You may be considering adding green tea to your diet to improve your health, lose weight or manage a specific medical condition. While green tea may aid weight loss efforts, it is not a magic bullet, and it needs to be combined with other lifestyle changes. If you are concerned about excess belly fat, talk to your doctor who can make recommendations on the best weight loss program for you specifically. He can also advise if consuming green tea is safe for you.
Green Tea Benefits
All types of tea come from the Camellia sinensis plant but different types of tea undergo various levels of processing. Because making green tea only involves steaming the leaves, it is the least processed of all the teas, which makes it high in antioxidants. While much more research is needed, consuming green tea may help to lower the risk of certain types of cancer, improve alertness, improve cholesterol levels, lower the risk of heart disease and aid weight loss, says the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Green tea is considered generally safe; however, you should always speak to your physician about the safety of any herbal product before using it.
Green Tea and Belly Fat
While much more research is needed, certain chemicals in green tea called polyphenols and, more specifically, the catechins, may boost metabolism and help burn fat, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The best results seem to occur in those who are overweight or moderately obese and drink a combination of green tea and caffeine. A general recommendation is to consume 2 to 3 cups of green tea per day or a total of 240 to 320 mg of polyphenols. If you are sensitive to caffeine, however, the above may be too much to consume each day.
Green Tea Extracts
Green tea can also be taken in supplement form. While green tea is considered generally safe, there is not enough evidence to fully support claims that it aids weight loss, reports MayoClinic.com; however, the active chemicals in green tea are thought to not only improve calorie and fat metabolism, but they may also help to suppress your appetite. Even if green tea or green tea extracts do support weight loss, you must still watch your calorie intake and get regular exercise to fully control your weight.
Lemon and Weight Loss
Adding lemon to your green tea may help to improve the taste if you so desire. In addition, lemon may also act as a natural appetite suppressant. The bottom line in weight loss, however, is that you must take in less calories than you burn. Those who are successful at long-term weight loss, combine watching what they eat with regular moderate-level exercise on most days of the week. While adding green tea with lemon into your diet plan may help, green tea can interact with other medications being taken, so it should only be used under medical supervision.