Editor’s Note: We at SheFinds pride ourselves on providing readers with useful, well-researched tips and tricks to help them save time in their busy lives. To do this, we consult with medical and health experts to ensure that the information we’re delivering is factual and accurate. The products featured in our articles have been selected based on their relevance, positive reviews, and effectiveness.
Did you ever have one of those mornings when you hate all your clothes and nothing fits right and you want to climb back into bed? We do and we always blame the belly. “Abdominal fat is metabolically active tissue that unleashes harmful inflammatory molecules associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” says Dr. Lisa Davis, chief nutrition officer at Terra’s Kitchen. Internal inflammation is directly linked to insulin resistance and weight gain. But starting the day with an anti-inflammatory hot drink can offload the inflammation that leads to abdominal fat.
A clinical study of more than 100 women with excess belly fat who drank green tea for 12 weeks had significant reductions in waist circumference and their BMI without any adverse effects. Yes, drinking green tea may be able to help nudge your metabolism, which in turn can help you shed pounds. The secret is a compound in the tea called catechins. “Green tea is naturally high in catechins which inhibit body fat from accumulating,” says nutritionist Violet Santana of My Wellness Solutions. “The tea also contains caffeine that works with the catechins to further increase the fat burn.” We like Revolution Organic Green Tea ($7).
Green tea comes from the same source as black tea – the common type people drink with milk and sugar – but green tea is not as processed as black tea. Less processing is why green tea contains more catechins. Experts also believe the tea has a positive effect on hormones related to fat metabolism including ghrelin and adiponectin. Ghrelin is the hormone responsible for increasing appetite. Adiponectin is involved in regulating glucose levels and breaking down fatty acids in the body.
So why do you need to have hot green tea in the a.m.? “It appears green tea should be consumed during the light phase – the morning - of our 24 hour circadian rhythm because that timeframe greatly impacts fat metabolism,” says Dr. Jennifer Stagg, naturopathic physician. Another study suggests that green tea, or a green tea supplement, might help increase the loss of belly fat when combined with consistent exercise and mindful eating. “Green tea contains the compound EGCG, which shines as an anti-inflammatory superstar thanks to its proven effects on a wide ranging spectrum of conditions and diseases,” says Rachel Swanson, a RDN at Lifespan Medicine. The same benefits can be found in supplements like Gaia Herbs Green Tea Vegetarian Liquid Phyto-Caps ($18).
There are so many varieties of green tea that you’re sure to find a flavor to enjoy. Have a cup each morning and think about replacing high calorie sodas, sugar-laden sports drinks and fruit juices with green tea. On days we feel like indulging we brew up the ultimate cup with Buddha Teas Green Tea Matcha ($25). And be careful how you prepare it. “Do not use boiling water to steep the tea,” says Dr. Venus Ramos, MD. “Boiling water can destroy the positive effects of the catechins.” She suggests bringing the water to a boil and then letting it cool for about 10 minutes. “Once cool, pour the water over the tea and brew for about 3 minutes before serving,” she says. You can also supercharge it with lemon or other citrus juice - the acid helps the catechins survive longer in your digestive tract.
[Photos: Shutterstock, The Vitamin Shoppe and eVitamins]
SheFinds receives commissions for purchases made through the links in this post.