The mechanisms of how tea and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) lower body fat are not completely understood. This study investigated long-term administration of green tea (GT), black tea (BT), or isolated EGCG (1 mg/kg per day) on body composition, glucose tolerance, and gene expression related to energy metabolism and lipid homeostasis; it was hypothesized that all treatments would improve the indicators of metabolic syndrome. Rats were fed a 15% fat diet for 6 months from 4 weeks of age and were supplied GT, BT, EGCG, or water. GT and BT reduced body fat, whereas GT and EGCG increased lean mass. At 16 weeks GT, BT, and EGCG improved glucose tolerance. In the liver, GT and BT increased the expression of genes involved in fatty acid synthesis (SREBP-1c, FAS, MCD, ACC) and oxidation (PPAR-alpha, CPT-1, ACO); however, EGCG had no effect. In perirenal fat, genes that mediate adipocyte differentiation were suppressed by GT (Pref-1, C/EBP-beta, and PPAR-gamma) and BT (C/EBP-beta), while decreasing LPL, HSL, and UCP-2 expression; EGCG increased expression of UCP-2 and PPAR-gamma genes. Liver triacylglycerol content was unchanged. The results suggest that GT and BT suppressed adipocyte differentiation and fatty acid uptake into adipose tissue, while increasing fat synthesis and oxidation by the liver, without inducing hepatic fat accumulation. In contrast, EGCG increased markers of thermogenesis and differentiation in adipose tissue, while having no effect on liver or muscle tissues at this dose. These results show novel and separate mechanisms by which tea and EGCG may improve glucose tolerance and support a role for these compounds in obesity prevention.