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What’s the first question that comes to mind when you hear about using essential oils for weight loss? For most people, it’s ‘Do essential oils work for weight loss?’
The answer is yes, essentials do help with weight loss. This is one of many studies that I come across, which offer interesting insights into the anti-obesity effects of essential oils.
Scroll below to read more about:
How do essential oils work for weight loss?
Which essential oils are good for weight loss?
How to use essential oils for weight loss.
Can I also use essential oils to lose belly fat?
But first… before diving into any discussion on how to lose weight with essential oils, let’s back up for a moment. There are a few things you must understand if you decide to use essential oils to help lose weight.
3 Important Things to Know About Using Essential Oils for Weight Loss
#1 – Using essential oils for weight loss is not a quick-fix solution to burn fat. You’ll be in for a major disappointment if you are expecting to see results overnight. There is no magic bullet or pill that will simply melt your fat away. Essential oils can help but only when used together with a consistent diet and exercise regimen.
#2 – You cannot just use essential oils randomly and hope that you will lose weight. You must first learn how to use essential oils for weight loss correctly and more importantly, you must be committed to a long-term plan. Even with the best essential oils for weight loss, it will still take time.
#3 – Essential oils are potent substances. Using them wrongly can cause adverse reactions. Before you start using essential oils for weight loss, scroll down to read the precautions, whether you are using the oils topically or ingesting them.
How Essential Oils Work for Weight Loss
Essential oils contain various bioactive compounds such as Carvacrol, Limonene, Cinnamaldehyde, and Trans-anethole. These ingredients may work in different ways to support weight loss. Some work by curbing appetite or reducing sugar cravings. Others work by boosting metabolism.
Studies show that it’s our appetite and cravings that present the greatest threat to achieving our weight loss goals, which means gaining control over the battle between our body and mind is key. Essential oils do play a crucial role in this aspect.
Several other studies that have been done prove that certain scents can help boost your weight loss efforts. Different scents work differently to achieve this end result.
Some scents, such as peppermint, trigger the release of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a natural appetite suppressant. When you diffuse the air around your dining room table with peppermint essential oil, it causes your serotonin levels to spike. This suppresses your appetite so you feel satisfied sooner and are not reaching out for seconds and thirds.
Other scents work by boosting your energy levels. When you feel energetic you are more likely to stay active, burning more calories throughout the day. This is yet another way that you can use aromatherapy as a weight-loss tool.
Alright, let’s take a look at the best essential oils for weight loss and how to use each one.
Top 10 Essential Oils for Weight Loss & How To Use Them
1. Grapefruit Essential Oil
Grapefruit tops the list of best essential oils for weight loss.
This should come as no surprise. Several weight-loss diets recommend eating grapefruit before every meal or snack. It has been a popular fruit in weight loss for decades, and a lot of it has to do with its aroma. Grapefruit essential oil, which is extracted from the rind of the fruit, works just as well.
The powerful weight loss properties of grapefruit oil are due to its high levels of d-limonene. This study found that inhaling d-limonene molecules stimulates lipolysis, a process in which fat and protein in the body get dissolved. This directly supports metabolism and suppresses cravings and appetite, resulting in weight loss.
The d-limonene in grapefruit essential oil also helps prevent water retention and bloating in the body. Together, these reactions are a weight loss power boost!
A wonderful side benefit of grapefruit oil is its natural ability to lower cholesterol levels.
Grapefruit essential oil is best for boosting metabolism and fat burning, suppressing appetite and food cravings, and reducing belly fat, water retention, and bloating.
2. Cinnamon Essential Oil
Several studies including this one found that cinnamon plays a significant role in regulating blood glucose levels.
The results of this study indicated that supplementation with cinnamon reduces body weight and BMI significantly, suggesting that cinnamon can be used as a complementary weight loss agent.
Another study suggests that cinnamon also has powerful anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-parasitic properties. It also helps fight free radicals.
All of the above properties work together to keep your blood sugar in check, and prevent cravings and over-eating, making cinnamon a powerful tool for weight loss. Inhaling the aroma of cinnamon essential oil produces the same effects, leading to a healthier, slimmer you.
Adding cinnamon powder to your meals helps to slow down the pace at which glucose is released which supports your weight loss journey.
Cinnamon essential oil helps weight loss by suppressing food cravings and appetite, boosting metabolism and fat-burning, reducing sugar levels, and improving gut health.
3. Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger essential oil is rich in gingerols, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound. By reducing inflammation in the intestines, gingerol enables the body to digest and absorb vitamins and minerals more efficiently. These nutrients boost cellular function and energy, both of which help burn fat, leading to weight loss.
