Unless you were living under a rock last week you will have seen the uproar that ensued after Kim Kardashian posted a photo to instagram promoting “appetite suppressant lollipops”. She described the product by Flat Tummy Co as “literally unreal” and unsurprisingly twitter blew up with people calling the post “toxic” and “promoting disordered eating”.
We are all very familiar with “skinny teas” or “teatoxes” but how many people actually know what’s in them and the effect they will have on their body. I looked at 4 different Skinny Tea websites and this is what I found….
Flat Tummy Co
From the company that brought you appetite suppressant lollipops, Flat Tummy Co have 3 types of skinny tea, activate, cleanse and maintain.
They claim that their teas reduce your bloating, boost your energy, support your metabolism, cleanse your system & improve digestion. A quick scroll to the bottom of the page and you will find the following sentence:
“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.”
In other words there isn’t any proof. The ingredients in all the teas are natural which you can actually check in this case because a detailed list is accessible through their FAQ page. Both the activate and cleanse teas contain dandelion which is diuretic. Diuretics increase the amount of water and salt expelled from the body as urine thus decreasing water retention. Water retention is a common reason for the appearance of a bloated stomach and if you weigh yourself often there is usually a small fluctuation due to things like water retention. Most likely these teas will decrease the amount of water your body retains but its not a permanent solution.
I had to go searching for the list of ingredients, I don’t ever think its a good sign when they don’t have a list under the product description. Realistically most people won’t go searching like I did. I assume most of their customers take the view of “if it’s good enough for Kim it’s good enough for me”. At least I found a list of ingredients on this occasion!
The Skinny Tea Co
The closest thing to an ingredient list was the following:
We use an exclusive hand picked GABA Oolong- a special weight loss tea developed by Japanese Scientists in the 80’s – that has been processed to exponentially raise its fat burning and weight loss power by maximising its Antioxidant, Polyphenol and GABA content.
We blend this exclusive GABA Oolong with naturally scented whole leaf teas and Uji Matcha powdered green tea(this is the best stuff) to create our delicious and exclusive detox tea blends. Our weight loss tea contains around 137x the Antioxidants and 40x the Gamma-Aminobutyric acid content of regular green tea.
This was on their homepage, so I didn’t have to go searching to the darkest depths of their website to find it like I did for Flat Tummy Co and others. The Skinny Tea Co teas are 100% laxative free, unlike a lot of skinny teas.
Oolong tea, their main ingredient, hasn’t actually been proven to promote weight loss. The only significant benefit from it is the alertness achieved as a result of consuming caffeine.
Finally a website that has a list of ingredients that’s easy to find! When you go on to the page for each product a tab labelled “nutritional information” has a complete list of the ingredients.
Bootea have 2 types of tea, daytime and bedtime, both marketed as a “teatox”.
The daytime tea contained Oolong tea and Yerba Mate neither of which have been shown to promote weight loss but both have been shown to interact with the contraceptive pill reducing its effectiveness. The rest of the ingredients have no links to weightloss. Again dandelion leaf is present as a diuretic agent to reduce water retention.
I couldn’t find any evidence that the ingredients in the bedtime tea promoted weight loss either.
By far the worst one I found. Skinny Teatox “produces a laxative effect”, “can be toxic in high doses” and can “reduce effectiveness of birth control”. No list of ingredients anywhere on the website, but each product has a disclaimer which is where I found the single sentence about the product containing laxatives.
The “No.1 teatox in the world” claims to help you with weight loss, to burn calories, to boost your metabolism, to cleanse, to detoxify and to increase energy levels. The site also claims that the 14 day detox is designed to suppress your appetite.
They then go on to have a list of foods you should eat plenty of and foods to avoid…
Clearly they’ve never heard of balance!
The site suggests you should avoid “bad carbs” and you should eat plenty of “potatoes”, “brown rice” and “tofu”. I think this is ridiculous. This level of restriction isn’t healthy or sustainable. Oh and there is no such thing as bad carbs.
Skinny teas are not the solution! I personally would never put my body through a teatox. I think it wouldn’t actually achieve a sustainable result. The answer to losing weight (if that’s what you want to do is a healthy lifestyle of balanced eating and regular exercise NOT laxatives in tea form!