Surprising Benefits of Essential Oils for Weight Loss: Our Top 6 Choices
Walk into any good health-food store these days and you’re guaranteed to come across shelves lined-up with bottles of fragrant essential oils. However, not everyone knows how to use these oils, especially for weight loss! Well, it turns out that there are many different ways in which you can use these essential oils for weight loss purposes. They can serve as a highly versatile tool for body detoxification, curbing of hunger pangs and better management of stress levels.
While regular physical activity and good nutrition are known as two very critical factors for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle, people often overlook the importance of physiological and psychological components during their weight loss struggles.
Anyone who has seriously tried shedding even a bit of body weight would agree that it can be an epic battle at both the body and mind level, a kind of struggle that involves plenty of things including one’s brain chemistry, emotions, environment, hormones and genetic makeup.
Unfortunately, for some people, following the conventional way of dieting and exercising isn’t enough to bring about a permanent body change. This is where essential oils for weight loss come into the picture!
How Can Essential Oils Help You Lose Weight?
The benefits of essential oils date back to 6000 years, and they continue to be used even today for their unique healing properties. These oils are basically in the form of hydrophobic liquids made up of highly concentrated and volatile aromatic compounds; and obtained from various sources like fruits, roots, flowers, barks, leaves, and seeds of plants.
Although these oils have been in use in ancient Roman, Indian, Greek, Chinese and Egyptian cultures for their spiritual, cosmetic and medicinal benefits, for thousands of years, modern-day scientific research into their physiological, mood altering and curative benefits has also shown good results.
For instance, aromatherapy using these oils has been proven to stimulate certain parts of the brain, thereby making a positive impact at your mental, emotional and physical level. Anyone with even a slight knowledge of human biology would know that human nose can easily detect up to 1 trillion distinct odors, while the olfactory glands can almost immediately interact with hippocampus and amygdala in the brain (which form the foundation of the entire human memory and emotions).
Inhalation of molecules via one’s nose also causes instant communication with the brain’s receptors, which in turn control body’s stress levels, pleasure points, motivation levels, learning, blood pressure, attention span and heart rate.
It is common knowledge that aromatherapy with essential oils can be used as an effective treatment method for conditions like hormonal imbalance and anxiety. Although there is no solid substitute of regular exercise and dieting for weight loss (and maintenance), many hurdles faced during this struggle are based at the psychophysiological level.
No matter whether you constantly struggle with slow metabolic rate, poor digestion, low energy levels, depression, emotional eating, lack of motivation, craving for sweets or dieting fatigue, regular use of essential oils in your day to day fitness routines can prove to be that missing piece which could quickly propel you towards your weight loss targets and then help you sustain your results.
Best Essential Oils for Weight Loss:
Having talked enough about how essential oils can possibly help you in weight loss, let’s find out exactly which ones can you effectively use to maximise your results and benefits. Here are six important essential oils, which if used with daily physical activity and a well-thought-out diet plan, can provide you with that much needed extra boost to undergo rapid weight loss.
1. Grapefruit Oil:
Grapefruit oil helps in activation of certain enzymes in the body, which in turn aid breakdown of body fats. One of the reasons it’s considered particularly effective in weight loss is because it comprises of D-limonene that supports metabolism and cleanses the lymphatic glands, in order to facilitate easy carriage of nutrients between the bloodstream and the body tissues.
Studies have also revealed that regular use of grapefruit oil impacts autonomic nerves that control important body functions such as digestion and heart rate, apart from reducing body weight and appetite.
One of the best ways of using grapefruit oil for weight loss purposes is by drinking 2 or 3 drops of it in a glass of water, massaging a bit of it on your wrists and chest (with a carrier oil like coconut oil) or diffusing it at your office or home, whenever you want to get rid of food cravings.
2. Cinnamon Oil
This oil is very helpful in balancing the blood sugar levels and can thus be used as an effective aid for reducing sugar cravings and for undergoing consistent weight loss. It’s normal to indulge in overeating and thereby gaining weight whenever your blood sugar levels fluctuate.
In addition, it may be difficult to exercise daily and burn calories if your energy levels stay low as a result of such fluctuations. Regular use of cinnamon oil can help tackle such issues and it can also be employed as an effective cardioprotective agent which reduces the chances of heart diseases and inflammation.
Cinnamon oil can be had orally by adding 1 or 2 drops to tea or a smoothie. You can also diffuse it at home or inhale it directly from the bottle.
3. Ginger Oil
A very major benefit of using ginger oil is that it aids digestion and helps in better absorption of nutrients. As your body starts absorbing more minerals and vitamins, you feel more energetic and can do much more to lose weight.
