Although it’s been around for thousands of years, people are just discovering what tea to drink to lose weight. Whether you’re well on your way to losing weight or just starting your weight loss journey, adding tea to your diet will help you get trim.
What is the best tea to drink to lose weight?
Yes, it is possible to lose weight with tea, especially if you drink it regularly as part of a healthy. For one thing, by swapping out high-calorie drinks such as many coffee drinks, alcoholic drinks, and soda, you can cut down hundreds of calories every day with little effort. You can also take advantage of tea’s many health benefits, including its metabolism-boosting powers. Several types of tea are typically mentioned when it comes to losing weight with tea, including black, green, oolong, and pu-erh tea.
All teas, including black, green, oolong, dark, and white tea, come from the same plant — Camellia sinensis. The difference in the taste of the teas is due to different treatments to the tea. Black tea is completely oxidized, and oolong tea is partially oxidized. Both teas go through a natural chemical reaction, which change the taste and color of the teas. Green and white teas are not oxidized. Oolong tea is in between black and green tea in regards to its color and strength.
How to Lose Weight With Tea: Pu’erh Tea
San Francisco’s got a new hotspot for weight-loss advice: the tiny Vital Tea Leaf shop in its famous Chinatown district. On a typical afternoon, the narrow storefront is packed with locals, tourists, celebrities, even the occasional TV crew — all clamoring for the attention of resident tea guru Uncle Gee, a guy known for “sweetening” each patron’s drink with some pretty amazing advice. He can tell you which variety of tea is traditionally used to cure a hangover, insomnia, even high cholesterol. “But most people ask, ‘Uncle Gee, which tea will make me lose weight?’ ” reveals the lively 83-year-old, who still goes for a six-mile run and a four-mile swim most days before work.
“Tea makes you healthy, gives you energy and makes you live long. Drink the right tea, and it will dissolve fat. That’s why Chinese people are so thin — because we’ve been drinking tea for 5,000 years!” Fear not, he adds; it takes mere days, not centuries, to see noticeable benefits from drinking more tea. In fact, Uncle Gee’s devotees report dissolving 10, 25, even 40 pounds of fat in a matter of months. And they each went home with the same tips Uncle Gee reveals right here.
Uncle Gee’s slimming tea regimen
“Pu-erh tea is the kind that breaks down fat best,” reveals Uncle Gee, who says all this tea wisdom has been passed down through his family for generations. “This is what Chinese families have on the table during their meals. I tell people, ‘If you want to lose weight, drink it with every meal while you eat.’” Benefits don’t seem to be as dramatic if you sip pu-erh — pronounced ‘pooh-air’ — on an empty stomach, he notes.
when to drink green tea to lose weight
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Uncle Gee suggests at least 2 cups of pu-erh per meal. One brand we recommend trying: Yunnan Pu-erh Tea ($16 at Amazon.com). Uncle Gee also encourages you to sip tea between meals — particularly if you struggle with excess snacking. “Green tea cuts appetite the most,” he says. Enjoy at least three cups of the stuff throughout the day — regular or decaf, if you prefer — and your urge to eat will not only shrink, you’ll get a nice metabolism boost, too!
What about dieting? Uncle Gee keeps it simple: He says you should avoid excess grease, and stop eating when you feel full.
Pu-erh Tea and Green Tea for Weight Loss
Scientists confirm that, like all tea, both pu-erh and green tea contain antioxidants called EGCGs that have been shown to boost metabolism by as much as 6 percent. Plus, caffeine in tea can help amp up calorie burn by another 4 percent! And there’s so much more.
Pu-erh is a fat fighter!** Recently, Kunming University in China began research to identify the slimming properties in pu-erh, a traditional remedy for weight problems. What did they find? The special fermentation and aging processes used to make pu-erh create a natural chemical called theabrownin that’s not found in other teas. And early evidence suggests it does exactly what Uncle Gee says. “It stimulates faster fat metabolism,” confirms San Diego tea expert Pam Brar, M.D. Pu-erh was also found to be particularly rich in a substance called gallic acid, which prevents some of the fat calories in the food we eat from ever being absorbed. No wonder Japanese researchers found that dieters who drank pu-erh lost more weight than other tea drinkers and resisted weight gain after they stopped dieting!
