ingredient, when consumed in moderation, is helpful for mental as well as physical alertness. Studies have shown that caffeine is also responsible for increasing metabolism, which in turn promotes the oxidation of fat cells. This process results in weight loss.

Catechins: The catechins antioxidants are now known to be responsible for weight loss. Studies have proven that the high catechin antioxidants in green tea exhibit thermogenic properties and can help treat obesity.

EGCG, in particular, increases the body's metabolism, energy expenditure and fat oxidation to raise calorie burning and retrieve stored body fat for energy. It has also been demonstrated that EGCG may reduce the levels of "hunger hormones" in the body to help reduce the appetite. Science does not yet fully understand how green tea works exactly, but researchers believe that EGCG helps in weight loss by increasing the metabolic rate, limiting carbohydrate digestion (similar to the effects of a “starch blocker”), and reducing appetite.

Turn Your Body into a Fat Burning Machine

While green tea can assist in a more effective fat burn, a poor diet or an unhealthy, destructive lifestyle will make its job much more difficult. It is important to understand that if a person has a slow metabolism and does not exercise or stay active to require the body to use more calories for energy, the effect of green tea will be limited. Our metabolism is often analogized to a calorie-burning furnace. It's much easier to fuel a burning flame than to start and build a fire from sparks, or relight an abandoned, dying fire.

“A calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight.”

To lose weight, there MUST be what’s known as a caloric deficit—you use or burn more calories than you consume. It’s the fundamental requirement of any fat loss diet plan. It will force the body to seek out stored fat or muscle for the missing energy. This is where a proper combination of dieting, exercising, and muscle training becomes important, as it helps create a caloric deficit and then signals the body to burn more stored body fat for fuel, instead of muscle. Green tea helps make your and your body’s job easier as it can suppress excess appetite and assist in a more effective, efficient and faster fat burn.

There are also a few more things you can do to keep your body in a fat burning mode:

1. Eat Smart: 

While researchers still cannot confirm if the popular advice of eating many small meals as opposed to three big meals is better for weight management, it is best to experiment and determine what works for your lifestyle to keep you properly nourished, fueled, and happy throughout the day. It’s generally recommended to eat before you become ravenous and never let yourself get too hungry, angry, or tired. Dietitians emphasize the importance of controlling the total calorie intake. You may also wish to take advantage of the Mayo Clinic’s Calorie Calculator to determine the number of calories your body needs to maintain a healthy weight, based on your age, sex, height, etc.

It is a good idea to save calories by avoiding high-calorie, low-nutrition food; for example, lattes, sodas, heavy desserts, etc. Generally speaking, 3500 calories contribute to 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat; therefore, if you cut 500 calories from your diet each day, you'd lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).

It is also recommended to eat more protein, healthy fats (from food resources such as fish, seeds, nuts, leafy vegetables, olive oil, and avocados), fibrous vegetables, and complex carbohydrates to better manage hunger and blood sugar levels.

Keep in mind that not all carbohydrates are the same; fast-digesting, refined carbs (including white bread, white rice, white potatoes, sweets, most cold cereals) tend to create a surge of insulin, a hormone that blocks fat breakdown and causes fat storage, leading to more potential fat gain. Avoid eating carbs alone. Eating carbs with protein and small amounts of fat, or a generous portion of vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, salads, etc. is a good way to slow digestion and moderate fat storage hormone levels, which lead to fat loss.

If your goal is to get lean or ripped, minimize your consumption of any fat that fall outside the healthy fats mentioned above. It is recommended to limit fat to 20% - 30% of overall daily caloric intake.

Night Time: Generally speaking, one should try to avoid eating about 3 hours before bed. If you do not wish to go to bed with an empty stomach, a protein meal or snack, such as a protein shake, tofu, or chicken breast, or low-fat cheese would be ideal. A small serving of vegetables is fine as well.

2. Exercise Smart: 

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is recognized in the fitness world as the most effective method to burn fat and lose weight. If you don’t like exercising or have very little time, you will be happy to know that it usually doesn’t take a long time. Low impact HIIT options are also available for beginners. If you don’t know where to start, you may wish to speak to a fitness instructor or personal trainer, or search on YouTube for “Low Impact HIIT” to find the right options for you. Generally, it is very beneficial to include at least 30 minutes of overall physical activity every day.

Studies have confirmed an additional benefit of exercising or physical activity—when done properly, it can activate an “afterburn effect”—also known as “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” (EPOC)—to continue burning more calories long after a workout, and the more muscle we have, the more calories we burn. Green tea can also help make this process more effective to enable even further calorie burn and weight loss.

