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Essential Oils for Weight Loss: Do They Really Work?
Weight Loss

Essential Oils for Weight Loss: Do They Really Work?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 14
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6 min

People try many unique hacks to lose weight, including the inhalation of essential oils. You might be thinking – how does that actually work? Do the oils help your body burn fat? We explain whether essential oils are good for weight loss and the flavors worth buying.

Essential oils for weight loss

Sometimes, you might want to try unique hacks to lose weight.

One simple way is the inhalation of essential oils.

Essential oils can seem like a strange idea since they are often used for aromatherapy purposes – a complementary medicine to boost your mental health. Only recently have people started to notice weight loss effects from inhaling or applying essential oils.

So, how do essential oils burn fat? Can they really reduce your body weight? These are questions you might be thinking about, and we’re going to answer them.

In this article, you’ll discover whether essential oils are good for weight loss.

Essential Oils for Weight loss – Do They Work?

Using essential oils won’t directly cause weight loss, but they can strengthen your exercise and dietary plans. Essential oils work to reduce your appetite through inhalation, as your brain associates sweet smells with food consumption.

People who enjoy the aromas of essential oils may have reduced sugar cravings due to the biochemistry in their brain. Certain smells, like grapefruit or peppermint oil, can trigger satiety and control feelings of fullness. This might stop you from snacking or binge eating.

Most essential oils only have a psychological effect that helps you feel more relaxed. The more someone feels calm, the more likely they’ll find the motivation to exercise. You can put scented oils in diffusers, inhale them directly, or wipe diluted solutions on your skin.

Before trying essential oils, you need to remember that they don’t burn body fat. You can only achieve long-term weight loss through cardio-based exercise and low-calorie meals. Scented oils are only there to enhance your fitness journey through relaxing mental effects.

How Can Essential Oils Help You Lose Weight?

Essential oils can never strengthen your fat-burning metabolism, but they can manipulate your mind into not being hungry. A few drops of essential oil may also reduce stress and help you sleep, leading to increased energy levels throughout the day.

Getting rid of stubborn fat can be challenging, especially if you get too many hunger cravings that lead to sugar consumption. Sweet essential oils can trick your brain into thinking you’ve eaten. This might stop you from experiencing hunger pangs in between meals.

The less processed foods you eat, the less likely you’ll notice weight gain. Essential oils don’t just reduce the appetite, but they relieve insomnia-like symptoms. Disrupted sleeping schedules mean you won’t have the energy or motivation to perform intense workouts.

Lavender oil is usually great for promoting better sleep. It can lower ghrelin production in your body – a hormone that stimulates appetite and feeding behavior. People who get less than 4 hours of sleep may have more of the hunger-stimulating hormone in their system.

If you don’t like sweet or pungent smells, essential fennel oil is a good alternative. It still has appetite-suppressing agents that regulate your cravings. Fennel is a type of flowering plant that smells like dulled-down licorice, making it perfect for a relaxed atmosphere.

Best Essential Oils for Weight Loss

There are certain types of oils that may work in aiding weight loss. You can choose one that suits your personal needs or fitness goals. Remember that these essential oils might only enhance workout plans and a healthy diet, so don’t forget to follow other weight loss methods.

Let’s take a look at the 6 best essential oils for losing weight:

#1 Juniper

Juniper essential oil can relieve anxiety and reduce your appetite. The sweet and woody aroma can satisfy your hunger cravings by limiting the desire to eat. Any type of essential oil may have this effect, but juniper berry specifically helps you experience the feeling of fullness after meals.

#2 Bergamot

Bergamot essential oil contains high amounts of polyphenols that work to relax your brain. This citrus-based refreshing smell can stimulate your olfactory senses and reduce stress hormones. People are more likely to perform vigorous exercise when feeling calm throughout the day.

#3 Grapefruit

Grapefruit essential oil has a refreshing and exciting effect that activates nerve senses in your body. This can stop you from craving junk food that might disrupt your weight loss progress. You can also mix this with carrier oil before applying it to areas like your temples and wrists.

#4 Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil is known to support muscle recovery after workouts. You can rub this oil on tender muscles to reduce the time between strength training sessions. The more comfortable you feel exercising, the more likely you’ll lose weight in just a few weeks.

