Oolong can be just the answer you need to go over the hump and make your seemingly endless struggle with weight loss happen. It’s true. Your confidence can easily be zapped if, for countless times there, you’ve failed in shedding that extra flab — however unwanted. But not if semi-oxidised dried leaves of the Camella Sinensis plant can’t help it.
Know, however, that the statistics are grim. Losing a substantial amount of weight and thwarting any attempts of your body to put those heavy loads right back up is an uphill climb. Yet, if you’re still sitting on the fence, here’s a kicker for you: obesity is a major factor in increasing one’s risk of giving in to life-threatening degenerative diseases. In fact, it’s a major factor in Brits succumbing to the attacks of the COVID-19 virus, a study found.
In the UK alone, people with a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) of between 18.5 and 15 had twice as lesser chances of being admitted to intensive care as those who had a higher BMI. Indeed, these adverse risks increase in a linear fashion from normal BMI upwards, according to Prof Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow.
Fortunately, there’s an easier way for you to keep those unwanted fats at bay without having to resort to a cornucopia of hunger-inducing diet routines. To boot, science has shown that oolong, more than any tea type for that matter, helps in boosting the body’s metabolism and the breakdown of fats in the blood of humans. And that’s just for starters. There’s a host of health benefits the Taiwan-inspired tea can put on the table. Read on.
The Problem with Traditional Weight Loss
First things first, know that ideal weight matters. And it’s not just about aesthetics. If you think being overweight can be a health issue, you’re spot on. Indeed, carrying all the extra weight can be worrisome as this means a stronger chance of succumbing to life-threatening diseases.
Extra Fat: A Health Baggage
To note, over 1.9 billion adults, aged 18 and over, on the planet have been classified as overweight in 2016, World Health Organisation (WHO) detailed. That number has gone up. England is no exception.
- According to the Health Survey for England done in 2019, it is estimated that 28.0% of adults in the country are obese and about 36.2% are overweight but not obese. Obesity is typically defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above. A BMI between 25 and 30 has been classified as 'overweight'.
You might dismiss those numbers as not worrisome. Yet, in 2020, these numbers shot up. The majority of adults in the U.K., 67% of men and 60% of women are either overweight or obese.
While there are a lot of places in the body where fat can accumulate, the worst fat is belly fat. Hands down, fat around the belly is the most dangerous kind of fat simply because of location. These fats can surround internal organs as they develop in the abdominal region. And the chief of these is the greater risk of developing life-threatening diseases.
1. Heart Disease
|7.6 million people: Number of people in the UK who live with a heart or circulatory disease. That’s 4 million men and 3.6 million women.|
2. Heart Attacks
|100,000: Number of hospital admissions in the UK each year due to heart attacks: that's one every five minutes.|
3. High Blood Pressure
|1 in 3: Adults in the UK has above-normal blood pressure.|
|Over 100,000: Number of strokes in the UK each year causing 38,000 deaths in the process. It’s a leading cause of death and disability|
5. Type 2 Diabetes
|More than 4.9 million: Number of people in the UK who have diabetes. About 90% of these people have type 2 diabetes, a much more serious type.|
|5.4 million: Number of people who have asthma.|
7. Breast Cancer
|Around 55,000: Number of women in England who have breast cancer each year.|
8. Colon Cancer
|Nearly 43,000: Number of people who are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK.|
|676,000: Number of people in England who have dementia. The actual numbers are expected to be higher.|
Table 1: Major Diseases Associated with Belly Fat
If that’s not enough, many of those who succumbed to COVID-19 are either overweight or obese. Death rates from the virus are 10 times higher in countries where over 50% of the adult population is classified as overweight, according to a detailed report from the World Obesity Federation
Moreover, the report looked into mortality data coming from Johns Hopkins University along with that of the WHO Global Health Observatory data on obesity. It’s alarming. Of the 2.5 million virus-related deaths reported by the tail of February 2021, 2.2 million came from countries where more than 50% of the population are overweight (BMI: above 25).
