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Can drinking tea help you lose weight?

January 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Second to water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. Along with taste, there's another reason to drink it: Weight loss."I quit coffee, felt great; then he talked me into trying this diet and lost 20 pounds," said Jason Nash.

With the help of Mark Ukra, who calls himself "Dr. Tea," Jason Nash lost 20 pounds in six weeks on Ukra's "The Ultimate Tea Diet."

"This is tea. It's been around 4,700 years. It can't be a fad," said Mark Ukra.

Ukra says tea has three special properties that help shed pounds.

"It's a result of the caffeine, the L-theanine, nonprotein amino acid and the EGCG," said Ukra.

"The benefits of EGCG are, of course, increased metabolic rate," said nutritionist Christine Bybee.

Nutritionist Christine Bybee helped plan the tea diet -- which includes sensible meals under 450 calories eaten every four hours as needed, infusing tea in foods and -- here's the key -- drinking copious amounts of tea all day long.

"Anywhere from five to 15 to 20 cups," said Bybee.

"The Ultimate Tea Diet" authors tracked people on the diet for 10 weeks and said their study showed impressive losses.

"Eighteen pounds, 14 inches on the average," said Ukra.

"You've got to work out, you've got to eat right, but the big thing for me was just not snacking," said Nash.

While there's certainly nothing wrong with drinking pots and pots of tea all day, there's no real magic to it either. Many dieters will tell you that if you drink something throughout the day, you'll not only feel hydrated, you'll also reduce the cravings.

Bybee says water works, but mentally and physically tea brews up a plethora of benefits to the pot.

"The tea really does speed up the weight loss, it helps reduce anxiety, helps stabilize blood sugar," said Bybee. "It is so much easier to pour a warm cup of vanilla-flavored tea, hold it in your hand. Drink it, it gives you something to do with your hands and becomes more of a ritual."

And with crave-cutting teas like Candy Bar, Apple Pie, "capaTEAnos" and "TEAnacoladas," these low-cal tea drinks appear to be hot substitutes for high-calorie foods.

For more information: www.teagarden.com


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