Honey has a long history in healing, ranging from sore throats to chest infections and wound treatment, but is it any good for weight loss? Many people assume that since honey is a natural product with so many health benefits, it can assist you in losing weight, too.
Replacing refined sugars and processed sugary treats with small quantities of honey can help you to lose weight. Adapting your diet to include honey in moderation will benefit weight loss as it helps regulate blood sugar, prevent cravings, binge eating, and improve metabolism.
If honey isn’t a magic pill to help you shed the pounds, how does it actually help you to lose weight? And how can you include honey in your diet that will help you on your weight-loss journey?
Is Honey Good For Weight Loss?
The never-ending quest for losing weight can be very challenging. With many diets calling for cutting out sugar, carbohydrates, and refined foods in favor of organic or all-natural products, you may think that honey is good for weight loss.
Sadly, honey isn’t a solution in isolation – meaning, eating a tablespoon of the golden syrup every day without making any other significant changes won’t impact your ability to lose weight. In fact, simply adding honey to your lifestyle as is could have the opposite effect – don’t forget that honey still contains sugar.
When added correctly and in the right quantities, honey can make a difference. But how?
While using honey as a replacement for refined sugar can most certainly be beneficial, there are also schools of thought that promote honey for use in losing weight due to its inherent advantages. Let’s have a look at whether this is true or not.
Health Benefits Of Honey
Honey has been used for centuries to sweeten foods and for baking, but some writings go far back that indicate our ancestors used honey for its medicinal properties and health benefits. In recent years, science has discovered that honey does indeed offer numerous advantages, some of which include:
- Honey as a source of antioxidants: Antioxidants help your body fight against free radicals that cause damage to your cells. These also help fight various cancers and chronic diseases such as heart disease. Free radicals also contribute to the aging process, and honey’s polyphenols help protect against this.
Raw honey also contains propolis and pollen, which also offer benefits. Science has indicated that there are benefits to the respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. The phytonutrients in honey also boost the immune system.
- Nutritional facts about honey: Honey itself is more than just sweet-tasting nectar. It contains good micronutrients, including vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, riboflavin, manganese, niacin, potassium, phosphorous, and pantothenic acid.
Raw honey has a host of amino acids, enzymes, and other beneficial compounds.
- Honey is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory: Used as a way of preventing bacteria from spreading, dealing with fungi, and reducing inflammation, honey has been proven to be effective both topically and when consumed. In the same way, honey has been used to heal wounds and treat burns due to its antimicrobial properties.
- Digestive benefits of honey: A vital advantage, honey has been found to help in treatments against certain bacteria that cause stomach ulcers and as a way of dealing with diarrhea. More importantly, honey contains prebiotics that feeds the good bacteria that live in your intestines, which are vital for good gut health and digestion.
This has also been known to help fight off hunger pangs and food cravings, allowing you to binge less.
- Soothing properties: Many families have recipes for coughs and sore throats that contain honey – and there’s a good reason. Honey is soothing, coats the throat, and soothes inflamed tissue. Using honey in treating upper respiratory tract infections has become more common in recent years.
- Feeding your brain: Honey has been thought to have cognitive benefits too, and since it has anti-inflammatory properties, it can decrease issues in the brain and help to improve memory. Some theorize that since honey helps to stabilize your blood sugar, it also allows you to remain focused for longer without having dips in concentration.
- Regulating hormones: It’s also been suggested that eating honey prompts the production of serotonin, which helps to regulate your mood but is also known for aiding in good sleep due to being turned into melatonin.
Honey Can Be Bad For You Too
Despite the many benefits of honey, there are some risks to consuming it too, which are important to consider if you want to use honey in your weight loss journey.
- Over-eating: Some may think that since honey is an all-natural product, you can consume as much of it as you want. The truth is that even though it’s a healthier product than refined or processed sugars, it is still a carbohydrate that contains sugar – and too much of this is equally harmful. Too much honey is equal to the sugars you’re trying to replace.
- Health concerns: Too much honey can lead to permanently elevated blood sugar levels and even diabetes, especially when eaten over a long period. It can cause problems with your teeth as such high quantities of sugar can eat through the enamel and result in cavities. Some folks may also be allergic to honey and honey products, and can suffer anaphylactic shock, rashes, nausea, vomiting, or swelling.
