People have been going on diets since time immemorial, with or without knowing it. Even the simple act of cutting out sugar from your foods puts you on a diet. And when you think about this way, you have probably gone on a few diets.
People do this for varying reasons. Some have medical problems; others want to lose weight or fit in some clothes, and so on. Whatever your goal is, all you can do is hope that the diet works. And that means doing what you must to adhere to the given rules.
Hence the question, should you take tea while on a keto diet? Before we get into all that, let us first focus on what this diet entails.
What is the keto diet?
Many people have embraced the keto diet, claiming that it has helped them lose weight and fast. This low-carb diet works such that the body produces ketones in the liver, which work as energy sources. You may have heard of it going by other names such as LCHF, low carb, and ketogenic diet.
Either way, it points to a reduction of carbs as you incorporate more veggies and proteins. It does not take much to understand why this diet would work. After all, you are cutting out one of the biggest sources of calories that go to waste in your body.
You see, when you eat foods high in carbs, your body produces glucose and insulin. The body finds it easy to process glucose as an energy source and thus chooses it over other sources. And the insulin helps in this.
Now, given that the body will opt for glucose, other sources of energy remain in storage. The fat deposits increase over time. But when you take carbs out of your diet, the body goes into ketosis. That is a natural process on which your body relies when the food reserves are low. The liver breaks down fats, and from this, you get ketones.
At this point, your body is in a metabolic state by taking away carbs (not calories). The ketones become the primary energy source as the body no longer has high amounts of glucose. And if you can get optimal ketone levels, you are more likely to lose weight faster than if they are low.
The good thing is that you can get to this state in a matter of weeks by following a simple diet. And we will get into whether tea can help in all this.
Should you follow a keto diet? The answer largely depends on your medical state, and only a doctor can okay this move. If you can do it, you can look forward to weight loss, controlled blood sugar, better performance, and reduced blood pressure. These are but some of the many benefits that await you.
Of course, there are risks to following this diet, especially when you do so without consulting your doctor. It takes a while for your body to get accustomed to the reduced glucose. As such, you can experience cramps, constipation, reduced performance, and other side effects. These pass after a while, but they can be quite frustrating.
If you wish to follow this diet, ensure that you understand what lies on the road ahead before embarking on this journey. Did you know that you can lose hair when following this diet?
Tea on a Keto diet
Now, we get to the answer you have been waiting for all this while. Can you drink tea, and if so, what options should you consider? The good news is that most teas will not affect your weight loss journey. If anything, some options, especially loose-leaf, can help you reach your goals faster. We will focus on which alternatives work best for you as well as what you should avoid.
Let us start with how many carbs may prove to be too much for your diet. Keep in mind that you have to reduce your carb intake for this diet to work. That allows you to get to the state of ketosis where your body relies on energy reserves.
That means that you should wait about three to five days for this to work, though it takes longer for some people. Others can get to that state in two or so days. As such, it all comes down to your body type. That is why some people claim they have lost tens of kilos while others feel stuck.
You have to do more in some cases to get the weight loss benefit. Maybe you have to work out, drink more water, or wait longer.
The problem with this diet is that you cannot have any carbs or sugars. And these are the most common foods and are readily available almost everywhere you go. You walk into a fast-food restaurant, and you can already see the temptations everywhere.
Even at work, your colleagues will likely tempt you with their milkshakes and donuts. You have to be resilient, and that is the biggest test in any diet. You have to change how you eat and drink, and that can cause an energy slump at first.
On your diet, you have to stay at 50 grams of carbs a day. But to get to ketosis, you have to reduce this to 20. Are you up for the task?
Well, here comes the aspect of tea. Not only what you eat will affect your diet, but what you also drink. Now, try thinking of a low sugar drink, and one that you can enjoy. What comes to your mind? Water? Herbal tea? Well, whatever it is, the drink must be pretty low in calories.
