6 Ways To Use Cinnamon For Weight Loss, Side Effects, & Tips

Exciting ideas to add that hint of spice to your dieting and wellness routine

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Geeta Dharmatti, RD
By Charushila Biswas, MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist

Cinnamon, obtained from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree, is a spice used in various cuisines as a flavoring agent. It has anti-cancer, antioxidant, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties (1). According to some recent research, you can use Ceylon cinnamon for weight loss and treating other complications of metabolic syndrome (2), (3). This article discusses how cinnamon helps in weight loss, dosage, recipes, and benefits. Keep reading!

How Cinnamon Works For Weight Loss

  • Cinnamon Induces Browning Of Fat

Brown fat is known as good fat. It contains many lipid droplets and iron-containing mitochondria, which help turn food into a usable energy source. Brown fat also helps keep the body warm by generating heat in cold environment.

Scientists found that cinnamon extract helped increase brown fat in subcutaneous (fat layer under the skin) fat cells (4). This is good for people with belly fat. Belly fat or fat in the waist region is white fat. Consuming cinnamon may help turn the belly fat (white fat) into brown. This, in turn, can be used up to maintain body temperature and as energy. 

  • Cinnamon Improves Insulin Sensitivity

The polyphenols in cinnamon help improve insulin sensitivity. Insulin regulates glucose levels in the blood. When your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or becomes insulin resistant, the blood glucose levels can rise, leading to fat accumulation, obesity, diabetes, and other obesity triggered diseases. Research has confirmed that cinnamon can aid weight loss by alleviating insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovarian disease (5).

  • Cinnamon Lowers Fasting Blood Sugar

Cinnamon helps to lower fasting blood glucose levels. A study conducted by scientists at the University of California-Davis showed that consuming whole cinnamon or cinnamon extract could lower the fasting blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes (6).

  • Cinnamon Lowers Bad Cholesterol And Triglycerides

Bad or LDL cholesterol tends to accumulate in the walls of the arteries,which, in turn, increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Two separate studies found that cinnamon helped reduce LDL cholesterol, fasting blood glucose, and triglyceride levels (7), (8).

  • Cinnamon Reduces Waist Circumference

Belly fat is a serious concern. It results from excessive consumption of calories, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and taking too much stress. Scientists have found that consuming cinnamon can help reduce waist circumference and body weight (9). 

These are the ways cinnamon aids weight loss. But how much cinnamon should you take for losing weight? Find out in the next section.

How Much Cinnamon To Take For Weight Loss

It is safe to take 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder or 1-inch cinnamon bark per day. However, be careful not to go overboard with cinnamon.

There are many ways you can consume cinnamon for weight loss. Here are 6 ways to add cinnamon to your food to lose weight fast.

6 Best Ways To Take Cinnamon For Weight Loss

a. Cinnamon & Honey Tea

Image: Shutterstock

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup of water
How To Prepare
  1. Boil a cup of water and add cinnamon powder to it.
  2. Keep boiling until the quantity of water reduces to half.
  3. Strain it into a cup.
  4. Add honey and lime juice.
  • Lime is a rich source of vitamin C, and it boosts the immune system (10).
  • Honey is a natural antioxidant and has antimicrobial properties (11).

b. Cinnamon And Apple Cider Vinegar

Image: Shutterstock

How To Prepare
  1. Bring a cup of water to a boil and add cinnamon powder.
  2. Turn off the burner immediately.
  3. Allow the water to cool to room temperature.
  4. Add apple cider vinegar and stir well.
How To Prepare
  1. Bring a cup of water to a boil and add cinnamon powder.
  2. Turn off the burner immediately.
  3. Allow the water to cool to room temperature.
  4. Add apple cider vinegar and stir well.
Add apple cider vinegar and stir well.

Apple cider vinegar aids weight loss, reduces the risk of diabetes, and aids the treatment of sinusitis, skin, and throat problems (12).

c. Cinnamon Fat Burner Detox Water

Image: Shutterstock

  • 1-inch cinnamon bark
  • 4-5 lime wedges
  • A handful of mint leaves
  • 1 cup water
How To Prepare
  1. Soak the cinnamon bark overnight in a cup of water.
  2. In the morning, transfer the water to a mason jar.
  3. Add chopped mint leaves and lime wedges.
  • Lime is a rich source of vitamin C, and it boosts the immune system (10).
  • Mint has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Hence, it is used to treat gut problems, skin problems, allergies, cough, and cold and alleviate pain .

d. Cinnamon And Oats Breakfast

Image: Shutterstock

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ½ cup banana slices
  • ½ cup fat-free milk
  • ¼ cup oats
  • A pinch of salt
How To Prepare
  1. Boil the fat-free milk and add oats to it.
  2. Cook until the oats become soft enough to eat.
  3. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Add banana slices and sprinkle the cinnamon powder and a little salt.

Note: Avoid adding sugar if you want to lose weight. Salt balances the flavors as banana renders enough sweetness to the oats.

  • Bananas are rich in potassium and are good energy boosters (13).
  • Oats are .rich in dietary fiber. They aid nutrient absorption and reduce abdominal fat (14).

e. Cinnamon And Vegetable Brown Rice

Image: Shutterstock

  • ¼ cup finely chopped carrots
  • ¼ cup peas
  • ½ cup brown rice
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • ¼ cup finely sliced onion
  • 1-inch cinnamon bark
  • 1 cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon roasted cinnamon powder
  • A handful of coriander leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
How To Prepare
  1. Add oil to a heated pot.
  2. Toss in the cinnamon bark, cardamom, and cloves. Let it fry for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the onions and cook until they turn brown.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic paste. Cook for about a minute.
  5. Add the chopped carrot and peas. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the brown rice and stir fry for about 15 seconds.
  7. Add water and salt. Let the rice cook.
  8. Once it is cooked, sprinkle the roasted cumin powder.
  9. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Brown rice is loaded with nutrients and dietary fiber, which binds to fat and prevents fat absorption. Brown rice also improves insulin resistance and reduces LDL cholesterol (15).
  • Cardamom aids weight loss, reduces oxidative stress, dyslipidemia, and liver damage (16).
  • Clove is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory in nature and protects you from cold and cough (17).
  • Carrots are rich in antioxidants and phenolic compounds. They suppress appetite, promote weight loss, and help prevent cardiovascular diseases (18).
  • Peas are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that lower bad cholesterol, help fight certain types of cancer and prevent neuronal damage (19).
  • Ginger improves digestion, boosts immunity, and helps reduce the risk of colorectal cancer (20).
  • Garlic has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and cardioprotective properties (21).
  • Coriander has anticancer, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, lipid-lowering, and antimicrobial properties (22).

f. Bedtime Cinnamon And Turmeric Milk

Image: Shutterstock

  • 1 cup warm fat-free milk
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
How To Prepare
  1. Add cinnamon and turmeric powder to a cup of warm fat-free milk.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Drink this before you go to bed.
  • Turmeric has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. It also helps prevent cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular disease (23).
  • Milk is rich in calcium, vitamin D, potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, and vitamin B12. It can help prevent osteoporosis, strengthen your teeth, and reduce blood pressure (24).

You may also use cinnamon in smoothies, juices, and cakes to enhance the flavor and lose weight.

Apart from aiding weight loss, cinnamon has the following benefits:

Other Benefits Of Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been used in various recipes for thousands of years. It not only gives a beautiful flavor and taste but also has many health benefits. Here is a list of the other health benefits of cinnamon:

  • Cinnamon has antimicrobial properties, which protect your body from microbial
  • It is loaded with antioxidants that scavenge the harmful free oxygen radicals.
  • It helps to lower bad cholesterol in the blood, hence protecting the heart.
  • Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and helps alleviate joint pain, toothache, and gut inflammation.
  • It can also aid in the treatment of a host of skin-related issues, rashes, and infections.
  • Cinnamon can also help fight cancer as it prevents the proliferation of cancerous cells.
  • It is a natural preservative and sweetener.
  • Cinnamon has also been found to enhance cognition. It improves the brain’s insulin utilizing ability and prevents Alzheimer’s induced changes in the brain.

Though cinnamon has many health benefits, it does have its share of side effects as well. Find the list below.

Side Effects Of Consuming Excessive Cinnamon

Consuming too much cinnamon may cause

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Liver disease
  • Skin irritation
  • Nausea
  • Low blood sugar
  • Increased heart rate
  • Premature labor
  • Heating of the body

Before we come to a close, here are a few takeaway tips:

Useful Tips

  • Do not consume cinnamon if you are allergic to it.
  • Do not consume too much cinnamon per day.
  • To lose weight, eat every 2-3 hours.
  • Keep a check on your meal portion size.
  • If you do not like working out, play outdoor sports or dance to burn the extra calories.

Infographic: Cinnamon Water

Cinnamon has several health benefits along with weight loss. You can add it to your diet in many ways, from preparing tea to adding it to brown rice and vegetables. Check out the infographic below to learn how to prepare cinnamon water.

cinnamon water recipe [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

While green tea and lemon juice are popular as weight loss drinks, the benefits of cinnamon for weight loss is gradually gaining some light as well. Known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-diabetic properties, cinnamon can be used to help manage your weight as well. It seems to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels helping to reduce the fat build-up in the body. It also helps reduce your waist circumference by targeting stubborn belly fat. While you can consume 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder or an inch of the cinnamon bark per day, it is important not to go overboard with it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I drink cinnamon water on an empty stomach?

Yes. Cinnamon water has beneficial effects on your body and may help reduce weight, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

Should you take cinnamon before or after a meal?

While there is no specified best time to take cinnamon water, taking it after a meal may help reduce blood sugar spikes.

How long does it take for cinnamon to work?

Cinnamon may take around 4 to 18 weeks to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels (26).


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Check out our editorial policy for further details.
Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.
Charushila is an ISSA certified Fitness Nutritionist and a Physical Exercise Therapist. Over a span of 5 years, she has... more

Dr. Geeta Dharmatti

(MSc, PhD )
Dr. Geeta Dharmatti is the Director and Founder of Geeta Nutriheal Consultancy (Nutrition Services Consultancy) and an Executive Member of... more