Green Tea Targets Weight-Gain Hormones
Minimally processed green tea contains an intense concentration of antioxidants that have been shown in preliminary tests to improve levels of the hunger hormone leptin, notes Dr. Brar. Better yet, she adds, these same antioxidants seem to “help blunt the rise of blood sugar and lower levels of the hormone insulin.” As insulin levels drop, green tea drinkers will experience fewer carb cravings and burn belly fat a whole lot faster. Numerous university studies show that green tea — which boasts more antioxidants than any variety — can help a dieter shrink her waist three, four, even 25 times faster than folks who skip it!
We first read about Heather Dudley on SparkPeople.com, where she shared the inspiring story of her recent visit to Vital Tea Leaf. “They made me fall in love with tea. I went from drinking very little to six to eight cups a day,” reports the Georgia mom, 32, who happened upon the shop while vacationing. “I’d been trying to get in better shape for a long time, and tea gave me the leg up I needed. Now I feel better, eat better — and I’m pretty sure I burn fat faster. I’ve lost 27 pounds!” Heather also confided that — while purist Uncle Gee prefers his tea hot — she often drinks hers over ice. So we had Woman’s World readers try the refreshing trick, too. Sure enough, whether they followed Uncle Gee’s tea regimen using hot or iced drinks, they still got spectacular results, shedding seven, nine, even 11 pounds in one week without limiting portions. When we told Uncle Gee about this, he was delighted but not surprised. “Mother Nature made tea for us,” he says. “It’s better than any diet pill!”
How to Brew the Best Tea to Lose Weight
Scientists say this technique will release the maximum amount of fat-fighting compounds from tea:
1. Boil water, let it sit 2 minutes. Unless you cool water a bit first, allowing it to come down to 170° or so, it can scald leaves, causing them to release fewer beneficial compounds.
2. Get the ratio right. For hot tea, you want 1 tea bag or 1 tsp. loose tea (in a tea ball or strainer) for 8 oz. of water. For tea that will be iced, use 2 tea bags or 2 tsp. loose tea per 8 oz. water.
3. Steep 3-4 minutes. This is just the right amount of time to allow for maximum antioxidant release without any bitterness.
4. Enjoy! Uncle Gee would prefer you savor the natural richness of the tea without adding any extras. But most experts agree adding a little lemon, mint or even a packet of no-cal sweetener is fine.
Health Benefits of Green Tea and Black Tea
Along with aiding weight loss, tea has a variety of powerful health benefits. Studies show that people who consume three or more cups of black tea per day are less likely to suffer from heart disease or stroke. Drinking tea can also reduce the risk of heart attack and lower Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as “bad cholesterol.” People have seen these benefits with drinking just one to six cups a day.
A study from Harvard University also found that people who drink at least one cup of black tea per day had reduced their risk of heart attack by 44 percent. Another study shows that drinking two cups of green tea per day reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 22 percent. The U.S. Department of Agriculture published a study that shows people who drank five cups of tea per day with a diet low in fat and cholesterol, reduced their “bad” cholesterol by about 11 percent in just three weeks.
There are more than 3,000 studies that show tea might help fight cancer. One study shows that women who drank two and a half cups of tea per day reduced their risk of rectal cancer by 60 percent. Another study states that people who drink tea reduce their risk of colon cancer by 42 percent. For men, one study shows that males who drink more than one and a half cups of tea per day reduced their risk of colon cancer by 70 percent.
Tea can also help your skin. One study revealed that tea drinkers who drank iced black tea and citrus peel reduced their risk of skin cancer by 42 percent. Another study shows hot black tea can lower the risk of squamous cell carcinoma, a common skin cancer.
Tea can also improve brain health. Antioxidants in tea might help protect brain cells from environmental insults from free radicals. One study shows L-theanine in tea can affect the areas of the brain that controls attention and difficult complex problems. A recent study shows adults who drink at least three cups of tea per day reduce their risk of Parkinson’s disease by 69 percent. The Scientific Symposium on Tea and Health showed researched that theanin, an amino acid in green and black tea, can help decline in memory.