About Green Tea and Weight Loss
The No-Nonsense Truth
Consider the following - One pound of fat (.45 kg) is equivalent to approximately 3500 calories. Whether using green tea for weight loss or any other method, in order to lose one pound of fat over the period of a week, a person must maintain a calorie deficit of 3500 below their normal "set point", that "set point" being the amount of calories consumed in one's diet where a person neither loses nor gains fat. This calorie deficit can come through the modification of diet, through exercise, or a through a combination of both. In the case of a pound per week weight loss, that works out to a needed calorie deficit of 500 calories per day.
Research by Japanese and other researchers(1) suggest that if the average person were to drink five cups of green tea a day, they would burn an extra 70 to 80 extra calories through an effect known as thermogenesis - the process of heat production in organisms. While much of the thermogenesis effect in green tea is derived from caffeine, studies also suggest(2) that thermogenesis in green tea occurs to some degree beyond its caffeine content from epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG.)
Regardless, 70-80 calories per day does not quite come close to the 500 calorie deficit needed per day to lose a pound a week, and for sure it's nowhere close to the calorie deficit needed to lose "inches per week" from one's waistline as some green tea web sites would have consumers believe. According to the research, if a person were to change nothing outside of adding five cups of green tea to their diet per day, then over the course of 43 days one could expect to lose 1 pound. Over the period of one year, one could expect a loss of about 8 pounds. Yes, there is some correlation between green tea and weight loss, unfortunately it's not on the level many would have you believe.
Clearly, drinking green tea alone is not going to be satisfactory for significant weight loss. Still, green tea can still be quite useful as a weight loss aid. The extra 80 calories per day can be just what a person needs to tip the scale from a calorie surplus to a calorie deficit, especially when following a balanced nutrition and exercise regime.
Something That Really Works...
If you are serious about losing weight, even though you should not expect the pounds to melt off as some will claim, we still definitely do recommend green tea as a complement to a sound nutrition and exercise regime, not only for the slight metabolism boost it will give you, but more importantly for the many other documented health benefits.
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