Green tea is a type of tea that is made from the Camellia Sinensis plant, which is the same plant that black tea is made from. The difference between green tea and black tea is that green tea is not processed, while black tea is processed by fermentation, which changes the color and flavor of the tea.
Green tea weight loss claims
Green tea is healthy, full stop. There’s not much you can do wrong with leaves and water! However, it goes deeper than that; green tea is considered one of the healthiest drinks on the planet. This is because it is full of antioxidants and other helpful plant compounds that have the potential to provide tons of benefits for our health, with weight loss being just one of them.
How to lose weight with green tea
There are plenty of reasons to love green tea, and weight loss is one of them. So let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits green tea has to offer when it comes to shedding those extra pounds.
It’s what’s inside that counts: fat-burning compounds.
Green tea is naturally rich in some really beneficial compounds for our bodies, the main two being:
Caffeine & weight loss
Most of us use caffeine to help us feel more awake in the mornings. While most people drink coffee, green tea can also help give you a caffeine boost. Green tea has less caffeine than coffee (75mg compared to 100-140mg) but that just means you can drink more of it.
Caffeine has been shown to help burn body fat and improve exercise performance, making it a great addition to fat-burning and pre-workout supplements.
Antioxidants & weight loss
Plant compounds known as antioxidants help protect the body from free radicals, which can damage cells and contribute to health problems. Green tea contains more antioxidants than black tea because it is less processed.
30% of the dry weight of green tea comes from a group of antioxidants called polyphenols. The majority of these are flavonols, which are more commonly known as catechins. Many studies have been conducted on green tea catechins and their ability to help with fat loss, with scientists becoming increasingly interested in this aspect.
Iced green tea may have anti-obesity effects, which can be attributed to a number of reasons. Human studies have found that consuming green tea or green tea extracts may help reduce body weight and fat by increasing our bodies’ metabolism and fat oxidization.
One study found that EGCG can help to burn fat in obese males. The study gave 300mg of EGCG to some participants for two days, and found that they burned more fat than the participants who were given a placebo.
Many studies that look into the benefits of green tea use green tea extract, which is more potent than a cup of brewed green tea. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get the same benefits from drinking green tea, you would just have to drink more of it.
5 other ways green tea helps with weight loss
- Gets fat cells moving
In order to burn fat, your body must first break it down in the fat cell and move it into your bloodstream.
Animal studies have shown that the active compounds in green tea can help to promote weight loss by increasing the levels of fat-burning hormones in the body, such as norepinephrine.
The main antioxidant in tea, EGCG, can help keep norepinephrine levels high by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks it down.
An enzyme that is responsible for the breakdown of fats is inhibited, leading to an increase in norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a hormone that promote fat breakdown.
This means that together, these two substances may have an even greater effect than they would have if they were consumed separately. The caffeine and EGCG in green tea may work together to have a stronger effect than either would have on its own.
The process of your fat cell breaking down more fat is known as lipolysis. This breakdown of fat releases fatty acids into your bloodstream, which are then used by cells like muscle cells for energy.
- Helps you push harder and burn more fat during your workouts
You will likely see green tea listed as an ingredient on the label of almost every commercial weight loss and fat-burning supplement.
Green tea extract has been shown to increase fat burning, especially during exercise.
The study found that men who took green tea extract before exercise burned 17% more fat than those who did not take the supplement. This suggests that green tea can boost the fat-burning effects of exercise.
A study that lasted eight weeks found that tea catechins increased fat burning, both when a person was exercising and when they were at rest.
Other studies support these findings and suggest that EGCG can help to increase the amount of fat that is burned, potentially leading to reduced body fat in the long term.
- Boost your metabolic rate
Metabolism is the sum of all the different chemical processes that occur in your body to keep you alive.
Metabolism helps you breathe, repair cells, and break down food into micronutrients and macronutrients. It also sends these nutrients where they need to go.
It is especially important to give your body enough energy when you are trying to lose weight. This is because your body needs a certain amount of energy to do all of its functions, and this amount varies depending on things like height, weight, age, and how active you are. If you consume fewer calories than your body needs, it will start using stored fat for energy instead–which leads to weight loss.
Green tea has been shown to help speed up your metabolism in several studies. Most studies showed that it increased metabolism by 3-4%, but some showed an 8% increase.
Drinking green tea can help you burn an extra 54-72 calories a day without any extra activity on your part.
Coffee and green tea both contain caffeine, which has been shown to boost metabolism. However, green tea may have additional properties that coffee doesn’t that also impact metabolism.
The study found that consuming green tea catechin extract + caffeine significantly increases energy expenditure and fat burning, whereas the groups given just caffeine or placebo experienced no significant changes.
