This article is for information only and doesn't call for any action.
From shedding a few pounds to seriously going a few sizes down, losing weight tops most New Year resolution lists.
So...at the beginning of the year most people decide to join a gym, kick a bad habit and eat healthier. And yes, there are many who do succeed, but there are also many who struggle to lose the weight, or do lose the weight but struggle even harder to keep it off.
Why? Because losing weight is not just about healthy eating, a solid exercise regimen or taking nutritional supplements. To achieve true weight loss success (and keep the weight off) you have to fight a constant never-ending daily battle between your mind and your body, with many components that come into play, like your genes, hormones, brain psychology, metabolism, emotions, and also the environment around you.
And, if you've tried to shed more than a few pounds you know it's hard work and there's no shortcut to losing weight. So if you're looking for that magic pill, or magic 'oil' that will melt away the fat, it's not that simple and you'll end up disappointed. However, if you're ready to consider some excellent essential oils that have powerful medicinal properties to support you in your weight loss goal plan, now we're talking!
Ready to achieve long-lasting weight loss success? Read on to see how essential oils can be a vital part of your weight loss journey.
1. GRAPEFRUIT ESSENTIAL OIL
Grapefruit has been popular for decades in helping people lose weight and The Grapefruit Diet, also known as the Hollywood Diet, actually dates back to the 1930s.
Research studies suggest that when mice, "were fed fatty food for three months, those given grapefruit juice to drink gained up to 18 per cent less weight than those given water."
Extracted from the fresh peel or rind, grapefruit essential oil is an excellent appetite suppressant, detoxifier, fat dissolver and helps prevent bloating and water retention in the body.
In fact the rind, from where the oil is extracted, contains high concentrations of nootkatone, a component which activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). AMPK stimulates the body to use up sugar and reduces the accumulation of fat which leads to increased weight loss. Bottom line: Grapefruit oil activates AMPK and increased AMPK = more fat burned.
In another study lab rats exposed to grapefruit essential oil for 15 minutes, three times weekly, " reduced food intake and body weight," and limonene, another key component of grapefruit oil, induced lipolysis, a process where fat and protein are deconstructed by the body and dissolved, directly supporting metabolism, reducing appetite and body fat.
2. CINNAMON ESSENTIAL OIL
If you know someone with diabetes who uses cinnamon or cinnamon essential oil, there's a good reason behind it.
A 2013 study suggested that cinnamon "has anti-microbial, anti-parasitic, anti-oxidant and free radical scavenging properties." And that it seemed "to lower blood glucose, serum cholesterol."
Research suggests that cinnamon oil has shown excellent potential in regulating blood glucose levels and the glucose tolerance factor (GTF) in the body. That's important because unbalanced blood sugar levels can lead to over-eating, reduced energy levels, sugar cravings, irritability and weight gain. Also adding cinnamon oil to your food can help slow down how fast glucose is released into your blood stream, which in the long-run will assist you in your weight loss goals.
Cinnamon leaf oil also contains eugenol, a component that can alter our neurosensory perceptions and change how we taste and smell food. This helps prevent cravings and curb over-eating.
3. GINGER ESSENTIAL OIL
Ginger is an excellent anti-inflammatory. This is important for weight loss because reduced inflammation leads to better absorption and digestion of nutrients.
Ginger contains a compound called gingerols. Research shows that gingerols decrease inflammation in the intestines, improving overall absorption of vital nutrients and potentially preventing diseases. If you're trying to lose weight, ginger oil will help you absorb the vitamins and minerals you need to boost cellular function and energy and support your weight loss goals.
A 2013 study suggested that ginger oil "possesses antioxidant activity as well as significant anti-inflammatory" properties and in just a month increased enzyme levels in the blood of lab mice and significantly decreased chronic inflammation.
Another 2014 study concluded that supplementing with ginger helped to suppress obesity caused due to a high-fat diet and that ginger is a "promising adjuvant therapy for the treatment of obesity."
Struggling with belly fat? Ginger oil can help. A 2004 article published in the Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin showed that ginger is an excellent cortisol suppressant. High cortisol levels due to a stressful lifestyle and hormonal imbalances can spike blood cortisol levels, throwing the body's natural metabolism out of whack - reasons that cause fat, including belly fat to pile on.
4. PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL
Used for centuries, peppermint oil has been used to treat indigestion and especially when combined with caraway oil has shown to relax stomach muscles and decrease bloating.
The cooling medicinal compound in peppermint oil, menthol, is excellent for improving digestion, expelling gas from the stomach and intestines and calming an upset stomach. Menthol can influence neurosensory perceptions to change how we taste and smell food, preventing cravings for sugary foods, other food cravings and curbing overeating.
Research conducted in 2008 entitled, Effects of Peppermint Scent on Appetite Control and Caloric Intake, showed that participants of the clinical study who inhaled peppermint oil every 2 hours felt less hungry and had lesser food cravings than those who did not inhale the potent oil. Participants were also significantly able to reduce calorie intake and the oil had an excellent positive effect on suppressing the appetite.
5. LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL
Extracted from the lemon rind and containing the medicinal compound limonene, lemon oil is a natural fat dissolver. A 2013 study suggested that when combined with grapefruit oil, lemon oil supported lipolysis (breaking down of body fats) creating a "suppression in body weight gain."
Lemon oil also helps to detoxify and eliminate toxins in the body that can get stored in the fat cells, prevent parasites in the intestines, and improve overall digestion.
6. BERGAMOT ESSENTIAL OIL
Anxiety, depression and feeling low are often the major contributors when it comes to emotional eating. In the short term succumbing to your cravings may help brighten your mood but in the long run it only leads to feelings of guilt and low self-esteem, especially when you pile on the pounds.
A recent 2015 study concluded that just inhaling bergamot oil for 15 minutes can not only boost your mood but also reduce cortisol (a stress hormone), that negatively affects fat loss.
In a 2011 study, 237 participants with hyperlipemia (high levels of fat content in the blood) were given bergamot extract orally for 30 days and the study showed that they were able to reduce blood cholesterol levels and significantly decrease blood glucose.
Bergamot naturally contains polyphenols (the same compound found in green tea) and it can help the body to naturally melt fat and sugar. The sweet citrus scent of bergamot oil helps to uplift, create relaxation and can suppress cravings and curb emotional eating.
Having large concentrations of limonene (also found in grapefruit oil and lemon oil), bergamot oil can help to dissolve fat. Accordingto University Health News, "D-limonene acts as a mild appetite suppressant and prevents weight gain."
7. SANDALWOOD ESSENTIAL OIL
If you are an emotional eater and eat when you're stressed out, sandalwood essential oil can help suppress feelings of negativity and bring a sense of calm. It has a wonderful woody scent, and has a natural therapeutic effect on the limbic system of the brain (the area of the brain that controls primal emotions like pleasure and anger and drives power, hunger and more). By balancing your emotions, you'll stop turning to food to feel good, and better help support your weight loss goals.