- Diarrhea and tummy upsets: Some folks may struggle with fructose absorption, and having honey can result in stomach upsets and diarrhea.
How Is Honey Good For Weight Loss?
From the long list of benefits and risks associated with consuming honey, the most important aspect of considering honey for weight loss revolves around the amount you consume and the type of honey you want to use.
Refined honey and honey products with added sugars, syrups, or flavorings won’t be helpful to your weight loss journey at all, as it negates the idea of replacing refined and processed sugars with a more natural product. Since honey is still lower in sugars than the processed sugar we use daily, the idea is to replace – in moderation.
The only way to use honey to help you lose weight is to use it in small quantities to help you deal with your desire for something sweet or to sweeten healthy meals without using processed sugars. If you’re adding honey to your existing meal plan without making any other changes, you aren’t going to get the right results you’re hoping for.
Because honey benefits the gut and your metabolism, you are also less likely to snack throughout the day if you add a little honey to your meal plans, and it will also help maintain your blood sugar levels throughout the day. If you’ve ever had the shakes and needed chocolate or some sugar to help regulate you again, you’ll know how dangerous this is for losing weight.
Sleeping well, feeling positive, and generally seeing yourself as healthy are some of the most significant wins when trying to lose weight. Honey is said to contribute positively to all of these. With a bit of honey added to your diet, you will also feel that you have made good strides in choosing healthier alternatives, making you more likely to succeed.
Lastly, raw honey is the version you want to use. It offers the most nutrients that haven’t been eradicated through processing, and since it hasn’t been pasteurized for longevity, you get the most benefits.
To that end, here are some valuable tips for effectively using honey to help you lose weight.
Tips For Using Honey To Help With Weight Loss
- Replace: Cut out all refined and processed sugars, whether that’s in your tea, over your cereal, or in your cooking. Use a small quantity of honey in place of sugar to help sweeten your meals, but remember the next point!
- Moderation is critical: The journey to weight loss naturally requires you to change your lifestyle and eating habits, which means you can’t simply have gallons of honey to sate your appetite. Use small quantities of honey whenever you have to sweeten something or feel like a sweet treat – less is more, in this case.
- Combinations can be very effective: Combining honey with cinnamon, cayenne pepper, garlic, or lemon can double down on the benefits. While none of these will burn the weight off, they can help regulate your metabolism and help speed things along.
- Appropriate timing: Keeping your blood sugar consistent is the first defense against hunger pangs and binge eating – if you can keep your appetite stable, you are less likely to reach for a snack or obsess over chocolate. Make a cup of hot water with lemon and honey first thing in the morning or as a treat in some warmed milk before bed.
- Mood and sleep: Keeping your mood regulated and sleeping well has been proven to help avoid binge eating or eating out of boredom effectively. Both of these are often cited as reasons people struggle with weight. Having a little sweetness, courtesy of honey now and then will also mean you don’t feel cheated out of nice things and are less likely to want to cheat on your eating plan.
There are some caveats, however. Honey won’t be effective for weight loss if you don’t:
- Cut out refined carbohydrates and refined sugars
- Cut out junk foods and processed treats
- Eat enough vegetables and protein
- Get some form of exercise and physical movement
- Drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated
- Consistently stick to your eating and lifestyle plan
Recipes For Weight Loss Using Honey
When thinking of ways to use honey in the correct way when you’re trying to lose weight, here are some excellent suggestions:
- Sliced apple drizzled in honey for a sweet treat. Any fruits used this way can replace sugar-heavy treats like chocolates or pastries.
- Oatmeal with honey and almond milk makes for an excellent, tasty breakfast. Honey over yogurt and muesli is equally suitable for you while being delicious at the same time.
- Healthier drinks, such as iced teas sweetened with a bit of honey, are much lower in sugar than store-bought products.
- Green tea or chamomile tea with honey before bed is soothing, promotes sound sleep and helps regulate your digestive system and metabolism.
While honey cannot simply be added to your existing diet in the hopes of some magical cure, it is undoubtedly an effective way of contributing to weight loss when used correctly. Replacing processed sugar and refined sugary foods with all-natural honey will not only sate your craving for something sweet but help to cut out bad foods while introducing a more beneficial product.
The benefits of honey for your mood, sleeping patterns, blood sugar levels, and gastric system are also significant, as these contribute to your ability to stick to a healthy eating plan and shed weight.