Gingerol, the key compound in this oil has antioxidant properties and is also effective in reducing body inflammation. Regular use of this oil works as a natural cure for pain relief and swelling, thus keeping you active and focused on weight loss.
Adding a couple of drops of ginger oil to a smoothie or tea is good enough to make it work. It can even be diffused or inhaled directly. Apart from these, you can even apply a few drops of it topically (with a carrier oil like coconut oil) to your stomach area after meals.
4. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil not only boosts the body’s energy levels, thereby maximizing results from daily workouts, it can also minimize your recovery time periods, soothe sore muscles and get you back up and running in no time!
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition had featured a research in the year 2013 which found that regular ingestion of peppermint oil (along with water) enhances the performance of male athletes, as it relaxes their bronchial smooth muscles, improves brain oxygen concentration and ventilation. Simply put, it makes it easier for athletes to stay at their energetic best throughout their exercise routines, without running out of breath.
Furthermore, peppermint also has many other benefits, for instance, it works as an appetite suppressant, reduces fatigue, reduces hunger cravings and improves concentration levels so you can stay focused on your weight loss routines.
Rubbing a few drops of peppermint oil (with a carrier oil like coconut oil) behind your neck and on temples can give you instant pain relief and energy boost, both of which can be a godsend during exercise routines. It can even be diffused for achieving a quick energy boost.
Some of the other ways of using peppermint oil are by having a few drops with a glass of water, mixing 2 to 3 drops with toothpaste while brushing and/or adding 10 to 12 drops to bathing water to soothe those achy muscles.
5. Lemon Essential Oil
Scientific research has revealed that bathing in the aroma of lemon essential oil helps in improving neurological activity, which in turn aids easy breakdown of body fats.
Not only does lemon oil have calming and stimulating properties, it also helps significantly in mood elevation, which can be critical to keep you motivated towards the accomplishment of your weight loss targets. Its regular intake also enhances the body’s natural detoxification ability and aids the digestion process – something that’s very important for any weight loss journey.
You can consume lemon essential oil by diffusing it at your place or by adding a few drops of it to your smoothie, salad dressing or water. Inhaling directly from the bottle can work magic if you’re feeling groggy at any time of the day.
6. Bergamot Essential Oil
Anxiety and depression often lead to emotional binges, which although may provide a temporary sense of relief, eventually pile up more negative emotions and not to forget – body weight! This is where bergamot oil can be of great help! If you haven’t heard of it, bergamot is actually a citrus fruit which is almost the size of an orange and has the color of a lemon.
A study conducted in the year 2015 examined the effects of 15 minutes’ aromatherapy using bergamot oil. The participants of the study not only experienced increased energy levels and positive emotions but instant physiological boosts as well.
Bergamot consists of naturally-existing polyphenols (also found in green tea) and can be extremely helpful in melting away sugar and fat. The limonene contained in it aids easy dissolution of body fat. This essential oil is considered one of the best ones in its category for weight loss purposes as it impacts both the mental and physical health of the users.
You can have this oil through a diffuser or by drinking a few drops in a glass of water. Couple of more ways to consume it is by inhaling it directly from the bottle or by adding a few drops in your shower/bath.
How to Use Essential Oils for Weight Loss?
When it comes to using essential oils to lose weight, you must keep in mind that most of these oils are highly concentrated plant extracts, and hence some precautions must be taken prior to their first-time use.
Although breathing in essential oils (through aromatherapy) is by far the least risky way of benefiting from their weight loss properties, their topical usage should always be after diluting them with some carrier oil (for instance, coconut oil).
You must never apply these essential oils directly onto the skin without dilution. It’s always recommended to perform a skin patch test on some sensitive area of your body first, to steer away from any allergic or adverse reactions. You’re good to go and can apply it to the other areas of your body if your skin stays fine after 24 hours.
Another important point you must remember is that some of these essential oils are phototoxic in nature, particularly the ones obtained from citrus fruits. Make it a point that you stay away from direct sunlight, at least for 12 to 18 hours after applying any such essential oil on your skin.
Following are some commonly known ways to use essential oils for weight loss:
As has been detailed above, there are various ways you can use essential oils for weight loss purposes. We hope you can clearly see the role these oils can play in the accomplishment of your weight loss goals. Whichever way you decide to use them to meet your fitness targets, please keep in mind that there’s no quick-fix solution when it comes to weight loss. Rather than thinking of them as an easy means to melt away those stubborn pounds, you must gradually integrate them into your daily lifestyle and view them as a long-term aid to help you stay true to your exercise and diet routines; so as to lose and maintain body weight in the process.