I’m always on the lookout for ways of making losing fat and staying healthy easy. And change seems to work best (and longest) when you’re focused on adding new habits in, rather than focusing on cutting all your favourite things out (like a typical diet demands).

With that in mind I wanted to share with you my new habit. It’s one that’ll help you lose fat and stay fit and healthy without the deprivation. And believe me, it doesn’t get much easier than this…

Treat Yourself to a Cuppa’ Tea

When I first tried tea I didn’t like it. Maybe because it wasn’t the real deal (it was a supermarket tea bag which was full of tea dust; the leftovers from the processing of the higher quality loose leaf tea).

standard tea bags

Since the original encounter I’ve given it another shot. This time going for the higher quality loose leaf and matcha green tea varieties. And I’ve managed to turn something I thought I’d never like into a daily habit that I actually enjoy (the best way for me to stick with something is to 1. do it every day 2. learn to like it).

What Kind of Tea?

Just so we’re on the same page by ‘tea’ I mean a beverage made from the leaves of the actual tea plant – Camellia sinensis. Not herbal or fruit beverages commonly referred to as teas. Green, white, Oolong and black tea all count

Why Drink More Tea?

Most of the beneficial effects of tea are due to the flavonoids it contains (most notably the catechin EGCG). These flavonoids have strong anti-oxidant properties, which help quench free radicals.

Think of the process of rusting. Remember when you were a kid and you left your bike outside all winter only to return to your beloved bike to find it’d started to rust?

While I’m oversimplifying,  a similar thing happens within our bodies. And the more oxidative stress (ahem… rusting) that occurs, the quicker we age. The flavonoids present in tea are one of the tools our body can use to slow the process.

So, a quick summary of the benefits of drinking tea:

  • Reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke by keeping your arteries smooth and clog free
  • Protects your body from the ageing effects of harmful free radicals and even cancer
  • Increases your metabolic rate, speeding up how quickly you burn fat
  • Boosts your immune system, making you less likely to get ill and helping you recover quicker if you do get ill

Plus having a cup of tea can also help curb your appetite and minimise boredom eating (as long as you have your tea solo – with no biscuits or cakes ;))

 

My Tea Ritual & Favourite Green Tea

I’m a fan of the less processed varieties like green or white tea. But the partially dried crushed and fermented black tea and Oolong tea also contain the all important polyphenols too. Here are a couple of my personal favourites:

Matcha Green Tea (From either Steenbergs or Tea Pigs)

Matcha green tea requires very little preparation. You just pour hot water onto 1/4 tsp of the fine powder then whisk into a kind of tea latte (without the milk!). For the record, using an electric whisk makes preparation much easier.

 

Can you see why it's called green tea?

Mao Feng Green Tea (From Tea Pigs)

Tea pigs use ‘tea temples’ and whole leaves, so you get the convenience of a tea bag with the quality and taste of whole leaf tea

Loose leaf green tea in a 'tea temple'

My green tea after 3 minutes of steeping

Don’t worry if you can only get the tea leaf ‘dust’ that comes in normal tea bags. It still offers similar benefits. I’d just encourage using loose tea, perhaps prepared in a cafetiere or using a tea infuser.

Wrap Up

The benefits of drinking tea (especially green tea) are well researched. You can expect a faster metabolism, healthier heart, stronger immune system and anti-ageing protection from harmful free radicals. And all you have to do to take advantage is:

  1. Pick up some loose leaf green, white or black tea
  2. Prepare it using a cafetiere (or whisk for Matcha green tea)
  3. Kick back and enjoy!