I don't get a chance to watch TV very much, but the other day I happened to catch a few minutes of the Dr. Oz show. I really liked how he presented healthy options using a "good, better, best" method where he gives you different alternatives based on how effective he thinks they will be.
In this particular case, he was presenting three things to implement into your life to increase fat loss. After discussing the first two options (a small device to measure your activity during the day and a veggie chili recipe to increase daily vegetable consumption), he went on to explain his "best" choice for increased fat loss:
"Drink green tea every day to increase fat loss."
Dr. Oz's claim is based on the fact that green tea contains EGCG, the catechin in tea that has been proven to accelerate metabolism and assist in weight loss.
I do think this is a good recommendation for most people, especially those who are drinking unhealthy, sugar or artificial sweetener laden drinks all day long. But what I wish Dr. Oz would have stressed more is that this is just a small piece of the weight loss puzzle. A strategy like drinking green tea each day needs to be combined with a healthy eating and exercise regimen, not viewed as a "miracle" easy way to approach weight loss.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love tea, which is why I've written about its many benefits before.
I just came across a pretty interesting study conducted by researchers in the University of Tokushima School of Medicine, Japan. They were looking at the difference in fat loss effects of green tea vs. oolong tea (also known as Wu Long). They found that oolong tea contains some other compounds other than EGCG and caffeine that promotes weight loss.
Eleven healthy Japanese females, aged around 20 years, drank either water, green tea, or oolong tea.
Using an indirect calorimeter (device that measures calories), the researchers were able to measure the amount of energy they burned for up to two hours after drinking.
They found that green tea burns an extra 50 calories compared to water. Interestingly, oolong tea burns an extra 110 calories.
The oolong tea beverage had half the amounts of EGCG and caffeine in green tea, but twice the amount of polyphenols.
The authors concluded that oolong tea contains something more than EGCG and caffeine to cause such an increase in metabolism. This particular study did not conclude on what the "something else" was, but other research has suggested that it's the difference in the fermentation process that may cause the accelerated fat burning effects.
I continue to drink tea daily and make my own healthy combination of great, oolong (Wu Long) and black tea. I boil 2 bags of each in a large soup pot filled with water, add a touch of stevia, and then let it cool for a refreshing "iced tea" drink during the summer months. I also enjoy a hot cup of Wu Long tea early in the morning while I get ready for my day.