Traditional Weight Loss Woes
All of these tell us that keeping your ideal weight makes a lot more sense health-wise. However, as much as we want to take a magic bullet to get there, many who have applied themselves to a slew of weight loss programs have failed, ending up disappointed in the process.
This eat-less-exercise-more approach has been utilised since the time of the Father of Medicine himself, Hippocrates (400 BC) but the majority of those who engaged in them have found little success. In short, they’ve failed.
Take the case of TV’s Biggest Loser example. If you note, that reality TV show seems all set on changing people’s lives for the better. Even more astounding, they are in the best position to achieve phenomenal success. In a way, they would encourage the staggering 71% of Americans who are overweight. They have the tough-yet-motivating personal trainers, strict meal plans and telegenic doctors.
But although the show has given us dramatic transformation before our very eyes on TV, the long-term results may not be so outstanding. To a large degree, they speak volumes about the woes of traditional weight loss. One study shows 13 of the 14 Biggest Losers contestants gained an average of 66% of the weight they’d lost on the show. Worse, four were heavier than they were before they competed.
Remember that losing weight is a personal decision. Thus, you must be able to cater to your own personal needs and tailor-fit your diet. Now, if you’re scratching your head about the prospects of losing weight the traditional way, here are key takeaways you should keep in mind.
1. Traditional Diet Focus on Deprivation
In the classic less-intake-more-exercise fashion, most traditional diets focuses on cutting one’s daily food intake. One extreme example today is the Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD). It’s a tough call and follows the approach that one should just eat the bare minimum to live. That spells about 800 calories a day which is actually equivalent to eating one plate of Japanese fried rice. Ouch!
Well, some pretty obvious problems sprout up with this. First up, the dieter is starved. His body will be clamouring for food all day long. Secondly, (and this can be the hardest part) they will have to deny themselves most, if not all, of their favourite foods. Last but not the least, it’s a suicide mission. Nobody has ample self-control to maintain such a restrictive diet for very long. It’s true that they will lose weight while on it, but the hard part is they will gain the weight back the moment they resume their normal eating habits.
2. The Diet is Not for Weight Loss
You need to be careful about what particular weight loss diet to follow. Some diet programs are actually not meant for losing weight but are meant to help a diseased person recover. A particular model is the Glycemic Index Diet (GID), of which Nutrisystem®, the Zone Diet and Sugar Busters® are classic examples.
It seems just about right. However, there is one tiny detail you may have missed. The GLI diet isn’t a weight loss program. Rather, it was designed to help people with diabetes manage. Its goal is to help people choose foods that in the short term won’t make their blood sugar levels shoot up.
Now, here’s the catch. Unfortunately for you, food with low glycemic indices aren’t always the same food that is helpful with weight loss. It’s true. Some foods that have high glycemic indices can be instrumental in weight loss, not to mention quite nutritious. Sweet potatoes and parsnips are classic examples of this type.
3. The Diet is Viewed as Temporary
Many people who go on a diet want to impress their friends and colleagues for a particular event. It could be an up-and-coming posh party or a seminal event such as a wedding. In that sense, losing fat is not actually the goal but the means to a goal. In short, it’s more of the aesthetics and not the health side of it just as some people would want to have a nose job.
The problem here is two-fold. Firstly, once the dieter gets back to his old diet, his body bloats up once again. As they get their original weight back, it can lead to yo-yo dieting. This is when a dieter goes back and forth between normal eating and dieting. Once this becomes a habit, yo-yo dieting makes it even harder for the body to lose weight.
Secondly, when diets are viewed as just temporary, dieters can use extreme measures to get the job done. An example is the use of VLCD. Overall, such strict dieting is unhealthy and can often lead to serious health complications.
5 Ways Oolong is Best for Losing Weight
Technically, oolong comes from the same Camella Sinensis herb plant from where green tea and black tea are made. In this sense, these tea types belong to one, big, happy tea family. However, it is the processing that differentiates one from the other.
