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How to Lose Weight with Coconut Oil
Can you really lose weight with coconut oil? Recent research has shown that this tropical oil may help increase your metabolism which can help you burn fat faster.
Using coconut oil to lose weight may go against the belief that all fat is bad for you and it eating it will cause you to gain weight. It is true that eating too many hydrogenated fats can result in excessive fat calories and high cholesterol levels. However, fats are an essential part of a healthy diet. Your body needs them to produce certain hormones and cellular membranes.
In fact, fats help your body absorb certain fat-soluble minerals and vitamins such as vitamin D and vitamin A. Without fats, our bodies simply can’t function properly. If you want to lose weight, you have to do it in a balanced and healthy way. Healthy eating and daily exercise will go a long way to helping you reach your ideal body weight. But is it possible to lose weight with coconut oil and still eat your favorite foods?
A Closer Look at Using Coconut Oil and Weight Loss
Hmmm, coconut oil and weight loss. You may be thinking, “Isn’t coconut oil bad for you?”
Well, the history of coconut oil shows it got a bad reputation during the anti-fat crusade that started over 50 years ago.
At the time, there were research studies coming out that showed hydrogenated coconut oil caused an increase in cholesterol levels. It’s now firmly established among health care agencies that any type of hydrogenated fat is bad for you.
However, unlike hydrogenated coconut oils from the past, virgin coconut oils are not hydrogenated and don’t contain cholesterol. It’s these 2 specific differences that make virgin coconut oils metabolically different and a much healthier fat to have in your diet.
2 Ways Virgin Cococnut Oils may Help you Lose Weight:
1. Virgin Coconut Oil May Increase your Metabolism
- Virgin coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), also called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT).
- A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found patients lost weight when they included MCFA’s in their diet. In fact, they found patients lost more weight with a diet including MCFA’s compared to a diet with olive oil.
2. Virgin Coconut Oil May Reduce Food Cravings
- We all know eating too much food can contribute to weight gain. If you’ve ever suffered from food cravings, you know how easily they can sabotage the best weight loss plans.
- It’s believed by some that low-fat diets may make your body crave more fat. When I try to lose body fat, I try to increase my intake of healthy oils so I get a nutritious source of healthy fats in my diet which I find helps reduce my appetite and cravings for fatty food.
- Supplementing your diet with healthy fats (such as coconut oil, fish oils, flaxseed oil, or olive oils may help sustain a feeling of fullness and may reduce food cravings.
Medical Research on Coconut Oil and Weight Loss
Research studies show that medium chain triglycerides (MCT) can help boost your metabolism and increase thermogenesis which may lead to weight loss.
Coconut oil actually contains about 50 – 60% medium chain fatty acids and the majority of MCT Oil supplements are made with fractionated coconut oil. These specialized products are frequently used by bodybuilders to boost their energy levels while on low calorie diets which helps them to build and retain muscle mass.
Research also shows that these special oils may even help improve symptoms in some patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease due to a slight shift in their diets towards a ketogenic, fat-burning diet. And scientists also believe that it’s possible certain patients with conditions where they are unable to properly digest fats (malabsortpion syndromes) may also benefit from using MCT supplements.
A recent study at McGill School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition in Montreal, tested an oil made of medium chain triglycerides on men and women who were 25 pounds overweight. The oil consisted of 67% tropical oils, including coconut oil, flaxseed oil and olive oil.
Peter Jones, a professor in charge of the study, states that,
“…MCT oil is directed towards the liver for combustion and burned as energy. The oil is not stored in the body as fat and heightens the metabolism, which is a key in maintaining a healthy body weight. There is also some provocative data suggesting that oils rich in MCT reduce appetite.”
Male participants in the above study lost an average of one pound over a month. “After consuming the oil over a year, a man could lose 1 pound per month or 12 pounds per year,” says Jones, noting that female participants experienced heightened metabolic rates.
Dr. Bruce Fife, author of a number of books (including The Coconut Oil Miracle, The Palm Oil Miracle, Coconut Lover’s Cookbook, and Eat Fat, Look Thin), as well as Director of Coconut Oil Research Center, offers his viewpoints on using coconut oil for weight loss:
How to use Virgin Coconut Oil for Weight Loss
If you’re going to try and lose weight with coconut oil, I think the best way is by gradually introducing it into your daily diet.
I introduced coconut oils into my diet by first starting to fry certain foods with it. For example, I would use virgin coconut oil instead of vegetable oils whenever I was frying eggs or making stir fries. I found the food would slide right off the hot pan and the kitchen was filled with that heavenly aroma of fresh coconuts while I was cooking.
I would also make a pre-workout drink by mixing a tablespoon of coconut oil into a glass of hot water. I would take this before hitting the gym and I find it really boosted my energy levels throughout my entire workout. Another trick is by adding a small spoon of virgin coconut oil to my coffee in the morning. The mixture of caffeine and healthy fats seemed to really perk me up in the morning.
Once you’re used to taking 1 tablespoon of coconut oil a day, you can try slowly increasing this amount until you’re consuming 2 to 3 tablespoons daily. You could also try using these Virgin Coconut Oil Weight Loss Shake Recipes for easy & nutritious ways to get your daily dose of Virgin Coconut Oil. These recipes use many healthy ingredients such as ground flaxseeds and fresh fruits. These delicious shakes may help you lose weight with coconut oil and you may find them a lot tastier than eating the oil right out of the bottle.
Remember to consult your physician if you wish to lose weight with coconut oil or before beginning any weight loss or exercise plan. Any weight loss you do experience could be due to the increase in metabolism from the medium chain fatty acids in the coconut oil, a reduction in your calories or the increase in physical activity.
Medium-chain triglycerides increase energy expenditure and decrease adiposity in overweight men. Obesity Research. 2003 Mar;11(3):395-402.
Greater rise in fat oxidation with medium-chain triglyceride consumption relative to long-chain triglyceride is associated with lower initial body weight and greater loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue. International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders. 2003 Dec;27(12):1565-71.
Dietary medium-chain triacylglycerols suppress accumulation of body fat in a double-blind, controlled trial in healthy men and women. Lose weight with coconut oil research. Journal of Nutrition. 2001 Nov;131(11):2853-9.
Overfeeding with medium-chain triglyceride diet results in diminished deposition of fat. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1983 Jan;37(1):1-4.