An extensive study on the anti-obesity effects of gingerol found that ginger supplementation suppressed obesity caused by a high-fat diet. The study suggests that ginger may be a promising adjuvant therapy for reducing obesity and obesity-related complications because of its ability to suppress cortisol levels, which otherwise causes you to over-eat the wrong types of foods.
Another study found convincing evidence to support the efficacy of ginger in managing obesity management.
Ginger essential oil is best for burning fat, reducing inflammation, boosting metabolism, suppressing appetite, reducing blood sugar, and improving digestion and gut health.
4. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is rich in menthol, a cooling compound that improves digestion and expels excess gas from the stomach and intestines. This helps soothe an upset stomach.
This study suggests that peppermint scent can be used as an effective adjunct to decrease appetite and hunger cravings so you consume fewer calories, which may lead to weight reduction and better overall health.
Like cinnamon oil, peppermint affects neuro-sensory perceptions, which changes how you smell and taste food. This makes it an ideal option for curbing the appetite and suppressing food temptations.
The aroma of peppermint also relaxes the abdominal muscles and decreases bloating, which has earned the oil a place in the weight loss world, too.
Peppermint essential oil supports weight loss by boosting gut health and digestion while suppressing appetite and sugar cravings.
Lemon essential oil is extracted from the rind of the lemon fruit. The rind contains limonene, a medical compound that’s a natural fat dissolver.
Another study suggests that when combined, grapefruit oil and lemon essential oil increase lipolysis, or the rate at which body fat breaks down, accelerating weight loss.
Lemon oil also improves overall digestion and helps in detoxifying and eliminating toxins that may be stored in the fat cells. All of these processes can positively impact your weight loss efforts.
Lemon essential oil works for weight loss by boosting digestion, metabolism, gut building, and fat-burning. while at the same time suppressing sugar cravings and appetite.
6. Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot essential oil is rich in D-limonene, the same component found in abundance in grapefruit essential oil. It also contains high levels of polyphenols, the same ingredient found in green tea. Both of these compounds work together to stimulate lipolysis, suppress cravings and appetite, boost metabolism, and reduce inflammation, all of which support weight loss in different ways.
Inhaling the aroma of bergamot essential oil is particularly effective if your weight gain is caused due to emotional eating. Persistent stress and anxiety can trigger emotional eating. Over a period of time, this can result in weight gain, dealing a serious blow to your self-esteem and perpetuating the cycle.
This study found that inhaling bergamot for as little as 15 minutes can lower cortisol levels and lift your mood. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Higher cortisol levels in the body hinder weight loss and make it particularly difficult to lose belly fat.
The citrusy aroma of limonene in bergamot essential oil works to reduce stress and anxiety, boost mood, lower cortisol and blood sugar levels, stem hunger pangs and appetite, and boost fat burning especially belly fat.
7. Fennel Essential Oil
Fennel has an earthy, sweet scent that works well to improve digestion and curb appetite, resulting in weight loss.
Fennel essential oil also contains melatonin, which is well known for its ability to regulate sleep cycles. This study by the University of Granada’s School of Medicine suggests that melatonin may also have a positive effect on weight loss by encouraging the body to burn fat instead of storing it. Improving your sleep habits also means you’ll be in a better mood and have more energy to keep moving and burn that fat.
Rosemary essential oil is as delicious as it is potent and it does more than just flavor that leg of lamb.
Studies show that reduces the level of cortisol in the body. High cortisol levels increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. It also causes high stress levels, which is a precursor to overeating and making wrong food choices. Managing your cortisol levels is one way to keep your weight in check.
9. Lavender Essential Oil
While all of the essential oils on this list help with weight loss, each of them works differently. Some essential oils help that help lose weight work by aiding digestion and others work by suppressing appetite or keeping cravings at bay.
Lavender’s effect is different from all of the others.
Persistently high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression are some of the biggest contributors to weight gain in our modern society. Inhaling lavender’s soothing aroma alleviates these negative emotions and induces feelings of calm and relaxation. When you feel more relaxed, you are less likely to overeat mindlessly.
Lavender essential oil also helps weight loss by reducing the levels of cortisol, the hormone that is responsible for forcing your body to hold onto its excess fat stores.
10. Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood essential oil is another excellent option for anyone who is prone to emotional eating during stressful situations. It can help promote a sense of calm and relaxation thus suppressing negative feelings. That pleasing woody scent creates a natural therapeutic effect on the brain’s limbic system, which is the part of the brain that controls emotions such as anger and pleasure.
