Essential oils are a popular remedy for curing ailments such as headaches and congestion. Did you know they may even be able to help you lose weight?
Research indicates that essential oils can influence several processes throughout the body that are related to weight, such as hunger, stress, and energy levels. Although essential oils don’t necessary promote weight loss directly, by helping to improve your overall well-being in these areas, they can promote healthy habits and lifestyle changes that can help you meet your weight-loss goals. For many people, an improved mood reduces the habit of emotional eating, a reflex that often contributes to weight gain. Essential oils can help you feel energized enough to get an extra 1,000 steps or do some lunges. Of the numerous types of essential oils, a handful are more effective at encouraging weight loss than others.
It’s important to remember when using essential oils that they are not intended for ingestion (even though some of them may smell good enough to eat!) Essential oils are meant to be inhaled, often through the use of a diffuser. You can also rub them into the skin, in which case they should be combined with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, or argan oil.
Continue reading to discover how essential oils can help you reach your weight-loss goals.
It’s not uncommon to feel exhausted after a long day or work or running errands. Exercising or cooking a healthy meal may be the last thing you want to do when you’re tired. We’re also more likely to reach for junk foods when we’re exhausted or feeling stressed.
Peppermint has a naturally soothing yet energizing effect. The smell of peppermint oil can help you feel more energized, which may give you the boost you need to take an invigorating walk or cook a healthy dinner. Place a few drops of peppermint oil into a diffuser and let it ease your stress and exhaustion.
The smell of citrus may help boost the metabolism. One study conducted on rats revealed that just smelling grapefruit essential oil stimulated the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn encouraged the breakdown of fat tissue. Further research is needed to fully understand how grapefruit oil affects the body, but researchers believe the physical benefits may come from limonene — a chemical compound in many citrus fruits.
Similar to grapefruit oil, lime oil contains limonene, which may help control hunger. According to animal studies, the scent of lime oil can reduce appetite and promote weight loss. For the best results, put five or six drops of lime oil into a diffuser before eating a meal. You can also rub a few drops of lime oil blended with a carrier oil into the back of your neck or your abdomen.
Lavender is known for its calming and soothing qualities. Because many people eat large amounts of unhealthy foods when they are stressed or overwhelmed, the calming effects of lavender oil can help prevent them from overeating and help promote weight loss. Though just a brief sniff has a positive effect, surrounding yourself with the aroma for a few minutes while relaxing in child’s pose can help you feel even more relaxed.
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Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on May 17, 2018