Well, another resolution many of us may be setting ourselves is to try and lose a few pounds.
You may have overindulged over Christmas and feel the need to make a new start in the New Year, or it may be a long term target that you're finally getting round to. Or perhaps you've been trying for ages but still haven't found the right weight loss programme for you.
Now, I'm not going to make any crazy claims about a certain essential oil having the ability to make the weight drop off! If that was the case, we'd all be doing it every day already. Instead, I'd like to show how Aromatherapy can help with some of the issues surrounding weight loss by encouraging positive self-belief, increasing focus and motivation as well as offering relief from some of the potential physical symptoms associated with dieting.
The most important part of any weight loss problem is to eat healthily. This doesn't only promote weight loss but also increases our energy levels, boosts our immune systems and promotes all round well-being both mentally and physically. Regular and meaningful exercise is also crucial.
Often our relationship with food is very much bound up with our way of life. It’s rooted within those everyday routines and habits that make us feel good. It’s also embedded within our social lives and many of our long standing traditions.
Many of our food choices are also driven by our emotions. When we’re feeling down or stressed, we may find ourselves more inclined to reach for the biscuit tin or chocolate stash.
This is where Aromatherapy can play a valuable helping role. It must stressed again that by no means will essential oils be able to offer a miracle cure for weight loss. It takes commitment to a healthy lifestyle change which includes regular exercise and a healthy diet.
What aromatherapy can help with is enhancing our state of mind and offering us assistance in beating food cravings and overindulgence. The link between our sense of smell and our taste buds is also a reason essential oils can have a mild effect on our appetite.
By utilising that connection between our sense of smell and our emotions, we can reap the great benefits aromatherapy has to offer when it comes to curbing our food cravings and helping us to make healthy choices.
Here are a few essential oils which can be of assistance:
Wonderfully energizing and uplifting, Grapefruit can help to promote positive thoughts and its fresh aroma is thought to help us resist the temptation to overeat. The d-limonene found in grapefruit is thought to be the active element which helps stimulate the metabolism and lymphatic system which can help with weight loss. It is also a helpful oil for getting you motivated and energized.
It’s a lovely oil to dilute with a carrier oil and massage over the abdomen to soothe a bloated stomach or use over areas affected by cellulite. It is also a helpful oil for getting you motivated and energized and is used to help treat water retention (which can often cause bloating) and cellulite.
Cinnamon is thought to offer assistance with digestion, detoxification and to stimulate circulation. Its aroma is also known for promoting positive emotions revolved around self-acceptance. This can help to keep morale and belief high, two important elements of a successful weight loss programme.
Well known and widely used for its ability to soothe digestive issues because it can help to regulate and speed up the metabolism. Ginger is also an energising oil, helping to stimulate the mind and motivate you to stay focused and committed to your goals.
Its warming aroma is thought to promote feelings of empowerment and emotional strength to help you stay positive.
The fresh aroma and flavor is associated with that ‘after dinner’ feeling of fullness. Peppermint is thought to help trigger that signal in the brain of being full and help reduce cravings for sugary foods.
It is also a great oil to treat digestive issues such as bloating. Try diluting and massaging over the abdomen to treat any swelling which may occur. The invigorating smell of peppermint will also help to stimulate the mind and assist you when exercising.
The intensely sweet and succulent aroma of Vanilla is thought to be useful in warding off sweet cravings – indeed, it’s suggested that the aroma may even fulfill those cravings by tricking the brain that something sweet has been consumed.
It’s also a great oil for bringing about balancing feelings of security and comfort - just what we need during times of change.
These oils will have an effect if used on an individual basis and will also blend together wonderfully if you wish to reap the benefits through diffusing them. Place 4-6 drops in total on your burner or vaporiser. (eg: 2 drops Grapefruit, 2 drops Vanilla & 2 drops Peppermint)
Alternatively you can dilute any of the above with a carrier oil and massage over the body after a bath or shower, allowing the properties of the oils to be absorbed through the skin. This can be particularly helpful if your tummy feels upset or bloated as the change in diet takes effect. A massage to the abdomen using Ginger and Peppermint oils can be particularly helpful. Add 2 drops of each oil to 10mls of Carrier Oil and massage around the affected area using a circular motion.
If you’re someone who is constantly on the go, you may wish to simply carry a bottle of your favorite oil with you and inhale directly from it when you feel the need for a boost. Alternatively you can add a blend to a hanky and inhale whenever required.
Please remember, aromatherapy cannot offer a miracle cure, but instead they provide assistance in what you wish to achieve. The power of essential oils should not be underestimated but it’s important to understand that successful weight loss requires improvements in all areas of your life.
There is plenty of advice and support available via your GP and local Pharmacy if you need it. However, if you can eat healthily, exercise more and look after your body and soul using these natural remedies then you're on the path to success.
If you’re planning to lose weight this year then we wish you all the very best. Stay strong and committed and remember: You Can Do It!