There is no substitute for good old diet and exercise when trying to lose weight. This isn’t an easy task and everyone knows the challenges this brings to anyone trying to shake off the pounds that just don’t seem to want to leave.
You may have tried a number of weight loss plans and strategies and somehow, it just takes so much time and effort that you wish there was something else you could do to make it more pleasant and less stressful.
The reality is that weight loss is more than just the regular diet and physical activity needed to effect a reduction in body weight. Apart from the physical challenges, it is also important to address the psychological and physiological challenges that losing weight entails.
A total mind, body and spirit connection ensures a more effective weight loss plan and essential oils are effective tools to achieve this.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils capture the “essence” of plants through extraction via distillation or mechanical methods such as cold pressing. These highly concentrated aromatic compounds are derived from almost all plant parts such as roots, leaves, flowers, fruits and have been used for almost 6,000 years because of their healing properties.
These oils retain the aroma and flavor of their source and have been a part of the medicinal, cosmetic and spiritual remedies utilized by various cultures to cure ailments, alter moods, and benefit physiological systems in our bodies.
Essential oils are not meant to be ingested. They are used primarily for Aromatherapy, also known as essential oil therapy, a holistic healing treatment that utilizes these oils to improve the mind, body and spirit and is gaining recognition in science and medicine.
There was a time when essential oils were used as natural botanicals to treat various illnesses, until around the 19th century when chemical drugs became popular. Before that, essential oils were the cure-all for most medical conditions at that time.
Essential oils work through our olfactory senses and through skin absorption. By inhaling the aroma of these essential oils, we stimulate our limbic systems – the part of our brain that controls our emotions and behaviors. It controls our motivations, memories and learning abilities.
Essential Oils and Weight Loss
In the course of our weight loss journeys, we might often reach a point where we are confronted with issues such as emotional eating, loss of motivation, slow metabolism, dieting fatigue, food cravings and depression. These are just some of the challenges one might face when undergoing any weight loss program.
It is a struggle to stay on course with our weight loss goals. Everyone goes through this at one time or another. This is where essential oils can be an effective aid in controlling the psychophysiological factors that constantly challenge us and keep us from sustaining our weight loss goals.
Factors such as anxiety and hormonal imbalance can be addressed by the effective use of essential oils for weight loss. Some oils contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties while others contain fat-burning compounds or help alleviate cravings and lift our moods.
Whatever the case may be, incorporating essential oils in your weight loss programs could be the missing link to ensure that you are able to sustain your efforts to reach your desired weight loss goals.
Topical application is the best way to utilize these oils for weight loss. Applying pure and undiluted essential oil to the skin may cause inflammation and skin irritation. It is necessary to use a carrier oil to avoid skin problems. Some carrier oils you may consider are coconut oil, almond oil or olive oil. One ounce of carrier oil to about 12 drops of essential oil is advisable.
There are almost a hundred different kinds of essential oils, each with their own healing properties and here are some of the most popular essential oils that will help you lose weight.
1. Grapefruit Oil
Ever heard of the Grapefruit diet? Grapefruit contains a natural chemical compound called nootkatone that stimulates an enzyme in our bodies that control energy levels and metabolic rates. It suppresses appetites, dissolves fat, prevents bloating and water retention and aids in detoxification. How beautiful is that?
Grapefruit’s primary component – limonene, is said to induce lipolysis, which is the process of breaking down and dissolving body fat and protein. So apart from including grapefruit in your regular diet, you can also enhance your weight loss plan by using it as an essential oil.
A study was conducted on how grapefruit oil affects weight loss in lab rats. It was found that the rats reduced their food intake and lost weight after being exposed to 15 minutes of grapefruit oil scent and aroma at least 3 times a week.
There are a number of ways you can use grapefruit oil for weight loss. You can either inhale it directly, apply topically when combined with a carrier oil to your wrists, chests, temples or just under your nose, or use in a diffuser.
It can also aid in the reduction of cellulite when combined with a carrier oil and massaged into the area where your cellulite forms for about 5 minutes daily.
2. Peppermint Oil
For centuries, peppermint oil has been used as a treatment for indigestion. It has a unique cooling compound – menthol, that helps with digestion, expelling gas from the stomach and decreases bloating.
Peppermint oil is an appetite suppressant. A study conducted in 2008 found that hunger was significantly reduced and calorie intake decreased when participants inhaled peppermint oil every 2 hours.
The menthol in peppermint oil influences our neurosensory perceptions and changes the way we taste and smell food resulting in a decrease in food cravings and curbing of appetites.
To use peppermint oil for weight loss purposes inhale it directly before every meal.
3. Cinnamon Oil
Insulin is a hormone that helps the body metabolize carbohydrates and fats. It facilitates the absorption of blood glucose and converts it to energy or stores it as fat. When the body becomes resistant to insulin, it begins to store the fat rather than burn it. This results in weight gain and difficulty losing the weight.
Cinnamon oil enhances insulin sensitivity and increases blood glucose uptake. Obese people have been found to carry inflammatory cells in their body fat. By adding cinnamon oil to their weight loss plans, they are able to inhibit the production of these cells that could prevent them from gaining weight.
Cinnamon oil also regulates blood glucose levels. By inhaling cinnamon oil before a meal, you prevent overeating.
The struggle to lose weight becomes much easier when you take advantage of the benefits these essential oils could give you. Use it to jumpstart a weight loss program or simply to sustain your current weight loss efforts. You may combine 1 or 2 of them to make it your own concoction. Try experimenting with essential oils to see what you prefer best.
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