How does green tea help in weight loss

There are many fads and fake supplements, but green tea isn’t one of them. But how does green tea help in weight loss?

This article will break down how it can be a useful tool in weight loss, along with detailing its other numerous benefits.

What is green tea?

Made from the leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant ,green tea leave, unlike some other popular teas like black tea or oolong tea, are not oxidized which results in it retaining their natural green colour and many of their health benefits.

Like most tea, it’s thought to have originated in China over 5000 years ago (it’s very difficult to say for certain that it did, but everything points to the southwest China/Tibet/Northern India region). Regardless of its exact origins, it was first used for

Green tea plant

medical purposes before then becoming a popular social drink.

Now, its produced globally, including China, Korea, Japan, India, Sri Lanka and Taiwan, being one of the most popular drinks in the world, being enjoyed by people of all ages and cultures

It comes in a number of different forms, such as loose-leaf tea, bagged tea, and matcha powder. It can be brewed hot or cold, and it can be enjoyed plain or with added flavors such as honey, lemon, or milk.

Does it help with weight loss?

With the internet awash with bold claims on how INSERT NEW SUPPLEMENT NAME can aid in weight loss, the first question for us, is Green Tea legit when it comes to losing weight?

Well, in short, yes!

But it’s not a silver bullet for weight loss, no such thing exists unfortunately and it certainly shouldn’t be the only weapon in your armory. Creating a calorie deficit, sleep and exercise are more important parts of the weight loss equation.

That being said a 2020 systematic review of the data does support the use of green tea as part of an overall weight loss plan

“we suggest that the use of green tea can be combined with a balanced and healthy diet and regular physical exercise in the management of obese patients.”

How does it work?

There are a number of mechanisms at play that make green tea useful for weight loss (and is generally great for our overall health!)

  1. Caffeine content– Ok, so the content isn’t as high as say coffee, but being the stimulant that it is, it can temporarily boost metabolism and increase calorie expenditure, resulting in more calories being burnt throughout the day.
  2. Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) – try saying that 3 times fast. Rich in antioxidants, green tea contains a particularly potent one, epigallocatechin gallate, which has been examined for its ability to increase fat oxidation (the breakdown of fat for energy) along with enhancing the body’s ability to burn stored fat, especially while exercising.
  3. Thermogenesis – is the scientific way of saying your body produces heat, and the process can be increased with green tea as this research paper states. Production of said heat unsurprisingly requires energy, thus resulting more calories burned and potentially aiding weight loss
  4. Appetite Suppression – Some people have found that by drinking green tea, that their appetite is suppressed and/or that their cravings for high calorie foods is reduced. Again, this in turn can result in fewer calories being consumed and ultimately weight loss.
  5. Improved Insulin Sensitivity – leads to better blood sugar control which in turn can mean less fat is being stored
  6. Enhanced Fat Oxidation During Exercise – Drinking a cup prior to working out, can potentially enhance your body’s ability to burn fat during exercise – winning.
  7. Stress Reduction – we all want less stress in our lives, and green tea can help in that regard. It contains an amino called L-theanine, which has a calming and stress-reducing effect. For many, when we are stressed we tend to overeat, or choose high calorie comfort foods, so with less stress we are better placed to make healthier food choices.
  8. Antioxidant Properties – Antioxidants help protect cells and support overall health. In turn, when you are feeling healthy and energised you can feel more motivated to exercise and eat a balanced diet.

Downsides of Green Tea

For a complete picture, it’s necessary to be aware of any drawbacks or negative elements that come with taking a supplement but in all likelihood, normal levels of consumption will result in no adverse effects, that being said, there are a few things you should be aware of.

  1. Caffeine – Of course, the downside of any drink that contains caffeine is that too much of it can you give you the jitters, cause an increase of anxiety or prevent sleep, so try not to overdo it. It’s advised that Green tea should not be taken by patients suffering from heart conditions or major cardiovascular problems. Pregnant and breast-feeding women should drink no more than one or two cups per day, because caffeine can cause an increase in heart rhythm
  2. Iron Absorption – Due to a compound within green tea called tannins, your iron absorption rates can be affected, so if you have iron deficiency (or at risk of one) it’s best to avoid drinking green tea an hour either side of eating your meals.
  3. Drug Interactions – Green tea can interact with certain medications, affecting their absorption or effectiveness. If you’re taking prescription medications, consult your healthcare provider to determine if there are any potential interactions with green tea.


  • Green tea is a popular drink that started out as a medicinal drink, before becoming a popular social beverage
  • It is a useful tool in helping weight loss, as it has several mechanisms that are a factor such as;
    • Boosting metabolism
    • Increases fat oxidation
    • Causes thermogenesis
    • Suppresses appetite
    • Reduces stress
    • Helps control blood sugar levels, and cravings
  • Be aware that like any drink that contains caffeine, too much can cause jitteryness, anxiety and prevent sleep.
  • Additionally, Green Tea can affect iron absorption rates so avoid if you have an iron deficiency
  • Those that are on medication should seek medical advice before drinking Green Tea as it can interfere with prescriptions/medicine

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