Obesity is a public health concern with social and economic implications. And this is pushing people to seek slimming diets like teas to improve their health. Weight loss teas have been around for centuries, and it wasn't until recently that they became trendy. So, what makes them so special?
Weight loss teas are said to stimulate digestion, aid metabolism, and help detoxify the body. There are various teas that exist - black, green, oolong, white, etc. And they all have a natural wellness-promoting substance called flavonoids.
Many individuals have found success and have achieved weight loss goals by incorporating teas into their diet. But, are the teas really that effective, or are they a “false prophet”?
The Effectiveness of Slimming Teas
The appeal of slimming tea is quite catchy: drink me and get your dream body!
Beyond the motivational posts and celebrity endorsements, the real question is: Does the hype add up? Can tea alone make you lose weight?
Although there’s a lack of evidence to support the claims that slimming tea affects weight loss, some contain ingredients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids that can make you feel less hungry and help with digestion.
So, the answer is that slimming teas may help in weight loss, but they can’t help you in the way it claims or you desire.
Let’s take a deeper dive.
Health Concerns of Slimming Tea
All varieties of tea belong to a single species, Camellia sinensis. And this evergreen shrub is known for its high content of catechins, which is a type of flavanol.
To achieve different colors and benefits, the plant is processed differently to attain particular oxidation levels.
So, while this plant, on its own, may have health benefits, slimming teas typically contain caffeine, diuretics, and/or laxatives to achieve a weight-loss effect.
These substances may have short-term effects on weight, but they are not scientifically proven to aid weight loss on their own without actual lifestyle modifications.
Let’s take a look at how caffeine, diuretics and laxatives work
Many weight loss teas contain a laxative called senna. Laxatives are designed to solve specific problems. So, long-term use of laxatives can become dangerous. It can also cause cramps, pain, diarrhea, and in some cases, severe electrolyte imbalance may occur.
The body may also become dependent on laxatives, causing more complications when you stop taking them.
Caffeine is known to help boost metabolic rate and increase fat burn. However, large doses are needed to achieve this significantly.
And some side effects of constant use of caffeine in large doses include; poor sleep, more sugar cravings, anxiety, etc.
Diuretics stimulate our bodies to remove increased water and sodium. This is typically useful when the body is accumulating excess fluid. And losing water weight is often seen as weight loss, which is true to an extent. However, they become less relevant in the long run and may result in severe dehydration.
While there are some teas that may contain other herbs to aid appetite suppression, detoxification, or fat blocking, the health effects of taking these without medical supervision are more than the benefits.
A few reasons why you should be careful:
- The National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) does not regulate slimming teas. This means they don't have to meet specific standards or undergo testing before being sold. As such, they can contain toxic ingredients that could harm your health.
- People who consume too much caffeine may have adverse reactions like heart palpitations and anxiety attacks. They may interfere with your sleep, making you jittery and nervous.
- Slimming teas may contain toxic substances like heavy metals (e.g., lead) that can cause liver damage or kidney failure if consumed in large amounts over time.
- The ingredients in slimming teas may interact with certain medications or supplements you take for other conditions.
- There's no proof that it works. No scientific studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of slimming teas in reducing weight or body fat.
A Final Note on Tea
Some teas may boost your immune system and even reduce the chances of cancer and heart disease.
While some may provide more health advantages than others, tea can help improve wellness.
A few cups a day might even propel you towards a healthier weight but don’t expect miracles in a teacup or tea bottle (as the case may be).