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Can Essential Oils Help with Weight Loss?

For thousands of years, people have understood the healing properties of essential oils. Although research on these oils is often limited, there’s evidence to suggest that certain oils do have medicinal properties.

Essential oils are distilled and pressed from plants and left in their purest, rawest form, because of this, they’re often seen as a natural alternative to traditional medications.

If you’re trying to lose extra pounds, you may want to consider adding essential oils to your weight loss plan. I know I’m going to try it and here’s why:


I know I have tried a million times to stick to a diet. I know the triggers to my unhealthy habits. I too am about to embark on a lifestyle re-boot and I’ve just discovered these fabulous essential oil lockets and magnetic jewelry. I’m really looking forward to using them to help me develop new healthy habits. I’m just as excited as you are to try something new, that will keep me inspired. Something that can hopefully help to keep me on track.


To stop me from regressing into my bad habits I think “why not”? Why not try something that will help me change a bad habit into a good habit. Why not try something that I can turn to help me with my cravings, to help my mood stay positive? Why not?! I’ve tried everything else.


What I’ve learned about why essential oils can help with weight loss:


The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Institute of Chicago discovered that inhaling a 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.


How Essential Oils Work for Weight-Loss


Aromatherapy helps to stimulate certain areas of the brain which can have a huge positive impact on your physical and mental state. Although there is no replacement for a healthy diet and daily exercise to get the physical weight off, staying motivated is just as critical to your success.


Did you know the receptors in your nose can perceive over a trillion different smells and can actually communicate with the hippocampus and amygdala in your brain, the key areas in your brain responsible for storing emotions and memories? When essential oil molecules are inhaled, research suggests that these areas are stimulated which in turn influences our physical, mental and emotional states directly and affects everything from our mood, heart rate and stress levels to blood pressure, sleep and motivation.


Whether you fight constant cravings, sugary foods, fatigue and low moods or struggle with poor digestion, sluggish metabolism and emotional eating, incorporating essential oils as a part of your weight loss program can be the missing link to your success.


I recently read this quote and I felt a rush of inspiration – I hope you do too:


“Would you rather be 3 months from today – and thrilled you finally got there, or be 3 months from now wishing you had started 3 months ago?


The Top Essential Oils for Weight-Loss and How to Use Them:



Lemon Grass – Helps with Anxiety and Food Cravings


As the name implies, lemongrass has a tart, lemony smell. Also called citronella, lemongrass is often used as a folk remedy to promote sleep and boost immunity. It is used commonly as a digestive aid when made as a tea. In the application for weight-loss in a diffuser, Lemongrass can help with food cravings while helping you with anxiety of staying focused on your weight goals.


Inhale it: Take a few deep breaths of lemon essential oil directly from the bottle or from a cotton ball dabbed in a few drops of the oil before eating. This will help calm your anxiety while at the same time diminish your food cravings.





Grapefruit Essential Oil – Stop Cravings and Overeating


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.


Have a sudden craving? Inhale directly: 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). The fresh scent of grapefruit oil can do wonders.





Orange Essential Oil – Mood Enhancer and Cravings Diminisher


Orange oil can help to curb the appetite and prevent overeating. It contains Vitamin C and also has antioxidant benefits. The sharp citrusy scent is also a powerful mood enhancer and can help those suffering from depression.


There are countless studies which prove that depression leads to weight gain and this one shows its direct correlation with actually leading to a higher risk for obesity. By using essential oils like orange oil and other oils mentioned above, you can uplift your mood, feel better, and be less tempted to use food to feel good.


Inhale it: Take a few deep breaths of orange essential oil directly from the bottle or from a cotton ball dabbed in a few drops of the oil before eating. This will help perk you up, energize and stimulate the senses, and prevent mindless overeating.




Lemon Essential Oil – Stop From Overeating


Extracted from the lemon rind and containing the medicinal compound limonene, lemon oil is a natural fat dissolver. 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.


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






Cinnamon Essential Oil – Great for Emotional Eaters


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.


Inhale directly: To prevent overeating before a meal take a few deep breaths of cinnamon oil doing this can potentially make you feel more full and improve your mood. Doing this every day will help reduce cravings. Best had before meals or when you get a late night food craving.







Bergamot Essential Oil – Curb Cravings


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.


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.


Inhale the oil deeply, the citrusy scent of limonene can help suppress your appetite, reduce how much you eat and in turn help you lose weight.







Sandalwood Essential Oil – For Emotional Eaters


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.


