Friday, 21 March 2014

Green tea for weight loss

Green tea fields
Source: Flickr
Most people find weight loss difficult. They find that whilst they may be sticking to a stringent diet and exercising regularly, they just aren't burning fat. If you're one of these people, you can improve your results by drinking green tea for weight loss. Not only will your diet really kick off, you'll also benefit your health in many other ways.

The many benefits of green tea

So what can green tea do for you? Green tea has been show to:
  • Boost weight loss and increase metabolism
  • Decrease cholesterol
  • Protect the body from oxidative stress
  • Help prevent cancer
  • Decrease the risk of diabetes
  • Decrease the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease
  • Benefits the teeth


Green tea for weight loss

Green tea
Source: Flickr

Contrary to what a lot of people believe, the majority of the energy you use every day is consumed to fuel your metabolism. In this sense, no matter whether you are resting in bed or out for a run, you are always burning calories.

The average male has a basal metabolic rate that equates to a calorie expenditure of 1690 calories a day (7100 kilojoules). This is the average requirement for the human body to maintain itself, and this number doesn't take into account any exercise or other activity. The activity you do perform throughout the day is an additional expenditure.

Drinking green tea for weight loss provides you with a weight loss benefit of between 5 - 17 percent according to studies. This boost is modest and can help you lose up to 2 pounds extra over the course of a month without performing any extra exercise or reducing your calories further. More importantly, green tea is able to achieve this by increasing the rate at which your body burns fat, by increasing your metabolism.

Unlike other supplements that help you burn fat, the main active fat burning ingredient in green tea isn't a stimulant and it won't make you feel jittery. This compound is a powerful antioxidant called Epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG), and there is evidence that it can even reduce the risk of several types of cancer. Whereas drugs like ephedrine increase weight loss by stimulating your central nervous system and bodily processes as a whole, EGCG increases fat loss without speeding up your CNS. The lack of a CNS stimulant effect makes side effects very unlikely, whilst you can enjoy the weight loss benefits of green tea.

Green tea
Source: Flickr

How to use green tea

If you enjoy drinking tea, it may be beneficial to switch to drinking green tea. A couple of cups of green tea every day will help you lose weight, prevent cancer, and reduce your cholesterol. If you don't particularly care for green tea however, or you want to avoid the additional caffeine to your diet, you may benefit most from green tea extract.

If you prefer drinking green tea for weight loss, you'll likely want to know which green tea is best for this purpose. Firstly, it does definitely have to be green tea, rather than black or oolong tea. All forms of tea have unique benefits, but it is only green tea that benefits fat loss to any great degree. This is because EGCG and other catechins are converted into different antioxidants through oxidation as the tea ferments into black tea.

Black tea does still have a small amount of EGCG, but it pales in comparison to the amount of catechins in green tea. Green tea itself can also vary in EGCG, and some varieties contain more catechins than others.

Which green tea is best for weight loss?

Gyokuro tea is the finest green tea in Japan
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Not all green tea is created equally, and certain varieties of green tea are shown to contain much higher concentrations of beneficial antioxidants. In most cases, you will find that sencha and gyokuro contain the highest concentration of EGCG, as well as the highest concentration of antioxidants overall.

Gyokuro tea is also well known for its unique flavour and very high concentration of theanine, the relaxing anti-anxiety compound that helps allow tea to stimulate your brain without causing jitters or any other the other usual side effects of caffeine. For this reason, gyokuro is easily the best choice as it offers several benefits overall. On top of this, it is known as the finest green tea, and as Japan's finest tea.

As far as the taste goes, gyokuro has a detectable umami taste, as well as a natural sweetness. This is related to the way it is produced. Because the gyokuro is shaded for a few weeks before harvesting, the amino acid concentration is increased and this gives it a rich flavour profile and the natural sweetness it is known for.

Green tea extract for weight loss

Green tea extract is an extract of green tea where the antioxidant catechins have been concentrated and the caffeine is often removed. If you're watching your caffeine intake, check the green tea extract's label before you purchase any product to ensure the caffeine has been removed. Caffeine free green tea extract will still increase metabolism and help you burn fat.

Now Foods green tea extract
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To receive the most benefits, any green tea extract you take should be standardised to 50 percent EGCG, and the other antioxidants should be listed as a percentage to show you the breakdown of nutrients. One to three capsules of green tea extract at 250mgs of EGCG per day is a healthy way to increase your weight loss.

For tailored advice or if you have any confusion over the dosing, it is best to see a doctor before commencing green tea extract, just like any supplement. Your doctor can also give you additional advice to help you start an exercise plan, and will be able to check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and other markers to help track how well your weight loss is going. These markers should generally decrease when you lose weight. You will begin to feel and look healthier when this happens.

Green tea benefits weight loss and your overall health regardless of whether you drink it or swallow it in a capsule, and the best part is that it's natural. If you're struggling to lose weight, give green tea a try.
Source: Flickr

Caffeine in green tea

Caffeine has a modest effect of its own on your metabolism. Generally, the use of caffeine increases your metabolism in some cases. Caffeine and EGCG consumed together may have a synergistic effect. However, if you need to avoid caffeine, or simply don't like consuming caffeine, you will still get the benefit of EGCG.

In this case however, decaffeinated green tea should be avoided as the decaffeination process can often strip out antioxidants. For this reason, decaf green tea is not useful for weight loss, because the EGCG content is much lower. If you're hoping to avoid caffeine, you should take a caffeine free green tea extract instead. This will give you the EGCG you want, without the caffeine that you don't want.

Weight loss tips

Still struggling to lose weight? Here's 5 easy tips to boost your weight loss without resorting to fad diets or dangerous stimulants.
If you're struggling to lose weight, there may be reasons why you're not making the weight loss progress you desire.

  • Are you eating less calories than you use?
    You can only lose weight if you are eating less than your daily requirement of energy. If you're struggling to lose weight, calculate your basal metabolism, add in activity and exercise expenditure, and make sure this is amount is more than the amount of calories you're taking in.
  • When dieting for weight loss, aim to reduce your diet by no more than 500 calories (2000kj) below your basal metabolism. Extreme calorie deficit won't help you lose weight faster, it will just damage your body. Slow weight loss is better than harming yourself, and you'll reduce the risk of stretch marks that way too.
  • If you're still struggling to lose weight no matter what you do, pay your doctor a visit and discuss the problem. Doctors are more than happy to help you improve your health and lose weight. It's part of what they do.

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