You can’t deny the calming effect you get from drinking a steaming cup of hot tea, right? The best part about tea is, even on a carb restrictive diet like the keto diet, you can still enjoy a cup of your favorite tea.
The health benefits of drinking tea are reducing anxiety, treating sore throats, boosting metabolism, controlling blood pressure, improving insulin resistance, enhancing weight loss and brain function, and helping with sleeping patterns. These benefits depend on the types of tea you are consuming.
When talking about weight loss, some teas are the best teas for weight loss. In today’s article, we will discuss the mechanism of action of tea on weight loss and talk about healthy teas for weight loss.
Basics on Tea
Tea is a hot aromatic beverage prepared by pouring boiling water over fresh tea leaves from the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis. There are different types of teas, which all come from the same tea plant, but they are different because of processing.
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, with America consuming more than 39 billion gallons of tea every year. Black tea is the world’s favorite tea. There are more than 1000 varieties of tea, but they are classified under 4 categories: black tea, oolong tea, white tea, or green tea.
Plain teas like green tea, black tea, white tea, and oolong tea are calorie-free making them a good choice for weight loss since they don’t add on to calorie intake. So, when next you go to your local coffee shop, skip the high sugar and more calorie beverages like lattes and mochaccino, and order herbal teas to help with body weight management.
Before diving into healthy teas for weight loss, let’s discuss how tea works to help you lose weight.
How Does Tea Work for Weight Loss?
You may have been drinking tea for soothing and relaxing purposes, but when you visited your dietitian at the start of your weight loss journey, they advised you to start drinking tea for weight loss. Do you know how tea works to achieve weight loss benefits? I’ll tell you!
Tea contains antioxidants called catechins that play a big role in weight loss. Catechins boost metabolism by increasing fat metabolism and faster burning of more calories in the body. When you increase fat oxidation, fat is broken down from stored body fat which leads to losing weight.
Now tea drinker, let me tell you which tea will help with weight loss.
Healthy Teas for Weight Loss
Studies have been done on the effects of tea on body weight and they have shown that drinking tea can promote weight loss and reduce belly fat. Some have been proven to be more effective than other teas in helping to lose weight. Although, it goes without saying that more research is needed to better understand the mechanism of action. Healthy teas for weight loss include:
Your dietitian probably mentioned green tea at the top of the list of teas that can help you reduce weight. Green tea is made from tea leaves and buds that have not undergone oxidation and withering like in oolong tea and black tea.
A study investigating the effects of green tea extract on body fat and reduction of obesity and cardiovascular disease risks showed that drinking tea was associated with weight reduction.
Decreasing body fat ratio and mass, reduced body weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, and visceral and subcutaneous fat were observed. There was also reduced systolic blood pressure (SBP) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL).
Another review on the effects of green tea on body composition and anthropometric measures in type 2 diabetes showed that consumption of green tea can lead to weight loss. A low dose of green tea supplements (less than 800 mg/day) over a long period (more than 8 weeks) promoted fat loss in obese patients.
Green tea catechins, especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) promote fat burning in the body, especially after a workout.
A study carried out to assess the many health benefits of green tea on overall health reported a 17% increase in fat oxidation in an individual who drank green tea extract post-exercise. When drinking green tea, total energy expenditure increases, and there is a decrease in insulin levels and a 13% increase in insulin sensitivity. This makes green tea one of the best teas for diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Green tea also contains a lower caffeine content compared to black tea which makes it more appropriate for improving sleep patterns and overall health.
Fun fact, black tea has the highest caffeine content compared to other types of tea. This is because it is under high temperatures and has the longest steep times. Black tea is prepared using tea leaves that have undergone more oxidation or fermentation. It has the strongest flavor. Some popular varieties of black tea include Earl Grey, Assam, and Darjeeling.
Black tea is rich in flavanols that contribute to its antioxidant properties and support weight loss.
A study on the effects of a high intake of flavanols on body composition in women reported that a higher intake of flavonols, anthocyanins, and proanthocyanidins lowered the fat mass ratio. Drinking black tea has been associated with lower BMI and less weight gain.
A randomized controlled trial on the effects of black tea consumption on body composition and metabolic outcomes related to cardiovascular disease risks evidence suggests that drinking powdered black tea for over 12 weeks inhibits weight gain and lowers waist circumference and waist-hip ratio. The study also highlights the need for more research to ascertain whether these benefits are sustained beyond 3 months.
Weight loss benefits of black tea are attributed to polyphenols in the tea that increase fat burning, promoting fat loss. Drink tea for that flat tummy you have been drooling over! Black tea contains appetite-suppressing components that help reduce snacking and calorie intake.
Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea made from partially oxidized tea leaves. Its color is not as green as green tea, but not as dark as Chinese black tea. This type of tea is known to enhance weight loss by speeding up metabolism and increasing fat burning.
