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Last Updated on December 17, 2020

8 Best Teas for Weight Loss and Fat Burning

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8 Best Teas for Weight Loss and Fat Burning

Nowadays, more and more people are finding ways on how to lose weight. This includes switching from soda to healthier drinks like green teas. But you might be wondering, what is the best tea for weight loss?

People around the world enjoy tea as a beverage. Not only that it is healthy, drinking tea has also been associated with a number of health benefits. Also, some use warm tea to have a good night’s sleep while others drink tea to help fight belly fat.

Before getting to the list, here are the considerations that I made when picking the teas. Each tea has its own specific benefits for your health in addition to the following:
  • Caffeine level – some are free of caffeine while others have the same amount of caffeine as decaf coffee.
  • Flavor – where the tea was harvested from
  • Amount of bags per package – Some come in packs while others sell individual boxes. Also, the amount of tea bags per pack varies.
  • Brew time – While most tea bags are simply putting the pack into boiling hot water, some require different techniques. You may have to steep the tea (keep the bag in the water for a period of time) before drinking it. Others you can pour, stir, and drink immediately.

Continue reading to learn more about what kind of tea suits your taste and needs.

1. Green Tea for Faster Metabolism

Green tea is one of the best tea for weight loss because of its health benefits. This kind of tea is often used as an ingredients in over-the-counter weight loss products.

Studies have shown that drinking green tea regularly can boost your metabolism and support weight loss. A Cochrane Systematic review that included 14 controlled trials examined the effects of green tea preparations and on weight, BMI, waist circumference, hip to waist ratio.[1]

The 6 trials conducted outside Japan showed those drinking green tea lost more weight than those who didn’t: an average of 0.2 to 3.5 kg more than those in the control group.[2]

Another study showed that after drinking four cups of green tea for two months, participants showed a significant decrease in body weight, body mass index and waist circumference.[3]

More research has shown that green tea signals fat cells to release fat and then promotes the liver’s ability to convert that body fat into energy. Participants who drank green tea in addition to regular exercise lost an average of 2 pounds more than those who only exercised.

Try drinking green tea throughout the day, especially before or during each meal to boost your metabolism. Drinking green tea before a workout could also make your fat-burning more effective. Read more about health benefits of drinking green tea in this article: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits).

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And if you are thinking of getting green tea, I’d recommend trying out Bigelow’s classic green tea. It’s at a fair pricing point for the amount of tea bags that you are getting. Furthermore, the company offers various flavours to try out as well as being made in the USA since 1945.

2. Beat Metabolic Syndrome with Golden Tea

Turmeric is one of nature’s greatest natural medicines. It also works as a powerful anti-inflammator as turmeric harbors a huge array of health properties such as antioxidant, analgesic, anti-microbial and thermogenic.[4]

The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been shown to speed weight loss. That is the reason why Turmeric is labeled as one of the best tea for weight loss.

A 2019 meta-analysis involving 1,646 patients with metabolic syndrome showed that taking curcumin resulted in a significant reduction in BMI, weight, WC, and leptin, as well as a major increase in adiponectin levels.[5]

Curcumin is best absorbed by the body when taken with black pepper and a healthy fat. Black pepper increases the bioavailability of the active compounds. Many turmeric supplements include a patented form of black pepper for this very reason.

Turmeric is most often available in capsule form, but it can also be taken as a tea. Simply combine coconut milk with turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and a dash of black pepper. The healthy fats in the coconut milk also help you to absorb the turmeric, as it is not water-soluble.[6]

And one tea that can provide those kinds of benefits is Yorkshire tea gold. This company has been around for a while and is known for its premium tea that’s offered at low prices. It’s perfect for those who are looking to try gold tea without investing too much into it.

3. Improve Your Gut Health with Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented tea made with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (also known as SCOBY). Its long list of health benefits includes B vitamins, detoxifying glucuronic acid, and antioxidant-rich polyphenols. But most importantly, as one of the best tea for weight loss, kombucha contains probiotic bacteria and acetic acid. These compounds have been scientifically proven to aid weight loss.

