If you enjoy a nice, hot cup of tea along with a rich dessert, don’t expect to shed any pounds. You can use tea can as part of an overall weight-loss plan, though the tea itself won’t do much to accelerate your progress. Researchers have conducted various studies to determine whether tea can help you lose weight, but medical authorities say the results are not yet conclusive.
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Most weight loss plans urge dieters to consume plenty of water. It not only keeps your body systems running well, it helps you feel full and makes it easier to resist those second helpings and cakes and cookies. Unfortunately, it can get boring sometimes drinking nothing but water. Here’s where tea can help. An unsweetened cup of tea can be a nice change of pace and not add any calories to your diet. It’s also a great alternative to high-calorie juices and sodas when you’re trying to watch your weight.
If you enjoy caffeinated tea, researchers speculate that the caffeine in those tea leaves may affect weight loss in several ways. Caffeine may temporarily reduce your desire to eat, but don’t depend on it as a long-term solution. Secondly, caffeine may rev up thermogenesis. That’s the way your body generates heat and draws energy from food. However, the effect probably isn’t strong enough to help you enjoy any significant weight loss. Finally, MayoClinic.com notes that the caffeine in tea can act as a diuretic, and the water loss may make the scale drop temporarily.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine notes that many people have tried to use green tea for weight loss, but it reports there are not enough reliable studies to determine whether it really works. Green tea is produced by steaming fresh leaves, rather than fermented leaves, and the process results in a tea higher in polyphenols, such as EGCG. Researchers are trying to determine whether EGCG may increase thermogenesis and affect the body’s metabolism.
If you decide to incorporate tea into your weight-loss plan, drink smart. The caffeine in tea is a stimulant, and drinking too much tea can heighten your sense of nervousness and make it tough to get a good night’s sleep. If you add sweeteners to your tea, don’t forget to count the calories they contain. If you choose green tea, The Diet Channel warns that the polyphenols it contains may interfere with your medications, so consult your physician before imbibing.