Weight loss is all about physical activity and your body, right? WRONG! If you think you can get far with your weight loss goals by just focusing on your body, then you can probably not be further from the truth. Sure, good nutrition, a low-calorie, strictly healthy diet, as well as healthy lifestyle and physical activity are crucial to lose weight. However, there are other factors, too, that can be just as important.
Anyone who has tried losing a significant amount of weight knows well that the weight loss process doesn’t just involve your physical strength, but your mental strength can turn out to be a major factor as well.
After all, weight loss is about much more than just a strict diet: brain chemistry, genetics, emotions, hormones and many more factors come into play, too. If you’re looking to ditch your annoying pounds for good, you would surely need to look beyond conventional wisdom and explore some seemingly unknown territory.
In this article, we are going to talk about one such unusual way of speeding up your weight loss, as well as gaining the much needed psychological and physiological strength: aromatherapy using essential oils.
Many essential oils have been used since thousands of years for their unique medicinal and healing properties. They come with a wide range of health benefits too, which can definitely take some challenge out of your weight loss journey.
Aromatherapy is a highly underrated way of improving your physical, mental and emotional strength. It’s also believed to help bring about a positive, and almost immediate effect on the way your brain functions. This could help better control many important aspects of your body’s functions such as blood pressure, stress levels, heart rate, motivation, pleasure, learning and more.
So let’s cut to the chase and talk about the 5 best essential oils for weight loss.
1. Grapefruit Essential Oil
Grapefruit oil is apparently one of the most effective essential oils for weight loss. While it’s well known for its antiseptic properties, it actually brings a lot more to the table that many are usually not aware of.
It has a sweet, pleasant aroma to it which is great if you’re trying essential oils for the first time to assist you with your weight loss. Let us now take a quick look at what it can do for you:
- Help you control your cravings
- Effectively deal with fat accumulation in your abdominal area
- Improve your body’s strength, stamina and endurance
- Boost your body’s metabolism
As you can see, all these benefits are directly linked to weight loss. Controlling your cravings for junk foods or sugar is always one of the most important factors of any weight loss campaign. A decreased fat accumulation leading to weight loss needs no explanation.
An improved muscle strength is believed to help speed up burning of fats in your body, so this is another way grapefruit oil helps you lose weight. Finally, an increased metabolism can heavily contribute to weight loss, as it’s responsible for burning the calories.
Why it Works:
Grapefruit oil contains a natural chemical compound known as nootkatone. When you consume grapefruit oil, this compound stimulates an enzyme in your body called AMPK, which is responsible for managing your metabolism rate and also influences the energy levels.
Now, nootkatone causes this enzyme to speed up certain processes in your body that involve tissues of your skeletal muscle, liver and brain. Research shows that this interaction that takes place between nootkatone and AMPK, and the changes they bring about, can be directly responsible for restricting your weight gain, increased energy levels and endurance, a reduction in your body’s fat accumulation, as well as improving your physical appearance.
Another similar study suggests that grapefruit oil can lead to weight loss and a reduced appetite. This is because limonene, grapefruit’s primary component, triggers a process known as lipolysis. Basically, it results in the breaking down of fats and protein.
2. Lemon Essential Oil
Well, if you believe in using home remedies for dealing with different health issues, you’re likely aware of lemon essential oil. It’s very commonly used in many home remedies for treating different types of health issues.
It has a fairly pleasant smell, though there’s also a bit of sourness to it.
Some of the great benefits it comes with include:
- Restricting your weight gain
- Helping deal with any kind of pain
- Leads to an increase in your energy levels
- Improves your mood
How It Works for Weight Loss?
Most of the above listed benefits may make it seem as if lemon oil is not all that great when it comes to helping you knock off some pounds. Sure, it may be great for your health overall, but that’s not what you’re looking for right now. You’re probably more interested in something that can help you in your weight loss journey, though you would happily take any other health benefits as a “bonus”.
That being said, lemon oil isn’t all about other benefits. It’s impressively effective at helping you lose weight, and, as a matter of fact, even all the benefits listed above may help you with that in some way.
However, lemon oil actually also comes with properties that helps it offer benefits similar to what limonene in grapefruit oil does. Further research based on grapefruit oil’s effect on weight also revealed that if used with lemon oil, it would trigger an even stronger process of lipolysis – translating to faster weight loss.
Apart from that, lemon oil’s powerful mood boosting properties may help you get over the negative feelings that are so common in overweight people. This can help you work on your weight loss goals with more motivation, which can certainly make quite a difference.
Similarly, lemon oil increases the production of a stress hormone known as norepinephrine, which can help deal with another common annoyance you may come across: stress. What’s more, another effect of an increase in norepinephrine levels would lead to an increased supply of oxygen to your brain, which, in turn, would lead to a higher heart rate and better blood flow. These changes would eventually make your muscles function considerably better.
