Coconut Oil and Fat Loss


Consuming coconut oil can do many wonders for the body from boosting brain function in Alzheimer patients to killing off bacteria, viruses and fungi.  The list of benefits is extensive, but I want to focus on how coconut oil can help you lose body fat.

Coconut oil consists mostly of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs).  This is vastly different than most other fats which predominantly contain long-chain fatty acids. The MCFAs found in coconut oil are metabolized differently in the body.  They do not raise blood sugar levels and are are sent straight to the liver from the digestive tract where they are used for energy.  Coconut oil is one of the most abundant sources of MCFAs.

What does this mean?  Two things... 

When you consume coconut oil you will be less hungry and your metabolism will get a boost! One study found that 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day could increase calorie expenditure by 150 calories. Even though other fats like olive oil, avocados and almond butter are healthy, you will NOT get the same calorie burn. With a reduction in hunger, you could be taking in less calories as well. This could lead to significant fat loss, especially around the middle. Studies show that MFCAs mostly reduce dangerous visceral fat from the abdomen. Goodbye pot belly!

I wouldn't recommend just adding coconut oil to your diet on top of the other fats you're already consuming.  You could possibly gain weight since you'll be adding calories (It's possible you may still lose weight though since coconut oil decreases hunger which could result in eating less) To be on the safe side (and lose even more fat) I would instead recommend replacing some of those fats with coconut oil.  

Below is some yummy ways to use coconut oil-

  • Pan frying or roasting meats and fish
  • Replacing butter or oil in baking
  • Spreading on toast or a bagel (it's delicious on raisin brown rice toast sprinkled with cinnamon!)
  • Stirring in smoothies
  • Melted over steel-cut oatmeal

One last thing- make sure you buy organic VIRGIN coconut oil.  Refined coconut oil has been bleached and deodorized.  Hight heat (and often chemicals) are used to do this which removes a lot of the health benefits.  Many companies also partially hydrogenate the oil, too, which means it will contain trans-fats.  Very bad! 

You can find organic virgin coconut oil at almost any grocery store these days including Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and Ralphs. And, of course, you can always buy it online.