Move Over Green Smoothies! Enjoy this Ultimate Green Drink Instead!

Apr 27, 2020

In my 12-week program, The Freese Method Online Group Coaching Weight Loss Program, the first meal plan I have created for you contains some serious Registered Dietitian ninja nutrition moves.

Your breakfast is specifically designed to put you in the fat burning "green zone" while cleansing your digestive tract of unwanted toxins. But to you, it's just creamy and delicious.

Your lunch provides not only the perfect ratio of fiber+protein+healthy fats for perfect metabolic health, but it also provides a super powerful lignan antioxidant to protect your liver from free-radical damage. This is important because your liver is the "quarterback of your metabolism" and is crucial to burning the fat being released from your fat stores. 

But to you, it's a gorgeous and satisfying chopped salad in a jar with an amazing dressing flavor profile you've never tasted before.

Your afternoon snack, which is offered only in the first couple of weeks while you transition from 'sugar-burner' to 'fat-burner' helps balance your afternoon blood sugars so you don't need extra caffeine or sugar and helps balance your cortisol levels as your stressful day comes to a head.

Your dinners are hand-picked to be quick, easy, and amazingly delicious.  They are so good, you'd never know they had super powers like controlling hormone levels while you sleep putting you in prime fat-burning mode, scavenging your body for harmful oxidizers to prevent wrinkles and aging while you sleep, or releases excess water into your drainage system, or lymph system, while you lay on your back all night so you never wake up puffy and bloated.

Many ninja moves are thoughtfully curated to help accelerate your metabolic repair so you get results quickly.

One of my ultimate weight loss expert ninja nutrition moves makes its debut on this first meal plan and has permanent celebrity-like status on all subsequent meal plans.

This ninja move is so subtle, you could almost overlook it.

What is it?

Green tea.

Humble, unsweetened, fully caffeinated green tea in a regular tea bag. 

So move over green smoothies, because green tea is the simple fat-burning super green drink that you need!

Green Tea Has Powerful Benefits

Green Tea Helps You Lose Weight

Research has shown green tea to be a successful aid in reducing body fat and LDL (or bad) cholesterol.[4] [5]

This goes above and beyond mere weight loss -- these are true long-term health benefits!

How does it do this?

Green tea contains special polyphenol called catechins which are natural compounds that are very powerful for your health.  Green tea is rich in a mighty catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG. 

Researchers believe the EGCG catechins found in green tea have special fat-burning properties.

Green tea seems to be particularly effective in burning visceral abdominal fat, which is the body fat in your abdomen that surrounds your organs, not just under the skin.  

Visceral abdominal fat is the most unhealthy (and potentially dangerous!) fat that your body stores. In fact, studies have shown that green tea can aid in reducing waist size without changing body weight. [6]  

So even if you hit a weight stall, keep checking your waist size using a tape measure to see if you're losing the dangerous visceral abdominal fat.

The other way that green can aid weight loss is because caffeine has actually been proven to increase your body’s production of ketones.[7]

That's why we drink the tea as our snacks between meals. And why we only drink caffeinated, not decaf green tea.

When you're between meals, you are transitioning to a fasted state and we want your body to use fat for energy once the sugar is all burned up.  Ketones are the energy units your body burns when sugar is not around.  If you're burning ketones, you're burning fat.  This doesn't mean your in ketosis, it just means your burning fat.

By drinking green tea, and even black caffeinated coffee, you’ll be able to transition your body into a fat-burning mode even quicker.

Green Tea Can Help Reduce Stress

Green tea can help reduce your feelings of stress and help you deal with stress better.  Um, yes please.

How?  

Green tea contains a bioactive compound called L-theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid that regulates neurotransmitter and brain activities.[1]

Green tea, in particular, contains high levels of L-theanine and has been demonstrated to produce this anti-stress effect. The way it does this is by blocking certain receptors in your brain and actually inhibiting cortical neuron excitation. [2] 

In other words, it helps your brain relax, chill a bit.  So you can approach your stress with greater calmness.

One study demonstrated that the combination of L-theanine and caffeine found in green tea leads to a state of calm awareness and alertness without the jittery feeling sometimes associated with caffeine intake.[3]

Which by now, I'm sure you've experienced.

I'll never go back to coffee in the afternoons!

What About Green Tea Supplements?

