Slimming tea: Experts advise against unprofessional weight loss trend
People wanting to lose weight sometimes resort to unwholesome methods to tackle the problem. While some opt for the conventional and safe method of appropriate exercise and healthy diets, others prefer to embark on crash programmes, such as, skipping meals, taking diet pills, foods and drinks, among others. And though these have been known to have terrible side effects, some people still go for them.
While the idea of taking slimming teas and detox teas is not so new, it is gaining popularity, as more people in the weight loss community are embracing it. These teas, which come in different brands, usually carry the same message: Quick weight loss with no exercise.
The slimming tea packs always come with different information on why they are the best option for weight loss. The vendors also support these claims with pictures showing how excellently they work. This, perhaps, is why some people buy these products.
Thelma Isaiah, a student, was persuaded to buy a brand of the slimming tea, as it promised tangible result within 28 days.
“I wanted to lose weight and couldn’t afford the time and discipline for regular exercise and dieting,” she said. “So, I started taking one slimming tea that promised a weight loss of 10kg in 28 days, with no exercise required. After taking it for days, I started stooling and was constantly dehydrated. At first, I didn’t connect my condition with the tea, but when the stooling didn’t stop, I went to my doctor, who advised me to stop the tea, as it was endangering my life.”
Interestingly, the advertisement for these teas is everywhere online. And with good-looking, fit celebrities endorsing them, it is not surprising that many people are being lured into patronising the products.
Chioma Okafor said she bought two packs of a particular brand of the slimming tea online, after seeing the picture of one of her favourite celebrities on it. Unfortunately, there was nothing concrete to show after consuming it.
“The adverts are all lies, as these teas do not work,” she said. “My friend and I saw the advert and quickly ordered two packs each, which were to last for 54 days. At the end of the day, I didn’t even lose 1kg.”
Peace Ugbajah is a nutritionist with Health n’ Healthy Complete Living, where she handles people with weight problem. In her view, people go for these teas because they are lazy and do not want to take the healthier course of regular exercise and diet. She warned that the teas are dangerous to health, when abused.
She said: “Slimming and detoxifying teas or whatever name they are called are quite popular in the weight loss community all around the world. It is common to see their pictures on social media, alongside healthy meals, just to show their authenticity. People fall for these tricks, because they don’t want to give what it takes to stay fit.
“They often abuse these teas, which could be damaging to their bodies. The herbal ones are filled with so many laxatives, such as, buckthorn, cascara, dandelion, castor oil, senna, and rhubarb root. These laxatives enable people to quickly lose water weight, by increasing the frequency and size of bowel movements. Laxatives work in different ways, depending on the type. They can trigger intestinal muscle contractions, enlarge the stool by absorbing water to stimulate the bowel, and more.
“Since laxatives are the main ingredients in many slimming teas, prolonged use introduces some health problems. Constant stooling, as a result of taking laxatives, will lead to malnourishment in an individual. He/she becomes dehydrated, which prevents the body from absorbing vital nutrients. Over time, the body will lose the ability to rid itself of wastes, meaning the person would have to rely on laxatives for bowel movement. However, only liquid is lost, and not fat. The side effects are certain disorders, such as, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, fainting, and chronic constipation and even death, when consumed in excessive quantity.”
Explaining that weight management requires as a lot of patience and dedication, she said many people think weight could be lost overnight, forgetting it was gained gradually. So, shedding it demands a total lifestyle change from food to activities.
“If it is not a natural weight loss scheme, then it would definitely have side effects. There’s actually no quick fix to it. The healthy way is eating controlled portions of healthy meals and exercising. I did that for two years and eight months and I lost a total of 75kg.”
She urged people wanting to lose weight not to follow the trend. Rather, they should be prepared to embrace a healthy lifestyle for the rest of their lives, which always guarantees success.
“The social media is crazy and people would sell anything just to make money. Some of these so-called slimming tea companies have used before and after weight loss picture to market their products. But if it works that great, why falsify the result,” she queried.