It has become a universal truth that green tea promotes weight loss. Studies show that daily consumption of green tea can help to get rid of about 3 pounds in 12 weeks without changing the diet or exercising, as it increases the calorie output by 100 calories within 24 hours. The key to effective tea-based slimming is drinking your green tea in the right way.
The Many Benefits of Green Tea
Even if losing weight is not your current goal, green tea will still be very good for you, as it is probably one of the healthiest beverage choices. It is packed with nutrients, including the ones that ward off cancer and improve brain function. The caffeine and catechins green tea contains give a boost to your metabolism; the metabolic speedup, in its turn, improves the oxidation of fats and insulin activity, thus increasing the calorie burn. Green tea is also known to inhibit the absorption of fat because it slows down the process of dietary fat breakdown which precedes the absorption. Simply put, green tea helps you not to gain weight. Now let’s learn to drink it in the right way to increase the positive effects.
Maximizing Green Tea Benefits
The wonders that green tea is going to work with your metabolism depend on many factors.
Pick the Best
Pay special attention to the freshness and quality of your green tea:
- Despite the fact that it doesn’t really spoil, one can't expect too much from the green tea that’s over 6 months old.
- All-natural green tea is the best. If you dislike the bitter aftertaste, opt for a flavored variety (apple, pomegranate, cranberry, etc.), but make sure the flavoring is all-natural as well and contains no sugar – you do not want excess calories.
In order to reap as many benefits as can be, try Matcha.
Matcha tea is the finest powder made from green tea leaves. You do not steep it, you whisk the ground tea leaves with hot water and, consequently, drink the actual leaves with all of their healthy properties!
Choose the Time
Drinking green tea at random times of the day will not do you much good. If you rely on the beverage to get a flat stomach, use the short list of green tea timing rules:
- Do not start your day with a cup of green tea, as it will upset the balance of your empty stomach. Drink a glass of warm water instead.
- Drink green tea about half an hour before or after meals.
- Do not finish meals with a cup of green tea – the tannins and caffeine will inhibit proper digestion.
- Drink green tea at least one hour before you go to bed. You don’t want to wake up at night to rush for the toilet, plus the caffeine content of green tea may interfere with your sound sleep.
Brew it Right
If you want to infuse your green tea with maximum slimming effects, do as follows:
- Use loose leaves – you need to pour water directly on them to trigger the chemical reaction that releases all the healthy nutrients.
- If you can only get tea bags, the solution for the problem will be cutting them open and pouring hot water inside of them.
- Do not use boiling water – it ruins the healthy catechins. Turn the kettle off right before it boils or let it boil, turn it off, and let it rest for ten minutes before pouring water onto the leaves.
- Let the green tea steep for three to four minutes. Of course, it is only a general recommendation, and you can adapt the steeping time to your liking, but let the leaves sit in the water for at least one minute.
- Do not use green tea bags more than twice – bacteria tend to grow on wet tea bags extremely fast. The best option, though, as I have already said, is using loose green tea leaves.
Drink Just Enough
The daily amount of green tea you need to drink to lose weight is not so big - 2 or 3 cups will suffice. If fact, drinking more than 5 cups per day may have reverse effects on your health: when consumed in excess, the healthy tannins and flavonoids may become toxic or affect your liver!
Another thing you should keep in mind when sticking to green tea as your beverage of choice is its diuretic properties. As it makes your body lose more liquid, make sure than you drink plain water to avoid dehydration.
If it is not cold enough for a nice hot cup of tea, opt for iced green tea, but remember that it is more diluted, and bigger volumes of the beverage contain smaller amounts of healthy nutrients. The best option is to learn to make your own iced green tea. Another option is to go for green tea extract, 1 ml of which is as beneficial as 10 cups of regularly steeped green tea.
Keep it Simple
Adding 3 cups of green tea to your daily menu will only give you 6 calories. However, if you like your tea with sugar, honey, or cream, you’d better start counting calories! As little as 1 teaspoon of honey and cream each per cup of green tea with give you 86 calories, which, when multiplied by three cups, will amount at 258 excess calories per day and add about two extra pounds for your belly and thighs within a month!
Watch your Caffeine
I’ve already mentioned that green tea has sufficient caffeine content. In fact, the amount of caffeine not only depends on the steeping time (the longer the more), but also on the tea variety:
- Chinese Oolong contains 37 mg caffeine per one 7-oz cup,
- Kenyan or Indian green tea will give you about 58-59 mg per cup.
Hojicha green tea contains the least amounts of caffeine, due to two factors: the green tea leaves are gathered at the end of the season and roasted.
You should always keep track of how much caffeine you consume, as excessive amounts of the nutrient can lead to restlessness, troubled sleep or even insomnia, headaches, irritability, heartburn, or heart beat disorder. Drinking too much green tea will lead to frequent urination, which will result in an increased loss of calcium.
Certain groups of people should be especially careful when adopting a habit of drinking green tea. Here’s the full list of states and conditions that require special caution:
- breast feeding,
- high BP,
- bleeding issues,
- heart problems,
- irritable bowel,
Also, check if you take any of these prescription drugs:
- birth control pills
- estrogen pills
- lithium, etc.
If you have any of these conditions or use any drug from the list, please make sure you consult your doctor before making green tea your beverage of choice.