It’s likely the weight-loss tea that you’re most familiar with—and one that’s been shown to be protective against diabetes. When scientists look at black tea extract in animal studies, they find that black tea can help prevent weight gain when eating a high-fat diet, possibly because it blocks fat absorption during digestion. Of course, the research is preliminary, but black tea contains plant compounds called polyphenols—namely theaflavins and thearubigans—that may be responsible for the fat-blocking benefits. (Here’s more proof that black tea is jam-packed full of health benefits from a new study.)
Fill a big teacup with soothing peppermint tea, and sniff yourself skinny! While certain scents can trigger hunger (a trick Cinnabon figured out long ago), others can actually suppress your appetite. One study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine found that people who sniffed peppermint every two hours lost an average of 5 pounds a month. (Although tea is relatively low in caffeine—about 25% of what a cup of coffee delivers—decaffeinated varieties are great to have on hand for a soothing bedtime treat.) Consider also adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your pillow or burning a minty candle to fill the room with slimming smells.
You may feel trendy with a bottle of vitamin-enhanced water in your hand, but that brightly-hued liquid probably isn’t improving your health. Most vitamin-infused H20 is just colored sugar water with some vitamins tossed in—bad news when you consider that Americans take in about 355 calories of added sugar every day. If you want vitamins, get them from vitamin supplements or, better yet, from whole foods (wild salmon, for example, is loaded with energy-boosting vitamin B-12). And if you want water, get it from, well, water. Nature’s beverage is calorie-free, cost-free and will take care of all your hydration needs.
If you're tempted to try one of these teas that claim to bring about weight loss, it’s incredibly important to think about why you want to lose weight in the first place—and whether doing so is a healthy decision that will enrich your life. For example, if you have a history of disordered eating, you should talk to your doctor before starting a new eating plan. Even if you don't have that history, setting healthy, realistic goals and expectations is key. So is making decisions based on health and science, not the marketing for Instagram-famous beverages. But even if these teas did work in some way, when it comes down to it, weight loss is about a lot more than what you eat and drink. It’s important to factor in whether you’re getting quality sleep and trying to keep your stress levels down, plus elements outside of your control, like health conditions and hormones. The most important tip we can give you is to pay attention to your body, treat yourself well, and be kind to yourself above all, which is why you shouldn't try quick fixes that could ultimately harm you. With that said, here's the deal on tea and weight loss.
"If you are drinking lots of fluids, these liquids will fill you up and send a regulatory hormone to your brain that tells it that you aren't hungry, which could mean you eat less," Zeratsky explains. "Also, if you're well-hydrated, your body won't confuse hydration with being hungry which could also lead to consuming less...But, ultimately, a balanced diet and exercise are the most important."
Rooibos tea is made from the leaves of the “red bush” plant, grown exclusively in the small Cederberg region of South Africa, near Cape Town. What makes rooibos tea particularly good for your belly is a unique and powerful flavanoid called Aspalathin. Research shows this compound can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage and are linked to hypertension, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Yup, sometimes the kettle can be as effective as the kettlebell.
The SHRED Power Cleanse If you have two weeks to commit, this program by Dr. Ian a great one to consider. Why? Because it's filled with whole, nutritious, fiber-rich foods, a common sense approach to eating and an exercise program that is based on smart science. It is not designed to be a weight loss program, but you're likely to lose weight while you're on it. And during the program, you learn healthy lifestyle habits (like planning ahead and journaling) that you can use for long-term weight loss and weight maintenance.