You can't walk into an American pharmacy or discount store without seeing whole shelves full of green tea supplements for fast weight loss. Mega-T Green Tea. Green tea "fat burner." Liquid green tea, fruit-powder and green tea, even liquid green tea, all advertised as natural weight loss supplements or safe weight loss pills. There are just three things you need to know.
1. Green tea doesn't assist faster weight loss without the caffeine.
It's not that a de-caf or low-caf green tea doesn't work at all. Researchers in Holland have found that, calorie consumption and exercise held equal (and that required some sophisticated clinical research), dieters who take a green tea supplement with greatly reduced caffeine content still lost more weight, lost a greater percentage of body fat, and wound up with thinner waistlines. Caffeine just makes it easier.
That's because up to about 375 mg of caffeine a day in the mix also suppresses the hunger hormone leptin. This is the appetite-regulating hormone that gets really out of balance when you consume any kind of product made with high-fructose corn syrup. If you are tempted by Twinkies, candy bars, and other packaged sweets and baked goods, it's the caffeine added to the green tea that makes a difference.
2. When it comes to caffeine and green tea in weight reduction, more is not necessarily better.
Drinking more than one or two cups of coffee a day, or more than one or two caffeinated soft drinks a day, will cancel out the benefits of caffeine in green tea. This leads to the third caveat about green tea:
3. Take a supplement. Don't brew green tea to support your success on a diet.
At least don't brew green tea with the expectation it will do the same thing as a supplement. Basically you need the green tea polyphenols (some of the antioxidants found in green tea) from the equivalent of about 40 cups of Matcha green tea a day with the caffeine from one. You can't accomplish this, unless you spend your entire life drinking decaf green tea plus two minutes a day drinking one cup of regular green tea. Supplements work better.
And there is one other thing you need to know about green tea supplements. They are more helpful for keeping weight off than they are for taking it off. Still, they can make a difference equivalent to about 1-2 pounds a month, and that helps.