Here we are – half way through Autumn and on our way to Winter, and possibly on our way to a few extra cold weather kilos. I’m sure you would agree it’s far too easy when the temperature drops, for us to opt for those richer, calorie-filled foods. Can you honestly tell me that a thick, creamy, hot chocolate with marshmallows on top isn’t more enticing on a cold day than your regular cup of tea? Or a rich, tasty hot beef stew with piping hot buttered potatoes… isn’t that more inviting than a delicate, light green salad with char-grilled salmon on a cold Winters day? Of course they are, but it’s also when we can add those extra few kilos that, come Spring, we will want to remove again, ready for Summer.
As most of us are aware, the annually recycled, re-invented, or new created fad diets don’t really work – and may even have negative effects on our bodies. Scientists tend to agree that body weight maintenance combined with regular exercise, and a healthy balanced diet is far more positive for us. At the 2012 International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health, scientists who attended the event announced that “tea has been found to help promote weight loss and maintain a healthy weight” (Tea Council USA).
So what does this mean to you and I, and those extra winter kilos? Adding tea into your balanced diet has weight maintenance benefits. Tea increases energy helping us to be more active in our daily routine, without increasing your calorie intake. A straight cup of white, green, oolong, pu-erh or black tea, without milk or sugar, has zero calorific value. If you substituted a cup of tea for your caramel latte, or that hot chocolate with marshmallows, you would be helping to reduce your calorie intake. Replacing a fizzy or sweetened drinks with a cup of tea could reduce sugar intake dramatically and again help with controlling your calorie intake. Drinking tea alone is never going to be a substitute for proven methods of weight loss, but adding tea into your weight loss or weight maintenance can only help. Carrying those few extra kilos could also be the triggers for some life changing diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Always seek medical advice and discuss these issues with your GP, as everyone’s personal circumstances are different.
Which tea should I drink? There are many reports, and on average over one thousand scientific studies are conducted on tea and its health giving properties per year. Many of these studies are based around green tea, but most of these studies agree that drinking tea is a health positive. You may already be a tea drinker, in which case maybe consider adding other types of tea into your daily cuppas. If you are not a tea drinker, my advice would be to take every opportunity to try different styles of tea, and build up a small repertoire of likes and dislikes when you taste them. Eventually you will discover the style or styles that you enjoy most. Remember all teas have health giving properties, and if you are enjoying what you drink you are more likely to partake in its consumption. If you try to consume a certain style just because you believe it to be beneficial you won’t consume as much as if you are enjoying the tea.
Always enjoy tea the way you like it!