Breaking myths around drinking tea when dieting


Author: Tanvi Urankar (Certified Nutritionist)


Tea is the most popular of all drinks in the modern civilized society. Some people can go without food but they cannot go without a morning cup of tea. When it comes to dieting, we are often marred with questions about tea such as,


  • Will tea with sugar increase weight?
  • Should I stop drinking tea since I am trying to lose weight?
  • Is tea fattening in any way?
  • Will drinking tea make me fat?
  • Can tea (sugar and milk) affect my weight loss?
  • Will avoiding sugar in tea really help in reducing body fat?

Let me try to unravel the doubts surrounding tea.

Tea is usually quite healthy for you but like anything else, if you add sugar and drink 10 cups a day, then yes, it can cause weight gain. If you add lot of sugar, cream or milk to your tea, then you are adding empty calories with no real nutritional value. Tea with sugar has calories. Meaning, it has energy and energy in theory can become fat.

When you drink a cup of tea you tend to drink one or two cup full. You also tend to put at least one or two teaspoons of sugar in it. Let’s compare this to a can of cola. The can has 10 spoonfuls of sugar. And many people drink more than one, or they pour from a two liter bottle. That could be 20 or 30 spoonfuls of sugar a day.

Back to the tea.

We agree 20 spoonfuls of sugar is bad. What about 1? The knee-jerk reaction is that it is indeed bad. What about 1 grain of sugar? Hardly noticeable, a fraction of a calorie. That tiny amount cannot possibly be bad. So now tell me where the line is? Is 100 grains OK? Is it 1000? what about a half teaspoon? Where exactly is this line?

I will point out that science has no answer to this. No study has ever shown that 1 spoonful of sugar in a cup of tea a day to do anything, statistically. Anyone who says it is definitively bad is simply making that answer up.

So what do you do?

Eat your healthy diet. Drink your tea. See what happens to you. If you are happy with your weight, indulge in a spoonful of sugar a day.

However, avoid bottled tea. Bottled tea is basically just sugar water like soda.

But if you just have a tea once or twice a day then I don’t think it will cause weight gain. If you are gaining weight then look at your overall diet to see what else could be the problem.

Well , I look at it from another point of view, let us say Tea may probably consist of 80 cal. An average person can typically consume in up to 1200 cal per day. So calculate your daily calorie intake and make sure you don’t exceed the calorie count. Anything consumed excess will cause harm to our body. Just limit yourself !

Stay Healthy!

Follow Tanvi on Instagram for more Diet tips!


[Image by: Andrea Piacquadio,  Suzy Hazelwood , Leah Kelley, Saif Selim from Pexels]
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