Studies have shown that probiotics can not only reduce the number of calories you absorb from food, they can influence the hormones your body produces in relation to appetite, fat storage, and obesity. By improving the balance of healthy bacteria in your gut, you’ll be keeping your natural weight management functions in check.[7]

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Acetic acid is also a proven weight loss aid. It’s been found to help curb hunger cravings and also reduce overall weight by inhibiting your body’s ability to form fat cells. Acetic acid also helps to reduce bloating, so you’ll look and feel better after eating.

You can brew kombucha yourself with a SCOBY (lots of recipes online!) or you can buy it in a store. Just make sure it doesn’t contain added sugars.

If you don’t like the taste of probiotic foods or you find that you don’t have the time to ferment them at home, consider taking a probiotic supplement instead. My favorite is the Balance ONE Probiotic, which uses time-release tablets to get its 12 strains of bacteria safely past your stomach acid.

That said,  another kombucha that I enjoy from time to time is the green tea and kombucha from Yogi. I like to see this as you’re getting the best of both worlds in terms of health benefits. Since it’s a blend of two teas, you’re saving a bit of money by getting this rather than settling with one specific tea.

4. Reduce Cravings with Peppermint Tea

Cravings for sweet, fatty or salty foods are often the most difficult part about sticking to a healthy diet. Fortunately, peppermint tea, as a best tea for weight loss, is an effective way to combat those cravings.

It appears that the ability for peppermint tea to reduce your longing for junk foods is all to do with scent. A study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medicine showed that people who inhaled mint essential oil every two hours lost an average of five pounds per month![8]

Aromatherapists have suggested that peppermint’s strong scent can trigger important olfactory reactions in your brain, which have an impact on your appetite.

Other than being a best tea for weight loss, peppermint tea also helps to reduce anxiety and stress. These effects in turn reduces the negative impact that higher cortisol levels have on your metabolism. The soothing properties of peppermint tea can be great for keeping your weight loss on track!

Drink loose-leaf peppermint tea before and after meals to help with digestion and to ward off those cravings. A good option for peppermint tea is the peppermint tea from Celestial Seasonings. The company takes pride in having no additives in their tea ensuring that you get all the benefits from this tea. Furthermore the company charges a great price for what you are getting out of it.

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5. Support Energy Levels with Oolong Tea

Flagging energy levels can make it even harder to exercise, even if you know it’ll help you lose weight. That’s where oolong tea can be a big help.

Also known as ‘black dragon tea’, this best tea for weight loss is packed with catechins similar to those found in green tea. These catechins work by promoting your body’s ability to break down fat, which can increase your energy levels and speed fat loss.

A study published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine examined the weight loss effects of oolong tea in 102 obese individuals. Around 70% of the participants lost at least two pounds while 22% lost more than 6 pounds), which led researchers to conclude that oolong tea may be an effective way to reduce body fat content and weight. They even suggested that long-term consumption of oolong tea may help prevent obesity.[9]

It appears the catechins in oolong help your body to use fat cells for energy, while the mild caffeine content gives you an extra boost for working out.

You can get your oolong tea fix from tea bags or loose leaf. You can even try combining it with green tea to increase its fat-burning impact. In terms of oolong tea to mix with or have naturally, try out Revolution’s brand of oolong tea. The quality of this tea is quite high and the price is great for that quality.

6. Prevent Fat Cells with White Tea

Unlike other teas, white tea is harvested and sun-dried before being packaged. Interestingly, it tends to contain higher concentrations of catechins and polyphenols than other more processed teas. These compounds help block new fat cells from developing in the first place.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism examined the effects of white tea on fat cells in vitro. Researchers found that white tea contains high amounts of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a type of catechin. It’s this catechin that helps to prevent fat cells from forming, which can in turn help to reduce weight gain. EGCG also helps to speed fat metabolism, providing higher levels of energy and faster results.[10]

Try Silver Needle and White Peony tea, which are made with flower buds of the tea plant and each has a slightly sweet flavor. Another option for tea is Uncle Lee’s white tea. For one, it’s organic and offers a good price for the amount of tea bags you get. Considering the fact it’s about the same price as non-organic tea, it’s a good deal.

