I personally use essential oils every day, both to enhance my state of well-being and to rescue me when I get myself in a fix. For example, the other day I got off a boat with a bad case of seasickness. My stomach felt ill and I had a headache. So I took out some peppermint and inhaled it a few times and amazingly my stomach settled down and the headache dissipated.
Ok, it’s not that amazing really, the ability of peppermint to settle the stomach and relieve headaches is very well known. But what is not very well known is that essential oils could help with weight loss.
As a nutritionist and health coach, I can’t help but bring essential oils into play in my practice. Various properties of essential oils would suggest that they could help with weight loss in a variety of ways.
So here are 4 essential oils that can make a difference with weight loss. I’ve used them in combination with clients and have seen some amazing results including a cessation of sugar cravings, reduced apatite and enhanced weight loss.
This is my favourite oil when it comes to both losing weight and to increasing energy. My first goal with a weight-loss client is always to increase their energy levels, as it gives them the strength and motivation needed to change their habits and lifestyle. This is done primarily through blood sugar balancing which is something cinnamon oil helps with by increasing insulin sensitivity (1).
This means sugar in the blood goes into cells to be used as energy instead of getting stored as fat which is good news both for your energy levels and for your waist-line. When energy levels go up, cravings go down. Once the cells are adequately nourished they will stop sending signals for energy which will relieve your appetite.
The second effect of cinnamon is that it destroys harmful micro-organisms like candida which have the ability to ramp up cravings for sugar (2). Harmful bacteria and the fungus candida love refined sugars found in processed foods and are capable of sending signals to your body to get you craving the stuff. When our appetite is high, we crave the instant relief processed goods can bring and this is detrimental to our weight loss efforts.
If you want to kill the beast that lurks in your intestines then cinnamon oil is the stuff to do this with.
Warm and energising, ginger oil is well known for its ability to raise metabolism which helps you to burn fat (3). It can be ingested for this purpose, although only ever use high-quality oils for ingestion that have been approved for internal use. You can, of course, use it topically on an area where you want to lose weight by rubbing on to that area daily. Just dilute with a carrier oil like coconut if you’re sensitive.
Ginger like cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, helping sugar get out of the bloodstream and into the cells where it can be used as energy. This helps improve exercise performance and controls those pesky food and sugar cravings.
Ginger also benefits digestion, helping with flatulence and bloating, which is good for your waistline and will help you feel more at ease with food.
High in d-limonene, grapefruit oil is known for its ability to reduce appetite as well as helping to break down fat cells and release toxins. Toxins are stored in the fat cells in the body and one reason why a person may be reluctant to lose weight is that they are over toxic.
When the body cannot deal with toxics effectively they are stored in the adipose tissue until the blood is cleaner, then they can be released. This minimises the damage they do, but they still do damage. Toxins can destabilise blood sugar and increase inflammation leading to low energy and fat gain.
D-limonene has the effect of enhancing liver function which means the blood gets clean which enables fat cells to release their toxins. Not only that but grapefruit oil has the effect of actively encouraging the breakdown of fat cells with means enhanced weight loss. Grapefruit oil has been shown to reduce inflammation by increasing activity in the nervous system by up to 250%
This brings me back around to my story of how peppermint helped to calm my stomach. Another great appetite suppressant and cravings reducer, peppermint is great at calming the stomach and promoting healthy digestion (4). Having a calm relaxed stomach reduces hunger which reduces snacking.
Peppermint oil can relieve indigestion, bloating and IBS. It goes well with ginger for that reason. Peppermint can take the rumble out of the tummy by getting the smooth walls of the stomach to relax, which is great news for anyone with an overbearing appetite.
So the low down……..
These essential oils are a great support with your weight loss programme but remember, you are what you eat. Diet is primary, these oils will help support your system and rebalance it, but if you continue to eat a diet high in sugar, white carbs and trans-fats then you’re simply paddling upstream.
These 4 oils are can be a powerful aid in weight loss by balancing blood sugar, increasing metabolism and encouraging the breakdown of fat. I recommend using them in combination as they are more effective when taken together.
You can make a blend using these oils in equal amounts and there are also products on the market which do this too. Just look for ones that are certified safe for internal use and that have been produced to a high-quality standard.
Do you want to learn more about essential oils? Visit my friends at Aromatherapy Press.