On its own, weight loss is a hugely popular topic, with many people trying to shift stubborn pounds and look better overall.
A related concept that is beginning to trend is the idea of losing weight through detoxing, particularly via tea, which has spawned the concept of teatoxing. Detox teas seem to offer a great way to feel better and even lose weight.
But, is this reality or just another hyped up idea?
With this post, I’m taking a look at one particular tea that’s been doing the rounds, which is called Flat Tummy Tea. So, in this Flat Tummy Tea review, I’m going to be taking a look at what the tea actually is and how it is supposed to work.
What is Flat Tummy Tea?
Flat Tummy Tea is mostly promoted as a detox product, despite the name. The idea seems to be to help cleanse the body, while also reducing bloating, increasing energy and boosting the metabolism.
Based on the marketing, all of those patterns are supposed to help flatten your stomach – although it isn’t really clear how that’s supposed to work.
If you’re trying to lose weight or simply feel better, then all of these goals make sense. Certainly, feeling healthier could make weight loss easier and reducing bloating would help give you a flat tummy, to some degree.
Now, there are actually options for Flat Tummy Tea - a two-week program, a four-week program and a subscription. The first two programs are promoted like this:
Those programs are designed to kick-start the process and reduce bloating.
The subscription aspect is shown below. This one has a longer-term focus.
Basically, there are three distinct teas: Activate, Cleanse and Maintain. Each has a different combination of ingredients and impacts.
- Activate: Includes 10 ingredients. Is designed to improve metabolism and digestion, while providing antioxidants.
- Cleanse: Includes 7 ingredients. Is meant to have detoxing properties. It includes senna as an ingredient, which is a laxative.
- Maintain: Similar to cleanse, with a focus on controlling bloating. Senna is present here as well.
The two-week and four-week versions just contain Activate and Cleanse teas. But, there's no indication about how much of either.
The amounts in the image below are what Flat Tummy Tea used to offer for their four-week (FT FOUR) and two-week (FT TWO) programs. But, it's not clear whether the system still works this way.
The subscription version contains Activate and Maintain instead. Once again, it isn't clear how much you're getting of each type.
The Price and Overall Process
According to the company’s site, the general idea seems to be to do the two-week or four-week plan and them move onto the subscription. You might come back and do the shorter plans every 3 months or so.
The company tries to get people to sign up for a system where they are on subscription and automatically get sent the next part when the time comes.
That subscription costs $45 USD per month, while the products are a little bit more expensive individually. You can also get a 20% discount sometimes, like in the image below.
$45 a month is a fairly high price to pay, so let's take a look at what the product actually offers and whether it’s worth the money.
Flat Tummy Tea involves two sets of products. One of these has a strong focus on detox while the other is more about maintenance
The Science Behind Flat Tummy Tea
With any product, looking at the science is an incredibly powerful way to see how the item is supposed to work and whether it actually will.
Yet, I often find that the science gets overlooked. Instead, people tend to focus on the hype and the testimonials, which often make the product sound amazing.
That’s true here too. There are certainly many glowing Flat Tummy Tea testimonials and these make the tea sound like a miracle drink.
I personally hate reviews like this, especially as the difference in the before and after photo here seems to be mostly the way the woman is standing, rather than any physical change.
That aside, individual experiences will only tell you so much.
With Flat Tummy Tea, the underlying concept is the idea of detoxing and cleansing.
This is something that I’ve highlighted elsewhere, particularly in my detailed post on detox water. But, I will cover the topic briefly here too.
As the name suggests, detox focuses on the idea that you’re removing toxins from your body. The concept is extremely popular right now and there is a ton of marketing around detoxes and cleanses. I’ve reviewed other products that also play into this idea, such as the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, BaeTea and Iaso Tea – and there is no shortage of detox products and strategies out there.
Getting rid of toxins sounds great, in theory anyway.
The problem is that detox products don’t really do that. In fact, they can’t even define what toxins that are meant to be getting rid of and they don’t offer any way to measure success.
The site Precision Nutrition offers a detailed examination on the topic, including what detox diets and products can do - and what they can't.
For that matter, defining what a toxin is can be fairly tricky, as the term often refers to a ‘poisonous substance’, which is fairly vague.
Instead, detoxing tends to be mostly focused on removing waste from the body. That’s why most detox products promote bowel movements to some degree. You can even see this in the claims that Flat Tummy Tea makes.
It doesn’t work like that.
The people who promote detox seem to think that clearing out our intestines as much as possible has got to be good for health. There actually isn’t any evidence for this.
Now, I have no doubt that we never entirely clear our intestines normally. But, this probably isn’t a bad thing. After all, our bodies do host a large range of healthy bacteria and we’re just beginning to realize how much that bacteria can help with health.
So, forcing your body to increase bowel movements could easily harm your health instead of helping.
The company does claim that any bowel cleansing aspect is gentle, which is something. However, gentle is a very vague term and it’s hard to know what this actually means in practice.
