It seems as though every time I turn on the TV there is a weight loss commercial. Take this pill and you will lose stomach fat… Use this machine and watch the pounds melt off… Eat this ratio of food and drop 30 pounds… While these are annoying, there is one that really bothers me, Wu-long Tea.
A few years ago a bunch of companies popped up selling just regular old Oolong Tea while making ridiculous claims about weight loss. They essentially claimed that they had some type of special tea that is proven to burn fat. Well, as I am sure you can guess, I am here to tell you it is a gross misrepresentation.
Well, it is a fib with a caveat
The worst thing about those companies selling the “weight loss tea” is that there actually is some truth behind it. Not that tea can give you “go out and buy new clothes” weight loss, but it can help to shed a few lbs. Just how many pounds exactly?
Tea can help you lose 8 lbs in a year
Now think about that for a second. That is 2/3 of a pound a month and roughly .15 lbs a week. Not an instant or life changing amount and nothing to give anyone a sense of false hope. It is definitely not enough to make you spend your hard earned money on crappy tea that has “weight loss’ stamped on its packaging.
It really has to do with caffeine
In the most basic sense, the caffeine in tea speeds up the amount of energy your body burns. This is why people get a boost of energy when they drink anything with caffeine in it. Since your body is burning more energy, it is burning more calories and this is why you lose 8 lbs in a year while drinking tea.
Oolong Tea may help you burn fat
The “weight loss tea world” has used Oolong (or Wu-long depending on the spelling) as the secret to their teas because of a study done by The Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland. The study focused in on 12 different men who were broken up into four different groups. One group drank water, another group full-strength tea, the third group half-strength tea and the fourth group drank water with a caffeine additive that equaled the full-strength tea amount. The participants were asked to refrain from consuming anything with caffeine or flavonoids for four days before the study began. Those who were given Oolong Tea at full strength during the study enjoyed a metabolic rate increase of about 2.9 percent. Fat oxidation also increased by about 12 percent for those who drank full-strength Oolong.
Can I eat french fries all day while drinking Oolong and lose weight?
I think the answer to that is clear, much to my wife's dismay. The study done by the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center only used 12 people over a small sample of time. But still, the outcome of the test helped to show that there is a possibility that Oolong helps with fat oxidation. Just how much nobody really knows.
So what does all this mean?
Tea will not be a miracle cure for weight loss and it certainly is not a magic pill. But, if you do drink tea, there is a good chance you can shed a few pounds over a year's time. However, instead of obsessing over the weight loss aspects of tea, just drink it because you love it. I know I do.
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