Many people find that they gain weight as they get older. It seems to be a fact of life for many of us; as we age we put on a few pounds. It’s no secret that our metabolism starts to slow down as we age; even as early as age 30. However, there does seem to be a simple secret weapon that can prevent the pounds from creeping on as we get older.
It’s no secret that Asian countries have far lower incidences of overweight and obesity than most other parts of the world. And, even as they age, Asians don?t seem to put on the age related pounds that plague many cultures. And, of course, it?s no secret that Asians drink large amounts of green tea.
And, there seems to be a connection between these two facts. Green tea has been reported to have many health benefits, including preventing disease and weight gain. It’s consumption has been shown to reduce the risk of many forms of cancer.Lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Green tea has also been shown to help regulate insulin, which may help prevent or control diabetes.
Other studies have shown that green tea can help with weight loss. As it seems to speed the metabolism and promote fat loss. Green tea seems to have a unique ability to promote thermogenesis, or fat burning.
Putting on a few pounds
For these reasons, it seems that being a lifelong green tea drinker may mean that you have less chance of putting on a few pounds each year as you get older. In addition to the abundant anecdotal evidence available by comparing the statistics on obesity in Asian countries to that of European and North American countries, there is also quite a bit of research to back up the theory that drinking green tea regularly over a period of years may lead to lower weight and less body fat.
One particularly interesting study on this subject was conducted by the Department of Family Medicine. National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Taiwan. This study looked at over 1200 subjects, both male and female. They compared the tea drinking habits of the participants. Then evaluated their percentage of body fat and body fat distribution based on waist to hip ratios.
Waist to hip ratios
Waist to hip ratios is very important. This is because we know that fat carried around the hips and waist are more likely to lead to heart disease than fat carried on other places on the body.
The study concluded that tea drinkers were less likely to have an unhealthy percentage of body fat. And were more likely to have positive waist to hip ratios. In fact, those participants who had been tea drinkers for more than 10 years showed an average of 19% less body fat and a waist to hip ratio of 2.1% less than that of non-habitual tea drinkers.
But even those participants who had been habitual tea drinkers for just six months showed improved statistics over those participants who were not habitual tea drinkers.
This study denoted several factors that appeared to have either positive or negative effect on a person’s body fat percentage and body fat distribution.
The factors they rated were as follows:
- Smoking was associated with higher body fat and higher waist to hip ratio.
- Age – Getting older was associated with higher body fat and higher waist to hip ratio.
- Body Mass Index – Higher body mass index was associated with higher body fat and a higher hip to waist ratio.
- Pre-menopausal women were more likely to have a lower percentage of body fat and a lower waist to hip ratio than post menopausal women.
- Habitual tea drinkers had lower waist to hip ratios and lower percentages of body fat.
- Physical Exercise – Those who exercised regularly had lower percentages of body fat and lower waist to hip ratios.
So, as you can see, there are several lifestyle factors that affect whether or not your weight creeps up as you age. Of course, age itself is a factor we can’t control, as is going through menopause.
However, what we can learn from this study is that getting regular exercise, refraining from smoking and drinking tea regularly throughout your life can help you avoid gaining weight as you get older.
Adding green tea to your diet is a simple way to help protect your health and prevent weight gain. As more and more research has revealed green tea?s health benefits, it has become easier to find. Today, green tea can be found in loose or bag form for brewing at home. And bottled form for those who want convenient chilled green tea.
Even those trendy coffee houses now offer a green tea selection on your menu. And, if you can?t get enough of a dose of green tea by drinking it, there are green tea supplements on the market that carry the anti-oxidants of green tea in pill form. But, no matter how you choose to get your dose of green tea, just be sure you get it!