If you are looking to lose weight without spending big bucks or having to change your whole lifestyle, have a cup of tea and think about it. If that cup of tea was green tea, have a few more cups, and you could be on the way to finding your answer to losing some of those extra pounds.
It’s not a fast fix, but studies have indicated green tea does help with the battle of the bulge over a period, and you’ll be getting while you are doing it so trying it is a no-lose situation. The tea is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties as well as a whole lot of other nutrients.
If you want to speed up the weight loss, the general health gains provided by green tea may help you to help it work faster on your weight. You may feel more comfortable about changing your overall diet a bit or including some exercise as well, which will speed up the weight loss without breaking your budget.
In this guide...
The Way Green Tea Helps Weight Loss
The active ingredient in tea linked to weight loss is the polyphenols or catechins. It’s far more concentrated in green tea compared to other teas because green tea is less processed.
Catechins, particularly EGCG, a compound claimed to increase fat oxidation by 33 percent, are believed to stop body fat build-up while enhancing body temperature so you get to burn more calories quickly.
There’s also caffeine in green tea, which is also supposed to help burn calories and fat. There’s, even more, caffeine in matcha powdered green tea: about three times the amount that there is in the usual green tea, and almost as much as you find in a cup of coffee. Most matcha drinkers say the effect in this form is more calming, though, and doesn’t give you the same buzz coffee provides.
If you don’t enjoy the effects caffeine has on you, decaffeinated green teas are also available. If you have problems with your blood pressure, heart or anxiety levels or on medication which might be affected, seek your doctor’s advice about the caffeine intake, if you are in any doubt.
Powder vs. Tea Leaves
Matcha Tea is made from green tea leaves stone ground into a fine powder. It is becoming a favorite among green tea drinkers because of its very high antioxidant properties. It’s also being hailed as even more efficient than typical loose-leafed green tea when it comes to weight loss because you consume the entire leaves and all the nutrients the leaves contain, not just those that infuse into the water.
Some claims have been made that drinking infused tea means you only take in about a third of the nutrients available while matcha powder provides them all.
Preparing the Tea
Drinking matcha tea is different from drinking other green teas. With the leaf type, the goodness within the tea leaves is diffused into the hot water while it brews. The tea is then strained and the leaves are discarded before you drink it.
With matcha tea, a teaspoon of the powder is mixed with about a third of a cup of water heated to almost boiling point, then whisked till frothy.
Higher grade matcha, made from younger leaves, has more amino acids, and a less astringent taste and is better for drinking as a tea. Lower grades made from more mature leaves, carry a lower price tag and are excellent for including in smoothies, recipes and making lattes.
Do check, however, that the lower price is linked to the matcha grade and not simply an indication of poor-quality matcha. Saving money while losing on quality is poor economy.
Drinking Green Tea
Drinking green tea or matcha tea on its own can be a bit of an acquired taste. The tea itself has very few calories, but it is important to watch what you mix with it to mask that flavor. Adding cream, milk or even honey to it to sweeten it will add on calories. If you are drinking the tea to lose weight, you’re going to need to drink a lot of it – estimates vary from 2-3 cups a day to seven for marked effectiveness.
Added up over the whole day, the number of extra calories included in each cup to improve the taste could become significant, so it might be better to acquire that taste.
Tips on Using Green Tea
- Brew green tea correctly
The water used for brewing the green tea must be hot but not too hot, or it will damage the catechins that help with weight loss. Let the water boil and then rest for a minute or two before pouring it over the tea
Use your green teas or matcha tea powder in smoothies. One smoothie idea is to blend a teaspoon of matcha powder with half a cup each of yogurt and ice, and a quarter cup of blueberries or raspberries. You could also try mangoes or kiwi fruit and add some ginger or mint.
- Minty iced green tea
Chop mint leaves and add them to the glass with the tea before you add the hot water. Chill in the fridge for about 4 hours before straining the tea and adding some crushed ice and a little honey if you need to.
- Green tea pills
Green tea extracts are available in capsule form for those who don’t find it easy to take several cups of tea everyday or battle with the taste. These are often decaffeinated, too. There are some claims that the caffeine boosts the effectiveness of the EGCG, so weight loss is likely to be slower without it.
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