For several thousands of years, man has been using many of Mother Nature’s bounty to help them in a variety of ailments or health problems. From Egypt to India to China and those in the Amazon basin, these ancient civilizations have relied on essential oils to help them stay fit and healthy and even to lose weight. Yes, they did use whatever Mother Nature gave them to stay slim and fit. If it worked for how many eons, it sure can work today.
In this particular article, we are going to present to you the 10 top essential oils for weight loss. However, before that, we will be examining a little closer the relationship between stress and weight gain before we take a look at how essential oils can help with weight loss. Hopefully by the end of this article you will be more empowered in your efforts of losing weight.
Stress and Weight Gain
When we talk about losing weight there is nothing better than doing it as naturally as possible. This often means sensible eating habits, regular exercise, and effective stress management. You read that right! Stress can definitely make you more susceptible to the deposition or storage of fat because of the effects of cortisol, one of the major hormones released during times of stress. That is why, one of the most important breakthroughs in weight loss research is the relationship between stress and weight gain.
When we are under stressed, our brain stimulates the adrenal glands to start releasing epinephrine. This hormone gives us tremendous amounts of energy by mobilizing both glycogen and fat stores. Unfortunately, these can get easily depleted so the adrenal glands also release cortisol to help replenish this energy source. How? Well, it signals your brain to tell it to eat – in other words, it stimulates your sense of hunger. Remember if you are under stressed, you tend to be craving for food? Now, that explains why your friend tends to devour a 72-ounce steak with several handfuls of fries and mashed potatoes on the side in a flash whenever she is under stress. As long as we are under stress, our body will keep on releasing cortisol.
Here’s the sad part. When we are hungry, we don’t usually reach automatically for the carrot or the celery stick. What do we get? The high carbohydrate, high fat, salty foods that we have come to accept as part of our American diet. Oh, did you know that our serving sizes are equivalent to 3 portions in other countries? Yes, that’s how big our portion sizes are. So you can just imagine all those fat getting stored. And you know why we always reach for those high fat foods? It’s because these stimulate the brain to synthesize and secrete substances that bring us pleasure. This satisfies us and make us feel more contented.
Regrettably, too much fat and calories without expending energy will favor the storage and deposition of these molecules. The end result – weight gain.
Can you see the pattern now? If you really want to lose weight, then you have to watch what you’re eating, make sure you have adequate exercise to burn excess calories, and, more importantly, manage your stress so you won’t have to suffer the consequences of too much cortisol in your body.
How Essential Oils Can be Excellent Partners in Weight Loss Efforts
In the preceding section we learned how stress can affect the way we eat and the way in which our bodies produce cortisol which can favor weight gain. We also learned that losing weight is simply a matter of balancing your energy intake with your energy output. If our intake is greater than the output, the net result is weight gain. If our energy output is greater than our intake, then we favor weight loss. Simple, right?
But here’s the good thing. While it is quite challenging for many of us to remain faithful to our exercise and diet regimen, we can however, do something about our stresses. And this is where essential oils can help. Aside from the fact that some essential oils have known fat-burning properties, many help us calm our nerves, make us feel more relaxed, and feel less stressed. When this happens, we tend not to go into binge eating. We don’t crave food. In a way, we are limiting our food intake brought about by stress.
Now, don’t you think it’s a great way to lose weight and feel good about ourselves at the same time?
10 Best Essential Oils for Weight Loss
- 1 10 Best Essential Oils for Weight Loss
We now know that one great way to lose weight is to avoid or manage our stresses a bit more efficiently. We also know that our weight is actually determined by the balance between intake and output. If the amount of energy we consume is greater than the amount of energy we produce, then we favor weight gain. Conversely, if our energy production is greater than our energy consumption, then we favor weight loss. Simple enough, right? The best part is we can help influence our energy consumption – food intake – by managing our stress. And while many essential oils have fat burning and weight loss properties, it is their ability to give us a calm mind and a more relaxed feeling that will help us manage our weight issues more effectively.
