Spilling the T on skinny teas

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The post that started it all

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 CoFT4_b7951727-f1b0-47d7-9f89-a51784c48ade

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.

 

BOOTEA
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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.

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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.

TO CONCLUDE….

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!

 

What’s in my gym bag

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First day in the gym and one of the first things I clock is the vending machines but these aren’t ordinary vending machines. They don’t sell your favourite chocolate bars instead they sell towels and padlocks…and they ain’t cheap. So my first gym bag essential has to be a Poundland padlock! Personally I prefer the combination locks because who wants to carry a key around the gym and then potentially leave it on the floor by that machine you used half an hour ago. Big up Poundland for their selection of padlocks. I ended up getting a pack of 2 that I think were designed for suitcases and splitting it with a friend but still it works just fine. I forgot to take it with me once and honestly it was the worst gym session. I couldn’t focus on what I was doing because I was so worried about my bag, I know realistically it was very unlikely that anyone would take my bag but still better safe than sorry amirite!

IMG_0328.JPGGym bag item number 2 – BCAA’s. Now it took me a while to get on the BCAA train and I think it is very important to remember that supplements are NOT necessary to make progress. BCAA’s or branched chain amino acids are very popular within the fitness industry and you will see lots of fitness bloggers and the like promoting or talking about them. Your body doesn’t produce all the proteins your body needs, some of them have to come from your diet and BCAA’s contain 3 of those proteins which help to maintain and grow muscle. I drink them during my workout but you can have them before or after it just depends what you want to do. My favourite flavour so far (I’ve only tried 3 so it’s not that difficult a contest) is the MyProtien Tropical Storm flavour. I bought the smallest pouch nearly 6 months ago and I’m still not half way through it! I also bought this little tub from them to store it in instead of the pouch that it comes in because it is so much easier to transport. Fair warning though it makes a right mess trying to get it into the tub! I use the MyProtein active women mini shaker because 1 – it’s purple and 2 – its perfect size for a workout drink. Fair warning though the colour of your BCAA’s might end up staining the top of the lid…it comes off in a couple of washes though so it’s not the end of the world!

IMG_0327Gym music – I either love it or hate it. Some days they are playing all the tunes other days…not so much. For those days There is nothing better than a good pair of wireless headphones. I tried the wired ones…did not end well. I am lucky enough to own a pair of Beats and they are amazing but obviously a bit on the pricey side. There are plenty of cheaper options on Amazon if you shop around a bit. I also had an unfortunate incident where my headphones ran out mid workout. So I now keep my old pair in my gym bag as well as a spare pair should that happen again! These are great though they really block out all other sound so you can really focus on you and what you’re doing.

IMG_0331.JPGI know I’ve talked about this water bottle before but I honestly don’t go anywhere without it! If I’m doing quite a high intensity workout I need more than just my BCAA’s so this big water bottle comes in handy. I suppose I could just go to the fountain and back but that’s a lot of effort and I could lose my spot and I would definitely lose my rhythm and concentration (I’m easily distracted). The little hook means I can hold it on one finger as well so it’s easy to move around even though I also have my BCAA’s (all of the fluids – gotta stay hydrated).

IMG_0330.JPGLast but not least my final gym essential is my set of resistance bands. I love taking inspiration from other peoples workouts on Instagram and youtube and a resistance band is somewhat a must have. I can never workout where they are in the gym so I have found it easier to just bring my own. This pack contains 4 bands of varying strength – light, medium, strong and extra strong. Personally I use the medium and strong the most.  Resistance bands are also great for at home workouts.

 

Links:

Combination Padlock – not the one I use but similar

BCAA’s

Mini Shaker

Headphones – expensive

Headphones – cheaper (my backup pair)

Water Bottle

Resistance Bands