Recently there's been a lot of news regarding green tea and weight loss. But is there any scientific basis for green tea weight loss (see more on Weight Loss) claim?
Does green tea really work or it is just the hype?
I have gone through many websites and finally gathered some useful information that you might look into. There are mainly 5 proven ways that green tea may assist you in weight loss.
1. By Increasing metabolism:
According to the study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea can raise your metabolism which means rate of calorie(energy) burning process is higher and rate of weight loss will be also higher(see more on increasing your metabolism). The research had also concluded that over a 1 day time(24 hour period), green tea extract increases the metabolic rate by 3-4%. These slimming effects of green tea are probably because of high concentrations of polyphenols found in the green tea. That means green tea increases the energy expenditure and helps your body to burn more fat.
2. By Inhibiting fat digestion and absorption:
Studies have shown that green tea extract can inhibit the fat-digesting lipase enzymes found in the stomach and pancreas. When these fat-digesting enzymes are inhibited, consumption of excess fat calories can be avoided, thus assisting in weight loss. Reportedly, green tea has also been found to improve the way that your body makes use of fat.
3. By regulating the body's glucose:
Green tea has also been found valuable in regulating the body's glucose by slowing the rise in blood sugar, specially after a meal. As a glucose regulator, green tea prevents high insulin spikes, which leads to fat storage. Further, green tea also slows down the action of amylase(a digestive enzyme). Amylase diffuses starch into carbohydates, which is the main cause why blood sugar level rise after a meal. Thus by slowing down amylase's action, green tea helps in weight loss.
The catechins (polyphenols) in the green tea also suppress the passage of glucose into fat cells.A substance called Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), a catechin polyphenol found in Green Tea, is credited for this effect. EGCG is similar to vitamin-E. However it is considered many times more powerful anti-oxidant than vitamin-E. As an anti-oxidant EGCG lowers cholesterol, prevents lipogenesis, promotes fat oxidation, encourages good health, also fight dental cavities and is an anti-carcinogenic as well as an anti-bacterium.
4. By boosting exercise capacity
It has also been reported that green tea enhance exercise endurance by increasing the utilization of fatty acids as a source of energy during exercise. An experiment regarding green tea and exercise capacity was performed by some Japnese scientists with mice. They noted that when these mice were given green tea extract, their exercise capacity increased substantially. Further, on camparing these mice with the other mice, they ran 28% longer before getting tired. Additionally, the supplemented mice displayed signs of increased fat oxidation. From these findings they concluded that Green tea boosts exercise (see more on Weight Loss Exercise) capacity and fat-burning ability ultimately helping in weght loss.
Should I drink the tea or can I just take a pill?
5. By reducing appetite
Accoding to some scientists at the University of Chicago, green tea causes to lose your appetite. They performed experiment with rats again. Green tea caused rats to lose up to 21% of their total body weight. Mice(rats) injected with a green tea extract lost their appetites and consumed upto 60% less food after a weekly(7 days) daily injections.
How much green tea should I drink?
Many experts argue about this. The opinion varies from expert to expert. Some say that drinking 4-5 cups of green tea per day can best help you lose weight. While some say that this much caffeine is too bad for your general health. But If you really want to give a shot, then go for it. It would be better if you talk to your doctor or dietician first to find the amount that would be right for you.
There are lots of green tea supplements in the town that you can take. Many people believe that drinking green tea is far better than taking the supplement if you want to get the full health benefits. One of the main drawbacks for weight loss is that one can't get the filling effect from the pill that he/she can by drinking green tea. I would recommend you to ask your dietician about this.
Is green tea weight loss permanent?
Everything in this world has some limits. Like with all other diets, you will be losing weight at the beginning of a green tea weight loss program and then reach a limit beyond which it is extremely hard to lose weight. But Green tea with its slimming effects can be one part of a healthy diet which helps you to maintain a healthy weight (see more on Weight Loss Management).