Lose Belly Fat with Green Tea?

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Lose Belly Fat with Green Tea

There’s been many debates on the magic effects of green tea and weight loss but hardly anybody argues the benefits of drinking some green tea.  However, a February 2009 an abstract study published in The Journal of Nutrition, supports the weight loss concept specific to the subcutaneous abdominal fat area (calorie deficit + exercise) and shows that belly fat may be the first to go!

I always recall Dr. Chis Mohr saying “that one study doesn’t prove anything and an abstract proves even less!”

Researchers took 132 “obese” adults.  They all consumed roughly the same amount of calories and participated in 180 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise.  The participants were randomly assigned to receive a beverage containing ~625 mg of catechins with 39 mg caffeine or a control beverage (39 mg caffeine, no catechins) for 12 weeks.

Hint: Catechins, an antioxidant, is the main component of green tea.

After just 12 weeks, the group drinking the green tea had the most overall loss of body weight, 4.4 pounds compared to the control group with a little bit over 2 pounds!  But before you get too excited…

Percentage changes in fat mass did not differ between the catechin and control groups.

However, percentage changes in total abdominal fat area, subcutaneous abdominal fat area, and fasting serum triglycerides were greater in the catechin group.  That means…

These findings suggest that green tea catechin consumption enhances exercise-induced changes in abdominal fat and serum triglycerides.  But there’s something you should know about the different types of abdominal fat.

Visceral fat is stored deeper in the abdominal cavity and around the internal organs, whereas “regular” fat is stored below the skin (known as subcutaneous fat). Visceral fat is particularly unhealthy because it is a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.

Green tea is healthy, but the fact is, we don’t know how much green tea affects actual weight loss in the long term, and “your personal mileage may vary.” If you choose to use green tea as a potential weight loss aid, it’s important to keep realistic expectations, consume the proper dosage of a standardized green tea extract or the equivalent in drinking tea, and remember that it’s buyer beware when it comes to the claims made and prices charged. - Tom Venuto; CPT

What This Means To You:

With every new study, questions arise as to how it was conducted.  Did researches ensure the participants ate roughtly the same?  Or were they allowed to go home and self-monitor?  Did some workout harder than others?  Did some say they ate the same but really consumed much less or more?

This isn’t the end-all-be-all of green tea studies but research continues to show positive beneifts of green tea consumption linked to longevity, breast cancer, diabetes and weight loss.

But before you run out and buy some at the grocery store, realize that not all green teas are the same.  Not all brands will contain the necessary amounts to reproduce this study.  In fact, many store bought brands only label the product as “It contains green tea.”  They don’t tell you how much, the source or the real golden nugget of how many Catechins are contain per serving.

What You Should Look For When Shopping for Green Tea:

After reading a very obscure Green Tea report by Tom Venuto.. one heck of a hard one to find. He sums it up saying:

“What you should look for is a specific amount of EGCG or a percentage standardized extract (and then you can just do the math). For example, 60% standardized extract of 450 mg total is 270 mg of EGCG, which is the amount that was used in the research. Diet supplement expert Will Brink recommends looking for 60% polyphenols with EGCG amounts listed as the marker compound.”

Most research shows that drinking 4-5 cups a day is enough to get the health benefits and obtain some of the potential weight loss benefits.

But green tea isn’t the ultimate solution when it comes to belly fat.  While it can provide some stimulus and I personally don’t overlook it, Mike Geary lays down the law when it comes to the long term solutions.  So you can go ahead and experiment with Green Tea.  But your milage may vary.

“The ONLY solution to consistently lose your abdominal fat and keep it off for good is to combine a sound nutritious diet full of unprocessed natural foods with a properly designed strategic exercise program that stimulates the necessary hormonal and metabolic response within your body. Both your food intake as well as your training program are important if you are to get this right.” - Mike Geary; CPT

Grab a free and unique Fat Loss Secrets Report at How to Lose Flabby Abdominal Fat

To Your Health,

Marc David
Author of The NoBull Bodybuilding Program

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