As we approach the start of 2009, millions of Americans are beginning to focus on their list of New Year's Resolutions. If previous years are any indication, the resolution to "lose weight" will be at the top of many of those lists.
There's no question that obesity is a serious problem in the U.S. Nearly one out of every three men and women in this country meet the criteria for obesity -- defined as an excess of total body fat, resulting from caloric intake exceeding energy usage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 97 million adults in this country are either overweight or obese. Shockingly, this figure is equivalent to more than 50 percent of the entire U.S. population. The dangerous consequences of obesity include cardiovascular disease and a greatly increased risk of developing diabetes. According to Business Week, the desire to address this problem leads Americans to spend $40 billion a year on weight-loss programs and products - often only for temporary results, regaining that lost weight weeks or months later.
My intention in this article is to introduce you to a simple change you can make in your daily routine, one that has been scientifically proven to help you lose weight and keep it off. It's not exactly a "secret," because this ritual has been a part of daily life in Asia for centuries. Quite simply, I'm suggesting that adding green tea to your daily diet can help you burn fat and enable you to keep excess weight off once and for all.
As you're about to see, numerous scientific studies have concluded that green tea can play an extremely valuable and effective role in the process of losing weight. As noted below, many of those studies have found that the way to get the maximum benefit from green tea is by not just drinking a few cups of green tea each day, but by adding a green tea extract to your daily routine. Even Oprah was excited to hear this news, and she declared that she was eager to start drinking green tea and eliminate coffee. When you see what these studies have found, I believe that you'll be excited too!
For centuries, Asian cultures have recognized the benefits of green tea and accepted this as common knowledge. For example, studies conducted in Japan have found that the women who teach or practice the traditional tea ceremony in that country - and thus drink large quantities of green tea - are healthier and live longer than those engaged in any other profession. Other studies in Asia and here in the US have also concluded that green tea offers great benefits in terms of reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. The focus of this article, however, is specifically on weight loss.
One study of more than 1200 adults conducted at the National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Taiwan found that habitual tea drinkers showed a 19.6% reduction in their percentage of body fat as well as a reduction in their waist-to-hip ratio, compared with those participating in the study who did not drink tea regularly.
For those of us without medical degrees, let's find out exactly how these great benefits are achieved - and why green tea, in particular, is so helpful for those seeking to lose weight. We'll also learn why green tea extract is such a valuable addition to any weight loss plan.
Just as exercise is so essential when it comes to losing weight, a person's metabolic rate - the biological process through which energy is made available - directly affects fat oxidation. To understand exactly how green tea can help us lose weight, it's necessary to introduce a couple of scientific terms. The leaves from which green tea is brewed contain what are known as "catechin polyphenols," which have an effect on the process of "thermogenesis." These catechin polyphenols have a high level of antioxidant properties, which we've all certainly learned are important when it comes to our health.
Scientists use the term "thermogenesis" to describe the rate at which calories are being burned. Regardless of all the complicated words used to describe the process, this is the goal everyone with a desire to lose weight is seeking. A study conducted at the University of Geneva in Switzerland concluded that green tea does in fact raise a person's metabolic rate - this process of "thermogenesis" -- with the result that the rate of fat oxidation is increased.
Other studies have found that the most prominent catechin found in green tea - EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate, an antioxidant that has also been found to have beneficial effects in the treatment of brain tumor cells) - has a number of positive effects on the process of weight loss. One recent study found that EGCG reduces the proliferation of fat cells in the human body, decreases body and fat mass, and inhibits fat absorption. Those seeking to add the maximum level of EGCG to their daily diet can find a very high level of this catechin in Chi Tea Ultimate Green Tea Extract.
Another recent study found signs that EGCG plays an important role in promoting the process of thermogenesis and healthy weight control. The scientists conducting this study concluded that EGCG has a direct effect on norepinephrine, a hormone created by the body which increases the metabolic rate which in turn has an effect on burning fat.
Studies have also found specific benefits to green tea extract, with respect to weight loss. One obvious benefit of green tea extract, of course, is that adding this supplement to one cup of brewed tea or simply to a glass of water is equivalent to drinking 10-15 cups of green tea, the amount many people in Asia drink every day. For most of us, drinking 20-30 cups of green tea every day is simply not very practical, but we still want to obtain the benefits of that amount of green tea.
One study reported in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that green tea extract inhibits the body's fat-digesting enzymes, which means that fatty foods are less likely to be broken down and absorbed by the body. Another study in the same publication concluded that the EGCG found in green tea has effect on the body which results in calories being burned at a very high rate.
Earlier in this article, it was noted that a study conducted in Taiwan found that "habitual tea drinkers" experienced certain health benefits including an enhanced ability to lose weight. According to WebMD, after only three months, participants in a study conducted recently in Japan experienced significant health benefits by adding green tea extract to their daily routine. During the three month study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the participants who drank a bottle of tea fortified with green tea extract every day lost more body fat than the participants who simply drank a bottle of tea without adding the green tea extract. The researchers concluded that the catechins in the green tea extract stimulated the body to burn calories and decrease body fat. The participants in this three-month study who drank the tea fortified with green tea extract lost an average of 5.3 pounds. The other participants, who did not add green tea extract to their diet, only lost an average of 2.9 pounds. Those who made green tea extract a part of their daily routine also experienced a significantly greater decrease in their Body Mass Index, their waist size, and their total body fat. In addition, the LDL "bad" cholesterol of these participants decreased as well. The scientists conducting this study concluded that the catechins in green tea also had a beneficial effect in reducing body fat. One of the researchers wrote, "These results suggest that catechins contribute to the prevention of and improvement in various lifestyle-related diseases, particular obesity."
Another study, published in the journal Phytomedicine, reported on the findings of another three-month study. Participants in this study also added green tea extract to their daily routine, and at the end of the three-month period, participants demonstrated a 4.6% decrease in body weight and a 4.5% decrease in waist circumference.
One more study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, echoed these findings - noting that green tea extract significantly increased energy expenditure (a measure of metabolism) and also increased the process of fat burning.
Those individuals who might be discouraged because of longstanding weight issues may be encouraged by the findings of a study reported in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. This study found that green tea extract demonstrated benefits in reversing long established obesity. To experience the full benefit of a green tea extract, purity is obviously essential - and Chi Tea Ultimate Green Tea Extract is unsurpassed with respect to purity.
Those considering adding a commitment to "lose weight" to their list of New Year's Resolutions can be encouraged by the conclusions of these numerous scientific studies. The men and women who have successfully lost weight by adding a green tea extract to their daily routine have shown that it really is possible to achieve desired results - and also enjoy the many other health benefits credited to green tea.