Summer is coming... At least if we can settle Mother Nature down a bit.
Summertime is for shorts, skirts, bathing suits, and tank tops. Yet, many worry about shedding the winter coats for the summer wear, due to some extra winter pounds that were packed on. Well, we always talk about moving more with our patients, whether it be walking, jogging, weight training, yoga, or swimming. We also talk about certain foods to avoid, mainly the processed sugary variety. However, we rarely talk about the beneficial results that come from using essential oils for weight loss.
Losing weight is not just about healthy eating and exercise. 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.
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' discussed in this blog) 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 essential oils that have powerful medicinal properties to support you in your weight loss goal plan, keep reading!
Some essential oils have powerful anti-inflammation properties, while others are anti-microbial, antiseptic, or insecticidal. In the same way there are some unique essential oils that have fat-burning compounds or others that can help alleviate cravings and uplift mood.
How to Use Essential Oils For Weight Loss
The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Institute of Chicago discovered that inhaling a culinary smell like rosemary, peppermint, grapefruit, orange, etc. "regularly throughout the day, especially when hungry can suppress the desire to taste and therefore eat," and that by inhaling an aroma deeply 3-6 times in each nostril, "the desire to eat is inhibited."
The same research suggested to keep switching the essential oils inhaled daily so you do not get used to them, and this will bring greater effectiveness and better results. In this post we'll discuss four essential oils you can incorporate in your weight loss plan.
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.
1. Drink it: Add 1-2 drops of therapeutic-grade grapefruit essential oil in water (one glassful) and drink it as soon as you wake up in the morning. This routine will help to improve metabolism, increase fat loss, detoxify the body by flushing out toxins, and help to maintain your weight.
Drinking grapefruit oil after a meal can help you digest food better and alleviate bloating.
2. Inhale directly: Have a sudden craving? The fresh scent of grapefruit oil can do wonders. Inhale directly from the bottle or add a few drops to a cotton ball and breathe deeply. Smelling grapefruit oil relaxes the parasympathetic gastric nerve, the body’s main mechanism that activates ghrelin-induced feeding (our body’s natural process of having food cravings).
3. Apply topically: Rubbing grapefruit oil on your wrists, chest, temples, and just under your nose can instantly help to control cravings and curb your appetite.
4. Diffuse: Add a few drops of grapefruit oil to your diffuser, especially when a craving strikes - great to restrain late-night snacking.
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.
How to use peppermint essential oil for weight loss:
1. Drink it: Safe to take internally as per the FDA, 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil can be added to a glass of water and had before meals to serve as an appetite suppressant. We highly recommend you buy therapeutic-grade peppermint essential oil that is 100% pure and free from toxins and additives and is unfiltered and undiluted.
2. Inhale directly: Take a deep whiff of peppermint oil directly from the bottle or from a cotton ball soaked in a few drops of the oil to suppress your appetite and trigger a sense of feeling full. Doing this right before eating is a good way to decrease your appetite and prevent overeating.
3. Diffuse: Add a few drops of peppermint oil to your diffuser. The minty fresh oil will uplift your mood and inhibit cravings. The invigorating scent is also great to get you energized and motivated for a workout.
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.
How to use lemon essential oil for weight loss:
1. Drink it: Safe to ingest as per the FDA, mix 1-2 drops of lemon essential oil to a glass of water and have it in the morning to support digestion and detoxify.
2. Inhale directly: Inhale lemon oil directly from the bottle or from a cotton ball soaked in a few drops of the oil to curb food cravings and stop you from overeating.
3. Massage: Blend lemon oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil and massage into the areas that have cellulite build-up. This can help remove toxins from fat cells.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense oil is extracted from the resin of a tree native to Somalia, in Africa, and is wonderful for calming anxiousness and low moods that can trigger the need to turn to food to feel satiated. Rich in molecular structures called sesquiterpenes, that can cross the blood-brain barrier, frankincense oil can help to ease the negative effects of both anxiety and depression.
Frankincense oil can facilitate digestion by speeding up the rate at which bile and gastric juices are secreted which positively affects the metabolic rate and helps weight loss. It can also stimulate peristaltic motion which helps food move properly through the intestines, improving overall digestion.
How to use frankincense essential oil for weight loss:
1. Inhale it: When you feel a hunger pang coming on, inhale a few deep breaths of frankincense oil directly from the bottle. This will induce a feeling of calm and relaxation and keep you from emotional eating.
2. Use in a diffuser: Add a few drops of frankincense oil to your diffuser and let the earthy, sweet aroma fill the air. This can help to calm the mind and body after a long, tiring day, leading to less anxiety and stress which can mean fewer cravings.
The picture above is the water bottle I use. I recently switched from a BPA free plastic reusable water bottle to this glass bottle. This particular brand is from Lifefactory and the cap is made of BPA/BPS-free and phthalate-free polypropylene (PP#5). The protective silicone sleeve is made from BPA/BPS-free, medical-grade silicone. I found mine at Market DIstrict on Portage Trail. However, you can also purchase them on Amazon. It comes in an assortment of really fun colors, too!
The above mentioned essential oils can all be purchased through Young Living. We've been using this brand in our home and our office for over a decade. You can order them here: YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS