To lose weight and keep it off, you need to create healthy habits you can follow for life, says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. While there is no magic food or combination of foods to stimulate weight loss, some evidence suggests that a trendy lemon, honey and cinnamon weight-loss drink may support your efforts. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet and keep track of your daily nutrition needs by using a calorie counter.
Weight Loss From Lemon
Lemons make a healthy addition to any weight-loss diet. Not only are they a good way to add flavor to your food and beverages with few calories, but they're also rich in nutrients that might help your body metabolize fat and help prevent weight gain. Lemons are rich in polyphenols, which have been shown to play a role in lipid catabolism, according to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. This study found that supplementing a high-fat diet with lemon polyphenols extracted from lemon peels helped prevent weight gain and the accumulation of fat in rats fed a high-fat diet. Before you start grating lemon peel into your food, however, clinical studies need to be conducted to verify the claims.
Weight Loss From Honey
When it comes to choosing a sweetener, as a source of vitamins and minerals, honey is a good option, especially when compared to regular sugar. It is important to note, though, that honey is a more concentrated source of calories, with 64 calories per tablespoon vs. 49 calories in the same serving of sugar.
Still, honey may make a better choice than sugar when it comes to losing weight. A 2008 study published in the Scientific World Journal compared the effects of honey vs. regular sugar on weight loss in a small group of overweight and obese people. Without making any changes to their diet or exercise routine, the group using the honey lost more weight than the group using the sugar. The weight loss in the honey group was very small, however -- 1.3 percent of body weight in 30 days, which translates to about 3 pounds for a 200-pound person.
Weight Loss From Cinnamon
Spicy and sweet, cinnamon offers a number of benefits to your health, including anti-inflammatory properties and improved blood sugar and heart health. There's also some evidence that the spice may be useful if you're trying to get to a healthier weight. A 2012 study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine investigated the effects on body composition when adding cinnamon to the diet of a small group of people with diabetes. While both the cinnamon and placebo group lost weight during the study, the group taking the cinnamon lost more body fat than the placebo group.
Safety Concerns With Cinnamon
Although cinnamon is considered a safe food, there are some concerns when using the spice for medicinal purposes. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center warns that people taking glucose-lowering medication or blood thinners should not add cinnamon to their daily routine unless OK'd by their doctor. Cinnamon also has estrogenic properties, so be cautious using the spice if you have a hormone-sensitive illness such as breast cancer.
Making a Lemon, Honey & Cinnamon Drink
When you're trying to lose weight, calories count no matter where they come from, even from a drink that might help you shed unwanted pounds. While cinnamon and lemon are virtually calorie-free, honey is not. Most recipes for the weight-loss drink use 1 tablespoon of honey, adding those 64 calories to your daily intake, with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice mixed in a cup of hot water. Be sure to count the calories in each cup you drink to help stay on track.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Four Ways to Shed the Weight for Good
- International Journal of Preventive Medicine: Effects of Cinnamon Consumption on Glycemic Status, Lipid Profile and Body Composition in Type 2 Diabetic Patients
- Journal of Clinical and Biochemistry and Nutrition: Lemon Polyphenols Suppress Diet-induced Obesity by Up-Regulation of mRNA Levels of the Enzymes Involved in β-Oxidation in Mouse White Adipose Tissue
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database: Lemons, Raw, Without Peel
- Scientific World Journal: Natural Honey and Cardiovascular Risk Factors; Effects on Blood Glucose, Cholesterol, Triacylglycerole, CRP and Body Weight Compared With Sucrose
- Diabetic Medicine: Efficacy and Safety of "True" Cinnamon as a Pharmaceutical Agent in Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Cinnamon
- Fitness Republic: Honey, Cinnamon and Lemon for Weight Loss
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database: Honey
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database: Sugars, Granulated