Here are our top ten picks:
1Grapefruit Essential Oil
One of the most famous essential oils for weight loss is grapefruit oil. This essential oil is commonly used as a disinfectant and an antiseptic but it has excellent weight loss properties. These include the following:
- Can help tone down food cravings so you will not be automatically reaching for that high-calorie, high-fat food that you are dying to taste;
- Boosts your body’s rate of metabolism to make energy-burning more efficient; this also hastens the speed upon which fat deposits are mobilized from their storage sites to be converted into energy;
- Increases your physical endurance to help you persevere more in your weight loss efforts especially if you are also going to add exercise in your daily grapefruit essential oil regimen;
- Boosts energy to help you perform the things you need to perform and thus, leading to more calories burned; and
- Reduces the accumulation of fat in your abdominal area by favoring the increased mobilization and utilization of fat molecules.
The active ingredient of grapefruit that is known to be particularly beneficial in weight loss efforts is nootkatone which acts by regulating the body’s metabolic rate as well as energy levels. It is an enzyme that catalyzes the various chemical processes in the brain, the skeletal muscles, and the liver so you will be able to mobilize and use more fat leading to weight loss.
How to Use:
- Mix 2 drops each of grapefruit EO, peppermint EO, and lemon EO with 12 drops of coconut oil or olive oil. Pour the concoction in an empty capsule and take one capsule every day in the morning. You can make as many capsules as you want; just make sure to observe the recommended portions.
- Add 1 to 2 drops of food-grade grapefruit essential oil in a glass of water and drink right after waking up in the morning.
- Add 3 to 4 drops of grapefruit essential oil in 5 mL of olive oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil and massage onto your body area that has, you think, plenty of fat. Some say olive oil is the best carrier oil for grapefruit essential oil. Massage for at least 30 minutes and then leave it for as long as possible before washing it off the following scheduled shower.
2Lemon Essential Oil
Together with grapefruit and peppermint essential oils, lemon essential oil has been shown to be particularly effective in the management of weight issues. Here’s how.
- It helps suppress weight gain so you won’t have to worry about fat getting deposited into different parts of your body especially the abdominal region.
- It increases energy so you will have plenty of fight left in you to increase your physical activities.
- It also enhances your mood so you will not have to reach for that favorite comfort food of yours every time you feel anxious or depressed.
- It also helps relieve pain. This can help mitigate the effects of pro-inflammatory substances on the release of cortisol.
Lemon essential oil contains limonene which has been shown to have excellent fat-dissolving properties. When used together with grapefruit and peppermint essential oil, this can help increase the lipolytic processes of the body.
How to Use:
- Mix 2 drops of lemon EO, 2 drops of grapefruit EO, and 2 drops of peppermint with 12 drops of coconut oil or olive oil. Place the mixture in a capsule. Take one capsule every morning.
- Add 2 to 3 drops of lemon essential oil onto a cotton ball or even a piece of tissue. Slowly inhale the vapors right before meals to tone down your appetite and avoid the tendency to overeat. You can also place the lemon cotton ball inside a zip lock bag for instant use while on the go.
- Add 3 to 4 drops of lemon essential oil to your favorite carrier oil and massage onto the body part that has cellulite or excess fat. You can leave it on after the 30-minute massage.
- Add a drop or two of food-grade lemon essential oil to a glass of water and drink it immediately after getting up from bed in the morning.
3Peppermint Essential Oil
Considered part of the triumvirate of weight loss-inducing essential oils including grapefruit and lemon, peppermint oil is well known for its ability to aid in healthier digestion while at the same time help curb appetite. Here are the benefits of peppermint oil.
- Reduces appetite so you will have substantially lower hunger levels for longer periods of time. This translates to reduced cravings and binge-eating.
- It aids in proper digestion by relaxing the smooth muscles of the stomach leading to a reduction in bloating while at the same time improving the flow of bile which aids in the emulsification and digestion of fat.
- It also helps improve mood so you will feel a lot better about yourself and won’t have to resort to stress eating.
- Improves overall energy to help you do more and thus, burn more calories that favor the mobilization and utilization of stored fat molecules.
Peppermint is rich in menthol which has been shown to increase the metabolic rate of the body while at the same time healthier digestion. It’s also a great relaxant so you will definitely be able to control your stress and the release of cortisol.
How to Use:
- Add 2 drops each of peppermint EO, grapefruit EO, and lemon EO to 12 drops of olive oil or coconut oil. Place the mixture in capsules and take a capsule every morning.
