The Benefits of Garlic and Ginger in Losing Weight

Garlic and ginger are herbs that can help you lose weight, but don't expect any miracles. Creating a calorie deficit with a balanced diet and exercising regularly are vital for effective weight loss. Some studies have shown that ginger and garlic may help support weight-loss efforts in several ways. Although ginger and garlic are natural herbs, you should consult a doctor before taking large doses for weight loss.

Fresh ginger root and garlic cloves on a kitchen counter. (Image: Melpomenem/iStock/Getty Images)

Garlic and Fat Burning

In a study published in "The Journal of Nutrition" in November 2011, researchers looked at the effects of garlic and fat storage on mice. The mice were fed a high-fat diet for eight weeks to make them obese. The mice were then given either a garlic supplement or placebo for seven weeks. The mice who were fed garlic experienced a reduction in body weight and fat, while those on placebo did not. The mice on garlic also had higher body temperatures, which suggests that garlic has a fat-burning effect that can be utilized in weight loss. Although these results are encouraging, the study is small, and these effects may not occur in humans.

Losing Weight with Garlic

Aged garlic extract may help boost weight-loss efforts when combined with exercise. A study published in "Nutrition Research and Practice" in June 2012 set out to discover how aged garlic extract in combination with regular exercise effects cardiovascular risk in postmenopausal women. For three months, the women took either aged garlic extract or placebo. Those who received aged garlic extract experienced significant losses of fat and body weight, compared to the placebo participants.

Ginger and Appetite Control

Consuming ginger may make you feel fuller and help you eat less. A small pilot study published in "Metabolism" in October 2012 explores the effect of ginger on energy expenditure. Participants drank either a hot ginger beverage made with ginger powder or placebo with breakfast. Those who consumed a ginger beverage felt less hunger than those who did not. These results suggest that ginger can help you achieve a calorie deficit by making you want to eat less, which can result in significant weight loss.

Potential Side Effects

By adding ginger and garlic to food for flavor, you can benefit from their medicinal properties. MedlinePlus reports that garlic, especially fresh garlic, and ginger can increase bleeding. Ginger can worsen some heart conditions and lower blood sugar, which may affect people with diabetes. Garlic, on the other hand, can lower blood pressure and cause gastrointestinal issues. If you decide to use ginger or garlic as a supplement, check with your doctor first, as one or both may interact with medications or exacerbate preexisting medical conditions.

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