It’s also likely that the strength of the cleansing effect would vary from person to person. As such, it could easily be very significant for some people.
The emphasis of Flat Tummy Tea is the idea that you can detox your body by consuming herbs and increasing bowel movements. However, there is little evidence to suggest that this practice is good for health or that it actually removes toxins
Flat Tummy Tea Taste
The company suggests that Flat Tummy Tea is 'naturally sweet' and 'delicious'. External reviews also highlight a naturally sweet flavor. The tea is also reminiscent of green tea, which isn't too surprising.
But, of course, not everyone agrees. Some reviewers suggest that the tea tastes horrible.
You can influence the taste of the tea by changing the steeping time or by adding in a sweetener like honey. Your experience will also be influenced by your personal preferences.
Flat Tummy Tea is meant to taste sweet and appealing, although some users don't like the flavor
Flat Tummy Tea Ingredients
In effect, there are three different products connected with Flat Tummy Tea, as both of the sets contain the same Activate tea. So, let's look at those ingredients and their implications.
The first product to consider is the Activate tea, which is designed to offer energy.
Most of the ingredients aren’t commonly associated with energy, although the smell and taste of peppermint and lemon balm can be invigorating to some.
Of these ingredients, the one that I find the most interesting is green tea.
Green tea itself has a fairly strong reputation of being a healthy drink and there is significant evidence supporting that claim. Green tea does also have caffeine, which may help to support the energy and metabolism claims that Flat Tummy Tea makes (4,5,6,7).
The rest of the ingredients are fairly run of the mill and you’ll find them in many herbal teas. For the most part, the tea is kind of like an herbal supplement in liquid form – although some of the herbs may make it taste good.
The other two teas are fairly similar to each other. That isn’t too surprising, as they are both designed to detox to a degree.
As with the Activate tea, the products basically act as herbal supplements. Many of these ingredients are common in other teas or in traditional medicine. In some cases, they will have been chosen for their flavor, while in other cases the focus will be on potential health benefits.
However, like most herbs, there is relatively little research about the benefits that these actually offer or about their safety when consumed regularly with other herbs.
With that in mind, I’m not going to focus much on the specific ingredients. But, there is one interesting ingredient that I want to mention, which is Senna.
This particular herb is commonly used as a laxative and is even FDA-approved for this purpose (8). It can be obtained without a prescription and is especially common in detox and cleanse products.
The presence of this ingredient alone means that Flat Tummy Tea would work as a way to increase bowel movements. But, it doesn’t offer support for any of the other claims made about the tea.
The ingredients in Flat Tummy Tea are fairly standard for detox teas. The most interesting ones are green tea (which does offer some health benefits) and Senna (which is a laxative)
Flat Tummy Tea Side Effects
The site for Flat Tummy Tea claims that their product is ‘gentle’ and isn’t associated with any significant side effects.
Honestly, I doubt it.
For one thing, the fact that the tea is ‘100% natural’ is meaningless. Natural products can be dangerous for health, just like artificial ones can be good for health. The fact that a product is natural doesn’t have any bearing on the potential for side effects.
Additionally, one of the key outcomes of Flat Tummy Tea is to increase bowel movements. This is part of the general concept of detoxing and the company’s marketing.
This means that you’re intentionally forcing your body to expel waste more frequently than it would naturally. It’s easy to see how this could make you feel fairly bad.
In fact, one of the key ingredients in the Cleanse tea and Maintain tea is Senna. This is an FDA-approved laxative and it is associated with side effects. Some potential side effects include (9).
- Gastrointestinal conditions
- Electrolyte disturbances
- Potassium deficiency
The herb operates by irritating the bowel lining, producing the laxative effect (10). So, it’s not hard to see how this could cause unwanted side effects.
Additionally, taking the herb for more than 2 weeks is considered to be unsafe and may even stop the bowels from functioning normally in some cases (11). The site World Vitae also talks about some of these risks, while Living la Vida Low Carb highlights the problems with taking any type of laxative for weight loss.
That is a particularly concerning problem because the four-week variation means that you would be taking Senna daily for four weeks.
This alone is a reason to avoid the tea.
Honestly, you should never take a laxative on a regular basis. It’s a risky practice that offers no real benefits. Plus, it can make you dependent on laxatives, which is not good for your bowel health in the long-term.
Is Flat Tummy Tea Safe?
For the most part, I'd say the tea is safe. It relies on herbs that are commonly used in supplements and there would have been safety testing.
Still, it's important to be cautious, as Senna is not healthy for long-term use. Honestly, laxatives should never be a part of a weight loss strategy (or an approach to decrease bloating).
There is also some caffeine in the Activate tea. This may make it unappealing for evening use and for anyone sensitive to caffeine.
As always, you should consult your doctor before use if you have any concerns. You should also stop using the tea if you notice significant side effects.
