When it comes to loosing weight, the sheer number of drugs and supplements available can be a bit overwhelming. From fat-blockers like Orlistat, to powerful stimulants such as Ephedra, theres certainly no shortage of weight-loss pills on the market, each promising great results, fast.
Now, it should be fairly obvious that these pills are no replacement for a balanced diet and fitness regimen, but they can also carry their own unique dangers. Pills that remove excess fats via the intestines can not only cause painful cramps, diarrhea and IBS type symptoms, but can also inhibit the body’s natural absorption of vitamins and minerals. Supplements which act as powerful CNS stimulants can put pressure on the heart and cause insomnia.
Fortunately, you can harness the safe, natural fat-fighting properties of plants and fruit by supplementing you fitness regimen with essential oils. These oils have an amazing variety of ingredients and properties that will help supercharge your diet and help get you back in shape.
Essential Oils for Weight Loss
Grapefruit Essential Oil
Great for: increasing metabolism.
Grapefruit has long been known for its numerous health benefits. Packed with Vitamin C and the powerful antioxidant Lycopene, it detoxifies and cleans the lymphatic system, while it promotes the formation of glutathione-S-transferase, a detoxifying enzyme which can protect against cancer.
However, grapefruit is one of the top essential oils for weight loss due mainly to the large amounts of d-Limonene it contains. D-Limonene is found in citrus peels and has a number of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory uses alongside its natural weight management properties. In a recent study, d-Limonene was given to rats for 45 days, resulting in vast improvement in metabolic enzyme levels. Other animal studies show that it reduces body weight and food intake, and can even help lower cholesterol.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Great for: suppressing cravings.
Peppermint essential oil can be a real help in reducing appetite – great if you’re prone to cravings. It is also packed with nutrients, including vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals including potassium, iron and magnesium, meaning that it can help nourish the body while promoting weight loss. It also works as a digestive aid which can soothe stomach upset while promoting a feeling of well-being. All this means a couple of drops in a glass of water after food will help digestion and stop you going back for a second helping.
Peppermint Essential Oil smells fantastic – sharp and refreshing. This is great news when you consider that a 2008 study conducted by the Wheeling Jesuit University showed that when inhaling peppermint oil every two hours, participants experienced less hunger and fewer cravings than those who didn’t use the oil. Try adding a couple of drops to a warm bath every morning for a refreshing and appetite suppressing start to the day.
Bergamot Essential Oil
Great for: reducing cholesterol levels.
Bergamot essential oil is extracted from the peel of Italian citrus fruits. Like peppermint oil, bergamot can help stimulate the endocrine system, creating a relaxed feeling of well-being. This s perfect for those who eat when stressed, or are prone to comfort eating. It also contains an abundance of polyphenols (also found in green tea), which have been shown to increase metabolism and fat oxidation in studies.
Bergamot has also been shown to inhibit an enzyme (HMG-CoA), which reduces the bad LDL cholesterol in the blood. A 2009 study in the Journal on Natural Products compared bergamot to statins in its ability to lower cholesterol, reducing LDL levels from 20% – 59% (Statin 18% to 55%), while raising HDL levels from 7% to 83% (Statin 5% – 15%)
Lemon Essential Oil
Great for: improving digestion, boosting metabolism.
Like grapefruit and bergamont, lemon essential oil is absolutely packed with vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C. Lemon is most famously known for its cleaning abilities, and can be used to clean the hair and scalp as well as the digestive system and kidneys. Like grapefruit, it also contains a large amount of d-Limonene, known for its metabolism boosting properties.
Adding a couple of drops to a pint of water will create a refreshing, cleansing drink, which is perfect for hot summer days. Since lemon essential oil is carminative, you can also use the drink to treat a number of stomach problems such as cramps, indigestion and trapped wind.