Mint tea wards off the munchies. Fill a big teacup with soothing peppermint tea and sniff yourself skinny! While certain scents can trigger hunger (a trick Cinnabon figured out long ago), others can actually suppress your appetite. One study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine found that people who sniffed peppermint every two hours lost an average of 5 pounds a month. Although tea is relatively low in caffeine—about 25% of what a cup of coffee delivers—decaffeinated varieties are great to have on hand for a soothing bedtime treat that will keep you out of the cabinets! And speaking of sleep, want to lose weight while you snooze? These 20 Surprising Ways to Lose Weight in Your Sleep can help.
They should help keep you from feeling deprived and bingeing on higher-calorie foods. For instance: honey has just 64 fat-releasing calories in one tablespoon. Eggs have just 70 calories in one hard-boiled egg, loaded with fat-releasing protein. Part-skim ricotta cheese has just 39 calories in one ounce, packed with fat-releasing calcium. Dark chocolate has about 168 calories in a one-ounce square, but it’s packed with fat releasers. And a University of Tennessee study found that people who cut 500 calories a day and ate yogurt three times a day for 12 weeks lost more weight and body fat than a group that only cut the calories. The researchers concluded that the calcium in low-fat dairy foods triggers a hormonal response that inhibits the body’s production of fat cells and boosts the breakdown of fat.
Not only is ginger one of the healthiest spices on the planet, but it also fights inflammation. According to numerous studies, ginger, traditionally used to ease stomach pain, blocks several genes and enzymes in the body that promote bloat-causing inflammation. This means you can enjoy that second serving of nutrient-dense veggies without worry. If you prefer the taste of chai tea, typically made from a blend of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger, that may also do the trick—but may be less potent.
Some commercially available thermogenic supplements (especially those containing ephedrine, also called ephedra) have even been found to induce acute liver failure and contribute to serious reactions like excessive bleeding, increased pressure in the brain, fatigue, malaise and jaundice. (12) This is one reason why ephedrine is now banned as a dietary supplement ingredient in the U.S. — due to an increase in reported reactions hypertension, palpitation, stroke, seizures, heart attack and even in rare cases death.
Ashwagandha tea gives you a better outlook on life and reduces stress hormones that can wreak havoc on your waistline. A study published in the *Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine* found that “Ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual's resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.” When it comes to weight loss, stress is not your friend. A recent study at Penn State found that people who react badly to stressful situations have increased levels of inflammation in their bodies—and inflammation is directly tied to obesity, as well as diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. When anxiety rides high, you’re also at the mercy of stress hormones such as cortisol—known as “the belly fat hormone” for its ability to pull lipids from the bloodstream and store them in our fat cells.
Made from pulverized green tea leaves, you stir matcha into hot water. Therefore, you consume the whole tea leaf. For that reason, you get a bigger dose of ECGC. One study from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs compared the two and found that drinking matcha delivered 137 times the metabolism-revving ECGC compared to traditional green tea. One tip: if you find matcha to be too bitter on its own, foam it into milk and stir with honey for a delicious matcha latte. (If you need some more convincing, here’s some more information on how incredible matcha is as a weight-loss tea.)
Get spicy! According to recent research published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, just half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper can boost metabolism and cause the body to burn an extra 10 calories on its own. Not to mention that for those who don't regularly eat spicy meals, adding cayenne pepper cuts an average of 60 calories from their next meal. Do that at two meals a day for a month and you'll lose 4 pounds without even trying!