Green Tea For Weight Loss: How Does It Help?

Improve your metabolism and shed those pounds easily with this refreshing beverage.

Medically reviewed by Merlin Annie Raj, RD (Registered Dietitian)
Written by Charushila Biswas, MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist
Edited by Ravi Teja Tadimalla, Professional Certificate In Food, Nutrition & Health
Fact-checked by Sindhu Koganti, Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach  • 

Drinking green tea has several proven health benefits (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6). You can drink green tea for weight loss. But how does green tea helps lose weight? When should we drink green tea, and how many cups a day can aid in weight loss? Read this post to get your questions answered. Scroll down!

protip_icon Did You Know?
Green tea is made from the same plant as black or oolong tea. However, green tea is made by steam distillation, which helps retain more antioxidants and nutrients (and thus potentially helping with fitness and weight loss).

How Green Tea Helps You Lose Weight

1. Green Tea Is Low In Calories

A mug of green tea (8 fl oz) contains only 2 calories and 0.47 g carbs (7). It is a natural drink that takes only 5-7 minutes to prepare. It tastes refreshing and rejuvenating when prepared the right way.

Bottom Line – A mug of green tea contains only 2 calories, which makes it an ideal weight loss drink.

2. Green Tea Contains Beneficial Catechins

Green tea contains polyphenolsi  XNaturally occurring micronutrients in plants that help with digestion, improve brain health, and reduce the risk of cancer. known as catechins. There are four types of catechins found in green tea – epicatechin (EC), epicatechin-3 gallate (ECG), epigallocatechin (EGC), and epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) (8).

Typically, green tea brewed for 3-5 minutes contains about 51.5 to 84.3 mg/g of catechins (9). Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG ) accounts for 50%-80% of the total catechins in green tea (10).

EGCG in green tea has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, anti-cancer, and antioxidant properties (8). A Japanese study found that 690 mg catechin intake for 12 weeks reduced BMI, body fat, waist circumference (11).

Catechins help lower abdominal fat, total cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood insulin levels (12). Scientists believe that green tea EGCG suppresses the genes that stimulate fat synthesis and induced lipolysis (fat breakdown) (13).

Bottom Line – Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most potent antioxidant found in green tea. It helps lower inflammation, BMI, blood sugar, high BP, and cholesterol.

3. Green Tea Contains Fat-Burning Caffeine

Along with catechins, green tea contains fat-burning caffeine. Caffeine influences energy balance by increasing energy expenditure (calories burned) and decreasing energy intake (food consumption) (14). It increases thermogenesisi  XThe process of heat production in the body that is essential to maintain metabolic processes, including digestion. and fat oxidation (15), (16).

A study confirms that doubling caffeine intake helps increase weight reduction by 22%, BMI by 17%, and fat mass by 28% (17). Caffeine intake before exercise also helps increase a fat loss from the body (18).

Bottom Line – Caffeine in green tea helps increase energy expenditure, reduces BMI, fat mass, and stimulates more fat loss through exercise.

4. Green Tea Boosts Fat Metabolism

Green tea may help boost metabolism. Green tea catechins are antioxidants. Antioxidants help flush out toxins from the body. This, in turn, helps reduce oxidative stress and the risk of metabolic syndrome (19), (20).

Drinking full-strength green tea helped improve fat metabolism by 12% (21). A 12-week study showed that green tea consumption could aid fat oxidation even while on a high-carb diet (22). Green tea acts by inducing thermogenesis, fat oxidation, fat excretion, and inhibiting fat absorption (23).

Green tea caffeine also helps increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation (14), (15), (16). Australian researchers found that taking green tea extract (GTE) helped increase fat oxidation at rest and at post-exercise condition (24).

In fact, drinking matcha green tea before exercise aids weight loss by improving fat metabolism (25).

Bottom Line – Green tea catechins and caffeine increase fat metabolism and thermogenesis and reduce fat absorption.  Green tea can help in increasing the resting metabolic rate and improving weight loss.

5. Green Tea Suppresses Appetite

Apart from increasing fat oxidation and reducing fat absorption, green tea catechins and caffeine also suppress appetite (26). Swedish scientists found that consuming green tea might help increase satiety levels (27). Scientists found that drinks containing green tea catechins, caffeine, and dietary fiber helped suppress appetite (28).

Green tea caffeine and catechins, however, do not play a significant role in upregulating leptin and adiponectin, the hormones that suppress appetite (29).

 Bottom Line – Green tea may help suppress appetite and increase satiety levels.

