There's a world of hype about the connection between green tea and weight loss. The reputation that green tea will help with weight loss is supported by quite a bit of evidence, but just green tea on its own might not be enough to start shedding the pounds. To maximize the effects of green tea, there's a couple of key areas to keep in mind.
Raising Your Metabolic Rate
Research studies have shown, according to Consumer Reports, that green tea raises metabolic rates. These rates are what people refer to when they say someone can eat a lot of food without gaining weight, because they have "a high metabolism." The rate refers to how many calories are burned by your body rather than stored as fat cells. Green tea is said to raise these rates through a combination of caffeine and catechins, which are antioxidants that are also found in trace quantities in red wine and dark chocolate.
Raising your metabolic rate, however, is not enough to lose weight if you correspondingly eat more food: if you can, however, maintain your typical food intake while your metabolic rate increases, you are likely to experience some weight loss. The weight loss that will happen automatically with the use of green tea is likely to be minimal.
Tea is Better Than Supplements
Because of the vaunted effects, people have distilled green tea into supplements that can effectively deliver a dozen cups of green tea in an extracted form. In general, this is not recommended: excessive consumption of green tea (on the order of 15 or more cups a day worth of the key ingredients) can be associated with liver damage.
The other benefit of drinking tea is that drinking zero-calorie beverages like green tea takes the place of casual drinking of soda, milk, or juice. The more ways you can cut the calories in your drinking, the easier it will be to achieve weight loss goals, and green tea can be a part of that.
Use in Combination with Exercise
When exercise is used with the intention of burning fat, it is possible that green tea will contribute to successfully increasing your weight loss. Healthline reports multiple studies in which exercisers who took a green tea extract supplement rather than a placebo were able to burn 17% more fat during their workouts. While we've already mentioned that the supplement form of green tea is not the ideal form, the results do point to some effectiveness.
One simple reason might be because caffeine is a stimulant. This means that it will give more alertness and can increase your stamina, both of which can aid the vigor and duration of workouts. Some of the studies, however, show that the green tea helps burn calories while at rest as well, which means that even when you are not sweating at the gym, green tea may help you lose weight.
So the conclusion is that, yes, green tea has been demonstrated to have a positive effect on weight loss. However, that effect is minimal without other factors, including choosing to drink the green tea with no sugar and not taking it as a supplement. It also helps to work on a mindful dieting strategy and to add exercise after drinking green tea.
Remember that many people have experienced additional health benefits from drinking green tea and feeling better makes it easier to focus on one's weight loss journey as well.