Many studies have indicated there is a relationship between green tea and weight loss, although there is some disagreement about to what extent it can help a person lose weight. One certainty is that switching from coffee, especially dairy-based combination drinks, to green tea can save some daily-ingested calories.
Green tea extract has been known to activate the metabolism and increase energy, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The Journal believes the large amount of catechin polyphenois in green tea increases levels of fat oxidation. Thermogenesis (used to describe how quickly the body burns calories) improves 4 percent over a 24-hour period of ingesting the extract. Green tea also helps regulate glucose, the carbohydrate energy source, and impairs rising blood sugar after eating. The high blood sugar creates high insulin and promotes fat storage. Green tea also contains catechins that inhibit fat cells from absorbing the glucose.
A University of Chicago study with rats and green tea indicated a link between green tea and a decrease in appetite. After injecting the rats with tea extract for seven days, the scientists found that their small subjects consumed 60 percent less food. The range of weight loss in the rats peaked at 21 percent. The study speculated the contributing factor was the regulated blood sugar.
There is some dispute amongst medical professionals about how much green tea intake you need to produce these results, but the average is five cups a day. You can also get the same results from green tea in extract, pill or patch form.
While these weight-loss benefits from green tea have been proven, many say that it alone is not significant enough to generate desired fat loss. This is because of the rule of thumb that to lose one pound a week a person must remain 3,500 calories below (the calorie deficit) his normal calorie intake (the set point.) A study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1999 confirmed that drinking five cups of green tea a day would burn an extra 70 to 80 calories per day, falling short of the 500-a-day goal. So as with any weight-loss remedy, it alone will not yield results. Incorporating green tea into your life should also be matched with a healthy diet, exercise and a positive mindset.
Green tea does contain caffeine, so take into account any health concerns that may come into play. Those with heart trouble, stimulant sensitivities and high blood pressure should consult a doctor before beginning this weight-loss strategy. This also extends to pregnant women and mothers who are breastfeeding.