Stuck on those last few pounds? Didn’t make it to the gym today because One Tree Hill just got put on Netflix? We feel your pain. Thankfully, there’s something we can do for you.
Teas – particularly Eastern ones – definitely seem to be cropping up everywhere nowadays. You might as well think they’re some sort of weird magic elixir for the way that shady salesmen are promoting them.
Sadly, these teas won’t suddenly make all that extra weight just fall off you- but as part of a healthy diet and exercise (I know, yawn, but it’s important) these teas can definitely help boost your weight loss efforts. And there is no one best tea for weight loss so as such, we’ve collected five of the buggers, so you definitely won’t be starved for choice when it comes to what tea you’re going to get to deal with that extra flab.
Find Your Best Tea for Weight Loss…and Other Perks
Barberry’s weight loss superpowers are charged by an ingredient called berberine. Berberine is a really busy little thing, working to improve your insulin resistance, inhibit the absorption of fat by cells and slow down the release of fatty acids into your bloodstream all at the same time. Thankfully, there’s been some research done on this- and not just your average messing with rats. (I always feel so sorry for those rats.)
In the summer of 2012, researchers got some participants to ingest barberry and silybum marianum (more commonly known as milk thistle, but I like ‘silybum’ better because I am secretly a twelve-year-old in an adult’s body) for 90 days (yay for long term tests- sort of?).
Barberry – along with the silybum – ended up helping to stabilize the blood sugar levels of the participants, which suggests that it could be used in treating diabetes, what with its dealings in insulin resistance as well (no promises, but fingers crossed!). All in all, the future is looking very bright for this great little tea – as a treatment for weight loss as well as more serious endeavours like diabetes and high cholesterol.
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White tea’s trick is that it isn’t fermented – only steamed a little. That means that it hasn’t lost any of the anti-oxidants or nutrients that most teas lose during this process. And it really makes a difference- white tea contains about 300% more polyphenols than green tea!
White tea also contains a lot of ingredients that take an offensive on the unwanted visitors (chemicals) inside our bodies. This includes fat cells- a study done just recently found that white tea is instrumental in boosting the breakdown of fat (which always makes me picture these fat cells having a dance battle inside my stomach- that’s probably just me, though) and blocking the formation of new fat cells.
Fair warning, though – white tea is a little bit more delicate than the others. You have to be really careful how you prepare it to get that natural sweet taste. Give it the same treatment you’d give black or green tea and it’ll just end up really bitter. Make sure to use water at 180 degrees or maybe a little less, but never more otherwise it’ll just come out foul tasting.
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I personally love oolong for its anti-anxiety and stress capabilities. Of course, if your body is stressed and overwhelmed, your metabolism doesn’t have the energy it needs to do its job properly – and I know we’re all prone to a bit of stress eating from time to time- but oolong tea has more direct abilities for the express purpose of weight loss.
Oolong tea has probably the highest amount of polymerized polyphenols of any other tea- one of the biggest culprits behind the weight loss effects of teas in general- and was actually used in a trial which deciphered once and for all that it isn’t “just the caffeine” that makes tea so awesome. Oolong tea gets right to the source of fat with catechins, which improve the body’s ability to metabolise.
In that aforementioned trial, participants in a control group were given caffeinated water whereas the real group were given oolong. The group who were given oolong burned almost 70 calories per day on average, whilst fat burning was increased by 12% compared to the group that just had water with caffeine in it, which made the researchers realise that whilst caffeine does have some fat-burning effects, it wasn’t the main player here.
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Mint tea is a tricky little bugger – it’s not actually the tea itself, per say, that’s responsible for its effects, but the smell. Yup, just smelling mint tea can actually help to reduce your appetite and your cravings. I’d imagine that there’s a few other smells that can do that, but at least this one’s pleasant!
There was a study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine which essentially got people to sniff some peppermint every two hours for an indeterminate period of time (I imagine them explaining this to the participants and then at the end going, “No, no wait- it’s for science!).
Now, smell testing is obviously a bit of a grey area since you can’t really be ‘blind’ to a smell- you know what peppermint smells like, so if you know your stuff about peppermint, you know what you have to do. Hello, placebo effect! But, regardless, the study found that the participants actually lost five pounds every month, so that’s definitely something to think about!
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Rooibos tea is a bit of a cheat because it isn’t, technically speaking, a tea – teas are specifically picked from the Camellia sinensis plant, so rooibos is more of an herb than anything else. You’ll typically find two varieties of rooibos tea; red and green.
Green rooibos is essentially what you get off the stalk, and thus isn’t fermented. It only gets its famous red color when it goes through fermentation, which drains out half the nutrients in the process. That being said, we’re going to focus on green rooibos. Said to be a close second to green tea in terms of anti-oxidants, rooibos tea is a naturally caffeine-free drink native to South America.
The star player here is a flavonoid called aspalathin, exclusively found in green rooibos. Aspalathin helps to keep your blood sugar in check, which stops the body from mindlessly reaching out for the sweet stuff. Aside from balancing blood sugar, aspalathin also kicks the munchies to the curb by reducing the production of a stress hormone that triggers hunger.
Sadly, rooibos tea isn’t as widely researched as mainstays like green and black tea, but we do have some promising research done on animals- thankfully not rats this time. Over a five week study, researchers found that rooibos helped to regulate glucose metabolism, as well as improving the amount of sugar we can deal with before everything goes haywire. That’s not to say that rooibos is your one-way ticket to eating half a tonne of chocolate in one sitting without losing weight- just that it increases the amount we can take before the rest of us starts to suffer.
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So, there you have it- the myth has been busted, the clouds have cleared, etc. Teas might not be mystical potions but they can definitely have a positive effect on your weight loss regime. And of course, you don’t have to stick to single blend teas – there are plenty of deliciously detox-ing blends that you sip on to get you closer to your weight loss goals, like…
Bae Tea 14 Day Acai Teatox
If you’re on the hunt for a yummy tea that banishes bloating, aids your digestion and boosts detox – this 14 day acai teatox may be your cup of tea. It’s a clever, scrumptious blend of some of the best teas for weight loss like rooibos, green tea and oolong combined with goodies like ginger root to improve your digestion and rev up your metabolism and acai berry and goji berry for antioxidants.
And of course, there’s no laxatives or other nasties in this blend – 100% natural and overall quite delicious!
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V Tea Advanced Teatox Cleanse
This one’s unique in that it comes as a two-part system. The AM morning blend is a purifying blend that boosts liver function and gently acts as an appetite suppressant. You’ll find Burdock Root, Nettle Leaf, Wild-Crafted Creosote, Dandelion Leaf, Fenugreek Seed, Rosemary, Tulsi, and Spearmint in the morning blend.
The PM evening tea blend contains a slightly different mix of tea leaves, this time intended to boost digestion and give your bowels a bit of a push. In the evening blend you’ll find Alfalfa Leaf, Dandelion Leaf, Chamomile, Caraway Seed, Fennel Seed, Fenugreek Seed, Ginger Root, Tulsi, Spearmint, Cinnamon, and Senna Leaf.
Overall, a smart system to wisely give your digestion a boost and de-bloat your way to a slimmer waistline.
Find it here!