One of the hottest natural remedies that is being sought after in current times is green tea for weight loss. Green tea weight loss has been extensively researched. This article will attempt to look at these studies and make a recommendation if it is worthwhile to use green tea for weight loss. If you are looking to use green tea for weight loss, this article will give you the relevant information for you to make a sound decision on the subject.
Table of Contents for Article
- 1 More about green tea
- 2 Green tea weight loss craze
- 3 Green tea for weight loss- What scientific research has to say
- 4 Green tea for weight loss has some promise
- 5 The conclusion on green tea for weight loss
More about green tea
Green tea is made from the leaves of the plant know as C. Sinensis. When comparing with black tea, green tea has undergone minimum fermentation or oxidation during processing. This results in the tea leaves being left in its original “green” state. Oxidation is carried out in a climate controlled room where the leaves are left to progressively turn into a darker colour. Green tea is produced mainly in China (81%), Japan (10%), Vietnam (8%) and Indonesia (2%).
Green tea weight loss craze
Due to a number of positive studies, supplement companies have started promoting green tea extract for weight loss. This is the extract of the essence from the green tea and promoted as a weight loss miracle. Nothing can be further from the truth. If you read only as far as this and go no further, remember that green tea extract pills will not result in you shedding countless pounds.
I have stated this before and will emphasize it again. Weight loss is only achieved via a healthy lifestyle. You need to have a holistic approach to weight loss consisting of exercise and nutrition. Green tea extract should only be used as a supplement to a healthy lifestyle.
Green tea for weight loss- What scientific research has to say
As a consequence of limited amount of processing, green tea contains high quantities of several polyphenolic components known as catechins. Among these include epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin and the most abundant and probably the most pharmacologically active, epigallocatechin gallate. The polyphenols and phytochemical compounds in green tea make it a very potent anti-oxidant, even more so than black tea.
Green tea for weight loss – Effect on metabolism
Researchers at the University of Geneva conducted a study on the effects of green tea on metabolism. This article was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1999. They randomly gave 10 healthy men either caffeine, green tea extract or placebo (sugar pills). Green tea extract are herbal derivatives from green tea leaves. The researchers found that those who took green tea extract had a 4% increase in metabolism as compared to those who took the placebo. The authors of the study concluded that green tea had thermogenic properties. Green tea also promoted fat oxidation beyond that solely attributed to its caffeine content.
The researchers further postulated that green tea may help with body composition regulation by of stimulating the Sympathetic Nervous System(SNS). The SNS comes into play when you are faced with fight-or-flight situation. You body activates the SNS when you need to react in times of danger. The SNS also plays an important role in the regulation of the cardiovascular and metabolic processes. This was theorized in the findings of a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders.
This is one of the most quoted study in favour of using green tea for weight loss. One needs to bear in mind that this study used green tea extract and not green tea beverage.
Another relevant article was published in the Journal of Biochemical Pharmacology. Researchers proposed that the catechins in green tea may stimulate metabolism and fat oxidation through inhibition of an enzymes that block the release of fat from the fat cells
The findings of another Japanese study were presented at the Obesity proceedings in 2007. Researches found that continuous ingestion of green tea extract led to a reduction in blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and body fat. Green tea extract is high in catechins. Catechins are antioxidant components that are the primary reason for its many nutritional benefits. The researchers of the Japanese study further concluded that green tea influenced your body’s fat burning ability.
Another study was undertaken to investigate the effects of green tea on weight reduction in obese Thais. The findings of this study was published in the Journal of Physiology and Behaviour in 2008. 60 participants were asked to consume a Thai diet containing 3 meals for 12 weeks. The diet typically contained 65% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 20% fat. The only difference in the participants was that one group took green tea and the other did not.
Researchers found that participants who took green tea had lost an average 3.3 kgs of weight. There was a 3% increase in metabolism. The researchers concluded that green tea could reduce body weight in obese Thai subjects by increasing energy expenditure and fat oxidation. This was another compelling case of using green tea for weight loss.
Another study was published in the Journal of Obesity in 2005. Researchers from that study concluded that a green tea-caffeine mixture improved weight maintenance after weight loss.
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 38 men were divided into two groups and fed the same diet. One group consumed 690 mg catechin antioxidants per day for 12 weeks. Each cup of green tea typically has 150mg to 200mg of catechins.
The researchers found that body weight, BMI, waist circumference and body fat mass were much lower in the green tea extract group than in the control group. The researchers concluded that catechin antioxidants in green tea reduce body fat and helped control obesity.
Blood sugar management
There has also been recent research into the effects of green tea on blood sugar management. Green tea has been shown to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar management but this effect could be due largely to its caffeine content. Such a green tea study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine by Japanese researchers. The researchers found that people who drank green tea had a reduced risk of getting Type-2 diabetes.
Blood sugar management is crucial for weight loss. Insulin is an essential hormone for blood sugar regulation. A diet high in refined carbohydrates causes insulin to remain at an elevated level. Insulin is also a potent fat storage hormone. At elevated levels of insulin in the blood stream, the body is in fat storage mode rather than fat burning mode. As such, anything that helps manages blood glucose level also manages insulin levels.
What the reader has to bear in mind is that you could better control insulin and blood sugar levels via a diet free of refined carbohydrates. The point is, green tea’s beneficial effect on glucose is a bonus. No amount of green tea consumption is going to help manage blood sugar levels if your are consuming to much refined carbohydrates.
Animal studies have shown that green tea increases exercise endurance. Green tea catechins increased the body’s ability to use fatty acids as a source of energy in skeletal muscle during exercise. This finding holds a lot of promise and needs further investigation. It could mean that a cup of green tea before your next jog may help the amount of fat burned in that run.
Green tea for weight loss has some promise
While the research about green tea for weight loss is compelling, it is not conclusive. More research on green tea for weight loss is definitely required to find more conclusive evidence. You can anyway only win by drinking green tea. Apart from its possible weight loss benefits, the antioxidants contained in green tea also provide tremendous health benefits.
Continue drinking green tea if you are already doing it. If you have not been doing so, its time to start. You will get tremendous health benefits and possibly shed some pounds. You need to drink 2 to 3 glasses per day to see the health benefits and possible effects on weight loss.
The conclusion on green tea for weight loss
As already mentioned drinking green tea can only help. It has shown some promise in boosting metabolism and promoting fat oxidation. There are also numerous health benefits that can be derived from the antioxidant properties present in the beverage. The mistake that you must avoid is taking green tea extract as your sole strategy to lose weight. This is highly not recommended. Neither is it recommended to drink multiple glasses of green tea a day as your one and only weight loss strategy. Green tea must supplement a healthy lifestyle.
You must have a holistic approach to losing weight which must incorporate among others, exercise and healthy nutrition. When you have such a holistic approach to weight loss, supplementing your efforts with green tea can only help. This is the best strategy to incorporate green tea for weight loss.