Holiday Spiced

Holiday Spiced

Indulge in holiday goodies like fruitcake, mince and pumpkin pies, and Swiss cake rolls, then, wash it all down with tea, and you’ll keep from putting on those holiday pounds. Yeah, right!

I have to chuckle at all of the fantastical claims being made about tea these days. Many of these are just statements on a Website (my online search popped up 7,540,000 results, and no, I didn’t look at them all) with no links to actual studies conducted in a scientific manner. There are lots of sites and companies that will gladly accept your money in exchange for their miracle diet tea (usually green and wu-long/oolong, but some aren’t even teas).

As a consumer, what should you do? I say, “Take a practical approach.”

Here’s what I mean:

  • Enjoy the holiday goodies, but in smaller amounts and only once a day.
  • Instead of snacking on these goodies between meals, have a cup of tea. In fact, some diet counselors recommend that you have at least 3 cups of tea a day (they say it’s to increase antioxidants in your body).
  • Eat your goody earlier in the day (I suggest before 5 p.m.) to give your body time to burn it up fully, and then you can have a light dinner.
  • If you want dessert after dinner, have a flavored tea such as Holiday Spiceinstead.
  • Avoid sugar, honey, and milk in your tea if you tend to drink a lot of it during the day.
  • If you need a bit of flavor in your green tea, go for some lemon or even a bit of lime.
  • You’ll probably be on the go a lot during the holidays, so take tea with you in a convenient travel mug. You won’t be tempted to grab a calorie-laden latté tea drink at one of those coffee shops.
  • Contrary to what some say, the caffeine level in tea is not sufficient to keep you awake at night, so have a cupful at bedtime. It will relax you. Great for people who eat when they’re nervous (like me).

The main effect that tea is supposed to have on us that helps with keeping our weight down is increasing metabolism. Doug Balentine, director of nutrition sciences for a major tea company, doesn’t agree. While he acknowledges studies in Asia and the U.S. that show tea can modify fat oxidation and reduce abdominal fat, he states that any effect on your metabolism is basically due to the caffeine and are minimal at best.

If these tips don’t work, just blame the dryer for shrinking your pants and avoid the bathroom scale until the New Year. That’s my plan!

For a practical approach to tea, visit Tea Time with A.C. Cargill.

[Editor's note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

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