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Green tea and weight loss

Cup of green tea
Cup of green tea
Photo by Melissa Bishop

If you have been guzzling green tea as part of a New Year's resolution to lose weight, I have good news, and some not so good news for you. The good news is that drinking green tea is a healthy habit to start and maintain.

Green Tea's Powerful Antioxidants

Green tea's antioxidants, called catechins, scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots, and atherosclerosis. Grapes and berries, red wine, and dark chocolate also have potent antioxidants.
Because of green tea's minimal processing -- its leaves are withered and steamed, not fermented like black and oolong teas -- green tea's unique catechins, especially epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), are more concentrated. Quote taken from WEBMD.

Drinking 6-8 cups of green tea (Chinese sized cups (they are much smaller) which would be about equal to 3-4 American size mugs of tea.) is how much tea you would need to consume to reap the health benefits.
So the bad news about drinking green tea. While tea is good for aiding in digestion after heavy meals, green tea does not help you lose weight. Sure, it contains caffeine which does raise your metabolism, but you cannot eat a diet heavy in fatty and fried foods and think that green tea will come to the rescue and miraculously you will not gain an ounce. Green tea should be drunk as an additive to an already healthy diet and lifestyle; like drinking 8-8oz glasses of water everyday. It's 'I drink green tea in addition to working out, getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet', not 'I drink green tea, sit on the couch all day watching soap operas eating potato chips and oh, by the way, why haven't I lost any weight?'.
Green tea is not a magic weight loss 'pill' even if it is being hocked in the form of capsules. As I read on twitter the other day; 'the only tea that helps you lose weight, is the 't' in treadmill. It boils down to this, dear readers and tea lovers, in order to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you will need to eat healthy foods and exercise everyday. Don't forget to relax with a cup of tea now and again because; green, white, black or oolong, tea is a daily luxury from which we could all benefit.