Green Tea and Weight Loss: What’s The Connection?

We’ve heard about all kinds of fad diets, from the cabbage soup diet to the Atkins Diet and everything in between. As our understanding of human nutrition improves and sports science advances, we start to get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

Green Tea & Weight Loss

Science vs. Fad Diets

Many diet “fashions” do not deliver lasting results. Generally, they help people lose water but not body fat, or they set up a metabolism yo-yo that results in greater long-term weight gain. Some interesting discoveries are being made, though. As interest in Eastern philosophies and approaches to health move into the mainstream, the study of ancient remedies by Western science is increasing.

Green tea is one of the traditional remedies that has been getting some attention. It’s been found that some of the active ingredients in green tea can stimulate a process in the body that enables fat burning (oxidation) for a short period after drinking green tea. It also helps you use up calories. You can drink cups of green tea throughout the day as part of a weight loss regime and strategic eating plan to support fat stripping.

Fat Burning for Weight Loss

Fat burning is an important consideration when you are trying to manage your weight. Eating and exercising to build muscle and improve metabolism is the primary way to reduce the fat to lean muscle mass ratio. Overtime, this means weight loss becomes easier.

Some of the classic ways to strip fat and stimulate your metabolism include:

  • Doing cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise, but at the right time: first thing in the morning, or immediately after weight training
  • Weight training with moderate weights, working the larger muscle groups first
  • Eliminating saturated and Trans fats from your diet
  • Eating complex carbohydrates during the day, but not at night
  • Avoiding simple carbohydrates, to prevent spikes in your insulin levels (which trigger fat storage)
  • Drinking two to three litres of water each day
  • Giving up alcohol

The key is to understand how the body utilises energy you consume as food – converting it to glycogen to fuel muscles, or converting it to fat for later use. The idea is to the help the body work to access the stored fat and not trigger new fat storage. That’s why alcohol is a no-no. Consumption of alcohol, especially with meals, triggers a response that results in higher energy storage. If you are trying to get your weight to reach a target level, then drinking alcohol will work against you.

Weight Loss for Health

Maintaining a healthy weight is not just about looking good – it’s about ensuring your organs and arteries are not clogged with bad fats, which can cause all kinds of serious chronic conditions and shorten lifespan. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke as well as joint problems are some of the many problems that overweight and obese people can experience.

Weighing yourself regularly on scales can be confusing, though. They are not always a good way to track how you are doing on the journey to a slimmer you. It is better to measure the percentage of body fat your body has, and to track the changes to your waist measurement. Taking inches off your waist is correlated with significant leaps in health outcomes for the major conditions. It also indicates that internally, your overall body fat is dropping.

With a better understanding of the biology of food and energy conversion, it becomes easier to keep your base weight at healthy, manageable levels. Using green tea for weight loss can be one of your little secret weapons on the path to a more energetic, healthier and fitter you.

Katherine West is a health freak and freelance writer who in 2003 studied for a Diploma of Nutrition. She is also into Yoga and Pilates.

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