This calming drink may seem wimpy when it comes to your weight loss and fat loss goals, but it packs a powerful punch. Green tea and its concentrated cousin, matcha, boast a compound you’re going to want to know about called EGCG. This glorious catechin attacks your fat stores in several ways, according to a 2014 survey of studies published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Several human and animal studies have shown that EGCG actually stops fat cells from forming and gives your body the nudge it needs to shed those stubborn stores of fat once and for all--and the results only got better the bigger the dose.
But if green tea is the coffee of the fat loss world, matcha is the espresso. In fact, the concentration of EGCG in this powdered version of the brew is 137 times greater than in the tea bags you buy at the local grocery store. Unfortunately, the powder can be hard to find. Search at the health food store if where you normally buy groceries doesn’t stock the sip; but never fear if you can’t find it. You can still get waist-whittling benefits from the regular variety.
Pair your brewed sip with a starchy food for an even stronger figure-saving effect. Simple carbs like white bread, cookies, and pastries can spike your blood sugar, which over time can encourage your body to store fat. Though you should, of course, try to switch out some of these simple carbs for complex versions if you’re trying to eat healthily, a good middle step is pairing your starchy meal with green tea, according to research done in a 2012 study. The tea can actually help prevent those pesky blood sugar spikes that not only encourage your body to pack on the pudge but also send you running for the closest vending machine where sugar-, fat-, and calorie-laden foods wait.
What if we told you that there was something easy you could do to make this super brew even stronger? Because there is. While green tea does hold a great deal of health-boosting antioxidants--catechins fall into this category--it’s difficult for them to survive in your body and, therefore, go to work fighting fat. Only about 20 percent of these healthy compounds remain in your stomach after you savor this sip, according to a 2007 study. That’s where one tiny, common ingredient comes in.
Add a squeeze of lemon to your tea. We know you might prefer milk but, believe us, your waistline will thank you for the sour fruit substitution. The lemon juice--and vitamin C it contains--helps your body absorb even more of the fat-blasting health boosters. So next time you’re at the supermarket, hit the produce aisle immediately after you grab your green tea.
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