Everything You Need to Know About Using Turmeric for Weight Loss

When it comes to losing weight, finding an appropriate starting point can be difficult. While videos of fitness enthusiasts badger your social media feed with unsolicited diet advice and exercise regimens of professional athletes, it’s hard not to feel as though you’ve already lost your battle with weight loss. And we get it – there’s nothing motivating about seeing those around you accomplish their goals when you’re stuck in an envious mud, the unforgiving ground suctioning you in place, preventing any progression on your part. 

Before you turn to miracle weight loss products promoted by celebrities looking to make a quick buck and the unforgiving depths of internet medical forums stacked with conflicting advice, reconsider your approach to weight loss as a whole and realize there are many pathways to losing weight and staying healthy, all the way down to the spices you eat. 

Wait, spices? That’s right, and turmeric is no exception to this. For thousands of years turmeric has been consumed as a natural medicine to cure a variety of ailments, and contemporary research indicates turmeric could offer benefits in regards to weight loss too. 

Let’s discuss more about the relationship between turmeric and weight loss by exploring the following points:

  • Why metabolism is important when it comes to losing weight
  • The science behind using turmeric for weight loss
  • Common misconceptions around supplementing with turmeric

The Role of Metabolism 

How Metabolism Factors Into Your Ability to Lose Weight

In order to understand how turmeric could provide assistance to those looking to shed a few pounds, we first need to get acquainted with the scientific processes involved in losing weight, namely the role of metabolism and how it affects weight. 

Metabolism is a complex biochemical process that involves the body converting what we eat and drink into sustainable energy. During this process, the calories in the food we consume combines with oxygen to generate and release energy when the body requires it for operation. 

Our bodies need energy to function for pretty much everything, even while we are at rest. From movement and breathing, to digestion and cell growth, the body relies on having a proper amount of energy to carry out essential biological functions. The energy required for performing these functions is known as the basal metabolic rate, which may be thought of as your body’s base metabolism.  

Basal metabolism is affected by numerous factors, meaning it is different for everyone. Some of these factors include:

  • Body Composition: The size of an individual matters when it comes to metabolism, and larger folks with a higher percentage of lean muscle mass tend to burn calories at a faster rate when resting than smaller folks.
  • Assigned Sex and Hormones: Individuals with higher levels of testosterone (typically men) tend to have more muscle and less body fat than women of a similar weight and age range, meaning men usually have the advantage of burning more calories when resting. 
  • Age: Older folks generally have a higher percentage of overall body weight due to the risk of losing lean mass and having slower muscle recovery, which shows that aging has a direct impact on how fast your body burns calories. 

In addition to your basal metabolic rate, there are two other variables that influence how fast your body burns calories: how much the body moves and how the body utilizes food, which is known as thermogenesis. 

Your body’s ability to digest, absorb, move, and store food all play a role in burning calories, and about 10% of your calorie intake is used for food digestion and taking in nutrients. Any form of body movement, from an intense exercise session at the gym to walking a few blocks to a friend’s house, contributes to the amount of calories your body burns each day. How much your body moves can be changed quite a bit through more exercise and an increase in physical movement in general, or nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). This includes activities like gardening, house work, and pacing from room to room, and NEAT accounts for anywhere from one hundred to eight hundred calories used daily. 

In order to burn calories at a faster rate, it’s important to consider these factors and realize how integral physical activity is to losing weight. You can easily burn more calories if you increase the amount of physical activity you engage in every day. Creating an energy deficit by reducing the amount of calories you consume throughout the day also impacts your ability to lose weight, but that does not automatically mean cutting out calories that your body needs to function, as that can result in the development of health problems. 

Since your metabolism is hard at work even while you sleep, keep in mind that there are multiple ways you can burn fat while you rest, aiding your weight loss journey.   

A woman applying turmeric oil to her face
From skin care to treating digestive disorders, turmeric can be used to help treat an array of different health concerns. But is turmeric good for weight loss?

Using Turmeric for Weight Loss

Turmeric has been cited by medical professionals for its benefits in treating a number of chronic inflammatory diseases, including asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. It even has healing properties when it comes to pain caused by fibromyalgia, skin care, and cancer prevention. This is all due to the active agent in turmeric known as circumin, which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory force. 

The positive discussions surrounding turmeric are now backed by scientific evidence, resulting in the experimental use of turmeric in several other areas of healthcare, including weight loss. But does turmeric actually have any positive benefits when it comes to losing weight? According to recent research, the odds are quite favorable and may offer life-changing solutions to those who desire to lose weight. 

It all comes down to a bright yellow chemical called circumin, the real powerhouse behind the spice’s miraculous medicinal effects. Let’s take a closer look at how this special agent operates and how its properties contribute to weight loss. 

