Weight Loss

How to Sip Your Way to a Slimmer Midsection This Summer

If you've been around fitness circles for any length of time, then you’re probably no stranger to the infamous "summer cut."

It’s a rite of passage taken every year when fitness enthusiasts commit to trimming off the extra layer of “insulation” that kept their midsections warm over those frosty winter months.

Sound familiar?

With beach season on their minds, they’ll arm themselves with an intense new workout plan, strict diet protocol, and an iron will to coax their six-pack out of hibernation.

But as the days count down and the mercury shoots up, “summer cutters” often race to the supplement aisle to make their annual contribution to the $60 billion weight loss industry** in hopes of discovering that magic pill that will kick their cutting efforts into full gear.

And what do they often walk away with?

Fat Burners.

The Skinny on Fat Burners… Do They Even Work?

Fat Burners have become a staple in the supplement industry.

With hundreds of brands competing for your dollar, these “proprietary blends” are stacked with barely pronounceable ingredients and backed by dubious claims that can suck the air out of your wallet while leaving you no slimmer.

Fact is, there has been very little (if any) scientific proof pointing to the efficacy of “fat burning” pills.

But if you strip these pills down to their core, you’re left with a common denominator - a natural ingredient, if properly sourced and dosed, CAN indeed boost your weight loss efforts.

Need a hint? Chances are it’s in your pantry right now...

Stimulating Your Shred With Caffeine

The benefits of caffeine have been well-documented so no need to get into the laundry list here.

But in terms of weight loss, here’s how caffeine lends a hand:

  • Boosts mental alertness
  • Decreases fatigue
  • Spikes up metabolic rate

It’s this last effect we’re most interested in.

Most supplement companies pump their fat burners with loads (and often dangerous levels) of caffeine, camouflaging it in a number of creative ways on the ingredients list:

  • green coffee extract
  • green tea extract
  • yerba mate extract
  • caffeine anhydrous
  • methyltheobromine

Whatever you call it, they all point to the same thing: an effective ingredient in moderate doses, but over-stimulating and dangerous when over-supplemented (which is the case in most fat burners).

Go Green to Reap benefits Without the Crash  

So how do you safely and naturally take add a weight loss boost without taxing your body and your wallet?

Simple. Go green.

Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, and naturally contains a bit less than half of the amount of caffeine as coffee.

Natural? Yes.

Safe? You bet.

But with only half the caffeine of coffee (and a fraction of what’s pumped into fat burners), is it an effective alternative?

Let’s turn to the research: In a double blind study published earlier this year, a team set out to quantify the effects of decaffeinated green tea.

Meaning that the benefits observed in the study would be exclusive to green tea itself (NOT caffeine).

Over 4 weeks, they measured changes in fat oxidation, body fat composition and aerobic performance.  

Here are the results versus the placebo group:

Total Fat Oxidation

Increased 24.9%

Body Fat

Decreased 1.63%

Aerobic Performance

Increased 10.9%

Green Light Your Summer Shred

What all this means is that green tea maintained its weight loss and athletic performance benefits even without caffeine.

So what does this revelation mean for you?

With all the marketing muscle being flexed behind the supplement industry, it’s tempting to grab a fat burner off the shelf and swallow your way to a shredded midsection.

But with the science pointing to a safer (and cheaper) way towards the same effect, here’s to hoping you sip your way the a slimmer you instead.