That is good news for regular tea drinkers. Did you know that a typical cup of tea contains almost no carbs per cup? That means that you can keep downing teas as much as you want without affecting your diet. And given that you have limitations on snacking, that is fantastic news, is it not?
However, there is a limit as to which teas you can enjoy. Some teas, which you already know, are high in carbs. That means that some blends and teas should not be on your list of what to drink.
Also, even if you are having loose leaf tea, you have to make some changes. Gone are the days you could use milk and sugar in your tea. You now have to take it plain. How does that sound?
To make it easier for you to know what you cannot take, here are some ideas. You cannot have instant teas, regular milk teas, commercially iced teas, any sugared teas, ready-to-drink teas, instant and flavored teas.
Think of any other options along this line and cross them off your list. If it’s got milk, artificial sweeteners, sugar, and other such additives, it is a NO.
What teas can you drink on keto?
At this point, you may be feeling disheartened about your keto journey. However, there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Sure, you have to forego regular chai and the likes. But that does not mean you cannot enjoy tea at all. Here are some ideal options:
This tea is known to have a myriad of benefits to the consumer. Not only does it fight free radicals, but it also boosts digestion and metabolism rates. It is thus one of the best options when it comes to losing weight the healthy way. No wonder many people have a cup of green tea close-by during the day. They know the benefits it has to offer.
As your body undergoes weight loss due to the keto diet, you can also suffer muscle loss. You are also likely to experience oxidative stress. And green tea has the antioxidants necessary to fight damage accruing from the same. Also, combining a keto diet with green tea increases your chances of losing weight faster.
One cup of green tea, devoid of any additives, offers you about two calories with almost no carbs. You can thus drink as many cups of this tea as you want without facing adverse effects.
How can you take green tea? There are many options. And the good thing is that many people follow the keto diet and are willing to offer their recipes online. You can use the tea to make a smoothie using powders and suitable veggies.
You can also brew the tea as it is and drink it as you would any other drink. Have you heard of the bulletproof matcha? While this drink is high in calories, it is low in carbs and will help you achieve your goal.
This variation of tea comprises milk and strong black tea leaves. Note that in this case, you would not add milk as it is not keto compliant. Some people try to make do with condensed milk, but guess what? That is even worse, and the same goes for evaporated milk. Even options such as soy or almond are just as bad, and you should avoid them as much as you can.
But if you can get the unsweetened variations that are free of carbs and sugars, you can use these. Note that the sweetened versions can have even more sugar than you should have in a day. As such, ensure that you read the label to understand how many carbs you are ingesting.
What about alternatives? The good thing with most additives is that you can always find a substitute. Like for the milk, you can use heavy whipping cream. Not only does it add texture, but it also gives flavor to the tea. That is not something you would expect of most unsweetened creamers.
Also, for the sugar, you can use stevia or other sweeteners, as long as they do not have carbs. While you are at it, how about having the tea plain? Over time, you learn to appreciate the natural flavor of the tea as your tastebuds become accustomed.
You are likely to come across instant blends or pre-made drinks in your quest for chai tea. Well, you should avoid these as they are likely to have lots of sugar. Instead, opt to make your tea from scratch. It is worth the few minutes taken to brew the tea.
Many people state that iced tea is not a good idea when going keto. However, that is not necessarily the case as it comes down to the sweeteners you use. If you use those high in sugar, you will ruin the diet.
And yes, that includes honey, and other sweeteners you may think are good because they are natural. The best way to enjoy iced tea is to make it from scratch. If not, ensure you read the label and understand what is in the tea. Keep in mind that some manufacturers may not label all the ingredients, and you could thus be setting yourself up for failure.
Should you be drinking teas while on keto?
The answer is yes, and no. If you are going for no sugar, low carb, and caffeinated teas, you should be fine. In fact, the caffeine can help you reach your weight loss goals faster. However, if you incorporate high sugar and high carb teas, you will delay reaching your goals. You could even end up not achieving ketosis. What will it be?