Chinese Tea Diet, Does It Work, Is It Safe, and 19 Teas to Try


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The Chinese tea diet is a popular diet regime that many people around the world adopt to supplement their weight loss efforts.

But how does it work? And how safe is it? I’m going to nhead into the details here, but first, here’s the quick takeaway answer…

Chinese tea diet, what it is? Chinese tea diet is a method of using tea as a supplement to aid weight loss or slimming. A chinese tea diet can take two forms:

  • Using true tea or herbal tea varieties – natural, time-consuming but safer 
  • Using diet/slimming tea – uses laxative agents, it’s faster – but may be less safe or consistent

Chinese tea diet is a form of weight loss plan that helps you slim/lean down or shed a few pounds of fat only with the use of a specific tea, that many call diet tea.

It has to be said that the success of any diet including the Chinese tea diet comes with an accompanying healthy or clean eating pattern and an exercise or workout plan.

Broadly speaking, this tea diet has taken two forms or methods which are based on the type of tea you use to diet with for the Chinese tea.

This division has come along with the discovery and introduction of different fat burning/ weight loss agents and properties.

Let’s look at each of them in detail

1. Chinese tea diet using true tea or herbal tea varieties

As the heading suggests, this is the Chinese diet that uses true tea varieties made from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis.

One common or most popular true tea variety that’s earned its reputation for diet, weight loss, or even slimming is “green tea”.

Green tea is made from the authentic “Camellia Sinensis” plant and is minimally processed, making it unique for its light and weight loss-aiding properties. You might easily include white tea and yellow tea into this category too.

Likewise, many other types of tea varieties are made from an infusion of different plant leaves, fruits, seeds, or buds.

These tea varieties are mostly called tisane or herbal teas, as they are not made from the true tea plant nut herbs.

All these tisanes or infused tea varieties exhibit different natural weight loss, fat burning, or slimming properties that aids a diet, and thereby is named after the Chinese tea diet.

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How the Chinese tea diet works

How these true or herbal tea varieties work depends on the type of tea you’re including in your Chinese diet.

Overall, all the Chinese tea varieties in this diet use a specific natural agent or ingredient that has a specific weight loss, fat burning, or slimming property.

The one that best suits you will of course depend on how your body can take and respond to it and, of course, assuming you’re not sensitive to one or both of them.

The Chinese tea diet with natural teas is safe

As it’s a purely natural diet regime, it can take time for them to work and sometimes the results might prove to take a little longer than you expect.

But it’s important to say that this type of Chinese tea diet is natural and has minimal side effects when taken in moderation and so is safe for most of it.

Chinese tea diet varieties

Below is a list of 18 teas you can use to follow a Chinese tea diet using true tea or herbal tea varieties.

  1. Oolong tea
  2. Pu-erh tea
  3. Dark tea
  4. Green tea
  5. White tea
  6. Yellow tea
  7. Coix Seed tea
  8. Lotus Leaves tea
  9. Cassia Seed tea
  10. Barley Malt tea
  11. Blue ternate tea
  12. Lemon tea
  13. Rose tea
  14. Chrysanthemum tea
  15. Dried Orange Peel tea
  16. Hawthorn tea
  17. Acid Compound tea
  18. Jasmine tea
  19. Semen Cassiae tea
tea varieties
diet tea varieties

How to follow the Chinese tea diet using true or herbal tea varieties

For true tea varieties such as Green, Pur-eh, and Oolong, the general recommendation is to drink at least 4 cups every day.

It’s recommended to drink before every meal. You can also have this tea before and after every meal.

Having either of these teas, before and after a meal makes the body’s process of digestion easier and effective, thus, helping with weight loss.  

None of these should be taken on an empty stomach in the morning.

For instance, having green tea on an empty stomach is believed to cause side effects such as stomach ache, nausea and constipation, bleeding disorders, increased heart rate, and blood pressure.

However, in general, the most effective time to have tea like green tea for weight loss is in the morning, so make sure to have at least something top eat before your cup of tea.

Taking Chinese tea diet before exercise

For best results for weight loss with a Chinese diet tea using green tea, you should take a cup or two before exercise.

Take green tea 90 minutes before exercise, it increases the fat oxidation rate during exercise. Choose your green tea wisely too, where possible, look for green tea with a greater concentration of Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), this is a plant compound that aids in weight loss.

