Holiday celebrations might have been fewer and smaller this season because of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean they were any less caloric. While weight gain may not be significant each year, it adds up. A study by the New England Journal of Medicine found that the average holiday weight gain is less than a pound; however, the gain is not reversed during spring and summer, which appears likely to contribute to the increase in body weight that frequently occurs during adulthood. And the pandemic may be making it even harder for folks to get back into shape, what with gym closures and the shuttering of other activities that get people out and about and away from “the refrigerator.”
Don’t be surprised if many clients lament about holiday indulging followed with the usual New Year’s determination to do something about it. Here’s where you can come in with some encouragement to keep them focused on finding new diversions to keep them from snacking. But you can do even more. You can help them curb those cravings with aromatherapy.
Combat Calories With Aromatherapy
Much of our sense of taste comes from smell, which explains why when you lose your sense of smell, you lose much of your ability to experience the flavor of food. (Flavor is what people commonly call the "taste" of food. Flavor is actually a combination of smell, taste, spiciness, temperature, and texture.) Since essential oils stimulate the olfactory system, that part of the brain tied to smell, aromatherapy might be a good way to help clients control their appetite.
An aromatherapy massage will not only be a welcome relief after holiday stress, clients will be delighted to learn it may help them with their resolve to shed pounds. Some essential oils to help suppress appetite include:
Grapefruit: The mood-lifting properties of grapefruit can help to reduce emotional food cravings.
Lemon: The refreshing scent of lemon essential oil can help alleviate food cravings while boosting energy levels and mood.
Bergamot: Bergamot is considered to alleviate depression and may help if emotional eating undermines a healthy eating program.
Peppermint: Peppermint is a natural energizer that reduces fatigue and improves focus to help keep the focus on weight loss. It also reduces hunger cravings.
Lavender: Lavender can alleviate stress and anxiety, which can lead to food cravings. Lavender also can improve sleep. Sleep deprivation contributes to obesity.
Cinnamon: The relaxing benefits of cinnamon essential oil can help reduce stress, which can lead to overeating. The cinnamon essential oil is an energy booster to help encourage more physical exercise, which burns calories.