There are many extras you can include in any healthy, well balanced diet that, when combined with a regular exercise plan can really boost your personal weight loss expectations. One of these, which has only relatively recently exploded onto the scene, is drinking green tea to lose weight. What is so special about green tea? Let’s take a look and see.
Green Tea: Drink to Your Good Health
While the old saying of “here’s to your health” when coupled with a raised glass of an alcoholic beverage may seem to be a bit of a false statement of fact, coupling that same expression with a cup of green tea certainly rings very true. There are many healthy properties associated with this humble brew that civilizations in the Far East have known about for many centuries. Here in the West, we began waking up to them only in the last 20 or so years, but many scientific and medical studies later, we are convinced that there is far more to a cup of this green liquid than meets the eye.
First of all, it contains powerful antioxidants which neutralize harmful free radicals and help to prevent the problems that they cause, from cell damage and cancer to aging itself. Add to that its ability to aid digestion and promote better uptake of nutrients from food, while protecting the stomach and gut from harmful bacterial infections and you have some great healthy properties.
Drinking this tea has also been shown to help protect teeth from tooth decay in between brushing. Another of its amazing properties is that it can destroy certain bacteria that are known to induce food poisoning. It can also relieve certain allergies thanks to its content of the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
A substance known as theophylline found in green tea has been shown to relax the muscles supporting the bronchial tubes. This can reduce the severity of symptoms of breathing conditions such as asthma. But there is more, much more…
Green Tea and Weight Loss
This amazing tea has been proven to improve a person’s ability to lose weight on three major fronts.
Firstly, it contains caffeine which is a known booster of the metabolism. However, its levels of caffeine are lower than the same volume of black tea or coffee, yet its metabolism boosting properties are much greater than either beverage. How can this be? It has been discovered that certain other chemicals in green tea combine with the caffeine content to enhance that particular substance’s ability to increase the body’s metabolic rate. Thus it makes the body burn more calories than it would otherwise. Combine this with a healthy, low calorie diet and a good exercise program and you will maximize your ability to lose weight faster and more efficiently.
Secondly, it has more recently been discovered that drinking green tea has an even more potent property for preventing weight gain. Shortly after consuming food or drinks that have a high refined sugar composition, or high (high GI) carbohydrate or saturated fat content, the body’s natural response to the flood of sugars into the bloodstream is to release an equally potent amount of insulin.
Insulin regulates blood sugar levels by carrying away excess sugars where the body can convert them to storable fats, in this case visceral fat which is stored primarily in the belly area. Belly fat is known to be a catalyst to the onset of certain cancers as well as a whole host of other health problems including hypertension, high cholesterol and coronary heart disease. Drinking green tea has the effect of suppressing the insulin response to a surge of blood sugar, which means less belly fat will be stored, while the associated increase in metabolic rate uses up the excess sugars instead.
Thirdly, green tea has a calming, relaxing effect on the drinker. This is highly useful for reducing stress. Stress is a known element in weight gain because high levels of stress can interfere with digestion, leading to more visceral fats being deposited rather than being used by the body in its normal process. Stress also upsets the body’s balance and its ability to fight off disease via its immune system, which becomes depressed when a person is under a lot of stress. All these issues van combine to create many health problems in addition to weight gain that a simple calming drink of green tea can help to avert.
So drinking green tea really can help you to lose weight by first helping to prevent the build-up of visceral fat and secondly by boosting the body’s ability to burn excess sugars and thus use up more of the calories that are consumed, which, when combined with a healthy diet and exercise will lead to weight loss.