It is also good to know that exercising or physical activity also triggers the release of endorphins, which can help improve focus and boost productivity.

What to Eat Before and After a Workout:

In addition to burning calories, cardio or aerobic exercises help regulate hormone levels in the body. Cardio on an empty stomach allows norepinephrine, a hormone that is believed to enhance fat mobilization, to be released into the body. When you exercise, fat-freeing hormones such as epinephrine also triggers the release of fat and sugar for metabolism. In contrast, eating, especially eating refined carbs prior to a cardio session, increases insulin and suppresses epinephrine to inhibit fat burning during the workout. It is thus wise to avoid refined carbs before exercising.

Immediately after exercising, on the other hand, is the best opportunity to eat to enhance fat loss. Depleted, broken-down muscles need nutrition for recovery and by supporting recovery and muscle growth, you are also fueling and speeding up metabolism. Starving yourself after a hard workout is the worst and most wasteful thing you can do, as it impedes recovery and slows down metabolism.

It is recommended to end your workout with a protein/carb shake, or 30-40 grams of protein combined with 60-80 grams of fast-digesting carbs (this would be the only time such carbs are recommended) as soon as possible within 30-60 minutes after training.

Combining Nutrition and Exercise to Lose Fat Faster

Furthermore, you may also wish to use fat-targeting foods or supplements to enhance your efforts and save time. There are a number of well-established options, with green tea leading the pack. Time and time again, research has verified its fat-melting benefits, but there is more you should know. A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise in 2005 proved that exercise combined with green tea extract reduced abdominal fat by over 85% more than just exercise alone. Try Organic Island Dew Green Tea between or with meals, or prior to or during exercises to decide for yourself what works best for your body and lifestyle.

Another well known fat-loss supplement is CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a healthy fat that was shown in a study to help burn more abdominal fat. The recommended dosage is 2 grams of CLA with your meals.

It is also suggested to eat your protein and supplement with 1000 milligrams (mg), or 1 gram of calcium per day to enhance fat loss, especially in the belly area. Reduce sodium: Beware that a high-sodium diet can lead to kidney stones as it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. However, not receiving enough calcium in your diet can trigger an increase in oxalate levels and cause kidney stones as well. Therefore, it is important to avoid eating too much salty food while making sure that you are getting enough calcium. You may also be interested to know that a study published in CrystEngComm in 2009 shows that green tea extract may inhibit the formation of kidney stones.

3. Drink Smart: 

Hydration has a proven impact on metabolism. Unfortunately most people tend to underestimate the amount of water they really drink, and being even just a little dehydrated can negatively affect your metabolism, immune system and overall health. Many are not aware that being dehydrated, they become more vulnerable to cold and flu viruses. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends approximately twelve 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day for women and sixteen 8-ounce glasses for men, as well as using thirst to determine our fluid needs. Listen more carefully to your body's signals and needs, and remember to drink your water.

Being an amazing herbal beverage, green tea not just helps in weight loss, but also makes us stronger and healthier by providing many health benefits—such as supporting healthy digestion, improving immune system and reducing the risk of cancer. The healthier we are, the more efficiently our body functions and regulates energy (calories) and fat usage and storage. Whether you want to lose a few calories to stay fit and healthy, have more confidence in how you feel and look, or rejuvenate yourself physically and mentally, green tea can help you achieve your desired goals safely and effectively.

Click here to order Organic Island Dew Green Tea now.

"Green Tea Catechin Consumption Enhances Exercise-Induced Abdominal Fat Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults". Journal of Nutrition.
"Effectiveness of green tea on weight reduction in obese Thais: A randomized, controlled trial". Physiology & Behavior.
"Green tea and thermogenesis: interactions between catechin-polyphenols, caffeine and sympathetic activity". International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. "Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans". American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
"EGCG: Potent extract of green tea". Dr. Ronald Hoffman, Intelligent Medicine.
"Can EGCG reduce abdominal fat in obese subjects?". Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
"Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans". American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
"White Tea Vs. Green Tea for Weight Loss". LIVESTRONG.
"Benefit of drinking green tea: The proof is in – drinking tea is healthy". Harvard Health Publications.
"The Smorgasbord That Thinks It's a Weight-Loss Plan". Wall Street Journal.
"Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics". Mayo Clinic.
"Eat Fat To Burn Fat". LIVESTRONG.
"The Afterburn Effect: Keep Burning Calories After a Workout". Greatist.
"Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress". Mayo Clinic.
"12 Laws of Fat-Burning". Muscle & Fitness.
"Green Tea May Prevent Kidney Stones". WebMD.
"Water drinking induces thermogenesis through osmosensitive mechanisms". The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
"The Wonders of Water". WebMD.