What’s up Party People!
Many of my clients come to me because they are ready to slim down in a healthy way. Yes, they are ready to do the work, but there is still a glimmer of hope for that shortcut … that quick-fix that will get them there fast. I get it!
So I often get questions about green tea and it’s magical weight loss properties. Now we’ve all heard of the health benefits of green tea. But … can this miracle-in-a-cup help with healthy weight loss? Tell me it’s so Chantelle!
The good news first …
Green tea contains caffeine, which has long been known to have a metabolism boosting effect, but you can get up to 2-3x more caffeine from a cup of coffee. The beneficial effect is found more in the massive amount of antioxidants found in green tea – particularly the catechin – epigallocatechin gallate (aka EGCG).
Study after study shows that these compounds:
- help to increase the break down of fat in the cells and move it to the bloodstream where it can be burned as energy.
- increase the actual burning of fat – particularly during exercise (studies show up to 17% more)
- boost metabolism at rest
Even more important – a higher percentage of fat burned is visceral fat. That’s the really dangerous fat around your organs and mid section, which increases inflammation (root cause/feature of chronic disease) and throws our hormonal signaling system out-of-whack. It’s also one of the hardest fats to lose.
All hail the green tea! I know … sounds good to me too. But don’t go running to your local market to clean out the green tea supply just yet!
What does it really mean for your weight loss?
The truth is that the overall effects when it comes to actual weight loss is actually minimal. For instance – green tea boosts metabolism by about 4%. For the average person consuming 1600 calories – this would equate to 64 calories a day. Sure … this adds up over time, and every little bit helps. BUT it’s not a magic pill and you won’t get massive amounts of weight loss.
What this means is that you still have to do the work! The bulk of your healthy weight loss is going to come from getting your diet right, watching portion sizes, moving your body, managing your stress, getting enough sleep and getting your mindset right.
Your green tea is just icing on the cake.
Sip a few glasses to boost your efforts just a bit more.
The healthiest people on the planet do it!
If anything, focus less on it’s magical weight loss properties … and more on it’s health benefits. Green tea is chock full of antioxidants that will do a body REAL good.
- improves cholesterol, triglycerides
- increases insulin sensitivity (which also helps with weight loss)
- improves brain function
- lowers risk of chronic and heart disease
- fights inflammation
Japanese people who are the biggest drinkers of green tea , about 5-7 cups a day, not only live the longest, but they tend to be one of the healthiest people on the planet. Sure, correlation ain’t causation … but I’m just sayin’. There’s nothing wrong with modeling the behavior of people that are getting the results that we want … right?
When it comes to green tea … quality matters! My all time favorite is Matcha, a type of green tea, which is abundant in chlorophyll (the good stuff in greens), hence the beautiful green color. The entire tea leaf is ground into a powder, so you are consuming everything.
The result is that matcha is significantly higher in antioxidants (including EGCG – the fat burning catechin) vs regular green tea. In fact, a cup of matcha is the nutrient equivalent of 3 cups of regular tea. Holy green tea! Yes … you get a better quality tea with less effort. Plus it’s more versatile – add some matcha to your morning smoothie, to ice cream, cookies … you name it.
A delicious way to enjoy your green tea
Personally, I enjoy my matcha green tea in a delicious latte. Now you could go to Starbucks and do the same, but that will get you a tea that is diluted with stuff that doesn’t do a body good, adds 300 calories and 40 grams of sugar to your diet and puts you back about $4-5. Rather just download my recipe below (along with my recommendation for a great brand of matcha )… it’s free, under 100 calories and now you also have it at your disposal!
There are those that should limit their green tea consumption – if you are sensitive to caffeine, have kidney or liver issues or are trying to get pregnant (tannins can decrease iron and folate absorption).
Take home message …
So all in a nutshell, green tea increases metabolism and fat burning during exercise (particularly dangerous visceral fat), but the effect is modest. So sip it to complement your weight loss strategy – 5-7 cups of regular green tea, or 1-2 cups of matcha, or 1 ml of green tea extract over the day. A cup right before exercise could be beneficial.
But mainly drink for your overall health and well being and because a cup of my green tea latte can make your afternoon a little more delightful. Pinky’s in the air Party People!
Now I want to hear from you! Are you a green tea drinker? Have you lost weight using green tea with a healthy weight loss program?
Comment generously … I read them all!
Until next time …