Reduced Inflammation 

Inflammation is a natural bodily response that does not usually warrant any concern. The body experiences inflammation when an injury, infection, or some other physical trauma occurs. However, when the immune system is compromised due to stress or some type of disorder, there is room for inflammation to get out of control pretty quickly. 

Rather than aid the body in the healing process, inflammation will begin to attack healthy tissue throughout the body, including vital organs, arteries, and joints. The more inflammation an individual experiences, the harder it will be for them to lose weight due to the general weak, unhealthy state of the body. 

Detoxification 

Another reason turmeric can be of substantial benefit to someone looking to lose weight is on account of its natural cleansing capabilities. When turmeric is consumed daily, it helps the liver flush out accumulated toxins. Since the liver plays a fundamental part in metabolizing fats, chances of weight loss increase significantly when the organ is functioning optimally. 

While the liver does have an important role in the metabolic process, its primary job is to filter and purify blood of dangerous toxins. The liver can do this with relative ease without assistance, but it may become overworked if a person drinks in excess or takes certain prescription medications.  

Parasite Removal 

This may come as a surprise, but humans are quite susceptible to parasitic infections. Individuals who eat raw meat and fish, consume contaminated drinking water, or live in tropical climates are even more at risk of developing a parasitic infection due to their lifestyles. 

Parasites can be a hindrance for folks looking to lose weight since they drain the essential nutrients a person needs to stay healthy, which causes issues with functionality and leads to inevitable lethargy. The energy needed to accomplish tasks and goals throughout the day is simply no longer available, impacting one’s ability to participate in physical activities. 

Spice being ground with stones
The active chemical circumin is primarily responsible for the various health benefits of turmeric. 

Dispelling Myths Around Turmeric and Weight Loss

While the current research surrounding turmeric shows a lot of health benefits associated with its usage in regards to problems of inflammation, among a multitude of other things, it’s not hard to see why turmeric supplements are becoming quite popular for individuals looking to lead healthier lifestyles. 

Still, the total capabilities of turmeric and its impact on weight loss is not fully understood, though the signs do look promising. However, it’s easy to get swept up in waves of misinformation and phony science when browsing the infinite expanse of the internet, so we’ve highlighted a few common myths to debunk to make your weight loss journey a little less complicated. 

Turmeric Shots as a Meal Replacement

When the pounds are persistent and the salads don’t seem to be helping, it might be tempting to cut back on meals altogether to speed up your results. Turmeric shots, while a great source of extra nutrients, are not a sustainable replacement for daily meals. Relying on turmeric shots doesn’t actually do anything to help you burn fat in the long run, and any weight loss you do observe likely stems from a loss of water and muscle mass, which can be dangerous to your health. 

Eating less might seem like a surefire way to lose weight quickly, but true fat loss will only occur through the creation of sustainable, healthy habits. Try incorporating a turmeric shot into your daily routine alongside a balanced diet that provides your body with the energy it needs to maintain an appropriate exercise regime.  

Turmeric Only Works to Reduce Inflammation 

Turmeric does indeed possess anti-inflammatory properties, and since chronic inflammation can hinder weight loss, it is assumed that turmeric only aids in the loss of fat due to its anti-inflammatory benefits. This is because inflammation contributes to certain health factors that may make it more difficult to lose weight, such as creating resistance to insulin and constant heightened stress resulting in increased production of cortisol. 

As previously mentioned, a reduction in inflammation can certainly lead to weight loss, but that isn’t the only reason turmeric is beneficial when it comes to losing weight. Turmeric may help improve symptoms of low mood, which often have an impact on weight. Depression and anxiety do not always appear the same in different individuals, but changes in weight are common symptoms. Many folks cope with these negative feelings by comfort eating, leading to over-consuming calories and gaining weight as a result. 

Considering Turmeric Supplements?

If you liked reading about the wonderful benefits turmeric can offer you on your weight loss journey, take the next step and try out turmeric supplements for yourself. Supplements offer a lot of nutritional value in one tiny capsule or pill, and may be just the thing you need to help you along the path to a healthier lifestyle. 

Just like any other supplement on the market, turmeric will not serve as an adequate replacement to important behaviors and healthy habits. Do not expect to see significant weight loss without putting in work in other areas of your life as well; turmeric can only help you along the way, but you have to want to make a change. Also, don’t expect instantaneous results either, as it will take time for the effects of turmeric to completely set in

Above all else, remember that you are responsible for carving the pathway to better health. Turmeric can help you get there, but it won’t act as a magical elixir that makes all of your health problems vanish into thin air. Put in the work, stick to good habits, set clear boundaries, and then you can successfully reap the rewards of a healthier lifestyle. 

You should consult a licensed health care professional before starting any supplement, dietary, or exercise program, especially if you are pregnant or have any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

@dremilnutrition