Green tea has made a name for itself in the diet world, but does the leaf-based pick really work as a weight loss tool? Here’s a look at the facts you need to know. Green tea certainly isn’t for everyone and does come with side effects and risks so consider carefully what’s the right plan of action for you personally.
What about green tea aids in weight loss?
The reason why green tea has gotten attention by the diet industry is the plant’s caffeine and polyphenol content. These elements increase energy expenditure, stimulate fat oxidation and boost the metabolic rate. While immediate weight loss is unrealistic as a direct result, studies have shown that green tea’s ability to affect energy metabolism can help prevent obesity and aid in a weight loss program that also includes exercising and reducing calories.
Should I be cautious about drinking green tea or taking green tea diet supplements?
For many individuals, green tea is one of those products that has a reputation for being perfectly healthy, but there are a number of unpleasant side effects that can result from a large consumption of such a pick.
A number of scientists, medical professionals and consumers alike are concerned about the effect caffeine can have on our bodies. Caffeine has a stimulatory effect and while some are only focused on the positives of increased energy utilization and decreased body weight, others keep their eyes wide open when it comes to the negative side effects. The caffeine in a single cup of green tea isn’t likely to produce a significant difference in your heart rate, but the amount contained in concentrated diet supplements can have adverse cardiovascular effects. Decaffeinated green tea is available, but if you really want to avoid caffeine, you have to be careful because many products simply don’t list caffeine on the label even though high doses are found through independent lab testing.
Tea companies commonly brew their green tea inventory with large amounts of fluoride, which can lead to brittle bones and dental problems among other issues. Sticking to a weight loss program that calls for drinking a large number of cups a day can overwhelm the body’s limited ability in properly filtering out enough of the fluoride to keep your bones protected.
If you’re considering purchasing ready-to-drink green teas and supplements, you should be aware that some of these beverages contain sugar. If your diet plan allows for the calories and sugar of such choices, you can obviously proceed accordingly, but if you’re thinking of all green tea drinks as freebies that will help you lose weight, you’re sure to be in for a surprise when it comes time to step back on the scale. Before mindlessly consuming a sugary form of the go-to drink, read the nutrition facts.
The green tea plant is capable of absorbing lead from the environment and can also feature lead buildup on the leaves’ surface. Although the majority of the lead stays with the contaminated leaves inside a tea bag, drinking large portions of green tea, eating the leaves or taking green tea extract can expose your body to unsafe levels of the toxin. Even low levels of lead can damage the brain over time and higher levels can also cause problems for your kidneys and nervous system.
Not all green teas are alike and research has shown that the amounts of antioxidants and polyphenols that can help with weight loss vary dramatically among the different purchasing options. Among leaf teas, bottled teas and green tea supplements, the supplements tend to come with the highest concentration of the desired weight loss components, but testing has shown that the actual concentration and the claimed concentrations are often at odds with one another. Even when products have enough polyphenols to be effective as weight loss aids, consumers then have to deal with the issue of toxicity since large quantities of the plant compound may cause liver and kidney damage. When you’re taking a supplement, it’s easy to overlook how much green tea extract you’re actually consuming. In some cases, a single tablet can be the equivalent of consuming fifty cups of green tea at once.
If I still want to use green tea as a weight loss aid, how should I proceed?
Talk with a doctor
If you’re aware of the potential consequences of using green tea as a tool in your weight loss plan but still want to incorporate the possible aid, consult a medical professional on what doses are safe for you. Detail any prescription medications and over-the-counter treatments including alternative medicine routes you use so that your doctor can get the full picture. If you have any preexisting health problems, discuss those as well in case they increase your danger of having liver, kidney or heart problems.
Do your research
Read the labels on the products you’re interested in purchasing and also look up consumer testing reports for those brands and see how the actual concentrations and possible side effects compare with what the brand itself says. Don’t be tempted by cheap options from untrustworthy companies. Similarly, don’t be deceived by too-good-to-be-true claims promising drastic weight loss results. Be conservative about the green tea doses you take and avoid adopting a program that combines drinking green tea and taking additional, highly-concentrated supplements.
Exercise and reduce your calories
Drinking ten glasses of green tea a day isn’t going to magically make you strong, healthy and the size you always wanted to be. Get into a good routine of exercising regularly and sticking to a nutrient-rich diet full of vegetables, fruits and lean proteins. When you have the exercise and diet down pat, you may be so excited by your results that you don’t even want to bother with the risks of having green tea everyday.
Watch for side effects
Watch your body for side effects and stop taking green tea if you begin to experience any of the negative possibilities associated with overconsumption. Set up another appointment with your doctor, if needed, to do a follow-up check if your symptoms are severe.