When there is a study about green tea it is usually based on large doses, 4-8 cups of green tea, liquid form, brewed, per day. If there is a positive benefit, like the 2011 study that found green tea has anti-viral properties and prevents the flu (!) you drink it in tea form. [8]

They will sometimes retest with supplements or extracts and find little to no benefit. [9]  This paradox seems to be fairly consistent.

So, no, we do not use green tea supplements. We drink our green tea, brewed, without milk or sugar, or added sweeteners.

What Brands of Green Tea Are Best?

Testing green tea is fairly straightforward. You look for 2 things:

  • Labeled amount: Does the product really contain the labeled amount of ingredient? Not more, not less?
  • Purity: Is the product free of lead, fluoride, mercury and other contaminants?

For answers to those questions, we turn to ConsumerLab.com. ConsumerLab is an independent, third-party testing group that scours the marketplace and tests supplements for us.

Why?

Because, just FYI, the government doesn't!

That's right, the USDA and FDA do not test and regulate supplements.

At all.  

Some teas and products are labeled foodstuff and some are labeled supplements and not all are tested.

I know. It's crazy.

But I've got your back.

Here are my recommended green tea brands that have been tested for purity, quality and are high in fat-burning catechins.

Brewed Tea Bags:

  1. Lipton Pure Green Tea
    • 79mg EGCG/ 150.6 total catechins for $0.11/bag
  2. Celestial Seasonings Green Tea (brewed using Keurig) 
    • 32.4mg ECCG/126.7 total catechins
  3. Twinings 100% Organic Pure Green
    • 57.6mg EGCG/125.7mg total catechins
  4. Bigelow Green Tea
    • 37mg EGCG/95.4mg total catechins

Pre-bottled Green Tea:

  1. Honest Tea Organic Just Green Tea Bottle Unsweetened
    • 16.9 fl.oz. with 95mg EGCG/ 175.1mg total catechins
  2. Pure Leaf Unsweetened Green Tea
    • 12 fl/oz with 33.5mg EGCG/94.4mg total catechins

Matcha Green Tea:

Matcha green tea is a fine, bright green powder made the green tea leaf.  Matcha is generally more expensive and more time-consuming to make and reserved for traditional tea ceremonies.  As such, there has been little clinical research done on matcha and the human health.

Matcha is different than brewed green tea in that you are drinking the whole leaf as opposed to steeping and discarding the leaf.  This allows matcha green tea to deliver the largest amounts of catechins, but the amount varies greatly form product to product and from season to season.

The top picks for matcha green tea is:

  1. Superfoods Matcha Green Tea Powder
    • 2 grams powder with 91.8 mg EGCG/248.9 mg total catechins
  2. Organic Kenko Tea Matcha
    • 2 grams powder with 118.8 mg EGCG/188.8 mg total catechins

How Much Should I Drink?

Harvard doctors recommend a minimum of 3 cups per day in order to experience health benefits. This advice is based on the fact that clinical studies concluded that a minimum to 300-500 mg of catechins per day is necessary to see any results.  That actually translates to 3-5 cups of tea per day.

Any more than that and you may run the risk of blocking the absorption of certain minerals like iron. So, it's best to drink between meals instead of with meals.

This is perfect for those of us who are trying not to snack between meals. 

Green tea is the perfect "snack." 

Bonus Benefits of Green Tea

Just in case you weren't totally convinced green tea is the bomb...

Green tea has been associated with: 

  • 20% risk reduction of coronary heart disease
  • Reduced risk of death caused by heart disease
  • 21% risk reduction of ischemic stroke
  • 31% risk reduction of developing ovarian cancer
  • 18% risk reduction of developing lung cancer
  • 16% risk reduction of developing Type II Diabetes
  • 57% risk reduction of cognitive decline
  • 16% reduction in bacteria that cause dental cavities

 There you have it. Green tea is a powerful drink and I encourage you to drink up.

Iced or hot, the benefits of green are wonderful and long lasting!  

Click here my recipe for the perfect green tea steeping instructions.  Don't just dump in boiling water or your tea will be bitter and grassy!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Sources:

1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/alzheimers-and-dementia/regular-tea-drinking-linked-with-dementia-prevention

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518171/

3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229988024_The_impact_of_caffeine_on_mood_cognitive_function_performance_and_hydration_A_review_of_benefits_and_risks

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15640470

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21115335

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19008868

7.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28177691

8. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/141/10/1862.long

9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3049752/

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