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Published on January 4, 2019

Do Essential Oils for Weight Loss Actually Work?

Do Essential Oils for Weight Loss Actually Work?

When we think about weight loss and weight loss supplements, many don’t look in the direction of essential oils. Generally, when anyone looks for something to aid them in their journey, they look toward pills, powder substances, and tea; however, studies have shown that essentials oils can aid in weight loss.

Essential oils can “aid” in weight loss; however, it’s not the solution. I always recommend that anything used to aid in weight loss, be secondary to mindful eating, healthy diet, and regular exercise.

What Are Essential Oils?

You have heard of a few popular essential oils: peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree. By definition, essential oils are a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted.

Essential oils are born from leaves, herbs, and barks, and smell and taste like the plant itself. Not only can you use essential oils to aid in weight loss, you can use them in the creams and gels that you use for skin care.

While studies have shown a vast number of benefits in using essential oils, I recommend consulting with your physician before using essential oils. Pregnancies and/or allergies may be affected while using essential oils.

In addition, always see your physician before replacing your current treatment with essential oil treatment.

How Essential Oils Aid in Weight Loss

Because essential oils aid in mental health, the benefits also contribute to weight loss.

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Many of the struggles faced on the journey to lose weight live within the mind: cravings, emotional stability, balance/clarity, etc. Using essential oils to heal medical, psychological, and physical conditions, naturally promote and assist in weight loss.

When we heal medical, psychological, and physical conditions, we naturally contribute to weight loss and better health.

The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Institute of Chicago discovered that inhaling a culinary smell like rosemary, peppermint, grapefruit, orange etc. suppress the desire to eat:[1]

“Regularly throughout the day, especially when hungry can suppress the desire to taste and therefore eat,” and that by inhaling an aroma deeply 3-6 times in each nostril, “the desire to eat is inhibited.”

The Best Essential Oils for Weight Loss

Essential oils help reduce cravings, suppresses appetite, and increases satiety making them effective to aid in weight loss.

There are other contributions that essential oils aid in: water retention, bloating, and cellulite. These benefits play a huge role in weight loss contributions.

Appetite and craving control play a huge role in weight loss; half the battle is controlling what we want and how much of it to eat.

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So what are the best oils to aid you in your weight loss goals? The essential oils listed below have been backed by research studies published on Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, Science Direct, U.S News and World Report, and US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

1. Peppermint Oil

This essential oil is great for boosting energy levels. Peppermint oil aids in fatigue reduction, clarity and focus, and reduces hunger cravings.[2]

Boosted energy levels mean maximizing your workouts and reducing cravings means you make better meal choices!

2. Grapefruit Oil

It has been reported that grapefruit oil is a metabolism booster and aids in the breakdown of fatty tissues when inhaled.[3]

3. Lemon Oil

Inhaling lemon oil improves neurological activity and promotes the breakdown of body fat. Lemon oil is a stimulator and has calming and positive mood properties. A positive outlook is always necessary on this journey.[4]

4. Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon oil aids in balanced blood sugar levels. This aids in weight loss because it reduces sugar cravings. When blood sugar levels unbalanced, overeating occurs which negatively impacts weight loss goals.[5]

5. Lavender Oil

Lavender has calm, tension taming properties. Because lavender oil helps control anxiety/urges, it aids in the reduction of stress eating. Generally, when we are relaxed, we tend to move away from “comfort” triggers such as mindless eating.[6]

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Aromatherapy expert Jane Buckle, reported on two studies in her book, Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Healthcare (ISBN 9780702054402). In one study, participants were asked to use lavender oil, mandarin oil, and a placebo. After 6 weeks, the results were: the control group lost 1.2 pounds, the mandarin oil group lost 2.4 pounds, and the lavender group lost 5.3 pounds on average.

The Best Ways to Use Essential Oils

Essential oils can be used in many forms: inhaled, utilizing an oil diffuser, steam inhalation, in a bath, as massage oil/ aroma therapy. The type of essential oil and the reason for use determines the best way to use.

For weight loss, using essential oils in various ways is common: inhaling, applying to problem area(s), and ingesting.

If using for aroma and calming, it is better to use an oil diffuser to release mist and fill the air with the healing benefits.

Where Can I Buy Essential Oils?

Essential oils can be found in retail or department stores and online. As always, consulting with your physician is important.

I also recommend doing a bit of research on the product maker and manufacturer to make sure that the product is safe to use. It’s also a good idea to look for customer reviews on the product and the location of purchase.

Here’s a few tips:

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  • Make sure that the product is kept/ displayed/shipped in a container with tint (preferably not plastic). It is important to protect the oil from direct sunlight.
  • All oils should come with instructions on usage and dosage, ingredients used to create the oil, and the “use by” date.
  • You should know if the oil is organic or not organic.

What to Pay Attention to When Using Essential Oils

Essential oils have been used for years to treat, relax, and aid humans with physiological concerns. Overall, essential oils are safe to use if approved by your physician and purchased from a reputable, quality source.

It is important understand the recommended uses of each oil. Using essential oils in the wrong form can cause adverse reactions such as: burns, trigger asthma and/or allergies, and can interfere with certain medications.

It is recommended that photosensitive oils not be used in the sun. Photosensitive oils are oils that haven’t been diluted, they have no carrier agent.

Using undiluted oils can be harmful due the potency of oils; it is important to verify that the essential oil you are purchasing has been diluted, and if not, please use with caution in the sun. There have been reports of essential oils causing burning when applied to the skin and exposed to the sun.

The Bottom Line

Essential oils have many benefits that aid in weight loss. Using essential oils with a healthy diet and regular exercise will help you reach your weight loss goals! Please research and use as recommended.

More Resources About Losing Weight

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Veronica Castillo

Vee Castil; Resume & Career Writer ᛫ Traveler ᛫ Vegan ᛫ Weight Loss Success (-85lbs)

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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