Because obesity has become a worldwide epidemic, both doctors and patients are urgently searching for any method which will help people to lose weight through natural methods. One method that has been studied quite extensively is the use of green tea to help reduce body fat and body weight. While the Chinese have long used green tea for its healing properties as well as its positive effects on metabolism, the Western world is taking a bit longer to catch up.
Starving Your Body
Many people go on diets, and literally starve their bodies, which prompt the body to go into an energy saving state, thus lowering metabolism, and burning fewer calories. As you can see, dieting can sometimes have the opposite effect of what you intended as your body does its best to protect its fat stores. Green tea is a known metabolism booster which makes it much easier for your body to burn fat when you are on a restricted calorie diet. Green tea can also help regulate your blood sugar levels, effectively reducing the common food cravings from dieting. In short, dieting makes your body look for energy, pushing it into taking the protein from your muscles, so even if you are on a severely calorie-restricted diet, and are losing some weight, it is likely you are losing muscle rather than true weight. Combining a moderate diet with green tea can be much more effective over the long haul.
Green Tea Studies
In a recent study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea was found to not only significantly increase energy expenditure, (increased metabolism) but also showed a noteworthy effect on fat oxidation. Although it was originally theorized that these increases were due to the caffeine in green tea– which would mean any caffeinated beverage would do the same thing-when the same amount of caffeine was administered on its own, there was no increased energy expenditure. This leads researchers to believe there is a specific interaction between the ingredients in green tea which effectively increase metabolism and fat oxidation. The study showed a bit more than 35% increase in the body’s thermogenesis (rate of burning calories), which is fairly significant, especially for those trying to lose body weight.
Good News for Thyroid Patients
None of the research subjects reported any side effects, and no significant differences in heart rates were reported. This makes green tea extract substantially different from either prescription drugs for obesity or herbal supplements like ephedra, which can raise heart rate and blood pressure. Drugs such as these are not recommended for individuals, but most particularly those with thyroid disease who are likely to be especially sensitive to stimulants. Thyroid patients are generally able to drink green tea or take green tea extract with no adverse effects.
How Should I Drink Green Tea?
First, choose a reputable brand of organic green tea at your local health food store or natural grocery, and begin with one cup a day. Gradually increase your intake of green tea over time, until you have reached the recommended maximum of 5-6 cups per day. Try to use a natural sweetener like Stevia rather than sugar or artificial sweeteners, which can both have adverse health effects of their own.
Does Green Tea Suppress Your Appetite?
Contrary to some claims, green tea does not suppress your appetite, but can actually help you exercise for a longer period of time as it increases your endurance levels. Green tea is not a get-thin in one week type of diet, but rather a tool to help enable you to lose weight and reach your long term goals over a reasonable period of time through metabolism enhancement. Green tea can boost that pesky sluggish metabolism we get when dieting, helping you successfully lose the weight.