Green Tea Diet: Weight Loss Miracle?
The green tea diet -- purported to help dieters lose 10 pounds in 6 weeks -- was developed by the very respected doctor and medical researcher Dr. Nicholas Perricone, author of several books, including the Perricone Prescription that describes the medical research behind the impressive fat burning properties of green tea and green tea extract.
Dr. Perricone believes that replacing coffee with green tea could help a dieter lose as much as 10 pounds in 6 weeks. How is it possible to lose weight with green tea alone? According to Dr. Perricone (and numerous medical research studies), green tea and green tea extract contain phytonutrients that perform at least 3 functions in the body that encourage weight loss.
- Green tea regulates insulin and glucose levels. Rapid spikes of insulin tell the body to store fat. As Dr. Perricone puts it, "elevated insulin puts a lock on body fat." Coffee, on the other hand, contains an ingredient that raises blood sugar levels, which in turn, produces elevated levels of insulin. Green tea moderates blood sugar itself, precluding the production of excess insulin. "If you do nothing else but substitute coffee with green tea, your insulin levels will drop and you will lose weight," says Dr. Perricone.
- Green tea boosts metabolism. A clinical nutrition study has documented that green tea can increase metabolism rates by 4% in a 24 hour period. A phytonutrient in green tea elevates thermogenic activity in the body (which is the the rate at which your body burns calories). This phytonutrient also raises levels of oxidation of body fat (burning of fat cells).
- Green tea reduces appetite. Weight loss of 21% of body weight was observed in laboratory rats in a University of Chicago study. The researchers reported that the fat loss was due to considerable loss of appetite and diminished calorie consumption. While Dr. Perricone has not cited appetite suppression as a benefit of green tea, a small handful of other studies have also asserted this theory.
Green Tea Diet: Weight Loss Aid
Green tea and green tea extract (the extract, by the way, is simply a concentrated form of the effective ingredients in green tea) offer numerous other health benefits, which may not directly promote weight loss, but which are excellent disease fighters. Green tea has been found to trim cholesterol levels, lower hypertension, prevent a variety of cancers and preclude or repair liver impairment.
The green tea diet has made a big splash on the dieting scene. Dr. Perricone let loose another fad diet waiting to happen. The internet has seen a rapid rise in green tea weight loss products, similar in intensiveness to the acai berry diet phenomenon. Fad diets should be considered with circumspection, especially when high-priced products touting quick results are being tendered. Fad diets can be hazardous to the consumer not only by their high cost and inspirational promises, but also by being harsh on the body. Rapid weight loss programs and crash diets are generally unstainable (the weight loss will eventually come back) and can put the body into nutritional imbalances that can do the dieter far more harm than good.
Green tea is not a weight loss miracle as the green tea weight loss industry would have you believe. Still, this in no way diminishes the fact that green tea can be a fantastic addition to your weight loss diet plan. Dr. Perricone's advice to substitute coffee with green tea is a good piece of wellness wisdom. His assertion, however, that a green tea diet by itself can effect dramatic weight loss is, unfortunately, a disservice to the millions of dieters who are waiting for a magic bullet.
Bottom line: Yes, go get some green tea or green tea extract. Look for low cost bagged tea products or bottled green tea extract tincture. Drink or drop your green tea every day. It has relatively low levels of caffeine, so it is safe to drink (diluted) throughout the day. If you are looking to lose weight, don't fall for the idea that the green tea will do it for you. Real, lasting and safe weight loss only results from dietary changes and regular exercises.