Forget diet pills, vigorous workouts and food deprivation. Without giving up any of your favorite foods or spending a single minute on a treadmill, you could lose more than 60pounds a year. All you really have to do is replace your regular drinks with water and tea. It’s that simple, although the math is tricky and some of the projections are based on limited studies. The bonus is that drinking water and tea promises more health benefits than risks for most people.
Water and Weight Loss
You should be drinking water anyway. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink 3.7 liters of water daily, and women should drink 2.7 liters. People who exercise, live in hot climates, or are ill, pregnant or nursing should drink more. One peer-reviewed study predicts you can lose five pounds a year by daily consumption of six glasses of water. The study conducted by Michael Boschmann and other German researchers and reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking water boosts metabolism by 30 percent. The researchers compared the effects of drinking six glasses of water with ingesting 100 milligrams of the stimulant ephedrine. Nursing women need 13 glasses of water per day to stay hydrated which, based on the Boschmann study, would help them lose more than 10 pounds in a year.
Benefits of Drinking Tea
Tea, especially green tea, helps shed pounds. Tea contains caffeine, a stimulant that speeds metabolism and may curb appetite. Caffeine is not well-tolerated by everyone, and a British Medical Journal study links caffeine use by pregnant women with low birth weight babies. Tea also contains helpful antioxidants and catechins, and green tea has more of both.
Three studies about green tea support claims that drinking it aids in weight loss.
One published in 2008 by Rutgers University, found that mice fed green tea did not become obese and that already-fat rodents lost weight when their diet included green tea. Researchers from the Center for Clinical studies found that obese men who drank green tea burned fat more quickly than those who did not. A study reported by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also found fat-fighting properties in green tea. People who drank a bottle of green tea for three months lost more body fat than people who drank the same amount of black tea.
Doing the Math
You can lose five to 10 pounds a year by drinking water, according to the German researchers. Drinking black tea can help shed more than 11 pounds a year and drinking green tea can increase weight loss by more than 20 pounds a year, based on calculations provided in the report by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. You can lose substantially more if you give up sugary drinks in favor of drinking water and tea.
Caffeine may adversely affect people with high blood pressure, kidney disease, an overactive thyroid, an anxiety disorder or a blood clotting disorder. Cautions about caffeine consumption vary, but side effects are generally limited to ingestion of more than 100 milligrams a day. A cup of home brewed black or green tea contains about 50 milligrams of caffeine and a 20-ounce bottle of Lipton’s Green Tea with Citrus contains about 30 milligrams. Side effects from drinking too much water are rare, and most result from drinking too much water at once. But people with kidney disorders should consult with their physicians before increasing their daily intake of water.
- Los Angeles Times: Green Tea Sets Weight-Loss Industry Abuzz
- Biotech Business Week: Scientists at Rutgers University Publish New Data on Obesity
- Drug Week: Obesity and Diabetes: Researchers for Clinical Research Report Details of New Studies and Findings in the Area of Obesity and Diabetes; Ruchi Mathur, M.D.; Oct. 26, 2007
- Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism: Water-Induced Thermogenesis
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes: Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes: Total Water and Macronutrients