Tea is considered to be one of the healthiest beverages to drink. You’ve also probably heard about its ability to help you lose weight.
The question is, is there any truth to it?
We know that tea contains antioxidants that help your body use more energy and burn fat. This temporary boost in metabolism should help you shed some calories, right?
Can Drinking Tea Make You Lose Weight?
Yes. But, not a whole lot.
According to a 2009 meta-analysis presented in the International Journal of Obesity, those who drink tea lost an average of about 3 pounds in 12 weeks.
So, on its own tea isn’t going to help you go down a few dress sizes.
That said, drinking tea often helps people lose a lot more weight.
This is especially true when you drink it as an alternative to other high-calorie beverages.
Six to eight ounces of tea contains only two calories.
And here’s how many calories you save if you drank tea instead of your favorite drinks.
- Coffee from Shops/Cafes: 140 to 300 calories per cup
- Soda: 150 calories per 8-ounce can
- Fruit Juice: 145 calories per 8 oz. pack or bottle
- Beer: 155 calories per 12 oz. can
For example, let’s say you drink 2 cups of coffee in the morning and 1 soda in the afternoon. Substituting these beverages with tea immediately reduces your daily calorie intake by at least 430 calories.
The best part is, not exercise needed!
That’s a calorie loss equivalent to running for 40 minutes at 6 mph or doing 45 minutes of bodyweight exercises.
Best Teas for Weight Loss and Burning Fat
When it comes to weight loss, not all teas are the same. Certain teas have been found to be more effecting in helping increase metabolism and burning fat.
Here are the five best teas to drink for weight loss and burning fat.
1. Green Tea
Green tea tops our list. It has been proven to provide us with many health benefits. And, it is one of the best teas for weight loss.
A 2008 study found that obese participants who drank green tea for 12 weeks experienced an average weight loss of 7.3 pounds more than those who didn’t consume it.
Similarly, research shows that taking green tea extract supplements helps reduce weight, body fat, waist circumference.
If you aren’t a fan of supplements but want a more concentrated form of green tea, try matcha. Matcha is a form of powdered green tea. It has the same ingredients and benefits of regular green tea.
But, because it’s more concentrated, you get more antioxidants. This leads to faster weight and fat loss.
2. Oolong Tea
Oolong tea looks different from green tea because the tea leaves are dried. Many people like oolong because it is fragrant and fruity.
Just like green tea, it helps you lose weight by boosting metabolism and increasing your body’s ability to burn fat. This is again thanks to its high catechin content.
Research shows that overweight individuals who consumed oolong tea daily for one and a half months dropped 2 pounds. More importantly, the lost belly fat.
Another study published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine notes that drinking oolong every day for 6 weeks helped participants lose 6 pounds over that time.
Interestingly, compared to drinking water, tea helps you burn an extra 280 calories a day on average.
3. Black Tea
Black tea has a darker color because it goes through more oxidation. That is, the tea leaves are exposed to air more causing them to brown more.
This chemical reaction also changes its flavor profile, giving it a stronger, richer taste compared to oolong and green tea.
Like oolong and green tea, black tea has been shown to help boost weight loss and reduce your waistline. Scientists believe that the reason for this is because black tea is high in flavones.
Flavones are compounds found in plants that give them color (pigmentation). More importantly, they contain antioxidant properties that are beneficial to health.
Research tells us that people who consume high amounts of flavones (from vegetables and herbs) tend to have lower BMI (body mass index) compared to those who don’t.
4. Puerh Tea
Puerh tea is one of the lesser known teas. It is made from the same plant where oolong, black and green tea are made. What makes them distinct from one another is how they’re processed.
- Green tea isn’t fermented.
- Oolong tea is partially fermented.
- Black tea is fully fermented.
- Puerh tea is post-fermented.
That means in addition to being fermented Pu-erh tea is also stored to age in high humidity. This is why its flavor tends to develop the longer you store it.
Compared to other teas, puerh contains more caffeine. But, like the others, it provides some health benefits including helping lower your cholesterol. This includes improving your HDL (good cholesterol) and decreasing your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.
Puerh tea has been shown to promote weight loss in animal studies.
However, there are limited human studies as far as the tea itself.
5. White Tea
White tea has a light color because it goes through the least processing. It is also unique from the others in that the tea is made from younger plants.
For these reasons, white tea has a more subtle flavor. It is slightly sweet, and you don’t get much of the bitter taste that some stronger teas have.
White tea has been shown to contain similar amounts of catechins as green tea. This gives it similar weight loss effects.
Additionally, a study found that white tea extracts speed up the breakdown of fat cells. It also aids in inhibiting the formation of new ones.
Although more research is needed to tell us how much white tea can help you lose weight, it is well-known for its ability in fighting cancer cells, preventing skin aging and reducing your risk of heart disease.
How to Drink Tea for Weight Loss
Now that we know which teas are best for weight loss, it’s time to start enjoying them.
Here’s our step by step tutorial on how to drink tea for weight loss.
1. Choose a tea that you like
In addition to its weight loss properties, try to go with the tea that you enjoy drinking. Some teas are sweeter; others are stronger.
It all comes down to preference.
Choosing a tea that you like makes you more likely to drink it on a regular basis. And with weight loss, consistency is essential.
2. Do You Prefer Loose Tea Leaves or Tea Bags?
The next part is picking the type of tea you want. When it comes to preparation, the two most common methods are steeping loose tea leaves and tea bags.
Making tea from loose leaves
Loose tea leaves are meant to be steeped in hot water. This allows the essence of the dried tea leaves to infuse into the water to give it flavor. This makes them “fresher.” It also gives you fuller flavor and health-wise, more benefits.
For weight loss purposes, we recommend going with loose leaves.
To help guide you through the steeping process, here’s a simple to follow video tutorial.
Making tea using tea bags
Tea bags are cheaper than loose tea. And, they’re easier to use. Both are the main reasons why they’re a popular choice. Unlike loose tea that’s made from whole unbroken leaves, tea bags are filled with lower grade teas, including dust and fannings. This produces less flavor, and you don’t get as much of the health benefits of tea.
If you opt for tea bags, here’s a video that shows you how to make tea using them.
3. Make It a Habit
Drinking tea every day is the best way you can benefit from the drink. To boost your weight loss efforts, substitute tea for other calorie-laden beverages like soda, fruit juices and even coffees.
Besides letting you consume fewer calories, tea also helps improve blood pressure and cholesterol. It is also very effective in soothing stress and helping you relax.
4. Be Careful What You Add to Tea
Much like plain coffee, tea contains very few calories. However, they’re both very easy to mess up because we often like to add more flavor to them.
Things like sugar, honey and flavoring can quickly make these healthy drinks calorie bombs.
If tea is too bland or the flavor isn’t to your liking, try adding some of these healthy ingredients. They’re better alternatives to sugar and other common add-ons.
- Experiment with some fruits, like peach
Alternatively, you can also buy higher quality teas. These taste a lot better than the cheaper ones. You can also remove the leaves or bag sooner. This reduces the bitter taste in some teas.