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4 Teas Better Than Therapy

What if I told you that the biggest contributor to your weight gain wasn't sugary drinks, or too much couch time, or the 1,800-calorie Bloomin' Onion you ate the last time you visited Outback?

What if the real culprit were something more sneaky and insidious, something you couldn't see, couldn't taste, and couldn't get out of your life? No, I'm not talking about the Kardashians. I mean something even more ubiquitous: stress.

Stress derails your weight loss in several different ways:

The stress-nosh effect.
You're anxious/bored/worried/tired, and you need something to occupy your hands/your mouth/the empty feeling in your gut, so you automatically reach for a cookie/brownie/slice of cake/entire bag of Doritos. Stress drives us to distraction, and distracted eating is eating that adds a lot more calories, but little if any quality nutrients or feelings of satisfaction.

The fat-storage effect.
When you're under stress, the hormone cortisol gathers up all the extra lipids in your blood stream and stores them right in your belly. Then it sends out a signal: "Hey, need more lipids here. Go eat something." More stress leads to more belly fat, even if actual calories consumed remain the same.

The sleeplessness effect.
Sitting up all night long because you can't stop thinking about your credit report, your kids' school report, or how much you miss The Colbert Report may set you up for a miserable day of nutrition. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when people are sleep-deprived, they are more likely to make bad food choices, snack late at night, and choose high-carb snacks. And a second study found that when people miss out on shut-eye, it makes them eye more calorie-dense meals.

That's why using tea to battle stress is an important part of the Tea Cleanse. The following teas can help soothe the soul, bring calm and focus to your world, and improve the quality of your sleep, even on evenings when the gap between income in and payments out are looking precariously narrow.

The Sleep Enhancer


DRINK THIS: Yogi Tea Herbal Tea Supplement, Bedtime
BECAUSE IT: Brings on deeper sleep
Valerian is an herb that's long been valued as a mild sedative, and now research is showing what tea enthusiasts have known for centuries. In a study of women, researchers gave half the test subjects a valerian extract, and half a placebo. Thirty percent of those who received valerian reported an improvement in the quality of their sleep, versus just 4 percent of the control group. In a study published in the European Journal of Medical Research, investigators gave 202 insomniacs valerian or a Valium-like tranquilizer. After six weeks, both treatments were equally effective. And in other studies, valerian root has been shown to increase the effectiveness of sleeping pills. While researchers have yet to identify the exact active ingredient, they suspect that receptors in the brain may be stimulated to hit "sleep mode" when coming in contact with valerian.

The Insomnia Slayer


DRINK THIS: Traditional Medicinals Organic Lemon Balm
BECAUSE IT: Reduces sleep disorders
A European study found that lemon balm serves as a natural sedative, and researchers reported that they observed reduced levels of sleep disorders among subjects using lemon balm versus those who were given a placebo.

The Stress-Hormone Squasher


DRINK THIS: Celestial Seasonings, Teavana
BECAUSE IT: Reduces cortisol levels
What makes rooibos tea particularly good for soothing your mind is the unique lavanoid 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.

The Anxiety Stopper


DRINK THIS: Yogi Tea Herbal Tea Supplement, Bedtime
BECAUSE IT: Induces sleepiness and aids anxiety
Passionflower has the flavone chrysin, which has wonderful anti-anxiety benefits and, in part, can work similarly to the pharmaceutical Xanax (Alprazolam). A mild sedative, this particular species of passionflower provides a vegetal-tasting tea that calms nervousness and anxiety and helps you get to sleep at night. It is generally considered safe to use, but should be avoided by pregnant women.


To learn more about the wonders of tea, and get started on a 7-day plan that will melt up to 10 pounds, buy the 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse now, exclusively in e-Book format. Available for Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Google Play, and Kobo.

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