Oolong tea is semi-oxidised and fermented. So unlike green tea which undergoes very minimal oxidation, oolong is subject to a level of oxidation that is topped only by fully-oxidised black tea. However, as their oxidation levels can vary a lot, anywhere from 8% to 80%, oolong teas have the most variety of tastes than any other tea type.
More importantly, oolong can be a godsend when it comes to weight loss. Below are 5 ways the semi-oxidised leaves of tea can help you get to your ideal weight faster:
1.) Scientifically Proven to Help You Lose Weight
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room first. The million-dollar question we need to ask right now is whether oolong can actually help you lose weight. And how does the drink make it all happen?
When it comes to oxidation, oolong sits between black tea and green tea. But as a partially oxidised tea type, its greatest strength could be in weight loss — perhaps even more than the other tea types on the planet.
Take note that of all tea types, oolong could attract your palate like no other. It has a fruity and largely fragrant aroma that comes with a unique flavour. What’s more, there are a lot more choices with oolong if you’re particular about tastes.
Much better, what could truly make your jaw drop is how science has found out about oolong’s weight-loss abilities. It’s not just one but a slew of studies revealed the drink’s innate capacity to counter those extra fats.
- One study involved 102 overweight/obese people who were made to drink oolong daily for six weeks. The results said it all as these people not just lost weight but also lost a substantial portion of their body fat.
- Another study involved metabolic rates. Men in the study were given either water or oolong tea. What researchers found out was that oolong tea boosted energy expenditure by as much as 2.9% compared to water. That’s the equivalent of burning about 281 calories on a daily basis.
Both this study shows how much oolong can help reduce body weight by improving the burning of fat and by increasing the body’s metabolism.
Take note that, unlike green tea, oolong is partially oxidised. Thus, the tea type restores most of its lipid-lowering properties and antioxidants. To a large degree, antioxidants scavenge and counter the harmful effects of free radicals. This can also limit free radical damage that disrupts the cell’s function and leads to weight gain.
2.) You Don’t Need to Go Hungry to Lose Weight
What may interest you more is with oolong, you need not go hungry just to attain those fat-free washboard abs. Of course, we are not saying that you should binge eat and splurge. If you want to hasten fat-burning, choosing what you put inside your stomach would be wise.
If you think of fat as stored energy, then the analogy would be a lot simpler. Weight loss then is all about properly spending the energy that you consume that is in the form of foods.
And this is where oolong is the most spot-on. Oolong tea, as it turns out, helps increase the body’s energy expenditure. Doing so further promotes weight loss.
Plus, the drink boosts metabolism by as much as 10%. That’s because those powerful polyphenols present in the tea help induce weight loss. The polymerised polyphenols that are present in an oolong concoction can help in increasing the body’s overall metabolic rate — and by default, promote weight loss.
Polyphenols are also key in reducing the overall absorption of fat into the body. Again, that should lower cholesterol levels. That is because the polyphenol molecule activates the enzyme lipase which is responsible for lowering LDL cholesterol.
- A study in England and duly published in the Journal of Nutrition successfully established how oolong can amplify the body’s metabolic rate to instigate weight loss. It had 12 men recruited from the general population for the research.
The immediate results should speak for themselves. Oolong tea helps burn tummy and upper arm fat. As aforementioned, belly fat has been associated with a host of life-threatening health complications so countering its negative effects is a must.
Know that oolong harbours Epigallo Catechins (EGCG) and caffeine. Both of these work hand in hand to hasten fat oxidation. EGCG is one powerful compound that can reduce inflammation, and prevent certain chronic diseases, not to mention aid in weight loss. And oolong has more of it than even green tea.
All tea starts basically the same way: picked when green. However, green tea is processed differently. It is picked and consequently heated to put to a stop the leave’s natural enzymatic reaction or what is called oxidation. Once already dry, the leaves are then rolled to bring about the breakdown of the cell structure.
