Is green tea the magical weight-loss drink?

Is green tea really nature’s miracle for dropping a few (or many) extra pounds?

The other day, an article caught my attention. The title: “Woman sheds 106 pounds by drinking green tea.” We often hear that drinking green tea has tremendous health benefits. Anyone who’s been in the supplement aisle of a local grocery has seen “weight-loss” pills claiming to use green tea extract as the key ingredient. But do any of these claims hold true? Is green tea really nature’s miracle for dropping a few (or many) extra pounds?

The answer is no, according to Deborah Eck, registered and licensed dietitian and director of Food and Nutrition Services at Norton Brownsboro Hospital.

“While it’s true that green and black teas can very slightly increase your metabolism, it’s such a small amount that there’s not much of an impact on the body,” Eck said. “Simply put, there is no magic food or drink to make you lose weight. It’s all about proper nutrition and exercise.”

Even if it’s not going to revert your metabolism back to your teen years, green tea does offer many other benefits, especially for heart health.

“Drinking one to three 8-ounce cups of green tea a day can help prevent bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure and improve circulation,” Eck said. “Those with known heart conditions can also benefit, but it’s important to check with your doctor first, as there can be interactions with some prescribed medications.”

As far as those weight-loss pills claiming to pack an extra punch of green tea, Eck said don’t waste your money.

“Studies have shown them to be ineffective,” Eck said. “In fact, they could cause problems with people on certain medications.”

But while green tea isn’t a magical pound-shedding drink, Eck said incorporating tea into your diet can have an indirect impact on your waistline.

“Unsweetened tea has less caffeine than unsweetened coffee and is a great way to cut down your sugar intake,” Eck said. “Reducing or eliminating caffeine and sugar consumption can significantly contribute to a healthier lifestyle.”


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