Is Honey Good for Weight Loss

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Afshan Shadman Ali (MSc, CDE)

The benefits of honey apply to most weight loss programs. If you are trying to lose weight, honey can be very helpful, you can try honey with lemon, cinnamon, or ginger for its effects. But before we discuss the benefits of honey in weight loss, we should address some of the concerns that people often have regarding honey.

Honey for Weight Loss

Honey is known to mobilize stored fat. When this fat is burnt to provide energy for your daily activities, you will see a gradual decrease in your weight and relief from the problems of obesity.

For people who are overweight or obese, honey may not only reduces the risk of cardiovascular disorders but also may not increase body weight, as per research published in the Scientific World Journal. Combined with regular physical activity and a balanced diet, it could help you lead a more active and healthy life. Furthermore, the consumption of honey may help in reducing cholesterol levels as compared to sugar. It also may lead to a lower increase in plasma glucose levels. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Honey Nutrition

As per the USDA, honey could provide water, energy, fiber, sugar, and various vitamins and minerals. It may contain minerals such as iron, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and calcium. Honey could also contain vitamins that include folate, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 but has low levels of selenium, protein, fiber, and amino acids. [5]

Honey & Sugar

Honey does contain sugar. However, unlike refined sugar, honey may contain beneficial vitamins and minerals as well. Refined table sugar, which people often use to sweeten their food, is considered a source of “empty calories”, which means that there is no benefit in eating it.

Normally, to digest sugar, vitamins, and minerals stored in the body are utilized. These nutrients are essential to dissolve fats and cholesterol, so ingesting pure sugar is somewhat wasteful. Therefore, when you eat too much sugar, you tend to gain weight not only because of the calories but also from the subsequent lack of vitamins and minerals. Honey could balance this effect because it is a good source of nutrients that could help people in their weight loss efforts when consumed in limited amounts. [6]

How Is Honey Good for Weight Loss?

Mentioned below are the most common ways honey can be used for weight loss.

A young beautiful woman holding a small jar of honey

Honey is nutritious and packed with antioxidants.

Honey & Garlic

According to research published in Ayurveda, eating garlic immersed in honey may also promote weight loss. It suggests keeping garlic immersed in honey and then eating one clove every day before breakfast could help fight obesity. You can visit Garlic And Honey: Recipe, Benefits, & Uses for more information. [7]

Honey & Lemon Juice

Honey may help in weight loss when consumed with lukewarm water and lemon juice (fresh juice without sugar or salt). Many people drink this at the start of their day as a way of stimulating weight loss. Honey is packed with 26 amino acids and several valuable vitamins and minerals mentioned above, many of which could benefit the body’s metabolism. By regulating the metabolism, food is digested, assimilated, and utilized properly, fat is converted into usable energy. Thus, improving the overall health. [8] [9]

Research suggests that drinking about one teaspoon or 10ml of honey mixed with 5ml of lemon and 150ml of lukewarm water daily may promote the process of weight loss. [10]

The lemon juice in this mixture is loaded with vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid), which may cleanse and increase liver function and could speed up fat metabolism. Furthermore, lemon juice may increase the function of glutathione, which is a key antioxidant for fighting free radicals in our body and also could increase immunity. Combining the weight-loss powers of lemon juice with the metabolism-stimulating effects of honey, this elixir, if drunk once a day, can give you attractive results. [11]

Honey & Cinnamon

Another popular recipe combines cinnamon with honey and warm water. Research studies suggest that the use of cinnamon could be beneficial for weight loss. [12]

Mix one teaspoon of cinnamon powder with one tablespoon of honey and one cup (150ml) of lukewarm water. Thoroughly mix these ingredients and drink on an empty stomach.

Cinnamon could also have a regulating effect on blood sugar levels, and the metabolism of glucose. High blood sugar levels can lead to increased storage of fat in the body, so cinnamon may have a positive impact on this aspect of weight loss. Combined with the metabolism power of honey, this mixture could be a powerful boost to your weight loss efforts. [13]

Research has not clearly explained how this mixture helps in weight loss, but many people claim to have seen positive results from its regular consumption. Further research is required on this.

Health benefits of honey for weight loss infographic

If you are trying to lose weight, honey can be very helpful, you can try honey with lemon, cinnamon, or ginger for its effects.

Hibernation Diet

With all of the new diets that spring up every year, it is difficult to know which one will benefit your body and weight loss efforts. One aspect of the hibernation diet that may help to lose weight is to consume a spoonful (5gms) of honey before going to bed. As you sleep, honey will continue to stimulate liver function and may ease stress hormones that are in your system. As the name implies, it may help you hibernate in a healthy and relaxing way. [14]

Substitute for Sugar

Honey is a good sugar substitute. It can be used in different beverages such as tea and lime juice. Among other food items, it can be used in desserts and pancakes instead of sugar. One may add honey to oatmeal or a peanut butter sandwich for additional nutrients, good taste, and a lower risk of weight gain.

In an 8 weeks clinical trial published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, it was found that honey could provide beneficial effects on body weight and blood lipids of diabetic patients. However, it increased the hemoglobin A1C levels. Therefore cautious consumption of this food by those with diabetes is recommended. [15]

Many people stop eating to reduce their weight, but this is a potentially dangerous practice. If you don’t eat enough food, which is the primary way of acquiring calories, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, your immune system will weaken.

Always Remember

Your weight loss program should focus on ensuring the proper intake of all nutrients and not just reducing the intake of calories. Furthermore, you should also increase your daily burning calories through regular exercise along with a healthy diet to achieve the desired result. Weight loss is a gradual process; don’t look for shortcuts as they may be harmful. Always consult a qualified dietitian or a nutritionist for a proper meal plan.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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