THE METABOLISM BOOSTER: Green Tea
DRINK THIS: Lipton, Yogi
BECAUSE IT: Unlocks your fat cells
Before a workout, turbocharge the fat-blasting effects by sipping a cup of green tea. In a recent 12-week study, participants who combined a daily habit of 4-5 cups of green tea each day with a 25-minute sweat session lost an average of two more pounds than the non tea-drinking exercisers. Thank the compounds in green tea called catechins, belly-fat crusaders that blast adipose tissue by triggering the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly), and then speeding up the liver’s capacity for turning that fat into energy.
THE POUND-A-WEEK MELTER: Oolong Tea
DRINK THIS: Bigelow, Stash
BECAUSE IT: Boosts metabolism
Oolong, a Chinese name for “black dragon,” is a light, floral tea that, like green tea, is also packed with catechins, which help to promote weight loss by boosting your body’s ability to metabolise lipids (fat). A study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine found that participants who regularly sipped oolong tea lost six pounds over the course of the six-week time period. That’s a pound a week!
THE CRAVINGS CRUSHER: Mint Tea
DRINK THIS: Tazo, Teavana
BECAUSE IT: Wards off the munchies
Fill a big teacup with soothing peppermint tea, and sniff yourself skinny! While certain scents can trigger hunger (a trick Cinnabon figured out long ago), others can actually suppress your appetite. One study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine found that people who sniffed peppermint every two hours lost an average of 5 pounds a month. (Although tea is relatively low in caffeine—about 25% of what a cup of coffee delivers—decaffeinated varieties are great to have on hand for a soothing bedtime treat.) Consider also adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your pillow or burning a minty candle to fill the room with slimming smells.
THE FAT BLOCKER: White Tea
DRINK THIS: Twinings, The Republic of Tea, Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime
BECAUSE IT: Prevents new fat cells from forming
White tea is dried naturally, often in sunlight, making it the least processed and richest source of antioxidants among teas (as much as three times as many polyphenols as green tea!). Astudy published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolismshowed that white tea can simultaneously boost lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and block adipogenesis (the formation of fat cells) due to high levels of ingredients thought to be active on human fat cells. If there’s such a thing as diet tea, this is it.
THE HUNGER HALTER: Rooibos Tea
DRINK THIS: Celestial Seasonings, Harney & Sons
BECAUSE IT: Regulates fat-storage hormones
Rooibos tea is made from the leaves of the “red bush” plant, grown exclusively in the small Cederberg region of South Africa, near Cape Town. What makes rooibos tea particularly good for your belly is a unique and powerful flavanoid called Aspalathin. Research shows this compound can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage and are linked to hypertension, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.