Essential oils have been used by man for millennia. These natural extracts from a variety of plant species have provided some of the safest and most effective solutions to many of man’s health concerns including the fervent desire to lose weight. There are two fundamental ways in which you can lose weight. You can increase your physical activities on a daily basis or you can reduce the amount of calorie-rich food that you are taking with each meal. Either way, the key is to obtain a net calorie deficit rather than excess. By increasing your rate of metabolism, you increase the use of energy or calories, which should lead to weight loss. Similarly, by reducing the amount of energy you consume from food, you also reduce the amount of calories, hence, leading to weight loss. The best essential oils work either or both on these mechanisms. Here are the 5 best essential oils for weight loss.
Grapefruit Essential Oil
Grapefruit contains a natural organic compound that serves to stimulate adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, better known as AMPK, an enzyme that plays a very important role in the maintenance of normal levels of cellular energy. In other words, AMPK plays an important role in the regulation of your body’s metabolic rate and energy levels. The substance found in grapefruit that activates AMPK is known as nootkatone. As can be expected, this active ingredient can:
- Boost your endurance
- Prevent weight gain
- Help facilitate fat loss
- Enhance physical performance
In addition to nootkatone, grapefruit is also known for containing two of the world’s most powerful antioxidants, lycopene and Vitamin C. This adds to the overall efficiency of weight loss efforts as these antioxidants can help facilitate the effective detoxification and cleansing of the lymphatic system. This can flush out toxins that can favor the storage of fat.
Grapefruit also contain d-limonene which is largely considered to be a very effective lipolytic substance. Lipolysis is that process whereby fatty acids are broken down by the body to produce energy. In addition to these benefits, grapefruit essential oil is also known to:
- Improve your satiety
- Dissolve fat
- Reduce water retention
- Alleviate bloating
Grapefruit essential oil can be used in a variety of ways to lose weight. These can include:
- As a topical application – Grapefruit essential oil can be applied directly on problem areas such as the arms, belly, thighs, and buttocks as well as any other areas of concern.
- As a drink – Adding a drop or two of grapefruit essential oil to about 200 mL of water and taken in the morning after waking up or before breakfast can help set your metabolism on the right track.
- As massage oil – Grapefruit essential oil can be added to carrier oils such as coconut oil and sunflower oil and then used as massage oil on the problematic areas for at least 30 minutes. The emulsion needs to be left in place for at least 4 hours before washing and rinsing with water.
- As a bath additive – Grapefruit essential oil can also be added to bath water and used as a body soak. It is important to immerse the whole body for at least 20 minutes to achieve the best results.
Lemon Essential Oil
Like grapefruit, lemon essential oil is known primarily for its ability to boost metabolism while suppressing one’s appetite. This leads to a net deficit in calories (increased demand, decreased consumption) leading to favorable weight loss. Additionally, lemon essential oil can:
- Suppress appetite
- Increase energy
- Reduce stress
- Improve digestion
- Enhance mood
The tendency to overeat has a lot to do with stress levels. When we are under stress, our bodies release a variety of hormones that favor the storage of fat molecules in depots in the body. With chronic stress, the body’s innate mechanism for the more efficient burning of fat is also dampened, leading to significant weight gain. To help counter this, stress management techniques are often indicated to boost natural neurotransmitters in the brain to help keep your appetite at bay by replacing hunger sensations with more pleasurable ones.
As already presented in grapefruit, the limonene contained in lemon essential oil is also a very potent lipolytic agent, further increasing the body’s ability to burn fat. When combined with grapefruit essential oil, the results can be truly remarkable.
As in grapefruit essential oil, lemon essential oil can be used in a variety of ways. In addition to its use as a topical application, massage oil, and as a drink, lemon essential oil can also be used as an inhalation agent. You only need to add a few drops of the oil on a cotton ball and inhale the vapors. This should help suppress your appetite.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Many consider peppermint essential oil to be one of the most effective natural essences in managing cravings which can play an important role in reducing the total number of calories being consumed. Aside from its ability to curb cravings, peppermint essential oil can also improve the functioning of the digestive system, increase mental alertness, and promote a more positive outlook in life. We have already seen the benefits of managing stress to effect weight loss. By allowing us to feel good about ourselves, a simple sniff of peppermint oil spritzed onto a ball of cotton should already help us avoid the temptation of overeating as what occurs if we are under stress.
Peppermint essential oil is also rich in Vitamin C, iron, potassium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. While the essential fatty acids found in plants is different from marine sources, these fatty acids can nonetheless, help in the promotion of good health which is a fundamental requirement for improving the metabolic processes of the body. An improved cellular physiology will lead to improved energy expenditure which, in turn, makes metabolism a lot more efficient.
Perhaps the most often-cited weight loss benefit of peppermint essential oil is in its ability to curb hunger pangs. In essence, the scent of peppermint helps block hunger sensations in the brain allowing you to feel full a lot longer. And, if you are still full, then you will not be compelled to eat.
Peppermint essential oil can be added to your drinking water or even favorite beverage. It can also be used as an inhalation therapy as well as a bath additive.
Fennel Essential Oil
One of the well-documented effects of fennel essential oil is in its ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles. While this may not seem related at all to weight loss, experts agree that loss of sleep can actually lead to substantial weight gain. This is because melatonin, the hormone that is responsible for the effective regulation of sleep-wake cycles, is known to produce brown fat. This is very different from the white fat that we have all come to associate with love handles. Researchers now say that brown fat has a very efficient thermogenic property, enabling the body to burn more fat than we can ever imagine. The discovery has led many researchers to recommend the stimulation of brown fat production to aid in weight loss efforts.
Fennel essential oil is rich in melatonin. We have already discovered that melatonin stimulates the production of brown fat. This should help us obtain a more efficient way of burning or melting the fat in our bodies. Furthermore, fennel essential oil is known to relieve stress, improve digestion, and reduce appetite. Collectively, these result in a more effective way to lose weight.
Fennel oil can be used as a bath additive, topical application, massage oil, inhalation agent, or even as a drink.
Cinnamon Essential Oil
The sweet spice we often put in many of our delicacies has been shown to have exceptional weight loss benefits, too. Studies show that cinnamon essential oil can also provide the following benefits:
- Reduce food cravings
- Improve digestion
- Boost energy
- Enhance mood
- Improve blood circulation
- Facilitate the normal balance between blood sugar and insulin
Among the different benefits of cinnamon oil, the maintenance of healthy glucose and insulin regulation is what really helps in the management of weight issues. When there is too much sugar in the blood, the body will have to increase the production and release of insulin to get these sugar molecules into the cell. Unfortunately, because cells already have enough sugar for fuel, they simply cannot accept any additional sugar. Hence, insulin has to convert these excess sugar molecules into fat so that these can be stored in the body. The more insulin you have, the greater is the tendency that glucose will be converted into fat and stored as such. With cinnamon’s ability to regulate glucose and insulin, then the abnormal spikes in insulin should help prevent the abnormal deposition of fatty molecules. This is particularly important among individuals who have already developed insulin resistance that they can no longer effectively control their glucose.
Cinnamon essential oil can be applied onto the skin, consumed as a drink, or even inhaled as an aromatherapy.
The Bottom Line
Essential oils for weight loss work by suppressing the appetite or increasing the body’s rate of metabolism or even a combination of both. This is the key to effective weight loss using these nature’s wonders.