Many of us are looking to slim down and lose weight. While a healthy diet and exercise are key to losing weight, it’s often not enough to get the scale moving in the right direction.
Psychological challenges like cravings and emotional eating often stand in the way of weight loss success. Instead of being tempted by a potentially unsafe weight loss scheme, consider adding essential oils to your list of safe weight loss tools.
If you have tried to lose more than a few pounds, you know firsthand that it is a brutal battle of mind over matter. When your body’s genetics and hormones and the constant temptations in your environment gang up on you, willpower breaks down. It becomes difficult for many of us to stick to the conventional diet and exercise advice.
Essential oils might be able to help you overcome temptation and stick to your diet goals, making it possible for you to lose weight.
Read on to find out:
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are natural oils that are usually made through extracting the oil from the plant. Most of these oils smell like the plant it comes from. Some of the oils may smell more intensely than the source plant.
Holistic medicine and natural health enthusiasts swear by essential oils for a number of uses. The uses for essential oils include:
How Can Essential Oils Help You Lose Weight?
The sense of smell is a powerful sense. It is directly linked to our tastebuds and our food cravings. Food cravings and emotional eating are two of the biggest roadblocks to weight loss success.
Most diet and exercise plans neglect this mind over matter aspect of weight loss. Cravings often cloud good judgement and interfere with the brain’s hunger signals.
In fact, because of emotions and other nonphysical factors, brain signals that are supposed to let you know when you are full and when you are hungry often get clouded.
According to WebMd, studies conducted by, Gene-Jack Wang, MD of Brookhaven National Laboratory and Nora D. Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse have shown that some people may not know when they are full.
In the study, latex balloons were inserted into test subjects’ stomachs and then filled with water to stimulate food. Not every subject could register that their stomachs were full. (1)
When your stomach is full, the brain is supposed to send signals to the body that let you know you are full. The brain also is supposed to signal the body when you need to eat, when your stomach is empty or when you are running out of fuel for your body to burn.
However, these signals often get muddled by emotions like boredom, which leads you to think you are hungry even when you physically are not. When this happens, cravings happen.
You might have a full belly but still want a cheeseburger and fries. So do you give in and blow your diet or do you hold out and suffer?
This is where essential oils might benefit you. According to Psychology Today, smell and appetite are linked. Studies have shown that people who satisfied their cravings through smell reduced their appetites and actually ate fewer calories than those who did not. (2)
Other research done by a team of French researchers and presented in Nature Neurosciences shows evidence that hunger actually heightens our senses. So if it has been awhile since your last meal, chances are very good that smelling something cooking will make your stomach growl.
On the flip side of this, if you smell something that might squash your hunger signals you will probably be less hungry overall and less likely to give in to unhealthy cravings. (3)
So it’s reasonable to say that smells can help reduce your appetite. Fortunately, with the use of certain essential oils, you don’t have to go around smelling garbage or skunks to suppress your appetite.
What are the Best Essential Oils for Weight Loss?
With so many essential oils out there, it can be hard to figure out how to pick the best oils for you. However, there are some essential oils that have more metabolism boosting, weight busting potential than others. The best essential oils for weight loss include the following:
Each oil has different benefits and ways it can be used. Let’s break it down oil by oil.
Benefits of Peppermint Oil for Weight Loss
Peppermint oil has a reputation for soothing tummy troubles and aiding in digestion. It works in three ways:
- Suppresses Appetite - Mint is a known appetite reducer that may help you reduce cravings.
- Supports Digestion - The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that peppermint oil can keep the digestive tract running smoothly. It helps fight constipation and can ease bloating and discomfort from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. (4)
- Promotes Relaxation - Not only does mint help suppress your appetite and support good digestion, it helps you relax and unwind as well. Relaxation reduces stress and stress causes the body to produce cortisol, a hormone that leads to extra fat production and storage, particularly around the belly area.
How to use Peppermint Oil for Weight Loss
Peppermint oil can be used as a weight loss aid in a variety of ways. The most popular ways to use peppermint oil to lose weight include:
- Inhaling - To curb appetite, pour a few drops of the peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball and slowly breath in the aroma before a meal. You could also try lighting a candle scented with peppermint oil prior to meals.
