6 Best Essential Oils for Weight Loss
For many of us, losing weight can offer a number of health benefits. However, simply needing to lose a couple of pounds and being significantly overweight or obese are two very different issues.
An individual’s optimal weight range is based on their age, height, gender, and health—meaning the ranges can vary from person to person. So, just because you gained a few pounds over the winter doesn’t mean that you’re obese or even that you’re overweight.
Ideal weight ranges account for fluctuations in weight, leaving wiggle room for times when we may weigh more (or less) than normal. However, if the weight gain is significantly more than what is considered healthy, then it can eventually lead to obesity as well as serious health issues.
What is obesity?
A person is considered obese when their body mass index (BMI) is over 30.1 BMI is determined by a formula that uses the weight and height of the individual. You can easily have your doctor help you calculate your body mass index at your next appointment, or there are numerous BMI calculators online that you can use as well.
Unfortunately, obesity is becoming a serious concern as researchers are finding that more and more people are becoming obese each year. A recent data brief published by the NCHS found that more than 40% of American adults over 20 were considered obese in 2017-2018.2 The brief also showed that there was no significant difference between men and women regarding obesity numbers.
What’s more, it’s not just adults that are at risk. The number of children that are considered obese and developing Type 2 diabetes as a result is increasing as well.3
How can obesity affect health?
There are numerous factors that can contribute to obesity. Genetics, health issues, hormones, metabolism, diet, lifestyle, and more can all play a part. But it’s important to remember that being obese isn’t simply a matter of having a high body mass index. Obesity can also negatively impact health in a variety of ways. There are several risk factors involved with being obese. Some of them include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular issues
- Sleep problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Autoimmune disorders
- Mental health issues
- Liver or kidney disease4
Healthy habits for weight loss
Incorporating a healthy lifestyle is always a good idea for health in general, but especially if you’re looking to lose weight. Choosing healthy habits can easily accommodate treatments recommended by your doctor and can even expedite and enhance the weight-loss experience. Some healthy habits to consider implementing include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Eating a healthy, whole-food diet
- Being active and exercising regularly
- Getting plenty of quality sleep
- Reducing toxin exposure
- Reducing stress
- Using essential oils
The best essential oils for weight loss
Believe it or not, essential oils can play a supportive role in helping you to lose pounds and maintain your ideal weight. In fact, there are a number of ways that they can be beneficial during the process. Below, I’ve listed 6 of the best essential oils for weight loss, and I’ve also included some of the many different ways in which they can help.
Grapefruit is by far one of the best essential oils for weight loss because there are so many ways in which it can be beneficial. For starters, it has diuretic properties and is often used in formulations for cellulite. It also contains antioxidant properties that are great for scavenging free radicals that can wreak havoc on the body.5
But that’s not all—animal studies have shown that the aroma of grapefruit oil can help suppress appetite, thus helping with weight loss.6 So, if you’re struggling with cravings or overeating, inhaling the aroma of grapefruit oil may help curb your appetite. Furthermore, grapefruit is also considered to be an energizing essential oil, which is great if you need help feeling more energetic.
Lemon is another wonderful essential oil for supporting weight loss. It’s no secret that citrus oils have an affinity for the mind, as they can help boost your mood as well as help you feel more invigorated. This can be especially beneficial if you’re in the process of losing weight, since there may be times where you feel fatigued, sluggish, or irritable as the body sheds excess weight, water, and toxins.
Losing weight can take a toll on your emotions especially. It may even cause stress and/or anxiety. Lemon can be especially beneficial during these times. An animal study conducted in 2006 showed that lemon essential oil can exhibit anti-stress and antidepressant effects when inhaled.7
Additionally, lemon is also high in antioxidants that can help protect the body from free radicals, which is important for reducing oxidative stress.8
3. Juniper Berry
Juniper berry can easily be considered one of the best essential oils for weight loss. It’s a fascinating oil with many uses. It has a lovely, light aroma and is supportive of the body in a number of ways. For instance, it can help support detoxification and the reduction of cellulite, which is why it’s commonly used in topical cellulite formulations.9
Even more interesting is that a study conducted in 2014 found that juniper possesses antioxidant, anti-obesity, and anti-diabetic properties as well.10 This study specifically looked at the inhibitory effects of various extracts of juniper (including its essential oil) against enzymes related to diabetes and obesity.
Moreover, the essential oil also contains calmative properties that can help promote feelings of relaxation, which may help make the weight-loss journey feel a little easier.
