Flat Tummy Tea
So what’s the real scoop on flat tummy tea? If you follow reality stars on social media, I’m sure you’ve run across images of them promoting a special kind of tea. Sold in a small plastic package, these ladies show off their assets, their chiseled abs, and their lean figures, and claim that the way they keep bloat away and stay so slim is because they drink such concoctions consistently. As hairstylist and former T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle star Shekinah Jo put it, she “just can’t stop” downing her flat tummy tea while relaxing at home. These stars, for hefty checks, are selling these teas like hotcakes.
After reading a woman’s question in the May issue of Women’s Health about whether or not she should try a detox tea to help with her weight loss goals and to battle the bloat, I just had to reach out to experts to ask what is in these things and whether or not they work. And more importantly, is this stuff even safe?
“Most detox tea regimens contain diuretic and laxative herbal ingredients, which may be ‘natural’ but that doesn’t mean they are healthy, let alone safe,” said Marci Clow, MS, a registered dietician and the senior nutritionist for Rainbow Light. In terms of the specific Flat Tummy Tea peddled by the likes of Jo, Angela Simmons, Draya Michele and more, Clow said that consuming it in the wrong way in an attempt to drop water weight could prove dangerous.
“Flat Tummy Tea’s website says it works in two steps: ‘Activate’ and ‘Cleanse’ for AM and PM respectively. Both teas contain Taraxacum leaf, commonly known as dandelion, which has diuretic properties, meaning it encourages fluid elimination and you are basically losing water weight. Overuse of herbal diuretics can lead to dehydration, loss of potassium and muscle cramping. The evening tea, ‘Cleanse’ contains senna, which is a well-known herbal laxative that can loosen stools and increase stool frequency. Senna is okay to use for occasional constipation, but is not recommended for long-term use or for weight loss.”
Clow stated that potential side effects include a whole host of things, like abdominal pain and discomfort, cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, and diarrhea. And overconsumption could cause potassium depletion and other electrolyte abnormalities. These irregularities could bring about muscle spasms and abnormal heart rhythms.
With that being said, most of the teas on the market are basically the laxatives people have been using for years to clear themselves out. Of course, use of these products to the nines could cause you to lose weight, but they could also cause you to lose a great deal of nutrients as well. If you want to save your money (and those aforementioned nutrients) and figure out healthier ways to drop the pounds, one very easy way the experts recommend is to get more sleep.
“Did you know that sleeping eight hours each night helps you lose weight?” asked Prudence Hall, MD, of The Hall Center in Santa Monica, California. “I tell clients that sleep is the easiest and least-expensive weight loss program ever offered. Stress arises from lack of sleep leading to adrenal gland burnout, which causes weight gain. Also, sleep is when the body detoxes and cleanses itself. Any kind of toxicity can cause weight loss resistance.”
Hall also recommends more intricate methods, including dropping your attachment to grains and dairy, as well as seeing your doctor to possibly enhance your thyroid function, boost your adrenal hormones, and even treat parasites, which can cause bloat. They can be treated with natural supplements.
So while flat tummy teas recommended by stars with snatched waists who actually have access to trainers, chefs, and surgeons seems tempting for someone hoping to find a quick fix to their weight loss issues, as Clow states, you still need to “move more and eat less” in the hopes of seeing progress. If you want to try the tea, you can, but there has to be more than just sipping going on. Drinking tea every once in a while whilst working out sometimes but keeping up other unhealthy diet habits is going to hold you back.
“With their diuretic and laxative activity, detox teas definitely increase the number of trips you make to the bathroom, which may move the numbers on your scale,” Clow said. “Bottom-line: A detox tea may help you lose some weight, but it is not a replacement for unhealthy habits and not a healthy way to achieve permanent weight loss.”
With that being said, just as with waist trainers and all other questionable but popular products meant to help you see results faster, it could work for you, but only if you also put in the work. If not, this so called flat tummy tea is just another quick-fix failure that, if used improperly, could put your health at risk. And some occasional bloat isn’t worth all that.