Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's High Time for Tea Time

When I was a little girl, my grammy and I would have tea parties where we would drink tea with milk and sugar (in my case, tons of sugar) and eat saltines with cream cheese. These parties were something I looked forward to more than I can express. I felt so grown up drinking tea.

Now that I am grown up, tea is still something I enjoy immensely. In fact, I have three different brewing devices and more than a dozen loose leaf teas. When asked by the Parent Bloggers Network to review The Ultimate Tea Diet by Mark Ukra, I though how perfect! I already have a bunch of tea, and I already have a big butt! Why not let one take care of the other?

As soon as the book came, I started reading thirstily. The mainstay of the diet is to drink tea all day long, eat healthy meals, have a positive outlook and exercise. The plan is complimentary to other weight loss plans, which is nice. I'm starting back to Weight Watchers next week, and by adding tea and tea recipes to my plan the book claims I can enhance my weight loss results.

The main concern I had when I started drinking tea was about caffeine. Ever since Sam was born I've switched to drinking mostly decaf. Whenever I would have too much caffeine from coffee, I felt awful. I would get sweaty and agitated, and have trouble focusing. Tea also has caffeine, but it also contains other compounds that make it better for you than coffee. Caffeine, L-theanine and EGCG are the main components linked to tea's weight loss properties. I quickly found that even after drinking three cups of fully caffeinated tea, I never felt jumpy or anxious, just alert but calm. At night I would switch to decaf teas, but during the day time it wasn't a problem at all. Plus I learned from the book that most of the caffeine is extracted out during the first steep. So if you re-steep the same leaves, the subsequent steeps are nearly caffeine free!

So after two weeks of cutting out coffee and drinking tea instead, did I lose weight? Probably. Like I said before, I'm starting back to Weight Watchers next week so I didn't get officially weighed. And my bathroom scale is highly unreliable. But I feel as though I did. I also noticed a drastic reduction in my hunger levels. My mood during the day was so noticeably calmer that SOB commented on it multiple times. I plan to try and incorporate some of the recipes into my diet as well since they look pretty yummy.

As far as the book goes, I did enjoy several things about it. Mark Ukra got several of his Tea Garden patrons to participate in a weight loss challenge with him, so at the end of every chapter is a TEAmmate profile detailing that specific person's challenges and successes. There were also many interesting studies mentioned that, as a scientist, piqued my interest.

That said, being a scientist who is married to a physician, I do have issues with people who call themselves Dr. Anything when they are not. It's misleading, disingenuous and somewhat disrespectful to those who have earned an MD, DO or PhD. He could have easily called himself Mr. Tea. And then he could have made himself a necklace of gold plated tea bags. Although that turned me off at the beginning, reading the book brought me around. While I don't agree with his self appointed title, I would recommend this book to people looking to either expand their knowledge of tea or lose weight, or both!

Interested? Read more reviews at the Parent Bloggers Network! Or...leave me a comment and WIN a brand spankin' new copy of The Ultimate Tea Diet!


Beth said...

I so wish I liked tea. It would be worth a try to drink some.

Petra said...

This is great..I LOVE tea and looking to loose a few extra pounds gained from the holidays. Petra @

Anonymous said...

I read that black teas (teas other than green teas) are something to avoid when trying to lose weight. The idea was that we hold onto pounds with "toxins" in the body. . .it was in one of the "detox your body" books. I can't recall his name but I first learned of him on Oprah. Nonetheless, I could never give up my tea!

Demi said...

Of course, caffeine is in all of the herbal diet supplements! Is it just the caffeine itself that is the ticket??

Tara said...

Very interesting read. Thanks so much! I used to drink tea, but switched to sodas years ago. Maybe it's time to switch back.

Amy Jo said...

It's several different components in the tea that interact together with the caffeine to help promote weight loss. I was skeptical at first, but the results don't lie!

Haylee's Gifts said...

I love tea also!!! I dont think I could ever give it up, it would be nice to loose weight while I drink it! Great ARticle!