Bootea’s Eating Plan Reviewed

Last updated December 30th 2014

Bootea provides a selection of weight loss supplements that come in the form of tea, with a small eating plan. The products have not been proven to be effective weight loss agents.

Bootea is advertised as being a general health supplement, but is regularly touted for its potential ability to target weight loss. The company advise that customers consume two products – the ‘Daytime Teatox’ and the ‘Evening Teatox’ each day, whilst following their eating plan. The ‘Teatox’ products are supplements that are taken in the form of tea, rather than a pill. The teabags are thus brewed in hot water to produce a drinkable supplement. Many of the ingredients in the products have been used in Chinese medicine to treat a range of conditions, but their effectiveness has not been proved, and the evening product is proclaimed to work principally as a laxative.

What Is Bootea?

Bootea is a product that claims to aid weight loss in a different way to most products available on the weight loss market. Rather than being in supplement pill form, Bootea is a selection of normal tea beverages that you are supposed to drink several times a day in order to achieve results. Whilst there is not actually any direct mention of Bootea being a product for weight loss on the main website, it is clear that this is the main target of the product. For example, in the frequently asked questions section of the website, the question ‘once I reach my goal weight can I stop?’ is posed, and answered with yes, but the longer you consume the product, the more weight you will lose.

The Bootea Company is based in the United Kingdom and claims to provide ‘100% natural health supplements’ that benefit the overall health and wellbeing of consumers. More precisely, the company is based in Leeds; full contact details are available on the website. The company sells only a few products; these are the morning and evening teas, a Bootea Shake, and a fitness plan. Bootea ships its products worldwide, and the only other retailers that appear to sell the products, online or offline, are Amazon and Holland and Barratt.

Reviews of Bootea products are very mixed; at the time of writing, a similar number of people have provided very negative reviews as have very positive reviews on websites such as Amazon. Independent customer reviews also imply that the Bootea customer service is poor, stating that the delivery is often delayed, and the company are difficult to get hold of. For more information on the product, its ingredients, and side effects, see our Bootea Product Review.

It is stated that the company would never promote or encourage customers to undertake a diet because they feel that healthy eating is a lifestyle rather than a short-term fix. This statement does however seem a little ironic as the company do provide an ‘eating plan’ for customers on their website that forbids the consumption of meat and provides a small number of specific meals and snacks for customers to choose from. More information about this ‘diet’ can be found in the section on the ‘eating plan’ below.

How does Bootea Work?

Precisely how Bootea supposedly works to aid weight loss is not discussed on the website. It is stated for example that whilst they could use some ‘fancy wording’ about the effects of Bootea, instead they chose to provide some pictures of people who had lost a significant amount of weight, and claim that this was achieved following 14 or 28 days of using the product. These pictures are not backed up with testimonials, and there is no evidence that they are reliable. It seems highly unlikely that people lost that much weight in such short periods of time just by using Bootea.

Bootea has two main products: a day time cleanse (morning) tea, and a night time cleanse (evening) tea. These products contain a selection of ingredients, all of which are supposedly natural. They purportedly work by prompting a ‘natural process of elimination, by removing unwanted ‘toxins’ & built up waste matter, from your body via the lungs, kidneys, bowels and skin’. Exactly what unwanted ‘toxins’ are being removed is not stated, nor precisely how a tea product can remove ‘unwanted waste’ through the lungs and skin! It seems highly likely that this claim is simply untrue.

Moreover, the night time cleanse product is proclaimed by the company to work as a laxative. This means that it works by prompting the consumer to empty their bowels more often and suffer from diarrhoea. Whilst this may result in short-term weight loss due to the excretion of waste that would otherwise still be in the large intestine, and an overall loss of water weight, this is not a healthy way to lose weight, and certainly not in the long-term.

Are any of the claims backed up by Clinical Studies?

Neither of the Bootea products has been scientifically studied for its potential impact on weight loss. No clinical studies are cited on the official product website relating to the ingredients in the products either. Nevertheless, a closer look at the ingredients can help to determine whether or not the products have the potential to have any effect on weight loss in humans.

The ‘Daytime Detox’ product contains a selection of ingredients; these include Chinese oolong tea, Mate leaves, ginger root, fennel seeds, lemongrass, dandelion leaf, ginseng root, Gotu kola leaves, and nettle leaves. It is stated that this product contains a small amount of caffeine, but that this product does not have a laxative effect like the ‘Bedtime Cleanse’ product. Oolong tea is one of very few ingredients in this product that have been the subject of clinical trials, a number of which produced positive results.

For example, one study on 102 obese subjects found that the substance may benefit lipid metabolism. It must be mentioned however, that this study did not use a control group, and so the results cannot be considered completely reliable. Another study used 12 male subjects; the results of this trial suggested that oolong tea may have the potential to increase energy expenditure in the body. A study using 11 male subjects produced similar results. It must be mentioned however, that these studies have all used small sample sizes and low-quality methods. Before the efficacy of oolong tea can be determined, more reliable studies need to be performed on the substance.

