Should you try a "teatox" to help lose weight?

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It’s one of the latest diet trends and it comes in a cup. It’s called the "teatox." People are trying to lose weight by pairing certain kinds of tea with light eating and exercise. But does it work and is it safe?

Researchers at Consumer Reports say detox teas might do more harm than good.

Detox teas contain a variety of ingredients including some that claim to help with weight loss. Some contain stimulants like guarana, which can contain up to four times the amount of caffeine in coffee. Too much caffeine will not only not help long-term with weight loss, but can cause issues like jitteriness and nervousness.

The teatoxes also often contain laxatives like senna or senna leaf. The reason you might see a short-term dip in the scale is because they’re dehydrating. But once you consume enough liquid, your weight will go right back up. Laxatives can be dangerous if used in excess.

From a regulatory standpoint, detox teas are typically treated like dietary supplements, which means they're much more loosely regulated than FDA-approved medications. As a result, you may not be able to rely on the ingredient listings.

And if weight loss is your goal, there are better, safer and proven strategies. It’s good to keep an eye on your portions and keep those under control. Get plenty of fiber, which you’ll find in whole grains and in produce. And step up your physical activity if you’re not so active.

If you’re still thinking of a teatox, talk to your doctor or pharmacist first and make sure the ingredients won’t conflict with any medication you're taking. And if you enjoy a cup or two per day of traditional tea, go for it. It’s a reasonable part of a healthy diet and may have some small weight loss benefits.

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