Shortly after I was born, my mother developed diabetes. It runs in our family; I lost an uncle to the disease, and I have other relatives who struggle with it. I remember the day I sat with her, after doctors had told her the limitations of Western medicine when it came to diabetes. I asked her about her time as a nurse in Korea, and what she knew of Eastern medicine. And the same word kept coming up time and again: Tea.
It had been a common drink in our house when I was young. And during a short stint back in Korea, I had rediscovered tea for myself. Now, with my mother’s life at stake, I knew I had to act. I threw myself into the research, using my parents’ medical background and my own skills as a journalist and dedicated foodie.
And what I discovered—and what’s shared in my plan The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse—is a mountain of stunning evidence that tea can not only help strip away unwanted pounds and bring blood sugar under control but can ward off most of the worst diseases of our time, while helping to strip away stress and give us back control of our lives. Click ahead to see what happened during my first week.
I LOST WEIGHT IMMEDIATELY
I tried this cleanse myself, and within 48 hours my waist was measurably smaller, and I felt lighter, more alert, and yet more calm. I shared it with my mother, and her 7-day journey brought her blood sugar under control, and her weight down by a shocking 9 pounds. And then she and I shared it with our friends, and the results were the same across the board. In just 48 to 72 hours, our friends reported noticeable changes in their body shapes, as though the tea were flattening their bellies from the inside.
I FOCUSED ON GREEN TEA
Every tea has its own special weight-loss powers, but if your boat is sinking and you can only grab one package of tea before swimming to the deserted island, make it green tea. Green tea—a core component of The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse—is the bandit that picks the lock on your fat cells and drains them away, even when we’re not making the smartest dietary choices. Chinese researchers found that green tea significantly lowers triglyceride concentrations (potentially dangerous fat found in the blood) and belly fat in subjects who eat fatty diets.
I ATE DELICIOUS MEALS
You’ll start your morning with tea, enjoy a smoothie for lunch and then have a delicious dinner made with lean proteins, healthy fats and filling fibers for dinner. Throughout the day you’ll enjoy at least 4 cups of delicious teas—the book is filled with 40 selections, and recipes for every taste and budget.
I BURNED FAT FASTER
Brazilian scientists found that participants who consumed three cups of the beverage every day for a week had fewer markers of the cell damage caused by resistance to exercise. That means that green tea can also help you recover faster after an intense workout. In another study—this one on people—participants who combined a daily habit of four to five cups of green tea each day with a 25-minute workout for 12 weeks lost an average of two more pounds than the non-tea-drinking exercisers.
I BOOSTED MY METABOLISM
The concentration of EGCG—the superpotent nutrient found in green tea—may be as much as 137 times greater in powdered matcha tea. EGCG can simultaneously boost lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and block adipogenesis (the formation of new fat cells). One study found that men who drank green tea containing 136 milligrams of EGCG—what you’d find in a single 4-gram serving of matcha—lost twice as much weight than a placebo group and four times as much belly fat over the course of three months
I REDUCED MY CRAVINGS
Before you head out to dinner, pour yourself a cup of green tea. The active ingredient in green tea, EGCG, boosts levels of cholecystokinin, or CCK, a hunger-quelling hormone. In a Swedish study that looked at green tea's effect on hunger, researchers divided up participants into two groups: One group sipped water with their meal and the other group drank green tea. Not only did tea-sippers report less of a desire to eat their favorite foods (even two hours after sipping the brew), they found those foods to be less satisfying.
I SAVED MONEY
Think about it: Each bag costs pennies.
I DRANK TEA RIGHT BEFORE BED
You probably already know that chamomile tea can help induce sleep (there’s even a brand called Sleepy Time). But science is showing that teas actually work on a hormonal level to lower our agita and bring peace and slumber. Studies have found that herbal teas like valerian and hops contain compounds that can actually reduce levels of stress hormones in our bodies, bringing on sleep — and reducing the body’s ability to store fat!
AND I DRANK IT RIGHT WHEN I WOKE UP
A study in the International Journal of Molecular Science found that fasting overnight, followed by green tea intake (at least 30 minutes before your first meal of the day), allowed for the best possible absorption of EGCG, the magic nutrient in The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse.
I REDUCED STRESS
Red tea, also known as rooibos, is a great choice for when you’re struggling with midday stress. What makes rooibos particularly good for soothing your mind is the unique flavanoid called Aspalathin. Research shows this compound can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage and are linked to hypertension, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
I ENJOYED IT WITH FRIENDS
A new study in the journal Hormones and Behavior found that those who feel lonely experience greater circulating levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin after they eat, causing them to feel hungrier sooner. Over time, folks who are perennially lonely simply take in more calories than those with stronger social support networks.
I BLENDED IT INTO A SMOOTHIE
Green or white teas make great bases for smoothies. In a study presented at the North American Association of the Study of Obesity, researchers found that regularly drinking smoothies in place of meals increased a person’s chances of losing weight and keeping it off longer than a year. Add your favorite tea to one of these 56 Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss!
I TOSSED IN SOME CHIA SEEDS
These little black morsels of nutrition are packed with fiber, protein and, most important of all, omega-3 fatty acids. Pair chia seeds with green tea in a smoothie to turbocharge the tea’s fat-burning powers. According to a study review in the International Journal of Molecular Science, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may enhance not only the bioavailability of EGCG, but also its effectiveness.
I MADE OATMEAL WITH IT
Why not empower rice, quinoa and even oatmeal with the belly-fat burning properties of green tea? Tie 4 green tea bags onto a wooden spoon. Fill a small pot with 2 cups water; add wooden spoon and tea bags. Bring water to a boil and remove tea bags. Add the grains to the boiling tea water and cook as directed.
I PEPPERED UP MY MEALS
When you drink tea with a salad or soup, make an effort to add some black pepper to your meal. Recent studies have indicated that a compound found in black pepper, called piperine, may help improve blood levels of EGCG by allowing it to linger in the digestive system longer — meaning that more of it is absorbed by the body.
I SHARED MY PLAN WITH THE WORLD
In just one week on The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse, you will lose up to 10 pounds of stubborn abdominal weight; look and feel leaner and lighter, without grueling exercise; reset your metabolism to help make weight-loss long-lasting and automatic; sleep more soundly and feel more energized; dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease; beat stress and bring complete calm to your mind.