Studies on the benefits of mate leaves for weight loss have only been performed on small mammal subjects, so although they may have produced positive results, these are not directly transferable to humans. An example of a study on mice that had positive results can be found here. Another study on mice produced positive results, implying that the substance may have the potential to treat obesity cause by the consumption of a high fat diet. No studies can be found associated with the potential of ginger root, fennel seeds, lemongrass, dandelion leaf, Gotu kola leaves, ginseng root, or nettle leaves to aid weight loss in humans. Most of these ingredients do not even hold claims to aiding weight loss in traditional medicine.

The ‘Bedtime Cleanse’ tea contains senna leaves, fenugreek seeds, peppermint leaves, liquorice root, burdock root, hawthorn leaves, valerian root, and psyllium seeds. A number of these ingredients are known for their potential effects as laxatives, but none of them are renowned for their benefits to weight loss. Senna leaves are an FDA-approved laxative, but do not appear to have any impact on weight loss. Fenugreek seeds have been studied for their potential effect on diabetes, but not on weight loss. Peppermint leaves, hawthorn leaves, and liquorice root are thought to have benefits for the digestive system, but have not been studied for their impact on weight. Burdock root and valerian root do not appear to have any relevant functions. Finally, psyllium seeds are thought to work as laxatives.

What Does the Bootea Eating Plan Involve?

The eating plan provided on the Bootea website for customers includes a number of snack and meal ideas. It is stated that the breakfast, lunch and snack ideas can be prepared in just minutes, and all of the dinner idea can be ready from kitchen to table in less that 15 minutes. It seems likely that this is an exaggeration; everybody knows that it takes more than 10 minutes to cook a jacket potato, for example. The plan is described as ‘flexible’, and the general tips given include drinking plenty of water, adding extra salad and vegetables, and having a chunk of dark chocolate if you get a craving for sweet food.

A total of 10 breakfast ideas are provided; these generally consist of fruits, yogurt, or wholemeal toast, but also some cereals. Four mid-morning snack ideas are given; these are a banana, wholemeal toast, hummus and carrot sticks, or half a can of soup. Five lunch ideas are provided, and five mid-afternoon snacks (the main component of most of these is fruit). Finally, there are eight dinner ideas, half of which contain some form of seafood. Whilst these are relatively varied, most people probably like to rotate more than a total of eight dinner ideas, rather than eating the same things every week.

 

The ‘No Meat’ Aspect

It is claimed that the Bootea eating plan does not include meat. It does however include fish, which, as it is the flesh of an animal, is considered by many to be meat. Nevertheless, others argue that fish is not meat, perhaps because of the misconception that fish are not farmed in the same way as land animals, or because fish have a less complex nervous system. Either way, this eating plan is pescetarian in nature; it allows the inclusion of fish in the diet, but not of birds or mammals. It is written in the Bootea Eating Plan that the reason mammal and bird meat is not included in the diet is because it contains ‘certain toxins which you will be flushing out of your body during the teatox’. It is very unclear precisely what the writers mean by ‘toxins’, and this is not gone in to in any further detail.

It is stated that the plan is designed without the inclusion of meat for maximal results; however, if you are not willing to cut meat out of your diet, then you can still consume it. It is recommended that in this case, you opt for lean, unprocessed, and organic meat, such as skinless chicken or turkey breasts. It is reiterated that meat contains ‘a lot of toxins’ that the Bootea teatox is trying to eradicate from the body. Again, there is no mention of what these toxins are, precisely where they come from, or how they affect the body in a negative way. On the contrary, a number of popular diet plans at the moment include a large proportion of lean meat.

Is the Plan Likely to be Effective?

Overall, it seems that the diet plan is healthy, and contains low-calorie meals and snacks. However, it is not a long-term diet plan. Not many meal ideas are provided, and whilst some specific meals are given, no general rules are provided about what people should and shouldn’t eat when trying to lose weight (other than cutting out mammal and bird meat). It is possible therefore that once people come off the diet, they will re-gain any weight that they may have lost. This is because they will not have been educated on what foods are beneficial to weight loss, which are detrimental, how to prepare healthy meals, and how to control portion sizes. Very little information is provided on why you should be eating the meals that are provided and why, for example, cutting meat out of your eating plan will be beneficial for your weight loss regime.

The eating plan is, of course, designed to be consumed alongside the Bootea supplements. There is very little evidence that the Bootea products will be beneficial for weight loss. Whilst a number of the ingredients in the day time product have been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of obesity, none of them have been proven to work in this way, and very few of them have been the subject of any scientific studies at all. The night time product is very simply a laxative. Laxatives are sometimes sold as ‘cleansing’ products that supposedly aid weight loss. There is no evidence that this is the case; a number of the claims made on the Bootea website have not even been explained in simple terms, let alone scientifically. Claims that the product is flushing away dangerous toxins are not true. In fact, the act of inducing diarrhoea every night is likely to have much more harm on the body than any ‘toxins’ that are present in your waste.

Conclusion

Overall, whilst the eating plan provided by Bootea does appear to be healthy and may help you to lose weight, it does not provide a long term solution for weight loss. The eating plan lacks any form of education about healthy eating, and only contains eight dinner ideas. Moreover, following the eating plan whilst consuming the Bootea products is not likely to have a significant impact on weight loss. Most of the ingredients in the Bootea tea products have not been scientifically proven to aid weight loss. This lack of clinical studies also means that its safety is not known, and the product may induce a number of side effects.

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