In a study on the effects of drinking oolong tea on diet-induced overweight and obesity, the evidence suggests that consuming oolong tea leads to losing weight loss in severe obesity. There is also a reduction in belly fat observed by decreased waist size.
Individuals who drank oolong tea had lower triglycerides and total cholesterol levels, associated with the inhibition of pancreatic lipase by oolong tea extract and catechins. Oolong tea reduces hyperlipidemia due to the regulatory actions of oolong tea catechins on fat burning.
The difference between white tea and other types of tea is it is minimally processed, and leaves are plucked when the tea plant is still young. The health benefits of white tea include reducing the risks of cancer and improving oral health.
A study carried out to investigate the effects of six types of tea on fat accumulation reported that white tea extract reduced weight and white accumulation and relieved hepatic steatosis. It is assumed that this tea inhibits the synthesis of new fat cells by inhibiting fatty acid synthesis.
Another study to investigate the effect of natural substances on lipolysis and adipogenesis showed that white tea extract intake decreased the incorporation of triglycerides in fat cells during adipogenesis and stimulated lipolytic activity in adipocytes. The polyphenols in white tea increased the breakdown of fat cells. These effects are associated with the action of EGCG.
Another addition to the healthy teas for weight loss is pu’er or pu-erh tea. It is simply fermented Chinese black tea. It is usually drunk after a heavy or greasy meal to aid with digestion by promoting post-meal fat burn. Drinking pu-erh tea has been associated with regulating the breakdown of fats.
A study to assess the effects of pu-erh tea consumption on body composition and lipid profile in a non-Asian population with no dietary restrictions showed that consumption of pu-erh tea extract improved lipid profile.
The effects of Pu-erh tea on metabolic syndrome were investigated in a study on male patients given either puerh tea extract or capsules. The results suggested that the consumption of this tea reduced BMI and body weight.
Puerh tea can also assist in blood sugar regulation further preventing weight loss. In addition, thanks to fermentation, consumption of pu’er promotes gut health by increasing the concentration of good microbiome in the gastrointestinal tract.
Herbal teas are made from the infusion of spices, herbs, and other plant materials in hot water. Some herbal teas have been proven to promote weight loss. These differ from other teas because they don’t come from Camellia sinensis and don’t contain caffeine.
Some studies have shown that hibiscus tea reduces the risks of obesity. A study to investigate the effects of hibiscus extract on fat accumulation and obesity reported that consumption of hibiscus extract reduces abdominal fat, obesity, and plasma-free fatty acids and improves liver steatosis. These benefits are attributed to the polyphenols in hibiscus tea.
Chamomile tea stimulates digestive juices which increase the breakdown of foods promoting weight loss. It can also be drunk to reduce bloating by reducing oxidative stress in the body, thanks to its anti-inflammatory agents.
Rooibos tea is a herbal tea made from infusing leaves of a plant that grows in South Africa. There are two varieties of this tea, red and green tea. Red tea is fermented while the green variety is not.
A study carried out to examine the effects of fermented Rooibos tea on adipocyte differentiation resulted in a decrease in lipid accumulation by 22% and 15% after consumption of 10 μg/ml and 100 μg/ml of the infusion. It also lowers body weight and reduces the formation of fat cells.
Other herbal teas like ginger tea may not reduce weight but contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce bloating. Adding a dash of lemon juice to your teas will cleanse your taste buds and lower your carb cravings.
Will Teas Make You Lose Weight?
The teas listed above are the best teas for weight loss. However, you need to know that drinking tea alone without any dietary modifications will not bring about any significant changes in body weight.
A high-sugar diet introduces carbs into your diet which increases inflammation and weight gain. Eating a low-carb balanced diet and engaging in physical activity like aerobic exercise is a sure bet for weight loss.
A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, healthy diet you can adopt to your lifestyle changes. The good news is, you can drink tea on a keto diet. Tea consumption while eating other keto foods will help your body achieve and stay in ketosis, increasing fat breakdown.
Before making that chai latte or iced tea order, think through the benefits of teas, and consider getting yourself a cup of pure relaxation.
The caffeine content of tea is lower than that of coffee, which makes tea the healthier option of the two. Tea will promote good sleeping patterns and help cure insomnia. However, some teas have a high caffeine content so it may not be the best idea to drink them before going to bed. A cup of chamomile tea is a better option at night than black tea.
Flavanols, polyphenols, and catechins in tea are what is responsible for weight loss and reduction in belly fat. When starting your weight loss journey, speak to a health coach to get advice on where you can get good sources of information to ensure you are losing weight in an efficient but healthy way.
Which is your favorite type of tea? Have you incorporated teas into your weight loss diet? Better still, why do you drink tea? Let me know in the comments below!