hara hachi bu

I love all kinds of tea, but I have a problem with detox and weight loss teas: classified as dietary supplements, the manufacturers can tell you whatever they want about the wonderful effects of their tea without any hard evidence to support their statements.

Many of these “skinny” teas contain laxatives. There’s not much evidence that products with laxative herbs can help in weight loss. In fact, cathartic herbs like Senna can cause stomach troubles, cramps, diarrhea; the continued use of cathartics can lead to abnormal bowel function and changes to electrolytes.

The detox craze: why do we think we need some special products to help us detox? Our body has the means to keep us healthy and “detoxed,” that’s what our liver is for! Unfortunately, we don’t treat it well enough to let it perform its job properly. As an alternative, we embark on the latest trend, often because our favorite celebrity is shown holding up some tea. Instead of buying into some new-found fad, which makes claims nobody can hold to, why not opt for an overall healthier lifestyle? Drinking plenty of water is nature’s way to detox your body. Enjoy some organic green tea or Matcha tea – both are great detoxifiers.

Of the supplements and herbs that research has found to be both safe and effective for weight loss and maintenance are: A high quality multi-vitamin. Food cravings may be because you’re lacking a certain vitamin or mineral. A daily multivitamin reduces the likelihood of deficiency and may help with those cravings; Fiber. Not only does fiber help manage your weight it also lowers cholesterol, improves blood sugar levels in diabetes, and promotes regular bowel movements. If your diet doesn’t provide the recommended 20-25 grams of fiber each day, ask your health care provider about supplements such as psyllium, or ground flax seed;  Green Tea. Research on green tea shows that it may modestly reduce BMI, body weight, and waist size. Green tea chai is a great choice, not only is the tea good for weight management, so are its spices; Water. The healthiest beverage, with few or no calories should be used to fulfill most of the fluid needs of healthy individuals. About 50% of the increased calories in the North American diet are coming from the consumption of high caloric, sweetened beverages.

Finally, make mindful eating a habit, and as the Japanese say: “hara hachi bu – eat until 80% full.”