Using cinnamon and honey for weight loss is not a new idea — but does it really work? These two kitchen staples are no doubt on heavy rotation mid-cold and flu season, and their benefits extend far beyond soothing a cough. Certain ingredients in honey and cinnamon may also make them effective weight-loss tools.
Cinnamon and honey for weight loss: does it really work?
While you shouldn't expect to lose 50 pounds just by eating cinnamon and honey, you may experience more moderate weight loss — in addition to a whole host of other benefits — when you add these sweet and spicy all-stars to your diet. First, cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which triggers thermogenesis, per a 2017 study published in the journal Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental. This process, which is essentially how the body heats itself, uses up calories. So, in a way, consuming cinnamon can burn calories.
Another way cinnamon can lead to weight loss relates to insulin sensitivity. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology noted that cinnamon can not only increase insulin sensitivity but also lower blood sugar levels. People with type 2 diabetes may find it easier to control their condition — and potentially ward off weight gain — when their bodies can handle these two functions with ease.
Honey, on the other hand, is a wonderful alternative sweetener if you're trying to lose weight. While it does contain sugar, it's filled with healing antioxidants that outweigh its downsides (just make sure you buy the right kind). Plus, a spoonful of honey in your tea or with your oatmeal will save you from heaping on less healthy artificial sweeteners, thus potentially preventing future weight gain.
This sweet, sticky substance is also useful for boosting metabolism, according to an August 2018 review in the journal Nutrients. This paper noted that honey can improve metabolism by lowering cholesterol levels among other things. Another 2017 review published in the journal Pharmacognosy Research observed that honey could help treat type 2 diabetes, a metabolic syndrome, by helping balance blood sugar levels. Again, this can help the body avert type 2 diabetes-related weight gain.
Cinnamon and Honey for Weight Loss Recipe
One popular method of reaping the benefits of cinnamon and honey for weight loss is to mix both ingredients with tea, like slimming green tea. Another simple cinnamon and honey recipe requires you to steep cinnamon in a cup of hot water for half an hour. Make sure the water has cooled before adding honey because high temperatures can inactivate honey's nutritional enzymes. A two-to-one ratio of cinnamon to honey is suggested. It's best to sip your weight-loss drink on an empty stomach, so this is an ideal before-breakfast beverage.
The key to losing weight with cinnamon and honey isn't to replace all your meals with these two ingredients. However, adding a dash of them to your food may be the extra boost your body needs to lose weight. As always, consult your doctor if you have any questions.