Should You Drink Green Tea and Expect to Lose Weight?

By Lisa Shanken | Blog

Catechins In Green Tea Aids Weight Loss

The Japanese, particularly the ones who live on the island of Okinawa, are amongst the longest-living people in the world. One factor may be because of all the green tea they drink. Today I’m going to discuss green tea…that hot, steamy drink that is commonly served as ‘house tea’ with your sushi and now shows up in markets and bodegas in glass bottles and cans. A lot of people are aware that drinking green tea can help you lose weight, but I’d like to dish out the details so you know exactly how to utilize this weight loss tool for your body.

Green Tea’s Combo Attack on Fat

Plain green tea without any sugar helps you lose weight for two main reasons. First, it replaces otherwise sugary drinks or other calorie-laden food you may have had, helping you feel full. But water can do that too, which brings us to the second, more important reason: thermogenesis. This describes the process of heat production in organisms, which helps speed up one’s core metabolism. A lot of people mistakenly believe that caffeine also contributes to thermogenesis, but a study done in the University of Geneva [1] showed that green tea improved fat oxidation beyond its caffeine content, due to green tea’s catechins, known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

But Wait…There’s Less?

However, don’t get too excited just yet.  For the average person, you need to lose 500 calories a day in order to lose a approximately half a pound per of fat per week. And the amount of catechins you need to consume in order to lose any weight is about 690 mg [2] or 4-5 cups of green tea. Drinking that much only equals about 70-80 calories lost a day [3], or about 3 pounds lost a year.

But green tea is still a worthy tool in your weight loss arsenal, because you are imbibing more fluids and avoiding otherwise high calorie-filled or artificially sweetened beverages. It might just be that little push you need in order to create a calorie deficit in your diet, and it tastes prettygood too. Don’t bother ordering supplements from dubious websites though, as store-bought green tea is just as good. Some varieties with high ECGC content are oolong tea, genmaicha and matcha green tea.

Green tea also has more to offer than weight loss – a lot more! It is especially helpful for preventing cancer, also because of its catechins. These catechins are a type of antioxidants that help eliminate the free radicals that can ultimately become carcinogens.

In addition, green tea has been shown to help people relax and reduce anxiety, especially because of the calming nature of the slow sipping of it. It also contains an amino acid called theanine, which helps reduce stress and anxiety, naturally. So this winter, try forming a new habit of incorporating green tea into your daily regimen, and see if you feel any different.

Did This Clear Your Mind?

Got something to share about your green tea experience? Leave a comment below.