10 Amazing Essential Oils for Weight Loss

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The use of essential oils for weight loss is an old practice that has recently gained global attention, given the constant search for better weight-loss methods. Losing weight can be difficult, but since obesity is a very dangerous condition, it becomes important. Being a few pounds overweight is not a serious problem, but long-term obesity can damage your metabolic speed, increase your risk of chronic diseases, cause pain in your joints and muscles, and shorten your life. It can also lead to snoring, fatigue, personality changes, anxiety and depression, which may explain why weight loss is such an important topic. Staying fit can come in many forms, and weight-loss strategies range from extreme diets to physical exercise regimens.

Obesity can be caused by any number of things, from poor physical activity levels, thyroid conditions and injury to an unhealthy diet, various medications, psychological factors, and even genetics. If you are attempting to lose weight, it is important to understand where your excess weight came from, and then you can try to adjust those lifestyle choices. However, this isn’t possible for all the potential causes of obesity, which is where alternative remedies, such as essential oils for weight loss, come into play. The stimulant, metabolism-boosting, digestive, hormone-balancing and energizing properties of the oils below make them ideal for slimming down and staying healthy. [1]

List of Essential Oils for Weight Loss

Some of the most effective and proven essential oils for weight loss include lemon, ginger, cinnamon, lemongrass, juniper berry, peppermint, bergamot, grapefruit, fennel and rosemary oils.

Ginger Oil

This essential oil can aid weight-loss efforts in two ways, both by stimulating the metabolism and improving digestive health. It can lead to passive fat-burning when used, as well as boost your nutrient uptake, helping you feel full, so you can avoid overeating and eating a snack between meals. [2]

How to Use – You can add small amounts of ginger oil (5-10 drops) to various meals and dishes, as it can add a pleasant flavor to your foods, while also helping you slim down.

Cinnamon Oil

The essential oil of cinnamon is famed for its ability to regulate blood sugar levels. While this can help people with diabetes by keeping their insulin and glucose levels even, it can also help people manage their sugar intake and food cravings, which can aid in losing weight, says a 2010 report published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. [3]

How to Use – Simply mix a few drops of cinnamon oil in your morning tea or coffee, as it will not only give you a flavorful boost, but also increase your metabolism from the very start of the day!

Lemongrass Oil

As a weight loss aid, lemongrass oil can energize your metabolism, even as it calms down your muscle spasms and soothes the stomach. This can promote better digestion of nutrients, which can help you feel full and healthy, without the need for extra food. [4]

How to Use – You can consume a small amount of lemongrass oil (2-3 drops) with warm water or mixed in with your herbal tea, for a refreshing bite and a more efficient digestive system.

Fennel Oil

This legendary oil can address obesity from a few angles. Primarily, this oil is an appetite suppressant, which can reduce overeating and snacking between meals, but it can also alter the cholesterol balance in the body, discouraging fat from being deposited and stored, and instead converting it directly into usable energy. [5]

How to Use – Due to its potent flavor, this oil can be sprinkled over savory foods (but only in moderate amounts), as it will function as both a digestive and a fat-burning aid to help you lose those extra pounds.

A young woman showing exicitement after checking her weight

Healthy weight plays a huge role in your mental stability. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Rosemary Oil

One of the contributing factors to obesity and unexplained weight gain is excessive stress levels. Fortunately, rosemary oil is able to balance the metabolism and reduce anxiety, which can help your body deposit less fat and improve its efficiency in digestion. [6]

How to Use – Placing a few drops on your wrist and occasionally smelling it throughout the day can help calm your urges to snack, and you can also place this oil in a steam inhalation treatment and breathe deeply for positive effects on your waistline.

Peppermint Oil

By boosting your digestive and metabolic speeds, this ancient herbal oil can help you lose weight and improve your overall health. It can also energize and provide the physical capacity for more exercise, which can further help you shed pounds. Finally, it can reduce bloating and cramping, while also suppressing appetite. [7]

How to Use – Many people prefer to add a few drops of peppermint oil to a glass of warm water and drink it before every meal, in order to reduce overeating by suppressing the appetite.

Juniper Berry Oil

Not all weight-loss oils focus exclusively on digestion; juniper berry oil is an excellent detoxifier for the body, which can clean out the kidneys and liver, while improving overall metabolism by making digestion less sluggish. Although weight loss is a secondary effect, this oil should still be considered by obese individuals. [8]

How to Use – Many people prefer to diffuse juniper berry oil, due to its pleasant aroma, and the potential negative interactions when consumed internally.

Grapefruit Oil

One of the best essential oils for weight loss comes from grapefruit, as the active ingredient in this fruit can stimulate the metabolism to a measurable degree. The presence of limonene, as well as alpha-pinene, various terpenes and myrcene can boost your passive fat-burning ability and help you shave off the pounds. [9]

How to Use – Diffusing grapefruit oil throughout the home is a very popular way of enjoying the health benefits of this oil, although small amounts can be diluted in water and consumed orally.

Bergamot Oil

This orange-like essential oil is excellent for suppressing the appetite and reducing anxiety and stress, which often leads to snacking and overeating. This oil also optimizes digestion, which can deliver necessary nutrients and induce a feeling of fullness. [10]

How to Use – If you add 3-5 drops of bergamot oil to a regular black tea, you create a delicious Earl Gray blend that will also pack a weight-loss punch!

Lemon Oil

The active ingredient in lemon oil, namely limonene, can help to burn excess fat by boosting the metabolism, while also providing an energetic boost to stimulate physical activity, which can further eliminate calories and prevent fat deposition. [11]

How to Use – Add a few drops of this concentrated oil to a glass of warm water before every meal to suppress the appetite and stimulate the digestive system for better nutrient uptake.

Final Word of Warning

Using essential oils for weight loss is an attractive and seemingly simple solution to the problem of obesity. However, many of the effects of these oils is to change your energy levels and capacity for physical activity. It is important to couple these essential oil remedies with the proper dietary choices and exercise regimen if you want to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

Furthermore, essential oils are extremely potent and can come along with a number of potential side effects, particularly if they are ingested. Pay close attention to your body after using essential oils for weight loss, and if any negative side effects occur, such as allergic reactions or gastrointestinal distress, discontinue use immediately. If working with a dietitian or doctor about your obesity problems, speak with them about possible interactions or risks of using essential oils for this purpose.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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