I need to get this off my chest.
I’ve been doing the whole “fitness social media” thing for over 3 years now, going on 4. And you know who’s been on my sh*t list for the majority of those 3+ years?
THE FIT TEA COMPANIES.
So here it is. The tea on the tea.
I don’t like to pick on people. I normally just focus on the positive and try to forget the negative. But these companies drive me INSANE. Why?
a) Their reps are CONSTANTLY in my inbox. Like, incessantly. Akin to your crazy ex that won’t leave you alone even though you’ve made it clear as day that you are No. Longer. Interested.
b) Their product is, generally speaking, a lie. Or at least a false-truth. They, like most companies on the internet, prey on the insecurity of the consumer and bank on the fact that most consumers are relatively un-educated (that’s not a knock on the consumer either. None of us are well-educated on every topic. That’s why we trust the companies we buy from – we expect that they’re telling us the truth and have done the research for us).
Not only that, but most of the time, these companies also find influencers with relatively large followings and pay them to promote their products. There are over 250,000 posts on Instagram using the hashtag #SkinnyTea. Believe me, I get it. We all have to make our own coin. But when it comes to sponsored posts, I for one will never promote a product that I don’t a) use, b) believe in, or c) know to be effective at what it claims to be effective at.
So, here I am, using my stuff to teach you guys and help you sift through the BS that’s out there on the internet. Consider this your Burn Book for fit teas.
WHAT THE FIT TEAS CLAIM TO DO
When it comes to “Fit Teas,” most of them promise to do things like help you shed those last few “stubborn pounds,” flatten your stomach, help your digestion, debloat you, and so-on.
Again, while these claims may not be entirely false, they also definitely aren’t entirely true, and they most definitely aren’t side effects exclusive to some expensive tea.
My main problem with these teas is how they promote weight loss. We live in a culture that’s a) very obsessed with weight loss, and b) also very obsessed with quick fixes. This is, in most cases, a recipe for disaster for the consumer, and a recipe for beaucoup-de-dollars for companies. While this is my own personal opinion, this is how I see it:
What the company says: “Our tea helps you lose weight.”
What the consumer sees/thinks based on that message: “This tea will help me lose bodyfat.”
This is a problem. While the brand’s verbiage isn’t necessarily a lie, it most definitely is deceitful. Let me tell you why.
WHAT THE FIT TEAS ACTUALLY DO
Fit teas make a lot of their money by claiming to help people lose weight. Let me set the record straight here:
When it comes to products that are truly powerful at inducing fat loss, the vast majority of them are illegal (Ephedrine, Clenbuterol, T3, etc). Most powerful stims are not something you can get in an over-the-counter supplement, much less a TEA (FYI, of the legal/legitimate fat burners, I’d recommend something like Forskolin or Yohimbine).
When you look at most fit teas, one of the first ingredients you’ll see listed is Senna, Senna Leaf, Senna Root, or something else with the word “Senna” in it.
You know what Senna is? Senna is a laxative. And a freaking strong one at that.
There’s a reason I called it “Shit Tea.” It makes you poop.
So, the primary weight loss effect you’re getting from Fit Teas is actually just from the fact that they’re making you poop, which isn’t actually fat loss. It’s just food waste and water being expelled, not bodyfat. Body fat is lost via fat oxidation, and in truth, you actually breathe most of your fat out (don’t go hyperventilating on me just to try and lose more fat – that’s not how it works). If you’re constipated, sure, it may not hurt to drink a cup 1-2 nights in a row to help get the party started. But when you chronically use laxatives of any kind, you a) dehydrate yourself (very bad), and b) make it harder for your body to naturally poop, therefore forming a dependency on the product (good for the company’s bottom line, bad for your wallet, and bad for the integrity of your system).
Now, what I will say is that these teas do have some potentially beneficial ingredients when it comes to helping your digestion along. Things like ginger and psyllium husk are great for helping your GI tract out. BUT, that said, there are far cheaper sources of these ingredients that don’t turn your toilet into a receptacle for Moctezuma’s Revenge.
HEALTHIER (AND CHEAPER) ALTERNATIVES TO FIT TEAS
Most of these “tea-toxes” come at a pretty steep price point of around $50-$60 for a 30-day supply. There are much better places to put your money both for weight loss purposes and digestive health purposes.
