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Green Tea Weight Loss – Seriously?

Posted Nov 11 2009 10:01pm

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I’m going to come clean: I don’t really have weight issues.

I mean, yeah, I’ve gained weight since I hit forty, had my third child and began perimenopause boot camp.

But when you’re a former 5′10″, 133 lbs-at-top weight- skinny-minnie; and you worked incredibly hard to weigh that much, well, 159 lbs is not exactly over weight.

My only real complaint now, is that, unlike my pre-perimenopausal years, I actually will gain weight if I eat the way I would like to eat.  Evidenced by the fact that I have a range of pant sizes in my closet from 12’s to 16’s.  Currently, I sport the 12’s. But this changes from week to week.  I save the 16’s for the holidays.

Cognizant of this fact, I’m much more selective in my food choices and certainly in the amount of food that I eat.  Because, though I don’t technically have a weight problem -  it wouldn’t take much for it to happen.

The down side of this “problem” as it were, is that I tend not to put exercise high on my list of priorities.  Yeah, it’s true.  As much as I carp on this blog about the importance of exercise, I don’t put my money where my mouth is. (But, hey, chocolate?)

Sometimes I’m really good at keeping up with regular walking.  Once, I actually went to the YMCA for a summer and swam laps.  But, mostly I grow weary of such undertakings and look for something far more interesting to do. Like eat.

So imagine my delight when I heard on Oprah once (guilty as charged – I watch the big O) that if you replace your morning coffee with a cup of green tea you could actually lose weight.  It’s true.  Or at least, Dr. Perricone says it’s true.

But, here’s the rub:  have you actually tried green tea?  Well, I have and it’s not exactly high on my list of great flavorings that I would want to fill my mouth with.  But, that aside, it is a compelling claim and given the fact that I’m not too fond of excessive physical exertion, I thought, “why not investigate?”

In my research for this article, I ran across a few words that many of us have likely heard of, but may not know what they mean. They would be: antioxidant, polyphenols and EGCG (okay, maybe we haven’t heard of this one)

But, rather than bust my brain cells and maybe yours too with a highly technical and let’s face it, oh so boring explanation as to what these terms are and how they can help you lost weight, I’m going to let Green Tea for Weight explain it to you in this exerpt from a great article they have posted on their website:

Green Tea Stimulates the Metabolism & Accelerates Weight Loss

Green tea contains powerful antioxidants called catechin polyphenols that are responsible for many of the health benefits of green tea. One of them in particular, epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG for short), has been found to stimulate the metabolism and accelerate weight loss.

EGCG, along with the caffeine in green tea, stimulates the central nervous system and causes fat to be released into the blood stream for the body to use as fuel. This process of fat being used for energy is called “thermogenesis”. It provides extra energy, sheds excess water, and also helps to burn body fat.

Although caffeine alone can stimulate the metabolism this way, it’s important to note that researchers found that the combined ingredients of green tea were much more effective at this process than just caffeine by itself.

I would also like to add to this that some researchers (probably those green tea drinkers) suggest that coffee consumption can lead to weight gain.  No, it’s not from those fancy coffee creamers you may add to your morning joe.

It’s because caffiene actually causes your blood glucose levels to rise, which, in case you didn’t know – makes you want to eat.  Hence, more eating can lead to weight gain. (and more naps and well, that means less exercise and………you get the picture)

So, the conclusion is, apparently, that if you switch to green tea, it will kick start your metabolism and will help you burn a few more calories as opposed to coffee with heavy creamers which will just make you want to eat more and sleep more.  Choices.  Choices.

But wait.  There’s more.  Green Tea for also says this about the health benefits of green tea:

Green Tea Helps You Exercise Longer

Everyone knows how important exercise is to losing weight. It burns calories, increases your energy, and builds muscle which in turn boosts your metabolism even higher. The catechin polyphenols in green tea appear to stimulate the use of fatty acids by liver and muscle cells. This subsequently reduces the rate that carbohydrates are used and allows for more endurance and longer exercise times. In fact, a study using green tea extract on lab rats increased the amount of time the animals could swim before becoming exhausted by as much as 24%.

More endurance means more exercise, which means more calories burned, and it all adds up to more pounds lost for you.

So, I don’t know ladies.  I think I’m just going to make like Bill O’Reilly and Foxnews and say:  “I report, you decide”  Personally I don’t think I’m going to be giving up my mild blend of Starbucks morning coffee ladened with Pumpkin Pie Spice coffee creamer anytime soon.  It is autumn, afterall.

Besides, all that green tea did to those poor lab rats was make them swim 24%  longer before they became exhausted.  Excuse me? Hell-o00?  I’ll take my exhaustion up front, thank you very much.  I’ve got things to do.  Like eat.  And nap.

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