Despite the 'gentle' nature of Flat Tummy Tea, relying on laxatives can cause significant side effects. Additionally, you shouldn't even be using Senna consistently for as long as Flat Tummy Tea wants you to
Does Flat Tummy Tea Work?
First of all, Flat Tummy Tea doesn’t actually make a large number of claims. The main ones are in the list below.
Now, as I’ve shown, there is little evidence that Flat Tummy Tea will actually help you get rid of toxins or cleanse your system. Instead, the whole concept of detoxing is mostly hype.
Whether or not it will improve digestion is fairly debatable too – as increasing your bowel movements isn’t really the same thing as improving digestion. The side effects also mean that the tea could even make digestion worse, rather than improving it.
As for supporting your metabolism and increasing energy, there isn’t much evidence. Most of that comes from the presence of green tea, which may have these effects to some degree.
But, honestly you’d be better off just drinking green tea each day, rather than relying on Flat Tummy Tea. Choosing green tea so would potentially have more health benefits and means fewer side effects to worry about.
Besides that, energy is a pretty subjective concept anyway. It’s incredibly hard to know whether or not your energy levels are increasing. Instead, people often end up feeling like they have more energy simply because they expect to.
Now, when it comes to bloating, the product might actually be effective.
After all, you are increasing bowel movements, which is likely to decrease water, especially if you aren’t hydrating properly. That’s especially true if you end up having diarrhea from the product, which is a potential outcome.
But, the implications of the effect aren’t as significant as you might think.
Losing water or decreasing bloating won’t necessarily help with health and they aren’t always an indication that you are doing better. For that matter, decreasing bloating isn’t going to help you much with long-term weight loss either.
Additionally, you often find that people make other subtle changes to their behavior when they’re trying to improve health. So, many of the positive effects that people see may not actually be due to the tea at all.
For example, when people do any form of detox or take weight loss supplements, they will often end up eating better without even planning to. Often this will happen because people are excited about the product, so they will tend towards healthier decisions.
This alone can play a major role in the way that people feel physically and in their energy levels.
So, you will find that in many cases people may actually lose weight or gain more energy on products like Flat Tummy Tea, even though the tea itself isn’t actually causing the effect.
The other thing is that Flat Tummy Tea is all about energy, bloating and how you feel. These are all subjective. As such, people often end up feeling better because they expect to.
It’s a horrible pattern and you're basically spending $45 per month on a product that isn’t having much of an effect at all.
Flat Tummy Tea will increase bowel movements and may reduce bloating to some degree but that's about it. The tea certainly won't help with long-term weight loss and the potential side effects could put your health at risk
My Flat Tummy Tea Review
Flat Tummy Tea is far from unique. Instead, the product is fairly similar to other teas, like Iaso Tea and Fit Tea, both of which have similar limitations. In fact, many of the limitations here apply to the detox tea trend as a whole.
At the end of the day, these products are basically herbal supplements in the form of a hot drink. For many people, they will have a laxative effect but that’s really about it.
This means that Flat Tummy Tea won’t really help you get a flat tummy. At best, it will reduce bloating but that’s not a particularly good long-term solution. Instead, you’re better off focusing on losing weight to begin with.
Flat Tummy Tea isn't even a good choice if you just want a healthy tea. Instead, you would be better looking at green tea for that role.
Now, weight loss is one of those areas that so many people struggle with. It’s easy to get stuck and feel like nothing you do is working. Yet, weight loss isn’t necessarily as hard as most people think.
Instead, a key technique is to move away from the idea of dieting.
Dieting is a frustrating idea because it is a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Often diets are so challenging that people can’t stick with them for long enough to lose the weight.
And, in cases where people do stick to it, they often find themselves regaining the weight after the diet is over.
Instead, you need to find a healthy technique that you can follow in the long term. Specifically, you want something that isn’t going to be torture or a constant challenge.
There are many examples of lifestyle approaches out there that can help people to lose weight and keep it off. Some of these include intermittent fasting, paleo, low carb and ketosis, and there are countless others.
The trick is to figure out an option that fits in with your specific wants and needs.
For example, I strongly favor low carb or ketosis diets and there is some wonderful food that you can make following these techniques, like low carb pumpkin recipes and keto desserts. Recipes like these mean that you can still enjoy amazing meals, even while you’re following a healthy diet and losing weight.
Alternatively, some people choose intermittent fasting, because there is less focus on specifically what you eat and a greater focus on timing. This can make the lifestyle easier to follow, especially for people that are often busy.
Want to Lose Weight and Keep it Off?
Weight loss is a huge industry, with no shortage of hype. But, long-term weight loss doesn't come from a crash diet or a popular fad.
Instead, you need sustainable habits and healthy foods.
Check out my recommended weight loss products to see where you can get started
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Have you tried Flat Tummy Tea or any detox tea before? Do you agree with what I'm saying or have your experiences been different? I'd love to hear from you either way.