You’ve probably read the news stories about the remarkable benefits of green tea. This centuries-old drink of the Emperors is a powerful antioxidant and has been used to enhance health for thousands of years. It’s shown to fight heart problems, promote healthy cholesterol and blood sugar and even support healthy cell growth.
There’s little doubt that if green tea isn’t already part of your daily health regimen, it should be. But if you need another healthy reason to drink green tea (or take green tea supplements) – here’s another one. Recent studies suggest that green tea is a remarkable fat fighter, too! According to food scientists at Penn State University, “green tea may help slow down weight gain and help the fight against obesity.”
Green Tea: The Healthy Difference
While black tea and green tea both come from the same Camellia Sinensis plant, green tea is not fermented. That’s what helps maintain its light green color. And while most teas contain antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, green tea is also rich in catechins. Catechins are a type of tannin exclusive to green tea. Catechins act as natural anti-microbials and anti-inflammatories. But science also shows that these catechins may affect the accumulation of body fat too. Here’s how.
You know how a mechanic gives your car a tune up, so it runs better? Well, the catechins in green tea ‘tune up’ your cells, so your body uses sugars and fats more efficiently. The catechins in green tea may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decrease body fat. And they also increase your body’s metabolism so you can burn calories faster.
For example, in a 3-month study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, two groups of men with similar weight and body mass index were asked to drink green tea or regular tea. During the length of the study, the men consumed identical breakfasts and dinners. Both groups also controlled their calorie and fat intake, to make sure their diets were as similar as possible.
At the end of 3 months, the volunteers drinking green tea lost over 5 pounds, compared to just 2 pounds in the other group. Plus, the green tea drinkers also saw a significant decrease in their body mass index, waist size, and total body fat. This was without any changes in diet or exercise.
These results were later confirmed in another study of 60 obese adults. In this study, the group drinking green tea lost a whopping 24 pounds after 3-months! The reason? The scientists stated that green tea increases energy and fat oxidation…so it increased natural weight loss.
Other studies suggest green tea may reduce your appetite, or slow the absorption of glucose into your cells – both of which also help keep weight under control.
However, green tea isn’t a magic bullet that will help you melt away pounds in a week. According to researchers at the University of Connecticut, the average weight loss due to consuming green tea was about 3 pounds over a 12-week period, or one pound a month. That may not sound like much—but it adds up to 12 pounds a year!
Green tea works best along with a healthy diet. Plus, you’ll get even better fat-burning results when you combine green tea with regular exercise.
How Much Green Tea Do You Need?
Studies show that drinking about 4-6 cups of green tea will help ignite your natural fat burners. However, most people find it easier to take green tea supplements.