You’ll hear a lot of people these days talking about how strong cinnamon for weight loss can be, but does it really work?
First off, cinnamon smells and taste absolutely delicious. There’s something about the aroma that can really make you feel relaxed and right at home.
Cinnamon first started popping up around 2,000 B.C. when the ancient Egyptians used it as a perfuming agent in the embalming process.
Later, Arab traders would bring cinnamon to Europe. There’s even a legend saying in 65 A.D. the Roman emperor Nero burned as much cinnamon as he could get his hands on in the funeral pyre for his late wife to make amends for her death.
There’s even references to cinnamon in the bible. It was used in Holy Anointing Oil in combination with other herbs, spices and oils. They’d pour this anointing oil on people’s heads for its therapeutic benefits.
Cinnamon was also used in the medieval times as a natural way for people to fight off the black plague. You can now see cinnamon has had useful health benefits for a very very long time.
Types of Cinnamon
Did you know there is more than just one type of cinnamon?
Cassia cinnamon is the more common variety found today, and it’s what people are generally referring to when they mean “cinnamon.”
Ceylon cinnamon, known as true cinnamon is much harder to find, more expensive and has a slightly sweeter flavor.
Which one is better?
If you can find it I would go with ceylon cinnamon. The small problem with cassia cinnamon is it has higher concentrations of coumarin, which can be toxic when taken in higher doses.
Ceylon has lower concentrations of couramin than cassia cinnamon, but both varieties have many health benefits to them.
Why Cinnamon for Weight Loss Really Works
Cinnamon has long been believed to help with weight loss along with lots of other powerful benefits.
Recently, more and more studies have been coming out proving these long held beliefs on the powers of cinnamon to be true.
Cinnamon Lowers Body Fat
When you’re looking to lose weight most don’t really think in terms of body fat they want to lose.
You just really want to lose weight.
But all pounds aren’t created equal. Instead of just losing weight you should focus on decreasing the fat in your body and improving the lean muscle mass you have.
This is exactly what cinnamon will help you do.
A 2006 study in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition found cinnamon extract to be quite helpful in improving body fat by increasing lean mass and decreasing body fat.
The problem with just losing weight is even though you may be skinnier you will also not have any muscle toning definition.
This will mean your body may be thin but it will also be too squishy and dimply.
The secret is to not only lower your body weight but to also increase lean muscle and decrease body fat. Luckily cinnamon is something you can use to help that.
Cinnamon Has Antioxidants
Most people don’t know this but cinnamon is a very powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants fight the damage causing free radicals in your body that can lead to disease and pre-mature aging.
So the more of these the better!
Crazily enough in this one study measuring the total equivalent antioxidant capacity cinnamon beat out 26 other spices including garlic and oregano.
Even a teaspoon of cinnamon contains as many antioxidants as a 1/2 of blueberries. The ORAC scale (which measures antioxidant content) even ranks cinnamon as #5 spice on their list of most powerful antioxidants.
Speeds Up Metabolism
You’ll want your metabolism going as fast as possible so you can burn more calories even though you may not even be exercising.
Cinnamon is great because it causes a metabolic reaction in your body leading it to burn more calories.
This is good news for you because more calories burned equals more weight loss.
Cinnamon speeds up your metabolism by allowing your body to better be able to use your carbohydrate storage so it doesn’t turn into fat.
You can also take a carb blocker before a starchy meal to help stabilize your blood sugar and help with weight loss.
And the less fat you have on your body the better.
We can already see how well cinnamon for weight loss is working.
Cinnamon Is Anti-Inflammatory
There are plenty of studies out there proving how bad chronic long-term inflammation is for your body and how it can seriously damage tissues that cause health problems and aging.
Cinnamon is a terrific anti-inflammatory that can help your body fight infections and repair tissue damage.
Chronic inflammation can not only lead to weight gain but will also cause diseases and aging.
In addition to cinnamon, I’d also be taking another anti-inflammatory supplement like the one you can read about in my Athletic Greens review.
Cinnamon Is Good For Your Heart
Heart disease is the #1 killer in the United States that seems to affect more and more people every year.
I recommend for everybody to use cinnamon in their diets, along with other dietary and exercise, to improve their heart health.
This study alone proves cinnamon reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. All three of these have been known to seriously cause heart disease.
Cinnamon has also been found in animals to reduce blood pressure as well. Another tip to lower your blood pressure is to focus on getting more potassium in your diet, and not just lowering your sodium intake.
Cinnamon Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Think of your insulin as the key that unlocks your cells after you eat something so the nutrients can get in.
