Is English breakfast tea good for weight loss?

English breakfast tea is a popular black tea blend consumed around the world. It is known for its rich, malty flavor and moderate caffeine content. Some claim that drinking English breakfast tea may help with weight loss and boost metabolism. But is there any truth to these claims? Let’s take a look at the evidence.

What is English breakfast tea?

English breakfast tea refers to any blend of black teas originating in England. It was initially marketed as an accompaniment to the traditional English breakfast. The most common varieties used in English breakfast tea blends are Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan black teas.

Some key features of English breakfast tea:

  • Has a rich, robust flavor with notes of malt and honey
  • Contains a moderate amount of caffeine compared to other black teas
  • Often includes milk or lemon as additions to cut bitterness
  • Served hot as a breakfast beverage or iced as an afternoon refreshment

The caffeine content of English breakfast tea can range from about 50–90 mg per 8 oz cup. This is less than a typical cup of coffee but more than many other types of tea.

English breakfast tea and weight loss

There are a few reasons why English breakfast tea is thought to aid weight loss:

Contains caffeine

The caffeine in English breakfast tea may slightly boost metabolism and fat burning. Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation.

One study found that caffeine intake enhanced overall metabolism by 3–11% and fat burning by up to 13% in lean individuals and obese adults.

However, these effects are generally small and short-lived. Regular caffeine intake may also lead to tolerance, minimizing its metabolic effects.

Low in calories

On its own without any additions, English breakfast tea contains minimal calories. One cup provides just 2 calories.

This makes it an ideal low-calorie substitute for high-calorie beverages like coffee with cream and sugar, juices, soda, and other sweetened drinks.

Switching out higher calorie drinks for tea can help reduce overall calorie intake, supporting weight loss over time.

May reduce appetite

Some research indicates tea may help control appetite. The caffeine it contains may suppress appetite for a short time.

One study in 27 men found that drinking a caffeinated beverage containing about 85 mg of caffeine reduced appetite and calorie intake at the next meal.

Black tea also contains unique compounds like theaflavins that may inhibit gastric and pancreatic lipases. These enzymes play key roles in fat digestion. By blocking them, tea may slightly reduce fat absorption from a meal.

One small study in 11 people showed that drinking black tea 30 minutes before a meal decreased fat digestion by nearly 20%.

So by potentially blocking fat absorption and reducing appetite/calorie intake, English breakfast tea may support weight loss. However, these effects likely are modest at best.

Other potential weight loss benefits

Here are a few other ways in which English breakfast tea may aid weight loss:

Boosts fat breakdown during exercise

The combination of caffeine and catechins in English breakfast tea may help enhance fat breakdown during exercise.

One review of 15 studies found tea catechins increased fat breakdown by up to 17%. Caffeine also appears to boost fat mobilization during exercise.

This may help you burn slightly more fat with your workout routine.

Supports hydration

Staying well hydrated is key for metabolism and weight control. Drinking tea can help you meet your fluid needs rather than higher calorie beverages.

May motivate healthy habits

Enjoying hot tea requires you to take short breaks and be mindful. This can motivate other healthy habits like relaxation techniques, taking a walk, or preparing a healthy snack.

Downsides of relying on English breakfast tea for weight loss

While English breakfast tea may offer some benefits for metabolism and weight control, solely relying on it is likely ineffective. Here’s why:

  • The metabolic effects of tea are modest and short-lived.
  • Weight loss likely requires making multiple lifestyle changes like improving your diet and exercise habits.
  • Some additions like milk and sugar add calories that can counteract the benefits.
  • Tea shouldn’t replace proper medical treatment for obesity.

So English breakfast tea should be viewed as one small contributor to weight loss rather than a magic solution.

Is drinking English breakfast tea enough to lose weight?

It’s extremely unlikely drinking English breakfast tea alone will lead to significant weight loss for most people.

Some research has found potential benefits of tea or caffeine for metabolism and fat burning. However, these effects tend to be minor — burning an extra 50-100 calories per day at most.

To lose 1 pound of fat, you need to have a 3,500 calorie deficit. This equates to burning 500 extra calories per day to lose 1 pound per week.