6. Green Tea Helps Lose Belly Fat

The graph displays the effectiveness of several dietary supplements in relation to body weight and body composition, as well as the availability of research on FM and LBM loss. According to the results published in the study “Body Composition Changes in Weight Loss: Strategies and Supplementation for Maintaining Lean Body Mass, a Brief Review” in Nutrients, CrP supplementation resulted in the highest percentage of FM loss and the lowest percentage of LBM loss from overall weight loss when compared to other well-known weight loss supplements.

Popular Dietary Supplements For Weight Loss

Source: Body Composition Changes in Weight Loss: Strategies and Supplementation for Maintaining Lean Body Mass, a Brief Review
Green tea can help shed belly fat
Image: Shutterstock

Belly fat or abdominal fat is a common problem these days. Moreover, abdominal fat is linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers (30). Research studies have confirmed that green tea catechins help reduce belly fat (31), (32).

Green tea also helps reduce waist circumference in the elderly with metabolic syndrome (33). Regular consumption of green tea also showed more reduction in visceral fati  XFat deposits around the abdominal organs, including the stomach, liver, and intestines, which can elevate diabetes and heart attack risk. than overall body weight in another study (34).

Green tea extract is high in catechins. Taking green tea extract helps reduce abdominal fat, overall body weight, LDL cholesterol, and high blood pressure (35).

Bottom Line – Regular consumption of green tea helps reduce belly fat and improve waist to hip ratio.

7. Green Tea Regulates Obesity Genes

Overweight woman may benefit from green tea
Image: Shutterstock

Interestingly, scientists found that green tea could regulate obesity-related genes (35). Researchers also found that green tea extract induced browning of white adipose tissue. This, in turn, helped reduce obesity (36).

Green tea extract also inhibits the expression of proteins involved in inflammation by improving gut barrier function (37). In another study, green tea EGCG decreased the expression of genes that cause fat deposition (38).

However, you must keep in mind that most of these studies are conducted on animal models. More research on human subjects is required to know the exact molecular mechanism of green tea’s weight loss properties.

Bottom Line – Green tea EGCG and green tea extract may inhibit the adipogenic and inflammatory genes and decrease body weight.

8. Green Tea Improves Exercise Performance

Exercising regularly is very important for healthy and sustainable weight loss. Many people are unable to workout for a long duration as they lack strength and stamina. Having a cup of green tea before working out may solve that.

Green tea extract (GTE) helps improve muscle endurance capacity (39). Supplementation of 500 mg/dar green tea extract for 15 days showed improved exercise performance and muscle recovery (40).

A study showed that green tea catechins (GTC) improved sports performance and increased fat oxidation by 17% and total energy expenditure (41).

Bottom Line – Green tea or green tea extract may help improve exercise performance, increase fat oxidation, and improve the rate of muscle recovery.

protip_icon Trivia
Taking tea (including green tea) before exercise not only increases fat burning during exercise but also while you are at rest (44).

9. Green Tea Caffeine Helps Maintain Weight Loss

To lose weight is one thing; to maintain it is another. Maintaining weight loss is tougher than losing weight. But a few studies prove that green tea can help in maintaining weight loss as well.

Consuming green tea-caffeine mixture for 3 months helped improve weight loss maintenance through fat oxidation and increased thermogenesis in two studies (42), (16). More research on this is required, but the data looks promising.

Bottom Line – Continuing to drink green tea after weight loss prevents weight regain.

These are 9 ways green tea helps in weight loss. Now the question is, how to incorporate green tea into your diet? Check out the following infographic. Take a screenshot and use it for 7 days. You will see guaranteed results if you adhere to the plan.

7-Day Green Tea Weight Loss Diet

This brings us to the next question. Which green tea is best for weight loss? Let’s find out below.

Which Type Of Green Tea Is Best For Weight Loss? 

Green tea and lemon is good for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

The best types of green tea for weight loss are oolong tea, matcha tea, and loose-leaf green tea. Black tea is more oxidized and hence does not contain many catechins. Flavored green teas are good, but they may contain preservatives. You may try the following combinations to make your green tea flavorful:

  • Green tea and lemon
  • Green tea and cinnamon
  • Green tea and mint
  • Green tea and honey or maple syrup

Note: Do not add refined sugar to green tea if you are trying to lose weight. You may add a teaspoon of organic honey instead.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Steeping a green tea bag in hot water for more than 2 minutes may cause the water to turn bitter.

Can I Drink Iced Green Tea For Weight Loss?