#5 Lavender

Lavender essential oil is the best for reducing anxiety-related symptoms. If you’re stressed about going to the gym or traveling to work, you can inhale some lavender oil to relax your nerves. This indirectly promotes weight loss by encouraging you to exercise.

#6 Lemon

Lemon essential oil has citrus-based qualities that stimulate your senses after waking up. You can put on the diffuser in the morning to feel energized throughout the day. People also use lemon essential oil to reduce depression and lift their mood for workout sessions.

Does Putting Essential Oils in Your Belly Button Work?

No, you can’t absorb essential oil through your belly button. Diluted essential oils might soothe your skin or aching muscles, but they won’t produce weight loss results. However, topically applying oils to your belly button might reduce stomach pain.

Putting essential oil on your belly button might create a calming smell around you – one way to feel relaxed. Just be aware that using raw essential oil can seriously damage your skin if you don’t dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut, olive, apricot kernel, sweet almond, or argan.

To lose body fat, you need to perform high-intensity interval training (“HIIT”) or go on a low-calorie diet. Not doing either of these things can slow down your progress. The body has to burn lots of calories when breaking down fat cells and preventing unwanted weight gain.

Risks of Using Essential Oils for Weight Loss

One thing to note is that you should never use essential oils internally. This could burn the mucus in your mouth, digestive tract, esophagus, and gut lining. You can only use essential oils for inhalation or topical treatment purposes to avoid burns and physical damage.

Swallowing essential oils might also cause symptoms like stomach pain, nausea, headaches, constipation, gut poisoning, and may even lead to death. The onset of essential oil toxicity (around 4g or more) is quick and will send you into a life-threatening condition.

If you do want to apply essential oil to your skin, always dilute it first. Not mixing the oil with another liquid can trigger possible irritation or inflammation. This is especially true for sunburnt skin or conditions like eczema, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and seborrheic dermatitis.

Speak to a doctor if you’re unsure about how to use essential oils. They’ll advise you on the best ones to use and how they may benefit weight loss. Some medical professionals will suggest trying essential oils for pain relief or relaxation methods for anxiety disorders.

FAQs

Does ginger oil help with belly fat?

Ginger essential oil can’t burn belly fat directly, but it might boost your weight loss progress over time. You can add ginger oil to a diffuser and experience the sweet aroma. The pungent compound 6-gingerol is also known to enhance concentration throughout the day.

Can using essential oil help to burn fat?

Essential oils won’t promote weight loss and target stubborn belly fat. They’re only good for psychological effects and controlling your moods. Cinnamon essential oil is especially great at relieving anxiety and depressive disorders that may stop you from exercising.

Can you ingest essential oils?

No, you should never consume essential oils. This is incredibly dangerous and can harm your body. The safest way to use oil, whether that be grapefruit essential oil or peppermint oil, is to inhale it through your nose. You can also apply it topically once you’ve diluted it properly.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

Essential oils can be a fun way to enhance your weight loss journey. They smell delicious and fill your house with sweet aromas. Even though these oils are pleasant to inhale, they have many health benefits. Some of those benefits include a drop in excess pounds of fat.

A few drops of grapefruit oil and cinnamon oil are especially great for people who binge eat and gain weight. The strong, sweet smell can trick your mind into thinking you’re satisfied after meals. This will curb cravings, preventing unwanted snacking on junk or processed foods.

Lemon oil is great for feeling energized before workouts. The citrus smell can awaken your senses in the morning. Any type of lemon oil can have that same psychological effect on your brain, so try different citrus oils to see how they work.

Be aware that intense exercise and diet plans are required for losing some weight. Ginger, peppermint, and lemon oil  might all sound great, but they can’t burn fat. You need to have a nutrient-rich diet that strengthens your metabolism and fat-burning process.

Conclusion

So, do essential oils actually work for weight loss?

These oils don’t directly reduce body fat, but they can increase your energy levels and encourage you to exercise. Some also work to limit your food cravings during the day.

Grapefruit oil, peppermint oil, and cinnamon oil are especially good for calming your senses and reducing nerves that often derive from physical activity.

Speak to a medical professional before using essential oils. Just remember to never ingest essential oils and only inhale them, apply them topically, or add them to a warm bath.

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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