Coconut Oil for Weight Loss and Weight Management


There seems to be no end to the health advantages of coconut oil, weight loss being just one of them. But is it true, can people really lose weight by consuming the oil of coconuts, and if so, how does it work? By the end of this article you will have the answers to these questions and more besides. It sounds crazy to even suggest that fat can help anyone to shed unwanted pounds. Well, here’s a fact that might surprise you: healthy fats and oils are not responsible for weight gain. Confused? Keep reading to learn how coconut oil can help you to achieve your weight loss goals. It has even shown beneficial to those who suffer with weight gain related to hypothyroidism [1].

Coconut Oil – The Fat for Weight Loss

There are two types of body fat that adults carry, one we can see and one we can’t. The visible fat is subcutaneous fat, and the latent kind is visceral fat, which surrounds the internal organs deep in the abdomen. No excess of body fat is healthy, but an overload of visceral fat can be particularly dangerous. In fact, many people don’t even know they have it. You don’t necessarily have to be overweight or obese to suffer from visceral fat either. These are the “skinny-fat” people in society. They are the ones who can eat anything but not put on any weight, at least not visibly! You have probably guessed that poor diet is the major cause of visceral fat just as it is with outside fat [2].

When it comes to body fat, coconut oil consumption can help to reduce both types.

The Special Properties of Coconut Oil

The reason why there’s so much talk surrounding coconut oil is because it’s different to other fats. It has special, unique properties that make it superior in a whole range of wonderful ways. The three factors we need to examine here are:

  1. Consists almost entirely of MCFAs (Medium Chain Fatty Acids)
  2. It’s thermogenic (increases heat (basal body temperatures) within the body)
  3. Reduces appetite and increases satiety

There is no shortage of material on the site covering all the amazing benefits of natural oils. Here, we focus just on the ability of coconut oil to help with weight loss, beginning with MCFAs.

The MCTs and MCFAs in Coconut Oil

No other plant-based oil can boast Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCTs) and Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) like coconut oil. MCTs are super healthy saturated fats. Your body metabolizes MCTs more efficiently than other short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs). Because of the short digestion process, both MCTs and MCFAs are ready to use as fuel by the body almost immediately. As soon as you ingest coconut oil, these MCTs and MCFAs go from the portal vein to the liver and then straight to your cells to be used as energy.

MCFAs include three antimicrobial fats (lipids), namely lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid. Lauric acid converts to a long fatty acid inside the body called monolaurin. This is a powerful disease-fighting antiviral. It protects against viruses and assists with a wide range of ailments within the body. [3], [4].

 

MCTs and MCFAs can help with weight loss. Without getting too technical, here’s how they do that when you consume coconut oil as a regular part of your diet:

  • Fill you quickly up and you stay fuller for longer
  • Increases the body’s ability to burn fat with subsequent weight loss
  • Metabolized by the body almost instantly
  • Zero negative metabolic health effects
  • Targets total weight loss (waist, hip, total body fat, subcutaneous fat, and visceral fat)
  • MTCs reduce the conversion of excess carbohydrates to fats

Coconut Oil and Weight Loss

One of the problems with a typical western diet is that it leaves you feeling hungry, or you’re never full for long. Imagine how much less you would need to eat if you could feel fuller for longer after a meal. Coconut oil suppresses appetite and it boosts your metabolism in a safe and natural way. The best approach is to take the oil about 20 minutes before a meal. You may be surprised at just how little you want to eat once you sit down at the table.

Natural coconut oil is high in MCTs which process in a way that has a more beneficial effect on your metabolism. Faster metabolism means you get to burn more calories, but weight loss is not only about energy balance (calories-in, calories-out). Not all foods take the same metabolic pathways once inside the body. Certain foods will trigger various hormonal changes which promote weight gain. Other foods will have the reverse effect and increase satiety while giving a boost to the metabolic rate. Coconut oils fall into the latter.

The Conclusion

Does coconut oil assist weight loss? Yes! Is it all you need to shed excess body fat and maintain a healthier weight? No! Weight loss and sustainable weight management is multifactorial. We are all human but we don’t all react in the exact same way to all foods, beverages and other substances. But thanks to new research and a change in direction, we now have a better understanding of why we all got fat and less fit: it’s because of a lack of real food in the diet [5].

We now understand that “real” foods and health staples like coconut oil and certain animal fats, are not only better for health, but they also assist with fat loss and weight maintenance. Anyone who isn’t convinced should try it for themselves for a few months and track the results. It shouldn’t take long to experience both the physical and emotional health advantages from this change in diet.

Foods in: Leafy greens, more healthy fats and oils and moderate protein

Foods out: Sugar laden foods, processed junk and starchy carbs

If you have anything to add, please leave your comments below.

Resources

  1. http://coconutoil.com/coconut-oil-benefits-for-thyroid-health/
  2. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-truth-about-fat#1
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2874191/
  4. http://paleoleap.com/mct-oil-need-know/

http://www.completecarewellnesscenter.com/2012/10/28/what-is-paleo/

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About Coconut Health

Hi, my name is Susan and over the past few years, stories on health especially natural ways to heal have fascinated me. This site was set up to explore the research, stories and health possibilities of coconuts. Feel free to contact me if you have suggestions, questions or to tell me your story!