There are no studies so far that claim that iced green tea can help you lose weight. Hence, it is better to go for normal green tea from a trusted brand. If you are not sure which brand of green tea to buy, check out the next section.

Good Brands To Consider

When it comes to good green tea, it is best to look for the best and trusted tea brand. Here are a few brands that you may try:

Lipton, Waghbakri, Green Label, Tulsi, Tetley, Taj, Tazo, Bigelow, Stash, and Himalaya herbal teas. Here are a few more slimming teas you may check out before buying.

If your cup of green tea tastes grassy, check out this free guide on how to prepare green tea correctly.

You must be aware that nothing in excess is healthy for you. Drinking too many cups of green tea may cause side effects. That is why it is best to know the optimum dosage of green tea for weight loss. Know more about it below.

How Much Green Tea To Drink Per Day? 

It is best to limit your green tea consumption to 2-3 cups per day. Also, do not exceed the 200 – 300 mg/ml caffeine intake. Consume decaffeinated green tea, but stick to the standard 2-3 cups of green tea per day.

Tip: To know how much green tea caffeine or EGCG you are consuming per cup, check the nutrition label. 

What Is The Best Time To Drink Green Tea?

The best time for drinking green tea is right after waking up and before meals.

Green tea weight loss pills are also quite popular these days. Should you take them? What is the catch? Find out in the section below.

Are Green Tea Weight Loss Supplements Good For Weight Loss? 

Green tea extract supplements have 10% more catechins, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Hence, taking green tea supplements may show faster weight loss results.

However, taking them without consulting a doctor or taking too many of them may cause side effects. This high concentration of EGCG  through green tea pills cause mitochondrial toxicityi  XA condition that involves the damage or rapid decline of mitochondria in the body's cells and may affect the brain, eyes, heart, etc. , leading to hepatotoxicityi  XA term used to describe liver injury caused by the ill effects of alcohol, herbal supplements, medications, or food additives.  (43).

What about taking green tea after childbirth for weight loss? Find the answer below.

Can I Drink Green Tea After Childbirth Or During Breastfeeding?

Woman consulting gynecologist to know about green tea usage
Image: Shutterstock

Please consult your gynecologist first. However, we would suggest that you avoid being on any diet right after childbirth or while breastfeeding.

Infographic: 5 Ways Green Tea Can Help With Weight Loss

Green tea is a low-calorie, antioxidant-rich beverage and a favorite among fitness enthusiasts for its weight loss benefits. If you want to shed some pounds, you can switch from your high-calorie, sugar-based drinks to a refreshing cup of green tea. But how does it help with weight loss? Check out the infographic below for more information!

5 ways green tea can help with weight loss (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

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Download Infographic in PDF version

If you have ever considered making lifestyle and diet changes for weight management, you must have considered drinking green tea for weight loss. While most follow this trend blindly, it is important to know how it works and its many other benefits. Green tea is a low-calorie, natural drink rich in anti-inflammatory catechins that help to detox your system, reduce abdominal fat, lower blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, and boost your metabolism as well. If you don’t find its taste agreeable, you can add lemon, mint, ginger, cinnamon, or honey to prepare it as per your liking. Drinking green tea just after waking up or before meals would give you the most effective results. However, make sure not to overdo it and limit it to 1-2 cups per day to avoid any possible side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can I lose in a month with green tea?

You may be able to lose an average of a pound in a month by adding unsweetened green tea to your diet .

Can I drink green tea at night?

Yes, you may. However, green tea contains caffeine, so it is best avoided close to bedtime.

Can we drink green tea empty stomach?

Yes, you may drink green tea on an empty stomach. However, in some individuals green tea might cause discomfort when consumed on an empty stomach. It is recommended to avoid green tea on an empty stomach if you feel symptoms like nausea, stomach ache or a burning sensation in the throat.

Should you drink green tea hot or cold?

You may drink green tea both hot and cold. It depends on your taste and preference. However, packaged iced green tea may contain sweeteners and preservatives, which are not ideal if you want to lose weight through green tea consumption.

Key Takeaways

  • Green tea includes catechins, a type of polyphenol that lowers belly fat and enhances waist to hip ratio.
  • It also contains caffeine which boosts fat loss through exercise, lowers BMI and fat mass while also increasing energy expenditure.
  • Green tea may aid in appetite control and satiety enhancement.
  • It is advisable to drink 2-3 cups of green tea each day for best results.

Green tea is a great way to help you shed those stubborn pounds. Watch this video to learn how it can help you reach your fitness goals.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Check out our editorial policy for further details.
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