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Can Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?

Updated on August 10, 2012
Pour Yourself A Cup Of Green Tea
Pour Yourself A Cup Of Green Tea

Are the benefits of Green Tea for real?

I’m an ardent coffee drinker, but I’ve heard a lot about green tea and its antioxidant-rich properties, so I’ve been willing to give it a try. Not to be confused with simple herbal teas, which can target specific health issues, green tea is one of four types of teas, including black, white, and oolong.

Apparently there’s some magic in those leaves.

In a study reported on in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , researchers found that green tea extract increased drinkers’ energy expenditure (a measure of metabolism) – and significantly affected fat oxidation. First, researchers theorized that the caffeine was the hero, but it turned out that it’s more complicated than that, since caffeine alone could not replicate the results.

Green tea extracts are all the rage, with some dubious claims about how they help people lose weight. One study showed a 4% increase in 24-hour energy expenditure when ingesting a green tea extract.

This number is explained in even more expanded terms by Suzanne Somer’s website, which says researchers concluded that “since thermogenesis contributes 8 to 10 percent of daily energy expenditure in a typical subject, that this 4 percent overall increase in energy expenditure due to the green tea actually translated to a 35 to 43 percent increase in daytime thermogenesis.”

Bottom line: drink green tea to burn more calories. With regular intake, that 4 percent can begin to unlock incremental amounts of fat from your cells because it will be called upon to burn.

A U.S.D. A. survey in 2007 gives credit to green tea for a having a higher content of flavonoids when comparing one cup of green tea to the same amount of fresh fruit, wine or veggie juice. Flavonoids are a plant by-product that have strong anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. The survey also notes that this effect can differ widely among types of teas.

Researchers say:

  • Drink 3 to 4 cups a day to equal the amount in an extract supplement
  • Drink it earlier rather than later. That energy boost may interfere with your bedtime
  • Drink it with or immediately after a big meal. It is good at keeping you from absorbing some of the calories from your meal

There are a host of green tea varieties available from both China and Japan. I’ve tried several different kinds, and I don’t like some of them, so I suspect you’ll have to try out some before you settle on a flavor that you like.


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    • nomorecellulite profile image

      nomorecellulite 5 years ago from Carmel, Indiana

      Will increased green tea consumption help get rid of cellulite?

    • GracieLake profile image
      Author

      GracieLake 6 years ago from Arizona

      That's great to hear @nancyyoung1! Congratulations!

    • nancyyoung1 profile image

      nancyyoung1 6 years ago from Fort lauderdale, florida

      Thanks you for the great information. I drink Aiya matcha green tea daily and it helped alot in reducing my weight

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Gracie . . .great hub. Love your work. Artwork is amazing. I may have to live on Green Tea if my weight doesn't start coming down. Thank you.

    • GracieLake profile image
      Author

      GracieLake 6 years ago from Arizona

      Hi Food Fairies-- thanks for the great suggestion. I will be sipping green tea regularly to see what happens, but I will take your advice regarding iron rich foods.

    • Food Fairies profile image

      Food Fairies 6 years ago from London

      Great hub! the Food Fairies love green tea! We sip it all day! One caution though - don't drink it with iron-rich foods as the tannins can antagonise iron absorption! FF x

    • roshall profile image

      roshall 6 years ago from Ohio

      That picture is amazing. I drink green tea and I think it really helps the body.Great info.