Inhale the oil deeply, The earthy scent of sandalwood can bring instant relaxation and take your mind off food.







Lavendar Essential Oil – Binge Eaters / Stress Eaters


Different oils work in various ways to combat weight loss. Some prevent fat accumulation, some help digestion, others help suppress appetite and more. A primary contributor to obesity today is depression and anxiety. In fact according to the National Centre for Eating Disorders, “feelings such as anger, guilt, sadness and anxiety can often trigger episodes of overeating.”


Research suggests that lavender essential oil can potentially help calm stress and anxiety and suppress the triggers that cause emotional eating. Lavender can also lower cortisol levels, the stress hormone that makes your body hold on to excess fat, making it harder for you to lose weight


If you succumb to binge eating or run to the fridge or vending machine every time you’re stressed out, lavender oil can help.


Inhale the oil deeply, The fresh scent enters the amygdala, the brain’s center for emotions, and helps to relax feelings of anxiety and stress.







Eucalyptus Essential Oil – Energize and Mood Booster


With its refreshing minty scent, eucalyptus oil is great for invigorating the senses, reducing stress, boosting energy and alleviating mental fatigue. But can eucalyptus oil help weight loss?


Eucalyptus oil helps alleviate stress and anxiety which are directly connected to overeating and weight gain. When you feel stressed, the strong aroma of eucalyptus oil can instantly help relax and invigorate so you aren’t tempted to run to food for instant fulfillment. It will help clear your foggy head when you start reducing your calories.


Inhale it: Take a few deep breaths of eucalyptus oil directly from the bottle. This will bring on a feeling of calm and relaxation and keep you from emotional eating.







Rosemary Essential Oil – Decrease Cortisol – The Belly Fat Stress Hormone


Extracted from rosemary sprigs through steam distillation, rosemary essential oil is a strong, powerful oil. According to a 2007 study conducted in Japan, rosemary oil has the ability to decrease cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in saliva. This is important as high cortisol levels are linked to life-threatening conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease.


High cortisol levels lead to high stress levels, which can lead to emotional eating and weight gain. Keeping your cortisol levels low is key to reducing your stress levels which will lead to less emotional eating and keep your weight in control.


Inhaling rosemary oil for 5 minutes taking long, deep breaths has claimed to reduce cortisol levels. The logic is that when you feel less stressed, you eat less (especially binge eat less). Take a few deep breaths of rosemary essential oil directly from the bottle or from a cotton ball soaked in a few drops of the oil when you feel stressed. This will not only help to calm your nerves but will help your waistline too.







Jasmine Essential Oil – The Valium of Essential Oils


Extracted from the sweet-smelling jasmine flower, a study suggests that the smell of Jasmine is ‘as calming as valium.’ Jasmine oil has been used for centuries to remedy anxiety, low sex drive, insomnia and depression and research proves that jasmine can help to relieve depression and uplift the mood. This makes it an excellent essential oil to use if you are struggling to lose weight and can’t control cravings and turn to food when you’re feeling low or have trouble falling asleep at night (which can lead to late night binge eating)



Inhale it: Before eating, inhale jasmine essential oil, which will calm the senses and help prevent overeating. You can also put a few drops of jasmine oil on a handkerchief and keep it with you throughout the day. Anytime you feel anxious or stressed you can put it to your face and take a few deep breaths.







Mint Essential Oil – Helps with Food Cravings and Aids in Curbing Overeating


Used for centuries, mint 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 mint oil can influence neurosensory perceptions to change how we taste and smell food, preventing cravings for sugary foods, other food cravings and curbing overeating.


Inhale deeply 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. When you have finished eating your meal, inhale again to stop from reaching for a second helping.





Rose Essential Oil – Mental Boost and Helps to Curb Overeating


Rose Oil is possibly the first essential oil because it was originally used in ancient Persia. anxiety, It aids in helping with depression and sadness are other mental health issues that can cause some people to compensate by overeating. For this type of weight loss impediment, there may be no better essential oil than that of the rose flower.


Inhale deeply 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. When you have finished eating your meal, inhale again to stop from reaching for a second helping.





Essential oils are natural but powerful. Some people may develop an allergic reaction to any oil so it’s always best to try a little by doing a small skin patch test on your arm or leg (never your face or neck) to make sure you don’t have an adverse reaction.


If you’re pregnant or nursing, or on any kind of medication please check with your doctor before using essential oils (especially if using them internally)


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