Using sandalwood essential oil to balance your mood and emotions will ensure you feel good, making it easier for you to achieve your weight loss goals.
How To Use Essential Oils For Weight Loss
Inhale the aroma of your favorite essential oil directly
When you have a sudden craving, instead of reaching out for an unhealthy snack, put 1-2 drops of oil on a tissue or cotton ball and inhale the aroma of the oil.
Or keep a personal aromatherapy diffuser handy with your favorite weight-loss essential oil.
Inhaling the cool aroma of Peppermint, Bergamot, or Lemon essential oil can suppress your appetite and induce a feeling of satiety so you are less likely to overeat. Inhaling the heady sweet aroma of cinnamon has a similar effect.
Diffuse your favorite weight-loss essential oil
Adding a few drops to your diffuser is another great way to use essential oils to lose weight. This is particularly useful when you’re struggling to resist the temptation to snack late at night.
Apply your favorite weight-loss essential oil topically
Rubbing a drop or two of the oil on your temples, wrists, and under your nose will also help curb those cravings. Remember to dilute with a carrier oil before topical application.
Plant Therapy Munchy Stop Synergy Blend
Designed to manage hunger cravings, Munchy Stop by Plant Therapy promotes healthy eating habits and provides a boost of willpower that helps overcome the temptation to snack between meals.
Plant Therapy’s Munchy Stop blend is composed of Copaiba Oleoresin, Pink Grapefruit, Yuzu, and Lemon Myrtle essential oils, and Turmeric Extract. It has a bright, citrusy aroma that naturally promotes healthy weight management when combined with exercise and healthy eating.
The Munchy Stop blend is available in 5ml and 10ml bottles and as a pre-diluted roll-on.
To use a bottle of Munchy Stop, add a few drops to a diffuser or personal inhaler, inhale directly from the bottle, or dilute to 1-3% in carrier oil for topical application.
Munchy Stop Pre-Diluted Roll-On can be applied directly to your wrists and temples. Know more about the best pulse points for essential oils for weight loss.
Read my in-depth Munchy Stop review.
Using Essential Oils To Lose Belly Fat – What You Should Know
You’ve seen what essential oils are good for weight loss and how each one works. Now for that burning question- can you use essential oils to burn belly fat?
The answer is yes and no.
Yes, you can use essential oils to lose belly fat.
No, they will not help you burn belly fat in exclusion.
When using essential oils for belly fat, there are a few things you should know:
Essential oils for belly fat loss work by curbing the appetite, boosting metabolism, and reducing sugar cravings.
You cannot just use essential oils either topically or through inhalation and hope to the excess fat around your belly. These oils do not target only specific fatty areas. Instead, they help boost your overall weight loss.
To see measurable results, you must use essential oils to lose belly fat along with other fat-burning activities, specifically those targeted at burning belly fat.
Grapefruit and Bergamot are the best essential oils for belly fat.
Precautions When Using Essential Oils for Weight Loss
Speak to your doctor BEFORE you start using essential oils to lose weight or for any other reason. You want to make sure that you do not have any other unlying medical condition that may cause some adverse effects.
Essential oils are highly potent substances and can cause severe itching or rash when applied directly to the skin in their concentrated form. Learn how to dilute essential oils with carrier oils before topical application.
Although essential oils are all-natural, some people may experience an allergic reaction. Before you start using any essential oil for the first time, always do a skin patch test on a small area of your leg or arm to ensure you aren’t allergic.
It’s advisable to avoid using essential oils when pregnant or breastfeeding.
Never use essential oils on kids before first speaking to your pediatrician.
Final Thoughts on Using Essential Oils for Weight Loss
Of course, the most effective way to manage your weight is through regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. However, we all need a helping hand and essential oils have shown to be an effective complementary tool.
Remember, though, we are all different and what works for you might not work for your friend – so you may need to try a variety of essential oils before you find the one that works for you.
Additionally, you may find certain methods are more effective for you – so before you write off an essential oil try taking it orally (if it’s one for ingestion), in the diffuser, shower, or through inhalation. Your body may respond better to one of these methods better than the other – cycle through each of them before you move on to a new essential oil.
Try to choose an essential oil that aligns with your biggest obstacle. If your hunger cravings keep you wanting to eat all the time, choose an oil that helps curb those cravings. If it’s anxiety that fuels your weight gain, choose an oil that works to soothe your anxiety.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your physician before using essential oils. See Full Disclaimer here.