- May reduce your food cravings
Green tea may help with weight loss by suppressing appetite.
This would mean that you would consume fewer calories without having to put any extra effort in.
However, studies on the effects of green tea on appetite produced conflicting results.
EGCG supplements may reduce the amount of fat absorbed from food, though this has not yet been confirmed in humans.
Green tea’s main effect is to increase how many calories you burn, which leads to burning more fat. However, there is no evidence that it affects how much food you eat during the day.
Although some studies suggest that green tea may help to reduce appetite and calorie consumption, we believe it is best to take a break from drinking it.
However, dehydration can cause us to feel hungry when we just need a drink. So, the next time you feel snacky between meals, try making a cup of green tea to see if that helps you avoid the biscuit tin.
- Targets the most dangerous body fat
We often think about the body fat that we can see and want to get rid of when we think about body fat. However, some excess fat is found deep inside our bodies surrounding some of our internal organs. The effects of green tea are relatively modest when it comes to actual pounds lost.
There are some studies that show people do lose weight when they diet, however, there are also some studies that show no effect.
Green tea supplements have been found to be effective in causing weight loss in people, with the average amount of weight lost being 3 pounds (1.3 kg).
Remember that not all fat is the same.
Subcutaneous fat is the type of fat that lodges under your skin, but you may also have significant amounts of visceral fat, which is also known as belly fat.
High amounts of visceral fat are associated with an increased risk for several serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease, due to the inflammation and insulin resistance that it causes.
Although green tea catechins can help with weight loss, a significant amount of the fat that is lost is harmful visceral fat.
This means that drinking green tea can help prevent major illnesses, which could help you live a longer and healthier life.
How many cups of green tea should you drink a day for weight loss?
Some people like to drink green tea all day long and get results, while others would rather drink the bare minimum. But how much is that exactly?
How many cups of green tea to lose weight?
The jury is still out on exactly how much coffee you should drink each day. Some studies suggest you only need one cup, while others recommend three to five cups.
Switching to green tea from other hot beverages may help with weight loss or simply be a healthier option. Green tea contains caffeine, so it is important to find the consumption level that works best for you.
Green tea is calorie-free and has a lot of health benefits. You should check with your doctor if you plan on drinking a lot of green tea because large doses of caffeine can cause problems for some people.
What about green tea supplements?
If you don’t like the taste of green tea, you can take supplements instead. This way you can still get all the benefits green tea has to offer.
If you want to take green tea extract, you can either take it in tablet form or as a pre-workout supplement that usually contains other fat-burning ingredients like bitter orange extract and amino acids. It all depends on your goals and lifestyle.
Is green tea the best tea for weight loss?
Despite what you may have heard, green tea isn’t the only tea that can help with weight loss. In fact, there are a number of different teas that can help you slim down and achieve your weight loss goals. So, if you’re looking for something new to help you lose weight, don’t be afraid to branching out and trying something new. Who knows, you may just find your new favorite tea.
All teas can help you to lose weight, especially if you opt for pure tea with no milk and no added sugar.
There are also weight-loss teas and “tea-toxes” that might help you lose a few pounds. These slimming teas usually contain a mixture of natural herbs and extracts that either help reduce food cravings or act like green tea to support your energy levels and metabolism with ingredients like caffeine.
Other FAQs answered on green tea and weight loss
Does green tea have calories?
No, green tea is virtually calorie-free.
Even if it did contain calories, the amount would be so low that it’s not worth considering.
Does green tea reduce belly fat?
Studies have shown that green tea may help to boost metabolism and burn fat.
The combination of belly fat and green tea may have a positive effect on each other, according to some studies. Green tea may help to target visceral fat, which is usually found in the abdominal area.
Which green tea is best for weight loss?
The best green teas for weight loss will be those that contain only green tea leaves, with the option of adding other natural herbs or extracts to add flavor.
Green tea lattes and cold green tea soft drinks usually contain extra calories and sugar, which can prevent weight loss.
When is the best time to drink green tea for weight loss?
The time you drink your alcohol doesn’t impact how it will affect you, rather it is the amount you drink and the quality of the alcohol that does.
It would be a good idea to drink this beverage in the morning or during the day instead of just before bed because it has a lot of caffeine.
The bottom line
Even though green tea extract or EGCG supplements can cause a modest increase in metabolic rate and fat burning, its weight-loss effects are modest.
Every little bit helps when trying to lose weight, and combining this strategy with others, such as eating more protein and fewer carbs, may lead to even better results.
Not only can green tea aids weight loss, it is also good for other aspects of health.
Most studies have only looked at green tea extracts or supplements that contain isolated green tea antioxidants.
Although green tea may have long term benefits, the effects of drinking it are probably minimal in comparison.