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Green Tea Weight Loss: Fact or Fiction?

Whitney | August 29th, 2012

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With many fad diets on the market today, it is easy for a weight loss plan as simple as simple as the green tea diet to get lost in the shuffle. This program doesn’t recommend any specific menu or daily exercise program. It doesn’t ask you to count calories or sweat the weight off. All you have to do is drink a cup of green tea with each meal. For those that don’t like the taste of tea, supplements containing green tea extract are also available. Though many tout green tea as an effective weight loss tool, does it really pack the weight loss punch it promises?

Green Tea Weight Loss

Green tea has long been recognized for its myriad health benefits. Most teas, including black, white and oolong, are made from fermented tea leaves. However, the leaves for green tea are steamed rather than fermented, which results in a higher concentration of polyphenols – substances that promise health benefits ranging from lowering cholesterol to preventing cancer. Some polyphenols, such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), have also been linked to rapid weight loss.

With a larger-than-average boost of EGCG and moderate levels of caffeine, green tea is thought to boost metabolic levels so the body can burn calories more efficiently. By drinking a cup of green tea with each meal, proponents of the plan claim you can rev up your metabolism enough to enjoy significant, fast weight loss.

On the surface, the green tea weight loss plan seems much easier than a detox diet that provides little sustenance. For instance, it is demonstrably safer than the HCG diet plan, which requires participants to follow a near-starvation eating regimen (the FDA has called HCG diet side effects “hazardous”) while taking daily HCG supplements. However, the jury appears to still be out on just how much weight loss green tea dieters can expect to see.

As with HCG diet plan, green tea lacks scientific evidence

According to WebMD, many of the benefits of green tea to this point have only been verified in a laboratory. While those studies have shown significant promise, few human studies have been conducted regarding the benefits of the beverage. Those that have been done have primarily taken place in Eastern countries, where other lifestyle differences, including dietary staples, are also variables on the health and longevity scale.

The bottom line is that no one is really sure just how much weight loss can be achieved by simply adding green tea to the daily diet.

There are also some concerns with green tea diets. Because green tea contains caffeine, some users may experience unpleasant side effects like jitters and difficulty sleeping. Green tea may also interact with some medications, so it is important for individuals to consult a doctor before taking this supplement.

Best weight loss program is physician-directed

While green tea diets, fad detox regimens, and diets using HCG for weight loss remain generally unproven, the most reliable weight loss option may be a physician-directed program that combines a number of healthy lifestyle components for fast results. The Center for Medical Weight Loss, with over 450 centers across the country, has helped thousands lose weight quickly and successfully through such a program. Their specially trained staff of board-certified doctors help clients develop customized weight loss programs that incorporate diet, exercise, personal counseling and motivational techniques.

The American Journal of Medicine reported on a study that showed average weight loss for patients at The Center For Medical Weight Loss was 11.1% of total body weight in 12 weeks (that’s an average loss of 28 pounds for patients who weigh 250 pounds at the start of the program). Even more exceptional, as compared to most other medical weight loss programs, is that nearly 100% of patients maintained weight loss one year later.

To see if there is a center in your area, enter your zip code in the box at the right. Special introductory offers are often available at some locations for initial patient evaluations.