How Fast Does Green Tea Work to Lose Weight?

Losing weight often requires you to eat a little less or exercise a little more. If you’re like many people, however, this is easier said than done. You need to reduce portion sizes, eat healthier foods and exercise most days of the week. While there’s no magic bullet when it comes to weight loss, green tea may help you shed fat at a faster rate than normal.

Weight Loss

A study published in the June 2007 “Obesity” found that green tea extract high in catechins, a phenol antioxidant, could contribute to a decrease in obesity -- as well as reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Participants were instructed to drink a green tea solution containing 583 milligrams of catechins, whereas the control group was also given green tea but with only 96 milligrams of catechins. After 12 weeks, the high-catechin group experienced a greater decrease in body weight, body mass index, body fat mass and waist circumference -- among other benefits -- than the control group, suggesting that green tea, particularly when high in catechins, may provide better results during weight loss.

Weight Management

A review published in the July 2006 “American Journal of Physiology” reports that green tea may even help manage your weight once the weight is lost. Green tea appears to offset the decrease in energy expenditure often seen when following a low-calorie diet. If energy expenditure were to decrease, your body burns less calories, reducing your caloric need and increasing the likelihood of weight gain.

Lifestyle

Although studies suggest green tea may promote weight loss, it isn’t always enough to simply drink green tea to shed the excess pounds. You also need to monitor your diet and level of physical activity. High-calorie diets and sedentary lifestyles aren’t likely to experience the same results as participants in the various studies. If you’re drinking green tea to encourage weight loss, combine it with a decrease in calories and increase in physical activity.

Time Frame

The length of time it takes for green tea to cause weight loss depends on a combination of factors. While studies show weight loss in as little as 12 weeks, your caloric intake and energy expenditure can have a significant impact on results. As long as you’re generating a caloric deficit, you can see results almost immediately. If, however, your diet or level of physical activity is causing a caloric surplus, you won’t likely experience any weight loss. Talk to your doctor to determine the best weight-loss plan for you.