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Nutritionist, Dr Pam Mason from the Tea Advisory Panel, shared some advice for those who are looking to lose weight in time for Christmas and revealed tea “can help with weight loss by helping to maintain blood sugar and hence reduce cravings”.

The expert said this is “especially important during the afternoon slump when it is easy to reach for the biscuits”. However, not every tea is beneficial for weight loss but two particular kinds will be the best options for slimmers this winter. 

“A new report by my colleagues at the Tea Advisory Panel shows that drinking black or green tea daily can help to boost our intakes of polyphenols,” she said.

Dr Pam explained how: “These are natural bioactive plant compounds which help to stabilise blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation and are good for our overall health. More than half of adults surveyed for the report did not know that drinking tea could help with weight.”

The research also showed that tea polyphenols – particularly black tea polyphenols – “help with weight management by reducing fat and carbohydrate – and hence calorie – absorption from the gut and decrease the deposition of body fat”.

According to the nutritionist, green tea also helps to boost the metabolic rate in some people. “Tea polyphenols may also counteract the decrease in metabolic rate seen during weight loss and so they may be helpful for maintaining weight after weight loss.

“The polyphenol content of tea also contributes to a healthy gut microbial population through a prebiotic effect. Preliminary research has shown that tea polyphenols may reduce gut microbes linked to obesity and increase gut microbes linked to weight loss.”

However, whilst green tea has had the highest profile as a beneficial tea for weight, “black tea polyphenols have been shown to be as or more effective in some studies”. Dr Pan explained: “In laboratory research both black and green tea reduced weight linked with a beneficial change in the gut microbes.

“A study in 111 tea-drinking women and men found that regular consumption of black tea over three months improved body weight and body fat distribution compared to a caffeine-containing control beverage,” she explained.

But how many cups a day are recommended to speed up the weight loss process? Dr Pam revealed that dieters should consume at least four to five cups a day, ideally in the afternoon.

She explained: “With extensive research on the benefits of tea drinking – from both observational studies and clinical trials – scientists have settled on four to five cups a day as the optimal intake to provide the right amounts of the natural polyphenol compounds to help with weight.”

For those tea lovers who are looking to lose weight in time for Christmas, the nutritionist recommended avoiding “the temptation to reach for biscuits or cake when enjoying a cup of tea”.

Instead, she advised “if you feel hungry go for a small handful of plain nuts” as they contain protein that will “make you feel full compared with high sugar snacks”.

The doctor also recommended keeping well hydrated and to drink one to two litres of fluid each day. “In addition to your four to five cups of tea each day, include soup, tap water, herbal infusions and fruit,” she said.

Dr Pam urged people to “decommission the sugar bowl”. She explained: “Sugar provides calories but no nutrients. Nearly a third of Brits still add sugar to their tea, according to the TAP reviewed research for the report, so try a low-calorie sweetener or gradually reduce the amount you add.”

Finally, she advised adding a lot of fruit and vegetables to as many meals, snacks and recipes as possible in order to drop a few pounds in time for the festive period. “Focus less on counting, and more on simply eating more of these foods.”

The nutritionist shared one last piece of advice: “Don’t let high fat, high sugar treats take over. Aim to have one small treat on one day each week, but if you don’t want any at all, don’t eat them.”

According to Healthline, tea “may enhance weight loss and help fight belly fat” but “certain types have been found to be more effective than others at achieving this”.

Recommended teas to lose weight: 

  • Green tea
  • Black tea
  • Puerh tea
  • Oolong tea
  • White tea
  • Herbal tea

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