A steaming cup of tea is the perfect drink for soothing a sore throat, warming up on a cold winter’s night, or binge-watching Downton Abbey. But certain teas are also perfect for doing something else—helping you lose extra weight.
Each of these 5 Best Teas for Weight Loss has its own individual, magic properties, from dimming your hunger hormones to upping your calorie burn to—literally—melting the fat that’s stored in your fat cells. Oh, and they can also help reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, too. (Stick to 3-4 cups—or tea bags—of tea per day, and choose brewed varieties over bottled to avoid extra calories and sweeteners.)
Here’s the full list, compliments of my revolutionary new book, The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse, which shows you how to eat and drink—and still shrink!
5. THE METABOLISM BOOSTER
DRINK THIS: Lipton, Yogi
BECAUSE IT: Unlocks your fat cells
Before a workout, turbocharge the fat-blasting effects by sipping a cup of green tea. In a recent 12-week study, participants who combined a daily habit of 4-5 cups of green tea each day with a 25-minute sweat session lost an average of two more pounds than the non tea-drinking exercisers. Thank the compounds in green tea called catechins, flat belly crusaders that blast adipose tissue by triggering the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly), and then speeding up the liver’s capacity for turning that fat into energy.
4. THE POUND-A-WEEK MELTER
DRINK THIS: Bigelow, Stash
BECAUSE IT: Boosts metabolism
Oolong, a Chinese name for “black dragon,” is a light, floral tea that, like green tea, is also packed with catechins, which help to promote weight loss by boosting your body’s ability to metabolise lipids (fat). A study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine found that participants who regularly sipped oolong tea lost six pounds over the course of the six-week time period. That’s a pound a week!
3. THE CRAVINGS CRUSHER
DRINK THIS: Tazo, Teavana
BECAUSE IT: Wards off the munchies
Fill a big teacup with soothing peppermint tea, and sniff yourself skinny! While certain scents can trigger hunger (a trick Cinnabon figured out long ago), others can actually suppress your appetite. One study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine found that people who sniffed peppermint every two hours lost an average of 5 pounds a month. (Although tea is relatively low in caffeine—about 25% of what a cup of coffee delivers—decaffeinated varieties are great to have on hand for a soothing bedtime treat.) Consider also adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your pillow or burning a minty candle to fill the room with slimming smells.
2. THE FAT BLOCKER
DRINK THIS: Twinings, The Republic of Tea, Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime
BECAUSE IT: Prevents new fat cells from forming
White tea is dried naturally, often in sunlight, making it the least processed and richest source of antioxidants among teas (as much as three times as many polyphenols as green tea!). A study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism showed that white tea can simultaneously boost lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and block adipogenesis (the formation of fat cells) due to high levels of ingredients thought to be active on human fat cells.
1. THE HUNGER HALTER
DRINK THIS: Celestial Seasonings, Harney & Sons
BECAUSE IT: Regulates fat-storage hormones
Rooibos tea is made from the leaves of the “red bush” plant, grown exclusively in the small Cederberg region of South Africa, near Cape Town. What makes rooibos tea particularly good for your belly is a unique and powerful flavonoid called Aspalathin. Research shows this compound can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage and are linked to hypertension, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Yup, sometimes the kettle can be as effective as the kettlebell.