Can Green Tea Help You Lose Weight? The Truth About Green Tea and Weight Loss

Every time you open TikTok or Instagram, there’s some new fad that promises to help you drop pounds fast — a new drink powder, appetite-suppressing gummies, yet another piece of “clothing” that will squeeze you so tight the fat just melts away like magic.

The bad news first: These gimmicks don’t work, and if they do, they’re definitely not healthy. Now for the good news — there are plenty of smart ways to lose weight, if that’s your ultimate goal, including eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, protein and healthy fats, in addition to exercising and getting plenty of rest.

Hydration is another key. While water is always best, unsweetened drinks are also high on the list when you want to switch things up. A big one in the category? green tea

Weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects — before deciding to go on a diet or changing your drinking and eating habits, we invite you to gain a broader perspective with our exploration into the dangers of diet culture.

Can green tea help with weight loss?

Green tea all on its own is a great sugar-free beverage choice, and while it’s not a substitute for a balanced lifestyle, it does have some weight loss properties that regular H20 doesn’t. “It certainly isn’t a cure-all, but if you like the taste and enjoy drinking it, a few cups of green tea daily can help complement a healthy eating routine and may help you gradually lose weight,” says Stefani Sassos, MS , RDN, CDN, Registered Dietitian for the Good Housekeeping Institute.

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Potential ways it can aid in your weight loss goals:

  • It may support healthy metabolism. “Some research suggests that the caffeine and catechins (a type of polyphenol) found in green tea may assist with modest weight loss, likely because they raise your metabolic rate,” explains Sassos. Your metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns doing ordinary, everyday things — aka sitting or cooking, not a furious HIIT workout.
  • Your workout might get a boost: One area to get an unexpected jolt from your new green tea habit is your fitness. Caffeine is a stimulant that activates your nervous system, and it’s an “ergogenic aid,” says Sassos, so sipping green tea before your gym session may help you perform slightly better. But don’t overdo it: “Research consistently supports that caffeine has a positive role on physical performance, but it doesn’t affect everyone the same and high doses of caffeine can be dangerous and lead to undesirable side effects like anxiety or upset stomach, Sassos points out.
  • It can help you cut back on sugar: A high intake of sugar can be one of the biggest saboteurs to overall health. Including sugar- and calorie-free beverages, like unsweetened green tea, in your regular eating style may promote healthy weight loss in the long run, Sassos says. Besides providing a sugar-less drinking option, the polyphenols in green tea have been shown to positively impact heart disease risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol — talk about a total body wellness boost!

    Sassos also notes that it’s always ideal to opt for food and beverage in their whole form. The supplement industry is not well regulated, and large doses of any single nutrient or high potency vitamin or mineral can be harmful. “Green tea extracts can border on the toxic range and even pose potential risk of liver damage, whereas a cup of the brew is an excellent way to hydrate and nourish you.”

    Bottom line:

    When it comes to weight loss, green tea’s impact is minimal at best, however there are other benefits to drinking it, including relaxation and potential positive impact heart disease risk.

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