Does Oolong Tea Help With Weight Loss?

Browse the shelves of any health food store, and you will find dozens of so-called slimming teas. But, do they really work? And, are they safe?

I came across an interesting sales page recently for a product called Wu Long tea.

Basically, they claim this 400 year old Chinese “secret” tea burns fat up to 43 percent faster.

That got me intrigued!

Let’s face it, who doesn’t love the idea of just drinking an invigorating cup of tea and dropping a few pounds?

I’d never heard of Wu Long tea before, but it reminded me of another tea, Oolong.

So, I set about investigating, and guess what? They are the same.

However, from what I can see, Wu Long is an awful lot more expensive than plain old Oolong, and the only difference is in their name.

How Is Tea Produced?


All tea is actually made from the same plant, that being the Camellia sinensis.

White tea and green tea are the least processed of all the teas. You can tell how processed your tea is by how dark it appears, i.e. the more processed it is, the darker the leaves turn.

  • White tea comes from the young new leaves of the plant.
  • Green tea comes from the older leaves, and undergoes the least amount of processing. They are simply steamed quickly.
  • With black and oolong teas, the leaves are partially dried, crushed and fermented.

Regardless of the processing method, black, green, white and oolong teas all contain beneficial polyphenols, the only difference is how they are processed.

Basically, those that are processed least, contain the highest level of polyphenols (compounds with potent antioxidant capacity).

So, that means there is nothing particularly special about Oolong, or Wu Long, or whatever you want to call it, in terms of weight loss.

Tea And Weight Loss

Studies show that tea does indeed help to speed up metabolism (perhaps by 4%). But, it’s unlikely that you will see a significant amount of weight loss, just from drinking tea.

The biggest benefit I see from drinking tea regularly, like green tea or oolong tea, is that they don’t lend themselves to eating something sweet alongside, as coffee might, for example.

So, switching to these teas, can really help you to cut calories, and eat more healthily.

Slimming Teas

There are stacks of teas claiming to help with weight loss, but I would not recommend these at all.

Some slimming teas work by being a strong diuretic, which means you drop a lot of water weight quickly. However, this isn’t a healthy way to do things, and it can lead to serious dehydration, and other problems.

These teas also tend to be extremely overpriced. Save your money and protect your health, by going for a nice cup of green tea instead.

Herbal Tea And Rooibos Tea

In fact, most herbal teas are not actually tea.

This is because they are not derived from the Camellia plant, which means they don’t have the health-promoting properties we’ve discussed already.

Most herbal teas are simply an infusion of different herbs, flowers, roots, spices, or other parts of plants.

As for red Rooibos tea, it also does not come from the Camellia plant, and there is no evidence (as yet) to prove the health benefits of this drink.

Tips For Buying Tea

When purchasing tea, it’s best to choose loose tea leaves, rather than tea bags, since these tend to have higher levels of antioxidants.

Also, make less processed teas your choice most of the time, to make sure you are benefiting from the higher levels of beneficial polyphenols.

What’s your favorite type of tea?

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About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruth September 2, 2011 at 12:07 am

I enjoyed this post Melanie! As usual full of interesting info!! i have often wondered about these teas myself. Good to be enlightened about the tea processing. I’ll be out to buy leaves now. I used tea leaves YEARS ago.
Thank you again!!


cathy in NZ September 2, 2011 at 9:10 pm

I’m not a fan of tea, but just the other week I decided after drinking a bottled cold green tea with peach to retry the hot green tea. I bought one with added flavour of peach because people have said when I previously tried just “green” that the extra flavour helps.

I had a cup yesterday and yet again it doesn’t taste all that great to me…so if I continue and I will, I will treat it like a medicine…probably at some point my tastebuds won’t moan so much.

I’m using it for weight loss but rather for the other proposed health benefits and it just gives me another ‘hot’ drink option…


Melanie September 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm

The only think I’d say about bottled tea, it that they can be full of sugar or artificial sweeteners. I’m not sure if all are, but it might be worthwhile checking.

My favorite green tea is the tea leaves with jasmine.


cathy in NZ September 6, 2011 at 8:09 pm


the reason I bought the bottled ice tea was because I “left” my own bottle of water at home and knew I would need some liquid during the time out…

i have two bags which I can take places but sometimes in a dash-2-go I forget to transfer the bottle…sometimes I find it on the kitchen bench when I get back which just means I forgot what I “doing” :-)

when this lot of tea runs out I will try the jasmine flavoured one…it still tastes funny but it’s all doable…


cathy in NZ September 2, 2011 at 9:11 pm

oops left out the word NOT in the very last sentence between I’m and using…


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