If you eat too much sugar or high glycemic carbohydrates you can become insulin resistant. This means the key to unlock your cells doesn’t work so well any more. This is how type 2 diabetes happens.
Thankfully, cinnamon is a natural herb you can use to improve your insulin sensitivity.
Cinnamon has been show to decrease the amount of glucose that enters your bloodstream after a meal.
This is great news for those who have type 2 diabetes (or everyone else trying to lose weight) as it’s been shown to improve their insulin resistance.
Even if you do not have type 2 diabetes you can still get the same weight loss benefits from cinnamon.
Cinnamon has been proven to interfer with numerous digestive enzymes in your body that slow the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract.
So the slower your body absorbs these carbs means the less blood sugar spikes your body will have.
Crazy blood sugar spikes and crashes inevitably lead to weight and belly fat gains.
They cause hormonal releases in the body which essentially turn off your fat burning metabolism and promote fat storage.
There’s also a compound in cinnamon that can mimic insulin so you will be able to greatly improve the glucose intake by cells.
Even though it’s much slower than insulin itself, it can still lower blood fasting sugar levels by 10-29%.
Another added bonus for taking cinnamon for weight loss are the increase in energy levels.
If you ever experience those afternoon crashes they’re often caused by your glucose dropping.
Cinnamon helps to keep nice stable blood sugar levels throughout the day so you shouldn’t experience a drop off in energy in the afternoon.
Try using cumin for weight loss too as this powerful spice has a similar antidiabetic blood sugar balancing effect.
How to Add Cinnamon to Your Daily Diet
The awesome thing about cinnamon is how many uses it can have in your daily diet. I can’t think of another spice that has so many benefits, and is so versatile.
Here are just a few ideas for how you can have more cinnamon in your diet…
- add cinnamon to your daily coffee/tea
- sprinkle on sweet potatoes
- sprinkle on apples or pears
- add a teaspoon to your breakfast cereal or oatmeal
- sprinkle it on toast
- add into fruit juices or ciders
- mix into a protein shake
- add to my Top Weight Loss Drinks
- add to a superfood smoothie
- take a cinnamon supplement
Even this study by UC Davis found that by supplementing with cinnamon was just as effective as taking a diabetes drug.
But I hate to say this but even though I loved Cinnamon Toast Crunch as a kid it isn’t on the Trainer Josh approved foods list! Haha
Cinnamon and Honey For Weight Loss (Myth?)
Combining one part cinnamon and two-parts raw honey into a drink has been making a lot of waves lately with the weight loss community.
Truth is there is some validity to it, but there’s also a lot of hype.
The truth is both cinnamon and raw honey have powerful weight loss benefits on their own.
Many people out there claim cinnamon and raw honey can…
- boost your immune system
- packed with antioxidants
- improve heart disease
- reduce allergies
- help arthritis
- cure diabetes
Even though cinnamon and honey on their own have many these benefits I don’t see it making a whole lot of sense in combining them together.
The honey on it’s own will spike your blood sugar, but when combined with cinnamon it will help prevent this from happening.
This way you can get all the health benefits of both of these powerful foods without the blood sugar crashes you get by just taking the honey on its own.
If you ask me this will have more benefits for you than drinking a soda or some fruit juices.
If you have a sweet tooth then I’d much rather you drink a cinnamon and raw honey mix than other bad sweet drinks out there.
Just be realistic about how much good it will do for you as it alone won’t be a miracle worker.
You can also use some turmeric for losing weight too in addition to cinnamon.
As you can tell from above there is definitive proof that using cinnamon for weight loss can be quite effective.
Cinnamon is a both a delicious spice with many health benefits including weight loss.
Not only helpful at losing weight but cinnamon can improve body composition, which if you ask me is much more important.
You’ll not only lose weight, but you’ll look toned and more attractive than if you just “got skinnier.”
Even though cinnamon is fantastic you should make sure you don’t eat too much of it as very high doses could lead to toxicity.
- Cassia cinnamon limit to 1/2 tsp (0.5-2g) per day
- Ceylon cinnamon limit to 1 tsp (5g) per day
If you can try to find ceylon cinnamon as it has less of the harmful (in large amounts) compound couramin in it.
Cinnamon alone isn’t going to work miracles for weight loss even though it is quite powerful.
It should be part of a bigger plan that includes a nutrition system like the one in my Flat Belly Formula program.
If you’re getting the foundation of your nutrition correct then adding cinnamon on top is going to be the extra jet fuel that will push your fat burning metabolism to another level.
So when it comes to weight and you want to lose it then just grab some cinnamon and use it.