Essential oils can be a natural aid for weight loss and maintenance. They can have very positive impact on weight loss efforts when combined with healthy diet and lifestyle such as the Paleo diet. Some essential oils can really help with weight loss by helping to melt the fat and by helping the body to carry less toxins.
Several essential oils can suppress cravings, increase metabolism, reduce fluid retention and helps alleviate emotional stress and stress eating.
1. Grapefruit essential oil: (prevents bloating, water retention and dissolves fat)
Grapefruit is one of the best essential oils for weight loss due to the d-limonene found in grapefruit. It helps in releasing fatty acids into bloodstream where the body breaks them down and uses it for energy. A study conducted on the protective effects of d-limonene in the animal’s shows that it helps reduce body weight by reducing lipid peroxidation (oxidative damage) and lowering cholesterol.
It has long been used for various health benefits like metabolism stimulant, lymphatic system detox and fat burning. It is packed with Vitamin C and the powerful antioxidant Lycopene which helps detoxify and cleanse the lymphatic system. Toxicity in the body creates unwanted weight gain.
Our body stores toxins in the excess fat when it does not know how to release it from the body. Citrus oils like grapefruit, lemon and orange essential oil work great to release the toxins from our metabolic pathways. Along with natural weight loss management properties, grapefruit has antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory uses.
How to use:
1- You can make invigorating and refreshing drink by adding 1 to 2 drops of grapefruit essential oil to your daily glass of drinking water to flush out toxins and fat burning effect especially before breakfast in the morning. It also enhances the flavor of water and food.
2- Massage for at least 30 minutes on areas where fat accumulates by adding it into 1 to 2 oz of carrier oil like raw organic virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil. Do not wash off for several hours.
3- Add 5 drops of grapefruit essential oil to your warm bath, combining it with 5 drops of ginger, 5 drops of orange, 5 drops of sandalwood and 5 drops of lemon essential oil for a cellulite bath. Plus, add a cup of apple cider vinegar to it and make sure to disperse oils with your hand well and soak for approximately 30 minutes.
2. Peppermint essential Oil: (Best for cravings and digestion)
Peppermint essential oil has unique weight loss benefits. It is great for reducing appetite and helps suppress cravings. We feel full because of a special mechanism in our brain and peppermint works on that part of the brain which triggers the feeling of fullness when you eat. It is found to be more effective than any other scent in creating serotonin in the brain that is linked with cravings for sweets. A study on the effects of peppermint scent on appetite control confirms that participants inhaling peppermint essential oil were less likely to feel hungry and had fewer cravings than the ones who didn’t inhale peppermint essential oil.
Plus, it is great for huge array of digestive issues that can sooth stomach upset. It also helps with candida that often influences weight management and weight gain. Peppermint essential oil is packed with nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C and minerals like potassium, iron and magnesium. So it helps not only in weight loss maintenance but also nourishes the body and promotes the feeling of well-being.
How to use:
1- Peppermint essential oil smells refreshing. You can diffuse few drops of oils before meals to reduce the appetite.
2- Peppermint tastes great and gives an extra little energy as an added benefit so you can even add 1 to 2 drops of oil to your glass of water and drink before the meals to have the same effect of reducing appetite.
3- You can also add few drops to your warm bath in the morning to suppress cravings and have energizing start of the day.
3. Lemon Essential Oil:
Like grapefruit essential oil, it contains d-Limonene and full of minerals and vitamins specifically vitamin C.
Lemon essential oil is great for addressing intestinal parasites that are often a secret cause of weight gain. It helps in weight loss by dealing with various digestive ailments, balancing your metabolism and increasing energy levels. It helps the body to carry less toxins which it stores in the fat cells for no good reason.
The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Institute of Chicago found that inhaling lemon and peppermint essential oil scent is more natural and effective way to control appetite to help with weight loss.
How to use:
1- Daily rubbing and massaging lemon essential oil to the cellulite areas helps to eliminate toxins and waste that are stored in the fat cells. Ridding the body of these toxins will make it thinner and healthier as well.
