Can you really lose weight with coconut oil?
Some recent research has shown this tropical oil may increase your metabolism and help you burn fat faster.
Using coconut oil for weight loss may sound counter-intuitive to many popular anti-fat diets due to the belief that all fat is bad for you and it causes you to gain weight.
Researchers have known for decades 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 fats to produce certain hormones and cellular membranes. Fats also help your body absorb certain fat-soluble minerals and vitamins (such as vitamin D and vitamin A). Without fats, our bodies just 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?
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 over 50 years ago.
Many of these outdated studies used hydrogenated coconut oil which caused an increase in cholesterol levels...and we all know that any hydrogenated fat is bad for you.
However, unlike hydrogenated coconut oils from the past, virgin coconut oil is not hydrogenated and it doesn't contain cholesterol. In fact, it's one of the healthiest fats to have in your diet.
So let's take a closer look to see if you can lose weight with coconut oil:
- 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.
- 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 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.
There are some studies that show medium chain triglycerides (MCT) can help boost the metabolism and increase thermogenesis which may lead to weight loss.
Coconut oil actually contains a high percentage of medium chain fatty acids (about 50 - 60%) 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/or retain muscle mass.
Research also shows these oils may help improve symptoms in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease due to a shift to a ketogenic diet.
It's possible that 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,
Male participants 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 Centre, offers his viewpoints on using coconut oil for weight loss:
Any weight loss experienced could be due to the increase in metabolism from the MCFA's, a reduction in calories, or increase in physical activity.
In the meantime, remember to consult your physician if you wish to lose weight with coconut oil or before beginning any weight loss/exercise plan.
A spoonful of coconut oil
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 originally started frying with it. I would use virgin coconut oil instead of vegetable oils. I found it works great when frying eggs. The eggs slide right off the hot pan and you'll be treated to the heavenly aroma of fresh coconuts while cooking.
I also make a pre-workout drink by mixing a tablespoon of coconut oil into a glass of hot water. I take this before hitting the gym and I find it really boosts my energy levels throughout my entire workout.
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.
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.
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.