Green Tea Weight Loss - Fact or Myth?
For some time now, green tea has been touted as a wonder weight loss beverage out there. You’ve probably heard of things like, ‘lose 6 pounds in just a week by drinking 3 cups of green tea everyday’.
Or not so.
The question is, is there any truth in these claims or it is just another case of marketing hype?
To be honest, all sides have some validity. While green tea is not exactly the ‘silver bullet’ to all weight problems, there are some hard scientific facts supporting the fact that it aids in the weight loss process, at least to some extent.
What are the facts?
There is a theory out there that when you drink 3 to 5 cups of green tea, your body’s thermo-genesis gets a boost – it basically means your body’s metabolism will hike, causing more heat to be produced. On the surface, it looks good – simply a matter of drinking tea and then your body jumps into action burning calories.
The truth is that it is a mere 2 to 4 percent increase, which translates into about 40 to 80 calories burnt a day. It isn’t really a ‘wonder’ but it adds up if it is consistently done. To really get something out of green tea, you need to make drinking it a habit because in the long run, the results will be remarkable. Over a full year’s length, you could shed approximately 8 pounds.
This definitely doesn’t sound like a ‘magic’ solution and if used singly, it may fail to balance off the extra weight gained through other factors, such as overeating, stress eating, inactivity, among others. However, if you bundle it up with 3 or 4 similar habits, it starts to make more sense.
What exactly leads to weight loss in green tea?
Scientists believe that the catechins in green tea are responsible for its weight loss effects. These polyphenols impede the normal movement of glucose in fat cells and combine with other useful compounds to increase the rate at which fats are oxidized in the body.
There are four main types of catechins concentrated in the leaves of the green tea plant but only one - epigallocatechin gallat or EGCG - has been found to be very potent and it is a subject of various research studies.
Scientists believe that this compound reduces the levels of appetite regulating hormones in the body, which basically means that you will eat less. At the same time, it boosts the levels of the neurotransmitter noradrenalin in the body, which is responsible for the stimulation of brown fat tissue, which fat you want to shed when it comes to healthy weight loss.
The catechins in green tea also have energizing properties, which can be helpful for your workouts. They achieve this by slowing the release of carbohydrates, which in turn prevents sharp increases in blood insulin levels.
Green tea is not the magic solution you’ve been waiting for to burn your fat deposits while you continue indulging your cravings. Basic laws still apply: eat less, exercise more. Nonetheless, a few cups a day will be beneficial to your weight loss efforts, in addition to other merits of green tea supported by scientific studies.