- Add 2 to 3 drops of peppermint essential oil onto a cotton ball and inhale the vapor just before meals to help reduce your appetite. If it is too strong, you can lessen it to 1 or 2 drops.
- Add a drop or two of food-grade peppermint essential oil to a glass of water and drink early in the morning.
- Add 8 to 10 drops of peppermint essential oil to your bath water and immerse yourself for at least 30 minutes. This is best done during your morning bath time.
4Cinnamon Essential Oil
Cinnamon is best known in the culinary world because of its sweet fragrance. However, you may not know that it has excellent weight loss properties.
- Helps improve the sensitivity of insulin
- Helps regulate the levels of blood sugar
- Helps reduce inflammation
The main action of cinnamon essential oil in weight loss is attributed to its ability to increase the level of sensitivity of insulin. This means that more glucose are delivered to the cell for metabolic processes. This helps prevent the conversion of glucose into fat which are usually stored as highly concentrated forms of energy.
How to Use:
- Mix a teaspoon of honey to a cup of warm water then add a drop or 2 of food-grade cinnamon essential oil. Drink the concoction before meals or before retiring to bed at night.
- Get a cotton ball and add 2 drops of cinnamon essential oil then inhale the vapors just before meals to help curb your appetite.
5Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot is best known as a very potent stress reliever. It is actually a member of the citrus family and may have the same properties as lemon essential oil. However, it’s best known benefit in terms of losing weight include:
- Boosting mood and
- Increasing energy.
This is particularly important in weight loss efforts because we have already seen the effects of stress on weight gain. Bergamot essential oil can help improve mood so you will not have to engage in emotional eating or stress eating. This helps reduce or mitigate the effects of cortisol in the storage of fat. Additionally, the increased energy levels simply means that you will have more opportunities to expend a lot of calories such that the body will be forced to mobilize fat molecules from the storage sites. Now imagine if you add physical exercise to your regimen and you could very well be on your way to a slimmer you.
How to Use:
- Add 2 to 3 drops of bergamot essential oil onto a piece of cloth or even a cotton ball and inhale the vapor if you are feeling stressed out. This helps relax your mind so you’ll be in better control of your emotions.
- Mix 3 to 4 drops of bergamot essential oil with 5 mL of your favorite carrier oil like olive oil, coconut oil, or even jojoba oil. Massage the oils onto your neck and feet to help you feel more relaxed and prevent you from going on stress eating.
- Add 8 to 10 drops of bergamot essential oil to your bath water and immerse yourself for at least 30 minutes. This is best done during your morning bath time.
6Fennel Essential Oil
We know fennel primarily for its culinary benefits especially its sweet and earthy aromas. However, it has been shown that fennel essential oil can also have exciting weight loss benefits. Here’s how.
- It helps suppress appetite so you will not get easily hungry.
- It may help in the reduction of weight gain so you won’t have to fret about being fat. At the very least, even if you don’t exercise, the rate of weight gain will be significantly slower. Although, we really would recommend coupling fennel essential oil with exercise to achieve maximum benefits.
- Aids in healthier digestion which can help facilitate the better absorption, utilization, and metabolism of nutrients. This can also help enhance the fat-burning effects of other nutrients found in the food that we eat.
- Provides for a restful sleep which can help in the production of melatonin. This can aid in more efficient fat-burning.
Fennel is naturally rich in melatonin, a hormone that is thought to be responsible for our sleep-wake cycle known as circadian rhythm. More importantly however, is that melatonin has been shown to produce more brown fat than white fat. Brown fat is what the body burns as fuel while white fat is what it stores underneath the skin as cellulites and in the abdominal cavity. So, the more melatonin produced, the better is the body at slowing down the rate of fat deposition or storage.
How to Use:
- Add 1 to 2 drops of fennel essential oil onto a cotton ball. Slowly inhale the vapors right before meals to curb your appetite and help you control the tendency to overeat.
- Add a drop or two of food-grade fennel essential oil to a glass of water and drink it to jumpstart your day.
