The Green tea Diet Can Help You Lose Weight
As dozens of independent research studies continue to demonstrate the health benefits associated with the consumption of green tea, this caffeine-laden beverage with Chinese origins has become something of a fad in the Western world. Touted as providing relief to a number of ailments ranging from heart disease to tooth decay, green tea does in fact contain a number of chemical components like catechins, polyphenols and antioxidants that are generally considered to be health promoting. More recently green tea has been hailed for its supposed weight loss benefits, in what’s become colloquially known as the "Green Tea Diet".
The Perricone Prescription
Popularized by Dr. Nicholas Perricone in his numerous books on the subject of health and anti-aging, including “The Perricone Prescription”, the practice substituting green tea for other beverages like coffee and soda and consuming it throughout the day is believed to help “cleanse” the body and rid it of excess weight. A dermatologist by trade, Perricone has stated that this simple lifestyle change can result in the loss of as much as ten pounds in six weeks. But is this based on good hard science, or the empty claims of a businessman hawking his wares?
How it Works
Few studies have examined the link between tea consumption and metabolic rate, but there are other ways in which green tea might assist someone interested in losing weight. If green tea is substituted in place of beverages such as soft drinks, then the caloric savings alone may prove beneficial. The high caffeine content of green tea is also known to act as both an appetite suppressant and a diuretic, which may cause temporary and superficial weight loss in the form of discharged water weight. Unlike coffee, however, green tea does not contain cortisol or insulin, chemicals both known to contribute to weight gain.
Green tea is actually made from the same plant, Camelia sinensis, that both black and oolong teas are derived from, with the primary difference being that the latter two types of tea undergo a fermentation process while green tea does not.
While the studies conducted to determine the effect of green tea on metabolism have admittedly been limited, some of their findings have been intriguing. William Rumpler, a physiologist, showed in one study that the caffeine consumption boosted metabolic rates by up to 3.4% and increased fat oxidation by 12%. Additionally, Japanese researchers concluded that consuming oolong tea led to a 10% increase in metabolism, and green tea to a 4% increase, for a full two hours.
The bottom line is that simply the consumption of green tea in and of itself will not result in significant weight loss. While drinking green tea isn’t the miracle panacea that the gullible masses might think it is, it does nonetheless show promise as an effective component of an overall healthy lifestyle that includes appropriate diet and exercise. As an added bonus, green tea may also stimulate metabolism and fat oxidation in as of yet undiscovered ways, so as a replacement for coffee and soft drinks it certainly won’t hurt.