Beginner’s Guide to Weight Loss Tea Ingredients
There is nothing more soothing than a hot cup of tea when you have a cold or sore throat. It’s also great to come into a warm cup of tea after a cold day outside. Cold brewed, chilled, or iced varieties can also be a refreshing end to an active workout, or help you sneak in your eight glasses a day.
However, a cup of tea can do more than just help you relax and unwind during an at-home movie date binge on Netflix serials. Teas have numerous health effects. Many can also help you lose weight by working to combat cravings and speed up your fat burning hormones.
Herbal teas also help fill you up with no added calories. This can help reduce the number of calories consumed each day which can spur weight loss efforts forward.
However, you also need to be careful with some herbal tea blends. Many contain known herbal laxatives which may not be a preferred side effect of our tea-drinking efforts. There are good weight loss tea blends out there but they can be few and far between. It’s always best to stick with sourcing your own ingredients to craft a tea blend that works best with your unique weight loss needs and body’s response to the various teas.
Remember, listen to your body. If you find that any of these ingredients produce an allergy-like uncomfortable response, discontinue use immediately.
To avoid contamination, it’s always advised to source your tea leaves from reputable companies. While it can be perfectly safe to forage for common plants in some areas, make sure that you know where the herbs have been, and what’s been sprayed on them. Unless they’re growing in your own yard or garden it’s hard to know what kinds of chemicals have been applied to the plants. Consuming tainted plants may do more harm than good.
Avoid picking plants you might recognize, like mint or dandelion leaves, from roadside paths and ditches. The chemical runoff from passing vehicles can seep into the ground water and contaminate the plants near roadways and make you sick – even if they appear to be perfectly healthy or you wash them before brewing. Aim for quality organic ingredients whenever possible, or take the time to carefully grow your own tea ingredients.
Here is a list of some of the most common herbal weight loss teas and ingredients.
Hibiscus tea is a colorful tart tea that has satiation properties. It can help you feel fuller longer and consume fewer calories. If you dislike the taste, consider combining it with other teas like chamomile or adding some lemon or honey to the mix.
The results of a March 2013 review published in Fitoterapia noted that daily consumption of hibiscus tea during a period of weight loss may assist in lowering cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.
Green tea research names a polyphenol, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) as the responsible ingredient in the tea that helps speed our metabolism and can burn about 70 calories per day.
In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, the antioxidant catechins found in green tea were proven to help improve fat loss caused by exercising in overweight adults. It seems that the naturally occurring caffeine and catechins have synergistic effects that both reduce appetite and boost fat burning.
Another 2010 study published in the Journal of Nurse Practitioners noted that green tea helps suppress appetite and enhances metabolism and explained that herbal products “can be used as foods or medicines to complement and support diet and exercise interventions.”
The effects of a green tea diet are moderate. It’s understood that green tea should be consumed as part of a healthy, balanced, and calorie-deficient diet alongside a moderate to an intense exercise routine to see best results and lose weight more quickly.
To avoid poor results, do not add additional sugar, milk, or cream to your tea. According to a study published in Nutrients in this year, a protein in milk affects the metabolism boosting effects of green tea and may make you tea drinking regime ineffective. Avoid mixing milk, cream, or powdered dried milk to your tea.
Additionally, avoid extra sugar in your tea as well. Adding sugar means extra calories which can counteract any benefit that the green tea has as you move closer to your weight loss goals. If you must consume sweetened tea, consider a small amount of honey – which is a sweetener, but also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Do keep in mind that any sweeteners that you do add to your tea will count towards your daily calorie intake totals. You still have to be netting a calorie deficit each day in order to lose weight. This can be achieved either through calorie restriction, or extra exercise, each day.
For maximum impact of your green tea experiment, keep it pure and unsweetened so you don’t have to worry about those creeping extra calories.
Mint tea can be a powerful appetite suppressant because of its strong smell. In one study, published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine, people who sniffed peppermint whenever they felt hungry for a month lost an average of five pounds.
If you swap peppermint tea instead of indulging your peppermint latte cravings in winter, you can also save a heap of calories that can help you lose weight while still feeling festive.
This partially fermented tea may have even stronger weight loss benefits than green tea. The tea can be steeped for as little as 30 seconds or for 15 minutes depending on how robust you prefer the flavor.
Parsley is a diuretic which means that it can help eliminate excess bloating and fluid build-up due to a variety of issues. It’s especially useful when added to your regular routine and timed alongside juice fasts and other cleansing activities as part of your weight loss regime.
Some health food stores may stock parsley tea. If that’s the case then you need only add one teabag to a cup of tea a few times a day. If you can’t find it locally you can either order online or make you own.
