Let’s face it, losing weight can be hard. You start out motivated and full of good intentions, but the constant daily battle can wear you down. Before you know it, you’ve blown your diet – we’ve all been there.
It’s all about perseverance rather than a magic fix, so if you’re looking for a miracle essential oil that will melt away the fat you’re going to be disappointed. However, there are some excellent essential oils with medicinal properties that can assist you in your weight loss journey.
How Can Essential Oils Help Weight Loss
You may be wondering how the scent of something can make you lose weight, but it’s all down to the ancient art of aromatherapy.
The receptors in the human nose can communicate with the hippocampus and amygdala, which are key areas in the brain with responsibility for storing emotions and memories. Research suggests that essential oil molecules stimulate these areas, which in turn influences our physical, mental and emotional states. A lot of losing and keeping weight off has to do with psychological factors, so certain essential oils may help keep your motivation up.
Here are the top 14 essential oils for weight loss:
1. Grapefruit Essential Oil
The Grapefruit Diet was popular in the 1980’s, but it’s been around since the 1930’s. What’s the reason for its longevity? Research suggests that grapefruit essential oils are good at suppressing appetite, detoxifying, dissolving fat and battling water retention.
Drink it: Add 1-2 drops of therapeutic grade grapefruit essential oil in a glassful of water and drink it as soon as you get up in the morning. This routine will help to improve metabolism and flush out toxins.
Inhale: If you get a sudden craving, the scent of fresh grapefruit oil can do wonders to help you get through it. Inhale directly from the bottle, or add a few drops to a cotton ball and breathe deeply.
Diffuse: Add a few drops to your diffuser, especially when you’re feeling the temptation to raid the kitchen.
2. Cinnamon Essential Oil
A 2013 study suggested that cinnamon has antimicrobial, anti-parasitic, anti-oxidant and free radical-destroying properties. It was also found that it could lower blood glucose and serum cholesterol.
Cinnamon oil has potential for regulating blood glucose levels and the glucose tolerance factor in the body. Adding cinnamon oil to your food can help slow down the speed at which glucose is released into the bloodstream.
Drink it: The FDA says cinnamon oil is safe to take internally, but it’s recommended that you buy therapeutic-grade cinnamon essential oil that’s 100% pure. Add 1-2 drops in a teacup of warm water with a bit of honey. Do this every day before meals or when you get a craving for food.
Inhale: Take a few deep breaths of cinnamon oil from the bottle whenever you want to prevent overeating or feel a craving come on.
Apply Topically: Combine 1-2 drops of cinnamon oil with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil and rub it on your wrists and chest.
Diffuse: Put some cinnamon oil in your diffuser to make your house smell great and stop you thinking about food.
3. Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory, and a 2013 study suggested that ginger oil also has antioxidant properties. Another study in 2014 showed that ginger helped to suppress obesity caused due to a high-fat diet, and that it showed promise as a treatment for obesity.
Drink it: Ginger is safe to take internally say the FDA, but use therapeutic grade ginger oil that is safe for internal use. Add 1-2 drops of ginger oil to a glass of warm water and a squeeze of lemon juice with honey.
Inhale: Breathe in directly from the bottle for a great pick-me-up.
4. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil has been used for centuries to treat stomach ailments, and menthol can influence neurosensory perceptions to change how we taste and smell food. This could help prevent cravings for sugary foods and curb overeating.
Research done in 2008 concluded that participants who inhaled peppermint oil every 2 hours felt less hungry and had fewer food cravings than those who didn’t.
Drink it: Another essential oil that the FDA deem safe to take internally, peppermint oil added to a glass of water before meals can serve as an appetite suppressant.
Inhale: Soak a cotton ball in a few drops of oil, or inhale from the bottle right before eating to help decrease your appetite.
Diffuse: Add a few drops to your diffuser to uplift your mood and combat cravings.
5. Lemon Essential Oil
This oil is extracted from lemon rind, and contains the medicinal compound limonene. Lemon oil is a natural fat dissolver and a 2013 study suggested that when it was combined with grapefruit oil, it supported breaking down of the body’s fats.
Drink it: Mix 1-2 drops of lemon essential oil into a glass of water and have it in the morning to help support your digestive system.
Inhale: Inhale directly from the bottle, or from a cotton pad soaked in a few drops of oil.
Massage: Blend lemon oil with a carrier oil and massage into areas that have cellulite build up.