7Ginger Essential Oil
Everyone knows ginger especially in the culinary world. It has also a lot of other health benefits particularly in the respiratory system and digestive system. However, not many know that it can be a very important weight loss partner. Ginger root essential oil can:
- Help improve digestion so that nutrients are better absorbed and utilized by the cells of the body while at the same time facilitating improved fat-burning effects;
- Helps in the detoxification of the liver to help improve its ability to process fatty molecules as well as toxins and other harmful substances;
- Helps regulate blood sugar levels; and
- Helps improve the rate of metabolism.
Ginger is useful in losing weight primarily for its ability to help improve liver function. Many studies show that toxins and other harmful substances can disrupt the normal metabolism of fatty molecules. Instead of the body getting rid of these fat, they are eventually stored primarily as cellulite. Ginger essential oil has also been shown to significantly improve metabolism so this favors the utilization of fat.
How to Use:
- Add 2 to 3 drops of ginger root essential oil onto a cotton ball. Inhale the vapors if you are already having cravings. This suppresses your appetite.
- Add 2 to 3 drops of ginger root essential oil to your favorite carrier oil and massage onto the body part that has cellulite or excess fat for at least 30 minutes. If you’re not going out, leave it on; otherwise, wash it off.
- Add 2 to 3 drops of food-grade lemon ginger root oil to a glass of water and drink it immediately after getting up from bed in the morning.
8Cardamom Essential Oil
Cardamom is another essential oil that has been used in many traditional and folk medicine for weight loss. Its weight loss properties are primarily related to its gastroprotective property. Cardamom essential oil is known to:
- Boost the digestive system which can aid in the better absorption of fat-burning nutrients as well as help enhance the utilization of these nutrients; and
- Promotes sweating and the removal of toxins from the body to help minimize the storage of cutaneous fat.
The effectiveness of cardamom essential oil in losing weight is related to its detoxification and gastro-protective properties. This helps improve the overall mobilization of fat from their storage sites while at the same time helping promotethe removal of toxins which can block the mobilization of fat. This leads to greater fat utilization and weight loss.
How to Use:
- Add 1 to 2 drops of cardamom essential oil onto a cotton ball. Inhale the vapors if you feel the urge to reach for food and help suppress cravings.
- Add 1 to 2 drops of food-grade cardamom essential oil to a glass of water. Drink it to jumpstart your mornings.
9Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood has always been used for its calming properties as well as anti-inflammatory properties. As we have already seen in the relationship between stress and weight gain, this alone should make sandalwood essential oil one of the best products to help enhance weight loss efforts. Sandalwood essential oil helps:
- Lower LDL cholesterol so you will also have a healthier cardiovascular system in addition to healthier weight;
- Improve weight loss by reducing the production of cortisol seen in many stressful conditions; and
- Enhance clearance of toxins and other harmful substances which can obstruct the effective mobilization and utilization of stored fat.
How to Use:
- Add 2 to 3 drops of sandalwood essential oil onto a cotton ball. Inhale the vapors if you are already feeling the urge or are already craving for food.
- Add 2 to 3 drops of food-grade sandalwood essential oil to a glass of water. Drink it early in the morning to jumpstart your day.
- Add 2 to 3 drops of sandalwood root essential oil to your favorite carrier oil and massage to help soothe your senses.
10Juniper Berry Essential Oil
Juniper berries are primarily known for their excellent use in problems of the urinary system, the digestive system, the nervous system, and the integumentary system. Each of these systems are inherently related to the deposition of fat and hence, play a role in weight gain. Juniper berry essential oil helps:
- Improve detoxification processes so that fat molecules are more efficiently removed from the body;
- Alleviate stress and control the release of cortisol so that you will also effectively control the amount of fat that is being stored in the different fatty deposit sites; and
- Promote urinary elimination which can aid in detoxification as well as negate the water-retention effects of cortisol.
How to Use:
- Add 2 drops of juniper berry essential oil onto your favorite carrier oil and massage onto areas that have cellulite or excess body fat. Massage for at least 30 minutes. Leave it on for at least an hour before washing off.
- Add 2 drops of juniper berry essential oil onto your wrists at least twice a day. Rub it well to disperse the oil and allow it to be absorbed onto your skin.
Now we know how we can help boost our weight loss efforts. We just would like to point out that, while these can help you with your weight loss efforts, it should still be combined with a sensible diet and increased physical activity. These are all essential to losing weight.