The dietary supplement industry offers dozens of varieties of "weight loss teas." These are significantly more expensive than "regular" teas, and often include ingredients that promote unhealthy weight loss like stimulants and laxatives. By contrast, spearmint tea can stimulate weight loss without resorting to extreme physiological states. It's also a standard beverage tea, making it more affordable than competing weight loss supplements.
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Spearmint Tea Basics
Spearmint tea is made by steeping the dried leaves of the herb peppermint. Because it's not made from the leaves of the camelia sinensis plant, it's not a true tea but an "herbal tea." Spearmint teas have been used to treat stomach upset and digestive problems for thousands of years. According to Alton Brown, the host of the television show "Good Eats," the best taste and results will come if you steep your peppermint tea in boiling water for five minutes.
Spearmint tea's action on the digestive system includes suppressing your appetite. A suppressed appetite means you eat less often, and feel full sooner each time you do eat. This will result in you eating fewer calories over the course of the day, which can make it easier to achieve the negative caloric imbalance necessary to burn fat and lose weight.
Zero Calorie Beverage
Unsweetened spearmint tea contains no calories. According to CNN Health correspondent Dr. Melina Jampolis, drinking a zero calorie beverage before each meal can help you reduce your portions enough to lose more than one pound per month from this effect alone. This only works if you drink your spearmint tea unsweetened. It's worth noting that this effect is not unique to spearmint tea -- any zero calorie beverage will work, including water, black coffee or other unsweetened teas.
Lifestyle and Context
If you drink spearmint tea while filling up on sweets and fast food, you're not going to lose weight. Spearmint tea is a weight loss supplement, meant to supplement other weight loss efforts. You will get your best weight loss results by drinking spearmint tea in conjunction with a program of diet and exercise.