7. Curb Hunger with Rooibos Tea

Exclusively from South Africa from the ‘red bush’ plant, Rooibos tea is a sweet and slightly tart tea. It’s rich in polyphenols, including flavonoids, which are directly linked to weight loss. A 2014 study suggested that rooibos may help to improve weight loss by increasing levels of leptin. Leptin is the hormone that tells your brain that you’re full, so you don’t overeat.[11]

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Rooibos, as best tea for weight loss contains a chemical compound known as aspalathin. This compound helps to ward off hunger and keeps you feeling satisfied for longer.

Research has shown that the aspalathin content in rooibos tea helps to reduce your production of stress hormones such as cortisol, which is released when your body goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode.[12]

Cortisol can trigger hunger cravings and encourage your body to store fat, particularly if it leads to binge-eating and reduced willpower. Fortunately, the stress-reducing effects of rooibos may be just the thing to help keep weight gain at bay. Drinking it regularly may help to relieve stress levels, keeping you relaxed and less likely to binge.

Because rooibos is caffeine-free, you can drink it at any time of the day. It’s great with a meal or when you’re feeling stressed. And a good company to buy rooibos tea from is Celestial Seasonings. I’ve already talked about the company, but they still hold the same values as they have with the peppermint tea: no additives, plenty of tea bags for the price they’re selling at.

8. Reduce Total Mass with Pu-Erh Tea

Native to the Yunnan province of China, Pu-erh tea is a type of traditional fermented tea. It’s made by oxidising tea leaves after they have been dried and rolled.

A 2016 study examined the weight loss effects of Pu-erh tea in which 59 overweight and obese subjects drank the tea every day. Researchers found that the daily consumption of the tea resulted in significant weight loss, reduced BMI and an improved lipid profile. After just four weeks, the participants showed fat loss on their arms, legs, and abdominals, as well as a reduced total mass. The participants also reported reduced appetite.[13]

The tea also appeared to improve the patients’ overall cholesterol levels, including a reduction in triglycerides and small-density lipoproteins.

Pu-er tea is best brewed from loose leaf tea and must be rinsed first to rid the tea of any impurities. You can then add hot water to brew the leaves for approximately 2 minutes, and serve as desired. Though a good alternative is Prince of Peace Pu-erh tea. The company offers a lot of tea bags for the price you are getting ensuring you can experience the benefits of Pu-erh tea.

The Bottom Line

Although a lot of people drink tea for its calming effects and delicious taste, each cup could also aid in weight loss. A cup or two of tea coupled with a healthy diet and regular exercise, could help prevent the build up of belly fat.

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Thus, start thinking about switching from high caloric drinks to drinking one of the best tea for weight loss tea. This will be one of the wisest thing you can do if you are looking for ways to lose weight.

Featured photo credit: ORIENTO via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Cochrane Library: Green tea for weight loss and weight maintenance in overweight or obese adults
[2] NCBI: The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis
[3] NCBI: The effects of green tea consumption on metabolic and anthropometric indices in patients with Type 2 diabetes
[4] Frontiers in Pharmacology: The Effects of Curcumin on Weight Loss Among Patients With Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
[5] NCBI: The Effects of Curcumin on Weight Loss Among Patients With Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
[6] Candida Diet: Turmeric: A Natural Antifungal
[7] Cochrane Library: Green tea for weight loss and weight maintenance in overweight or obese adults
[8] ANNHOS: The Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine and Surgery
[9] NCBI: Beneficial effects of oolong tea consumption on diet-induced overweight and obese subjects.
[10] BMC: White Tea extract induces lipolytic activity and inhibits adipogenesis in human subcutaneous (pre)-adipocytes
[11] NCBI: Effects of fermented rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) on adipocyte differentiation.
[12] Africa Check: Does rooibos tea reduce stress hormones, helping you lose weight?
[13] NCBI: Reduction of body fat and improved lipid profile associated with daily consumption of a Puer tea extract in a hyperlipidemic population: a randomized placebo-controlled trial

More by this author

Lisa Richards

Nutritionist, Creator of The Candida Diet, Owner of TheCandidaDiet.com

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Published on August 24, 2021

What Is a Whole Food Diet And Does It Really Work?

