metabolism

So I got this email today touting the benefits of drinking tea. There are many benefits to drinking tea. They are very high in anti-oxidants which can help prevent and even help in fighting existing cancer cells in your body. There are also elements in tea that are reported to increase the fat burning ability of your body by increasing metabolism and helping your body burn fat.

This is all great stuff, but what kind of tea do you choose?

First, you should know that all true teas come from the same plant; Camellia sinensis. The difference in teas is simply in how the tea is processes. There are also herbal teas and others such as rooibos that are made from plants, fruits and flowers and contain no actual tea.

Types of teas include white, yellow, black, green, oolong and post-fermented. In China what we know as black tea is referred to as red tea, which is what rooibos tea is commonly called here. Post-fermented tea is what is called black tea in China. It’s all very confusing, right?

Anyway, let’s refer to things in the US vernacular for simplicity.

Black tea has the most caffeine of all the teas, but it is still about 40% of a regular cup of coffee. Drink it as dark as I do and maybe it’s even a greater difference. Black tea is high in polyphenols, a common antioxidant. There has also been research completed stating that consumption of black tea can have positive effects on cardiovascular health.

Green tea has earned quite a reputation for it’s health benefits and some even claim that you can lose weight by drinking green tea. There is really no scientific proof of these weight loss benefits, although I imagine (with no authority) that some people, given their personal circumstances, may lose a little weight by increasing their water intake and/or balancing some internal chemical imbalance due to the beneficial elements of the tea.

Green tea is very high in antioxidants and scientifically associated with (not proof) with many health benefits including hear health and fighting cancer and glucose stabilization as well as an increase in fat oxidation during exercise. Guess I might have a cup of tea before my next workout :)

The newcomer on the weight-loss hype scene is “Wu-Long Tea”. Let’s be very clear here. There is no difference between Wu-long and Oolong tea.

Do not be fooled and do not pay the unreal prices that companies are asking for this “special” tea. You can pick up a good quality organic oolong tea as a high quality grocery store or health food store for the same price as any other type of tea.

Oolong tea is the same at wu-long tea. don't be fooled or cheated.

Oolong tea has many of the same health benefits as green tea. Preliminary research is stating that oolong tea may have a more significant effect on weight loss by increasing metabolism, burning fat and blocking dietary fat absorption. Oolong tea has been showed to have be a less effective antioxidant than green tea.

Overall tea is great for you and green or oolong may be a good supplement during your weight loss efforts, but don’t for a minute think you can drink tea or even take tea extract pills and lose weight without diet and exercise. Let’s be real folks. And for god’s sake don’t spend a bunch of money on the marketing hype of “Wu-long” Tea. Just try out a couple of varieties of widely available and reasonably priced Oolong Tea.

As always, thank you for following my personal journey and good luck with your own.

References:
http://www.amazing-green-tea.com/oolong-tea-health-benefits.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea – and links deeper

In addition to the Cheat Day and Fast Day that we have already discussed, The Xtreme Fat Loss Diet has three additional days that are strategically laid out to maximize your fat loss, keep your metabolism racing and your hormones balanced.  All these days combined form the five day cycle that is central to the program.

Yesterday was the first of these days and lovingly called shake day.

Now, just let me say that I have always hated protein powder.  It’s the smell that gets to me.  But, for dramatic results, I figured I would suffer through a day.  I also cheated just a bit and subbed out two meals with real food and supplemented another with a tomato salad.

I only subbed out these meals after very carefully doing all the math and calculating exactly what each meal needed to contain given the macro-nutrient and calorie requirements for the day.

After logging all my food on CalorieCounter.com (my absolute favorite food and exercise logging tool) it turns out that my calories were dead on and my macro-nutrient (protien/carb/fat) ratios were pretty good.  My protein was a touch high and my fat a touch low.  For my first go at it, I figure this isn’t so bad – there are definitely worse ways the ratios could be out of whack.

In order to keep to my ratios and calorie requirements I carefully portioned and measured to get the exact right amounts and only used foods off the included food lists in my substitutions.   My food scale and measuring cups and spoons are earning their keep during this process.

This may sound like a total pain, but really it only takes a few extra seconds to measure out your portions.  The calculations and meal planning takes a bit of time, but if you can’t dedicate a little time once every five days for these types of results then you don’t really want it.  I don’t mean to be harsh or anything but getting real with our committment is fundemental to our success.  This is something I struggle with too, but it just comes down to do you want it bad enough or don’t you.  Do you feel your worth it or don’t you?

By the way if you answered no to that question, you should read this.

Ok, so back to protein powder.  Like I said, I hated protein powder, but I found one that actually tastes pretty good and has the nutritional requirements that  are recommended.

Both Joel (Xtreme Fat Loss Diet) and Isabel (The Diet Solution) highly recommend Prograde supplements and I am sure they are really great, but they are pretty spendy.  Now, I am sure they are worth the money, but I am not going to be using protein powder long term as my long term plan recommends always trying for real foods over powders and the Prograde only gets reasonably priced when you do the autoship.

With all this said, I knew that the quality and nutritional suggestions they made were really important so I did my research and found a product that was reasonably priced, tastes great and is made with cold-processed whey protein isolate, natural flavors and is sweetened with Stevia.   I feel that this is a quality product and would recommend it.  And it is the best tasting protein powder I have had and let’s face it, that is really important.

Jay Robb Whey Protein Powder – Comes in assorted sizes and flavors.

Overall, I feel great so far.  I have a ton of energy, my mood is good (well except for the afternoon of fast day, but I think I deserved that – hee hee), my muscles are sore and I even think these pants were a tad looser this morning.

Check out The Xtreme Fat Loss Diet

Because of the huge success in the first couple of days, Joel has extended the $30 off promotion for another 48 hours to celebrate.

Celebrate yourself and your accomplishments as well.  Have a great day!