There’s no denying it: we are a nation of tea lovers.
The good news is that certain teas may help with weight loss and target belly fat.
Hidden fat, or visceral fat, can be dangerous because it surrounds internal organs and puts you at greater risk for developing several kinds of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and liver problems.
There are two types of fat: subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.
Subcutaneous fat is the fat that lies below the skin, which you can physically grab onto.
The other type of fat lies deep within the body and is known as visceral fat.
Visceral fat is deemed dangerous because it is located near vital organ such as the stomach and intestines.
Diet and exercise will always be crucial when it comes to losing visceral fat, but a few teas have also shown impressive results in helping to target and burn away hidden fat.
How to burn hidden fat
Black tea has the highest caffeine content of any tea, which may be linked to its hidden fat loss ability.
Additionally, black tea is rich in flavonoids, with experts believing that's another factor for weight loss.
In fact, one 14-year study of 4,280 adults found that people who consumed more flavonoids in either food or drinks had a lower body mass index (BMI).
In a study published in the National Library of Medicine, the effects of black tea on body composition and metabolism were investigated.
The research involved regular male and female tea-drinkers who were recruited in a controlled six-month investigation.
Participants consumed three cups a day of either powdered black tea solids, or a flavonoid-free flavour- and caffeine-matched placebo.
Weight, waist and hip circumference were measured to note any changes among the black tea drinkers over the study course period.
“Compared to control, regular ingestion of black tea over three months inhibited weight gain, reduced waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio,” noted the study.
It concluded: “Our study suggests that short-term regular ingestion of black tea over three months can improve body weight and body fat distribution, compared to a caffeine-matched control beverage.”
Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea that has been proven to help with hidden fat according to studies on animals.
In one study on mice, oolong tea extract was consumed alongside a diet high in fat and sugar.
The results were compared with mice on the same diet not consuming any of the tea.
Researchers found the mice who consumed oolong tea gained less visceral fat than those who consumed none.
In another study conducted on humans, a total of 8g of oolong tea a day for six weeks was ingested among overweight or obese subjects.
“A total of 70% of the severely obese subjects did show a decrease of more than 1kg in body weight, including 22% who lost more than 3kg,” found the study
It added: “Body weight loss was significant related to the decrease of the waist size in men and women.
“Also, the correlation between subcutaneous fat reduction and decreased waist size was significant in women, but not in men.”
The study concluded that oolong tea helped to decrease body fat content and reduced body weight and could be a tea to help “prevent against obesity”.