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Best teas for weight loss 2023: Do they really work?

Can you ditch the milky coffees and teas for a herbal blend and expect to lose weight? We’ll explain whether they can make the difference

What’s the best tea for weight loss? That may sound like an odd question, but losing weight isn’t solely about strict diets and brutal exercise regimes. Small, simple lifestyle changes can make a difference, and that includes swapping your daily super-sized latte or cappuccino for a fragrant herbal tea.

While we would strongly counsel against extreme diet plans, some teas can form part of an effective weight-loss regime. Despite being incredibly tasty, they’re packed with nothing but hot water and healthy ingredients, so that means they can help cut calories, stifle sweet cravings and keep you feeling full for longer, helping to avoid those 11am raids on the snack drawer.

One thing that they’re most definitely not, however, is a magical remedy for weight issues, so take any manufacturer’s claims with a very healthy pinch of salt. Herbal teas can play an essential part in positive changes to your lifestyle, but they’re not going to slim your waist or make you drop a dress size on their own.

Read on, and we’ll explain everything you need to know about teas for weight loss, and select some of our favourite teas on the market.

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How to choose the best teas for weight loss

Can teas really help with weight loss?

Yes, but only as part of a healthy diet – they have no magical properties or ingredients which are scientifically proven to shed weight. If you swap calorie-filled cappuccinos, lattes and hot chocolates for a herbal tea, then you’re reducing your calorie intake, which can be a good thing in the context of a sensible, healthy diet. 

Take any direct weight loss claims made by a manufacturer with a huge pinch of salt. While teas have long been lauded for their healthy effects, many of these effects require extensive further study before the science is considered proven.

What is herbal tea?

Herbal tea is tea made from dried fruit, flowers or herbs. Growing in popularity, they’re thought to be a healthier alternative to regular tea and come in a range of flavours and blends. Herbal teas are often recommended when dieting as, compared to regular tea, their sweeter, more complex flavours can do a better job of suppressing sweet cravings.

Does weight-loss tea contain caffeine?

This depends on the product you buy. As a rule, herbal tea doesn’t contain caffeine but there are a few exceptions. Regular black tea and green tea (which can be purchased alone or as part of a herbal tea blend) both contain caffeine. Oolong tea, another popular type of herbal tea, does too. However, lots of common herbal tea blends, such as peppermint and chamomile, do not contain caffeine.

Which teas have the biggest health benefits?

A few key herbs to look out for in herbal teas are:

  • Green tea: Green tea contains catechin, an antioxidant which is thought to help speed up your metabolism.
  • Ginger tea: Ginger is thought to stimulate your digestive system and make you feel less hungry.
  • Cinnamon: Not just for Christmas, cinnamon is often used as a substitute for other sweeteners.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric is a powerful spice which is often associated with a range of potential health benefits, but while some research has suggested that turmeric could play a role in losing weight, more research is needed.

Can I replace meals with teas for weight loss?

No. Tea can form a key role in supporting a healthy lifestyle but it’s essential that it plays its part in a balanced diet. None of the teas featured should be used as a replacement for food and instead should be enjoyed in combination with regular meals and exercise.

READ NEXT: Our favourite bagged, loose-leaf and powder-based teas

The best teas for weight loss to buy in 2023

1. Pukka Licorice and Cinnamon Organic Herbal Tea

Price: £4.19 | Buy now from Pukka

Pukka’s herbal teas are backed by impressive credentials: they’re organic, Fair For Life, Soil Association approved and come in recyclable packaging. This licorice and cinnamon brew is perfect for those who find that sweet cravings unravel their good intentions. The addition of organic cinnamon and cocoa bean shells means this tastes really sweet, especially when drunk after a meal in place of a dessert. This is the perfect healthy substitute for hot chocolate. We drank this after lunch and found it left us wanting to reach for the snack jar far less during the afternoons, and stopped sweet cravings in the evenings.

Key details – Size: 20 bags; Notable ingredients: Licorice root, cocoa bean shell, cinnamon, sweet fennel seed; Caffeine-free: Yes

Buy now from Pukka

2. Tropical Sun Turmeric Tea

Price: £1.99 | Buy now from Tropical Sun

This tea is 100% turmeric, so it’s an ideal and inexpensive way to get this into your diet without having to take a supplement or cooking with it.

We were dubious at first as to how this would taste but this tea is surprisingly drinkable and not as strong as we’d expected. Those with a sweet tooth might prefer it with a small dollop of honey. The result was a hearty, slightly spicy tea that was perfect for after a big meal and really seemed to settle our digestion.

Key details – Size: 20 tea bags; Notable ngredients: 100% Turmeric; Caffeine-free: Yes

Buy now from Tropical Sun

3. Ahmad Tea Lemon, Mate & Matcha Green Tea “Slim” Infusion

Price: £3.25 | Buy now from Ahmad Tea This blend from Ahmad tea is packed full of ingredients to support the “slim” in its title. According to the manufacturer, both the Mate and Matcha in this tea are known for helping to boost the metabolism, whilst it’s also fortified with natural zinc. On opening the foil-sealed tea bags (this makes them very easy to pop in your bag and take out with you), we could immediately smell the mint, whilst the zesty lemon tones kicked in as we brewed up. This tea was really refreshing and quickly became our morning go-to brew.

Key details – Size: 20 bags; Notable ingredients: Green tea, spearmint, nettle leaves, green mate leaves, lemon balm, matcha granules. Caffeine-free: No

Buy now from Ahmad Tea

4. Farrer’s Green Sencha Loose Leaf Tea

Price: £9.15 | Buy now from Farrer’s Coffee This tea is made from Japanese green tea leaves that are steamed soon after plucking to lock in their flavour. This creates an antioxidant-rich drink that works just as well as a warm brew as it does cold iced tea.

Using loose leaf tea can be messier than teabags (you’ll need to use a filter/strainer or a special teapot) but offers the bonus of being more flavourful than a tea bag. On first opening the tea, we noticed its earthy, grassy smell (which is due to the green tea leaves), but it didn’t taste bitter at all and we didn’t feel the need to add any sweetness.

We found it a great swap for coffee, since it’s lower in caffeine. It tastes nice, and we found it to be less bloating than coffee. The result? It felt lighter on our stomach and we felt more energised.

Key details – Size: 125g of loose leaf tea (approx 83 servings); Key ingredients: Green tea; Caffeine-free: No

Buy now from Farrer’s Coffee

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