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What Is a Whole Food Diet And Does It Really Work?

I’ve been a dietitian now for a long time (more years than I care to mention), and if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that fad diets are best avoided. This is why I’m so pleased that whole food diets are being talked about more and more.

Rather than a “diet,” I prefer to think of a whole food diet as a way of life. Eating this way is balanced, and it is a great way to support your all-around body health and longevity. Plus, it’s delicious and—in my opinion—not limiting either, which is a massive bonus.

A well-balanced diet follows some fairly basic principles and, in essence, consists of plenty of the following:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Lean protein
  • Nuts
  • Water

This is essentially all a whole food diet is. Unfortunately, there isn’t an accepted definition of the whole food diet, which means that there are some highly restrictive versions around and some involve principles to frame your diet around rather than strict rules.

Read on to learn more about the whole food diet as a framework for eating rather than a strict rule book of dos and don’ts that restricts your lifestyle.

What Is a Whole Food Diet?

By definition, a whole food diet consists of eating foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. It’s easy to get lost in a quagmire of organic, local, or pesticide-free, but a whole food diet is basically food in its most natural form. Obviously, spices can be ground and grains can be hulled, but you get the idea. You eat the whole food rather than what’s left after being refined or processed.

In other words, it involves a lot of cooking because whole foods do not involve anything processed. That means no premade sauces, dips, or convenience foods like chocolate bars, sweets, or ready-meals. It also includes things like tinned vegetables and white bread.

Why? Processed and convenience foods are often high in salt, saturated fat, and additives in comparison to anything homemade. Because of this, their toll on your overall health is higher.

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Can Other Diets Also Be Whole Food Diets?

Here’s where it gets confusing—yes, other diets can also be whole food diets. Eating a whole food diet is a lifestyle choice, but many other diets can exist within a whole foods construct. So, diets like the MIND Diet and Mediterranean Diet are also whole food diets.

For example, here are the foods involved in the MIND Diet:[1]

  • Green, leafy vegetables five times a week
  • Five or more different colored fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Berries five times a week
  • Five or more servings of nuts a week
  • Olive oil five times a week
  • Whole grains five times a week
  • Oily fish twice a week or take an algae-based omega-3 supplement
  • Legumes and pulses five times a week
  • White meat/mix of plant-based proteins twice a week
  • Vitamin D supplement
  • Minimally processed foods
  • No more than one glass of wine a day
  • One or two coffee or tea a day max
  • Two liters of water a day

That’s pretty much a whole food diet, right? As long as any meat or plant-based proteins are as unprocessed as possible, then it can be a whole food diet.

Other diets, like a vegan diet, for instance, could be whole food diets or not. It really depends if processed foods are included. Some food substitutes are really heavily processed, so it’s important to read labels really carefully. But it’s only some, not all.

And here’s where it gets woolly. If you don’t need to eliminate certain food groups for whatever reason—ethical, health, religion—then a whole food diet can be great. But if you do exclude certain foods, then it could be beneficial to include certain “processed” foods. This is to make sure that you don’t miss out on vital nutrients to keep you healthy.

Processed Foods That Are Okay on a Whole Food Diet

Many brands of cereals are fortified with B vitamins, which can be hard to come by on a plant-based diet.

For example, vitamin B12 (needed for maintaining a healthy nervous system, energy, and mood-regulation), is largely found in animal sources. It is something that those on a plant-based diet need to keep an eye on, as studies show that around 20% of us are deficient. And we also know that 65% of vegans and vegetarians don’t take a B vitamin supplement.[2]

So in that case, choosing a cereal fortified with B vitamins would be a good option, if done wisely. By that I mean use your discretion and check the labels, as many brands of cereals are packed with sugar and additives. But you can strategically choose minimally processed foods using a whole foods mentality.

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As a rule of thumb, if there are any ingredients that you can’t pronounce, don’t understand, or sound artificial, they probably are best avoided.

Benefits of a Whole Food Diet

In a 2014 analysis by Yale University, they concluded that “a diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.”[3]

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables or other high-fiber foods like whole grains and nuts is really important in maintaining good long-term health and preventing health problems like diabetes and cancers. These kinds of foods also help our bodies to cope and control the effects of inflammation.

