Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
When you want to lose weight, all tea can be helpful, but my research and experience suggests that tea offers some specific weight control benefits:
- certain teas have scientific support as weight loss aids because they boost the metabolism
- teas can provide much needed hydration when you're trying to manage your weight
- dessert teas can satisfy cravings for unhealthy temptations.
Although all "true" tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, the way the plant is processed yields several broad varieties of tea (white, green, oolong, black and puerh) and thousands of more specific types of tea. Traditional Chinese medicine has long described the benefits of oolongs (aka wulongs), puerhs and green teas as being valuable for weight loss and over the past decade, there have been a few studies that have supported this ancient wisdom. The preliminary data suggest that these types of tea do increase energy expenditure (or metabolism) and fat burning more than other teas.
Unfortunately, these findings have been over-hyped. Teas touted as 'slimming wulong' or 'magic puerh' have been associated with endorsements by celebrities including Oprah, Rachael Ray and more recently Victoria Beckham. But let's get some perspective; oolong, puerh and green tea may boost metabolism and enhance fat burning but there is no tea (or for that matter, anything) that's going to magically result in seemingly impossible and non-sensical amounts of weight loss.
Additionally, it's important not to believe that there is a specific "slimming wulong" or "magic puerh"; wulongs, puerhs and green teas each comprise a broad class of teas, and any will offer the same benefit as these 'magic teas'.
Here is where I think that tea (and gourmet tea in particular) offers greatest weight control value: We are so habit driven - and many of us have gotten in the habit of consuming unhealthy and fattening snacks for all the wrong reasons. We snack when we're bored, we snack when we're upset, when we're happy, when we're watching tv, pretty much all day long. We also often mistake thirst for hunger and try to satisfy our thirsts with these fattening snacks. What's worse, if you're thirsty and you keep trying to satisfy your thirst with cookies and candies, you'll stay thirsty and continue to snack and snack.
Although I can't cite a study, I'm pretty sure that if you consume few calories instead of many calories, you'll lose weight. So it follows that if you drink tea (which has no calories and results in hydration, health, energy and a sense of well-being) instead of eating fattening snacks (which result in guilt and bloat and no decrease in cravings), you will lose weight. Richly flavored dessert teas offer the dieter the hydration the body needs and the flavors of the snacks they crave - without the calories.
The Weightea Line
In response to customer requests for good tea choices for weight control, and in reaction to all the "magic slimming tea" hype, I carefully reviewed The Good Leaf's tea menu and created the weightea line of teas. The weightea introductory package includes three teas; an ancient Chinese secret, an African activity aid, and a temptation tamer. You can visit http://www.goodleaftea.com/ to learn more about how to use tea to lose weight. You can also customize a weightea introductory package.