To make parsley tea you can source fresh parsley from the vegetable section of your supermarket or cut a few leaves from your home herb garden. If you don’t have fresh parsley, dried works equally well. If using dried parsley from the spice aisle, aim to steep about two teaspoons of dried parsley for every cup of boiling water. Let it steep for about 10-15 minutes, strain the soaked leaves, and consume.
If using fresh herbs, you may want to try this herbal tea recipe blend for a diuretic and cleansing tea experience:
Take one large bunch of parsley, one chopped blackberry leaf, one chopped dandelion leaf, 10 cherry stems, and 1/2 teaspoon each of celery tops, couch grass (a common yard weed also known as quack grass), corn silk (literally the silk from fresh or dried corn) and fennel seed. Pour a quart of boiling water over the fresh herb mixture and let steep for as long as possible. You can actually strain each cup of tea as you drink the mixture throughout the day to ensure maximum potency. You can also strain the pot and refrigerate the tea for a chilled medicinal weight-loss beverage.
With parsley tea, remember that it is a diuretic so your weight loss and inches will only come from excess stored water. If you’re currently taking any prescription diuretics it can be dangerous to consume parsley tea – so consult a medical professional for advice.
If you dislike the taste of the tea, there are other teas and whole foods you can use to replicate the effects of parsley – without the unique flavor. Try a brewed cup of dandelion tea or add whole foods like grapes, pineapple, asparagus and other leafy vegetables to your daily diet.
Rose tea, made from the fresh rose petals and flower buds of mature rose plants, has a therapeutic digestive effect on the human body. It clears toxins, banishes acne, and beautifies the skin while also helping to prevent constipation.
In addition to all the vitamins it provides – including A, B3, C, D, and E, it also helps us lose weight and detox from previously unhealthy eating habits. It happens to pack an extremely high amount of Vitamin C – just one teaspoon of rose hips can contain as much Vitamin C as six oranges. This can help us by boosting immunity, especially in times of physical and emotional stress – like dieting.
Star Anise Tea
Tea made from the small fruit of the star anise evergreen tree of China is a potent digestive aid that can promote a healthier digestive system by treating tummy troubles like stomach pain, diarrhea, and nausea.
When you first switch over to a healthier diet the changes you experience can be overwhelming. Your body needs to readjust to healthy eating, more exercise, and smaller portions. If you find yourself experiencing tummy troubles as a result of your new weight loss regime, try star anise tea for quick relief.
It’s best to brew a cup by steeping one whole pod in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Remove the pod and then slowly sip on the hot tea whenever upset stomach occurs.
Tea boosting additions
Lemon juice can be added to any of the teas above to boost the existing weight loss effects. Lemon is a digestive aid and liver cleanser, so drinking lemon as part of your beverages each day can really jumpstart your weight loss goals and boost your metabolism, especially if consumed first thing in the morning.
Be sure to experiment with various varieties of lemon and lime as well as different herbal teas to find the variety that you can tolerate this addition in most easily. The addition of lemon may not taste great for all of the teas, so find the blend that you can stomach and then keep adding this tea booster to your weight loss tea.
According to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, cinnamon may improve body composition by decreasing body fat. It’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory herbal medicine that can help ease the pain of muscle cramps. This makes cinnamon a powerful herbal tool to add to teas as part of your workout and weight loss routine.
Finding the right tea blends
There are unique skinny tea mixtures that combine many of these ingredients to create a unique proprietary blend. This can make it easier to experience the benefits of many of these tea ingredients all in one cup, and without the legwork and hassle. However, for optimum results, it’s best to tailor your tea regime to your unique tastes and needs, focusing on the teas you need most and eschewing the rest.
Don’t rely solely on your tea beverages to complete your weight loss efforts. While we may have all heard stories of a family member or friend who lost 100 pounds by only drinking green tea and changing no other daily habits, we also know that those stories are rare at best, dubious at worse, or maybe even outright lies. The rest of us are going to need to make important changes to not only our diet but our workout routine if we want to shed pounds and inches as part of our new lifestyle.
Focus on building lean muscle mass and improving your resting metabolic rate – especially in short bursts. This can be accomplished through daily exercise, stretching exercises like yoga, and even intermittent fasting.
Drinking herbal teas won’t guarantee weight loss. You’ll have to reduce your net calorie intake by about 500 calories per day or increase your calorie burning activity by the same amount of calories, to lose about a pound a week and see sustained results while consuming herbal teas.
Teas are a remarkably refreshing and low-calorie beverage that can aid in weight loss while adding valuable other nutrients and vitamins to your daily diet. It can be consumed as a replacement for more high-calorie beverages which can help you reduce your overall caloric intake each day – the key to shedding pounds quickly and efficiently.
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