Drinking green tea leads to weight loss without any other lifestyle changes, research finds.
In one study, people drinking four cups of green tea a day lost 5.5 pounds, without changing their diet or doing any more exercise.
The flavonoids and caffeine in green tea speed up the metabolism.
This allows the body to process fat faster.
Along with caffeine, the active ingredients in most green teas are called catechins, which are antioxidants.
The most important of these is called Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG.
However, catechins can be damaged by boiling water, so let the water cool a little before adding it to the tea.
Alternatively, EGCG can be bought as a food supplement, which provides a more concentrated hit of the antioxidant.
For the study, 35 obese people were randomly assigned to either drink green tea, take green tea extract or act as a control group.
The results showed that four cups of green tea led to 5.5 pounds of weight loss without any other lifestyle changes.
The supplements were linked to 4 pounds of weight loss.
Another study on mice has shown that even when they are fed a high-fat diet, green tea slows down the rate at which they put on weight.
Dr Joshua Lambert, who led the mouse study, said:
“Our results suggest that if you supplement with EGCG or green tea you gain weight more slowly.
There seems to be two prongs to this.
First, EGCG reduces the ability to absorb fat and, second, it enhances the ability to use fat.”
The study showed that green tea did not suppress appetite, rather it limited fat absorption.
Dr Lambert explained that both groups of mice were eating the same:
“There’s no difference in the amount of food the mice are eating.
The mice are essentially eating a milkshake, except one group is eating a milkshake with green tea.”
Dr Lambert thinks a couple of cups of green tea can have an effect on body weight:
“Human data — and there’s not a lot at this point — shows that tea drinkers who only consume one or more cups a day will see effects on body weight compared to non consumers,”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do