“Indulge in goodies like chocolate cake, apple pies, and cinnamon rolls, then, wash them all down with tea, and you’ll keep from putting on those pounds.” Yeah, right!
I have to chuckle at all of the fantastical claims being made about tea these days. Many of these are just statements on a Website with no links to actual studies conducted in a scientific manner (my online search popped up 7,540,000 results, and no, I didn’t look at them all). There are lots of sites and companies that will gladly accept your money in exchange for their miracle diet tea (usually green and wu-long/oolong, but some aren’t even teas).
The main way that tea is supposed to help with keeping our weight down is by increasing our metabolism. Doug Balentine, director of nutrition sciences for a major tea company, doesn’t agree. While he acknowledges studies in Asia and the U.S. that show tea can modify fat oxidation and reduce abdominal fat, he states that any effect on your metabolism is basically due to the caffeine and are minimal at best.
As a consumer, what should you do? I say, “Try these steps!”
The Practical Approach
- Enjoy the goodies, but in smaller amounts and only once a day or less.
- Instead of snacking on these goodies between meals, have a cup of tea. In fact, some diet counselors recommend that you have at least 3 cups of tea per day (they say it’s to increase antioxidants in your body).
- Eat your goody earlier in the day (I suggest before 5 p.m.) to give your body time to burn it up fully, and then have a light dinner.
- If you want dessert after dinner, have a flavored tea such as Gingerly Peach
- Avoid sugar, honey, and milk in your tea if you tend to drink a lot of it during the day.
- If you need a bit of flavor in your green tea, go for some lemon or even a bit of lime.
- You’ll probably be on the go a lot during your day, so take tea with you in a convenient travel mug. You won’t be tempted to grab a calorie-laden latté tea drink at one of those coffee shops.
- Contrary to what some say, the caffeine level in tea is not sufficient to keep you awake at night, so have a cupful at bedtime. It will relax you. Great for people who eat when they’re nervous (like me).
If these tips don’t work, just blame the dryer for shrinking your pants and avoid the bathroom scale. That’s my plan!
© 2015 A.C. Cargill photos and text