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8 Best Weight-Loss Teas, According to Nutritionists

These natural teas have high concentrations of antioxidants and vitamins.

If you're trying to shed pounds, you're probably well aware that you'll need to avoid sugary drinks like soda, processed juices, and specialty coffee drinks (we're looking at you, Frappucinos!). But you may not realize that certain beverages can actually assist your goal to lose weight. One of the best examples of this is tea, thanks to many varieties' high concentration of antioxidants and vitamins. With this in mind, we spoke to nutritionists to get their picks for the best weight-loss tea. Read on for eight options you'll want to get steeping right away.

RELATED: If You Want to Lose Weight, "Avoid These Foods Like the Plague," Fitness Expert Says.

Green Tea

green tea

Studies on green tea have verified its health benefits for everything from cognitive function to heart disease. But it doesn't end there: According to the experts we spoke with, green tea is also the most recommended tea for weight loss.

"Green tea contains high levels of antioxidants known as catechins, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), unique to green tea," explains Michelle Routhenstein, MS RD CDCES CDN, preventive cardiology dietitian at Entirely Nourished. "It's thought that EGCG, coupled with a balanced diet and regular exercise, can help boost metabolism, facilitate fat oxidation, and improve insulin sensitivity to help achieve weight loss goals."

Nichole Dandrea-Russert, MS, RDN, plant-based dietitian at purelyplanted, points to a 2004 study published in the Journal of Health Science, which concluded that the catechins in green tea, when present during exercise, increased "body fat utilization for energy expenditure" and, therefore, led to reduced body fat.

"Green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which has been shown to promote relaxation and improve sleep, both of which may support healthy metabolism," Dandrea-Russert adds.

And Routhenstein notes that these benefits can be found in both caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties of green tea.

Lemon-Ginger Tea

lemon ginger tea surrounded by lemons and ginger on a wood background
NoirChocolate / iStock

The next most recommended weight-loss tea is a lemon-ginger combination.

"Ginger root stimulates digestion and reduces inflammation to support a healthy metabolism on multiple fronts," shares Rachael Richardson, registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist at Nutrolution.

Chloë Ward, founder and functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner at One Healthy Meal At a Time, adds that "gingerol, the active compound in ginger, has thermogenic properties that can increase calorie expenditure and aid in fat loss."

"Lemon adds vitamin C and acidity, which may further enhance metabolism and digestion," notes Ward.

She suggests simply steeping fresh ginger slices and lemon juice in hot water, or you you can let the tea cool in the fridge and serve it over ice on a hot day, as Richardson recommends.

RELATED: 10 Hidden Sources of Sugar That Could Be Making You Gain Weight.

Pu-erh Tea

A cup of Pu-erh tea is next to a large piece of puer
Tasha Cherkasova / Shutterstock

Pu-erh tea comes from the Yunnan Province of China, as well as Taiwan. It's a "fermented tea made from the same plant as green, oolong, and black teas," says Colette Micko, MS, RDN, CDES, a registered dietitian at Top Nutrition Coaching.

Dandrea-Russert notes that Pu-erh tea has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for its cholesterol-lowering effects, but some recent research suggests that it can also "facilitate lipid metabolism and weight loss."

"While the mechanism isn't fully understood, some experts believe it may be due to a compound called theabrownin, which works via the liver-gut axis," Dandrea-Russert explains. "Other experts believe it may be due to the gallic acid in pu-erh tea that activates fat-metabolizing enzymes."

In a 2011 study published in the journal Nutrition Research that looked at the gallic acid content, subjects who consumed pu-erh tea extract versus a placebo "exhibited significant effects in reducing the mean waist circumference, BMI, and visceral fat values."

Oolong Tea

black teapot, cup of oolong tea, and oolong tea leaves displayed on a wood board
Vinne / Shutterstock

According to The Tea Spot, oolong is a partially oxidized tea, which sets it apart from unoxidized green tea and fully oxidized black tea. "Oolong's partial oxidation gives it a distinctive flavor profile that falls somewhere between green tea's freshness and black tea's robustness, with a smooth, mellow, and slightly sweet taste," they explain.

