Coconut Oil for Weight Loss – Fat is Healthy Again, and The Whole Internet is Happy
Using Coconut Oil for Weight Loss
Coconut oil has only just been discovered in the West. It’s touted as being helpful in just about everything, from being the secret to shiny hair to a fantastic option for oil pulling (for oral hygiene), but did you know it can also help you lose weight?
Coconut oil’s unique natural blend of fatty acids helps boost the metabolism. 1 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26225609 ×
Add this healthy fat to your diet, and you can help kickstart your fat-loss journey, particularly in the abdominal area where the most dangerous fat is stored.
Why does it work so well?
Coconut oil is rich with medium chain triglycerides, a type of fatty acid that increases metabolism. 2 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26253695 ×
This makes it unique from almost every other edible fat.
Most “fatty” foods feature mostly long-chain fatty acids, which are metabolized differently than medium chain fatty acids.
Medium chain triglycerides are directed from the digestive tract to the liver where they can be utilized for immediate energy or become ketone bodies.
That’s why medium chain fatty acids are so popular for those on a ketogenic diet—you can boost ketone levels while allowing for a little more carbohydrates.
Not All Calories are Created Equally – Coconut Oil is Basically the Right Hand of God
Fat management isn’t as simple as calories in, calories out (although that does play a role). Various foods move through the metabolic pathways in different ways.
What we consume has a major impact on metabolic health and hormones. Some foods require more energy to be metabolized.
Coconut oil is considered thermogenic, which means that metabolizing it requires more energy (which is fat burning) than many other foods.
For example, consuming up to two tablespoons of coconut oil per day has been shown to boost energy expenditure by up to five percent. 5 5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8654328 ×
Simply put, if you swap out long-chain fatty acids with coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids, you’ll burn more calories. Popular long-chain fatty acids are found in butter and olive oil.
Although olive oil and many other long-chain fatty acids can also be “good fats,” those on a fat-loss journey can benefit from focusing on coconut oil’s natural calorie-burning capacity.
Coconut Oil Helps You Feel Fuller, Longer – Unlike That Gluten-Free Dough That Tastes Like Cardboard
Reducing fat cells is complicated. However, there is truth in the idea that diminishing your daily caloric intake is often at the heart of losing weight.
Controlling your appetite is a big part of the task, but obsessing over counting calories can be a dangerous, losing game.
Humans eat for many reasons, and are perfectly capable of being healthy and slim without keeping a food diary.
Bear in mind that obesity wasn’t common in the U.S. until the 1980s.
Just a few decades ago, we didn’t really understand what a “calorie” was. What changed?
The foods we often eat today are processed, loaded with chemicals, and designed to leave you craving more.
Empty calories aren’t satisfying, but they are highly addictive. Reducing and controlling our appetite will naturally lead us to consuming fewer calories.
When medium chain fatty acids are compared to other types of fats with the same caloric count, it’s been found that medium chain fatty acids leave people feeling fuller for longer.
This means they end up consuming fewer calories throughout the day.
We feel satisfied longer because of how the fats in coconut oil are metabolized. 3 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28689741 × Ketone bodies, which are produced in the liver when consuming coconut oil, are known to reduce appetite.
Coconut Oil Can Help Target Fat Loss – To Help You Get That Booty You Keep Asking Santa For Every Year
It’s often been said that you can’t target fat loss, but that’s only true to some degree. Many studies have shown that adding coconut oil to most diets helps reduce fat specifically in the abdominal area. 4 4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21643838 ×
In one study, the alternate group consumed the same caloric amount in soybean oil as opposed to coconut oil, and actually gained belly fat.
When comparing belly fat loss in various studies, one common theme emerged: The coconut oil group experienced “mild” weight loss overall, with a concentrated loss in the abdominal area.
Belly fat, or visceral fat, gathers near the organs and is linked to heart disease, inflammation, and diabetes.
Losing fat in the belly increases metabolic health, minimizes risks of chronic diseases, and can increase longevity.
Simply adding up to two tablespoons of coconut oil per day to your diet may help you reduce fat.
However, combining it with other healthy weight-loss approaches such as reducing simple carbs and increasing protein intake can make a big difference in fat loss.
Consider coconut oil part of a healthy lifestyle change, not a “trick.”
Using Coconut Oil For Weight Loss: A Balancing Act
If you look at the nutritional label of coconut oil, as you should with anything you add to your diet, you might pause.
Remember that this is a fat, and fat contains nine calories per gram.
If you’re focusing solely on calories in, calories out, simply adding coconut oil to your existing diet will probably make you gain weight.
It’s a reminder of how dangerous and poor such an approach to weight loss can be.
Those who are focused on eating healthy, not keeping a strict calorie regimen, will likely benefit from a reduced appetite.
Think of swapping coconut oil for other fats in your diet, such as cooking fats.
Another stumbling block for those new to coconut oil is the cost. It’s a relatively “trendy” item in the West, but has been a staple in diets in many other cultures for centuries.
You don’t need to spend a fortune for high-quality coconut oil. Try shopping at a local Indian store for quality coconut oil without the high price tags. Eating healthy and reducing fat doesn’t need to be costly.
Do you personally use coconut oil in your daily cooking? Comment below.
Hey, Alex! Great blog! What would you suggest using coconut oil in? Any favorite vegetarian recipes you’d use it for?
Personally, I sometimes use it in place of Olive oil – but I like the taste of Olive oil MUCH more, so I rarely use coconut oil in reality!