Diet myths: Can herbal teas really help you lose weight?

June 9, 2014 - Nutrition

herbal tea 495737661In the latest in our diet-myth busting blog series, we find out if drinking herbal teas can really contribute to weight loss.

There are a number of ads out there advertising herbal teas as an ideal slimming solution. But the truth is, there’s no evidence to support the claims that drinking particular types of tea can speed up your metabolism or help you to lose any appreciable amounts of weight.

As Dr Kelly Johnston, LighterLife’s Head of Nutrition and Research explains: ‘The idea that drinking herbal tea can somehow significantly enhance weight loss or speed up your metabolism to any major degree is not founded from any properly designed, randomized controlled trial scientific studies.

‘It is true, that some metabolic effects of varying different kinds of tea have been observed in humans, but how this translates in longer-term healthy is not known. In addition, a lot of the data which is referenced in these circumstances shows very small effects in humans or is derived from cell-culture systems using doses we would find impossible and unpleasant to consume.

‘Thus the ‘fat-burning’ effects of these are very much overstated and the evidence simply isn’t there. By not eating that extra biscuit, or by eating an ever so slightly smaller portion of breakfast cereal you will reduce your calorie intake by the same amount as these teas are reported to burn.’

‘If you tend to drink a lot of calorie-laden drinks, then swapping them for tea (without added sugar) means that you may consume considerably fewer calories per day, which in itself could result in a small amount of weight loss. But this is more of an issue of energy balance rather than from any “magical” effects of tea. If you replace those same calorie-laden drinks with water, you may also lose weight too.’

If you’re thinking of losing weight, then ditch the tea diet and consider joining LighterLife instead. LighterLife has a range of weight loss plans available and offers weekly group support to help keep you on track. Find out more here.