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Friday, July 29, 2011

Cinnamon Sticks for Weight Loss

Could it be true?  Cinnamon sticks could help you lose weight?  Cinnamon has a lot of incredible health benefits, including some weight loss benefits that we are going to explore in detail. The health benefits of cinnamon (in addition to weight loss) includes: 

  • anti-clotting benefits 
  • bacterial growth inhibition
  •  nutrients like iron, calcium, manganese, and fiber
  •  arthritis pain reducer
  •  reduces cancer cells
  •   regulatory effect on blood sugar 
  • improves memory functions 
  • antioxidant activity 
  • lowers blood sugar levels
  • treats toothaches 
  • fights bad breath 
  • lowers LDL cholesterol 
  • fights urinary tract infections
  • assists digestion
  • reduction of anxiety.
Aside from these amazing benefits listed above, there are two ways in which cinnamon could support your goal of losing weight.  First, cinnamon has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.  If you are diabetic, you are aware of the importance of monitoring and regulating your blood sugar. However, if you are not diabetic, but you have unwanted pounds around your midsection that won’t seem to go away no matter what you do, being aware of the role that blood sugar plays in your weight gain and loss will be crucial to your success.
Many people are experiencing weight gain and an inability to lose weight, not realizing the culprit is preventable and reversible. Insulin resistance is a condition that many people have and it is highly undiagnosed. People continue to diet and exercise, but never reap the weight loss results they are looking for. Insulin resistance may be the reason you are so frustrated with how you look and feel.

What causes Insulin Resistance?
·         yo-yo dieting
·         consuming high glycemic foods (typically highly processed foods) for extended periods of time
·         obesity
·         stress
·         pregnancy
·         during steroid use
What are high glycemic foods?
When highly processed carbohydrate based foods (crackers, breads, pastries, pastas, muffins, sodas, candy, etc.) are consumed, they quickly break down in your body. This quick breakdown leads to a flood of sugar into your blood stream which triggers an outpouring of insulin from the pancreas.  Insulin is known as our “fat storage” hormone because along with transporting blood sugar to your vital organs and muscles, it takes excess blood sugar to your fat cells for storage. (Yikes!)

What is insulin resistance?
When you suffer from insulin resistance, the cells of the body become resistant to the effects of insulin.  This means that cells become inhibited to insulin’s affect (which prevents the sugar from being utilized) and the body responds by delivering higher levels of insulin to try to get the job done.  This creates a “bad” situation in which more fat storage happens and high levels of excess insulin (now searching for sugar) leads to uncontrollable carbohydrate cravings, mood swings, depression, binge eating, etc.

Cinnamon sticks and weight loss
So what does cinnamon sticks have to do with weight loss?  Cinnamon has the ability to lower blood sugar levels, thereby keeping insulin levels in control and avoiding unwanted storage of fat. BUT BEWARE of “magic pill syndrome” when it comes to cinnamon and weight loss.  This does NOT mean that adding cinnamon to ice cream, muffins, pastries, pancakes, etc. (like some websites will tell you) is going to lead to pounds melting off of your body. We are all smarter than that!  There is NO MAGIC pill for weight loss!  Cinnamon is not the only piece of the weight loss puzzle.  Set yourself up to succeed! Here are some ideas how cinnamon sticks can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle to support you in losing weight. 

Add cinnamon sticks (or grate) into the following foods for healthy weight loss:
·         hot tea
·         slow cooking oatmeal or cereal
·         fruit (apples, pears and bananas)
·         marinade for organic meats to add exception flavor
·         yogurt (avoid artificial sweeteners like sucralose and artificial colors present in many yogurts)
·         breakfast smoothies
·         vegetable sauté
·         homemade granola

In addition to cinnamon being a great way to regulate blood sugar levels, cinnamon curbs appetite which can lead to weight loss.  This is directly linked to the affect cinnamon has on your blood sugar.  If your insulin and blood sugar levels stay in check, then you are much less likely to experience carbohydrate cravings, mood swings and binge eating.  Although cinnamon may curb your appetite, it is VERY important to eat every 2 ½ - 3 hours to keep your metabolism burning calories which will speed up your weight loss!

In summary, cinnamon sticks can support you in weight loss when used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.  This amazing spice can not only add flavor but stack the deck in your favor to control blood sugar levels and curb your appetite.  Be sure you purchase high quality cinnamon sticks from your local health food store.

Cinnamon . Cinnamon is a sweet spice, and a small amount goes a long way. Two teaspoons of cinnamon can change a tart apple pie to a sweet one, lessening the amount of sugar needed. As an added nutritional perk, a teaspoon of cinnamon contains 28 milligrams of calcium and traces of B-vitamins, fiber, and iron. 


  1. Great article! I love cinnamon and didn't realize how great it was for me!

    1. f your insulin and blood sugar levels stay in check, then you are much less likely to experience carbohydrate cravings, thewheelworks.org

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