Supermarket checkout lines are full of magazines with eye-catching headlines like “7 negative calorie superfoods” or “Delicious foods that fight fat”. While the headlines may be compelling, when these claims undergo the scrutiny of science, the concept of a fat burning food is usually revealed as too good to be true.
Or is it?
Green tea leaves are a fat-burning food out there with the support of a slew of clinical research. In fact, studies show that green tea can help people lose weight, burn fat, and keep it off. Here’s how green tea works at burning fat:
1. Metabolism Boost: Green tea interacts directly with your sympathetic nervous system –telling it to ramp up your calorie-burning machine. A 2001 study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that green tea significantly increased the amount of calories burned at rest, known as resting metabolic rate.
2. Torches Fat Cells: While an increase in metabolism can result in significant fat loss, this isn’t always the case. However, in the case of green tea, it does directly act on fat cells. Research in The International Journal of Obesity concluded that green tea has the unique property of increasing the rate that your body uses up stored fat.
3.Blocks Fat Absorption: Green tea interferes with your body’s ability to digest and absorb the fat from your diet. It appears that the catechins in green tea blocks many of the enzymes required for proper fat absorption. French researchers found that green tea resulted in a 37% reduction in fat digestion.
4. Stops Appetite: Scientists think that green tea’s appetite suppressing properties are much of the reason behind the correlation between regular green tea drinking and weight loss. In fact, University of Chicago researchers found that green tea hinders a pathway that makes you hungry.
While you may get some of these benefits by taking in green tea every chance you get, here are some tips for maximizing green tea’s fat burning:
1. Eat The Leaves: While you only get a limited amount of green tea catechins from brewing and drinking green tea, eating the leaves themselves gives you the full spectrum of antioxidants found in the leaf itself. Or, have you tried matcha?
2. Take Enough: Research shows that to reap the benefits from green tea, you need to drink serious amounts of the stuff (at least 5 to 10 cups /day). This may seem like a LOT of green tea to drink, but don’t worry: there are so many amazing flavors to choose from. (Again – see the point above about eating the whole leaves.)
3. Spread Out Doses: It seems that green tea works best if you take small amounts throughout the day, rather than all at once. This way, you’re giving your body small metabolism “jolts” at regular intervals.
4. Take With Meals: Because green tea can block absorption of some of the fat that you eat, it’s ideal to have green tea with meals. The easiest way to do this is to incorporate green tea leaves into your recipes.
Republished with permission from EatGreenTea.com, the original edible green tea.