While the antioxidant benefits of green tea are widely known I don't think the fat loss benefits are as well documented

Recently I reviewed a number of studies that showed green tea helped people lose weight and, in fact, may help you lose fat around the abdominal region.

In one study, 107 participants completed a 12-week exercise and nutrition program supplemented with consuming either a green tea and caffeine beverage (the test group) or caffeine-only beverage (control) group. The test group lost more weight and showed a greater fat loss in the abdominal region. But both groups were doing strength training and cardio training as well. So the green tea enhanced the fat loss benefits of exercise.

Another study reviewed 11 other studies on green tea and weight loss. The reviewers concluded there is solid evidence that green tea has a small effect on weight loss and weight maintenance.

However, the study also noted that ethnicity and high caffeine intake may moderate green tea's effectiveness. Caucasians had less weight loss than Asians in some of the studies reviewed.

Four other studies I looked at all pointed to green tea having at least a small, positive effect on weight loss.

How Green Tea Helps Weight Loss

Green tea contains compounds called catechins that researchers believe are the active ingredients that help in weight loss.

Specifically there is one catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that appears to be the most beneficial in terms of fat burning.

Green tea is rich in EGCG as well as other catechins.

Add Green Tea to Your Fitness Program

I'm in no way suggesting that drinking green tea along with your donut is going to help you lose weight. It's no magic bullet.

Your fat loss program still needs to include strength training, cardiovascular exercise and healthy nutrition.

But drinking a couple of cups of green tea each day may help you shed a few more pounds. It's cheap, safe and it just may help target that stubborn belly fat.