For many people, weight loss in a never ending battle. One method may work for a best friend or coworker but not for yourself. I have run into this problem with my weight loss struggle, so I have researched essential oils as a new weight loss support strategy. This article explores particular essential oils and the reason many people believe them to help with losing weight.
It turns out that the science supporting essential oil use during the weight loss process involves the sense of smell as it relates with hunger. According to Timothy Sexton at eHow, research shows that “inhaling certain scents throughout the day can inhibit appetite.” The research he referred to was performed by Dr. Alan Hirsch, in which he found sweet scents such as chocolate triggered feelings of hunger. However, “neutral sweet scents” including banana, vanilla, and peppermint lessened cravings. In addition to lessening the hunger sensation, particular essential oils are often described as lowering stress and breaking down fat.
The essential oils commonly associated with weight loss are each described below. They are categorized by their primary role in losing weight.
Reduces Hunger Sensations
Lemon Essential Oil — While providing a detoxifying effect, lemon essential oil affects the part of the brain that desires food. Lessening hunger means ultimately taking in fewer calories. Of course, one would still need to exercise and eat healthy foods to see true weight loss success. As for me, the strong lemon aroma triggers memories of using “Mr. Clean” cleanser in my youth, making me think about cleaning up instead of cooking.
Peppermint Essential Oil provides a full feeling via the brain’s hypothalamus. Breathing in peppermint oil fumes prior to eating, or putting a few drops in a tea, are the suggested methods of using peppermint essential oil for weight loss. I have tried smelling peppermint oil. Its strong scent did make a tingly sensation in the pit of my stomach, but my appetite did not entirely disappear. I wanted to wait, however, before food sounded good to me again.
Both Lavender Essential Oil and Bergamot Essential Oil can be used in combination to help alleviate stress. Quite often, high amounts of stress encourages weight gain. Hence, lowering stress can directly affect weight loss. This works because the oils stimulate the endocrine system and produce a sense of calm. Quite often I place a few drops of lavender essential oil near my pillow and it helps lower my stress to the point where I can drift softly to sleep. Other essential oils known for their peaceful, calming effects include ylang ylang, patchouli, and orange oils.
Breaks Down Fat
Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil — This essential oil not only boosts one’s immune system, but it also affects the metabolic process called Lipolysis. Its fruity scent gives a sort of “pick-me-up” to the user as well. Enjoying the scent of pink grapefruit often wakes me up, giving me the additional encouragement to get back on my exercise regimen. Just thinking about grapefruit juice makes my mouth water and makes me want to eat healthy foods.
Have you ever tried using essential oils for weight loss purposes? If so, what results have you had? If not, do you think it possible that essential oils may help in losing weight? Please comment below!
West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy