Tea and coffee are the two most widely consumed beverages in the world (apart from water, of course).
They are also a very important part of my weight-loss plan. Obviously, like everything else in life, too much of a good thing can be bad. So don’t drink 10 cups of strong coffee a day because it’s ‘healthy’!
A reasonable number of cups of coffee is three to four per day. Research shows that 400mg of caffeine a day is safe for most healthy adults – this is around about the amount in four cups of brewed coffee.
Tea, on the other hand has far less caffeine in it. You can drink up to six cups of black tea per day and still remain within a healthy caffeine intake.
Remember that you should be drinking black coffee and tea without sugar for it to have health benefits, and for it not to add to your calorie intake for the day.
An average coffee with milk and one sugar is around 30 calories, while it is just two calories without the milk and sugar. The same goes for tea.
So how can drinking coffee and tea help you with your weight loss goals? Here are five ways:
1. A ‘cup of Joe’ makes the body ‘go’
Waking up in the morning is tough. Sometimes it’s really tough.
The one thing that makes it easier is that first cup of strong, black, unsweetened coffee. It wakes up your system, gets the digestive tract going, and provides the kick you need to get the day off to a positive start. Yay for caffeine!
If you’re not a coffee fan, you can get a good caffeine kick out of strong green tea, plus it has great antioxidant properties. Coffee is also very high in antioxidants.
2. You get more fat-burning benefits if you’re caffeinated
If you exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, a cup or two of coffee will help you to burn more fat than you would otherwise. It will also help exercise not to feel so ‘painful’, as you’ll be training while actually awake.
3. They are full of antioxidants
Free-radicals – chemicals you get from food, drink, sunlight and your body’s internal processes – need to be controlled. The solution: antioxidants. These can be found in both tea and coffee, so you’re doing yourself a favour by indulging.
While coffee actually contains more antioxidants than tea, it is higher in caffeine. Drinking more cups of tea per day gives you more antioxidant benefist than drinking too much coffee.
Drink black tea, oolong tea, and green tea for the benefits of polyphenols (a type of antioxidant). According to research, tea could actually contain up to ten times the number of polyphenols that are found in fruits and veggies!
4. They also help to prevent diseases
Battling a cold? Drink some green tea with honey, which has been shown to help boost the immune system.
Because of their high antioxidant properties, tea and coffee have been shown to help in the prevention of certain diseases including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and could also reduce the risk of liver cancer.
Caffeine also stimulates brain activity, with new studies showing that it may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The high number of polyphenols in coffee and tea has also been shown to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, and improve insulin secretion and sensitivity.
Obviously, tea and coffee are not medicine, but, combined with a healthy lifestyle, they do offer some assistance in preventing certain conditions.
5. They feel like a treat
A good cup of tea or coffee can really make a big difference to how you feel about your satisfaction with your diet. We all want a treat from time-to-time, and your favourite tea or coffee can be just that.
If you’re craving something sweet, or struggling to get to your next scheduled meal without snacking, rather make yourself a nice comforting hot drink, sit back and enjoy it, and know that it’s good for you too.