- Ingesting - Add a few drops of quality culinary peppermint oil to a 8 ounces of water. Drink it before a meal. You could also try adding a few drops of peppermint oil to a cup of green tea for double the metabolism boosting perks.
- Topically - Try mixing a few drops of peppermint oil into a bottle of unscented hand lotion. Apply several times a day. You could also add a few drops of peppermint oil to a bath and treat yourself to a soothing soak in the tub. This not only helps to curb your appetite but also helps you relax and reduce your stress.
Good peppermint oil products to try include:
Benefits of Grapefruit Oil for Weight Loss
Grapefruit has a fat burning reputation. This fruit has spawned fad diets like the Grapefruit Diet because of the fruit’s metabolism boosting properties.
According to Medical News Today, studies conducted have shown that dieters who ate fresh grapefruit or took grapefruit capsules lost more weight than those who just took a placebo pill. (5)
If you don’t care for grapefruit, you may still be able to benefit from grapefruit’s weight loss properties. Grapefruit essential oil has the same metabolism boosting properties as the fruit itself. It works by:
- Suppresses Appetite - Grapefruit’s intense flavor is a known appetite reducer that may help you control your cravings.
- Eases Bloating - Excess bloating and water retention can frustrate you if you are trying to lose weight. Bloating and water weight artificially inflate the pounds and may make you more likely to give up on your diet. Grapefruit and grapefruit oil may ease bloating and act as a diuretic.
- Reduces the Appearance of Cellulite - While you can’t ever get rid of cellulite, you can make the bumpy fat that lives close to the surface of the skin look smoother. For many, reducing cellulite goes hand in hand with the overall goal of losing weight.
How to use Grapefruit Oil for Weight Loss
Grapefruit oil can be used as a weight loss aid in a variety of ways. To use grapefruit essential oil try:
- Inhaling - Smelling a few drops of grapefruit oil on a cotton ball prior to meals can reduce cravings. Alternately try a diffuser scented with two or three drops of grapefruit oil.
- Drinking - Adding a drop or two of grapefruit oil to a glass of water can help control appetite prior to a meal. You could also mix grapefruit oil into a smoothie or a tea to take advantage of the weight loss properties and promote kidney health.
- Topically - Mix a few drops of grapefruit oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and massage it into your trouble spots.
Grapefruit oil products to try include:
Benefits of Cinnamon Oil for Weight Loss
Cinnamon has been used for medicinal purposes for at least as long as recorded history. Even today it is widely recognized for its healing properties.
Not only does it have antimicrobial effects on the body, but studies conducted by diabetes researchers have shown that cinnamon may be able to lower blood glucose. (6)
What does this have to do with weight loss? Higher blood sugar levels lead to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
The Mayo Clinic defines metabolic syndrome as a series of conditions including high blood pressure and high blood sugar, excess body fat particularly around the belly, and high cholesterol that happen together and increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. This syndrome can make it a challenge to lose weight. (7)
You don’t have to take the cinnamon challenge to take advantage of the spice’s benefits. Cinnamon essential oils may give you some of the same advantages of cinnamon itself. This oil works by:
- Suppresses Appetite - Cinnamon’s intense flavor and smell can help curb the appetite and satisfy cravings for sweets.
- Lowers Blood Sugar - By helping the body break down sugar for energy, your blood sugar is more likely to stay in the optimal range for good health and weight management.
How to use Cinnamon Oil for Weight Loss
To use cinnamon oil try:
- Inhaling - Smelling a few drops of cinnamon oil on a cotton ball prior to meals can reduce cravings.
- Drinking - Brew yourself a weight loss hot toddy. Boil water and dissolve a drop or two of cinnamon oil in the water. Stir in a teaspoon of honey to maximize taste and promote weight loss. Drink this first thing in the morning and prior to meals.
