Eating right and exercising are the foundations of maintaining a healthy weight but let’s be honest, they’re not always easy and sometimes we need a little support! Between hectic schedules, readily available junk food, and major sugar cravings, adopting a weight-friendly lifestyle can often feel like a struggle.
If you find yourself having trouble sticking to a healthy eating and exercise regime, or you simply want a little added boost, you may want to consider incorporating essential oils into your daily routine.
It may seem hard to believe that oils can actually have an effect on your weight, but it’s been scientifically proven to be true! Smelling essential oils has a very real effect on your physiology and can help to regulate appetite, cravings, blood sugar, mood, metabolism, and more. Keep in mind that not any smell will do, and you need to make sure you’re using pure essential oils- anything synthetic may smell nice, but it won’t actually have the physiological benefits you’re looking for.
So, if you’re ready to reduce stress, ease emotional eating, boost your willpower, and consequently lose a little extra weight, keep reading for seven essential oils that can help to support weight loss.
The following oils all have their own unique benefits, but you can also let your intuition help you discover the oils that are best for you and your body. If the scent of a certain oil is particularly appealing to you, it’s likely one that can support and address a particular imbalance in your body, so trust that.
(Always consult with your doctor before using oils if you have any concerns and if you have any health conditions or are pregnant).
You’re probably not surprised to see this one on the list- peppermint is widely recognized as a digestive aid, which is why you’ll find after dinner mints at restaurants and peppermint tea as a post dinner drink. A 2008 study found that smelling peppermint oil helped participants to decrease cravings and appetite and consume fewer calories.
It can also be used topically as a digestive aid: simply add a few drops of oil to a carrier like coconut oil and gently massage into your abdomen.
If you’re dealing with any blood sugar issues, cinnamon is a great option for you. Unbalanced blood sugar causes food cravings, low energy, and weight gain, and cinnamon oil has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels. It’s also great for indigestion and stomach troubles and helps to reduce sugar cravings.
Chocolate lovers, this one’s for you! A recent study found that smelling jasmine oil reduces chocolate cravings. The oil also helps to quell anxiety and overwhelm, two emotional states which often lead to overeating and junk food over indulgence.
Citrus oils, like orange, grapefruit, lemon, and lime, are all fantastic mood boosters and can help us to feel more energized and uplifted. If you find that a low mood has you reaching for snacks or a lack of energy keeps you from being active, try incorporating these bright oils into your day. It’s hard to not have a spring in your step when you’re smelling something as delicious and fresh as these ones!
Black Pepper Oil
Another invigorating oil, black pepper oil is great at increasing energy and clarity. It’s also very grounding, so if you find that you reach for treats to try to centre yourself when you’re feeling scattered and spacey, give pepper oil a try instead. It will help you to re-centre, refocus, and rethink your food choices.
Note: black pepper oil can be irritating to your skin, so it’s best not to apply this one topically.
Vanilla is repeatedly voted as one of the most popular scents, and it’s not hard to see why. Its sweet aroma is totally intoxicating and as an added bonus, it’s been shown to help reduce sweet cravings and aid in weight loss.
Vanilla isn’t actually an essential oil but rather a CO2 extract, but it works similarly, so it made the list.
Neroli is another lovely mood booster that helps to lift spirits and support those dealing with heavy emotions. It also helps to reduce anxiety and balance serotonin levels, all of which leads to less of a need to turn to emotional eating.
How to incorporate these oils into your day
So now that you know which oils to use, you may be wondering how to use them. These are so many amazing and simple ways to incorporate oils into your routine, and we’ve outlined some of our favorites below.
- Straight from the bottle. Yup, using essential oils can seriously be as simple as uncapping a bottle and taking a few sniffs. According to this study, it only takes a quick sniff to begin rewiring your brain. Keep a bottle in your purse, near your desk, or wherever you can easily access it and take a few whiffs throughout the day.
- In a diffuser. Diffusers are one of our favorite ways to use essential oils because it fills your room with a lovely scent and allows you to enjoy the oils’ benefits throughout the day.
- In a spray. Make your own customized essential oil spray by mixing 3 parts distilled water to 1 part witch hazel or vodka and then adding in your essential oils. Spray onto your body, your clothing, your furniture, or wherever you like throughout the day and enjoy the beneficial scents.
- In a carrier oil. You can apply the oils directly to your skin by first diluting them in a carrier oil. Add 6 drops of oil per tablespoon of carrier (this can be a body oil, coconut oil, moisturizer, etc.), and apply to your skin. Note: avoid applying citrus oils and other phototoxic oils to your skin before going out in the sun as they may cause blistering and irritation when exposed to sunlight. Instead, apply them at night or, if you’re very sensitive, skip the topical application altogether.
- In baking soda. Place a couple of tablespoons of baking soda into a dish and then add in a few drops of essential oil. Approximately 10 drops of oil should do the trick, but it’s up to your preference and the strength of the oils’ scents (some oils have a stronger scent than others). Place the dish near you throughout the day and enjoy the subtle scent.
It’s important to mention that oils work best when they are used regularly as part of your regular routine. Never using oils and then expecting one sniff to completely wipe out cravings is a bit unrealistic. Incorporating them into your daily life, however, can help to regulate your cravings and emotions that lead to over eating. They can also help to address fatigue, lethargy, and overwhelm, which often sabotage our weight loss efforts.
Used in conjunction with other healthy practices like healthy and mindful eating, daily activity, time in nature, and meditation, essential oils can be a fantastic tool in the maintenance of healthy weight.
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