Last week, I told you that I'm highly skeptical of any weight loss claims for pills. Most of the products never live up to the hype. As I said then, many of the products do provide health benefits. But losing several pounds per week just by taking a pill doesn't happen — at least not in a healthy way (some diet drugs can force your body to shed the pounds, but it's not good for you).
With that said, there are products on the market that can help you lose weight if you're willing to be patient. They will help you lose a couple of pounds a month, and they do so in a very natural, healthful way. One of the best of these products is green tea. Notice this isn't some special formula you have to buy. It's a simple tea. Because it's a simple tea, you won't see a lot of hype around it. But it works.
What I like about green tea is that it doesn't force your body to drop the weight. It works by enhancing the way your neurotransmitters operate. We know green tea works to protect your brain from dementia. It does so by optimizing your brain's health. When your brain works properly, your body can naturally remain healthy under normal conditions (outside of injuries, toxins, and other environmental issues).
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Green tea helps your brain maintain your levels of norepinephrine. This is a neurotransmitter that helps your body shed pounds. These levels tend to wane as we age. But chemicals in green tea call catechins can reverse this degradation. There are a lot of studies showing how effective green tea is on weight loss. One study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those taking green tea extracts lost 17% more weight than those who didn't use the green tea.
Some researchers have wondered if the weight loss was due to the caffeine in green tea — or the green tea itself. So another group of researchers decided to find out. They divided their participants into three groups. One group took green tea supplements. A second group took caffeine supplements. And the third group took a placebo. The researchers then measured how much energy the body expended during a 24-hour period.
Here's what they found. The group taking the green tea supplements had a significant increase in their energy expenditure compared to the other two groups. That means the weight loss properties of green tea have nothing to do with its caffeine content. In fact, the caffeine group didn't experience any fat-burning energy expenditure.
So if you need to lose weight, there is a safe way to do so without significant changes to your diet or exercising. It's with green tea. It won't take the weight off quickly. But it can work. If you don't like the taste of green tea — or don't want to drink it a lot — you can take green tea extract, like those in the studies. I recommend Green Tea Extract.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.