Be aware that cinnamon oil is very strong. You may want to dilute the oil by mixing it in with a carrier oil of your choice like coconut oil.Cinnamon oil products to try include:
- Piping Rock Cinnamon Bark 100% Pure Essential Oil
- Now Foods, Essential Oils, Cinnamon Bark
Benefits of Lemon Essential Oil for Weight Loss
Lemons have a glowing reputation in the healthy lifestyles world. Long ago, lemons were key to treating and preventing diseases like scurvy. Now many prominent celebrities and Hollywood starlets tout the benefits of lemon for weight loss.
The jury is still out on whether or not lemon itself promotes weight loss, but the Cleveland Clinic does argue it is weight loss friendly. Not only does lemon promote hydration which helps flush toxins out of the body that make weight loss difficult, but its acid properties aid in digestion. (8)
Lemon essential oil can help you by:
- Controlling Cravings - Lemon’s fresh fragrance can help you reduce your cravings.
- Promoting Good Digestion - Lemon’s highly acidic nature helps your body break down food faster and keep it moving through your system so your body doesn’t hold onto it unnecessarily.
- Promoting Hydration - Getting enough water is key to weight loss. Adding a couple drops of lemon oil to water makes it refreshing and may encourage you to drink more without adding calories into your diet/
How to use Lemon Essential Oil for Weight Loss
To use lemon oil try:
- Inhaling - Mix a few drops of lemon oil with water and spray into the air for a fresh scent that helps clear cravings. You can also put a drop or two on a cotton ball and breathe it in prior to meals.
- Drinking - Pour a couple of drops of lemon oil into water and drink it prior to meals. To really jump start digestion, try drinking it in hot water.
- Topically - Mix a two drops of lemon oil into a carrier oil and use it to massage onto the body. This helps destress you and break up fat deposits.
Lemon oil products to try include:
- Vitamin World Lemon Essential Oil
- Nature’s Truth Aromatherapy Lemon Essential Oil
Benefits of Bergamot Oil for Weight Loss
Not nearly as well known as other essential oils, bergamot oil comes from a citrus fruit found in southeast Asia. It has a sweet, subtly spicy scent and fruity flavor. The key benefit from bergamot oil comes from its scent. The pleasant aroma may help you relax and unwind.
Bergamot oil can help you lose weight by:
- Aiding in Relaxation - The pleasing scent of bergamot oil is very soothing and helps eliminate stress. Excess stress raises hormone levels and makes it very difficult to lose weight. Additionally when you are under stress, you are more likely to give into emotional eating.
- Boosts Metabolism - Bergamot oil is full of the good stuff found in green tea. These polyphenols found in green tea speed up the metabolism by burning sugar and fats.
How to use Bergamot Oil for Weight Loss
To use bergamot oil try:
- Inhaling - Breathe in the relaxing scent of bergamot by pouring a couple drops on a cotton swab and inhaling deeply or using some in a diffuser.
- Soaking - Add a couple drops of bergamot oil into a bath for the ultimate in relaxation and destressing.
Bergamot oil products to try include:
- Now Foods Essential Oils Bergamot
- Bulk Apothecary Bergamot Essential Oil
Essential Oils: Tips and Tricks
Use these tips and tricks to maximize your use of essential oil for weight loss.
- Don’t use the same essential oil for weight loss every day. Using the same oil over and over may reduce its effectiveness because your senses will get used to the taste or scent of the oil.
- Try mixing the oils together to create new fragrances that can help you lose weight.
- Experiment with the different methods of using essential oils. Take a bath with bergamot and peppermint oil one day and enjoy lemon oil flavored water the next. This will help you find your favorite way to use them and figure out what works best for you.
- Pay attention to the labels. If you intend to drink the essential oil make sure you choose an oil that is safe for consumption. Most of these will be labeled as food grade or culinary oils.
Conclusions: Can Essential Oils Help Me Lose Weight?
Essential oils are not a magic bullet for weight loss. However, if you are struggling to shed the pounds and keep them off, you might want to consider adding essential oils to your weight loss toolbox.
Using essential oils for weight loss is not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise. Think of them as a method to strengthen your willpower against cravings and help you banish stress that could be causing you to hold onto the pounds and inches unnecessarily.