You may have seen advertisements and articles touting the benefits of tea when you are trying to lose weight. In fact, these days you don’t even need to drink it–you can buy a pill. As long as you don’t add sugar or cream, tea is a zero-calorie beverage and can be a great addition to a healthy weight loss plan. It also may have some additional benefits, though the jury is still out on that.
Green tea is the tea that most people associate with losing weight, but other types of teas can be effective as well. Black tea, for example, has caffeine, which the Mayo Clinic states aids in weight loss. Herbal teas don’t always have weight-loss benefits, but if you drink a cup of herbal tea in the afternoon or evening rather than having your usual snack, it could reduce overall calories, resulting in weight loss.
The brewing time depends on the type of tea you are going to drink. If you are going to have green tea, you should brew it for three to five minutes, which gives it enough time to release its catechins. You should also take care not to boil the water, but to bring it to a temperature where it’s just steaming. Use boiling water for black tea, but steep it for the same amount of time. Herbal teas may take 10 to 30 minutes to brew. The label of the tea that you purchased may have specific directions for best taste.
Any caffeinated tea, such as green and black tea, can help increase your metabolism to help you burn more calories. It will also help you to eat less food by suppressing your appetite. Some studies have found that some of the elements of green tea–catechins in particular–can help with weight loss.
Tea is not a miracle weight loss product. You will not lose weight simply from drinking tea alone. You must also change your eating and exercise habits. Tea can certainly help you to do that, but if you simply add tea to your diet and don’t reduce calories, you will not lose a significant amount of weight.
The Mayo Clinic points out that the human tests on green tea extract–green tea in pill form–have thus far not been shown to have a strong correlation to weight loss.
- blue cup and tea from a blue tea-pot image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com