We’ve all seen the adverts claiming that by drinking a mug of this ‘special’ blend of tea we can get a flat tummy, feel better and finally have the body we’ve all been dreaming of. This article is going to expose the truth about fat-loss teas: whether they can help you lose the fat you’ve always wanted to or if they’re just a waste of your money.
How to Lose Fat
Now, firstly, it’s important to understand exactly how fat loss works. The most important factor for weight loss is your calorie balance. Calorie balance is simply the amount of calories you eat versus the calories you expend through exercise and daily activities. If you’re not in a calorie deficit (where you’re expending more calories than you’re eating), then it’s going to be extremely hard for you to lose fat.
Certain individuals can lose fat by eating at maintenance (matching calories in to calories out) if they’re transitioning from a very inactive, unhealthy lifestyle. However, for the majority of people, eating in a deficit is necessary for losing fat.
There are two ways in which you can create a calorie deficit: burn more calories and eat less calories. The first option is fairly straightforward in that all you really need to do is increase your energy expenditure. Exercising 3-4 times per week at a moderate intensity for 45-60 minutes should do the trick.
However, fat loss is really created in the kitchen. This means that your diet will have more of an impact on your body composition goals than your exercise regime will. It’s far easier not to eat the food in the first place than it is to burn it off. Not to mention that eating foods can trigger binge or overeating which will have the opposite effect on your body than what you desire.
How Fat Loss Teas Claim to Help
Fat loss teas usually claim to help you lose fat by increasing your rate of thermogenesis, helping you to metabolise fat or by decreasing your appetite. Thermogenesis is how your body deals with your temperature increasing when you digest foods and drink. As you know, your body needs to keep at a consistent ideal temperature of 37 degrees.
Different foods will affect this temperature based upon the amount of energy required to digest them which then turns into heat. Our body then has to use more energy to bring ourselves back to its regular temperature. Though these fat loss teas may cause an increase of thermogenesis in the body, it’s not enough to significantly affect weight loss by itself.
Your calorie balance would be affected more so by exercise or simply eating less calories in the first place. You can influence thermogenesis through the foods that you eat. High-protein and high-fibre foods take more energy to digest than simple sugars and fats. Sugars, especially, take very little energy to digest and don’t fill you up. This is why it’s important to base your diet on natural, nutrient-dense foods such as lean meats, fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds, starches and grains as opposed to processed and sweet foods such as fast-foods.
Another way in which fat loss teas can help you to lose weight is because warm drinks can positively impact satiety levels. Liquids help to increase the volume of the contents in your tummy which relays signals to your brain that you’re full. Warm liquids have a slightly more beneficial effect upon this.
So, fat tummy teas can help to reduce your calorie intake. Though this can be achieved through any hot drink. Simply make sure that the drink is low-calorie or zero-calorie so that you remain in a deficit. Black coffee, green tea, peppermint tea and other herbal teas are perfect for this. Peppermint and ginger teas can also aid your digestion, thus, making you feel less-bloated and fatigued.
How Fat Tummy Teas Have Helped Certain Individuals
Many of the success stories you’ll hear about weight-loss teas are not actually due to the tea itself, but from the surrounding lifestyle. A person who purchases weight-loss teas will most likely also be doing other things in their life to lose weight such as eating less food and exercising more. Also, those who already carry a lot of weight can lose fat easier as they are so far away from their body’s natural set point.
Everyone’s body has a body fat level which it is most comfortable at. This set point can change or be influenced by diet and exercise, but it usually stays about the same place. This set point is what influences our hunger, activity levels and metabolism. However, we can ignore the signals from our body telling us to eat less and move more due to stress, poor sleep and outside factors. This is how people become overweight and obese.
High-calorie foods are extremely convenient, work tends to involve being inactive sat at a desk, and stress is high in the modern world thanks to a number of things. As a result, people overeat and under-exercise and therefore carry more fat than their body would like. This is why overweight people tend to find it easier to drop more substantial amounts of fat relatively quickly compared to leaner individuals. Also, the closer you get to your set point, the more your weight loss will slow down.
Many fat tummy tea success stories come from individuals who were inactive and overweight who switched to a healthier, more active lifestyle and this switch is what created the weight loss and not the tea itself.
Some people use fat-loss teas not to lose weight, but to ‘detox’. This means eradicating any of the impurities in the body by eating a certain type of food or drinking a certain type of drink. Unfortunately, this idea is ultimately flawed as we have mechanisms within our body to do this. Our kidneys, liver skin and lungs all contribute to ‘detoxing’ our body by extracting our blocking unwanted compounds in food.
Detoxing can include restricting food and drink intake to a certain item or by consuming a certain food or beverage frequently. People do water detoxes where they only drink water for a set amount of time, juice detoxes where they only drink juices made from fruits and vegetables, and raw-vegan detoxes where you’re restricted to uncooked, animal-free foods only. People use weight-loss teas under the impression that they’ll help to remove toxins from the body which will then help them to lose weight and improve their overall quality of life.
In reality, the ingredients in these weight loss teas are healthy and will benefit your body, but not in the amount that they advertise.
What Is a Solution?
You don’t need to eat substantially less calories either. In order to work out how many calories you need to eat per day, you can use a variety of online calculators that will tell you your BMR (basal metabolic rate). This is the amount of calories you need to eat per day in order to sustain your current weight. When you know this number, subtract 300 calories and use this as your daily target to drop fat.
Remember, the goal is to lose fat not lose weight. Weight can come from anything: water, muscle, bone, etc. However, you only want to lose fat. This comes from an effective but conservative approach. Sure, you can lose more weight by eating less calories per day, but you’ll end up feeling awful and also losing muscle mass which helps to improve your physique. You want to aim for a 1-2lbs (0.5 – 1 kg) of weight loss per week. If you hit a plateau for longer than 3 weeks, then drop another 200 calories off your daily goal and try that each day.
There will come a point in everyone’s weight-loss journey where they stop losing weight. The important thing is not to lose focus or motivation. Sometimes, just waiting for 2-4 weeks is enough to let your body settle and start to lose weight again. Yet, if it comes to a point where you’ve been stuck at the same weight for longer than this and are starting to become frustrated, then simply taking off a small amount of calories again will help. If you don’t want to eat less food, then you can always burn it off instead.
Some people prefer to burn 200 calories than to eat 200 calories less and that’s perfectly fine. Try going for a brisk walk once a day or alternating between standing at your desk and sitting to improve your calorie balance.
Even small things such as taking the stairs instead of the lift or parking slightly further away from a building can help you to get more activity in.
Fat loss teas can help you to lose weight but the eventual result directly caused by these teas will be minimal. Instead of investing money in these products, you would be better off purchasing higher quality, more nutritious variety of foods. Also, you can put the money towards a gym membership or home equipment to help with the practicality of your exercise.
Some people find that by drinking weight loss teas it positively impacts the rest of their lifestyle and helps them keep on track with their transition to a healthier way of living. If this is you and you have the money to invest in these products, then there’s no reason.
As long as you’re not under the impression that these teas are the be-all and end-all to your weight loss efforts or that they’ll have a magical impact on how you look and feel. Eating natural, nutrient-dense foods in a caloric deficit will be the best approach to improving your appearance.
Hove you ever tried some fat loss teas?