Weight loss is one of the most popular topics in modern day health news due to the expanding waistlines of people around the world. People like to cling to the thought of a miracle food or super pill like cinnamon in order to lose weight. But the reality is that a balanced diet and exercise regimen is the best way to lose and maintain a healthy weight.
While there is no magic bullet or overnight cure, there are some foods, herbs and spices that can help assist you in your weight loss journey. One of these weight loss aids is cinnamon. Today, we will be exploring six ways in which this common spice can help. First, though, you should know you that cinnamon is a substance that has been given the GRAS designation (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the US Food Drug Administration.
How Cinnamon Helps Aid in Weight Loss
#1: Controls insulin levels
Cinnamon has the unique ability to imitate the activity of insulin in the body. For those who are unfamiliar with the process of glucose metabolism, insulin is the chemical that helps your body regulate its levels of blood sugar (glucose). People who are more familiar with conditions like diabetes know that maintaining a blood sugar level is important as spikes that are either too high or too low can be dangerous for patients, especially. Even within non-diabetics, increased blood sugar levels can be problematic because they cause excess fat to be stored, making it harder for people to maintain or lose weight. Cinnamon helps regulate your levels so this excess fat does not build up.
#2: Decreases blood sugar
For the reasons mentioned above, maintaining a regulated blood sugar level is important for weight loss. Cinnamon can help do this by controlling insulin quantities as well as directly act on the blood sugar itself. A study has even shown that adding cinnamon to a meal can lower its glycemic index by 18-29%. Eating lower glycemic foods is important to avoiding spikes in your blood sugar levels.
#3: Speeds metabolism
As mentioned in the discussion of how cinnamon helps control insulin levels, the spice has the ability to alter the metabolism of not only sugar, but of carbohydrates as well. Your body is better able to use your carbohydrate storage, so that they do not turn into excess fat. The consumption of cinnamon itself, also causes a metabolic reaction. Similar to when you eat hot peppers, the presence of the cinnamon in your body allows your metabolism to speed up just because it takes a little extra energy to metabolize. This boost in metabolism allows you to burn more calories and assists with weight loss in this way.
#4: Lowers LDL cholesterol
Research has also supported the idea that cinnamon can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, which is great for your heart health. Diabetic participants in a recent study showed lower LDL among other weight loss indicators like BMI when taking the given dose of cinnamon during the study period.
#5: Helps to burn belly fat
The consumption of cinnamon is said to impact abdominal fat more so than fat found in other parts of your body. This is often a problem area for many, so this is good news for those who have struggled to lose body fat. Not only does it benefit your dress or pants size, but abdominal fat is actually the most dangerous type of fat as it surrounds some of our most vital organs. For this reason, less belly fat is good for your overall health.
#6: Suppresses appetite
Cinnamon can actually slow down the process of moving food into your stomach. This is a good thing for those attempting to lose weight because this activity will help you feel full for a longer period of time. In addition, the sweet nature of cinnamon can help alleviate a sweet craving. Many times when you are on a weight loss diet, sweets are off limits, so the cinnamon can fill this void so that you do not feel tempted to reach for high calorie desserts.
How to use it
The great thing about using cinnamon for weight loss is that it is such a common spice, since it is a “superfood” every household keeps and can be added to many common foods. Here are a few ideas as to how you can incorporate cinnamon into your diet to lose weight:
• Sprinkle a teaspoon on your oatmeal or breakfast cereal
• Mix cinnamon and honey into hot water to make a tea-like concoction
• Add to your regular tea or coffee
• Mix into butters, yogurt or cheese spreads to enhance flavor
• Add into fruit juices or ciders
• Mix into a protein shake
• Take a cinnamon capsule (supplement)
As previously stated, there is no magic bullet for weight loss, especially when it comes to long lasting weight loss. Cinnamon is a great tool to keep in mind and is pretty easy to integrate into your diet, as you only need a teaspoon per day to see a difference over time. Keep in mind that the best weight loss methods always incorporate a balanced diet and exercise program, but this spice can be help you along your way.
Have you tried cinnamon for weight loss? What were your results? How do you feel about it? Share your thoughts with us!