On the other hand, oolong leaves are processed longer. They are allowed to oxidise while kept in carefully-monitored conditions. Unlike green tea, oolong leaves are intentionally not broken. That way, most of its cell structures are left intact. The difference in processing explains why there’s more ECGC in oolong than in green tea, amongst other health benefits.
In the end, drinking oolong means you can enjoy your good night’s sleep while your body is losing fat bit by bit while you’re in bed.
3.) Oolong Can Boost Your Energy While Losing Body Fat
Many who diet find themselves struggling in the energy department. Some would even faint at the onset. That’s because their body is not used to the minimal source of energy delivered to the stomach. Remember that food you take in every day is your primary source of energy. So when you portion these, your body fuel is affected.
Know that oolong contains caffeine so taking a drink can definitely be stimulating. I can increase your energy and focus. Indeed, oolong is a nootropic drink. It contains L-theanine that not only reduces stress but also produces a state of mental calm and renewed clarity.
Then, it comes as no surprise that oolong has been prescribed for people with psychological disorders, including bipolar disease. L-theanine relaxes the nerves and can be helpful in relieving stress and anxiety.
4.) Oolong is Good for Your Heart
The world is coping with heart disease, no doubt about that. Cardiovascular disease is the top killer disease in the world today, barring the complications coming from the virus of course. But, heart disease can be an issue with those who go on a crash diet too.
A new study by Dr Jennifer Rayner, who is a clinical research fellow in the Oxford Centre for Magnetic Resonance at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, is enlightening. Their researchers looked into 21 obese participants aged 52. For 8 weeks, they were given a diet limited to 600–800 calories per day. The findings are worrisome as at the onset the heart of many of the participants was adversely affected.
“If you have heart problems,” she says, “you need to check with your doctor before embarking on a very low-calorie diet or fasting. People with a cardiac problem could well experience more symptoms at this early time point, so the diet should be supervised.”
Dr Jennifer Rayner
The good news is drinking tea, oolong specifically, is good for the heart. In a huge 2003 study, people who took more than six cups of tea daily had a much lower rate of coronary heart disease than people who are non-tea drinkers. What’s more, a host of studies have pointed out oolong’s heart-boosting abilities.
One study involving over 70,000 Japanese adults is jaw-dropping. Men who took at least 8 ounces (240 mL) of oolong tea daily lowered their heart disease risk by as much as 61%).
5.) Oolong Can Help You Fight Life-threatening Diseases
Best of all, drinking oolong has been associated with lowered risk of a bevvy of life-threatening diseases. Some of these are:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
If that has you floored, fret not. Instead, be confident that the drink has brought a lot of goodies to the health department for some time now. Here’s a quick look at the greater health benefits oolong can give you.
How to Drink Oolong Tea for Weight Loss for Max Results
You can max on oolong in tea bags or in raw leaves. Some even combine it with green tea for maximum results.
Drinking Oolong tea from tea bags
- Dip the oolong tea bag into 1 cup of hot water.
- Cover the concoction and steep for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Take out the teabag before consuming the oolong tea.
Oolong tea with tea leaves (minus infuser)
- Mix thoroughly a teaspoon of oolong tea powder with a cup of hot water.
- Steep for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain the tea then allow it to slightly cool
Oolong tea with tea leaves (infuser)
- Heat water to 190–200 ° F.
- Pour the water into a cup.
- Fill a tea infuser with loose oolong tea leaves (a teaspoon or two) for every cup of tea.
- Steep in a cup for 2 to 6 minutes.
For best results, take oolong tea twice daily. That should facilitate losing body fat to promote weight loss. WARNING: Too much oolong in a day can cause adverse effects.
That’s because oolong tea harbours a good amount of caffeine. Thus, the drinking of too much oolong tea can cause mild to even serious side effects. This can come in the form of:
- Sleep problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Upset stomach
Still, that doesn’t negate the fact that the drink is most effective in weight loss. With all the health benefits it puts on the table, it’s one concoction you should not miss. That’s how valuable oolong tea is.