Taking Chinese tea diet before sleep

As well as the morning, be sure not to have any of these true tea varieties before going to sleep.

An important element of any diet, especially the Chinese tea diet is a proper sleep cycle.

So when you have true tea varieties made from the tea plant, they contain caffeine that can interrupt your sleep cycle, this will not support a successful diet for weight loss. 

While that’s for true tea varieties, other herbal teas can be had the same way before every meal or before and after every meal.

You can have 6-8 cups of any herbal teas when following a Chinese diet. However, there is no real restriction for herbal teas, when it comes to having on an empty stomach or while going to bed.

This is because herbal teas are only a tisane and not made from the tea plant, and so caffeine and other severe acidic properties are less and have no impact.

But, I would urge cauition, at least to begin with. Some diet teas do have their side effects as well as their benefits.

Start with one cup, and look to incrase from there over a reasonable period of time, so that your body can get used to it and to ensure no side effects become uncomfortable.

If in any doubt, be sure to consult your doctor. And on that note, let’s move on to the other Chinese tea method…

2. Chinese tea diet using diet/slimming teas

This method of following a Chinese diet using teas named after “diet or slimming tea” became popular in recent years and is still trending.

The specialty of this method is that all these diets or slimming teas use a laxative agent or more specifically an herb called “Senna”.

Meaning the diet or slim tea can be any tea type of tea such a black, green, white, or even any herbal tea, but they will have the addition of a laxative agent such as “Senna”. 

This laxative agent is believed to prevent or stop the body from absorbing calories from any food you eat, thereby supporting a diet.

Typical teas that fall into this category are Senna tea, or Catherine tea.

tea varieties - chinese tea diet
tea varieties

How the laxative based Chinese tea diet works

Although it’s not exactly understood how most of these diet teas work when following a Chinese diet, these teas are believed to stop the body from absorbing calories and cleanse the bowels leading to increased fluid loss, thereby supporting weight loss.

All these functions are facilitated with the help of a laxative agent in the tea. 

Laxative agent in Chinese diet method

Let’s start with some additional background on the laxative agents…

Laxative agents are approved to be sold even over-the-counter by the FDA for the short-term treatment of constipation – and sometimes used to cleanse the bowels before a colonoscopy. But the FDA also urge caution in their use.

While it’s not certain how effective this tea works for a Chinese tea diet, many believe that laxative agents only support effective fluid loss, which can make you temporarily weigh less on the scales.

So this may only be a water based weight loss and not a fat based loss that you’re actually expecting from a diet.

This means that as soon as you intake the same amount of fluid that you flushed, you will likely return to the same weight as before. 

This method of using diet tea to follow a Chinese diet may give you quicker results in a short time span, but the ability to maintain such a weight loss is questionable.

Is a laxitive based Chinese tea diet safe?

Long-term use of laxative agents that are found in diet or slimming teas are ill advised, as they can cause the following:

  • Interference with the absorption of nutrients, including electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, which can support heart function disorders, liver damage, and muscle weakness.
  • Damage to the digestive tract
  • Laxative dependence may affect the natural bowel movement functions 

It’s also recommended not to have laxative agents or even Senna for longer than two weeks at a time.

How to follow the Chinese tea diet using diet/slimming tea?

The way to follow a Chinese tea diet using diet or slimming tea depends on the brand you opt for.

Each brand should provide a detailed explanation of how to follow the diet, the best times to take, and so on.

There are special companies and manufacturers that release such teas with a professional or customized diet routine, as in what to eat over the time you’re following the Chinese tea diet.

However, before taking this tea to follow a Chinese diet, make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients or properties of this tea. Inquire about them with an expert or medical professional.

Also most importantly, if you have any health conditions that you take medications for or are under particular therapy or treatment, then be sure to discuss with your doctor the type/brand of tea you want to use and why …and obtain their approval before proceeding.

Note – Pregnant women should seek medical advice before following either of the above Chinese tea diet methods.

To finish then…

I guess which method you opt for depends largely on how quickly you want to lose weight.

I’d be somewhat apprehensive about starting the Chinese tea diet if it involved laxatives. The initial method which just includes true type teas seems a safer and better option.