It seems everyone is looking for a ‘quick fix’ for losing weight. There’s an endless array of weight loss pills, powders, and potions that claim to help you shed pounds and look like a supermodel!
And, when celebrities and influencers claim that detox teas are their secret to being slim, it’s very tempting to believe them.
Of course, that’s not the full picture (it never is!)
Yes, detox teas can help with weight loss – but only if they contain the right ingredients.
What is detox tea?
Detox teas are not your average cuppa. They’re a special blend of herbs known for their ability to stimulate metabolism, support digestion, and boost detoxification. All of these things can potentially help you burn unwanted fat.
The ingredients used in detox teas will vary widely between brands. Most comprise various types of tea leaves including green, black, yerba mate, or oolong, along with a number of plants, herbs, flowers, and fruits that have been found to help cleanse the body.
Some of the most popular herbs include dandelion root, ginger, lime leaf extract, and senna leaf.
However, there’s a huge discrepancy in the efficacy of different brands of detox tea.
How does detox tea help with weight loss?
The most important thing to know about detox teas is that they are not a ‘quick fix’ for weight loss.
Many of the commercial brands of detox teas (like ‘skinny tea’) are marketed as a way to lose weight quickly. But fast weight loss is not real weight loss. Any weight loss you see after drinking these teas is mostly water loss. .
These ‘quick fixes’ often contain laxative herbs such as senna leaf. Senna contains certain compounds that irritate the cells lining your colon, stimulating peristalsis (intestinal movement) and causing your bowels to empty faster. It’s for this reason that senna is often used in over-the-counter laxative treatments.
Unfortunately, senna is also added to many popular detox teas. Yes, they indeed cause weight loss—but it’s only the temporary kind. That’s because they make you poop!
Sustainable weight loss is only achieved by ingredients that support your metabolism, balance your blood sugar, and help you to burn fat faster. Teas that contain senna don’t do this.
What causes weight gain?
To understand what makes an effective detox tea, you must first understand the factors involved in healthy weight management.
Our bodies are constantly exposed to external and internal factors that affect our ability to burn fat. These include stress in our daily lives, chemicals in the food we eat, and toxins in the air we breathe. Studies have even shown that these various environmental factors – as well as traditional factors – can seriously affect healthy weight. Exposure to pollutants has been associated with higher blood pressure, poor response to insulin, and molecular stress on body tissues. All of these things can increase your risk of weight gain.
When you’re stressed, your levels of cortisol (the most abundant stress hormone) rise very quickly. Cortisol stimulates fat-burning and carbohydrate metabolism in order to provide your muscles with energy. It also stimulates the release of insulin to allow more glucose into your cells.
However, if cortisol stays elevated, your appetite is also increased. That’s why you end up craving sugary, fatty foods.
Crazy blood sugar
Another major cause of weight gain is fluctuating blood sugar levels. Balancing your blood sugar is the key to maintaining satiety and steady energy levels. When your blood sugar is constantly peaking or falling, you’ll suffer from fatigue (which affects your motivation to exercise) and constant sugar cravings (which make you want to snack all the time!). As a result, you’ll be more likely to gain weight.
Poor elimination results in weak digestion and a lazy metabolism!
What detox tea ingredients should you look for?
A detox tea made with the right ingredients can help flush out toxins, reduce your body’s stress response, and balance your blood sugar. The right ingredients should also stimulate your body’s fat-burning potential and boost your metabolism.
Antioxidants such as yerba mate, nettle, rosemary and green tea help to reduce free radical damage caused by toxins and stress. In fact, studies have shown that regularly drinking yerba mate can decrease body fat mass and waist-to-hip ratio. Green tea also contains antioxidants called catechins which include epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a substance that’s been proven to boost metabolism and cause your body to break down more fat for energy.
Caffeine is also an important component of any weight management programme. Caffeine promotes thermogenesis, which can boost your body’s fat-burning potential and improve exercise performance.
Citrus fruits such as lemon and sweet orange are rich in polyphenols and pectins which support metabolism and prevent fat accumulation. Lemon juice is high in important flavones that help decrease oxidative stress while also improving blood glucose levels.
Herbs such as ginger and rosemary also help to balance blood sugar levels and promote satiety, which can reduce those sugar cravings. Regulating your body’s insulin response helps you to feel more satisfied after eating, which is key to keeping your weight-loss efforts on track.
Choose the right detox tea for sustained weight loss
Real weight loss isn’t something that can be done over just a few days. Real weight loss – the kind you can maintain long-term – is a steady process that occurs over several weeks and months. It should involve a healthy diet, exercise, and effective stress management.
A detox tea made with the ingredients mentioned above is the perfect accompaniment to a weight loss plan. These special herbs have been scientifically proven to support your blood sugar, reduce harmful toxins that slow down your metabolism, and maintain your energy levels. That’s the REAL way to weight loss!
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Katie is a qualified naturopath specialising in health, wellness and nutrition. She loves words, travel, and exotic foods, and is much happier in running shoes than in heels!