With its cool, fresh aroma, peppermint is another great essential oil to help support weight loss. Peppermint has a long history of use for numerous issues, including digestive problem, and the essential oil is often used to support the digestive system as well.11
Many people find that the smell of mint can help with feelings of an unsettled stomach, so if your weight loss is causing nausea or other stomach issues, the aroma of peppermint may help your stomach feel more settled.
Additionally, the crisp aroma can help you feel more refreshed and invigorated. So, if you need a boost of energy before a big workout, or if you just feel fatigued, inhaling peppermint essential oil may help give you the boost you need.
Ginger root has been used for centuries for various digestive and stomach issues, as well as issues stemming from inflammation. Not surprisingly, the essential oil has also been found to be useful for similar situations. Research has shown that ginger essential oil is not only beneficial for nausea and vomiting in postoperative patients, but also contains anti-inflammatory properties as well.12 13
If your journey to lose weight has you trying new foods and exercising more, then ginger would be an extremely useful essential oil to have on hand. It can help with stomach upsets that can accompany a change in diet, as well as inflamed, sore muscles.
Lavender essential oil is beneficial in numerous situations, including weight loss. Not only does it work wonders on the nervous system, it also has a long history of use for headaches, digestive issues, mood imbalances, and more.14
Many times, changes to lifestyle (including healthy ones!) can bring on stress and uncertainty. This is where lavender comes in handy. The calming and soothing aroma of lavender is associated with rest and relaxation, and for good reason. It is one of the most frequently used essential oils for stress and anxiety, and the fragrance is used extensively in spa and bath products.
As an added bonus, lavender blends really well with many other essential oils, making it a no-brainer for use in blends.
Essential oil blends for weight loss
While it’s perfectly fine to use essential oils individually, they tend to work especially well when blended together. For this reason, I’ve created two simple blends that can be used to help support weight loss. Just remember that the oils can easily be swapped out for others, so feel free to make substitutions as needed.
Weight-loss blend #1
This is an invigorating blend that may help with feelings of hunger and can even help you feel more energized!
*Adjust the number of drops based on your diffuser’s specifications.
- 2 drops peppermint essential oil
- 4 drops grapefruit essential oil
- 4 drops lemon essential oil
Weight-loss blend #2
This blend is fantastic for helping you to feel calmer and more relaxed. As an added bonus, it can also be applied topically for sore and inflamed muscles after strenuous workouts!
*Adjust the number of drops based on your diffuser’s specifications.
- 3 drops juniper berry essential oil
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
- 4 drops ginger essential oil
For topical application:
*Thoroughly combine all ingredients and massage into sore muscles.
- 2 tsp. carrier oil such as jojoba, almond, olive, or coconut
- 2-3 drops lavender essential oil
- 3-5 drops juniper berry essential oil
- 5-7 drops ginger essential oil
Support your weight-loss journey with essential oils
From helping with food cravings to reducing inflammation due to exercising and more, essential oils can be incredibly beneficial and even make your weight-loss journey more enjoyable. So next time you want to lose weight, no matter the reason, consider using essential oils to help support you during the process. And if you need help choosing the best essential oils for your wellness, a ZYTO bioscan can assist you by showing which oils your body responded to most strongly.
About Nicole Stine
Nicole Stine is a certified herbalist who has numerous aromatherapy and natural health certifications. She is passionate about using herbs and essential oils safely and thoroughly enjoys researching and writing about natural health, as well as creating her own formulations.
1. “Obesity.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Mayoclinic.org.
2. Hales, C. & M.D. Carroll, et al. “Prevalence of Obesity and Severe Obesity Among Adults: United States, 2017-2018.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cdc.gov.
3. Fryar, C.D., M.D. Carroll, & C.L. Ogden. “Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Severe Obesity Among Children and Adolescents Aged 2–19 Years: United States, 1963–1965 Through 2015–2016.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cdc.gov.
4. “Health Risks of Being Overweight.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Niddk.nih.gov.
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13. Akinyemi, A., O. Faboya, et. al. “Nephroprotective Effect of Essential Oils from Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and Turmeric (Curcuma longa) Rhizomes against Cadmium-Induced Nephrotoxicity in Rats.” Journal of Oleo Science 67, no. 10 (2018): 1339–45.
14. Koulivand, P.H., M.K Ghadiri, & A. Gorji. “Lavender and the Nervous System.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2013): 1–10.