And, as you probably know, anything that improves the functioning of your muscles would also improve your metabolism and your body’s ability to burn fat.
Finally, lemon oil’s pain relieving properties, too, would help you lose weight steadily, though perhaps in an indirect way. This is because they will help prevent strained muscles and body ache – both of which are common factors that make people give up on their workout plans.
3. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint is known for its calming and cooling effect. Being fresh and minty, you would certainly be pleased with inhaling its aroma.
Here are some of its key benefits:
- Helps control your appetite better
- Better digestion
- Mood improvement
- Boosts your energy levels and mental awareness
How is It Going to Help You?
First things first, as far as weight loss is concerned, peppermint oil is going to help you by suppressing your appetite. A study conducted in 2008 on the relation of peppermint and reduction in one’s calorie intake and appetite revealed that the participants who used peppermint oil every few hours reported much lower hunger levels than the ones who didn’t. They hence also managed to cut down their calorie intake significantly.
However, the other benefits of peppermint that may not be directly linked to weight loss, too, are worth considering. Peppermint oil contains about 70% menthol, which makes it a great way to treat indigestion. However, if you’re looking to get the most out of it, you would probably want to use it with caraway oil, as the combination offers a whole new lot of benefits.
Some of them include a reduced bloating, being able to digest the food even better and prevent stomach issues by making its muscles feel more comfortable. A study also found that regular intake of peppermint oil made the users calmer, and improved their mental awareness and memory function to a great extent.
If you don’t mind having a better mental health and prevent common physical problems such as indigestion and stomach issues – while you work on your weight loss goals – you should definitely consider using peppermint oil.
4. Cinnamon Essential Oil
If you decide to use cinnamon oil to assist you with your weight loss and for also many other health benefits it offers, the first thing you would probably notice and be pleased with is its sweet and warm fragrance. Cinnamon essential oil is usually made from the leaves or inner barks of the Cinnamomum tree, and comes with many beneficial medical properties.
Some of the most important ones include:
- Helping manage insulin sensitivity better
- Better control over your blood sugar levels
- Effectively dealing with health issues such as inflammation
Here’s How It Works:
Again, it may seem to you that none of the benefits we listed above have anything to do with weight loss. Well, let us explain.
Insulin is required by the body to metabolize fat and carbohydrates. It does this by helping your body absorb blood sugar and convert it to either energy or fat. However, sometimes, your body cells refuse to respond to insulin the way they should, a condition that’s known as insulin resistance. What this does is prevents the proper absorption of blood sugar, and instead ends up converting all of it to fat.
It also means that your body doesn’t burn the fat it otherwise would, and instead it ends up accumulating in your body for longer periods of time. Of course, this may eventually lead to not only some serious weight gain, but also make it incredibly difficult to lose weight.
This has been proven to the biggest culprit leading to Type 2 diabetes, a condition that an increasingly large number of people throughout the world are falling prey to. And this is exactly where cinnamon extract or cinnamon oil comes in.
It may not only help considerably lower your chances of getting Type 2 diabetes, but also prevent insulin resistance by improving insulin sensitivity. Further, it’s also capable of increasing your rate of absorption of blood sugar, which ensures that you won’t have a huge amount of excess fat to deal with; and instead make it easier to burn what you already have stored in your body.
And guess what? There’s still more to it. As many as about 25% of Americans are believed to have metabolic syndrome, which actually refers to a large group of disorders: abdominal obesity, higher levels of cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as insulin resistance and problems with glucose absorption.
And some studies have found that genetically obese people may have certain inflammatory cells – the reason they are naturally faced with the said issues, besides obesity of course. The good news is, however, that cinnamon extract has been found to be able to restrict the production of these cells, which may magically prevent you from gaining weight in the first place.
5. Bergamot Essential Oil
Let us tell you right off the bat that bergamot oil isn’t going to help you directly with your weight loss. However, it will likely protect you from some factors that are often associated with a failed weight loss campaign.
With that out of the way, we will now be explaining what exactly it brings to the table. Before getting into that, however, let us tell you that it has a rather unique smell, something that feels sweet and spicy at the same time.
Now, this is what it can do for you:
- Help deal with negative emotions and promote the positive ones
- Improve your energy levels
Reason to Consider:
Some end up eating way more than they should while trying to lose weight, due to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. And while eating may make them feel better for a short while, it will eventually lead to even more negative emotions, especially including the ones like guilt and self-criticism.
Bergamot oil is probably one of the simplest ways to get out of this emotional mess. A study conducted not too long ago ended up concluding that just 15 minutes of aromatherapy with bergamot oil can go a long way in boosting your mood, tackling your negative emotions, and filling you with positive energy.
Apart from that, however, the participants were even found to have considerably reduced stress levels after the therapy. This quick physiological effect is definitely impressive, and would certainly turn out to be very helpful if you’re finding yourself lacking the mental strength to give in your best at ditching that excess weight and getting in good shape.