2- Adding 1 to 2 drops of lemon essential oil in the drinking water before breakfast will have a gentle detoxifying effect on the body.
3- You can also inhale or diffuse lemon essential oil before meals.
4. Bergamot Essential Oil: (mood booster and helps control bad cholesterol and stress eating)
This oil is extracted from Italian citrus fruits and it is perfect for those who eat when they are stressed. Sedative properties of bergamot essential oil make it perfect for fighting with stress related weight gain and controlling stress triggered eating. It can be more effective if you pair it with lavender essential oil.
This oil is very effective in weight control because it contains extremely large amounts of the polyphenols (that are also found in green tea). This polyphenols content is great for fat oxidation (halt production of blood fat), increasing metabolism and preventing the absorption of cholesterol. Bergamot inhibits an enzyme that is linked to the blood sugar levels, being more active when sugar is high which promotes the decomposition of sugar and fats.
How to use:
1- You can put few drops on a cloth and inhale the vapors to calm and relax when you are stressed and tempted to eat more.
2- You can also put a drop into one teaspoon of honey or drink in a 4oz of coconut milk to have more calming effect.
3- It can also be used for applied or massaged to the feet or on the neck adding it in the carrier oil like extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
4- It can also be diluted in a warm bath in the morning to assist with stress and start a refreshing day.
5. Cinnamon Bark essential oil:
Cinnamon essential oil is found to promote a feeling of fullness after meals. It works more as a weight gain preventer and less of a weight loss plan. It works to enhance the effect of all other weight loss essential oils. It helps in breaking down sugar for absorption into the body as energy, so as a result the body would have less fatty acids to store. It is also found to be very effective against candida which influences weight gain.
Cinnamon helps increase blood circulation, stimulates the immune system, improves gut health and irritable bowel syndrome and metabolism which is why it may be helpful in weight loss. Cinnamon is also known for its anti-inflammatory uses and it stimulates the immune system, and even increases libido.
How to use:
1- Drink few drops of cinnamon essential oil combining it with honey in one cup of warm water before breakfast and at night before sleeping.
2- Inhale or diffuse cinnamon essential oil before meals or try adding 1 to 2 drops of oil to drinking water and take before half or one hour before meals to help with appetite.
6. Sandalwood Essential Oil:
Like Bergamot essential oil, Sandalwood essential oil works great for stress eating. It helps overcoming negative feelings and behavior so that you no longer feel tempted to eat more to deal with stress.
How to use:
1- Diffuse it and inhale the vapors by diluting it in a mixture of 1 drop sandalwood essential oil to 1 drop of carrier oil like extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
2- Apply it directly on the stomach or to the feet.
3- Add 1 or 2 drops in 1 teaspoon of honey or a 4 oz. coconut milk.
Bonus Tip: The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Institute of Chicago found that oils should be changed daily for the best effect. You can vary the use and replace different oils like lemon, grapefruit or peppermint or bergamot and sandalwood oil in combination or in place of another to enhance the affect or to see what works best for you.
J.A. Reed, J. Almeida, B. Wershing, B. Raudenbush. (2008). Effects of peppermint scent on appetite control and caloric intake. Elsivier. Volume 51, Issue 2, Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666308003358
Ramakrishnan Murali, Arumugam Karthikeyan andRamalingam Saravanan. (2013) Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology. Volume 112, Issue 3 Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bcpt.12010/abstract
Dr. Edward F. (2012). The Weight Loss Benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil. Global Healing Centre.
Retrieved from http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/weight-loss-benefits-bergamot-essential-oil/
Cinnamon For Weight Loss http://cinnamonvogue.com/cinnamon_for_weight_loss.html
Rose, Jeanne, The Aromatherapy Book of Application and Inhalation, North Atlantic Books, 1992.
Weight Loss and Essential Oils. http://oldsouthessentialoils.com/weight-loss-and-essential-oils/
Bergamot essential oil information. http://www.essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/bergamot.htm