Need to lose a kilo or two fast? Well, there are plenty of diet tips, exercise programs, and of course we also have the ever popular quick-acting weight loss solution: tea. But of course we’re not talking about your average cup of black tea… See, there are plenty of more exotic blends that can really help you slim down. There’s oolong tea, for example, that reportedly boosts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories; porangaba tea that suppresses your appetite; Feiyan tea that reduces cholesterol; and so on.

Do you hear a ‘but’ coming? Of course, you do. And it goes something like this: But there is little actual evidence that tea—especially herbal teas—can help you instantly lose weight. Problem number one is that there is little scientific evidence linking increased tea consumption with weight loss. The majority of studies that do support this notion are carried out in test tubes or mice. Studies on actual human populations, on the other hand, reveal that tea is only a minor factor.

For example, Okinawan tea is often promoted for its weight loss benefits, based on how people in Okinawa—who regularly drink the brew—are renowned for their longevity and good health. A more in-depth look at their lifestyle, however, has shown that their high life expectancy and slim figures are the result of regular physical activity well into old age; a healthy diet consisting primarily of fish, vegetables, and soy; and low stress levels. When junk food started seeping into the island, obesity still became a problem.

So, is there any good to be had from green tea, herbal teas, and other supposedly slimming beverages? Well, for one thing, switching to these all-natural, low-calorie drinks is of course better than sticking with the usual sugary black teas with plenty of milk. Just remember that tea is something that can HELP you lose weight; the part where you regulate what you eat and how you exercise can’t just be skipped…

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