6. Bergamot Essential Oil
Low feelings and anxiety can often contribute to emotional eating, but it can leave you feeling worse when the number on the scale creeps up.
A 2015 study showed that inhaling bergamot oil for 15 minutes could boost your mood and reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Bergamot contains polyphenols that help the body to naturally melt fat and sugar.
Inhale: Put a few drops of the oil on a cotton pad, or inhale from the bottle.
Add it to your shower: Put a few drops of bergamot oil in your shower with the drain covered. Inhale deeply to get the full benefits.
7. Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood oil can help to suppress feelings of negativity and bring some calm. It’s useful if you’re a comfort eater or stressed out. It has a lovely woody scent and a natural therapeutic effect on the limbic system of the brain.
Inhale: The earthy scent of sandalwood can take your mind off food. Put a few drops on a cotton pad or inhale from the bottle.
Apply topically: If you’re having a bad day, apply a couple of drops of sandalwood oil directly on to your wrists and ankles to help you get through it without turning to food.
Diffuse: Add a few drops of oil to your diffuser, and relax.
8. Lavender Essential Oil
Research suggests that lavender oil can help calm stress and anxiety, and suppress the emotional eating triggers. Lavender can also lower cortisol levels.
If you are a binge or comfort eater, lavender oil can help you break free.
Inhale: Rub 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your palms and hold them to your face, or inhale directly from the bottle.
Diffuse: To increase the feeling of calm and relaxation from lavender oil, add a few drops to your diffuser to soothe your senses.
9. Fennel Essential Oil
The sweet yet earthy scent of fennel oil is extracted from the fennel seeds. It’s excellent for improving digestion and suppressing the appetite. Fennel oil can also help to regulate sleep which can improve your energy levels and moods, which can support your weight loss goals.
Drink it: Add 1-2 drops of fennel oil in a glass of water and drink before meals to prevent overeating.
Apply topically: Dab a drop of fennel oil on each wrist to help with sweet cravings.
10. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus is great for boosting energy, and reducing stress. Stress and anxiety are connected to overeating, so when you are stressed, reach for the eucalyptus oil to help you relax.
Inhale: Take a few deep breaths of eucalyptus oil directly from the bottle to bring on a feeling of calm and relaxation.
Add it to your shower: In the morning, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil after covering the drain. Inhale deeply and feel refreshed and ready to face the day.
11. Frankincense Essential Oil
This oil is from a tree native to Somalia, Africa, and is a wonderful tool for calming anxiety and lifting low moods.
Frankincense oil can also help digestion by speeding up the rate at which bile and gastric juices are secreted. This can help weight loss by affecting the metabolic rate.
Inhale: If you feel hungry, take a few deep breaths of frankincense oil from the bottle.
In a diffuser: Adding a few drops of this oil can help calm your mind after a stressful day, which could help you battle cravings.
12. Jasmine Essential Oil
A study suggests that the smell of jasmine is as calming as valium! Research also proves that jasmine oil can help depression and lift the mood. If you struggle to control cravings, this oil could help you stay strong.
Inhale: Inhale jasmine oil before eating to help prevent you overindulging. You can also put a few drops of oil on a handkerchief and keep it on you through the day.
Use in a diffuser: Try adding 2-3 drops of jasmine oil, and 4-5 drops of grapefruit oil to your diffuser. The light, citrus scent will lift your mood.
13. Orange Essential Oil
Orange oil can help to curb the appetite, and contains vitamin C. A study from Japan’s Mei University showed that orange oil helped participants lessen their anti-depressant medication.
Depression is linked to weight gain and obesity, but orange oil can help you feel less tempted by food as well as improving mood.
Inhale: Inhale the oil directly before eating to energize and stimulate you.
Drink it: Add 1-2 drops of orange oil to a glass of water and drink it before you have a meal to curb your appetite.
14. Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil is a strong, powerful oil that is used for much more than flavoring. Rosemary has been shown to reduce stress hormone cortisol, which can help with keeping your weight under control.
Inhale: Take deep breaths of rosemary oil for 5 minutes to reduce your cortisol levels.
Essential oils are very powerful, and can give some people an allergic reaction. Always test a new oil by doing a small skin patch test on your arm or leg.
If you’re pregnant or nursing please check with your doctor before using essential oils. The same rule applies if you are taking any medication.