EGCG, Green Tea and Weight Loss: What You Need to Know
You’ll remember from my Science Backed Secrets article that EGCG is a huge deal from the disease fighting perspective…but did you also know it’s great for weight loss! Let’s dive into this topic a little more!
If you have been on the Internet lately, chances are you have seen your favorite celebrities talking about the ‘teatox’ and how amazing it is.
The ‘teatox’ has real merit- though you don’t have to purchase celebrity endorsed products to take part in it. Tea is actually filled with amazing benefits for your body. It has lots of healthy nutrients plus it gives you the gentle caffeine boost you need to get through the day.
Hollywood was not the first to discover the amazing properties of tea leaves. Tea has been the drink of choice of both royals and their subjects in Asia for thousands of years. It slowly made its way across the world to Great Britain and Europe where it became synonymous with high culture. Eventually, it wound up in America where it is now becoming an important part of people’s lifestyle habits.
Full of antioxidants, tea is not just a quick pick-me-up but a serious addition to anyone’s health regime. It has less caffeine than coffee, can reduce the risk of heart attack and helps keep your body hydrated.
Even though it offers so much, there are actually only four types of tea leaves: black, green, white and oolong.
Each of these teas offers real benefits for your body and mind. Black tea can help aid your digestive process and give you a kickstart without the caffeine crash caused by coffee. White tea is a rare form of tea that is left almost entirely in its natural state. Because it is so natural, it offers amazing benefits from natural antioxidants. Some tea can even boost the metabolism to new levels. Some research has shown that green tea can actually help you burn up to 80 extra calories every day. That means that you can actually lose 8 pounds a year just by having a warming cup of tea! Not only can you save calories but you save cash because tea is often half the price of coffee at major retailers and coffee shops.
But what is it about that cup of tea that delivers so many benefits? The answer is epigallocatchein-3-gallate, otherwise known as EGCG. Green tea (especially matcha green tea) has the most of this chemical, and black tea the least.
What is EGCG?
In short, it is a chemical that is found in the leaves of tea. This chemical is actually what helps protect the leaves on the plant from diseases and helps to keep it healthy. It just happens that when you drink the tea from the leaves of these plants, these natural defense mechanisms are passed on to you.
It is found along with other polyphenols like catechin and epicathechin. Both of these naturally occurring substances also help boost weight loss. This is why tea is such a great way to boost the metabolism!
Drinking Tea to Lose Weight
When you drink tea with high levels of these chemicals, you will increase the thermogenesis process in your body. This is the process in your body that burns calories and stored fat as energy. The reason that it works so well is because it does not just burn your excess fat, it also helps control your hunger cravings by satisfying your hormones.
But keep in mind, it is not the green tea flavor that helps you lose weight. It is the chemicals in the tea itself! So, don’t go out and buy green tea ice cream hoping to drop five pounds. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way!
The Varying Levels of Tea
There isn’t a huge amount of weight loss power in one cup of tea alone. There are also varying levels of effectiveness because there are different ways of processing the tea leaves. Some green teas that are less processed will have better abilities to kick start weight loss when compared to teas that have been over-processed.
The number of unnecessary ingredients can have an effect on the quality of the tea, too. The leaves themselves can also play a factor in tea quality. It is possible to buy low quality tea leaves, so keep that in mind as you shop.
Thankfully, adding natural flavors doesn’t hurt the fat burning properties of green tea. You can add orange, jasmine or pomegranate flavors to help mask the earthy taste that some green teas have. Other good additions include different blends of mint.
However, you should always avoid tea that has added sugar or another type of sweetener. If you are drinking tea to lose weight, the sugar will confuse your metabolism and the whole thing will be counterproductive.
You should also make sure that your green tea is fresh. While tea leaves don’t spoil the same way that other leaves do, they might begin to lose their antioxidants if they sit in your cupboard for more than a year. If you purchase some green tea, make sure to drink up to get the most benefits.
Green Tea Alternatives
Losing weight by drinking tea sounds too easy. The fact that it works naturally without any side effects is amazing. But what do you do if you just cannot stomach the taste of a hot cup of green tea?
If hot tea isn’t your style, you can use green tea extracts to get the same benefits. When you combine the extract with some water, you actually get a higher concentration of anti-oxidants than you might from a brewed cup of tea.
But if you just can’t come to terms with the rich flavor of most green teas, you can try other kinds of tea. White tea has a very mild flavor, despite being so raw and healthy. It also has more nutrients than many different green teas, so it is an all-around great choice for those who prefer a milder taste of tea. It also has almost as much EGCG as green tea.
It’s amazing to think that one plant could provide so many benefits. But tea drinking is one of the healthiest habits you can pick up. Whether you need an extra boost in shifting those last few pounds or just want to maintain the healthy body you already have, you can do all this and more with a simple cup of tea – no ‘teatox’ needed!