This is a good question, and the answer may surprise you.
Humans have a keen sense of smell. Scientists know that when we are hungry, our bodies boost the performance of our sense of smell in order to improve our chances of finding food (1). This is a survival mechanism. When we are hungry, food smells and tastes amazing, leading to the easy conclusion that if we let ourselves get too hungry, we are very likely to overeat.
Scientific research shows that we prefer sweet smells, and that strongly sweet scents such as chocolate often triggers feelings of hunger and leads to overeating or binge eating, while “neutral” sweet smells actually curbs appetite. A scientific study asked 3,193 overweight people (mostly women) aged 18-64 to inhale a variety of what was considered neutral sweet smells: banana, green apple, vanilla, and peppermint, three times in each nostril whenever they were hungry. After six months, the participants lost an average of five pounds per month (2).
How scent impacts your ability to lose weight
It makes sense that smell plays a large part in our hunger cues. If humans’ olfactory systems become enhanced when hungry, it is reasonable to believe that suppressing smell may decrease appetite.
In consideration of essential oils, inhalation is the single most effective way to receive their benefits. When aromas reach the olfactory bulb, they not only trigger the limbic system (emotional center), it triggers your hypothalamus, too. The hypothalamus is the portion of your brain that is connected to satiety. Odor molecules actually inform your brain that you have eaten enough and you are full. You see, it is not only our stomach that dictates our hunger!
Which essential oils are most effective for weight loss?
Given the impact of scent on cravings, specific essential oils can be used in an inhaler to curb our food hankerings. We know based on the above study that certain smells work better than others; but remember, we are not all the same, so personal experimentation may be in order. One thing is for sure: The aromas of essential oils can definitely play a role in weight loss through curbing cravings.
For this cause, Plant Therapy’s team of Certified Aromatherapists created Munchy Stop Synergy (reformulated in late 2017). We designed this blend to help manage hunger cravings, promote healthy eating habits, and help reduce the desire to snack between meals.
Munchy Stop blends the 100% pure, undiluted essential oils of Copaiba, Grapefruit Pink, Tumeric CO2, Lemon Myrtle, and Yuzu.
Here are 5 more single oils that can help you along your weight loss journey:
Peppermint can boost energy levels, which can help maximize your workouts. Not to mention, its soothing properties can help soothe sore muscles after exercise.
Lemon is also a stimulating oil. It promotes a positive mood, which will keep you in a positive mindset.
Lavender and Bergamot are calming, relaxing oils. Over-stressed people tend to overeat, or eat unhealthily. Naturally, if you can lower your stress level, you can better avoid stress-eating (also known as emotional eating).
Grapefruit Pink, diluted to 1% in a carrier oil, can be applied topically to the abdomen to aid with digestive upset.
We hope that this clears up any questions you had in regards to using essential oils for weight loss. If you have any further questions or need clarification, please comment below or reach out to one of our on-staff aromatherapists: [email protected]
(1) Scent and how it affects appetite and satisfaction. Retrieved from: https://www.escoffieronline.com/scent-and-how-it-affects-appetite-and-satisfaction/
(2) Hirsch, A.R., Gomez, R. (1995) Weight reduction through inhalation of odorants. J Neurol Orthopedic Medical Surgery. 16:28-31
36 thoughts on “Can Essential Oils Help Me Lose Weight?”
Would this work good for cellulite? Just as an blend or could you make a cream? And could you use in addition to loose weight? Just a thought. Thanks in advance.
Hi Sheri, these specific oils are used to help with your appetite. But if you’re looking for oils you can use topically, try our Ripple Reducer or Skin Restore synergies.
I love using pink grapefruit and bergamot to help, along with peppermint. They smell so fresh and uplifting and I enjoy them especially on days I am feeling extra snacky!
Good information, cannot wait to diffuse the oils for appetite suppressant!
This is good information. I plan to try it. Thanks for sharing.
Hmmm, I’ll have to try this!
Thanks for clearing this up! I’ve been seeing other companies pushing their oils saying that you’ll lose weight! A lot of people believe them. Thankfully you guys are honest and help us understand that they can help curb… but you won’t just drop pounds
Exactly! Weight loss includes so many different factors, like healthy eating, an active lifestyle, your own personal limitations…it would be silly to make a claim that oils –all by themselves! — can help you lose pounds. But they sure can be a great supportive tool 🙂
I absolutely love using some of these oils in my daily routine. I hope to add this to my routine and see how it helps.
