We all want to look and feel our best–to stand up confidently, to feel attractive, to wear clothes (or a swimsuit) that flatter and accentuate our best parts. When we feel good in our body–healthy, strong, balanced, with good digestion–it shows.
For many women, myself included, one of the main benchmarks we look to to help us feel confident, proud, and attractive in our body is having a flat tummy. Whether that’s eliminating bloating, having regular bowl movements, losing excess belly fat, or some combination, having a flat stomach means we’re more likely to stand up straight, wear clothes that fit and flatter us appropriately, and feel lighter and more at ease in our body.
Tea, such as green tea, pu-erh tea, or ‘detox tea,’ has earned quite the reputation for helping achieve a flat tummy.
For most of us, though, a single cup of tea is not going to magically shrink anyone’s belly. The tea choices need to be smart and there needs to be a strategy and consistency to the tea drinking.
Choose the perfect flat tummy tea for you, if you want to:
All teas can help raise metabolism due to the presence of caffeine and catechins. Green tea has been shown to increase caloric burn during exercise. If you want the most potent and effective form of green tea, look for matcha, a form of powered green tea in which you consume the whole leaf, which increases the uptake of the beneficial compounds.
Add matcha to your water bottle about an hour before working out to maximizes the metabolic boost of tea.
Target Belly Fat
If you’re more specifically looking to reduce the fat around the mid-section, then you need to know about pu-erh tea. Studies suggest pu-erh is effective at targeting abdominal fat. This is likely due to the fermentation of pu-erh, which creates probiotic-like characteristics and unique enzymes that specifically address belly fat.
Drink at least 1-2 cups of pu-erh tea daily for best results.
One popular way to ensure a flat belly is to limit food portions. But sometimes that’s easier said than done. Enter, tea.
Hot tea and other hot drinks suppress appetite more than cold ones because they raise body temperature. Drinking something such as tea also helps alleviate thirst, which can often be misconstrued as hunger.
The caffeine in tea can help suppress appetite by increasing energy without food; matcha can be very effective, due to it’s high caffeine levels.
Pu-erh tea also seems to help reduce appetite, as various studies have found that drinking pu-erh before meals led to consuming fewer calories. Herbal infusions and hemp seeds can also help control appetite.
Facilitate a Bowel Movement
Many people look to ‘detox teas’ to help get their bowels moving each day. Though this can be effective on occasion, it really should not be a long term solution as it both indicates and creates bigger systemic problems (perhaps a blockage or poor colon function.)
Caffeine itself can be a mild laxative, so a cup of matcha first thing in the morning may get things started. Pu-erh tea, too, can gently nourish the system. One herb you may be less familiar with is cassia seed (known in Chinese medicine as jue ming zi) which can help lubricate the large intestine, without being a true laxative.
If you are considering a detox tea for it’s laxative properties, you’ll most likely encounter senna or cascara sagrada, both of which are quite harsh and can be habit-forming. Take caution and use sparingly.
One of the best ways to get a flat tummy with tea is actually to not drink much tea at all. During meals, that is. Only take small sips of tea or any liquid–just enough to wet your mouth–from 10 minutes before eating to 30 minutes after eating to prevent bloating. Drinking too much liquid with meals dilutes the digestive enzymes causing food to be digested slower and bloating to be more likely.
If it’s been at least 30 minutes since you finished a meal, pu-erh tea can help alleviate bloating. The same characteristics in pu-erh that target belly fat also assist with the digestion, processing, and clearing of stagnant food. Facilitating digestion and normal flow means less air gets trapped and there’s less to ferment causing gas and bloating.
An herbal alternative with actions similar to pu-erh is Chinese hawthorn (shan zha in Chinese medicine), which is effective due to the presence of enzymes that help breakdown old foodstuffs.
While finding the perfect flat tummy tea might seem easy, remember: to get the best results, you must choose the right tea, drink it at the right times of day, and be consistent. Doing so will ensure your stomach is lean and flat and you feel oh-so-beautiful and confident in that tight dress.