Ultimate Tea Diet Book Review
Does It Work?

The Ultimate Tea Diet is probably the first best seller work created by a fellow tea professional. I picked it up with much anticipation. It left me with mixed feelings.



Who is Dr. Tea?

Dr. Tea is not actually a doctor, but he is knowledgeable in tea and life transformation. His nickname was given to him because of his white lab coat he wears at the tea shop he owns in California.

Some years ago, Mark Ukra (Dr. Tea) realized that money and materialistic lifestyle wasn’t enough. Near the breaking point, he reflected on his life and realized that in order to change, he needed to do at least one thing immediately.

He chose to fix his addiction to coffee that had him drinking 12-15 cups per day and feeling anxious and miserable. He decided to replace the coffee with tea.

Low and behold, the tea was the starting point of his life transformation from a divorced, real estate broker to a happily married tea shop owner who eventually developed the Ultimate Tea Diet.

Can you repeat his success? Let us examine the Ultimate Tea Diet secret recipe...

General Guidelines

Mark Ukra’s Tao of Tea's mantra is “You can if you think you can”. There are 10 initial steps to the Ultimate Tea Diet:

  1. Commit to weight loss once and for all.

  2. Drink tea all day.

  3. Identify your own dietary pitfalls (foods you tend to overeat or binge) and get rid of them.

  4. Plan meals.

  5. Eat only when you are hungry and stop when you are full.

  6. Eat breakfast, always.

  7. Replace bad eating habits with tea.

  8. Enjoy tea.

  9. Don’t expect perfection, rather learn from your mistakes and move forward.

  10. Find a tea that you love.

  11. Follow the Ultimate Tea Diet meal plan that includes recipes made with tea.

  12. Exercise.

  13. Don’t drink coffee or other high caffeine beverages.

What I Like

This is a lively book that is well presented and extremely enjoyable to read.

Tea is not just for drinking, you can use it for your salad, chicken, rice, yogurt and even burger! The strength of this book is that it contains an extensive selection of tea recipes - 72 pages that will cater for every need.

In addition, this book also contains a simple exercise plan that involved cardio and strength training.

If you are in dire need of motivation, he has many “tes-tea-monials” from actual people who have had success with his program.

What I Don't Like

Where this book falls short is presenting an accurate picture of the historical and scientific facts about tea and subscribing too easily to common myths.

One such myth is all teas come from the Camellia sinensis tea plant and the only difference lies in the processing.

This is a myth because tea is an outbreeder and thousands of years of human cultivation has led to tens of thousands of cultivars adapted for making different types of tea.

For example, white tea is made from tea plants such as Dabai and Dahao that have fat tea buds, allowing Silver Needle white tea to be harvested in abundant quantity. Oolong tea favours tea plants with rich aromatic oils (such as Iron Goddess) and black tea favours teas with high polyphenol content.

Another assumption is all teas are equally healthy, it doesn't matter whether you are drinking loose tea or tea bags.

What Mark Ukra forgot to highlight is that green tea contains 10 times as much antioxidants (catechins) as black tea (theaflavins), which may explain why green tea is linked to more health benefits than black tea.

Tea bags have much greater surface area. One 1996 study has found that they give twice as much caffeine as loose tea.

Throughout the book, Mark Ukra repeatedly extolled the health benefits of theanine, which has a natural decaffeination effect.

What he missed out is that theanine is only available in large quantity in tea buds, which are used to make high grade green and white tea. An average tea sold in the West contains only 10 milligrams of theanine, scientific studies have shown that you need 5 to 20 times as much to have any relaxing effect.

I also feel that Mark Ukra is incorrect in his assessment about snacking. Grazing throughout the day (eating small quantities of healthful foods) optimizes metabolism. Going too long in between meals may lead to overeating as well.

What I Am Uncertain

How do you curb your food cravings? Mark Ukra suggests replacing junk foods with flavored teas. Here are some of his suggestions:

  • Replace candy with Dr. Tea's Candy Bar Black Tea.

  • Replace chocolate with Chocolate Hazelnut Torte Rooibos

  • Replace vanilla with Vanilla Rooibos.

Personally, I am doubtful this will work for most people. In contrary to Mark Ukra's view that all teas are equally healthy, flavored tea is lower quality because manufacturers are more likely to use inferior leaves.

A comprehensive USDA study discovered that flavored tea contains only 20% of the antioxidants found in regular tea. This means that if you drink the tea he recommends, you are missing a whole chunk of antioxidants such as EGCG - which has been proven to promote weight loss.

Recommendations

Ultimate Tea Diet is an excellent tea recipe book. Despite its shortcomings on the finer points of tea, it is an interesting read for tea newbies.

But if you are intent on losing weight, I don't think this book is helpful. Scientific research has shown that drinking quality tea (those high in EGCG and caffeine) are likely to help you lose weight. Eating a low fat diet is far more important than mixing tea with chicken.

You are better off following a good weight loss program that will give you a good grounding on nutrition and exercise.

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