I’m trying to loose weight and need all the help I can get. Can’t wait to add these oils to my regimen. I’m pretty stuck on earth tones but I’m gonna try this starting today. Fingers crossed!
I am using Munchy Stop, but now noticing a big difference? Is it just me?
Barbara, reach out to our aromatherapist team at [email protected] to discuss your particular situation 🙂
I just made a batch of DIY lip gloss (in squeezy tubes) and I added Peppermint oil to the blend. I already notice a decrease in my unhealthy
food cravings from the aroma of the gloss! Thank you for this post!
Thanks for the info! Perfect timing for the start of my diet. Is there another oil that would work instead of Yuzu? I plan on getting Munchy stop with my next order but wondering if I had any substitutes I can use in the meantime.
Danielle, in this situation you can replace Yuzu any citrus you have for Yuzu. Lemon, Lime, Tangerine…the brighter the better! Play with different blends and let us know if you come up with a great recipe!
I think I will try black pepper, grapefruit and peppermint in an inhaler and see if that helps with cravings
Could i add lavender to the munch stop in an inhaler? For the calming effects? Or would it change the blend ?
Btw I was thinking of this for stress eating, lol
This blog was very interesting. I remember reading a study that said people ate 10% less food if they smelled peppermint before eating. Maybe ill try the citrus smells next. 🙂
That’s very interesting! You should let us know if that works out for you!
If I wanted to make a master blend synergy from the Peppermint, Lemon, Lavender (or Bergamot), and Pink Grapefruit , what amounts of each would you suggest? I would probably make it in a 5 ml bottle to have quick access for diffusing and to refill my inhaler.
Hello Leigh Ann! Honestly, it would depend person to person. I myself would benefit from something more for energy so I would do 3 parts Peppermint, 1 part Lemon, and 1 part Grapefruit Pink. Hope this helps!
Hi, just want to know if how ,any drops of peppermint, lemon,lavender, bergamot and grapefruit will i use in my 380 ml plant theraphy diffuser, can i also mix all this EO and blend it with carrier oil? And whats the exact amount of EO for 10ml roller? Thanks
Hi, Jullianah! You could start out with 1 drop of each oil (depending on your sensitivity) and go up to 2 drops of each oil. You could also mix these oils in a blend for your roller bottle. A 2-3% total dilution is suggested… That would be would be about 1-2 drops of each oil again, with the rest carrier oil.
What constituent in lemon myrtle is responsible for curbing appetite? I have myrtle, but not lemon myrtle and I thought I might find a substitute for it. TIA
Sue, thanks for your question! It’s not so much the constituent, but the scent. In studies done, they’ve found that instead of stimulating the appetite, sweet, delicious smells actually help people to eat less! Basically, it fools your brain into thinking you’ve eaten something yummy 🙂 So you could use; Lemon or Grapefruit, or Sweet Orange….
Thank you so very much for the info! I love the smell of green apples, but because of how they are farmed now they have lost so much of their scent. What does Yuzu smell like??
Yuzu is uplifting and citrusy! It is a citrus grown in Japan, the scent kind of like a cross between a Mandarin and Grapefruit. It is a favorite of many of us here at Plant Therapy 🙂
Could you apply Munchy Stop topically instead of just inhaling it? Where or what spot would it be most effective to stop cravings?
Alicia, you could apply it, but it more to curb appetite because of the scent, which can curb those cravings.. If applying topically, I might apply to chest or wrist, where I can smell it …
Could I use Cedarwood Himalayan or Cedarwood Atlas in place of the Cedarwood Virginian? CV is, of course, the one I don’t have.
Yes, you can try Atlas 🙂
So what oils speed up metabolism?
Some that might help to energize and possibly increase metabolism, are Peppermint, Black Pepper, and Grapefruit 🙂
What drops of each for an inhaler?
Kim, try 5 drops of Grapefruit, 2 drops of Peppermint, and 1 drop of Black Pepper. Of course, experimenting is half the fun! If that combination doesn’t smell good enough for you, try increasing the Peppermint or Black Pepper. Our aromatherapy inhalers use anywhere from 5-15 drops, so you have a lot of room to get creative 🙂 I hope this helps!