Drinking tea alone is unlikely to burn nearly enough calories through increased metabolism or fat oxidation. It needs to be paired with dietary changes and more activity.

For best results, enjoy English breakfast tea alongside reducing calorie intake, moving more, strength training, eating whole foods, and other healthy habits. Expect that the tea itself will provide minimal direct weight loss.

How much English breakfast tea is needed to lose weight?

There is no specific amount of English breakfast tea needed to lose weight. Any potential benefits are linked to the caffeine and antioxidant content.

Most research showing benefits for metabolism uses caffeine doses of 150–400 mg per day. This is equal to about 2–5 cups of English breakfast tea.

However, consuming more tea than this likely won’t increase fat burning effects. Your body becomes tolerant to caffeine over time.

More importantly, optimizing other lifestyle factors like your nutrition, activity levels, and sleep will have a much greater impact on your weight than how much tea you drink.

Focus first on improving your overall diet, reducing calorie intake, and exercising more. Then include several cups of English breakfast tea daily if you enjoy it. But don’t rely on tea alone to lose weight.

Tips for drinking English breakfast tea for weight loss

If you want to incorporate English breakfast tea into your weight loss plan, here are some tips:

  • Drink 2–3 cups per day as part of a healthy diet and active lifestyle.
  • Opt for hot tea or iced tea with no added sugar or minimal low-calorie sweeteners.
  • Try having a cup 30-60 minutes before a meal which may help reduce your appetite.
  • Sip tea slowly and mindfully rather than gulping it down.
  • Brew loose leaf tea instead of tea bags for a more intense flavor at lower calories.
  • Pair afternoon tea with a healthy snack like fruit, veggies, or nuts.
  • Switch out higher calorie beverages for tea to reduce your calorie intake.
  • Avoid loading your tea with high fat/sugar additions like heavy cream, sugary syrups, and whipped toppings.

As part of a balanced weight loss diet, English breakfast tea may help give you a small metabolic boost. But it’s no substitute for an overall healthy lifestyle.

Common questions about English breakfast tea and weight loss

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drinking English breakfast tea for weight loss:

Is drinking English breakfast tea at night bad for weight loss?

It’s fine to drink English breakfast tea at night if it doesn’t disrupt your sleep. The caffeine content is moderate so it likely won’t cause sleep issues for most people, especially if you drink it earlier in the evening. However, limit caffeine after 2 pm if you tend to be sensitive to its effects.

Does adding milk negate the weight loss benefits?

Adding a dash of milk or cream won’t completely negate the benefits. However, adding too much high-fat, high-calorie cream or milk could counteract the potential metabolism-boosting effects. Stick to 1-2 tablespoons (15-30ml) of milk or light cream. Or try other lower calorie additions like almond or soy milk.

Is English breakfast tea keto friendly?

Plain English breakfast tea without any additions is keto friendly. It contains virtually no carbs or calories. Avoid sweetened milk alternatives or sugar. Adding a pinch of stevia or dash of heavy cream can make it keto-compliant.

Can I drink English breakfast tea while fasting?

Yes, plain English breakfast tea is generally fine to drink while fasting. Since it has virtually no calories, it won’t break your fast. Be sure to avoid adding milk, cream or sugar during your fasting window.

Is English breakfast tea appetite suppressant?

Some research indicates tea may help suppress appetite modestly due to its caffeine content. However, any appetite suppressing effects are likely short-lived and minor. So while English breakfast tea may help a bit with curbing hunger, don’t rely on it to reduce appetite significantly.


English breakfast tea is a tasty, low calorie beverage choice. The caffeine and antioxidants it provides may offer slight metabolism and fat burning benefits.

However, these effects are small. Drinking English breakfast tea alone is unlikely to produce significant weight loss for most people. It needs to be paired with a balanced diet and active lifestyle.

Include a few cups of unsweetened English breakfast tea daily as part of a healthy weight loss diet. But focus primarily on improving your nutrition, reducing calorie intake, and exercising more to reach your goals. Moderately incorporating tea can provide a nice enhancement to your routine as opposed to relying on it as a magic bullet for weight loss.

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