Green tea is best for weight loss. Drinking it daily has many proven health benefits (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6). But how does green tea work for weight loss? How many cups of green tea should you drink per day to shed the pounds? This post answers all your questions. Keep reading!
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 polyphenols 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).
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 thermogenesis 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).
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
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 fat 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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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:
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 toxicity, leading to hepatotoxicity (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?
Please consult your gynecologist first. However, we would suggest that you avoid being on any diet right after childbirth or while breastfeeding.
Green tea is great for weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Drinking 2-3 cups of green tea is safe and has many health benefits. Avoid consuming too many cups of green tea to avoid its side effects. Also, talk to your doctor if you decide to take green tea supplements or pills. Hope this post helps you take up a better and healthier way of living.
Have questions? Please post them in the box below, and we will get back to you.
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- GREEN TEA, National Institutes of Health.
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