Would you believe it if we told you that sipping tea throughout your day could actually help you shed body fat in a matter of 4 weeks? Many people completely underestimate the fat burning capabilities of tea, so in this article we’re taking a look at just how you can utilize tea to help boost your metabolism, suppress your appetite and burn away that stubborn body fat.
Tea for Weight Loss
The benefits of tea have long been recognized by a number of different Asian countries. The Chinese have been using tea as a cognitive enhancer and natural medicine for centuries.
Green tea has come under investigation recently for its high antioxidant capacity. These antioxidants help protect the cells in our body from damage. But can tea really help with weight loss as well?
As it turns out, tea helps our bodies naturally burn fat by increasing fat oxidation. It also helps prevent fat from accumulating in the body and can suppress our appetite so we consume less fatty foods to begin with.
A couple cups of tea a day combined with a proper exercise routine will yield the best results.
Burning Fat with Tea – What Does The Science Say?
All types of tea come from the leaves of a plant called camellia sinensis. Tea leaves contain compounds called catechins that help protect the plant from damage. Green, white, and oolong tea are highest in these catechin compounds.
The protective nature of catechins carries over to us when we drink tea because catechins are powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants help neutralize harmful compounds found in our environment such as benzene in cigarette smoke and automobile exhaust. If you want to know more about how tea helps protect against cancer, check out the benefits of Tea vs Coffee.
Not only do catechins protect against environmental damage, they also help our bodies break down fat. The precise mechanism for this process is unknown but there have been a number of proposed theories.
One of these theory’s suggests that the catechins in tea activate certain enzymes within the body that are responsible for breaking down fat. The theory also says the catechins may deactivate other enzymes that are responsible for fat storage.
Regardless of the mechanism, there is proof to show that tea does increase fat burn.
Take for example this study that followed 60 obese individuals over a 12 week time span. One group was given green tea and the other group was given nothing. Both groups were fed the same diet.
At the end of the 12 weeks, the green tea group had lost 7.3 pounds (3.3 kg) more than the non-tea group. That’s more than a pound every two weeks. And this was without altering diet or lifestyle!
Imagine what tea can do when combined with proper nutrition and an intense workout routine.
The group given green tea extract had a 17% higher rate of fat oxidation and a higher rate of total energy expenditure. This group also saw an increase in insulin sensitivity which is important for proper health.
Tea Prevents Accumulation of Fat
Not only will tea help burn fat, green tea and white tea have been shown to prevent future accumulation of fat.
A potent catechin found in both white tea and green tea called EGCG deactivates a number of genes responsible for synthesizing fatty tissue. EGCG can also help break down fatty tissue through a process called lipolysis.
In addition, The catechins in tea help prevent the formation of new blood vessels. This cuts off blood supply to deep fat tissues and prevents their formation in the first place.
Tea for Appetite Suppression
As you eat your gut releases hunger suppressing hormones that make you feel full. These hormones are important for letting your body know when to stop eating.
A number of compounds in tea, including the catechin EGCG, boost levels of these hunger suppressing hormones. Thus, drinking green tea can help you feel fuller both during a meal and in-between meals.
Catechins also inhibit movement of glucose into fat cells. This helps stabilize blood sugar and reduces hunger pangs.
Another compound in tea that can help suppress appetite is caffeine. While tea contains only 20-50% the caffeine found in coffee, it is still high enough to have an effect.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of caffeine on appetite, a study was performed that gave either caffeine or water to 33 different individuals with their breakfast. The groups given caffeine ate considerably less over the course of the day.
Caffeine has also been shown to make exercise feel easier. A meta-analysis that looked at 21 different case studies found that perceived exertion was much lower when participants consumed coffee before a workout – caffeine also increased overall performance.
The catechins and caffeine found naturally in tea have a synergistic effect when it comes to suppressing appetite. And when you combine this with tea’s ability to burn fat naturally, you get an effective weight loss combo.
Benefits of Tea for Heart Health
Many of the weight loss benefits of tea carry over to heart health.
Stroke and heart disease are among the leading causes of death worldwide (source: World Health Organization), so anything we can do to keep our hearts healthy is vital.
Take a look at this meta-analysis which analyzed 14 randomized controlled trials with a total of 1136 participants. It was concluded that green tea intake significantly reduced both overall cholesterol as well as “bad” cholesterol (LDL cholesterol).
With all this evidence it’s clear that fitting an extra cup or two of green tea into our daily routine can have an enormous benefit to our overall health.
Which Weight Loss Teas Are Safe?
Traditional teas that come from the camellia sinensis plant are perfectly safe and can be consumed regularly without negative side effects. This includes white, green, oolong, black, and pu’erh tea. You can read more about each type of tea here.
However, some herbal teas, such as senna tea and infusions made with ephedra can be dangerous. These types of teas should only be consumed with medical supervision and shouldn’t be taken in high doses or for extended periods of time.
Senna tea is a natural laxative. It contains compounds called sennosides which irritate the lining of the bowel. Consuming senna tea daily can result in dehydration and electrolyte deficiencies.
Ephedra tea contains ephedrine which is a compound present in a number of stimulant drugs. Ephedrine excites the central nervous system and suppresses the appetite, but not in a healthy way. Over time, this tea can cause energy crashes and a number of other unpleasant side effects.
We recommend steering clear of both senna and ephedra teas. There are healthier ways to lose fat.
What Are The Weight Loss Tea Side Effects?
While we believe that side effects from most good weight loss teas will be minimal, we have compiled the following list of potential side effects:
- For teas containing Senna – stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating and gas. 
- For teas containing Caffeine – insomnia, restlessness, stomach discomfort and increased heart rate. 
For the most part, weight loss tea is a safe and natural way of cutting body fat.
Weight Loss Tea Recipe
We’ve prepared a natural weight loss tea recipe with a number of fat-burning ingredients that you can easily make at home:
- A large glass of water (12-16 oz)
- 2 teaspoons of loose leaf green tea or two tea bags
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 lemon or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Optional: a couple slices of hot pepper or a dash of cayenne pepper
- Boil water in a pot on the stove.
- When the water reaches a boil, turn the heat to a simmer. Add all ingredients and steep for 3 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and strain ingredients into a cup.
- Let the tea cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
Benefits of Each Ingredient
Green tea gives you all the benefits described above.
Apple cider vinegar reduces blood sugar spikes that cause carb cravings.
Lemon juice adds flavor and contains vitamin C.
Cinnamon is absolutely packed with healthy antioxidants (https://www.superfoodly.com/orac-value/spices-cinnamon-ground/) that help regulate blood sugar.
Hot pepper and other spicy foods trigger thermogenesis which helps burn fat and convert unhealthy white fat into brown fat.
Ingredients To Avoid
Don’t add sugar to your tea if you are looking to lose weight. It adds unnecessary calories. A healthier alternative to sugar is raw honey but should be used sparingly.
A low-fat milk is acceptable. While the proteins in fat do bind to catechins in tea, it doesn’t affect their absorption into the blood. You will get the same benefits of these catechins with or without milk.
If you’re looking for an easy way of jumpstarting your weight loss, combining an effective weight loss tea with a calorie-controlled diet and exercise regime is one of the best things you can do. We got lots of the information in this article via the Tea Culture Worldwide website – Check out their blog for more info on the benefits of tea.