Tea and Weight Loss?
Long before Paleo, Caveman, Raw Food and Sugar-Free diets came to the forefront, natural herbs have been used and sworn by for weight loss purposes since before time. The continual rise in obesity (50% of New Zealanders are currently overweight or obese) and subsequent chronic diseases including type two diabetes have highlighted the need for effective natural solutions. Tea in all its forms – including green tea, herbal teas and sliming teas have all been claimed as the ultimate weight loss secret but just how much weight do they carry? The Science Let’s get back to the roots and see what research has to offer us. A good majority of scientific studies have been heavily focused on the relationship between green tea and weight loss (including the British Medical Journal and Clinical Journal of Nutrition). The results to date appear mixed with some studies showing a relationship between drinking green tea and weight loss and some without (Hutcheon, 2014). Scientifically determining if weight loss is indeed caused by drinking green tea alone (i.e. in isolation from exercise and other dietary behaviours) is almost impossible so this is hardly surprising; although that’s not what certain celebrities would say! It is also important when reading articles and blogs on this topic that cite scientific studies to be aware of their limitations. When I checked out some of these ‘acclaimed’ studies, many were conducted on men, of normal weight, between 35-45 years of age – hardly relative to a woman who has just given birth! The Caffeine Impact This particularly applies to green tea again and your good old English Breakfast. A number of reviews (Greenberg, 2005) and cross sectional studies (Lui et al, 2013) have demonstrated that caffeine intake is associated with a lower body mass index (BMI), decreased risk for the development of metabolic syndrome and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Of course, for us mums in the postpartum period this can have a downside – sleep is so precious and sometimes caffeine, especially late at night is really going to impact the quality of sleep we do get. While I am very much a self-proclaimed coffee lover – I am still careful about how much I drink and the time of day, especially if going through periods of sever sleep deprivation. You Cannot Out Drink a Poor Diet Remember with weight loss we still need to look at the whole picture. All the green tea and herbal tea in the world is not going to make up for the MacDonald’s…you still need loads of good nutrient rich foods in your day as well. The Busy Effect Often cravings hit when we are not hungry but more so are feeling tired, grumpy, sad or stressed. Having a drink – especially of something like herbal tea (I particularly love Red Seal tea) which has no calories, sugar or artificial sweenters – creates what I call the ‘busy effect’. This buys you some time to check in and see if in fact you are feeling any of the above rather than hunger (or ‘cravings’). In addition the fluid will fill you helping your feeling of satiety. As mums in particular often what we really need is an excuse to put our feet up and breathe for 5 mins. A herbal tea can be the perfect solution here! Sustainable Habit What ever tea-drinking regime you embark on – you need to make sure you actually enjoy it!! Or else it is just not going to work…this applies even more so if you are doing it to try and lose weight! I will be honest I don’t really like camomile tea or peppermint tea. Although both are great I do not like the taste of them therefore I am not going to force myself to drink them! I love fruity herbal teas and have a massive selection in my cupboard and they do the trick just fine. What’s more my kids love them too. More Weight Loss Secrets... For more tips, including my number one secret on how to lose your baby weight make sure you pop you email in up in the box at the top. You will get my free ebook and even better get to join my online community! Happy Tea Drinking, xxx The New Mum's Nutritionist