Weight loss from green tea is an increasingly popular notion these days, but that’s not the only claim usually made about green tea. Some just state flat out that green tea is THE healthiest beverage.
There are reports of people losing 100 lbs by drinking green tea, and research studies showing that weight loss from green tea is a quantifiable fact.
And of course, there is the frequent claim that green tea helps burn fat, especially during exercise increase your metabolism around the clock (thereby burning more calories even while at rest), and of course, reduce appetite.
How weight loss from green tea really works
Two of the most significant components in green tea are “catechins” and caffeine. Catechins are reported to have fairly powerful ingredient that is widely believed to have beneficial effects on nearly every part of one’s body, including weight loss and fat loss.
But when you get right down to it, caffeine also has fat-burning qualities. Caffeine most definitely raises your metabolism, and increases performance.
There is a reason that caffeine is banned as a illegal performance enhancing drug in most sports (cycling, running).
I remember the first Runner’s World magazine I ever bought was in 1977. I can’t find the issue online now, but I remember the cover story: Coffee. The article made the case that coffee 30-60 minutes prior to a race could seriously improve one’s performance, especially for longer races because it broke fat down faster to use for fuel. They estimated that a 3:30 marathoner could run a 3:15 marathon with that same effort if he had coffee beforehand.
So that’s the power of caffeine.
But DOES weight loss from green tea really work?
Yes and no. From my cursory study it seems that there is legitimate research out there that supports that claims above, that green tea can help with weight loss and fat loss by causing the body to burn anywhere from 3% to 8% more calories at rest.
So that’s the “Yes” part of the answer.
The “No” part of the answer is that NOTHING overcomes bad dietary habits. If you’re burning 2200 calories/day and eating 3000+ calories/day, and 4000 calories/day on weekends, green tea isn’t going to help.
Let’s break out that darned evil calculator for a moment. Let’s look at both the 3% and 8% options for those additional calories burned as a result of drinking green tea. If one burns 2000 calories/day, green tea may help burn an additional 60 to 160 calories per day. That’s like HALF of a good cookie on the high end.
However, if you ARE already meeting your weight loss calorie goals, and if drinking green tea doesn’t make you feel like you you get a pass on that, it may speed things up for you.
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