Does Coconut Oil Really Help With Weight Loss

By on July 2, 2021 in Nutrition with 0 Comments

Coconut oil seems to be a key ingredient in everything from shampoo to skin cream. So in this article, we want to take a look at the almost magical qualities of coconut and weight loss.  Long popular in beauty products of all kinds, it’s also emerging as a healthy solution to shedding fat.

Coconut Oil and Weight Loss

Nutritional science does support the potential benefits of adding coconut oil to your diet. It’s rich in fatty acids, but unlike other oils, it consists of a unique combination of healthy fats. In chemical structure, it’s composed of medium-chain fatty acids, compared to the long-chain fatty acids that are harder to metabolize and more likely to be retained as body fat.

weight loss using coconut oil

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT)

These medium-chain fatty acids are also called triglycerides. Once in your digestive tract, they go to your liver fairly quickly to boost your metabolism. This is very different from most of the dietary fats your body is used to. Animal fats, for instance, are mostly long-chain fatty acids.

MCTs sent straight to the liver provide quick energy or are stored as ketones, an organic acid that helps process sugars and helps in controlling maladies such as epilepsy, More ketones enable your body to burn more carbohydrates.

Long-chain fatty acids are much easier to store as body fat. It’s the MCTs that are more likely to be burned away as the body demands more fuel. In one study, rats fed more medium chain fats maintained 23 percent lower body fat.

Calories and Weight Loss

All calories are not equal. Although dieters tend to view all food intake in terms of calories, the fact is that different foods are processed differently, based on the amounts of fats and nutrients they contain. Thus what you eat can have a significant effect on bodily functions such as the immune system or hormone production. Some of these digestive pathways require more time and energy to metabolize.

One of the key properties of medium-chain fats is that they are thermogenic; that is, your body requires more energy to digest them, calling for more calories (fat) to be burned. The right foods can burn more energy during digestion than even larger portions of the wrong foods. The combination of quick metabolic energy and increased fat burn make coconut oil doubly effective at reducing body fat.

What’s a key benefit connecting coconut oil and weight loss? It can increase your metabolism even when you’re at rest. This supports more energy and stamina throughout the day. This energy boost allows you to be more active and burn more calories than you normally would.

One study ( concluded that 30 grams or less of medium-chain fatty acids each day raised the metabolism to a point where an additional 120 calories were burned off. The trials show that the more fats people replace in their diets with medium-chain triglycerides, the more calories they burn.

Even though a calorie of the fats in something like olive oil or peanuts are also healthy, they don’t have the fat-burning potency of coconut oil fats.

Coconut Oil Reduces Appetite

Effective weight loss means you have to burn off more calories than you take in. If you’ve become accustomed to eating certain foods and leaving the table with a full belly, controlling your appetite can be a challenge. The alternative to eating less is exercising more. While both are important to a good weight loss program, for many people the time and effort in sticking with a fitness program is the larger challenge.

Coconut oil naturally reduces the appetite. You’re eating less at every meal without the need to constantly test your willpower. Ordinarily, to cut calories you have to plan smaller portions and stick to them even if it means going hungry. Combining coconut oil and weight loss diets helps to control your appetite without the hunger pangs.

Some people keep careful track of how many calories they consume and how many they burn to sustain a calorie deficit that consistently burns fat. Counting calories shouldn’t be necessary, however. Obesity became a societal problem about 50 years ago; before that people rarely thought in terms of calories.

If you reduce your appetite, you’re taking in fewer calories no matter what you’re eating. Compared to other foods, medium-chain triglycerides create the sensation of fullness so you are automatically eating less. The ketones produced in the liver are the body’s natural appetite suppressant.

In a related study (, a group of men consumed an average of 256 fewer calories by adding MCTs to their diets. In a separate study (, 14 men who consumed them with their breakfast still experienced diminished appetites at lunch.

Coconut Oil and Weight Loss: Burn More Fat

Coconut oil also helps you burn off the fat your body has stored from long-chain fats. This includes the abdominal, or belly fat, that plagues most men and many women. The fat that’s collected in your abdomen is considered particularly unhealthy.

This visceral fat can accumulate around your organs, leading to disorders like diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation. Anything that can reduce visceral fat will lower your susceptibility to these health issues, increase longevity, and boost your metabolic rate and stamina. Belly fat is also the hardest to lose.

Studies comparing coconut oil and weight loss results include a case ( where 40 women were given either soybean oil or coconut oil. After 28 days of consuming 2 tablespoons of the selected oil, both groups lost weight.

However, the women who took only coconut oil also lost the largest measurable amount in their waist circumference. Many in the soybean group actually gained belly fat.

Cholesterol Levels

Those in the coconut oil group also showed increased levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol, while the other group had no change or diminished HDL levels.

A similar study ( done with men showed an even more dramatic loss of belly fat, The men using coconut oil showed an average loss of 1.1 inches to their waist size over the soybean oil group at the end of the 28 days.

Coconut Oil vs Weight Loss Products

These and similar studies support the conclusion that MCT consumption, while not the most dramatic solution to weight loss, consistently lowers belly fat over time. This is in addition to the cholesterol health benefits associated with it.

While these weight loss results may not be dramatic compared to some over-the-counter dietary products, none of those products are completely natural and actually good for your overall health. Most weight loss pills work by chemically suppressing the appetite and/or speeding up the metabolism, which can compound stress, poor nutrition, and the risk of heart problems.

Coconut oil and weight loss results suggest that all it takes is two tablespoons of tasty coconut oil each day. When combined with other sensible fitness strategies like a healthier diet and more physical activity, coconut oil will promote weight loss without potentially harmful side effects.

Adding it to a bad diet won’t help. Neither will it replace regular exercise as a means of burning off your body fat. However, it’s more sustainable than non-healthy alternatives when used in a wellness program. Modern nutritionists agree that healthy fats are much better for your body than unhealthy ones.

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