Monday, August 3, 2009

Tea & Life: Weight Management via the Leaf

No, this isn’t another post about how some substance in tea works to raise metabolism and helps you lose weight. It’s also not a post about how healthy tea is, or how drinking a certain number of cups will arrest cancer cells, slow the aging process, and detox the liver. I’m not a scientist, and while tea may or may not do all those things (depending on which reports you read), the manner in which it helps me manage my weight is much, much simpler than any of that.

The fact is, I like tea. I like the taste. I like the variety of flavors available. I like it straight – it’s very rare that I’ll put sweetener or milk in my tea. I find it far more palatable than a glass of plain water. Even flavored tea is very low-cal when compared to soda or juice.

That’s the secret. It’s just that simple. Because I enjoy tea so much, it’s easier for me to choose it as a beverage over soda (which is my second choice) or any other calorie-laden beverages. I do choose tea over water much of the time, but it’s okay, since it’s a healthy choice. A fresh pitcher of iced tea with dinner makes it easy to say no to anything else. It’s refreshing and hydrating after working in the yard or exercising.

Not only am I able to avoid sugary drinks, but I also drink more fluid overall. When I drink water, I drink less (and more slowly). I’ll drink more tea just for the flavor, and more quickly, keeping my body better hydrated.

Do you reach for tea rather than other beverages? Why or why not?


  1. Bravo. You're right about all this, of course. Tea isn't a magic pill for weight loss but the plain whole food form of tea offers enough of an abundant variety of flavors to suit any palate and yet at the same time doesn't give extra calories. This is just one more thing about tea to love for me since I'm on a low-calorie diet. --Jason

  2. I haven't drunk soft drinks (sodas) for many many years now, and while I occasionally opt for fruit or vegetable juices I do usually prefer tea or water to other drinks - I do sometimes include a little milk or sweetener in my tea, though, depending on what it is and what I feel like - but tea is just SO much more interesting than most soft drinks!

  3. so several cups of black tea with 2 2 spoons of sugar and a splash of full cream milk - not a good idea?

    doesn't matter really - I love the stuff, I'm not giving it up. I forget to drink water, but I don't think black tea really helps with hydration. All the trips to the kitchen are probably good exercise so that must be weight loss right there!

  4. I used to but lately I've been reaching for spritzers (homemade juice + seltzer). It's hot in NYC.

  5. When deciding whether or not I want a cup of day old coffee or get over my laziness and brew a fresh pot of loose leaf tea, what aids me is the thought of my soothed feeling after the first few sips of tea, and the choice is made.


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