Healthy SnacksNutritionUncategorized

Drink Tea To Lose Weight Part 1

By June 22, 2009 17 Comments

Zambia

Zambia

I am very excited to be writing this post for you today.  We are talking about tea.  I really didn’t know much about tea until a couple years ago when I spent part of my summer in some of the most remote places in Africa doing missions work.  I was in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.  It was an amazing experience all around, but one of the things that they did over there that was new to me was drink lots of tea!  I grew up with many different herbal teas, but I had no idea there were so many other kinds.  The most popular one was Rooisbos tea.  I began to learn about all the benefits that these teas had to offer.

About 5 months ago I met a woman named Maleah from Madison who began taking my MamaTone classes.  She was in love with tea and had started her own tea company called Cha Cha Tea and found exotic leaves from all over the world.  Each day she would bring in a different type of tea for everyone to try out!  It was amazing the different type of flavors there were and all natural!

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She doesn’t use tea bag like I am use to, but rather tea leaves which are suppose to give a much fuller and strong flavor.  Green tea has been in the media a lot lately about its weight loss properties.  There definitely is some research to show that it will increase the metabolism a little bit.  It won’t cause a huge weight loss overnight, but is one small step in the right direction.  I think the biggest benefit tea has to offer though, is an alternative to all the calorie laden drinks out on the market.  Many people have a hard time just drinking water all the time.  All natural teas provide an alternative that is 100% natural and has 0-5 calories! Being able to substitute soda (even diet soda), fruit juices, and coffees for tea will cause the greatest fat loss results.

Green tea is just one of the many different kinds of teas out there to try!

If you are interested in getting some amazing teas be sure to check out Maleah’s website and support a local small business and get exotic teas that are hard to find anywhere else. I do receive a commission, so not only will you be helping Maleah out, but you will be helping me fund more projects to help more people!  So please check out Cha Cha Tea and mention that I sent you!

I asked Maleah to write an article about weight loss and tea, so here it is!

Who knew that drinking tea burns calories? Two to three cups of green tea per day can kick up your metabolism by 80 calories per day. It may not sound like a lot, but when you’re trying to lose weight, every calorie counts. Besides that, green tea contains other healthy compounds that provide all sorts of healthy benefits, including slowing the aging process.

As for the metabolism part, there is a plant chemical found mostly in green teas called EGCG (it stands for epicgallocatechin gallate). Studies have shown that consuming 300mg of EGCG a day can promote a mild metabolism boosting benefit.

But before you rush out to load up on bottles of green tea drinks from the market, check the labels carefully. Many are sweetened (adding lots of calories or artificial sweetener). In fact, I saw one bottled “green tea” drink in the market that touted its calorie-burning benefits, even though it contained only 55 mg of EGCG per 16 ounce bottle. That means you’d have to drink six of those 16-ounce bottles in one day to have the same benefit from three cups of brewed green tea. (Plus those six bottles would cost a lot more than 3 servings of loose green tea!).

Tea Leaves being picked in Kenya

Tea Leaves being picked in Kenya

Don’t worry too much about getting the jitters from drinking green tea. Though it does contain caffeine (50 mg vs. 137mg found in a cup of coffee), the caffeine in green tea is surrounded by plant chemicals (called tannic acid compounds). They slow the release of green tea’s caffeine into the bloodstream, thus resulting in fewer feelings of agitation or jitters which many people experience from drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks.

Recent research has found that green tea is good for you because it helps protect the body’s levels of HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol. Results have been equivocal regarding green tea and weight loss, with recent rigorous studies indicating there was no benefit and some older studies suggesting there is.

If you like green tea, by all means drink it because it contains a host of compounds like polyphenols that act as anti-oxidants and work to help prevent heart disease and some studies have indicated it may help with preventing some cancers. More studies have been conducted on green tea, but because all true tea: white, green, oolong and black come from the same species, Camellia Sinensis, they all have potentials for being equally healthful.

White, green, oolong, and black tea leaves, when made into a cup, also contain the “relaxing” amino acid called L-Theanine, which increases the alpha brain waves that make us feel calm but alert. These polyphenols don’t seem to be in herbal teas and it is unclear how much is retained in decaffeinated teas.

Tea, like wine, comes in hundreds of varieties so there is a tea for everyone. Loose teas provide more flavor, freshness and an authentic tea experience. Experiment and have fun with tea!

If you are interested in learning more about teas or would like to try some out, please check out Cha Cha Tea!