Slimming teas claim to help the drinker lose weight more quickly when they’re consumed regularly. Some tea products are actually advertised and sold as slimming teas.
Different types of slimming teas work in different ways, which include:
- boosting metabolism
- acting as a diuretic or laxative
- suppressing appetite
When purchasing slimming tea, make sure you know exactly what the supposed effects are before you use it.
Slimming tea and weight loss
Herbal teas that act as laxatives or diuretics aren’t effective long-term weight loss strategies. You may initially lose weight from waste or water weight, but this doesn’t actually help you burn fat or aid in slimming down.
Caffeinated weight loss teas — including those with bases of white, black, or green tea — may actually be effective when consumed on a daily basis, however.
One study in mice found that exercise and green tea consumption together were more effective than either when used alone. Another study from 2005 found that caffeinated green tea intake improved weight loss and aided in weight maintenance for those who were overweight and moderately obese, especially for those who didn’t take in much caffeine previously.
Green tea isn’t the only type of caffeinated tea proven to help with weight loss and weight management. White tea was found in this 2009 in vitro study to help inhibit the storage of fat and stimulate fat burning in human cells.
How does it work?
Slimming tea — and other natural teas like green, white, and black tea — contain several different active ingredients that can help speed up the weight loss process. These teas contain polyphenols, for example, which aid the fat-burning process and stimulate weight loss.
Slimming teas that have a base or are entirely made of green tea may be effective short-term weight loss aids. This is due to their ability to boost metabolism, partially thanks to their high caffeine content.
Herbal teas may work as laxatives or diuretics. Teas containing dandelion and aloe, for example, both have laxative and diuretic properties. While you may lose weight drinking these teas, it’s only a faster elimination of waste from the body, instead of fat loss. These are sometimes sold under the term “detox” teas.
Teas that suppress appetite will prevent you from overeating, making it easier to consume less calories. This will help you lose weight as well. Green tea can help suppress your appetite because it jumpstarts norepinephrine and dopamine, two hormones which activate the sympathetic nervous system, reducing appetite.
Do’s and don’ts
When drinking tea for weight loss, you do want to:
- Talk to your doctor before you start. Your doctor may flag certain health risks of different teas with your personal medical history and medications. They may also have different recommendations instead.
- Drink it regularly. Read the package for information for slimming teas. If you’re drinking green tea, drink at least three full cups a day.
- Drink a cup of tea in the morning. This can help jumpstart your metabolism and suppress appetite when you need it most.
And when it comes to the don’ts, you should avoid:
- Drinking only the slimming tea. Make sure you still drink plenty of water, and eat a well-balanced diet. Just drinking teas — especially detox teas — can have harmful effects on your body, even if it’s just an overload of caffeine.
- Only using tea to jumpstart weight loss. You should also include a well-balanced diet and exercise into your weight loss plan, or you won’t see many results.
- Skipping the ingredients label. Always do your research before you take any kind of weight loss supplement, even if it seems safe, like tea. Read all of the ingredients, and look up the product online if possible to ensure that it’s safe.
Side effects and risks
Some slimming teas may have dangerous consequences if not used carefully. Teas that act as diuretics or laxatives, for example, can result in dehydration.
It’s important to note that while a fair chunk of herbal teas work partially as a diuretic or laxative, not all of them will state this clearly on their packaging. This makes slimming tea slightly riskier to take.
You should always contact your doctor before taking any weight loss supplements, including slimming teas.
Any type of tea may contain ingredients that interact with prescription medications. Green tea or white tea, for example, may have a number of drug interactions with medications like:
Tips for weight loss
Slimming tea of any type will be most effective when you combine it with other safe weight loss methods.
When trying to lose weight, make sure you’re doing it in a healthy way. You should never have long periods of fasting, as losing weight too quickly can be extremely dangerous and cause strain to your heart and other vital organs.
You should also avoid taking any supplements without doing plenty of research and talking to your doctor first. Eat regularly, or your body will go into starvation mode and slow down metabolism, making weight loss even harder.
Exercising regularly, limiting alcohol intake, and eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables and lean protein will help you lose weight more quickly. You should also do both cardio and strength training exercises. Cardio can help burn fat quickly, while strength training helps build the muscles that will burn more calories long term.
There’s no need to purchase slimming teas that may contain other harmful or useless ingredients. Green tea can simultaneously boost metabolism and suppress appetite, both of which can help you with weight loss goals without causing dehydration.