If you enjoy this flavor and are also looking for a weight-loss tea, you're in luck, as Dandrea-Russert points out that oolong contains the same catechins as green tea.

"One study showed that men and women who drank oolong tea daily for six weeks lost body fat weight while also seeing improvements in their triglyceride and cholesterol levels," she explains. "The researchers believe that the catechins found in oolong tea may support weight management by improving lipid metabolism."

RELATED: 7 Best Protein Supplements for Weight Loss, According to Dietitians.

Cinnamon Tea

a cup of cinnamon tea with cinnamon sticks on burlap
Thitiwat.Day / Shutterstock

To enjoy this weight-loss tea, simply steep cinnamon bark in hot water, suggests Ward.

"Cinnamon contains compounds like cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid, which have been studied for their potential to regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity," she shares. "By stabilizing blood sugar levels, cinnamon tea can help reduce cravings and support weight loss goals, particularly for individuals with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes."

In fact, a 2020 study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition concluded that cinnamon "could be recommended as a weight-reducing supplement in obesity management."

Mint Tea

Cup of mint tea and a bunch of mint on the table
MyraMyra / Shutterstock

Whether you steep fresh or dried mint leaves or choose peppermint, spearmint, or another mint variety, you'll still get the same weight-loss effects from the herb's menthol content.

"Menthol can help suppress appetite and reduce cravings, particularly for sweet or high-calorie foods," says Ward. "Mint tea is also naturally caffeine-free and low in calories, making it a guilt-free beverage choice for those watching their weight."

RELATED: 10 Best Foods to Eat in the Morning for a Faster Metabolism, Nutritionists Say.

Earl Grey Tea

Loose Earl Grey tea leaves on a vintage wooden spoon
eurobanks / Shutterstock

Earl Grey is a black tea that gets its unique flavor from the addition of bergamot oil, "which gives it a distinctive citrusy aroma and flavor," notes Ward.

On its own, "black tea contains caffeine and flavonoids that can boost metabolism and promote fat burning," she explains.

According to the scientific journal Molecules, flavonoids are natural compounds that "possess a number of medicinal benefits, including anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties."

And what makes Earl Grey tea so weight-loss friendly is that bergamot contains additional flavonoids. One study found that bergamot helps to reduce visceral fat, while another concluded that it "could benefit lipid metabolism and weight management in old adults with dyslipidemia."

"The bergamot oil in Earl Grey may also have mood-enhancing effects, helping to reduce emotional eating and support weight loss efforts," adds Ward.

Adaptogen Tea

Ashwagandha superfood powder and root on cutting board on wooden table from above.

Dandrea-Russert notes that true "tea" comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, and adaptogens instead are "a class of herbs, roots, and other plant substances." However, she says they may still "indirectly help with metabolism."

"Adaptogens are believed to help the body's resilience in dealing with physical and emotional stresses," she explains. "Chronic stress can wreak havoc on the body, including metabolism, by interrupting sleep and increasing stress hormones like cortisol. Incorporating adaptogenic tea daily may support your body's response in dealing with stress, which may assist with sleep and keep stress at bay, both of which may help with metabolism."

"Examples of calming adaptogens that can be consumed as tea include ashwagandha, holy basil, and rhodiola," she shares.

Remember to consume weight-loss tea safely.

Herbal tea on wood background. Woman holding mug.

If you're considering adding a weight-loss tea to your diet, it's important to know the difference between a natural tea like those listed above and a tea that is engineered to aid in weight loss.

According to registered dietitian Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD, a Dymatize nutrition consultant, the latter "often contain laxatives and diuretics."

Dandrea-Russert notes that you'll want to be conscious of tea's caffeine content if you're sensitive to this and so as not to overdo it.

"Drinking tea alone will likely not result in weight loss, but as a compliment to a well-balanced diet, it can aid in efforts," adds Micko.

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. If you have health questions or concerns, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Dana Schulz
Dana Schulz is the Deputy Lifestyle Editor at Best Life. She was previously the managing editor of 6sqft, where she oversaw all content related to real estate, apartment living, and the best local things to do. Read more
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