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Is Drinking Green Tea An Effective Way For Weight Loss?

Is Drinking Green Tea An Effective Way For Weight Loss?

Being overweight or obese is a growing problem, not only in the United States but in countries as diverse as India, Japan and various European countries. The weight loss goal remains difficult to achieve, not only when it comes to losing weight initially but also when it comes to keeping it off. While there are a lot of weight loss pills and treatments out there, not all of them are safe and some can cause more problems than they solve.

That is why green tea and green tea extract is becoming more popular as a weight loss supplement. It is all natural, safe and has a good track record in regard to weight loss.  Read on to find out why so many people are drinking up to slim down!

If you are a tea lover, you have no reasons to miss the following treats:

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How To Enjoy Green Tea By Reducing Caffeine In It

How To Improve Your Health With Matcha Green Tea

11 Benefits of Green Tea That You Didn’t Know About

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Caffeine and Catechins: a Winning Combination

The reason that green tea can help with weight loss is that it combines the unique properties of two important active ingredients, caffeine and catechins.

Green tea contains 24-40 mg of caffeine per cup (a fraction of the typical cup of coffee), but it is enough to have a mildly stimulating effect. Many studies have shown that caffeine not only helps to increase energy levels, it also can also burn fat and even increase the number of calories that you burn (to the tune of around 9 calories for every 100mg that you drink). While this probably doesn’t sound like a lot, it can add up over time.

Catechins are also an important part of the make-up of green tea. They are potent, antioxidants compounds, the best-known of which is called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG.  This compound acts to increase the amount of a hormone called norepinephrine, which help stimulate fat cells to burn fat. This increase in norepinephrine, then, leads to an increase in that breakdown of fat, which many researchers believe the it might also work better in the presence of the caffeine.

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An Overview of Green Tea Weight Loss Studies

There are several studies showing the positive results of the use of green tea:

  • In one 8-week study, it was shown that participants who drank green tea regularly burned 17% more fat during exercise than those who did not.
  • A study on a small group of men found that green tea consumption help them to increase fat burning both during activities and at while at rest.
  • A review of studies on green tea extract and calorie burning found that it can increase the amount of calories burned from between 3% and 8%.
  • In a study of 60 obese patients, it was found that use of green tea extract lead to an average weight loss of 7.3 pounds by the end of the 3 month study and resulted in the burning of around 183 more calories a day.
  • While many studies have shown green tea results in mostly modest weight loss, much of this weight loss is targeted at visceral fat, which builds up around the organs.  Losing visceral fat can reduce the chances of conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
  • Several studies have shown that green tea can help to decrease the appetite, making it easier to eat fewer calories without suffering from hunger pains.

What You Should Know about Green Tea

There are a few things to keep in mind, though, in regard to green tea and weight loss. Firstly, drinking green tea by itself is not likely to help you lose weight and it should be considered to be a replacement for good eating or exercise. Rather, it should be seen as a great addition to an overall healthy lifestyle.

You will need to drink 2-3 cups a day of green tea in order to harvest its full benefits. Make sure not to add cream or sugar to it, as this will add to your overall calorie intake and impede your weight loss efforts.

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Keep in mind that green tea will not just help you to lose weight — it has an array of other health benefits as well. It has been linked to a reduction in heart disease, diabetes and several different kinds of cancer. So drink up!

While green tea is not a silver bullet, it can help you to burn calories and fat and is a great addition to an otherwise health-conscious lifestyle and can help to make your weight loss goals easier to achieve.

Featured photo credit: 5 second Studio via shutterstock.com

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Brian Wu

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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