In fact, one review from 2019 stated that “diets high in plant foods could potentially prevent several million premature deaths each year if adopted globally.”[4] This is a big endorsement for a whole food diet.

Whole Foods and the Gut

Whole foods are loaded with fibers that are sometimes lost during processing or refinement. Fiber is essential for a healthy gut because aside from its traditional “roughage” reputation, it also feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut, providing a whole host of other benefits.

They also provide a lot of variety, which the gut loves. The more variety, the better. So, even though you might fall in love with certain recipes, it’s important to mix up the kinds of whole foods you eat to maintain a healthy gut. Aim for 30 different whole foods each week. It’s easier than you think!

Whole Foods and the Brain

The brain is a really hungry organ, and it uses 25% of the total energy you consume from your food. Everything it needs to function at its best is—you guessed it—a whole, unprocessed food.

In fact, the best diet recommended for brain health is the MIND Diet. In one study, it was shown that people who follow the MIND diet closely had a 53% reduced rate of developing Alzheimer’s.[5]

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Some of the best whole foods for the brain are:[6]

  • Oily fish
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Whole grains

Is It Easy to Follow a Whole Food Diet?

Once you’ve got your head around having “ingredients” rather than “ready-to-eat” things in your kitchen cupboards, it’s actually very easy. The only issue is the lifestyle and habit changes that come along with it.

It is very likely that for many people, following a totally, religiously whole food diet may be unattainable at least some of the time. For example, there are days where you don’t get time to make your lunch or if you want to enjoy social eating. Similarly, people who have young children or who are working more than one job are unlikely to be able to follow a whole food diet all of the time.

Sometimes, we put ourselves under pressure to be as perfect as we can with diets like this, which can lead to an eating disorder called Orthorexia, which is a preoccupation with healthy eating.

This means that following a whole food diet, in principle, can be healthy and accessible for some people but not for everyone. It also means that those with previous disordered eating, as always, need to avoid any form of dietary restriction or rules around their diet.

Is a Whole Food Diet Boring?

Absolutely not! The beauty of this way of eating is that there are barely any recipes that are off-limits. If you can make it yourself using natural ingredients, then it counts. So, dig out your recipe books and get familiar with your spice cupboard.

Here’s my advice if you’re just starting: stock up on coconut milk and canned tomatoes. You’ll use them all the time in sauces.

Best Hacks for Sticking With a Whole Food Diet

Here are some tips to help you stick with a whole food diet and develop this lifestyle.

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1. Practice Batch Cooking

Especially in the beginning, if you’ve been used to eating more convenience-based or packaged foods, you’re likely to feel like you spend the majority of your life in the kitchen. So, I’d suggest getting your cookbooks out and planning around five things to make per week. If you make double, or even triple portions depending on your household, you’ll have enough quantity to last several meals.

For example, his could be homemade granola. Make it once, and that’s breakfast sorted for a week. Whole food diet ingredients like oats, quinoa, buckwheat, nuts, and seeds are all delicious, and great nutritional resources to keep you feeling full until lunchtime.

I also love to make big stews, sauces, and curries that can happily be reheated and added throughout the course of a few days.

2. Make Your Own Convenience Foods

Sticking to a new way of eating can be really difficult, especially for your willpower. So, it’s very important to make it as easy as possible for yourself.

Pre-chop. Pre-chop. Pre-chop.

If you’ve got a container of carrot sticks on hand or can happily munch on a few pieces of melon from the fridge, use those—it’s almost easier than grabbing something from a package. This can extend to your other vegetables, too. If you get your veg delivered or buy it from a market, choose a few things to slice after you wash them. That way, if you need a speedy lunch or a lazy dinner, it’ll be ready in minutes.

Ready to Try a Whole Food Diet?

If you’re looking to maximize your overall health, well-being, and vitality, I’d absolutely suggest a whole food diet. But, as with everything, it’s important to do what works for you and your own lifestyle.

Featured photo credit: Louis Hansel – Restaurant Photographer via unsplash.com

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Reference

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