For weight loss, honestly your best bets here are going to be to really zone-in on your training, diet, and cardio routine. If those aren’t in check, you could drink a gallon of fit tea a day (please don’t), and nothing good would happen (besides maybe shitting yourself). No supplement, tea, or fairy dust will out-do a poor diet or training protocol.
Digestive health actually plays a huge roll in weight loss and muscle growth both. If you can’t properly digest the food you’re eating, you won’t get very far. A healthy gut lays the groundwork for physical progress. Some of my top tips for digestion:
-Avoid foods that cause flare ups of bloating, inflammation, and/or poor digestion overall.
-Stay hydrated. Water helps keep things moving along in your system. I’d suggest shooting for 1oz/lb of bodyweight in water per day (so for a 150lb female, aim for 150oz of water, which is a little over a gallon). Stay consistent with that intake as well – your body is really sensitive to fluid and electrolyte balance.
-Fiber. FIBER IS YOUR FRIEND. It’s called Nature’s Broom for a reason. Fiber helps you stay fuller longer, which will prevent you from over-eating, and it helps food move along more smoothly through your body. If you aren’t eating enough fiber, chances are you aren’t as “regular” as you should be. I suggest aiming for 14g per 1,000 Calories consumed per day. Aka if you eat 2,000 Calories per day, aim for at least 28-30 grams of fiber each day as well. I LOVE GG Crackers. They’re these yummy little crackers that are pretty low-carb and high-fiber. You can also take a fiber supplement like Citrucel at night before bed to help with a smooth BM in the morning. Also be sure to check out my podcast with Tanya Zuckerbrot of the F-Factor diet for more information on the role of fiber in your diet.
-Stress management. If you’re overly stressed out, you’re probably gonna run into digestive problems at one point or another (people that have digestive issues like IBS are even more susceptible to this). Part of why this happens is because of your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Your sympathetic nervous system is your “fight or flight” system. It prepares your body to go into survival mode, like running from a Sabertooth tiger or having a tough conversation with your boss (your body reads these stresses in the same way: as stress). When your sympathetic system is active, activities like digestion, sex drive, and sleep are dimmed. Those functions are under the control of your parasympathetic nervous system, aka your “rest and digest” system. If you’re doing too much fight-or-flighting and not enough rest-and-digesting, you aren’t giving your body a chance too cool down and perform more of those vegetative functions. Try setting aside time to do more resting activities like meditation or light walking. They’re good for your body, mind, and soul.
–Ginger tea. This stuff is cheap and costs like $4 at most grocery stores. Ginger can help soothe your stomach naturally without making you poop your brains out. If you’re really constipated, try something like Smooth Move tea 1-2 nights. If that doesn’t help, you may have a more serious problem on your hands.
-Digestive support supplements. As always, your main lines of defense for anything physical are going to be your everyday diet, training routine, and lifestyle. If those things are locked down consistently, you may want to try a digestive support supplement like Symbiont-GI (shameless plug to use the code EMILY for a discount on your order). Probiotics promote overall digestive health and wellness, and things like digestive enzymes help you break down the protein, carbohydrates, and fats in your food. A supplement like this can really help when it comes to digestive regularity and maintenance.
I know everybody has a job to do – even the fit tea companies. And no, not all influencers who promote them are inherently bad people (I still love you Kim); they might be just as uninformed as most people are (even though I do think it’s an influencer’s duty to educate themselves on the things they promote). Hell, they might actually be good tasting teas – I love a good cup of tea! But I don’t love false advertising.
No matter how much you look up to someone on the internet, don’t ever buy something just because they promote it and make it look “sexy,” or because their bod is #GOALS, or whatever other reason we use to justify purchasing stuff that internet people promote. I promote stuff too – but only products that I myself use and deem effective in my own experience.
When it comes to health supplements especially, do your due diligence before purchasing – read the ingredients list and research them. Don’t drop your hard earned doll-hairs just because some fit chick in a thong said she looks the way she does because she drinks tea. Because that’s a lie. Or at least a false truth.
Stay educated, my friends. Love you lots <3.
**Cover images found on Google images.