Until fat became the weight loss enemy as recently as the early 20th century, fats were considered an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. As we know, fats regulate several body functions including maintaining body temperature and protecting our organs from trauma.
When the dialogue comes to weight loss, the flat instruction meted out to us is to avoid fats. However, we must clarify this further if we wish to achieve our goals. Not all fat is bad or needs to be avoided. Healthy fats can actually improve our metabolism and help us along a bit. One oil that comes to mind under the healthy fat subhead is coconut oil. Derived from the fruit of coconut palms, this oil has excellent benefits for our hair, skin and general health.
Let’s discuss three significant ways by which coconut oil helps with weight loss.
1. Coconut Oil Can Help Improve Metabolism
Long chain fatty acids, often found in refined oils, are much harder for the body to process, and thus have a greater chance of being stored as fat in the body. Medium chain fatty acids are relatively easier to metabolize.1
Simply the use of coconut oil without any other modifications to diet and work can help lose up to three centimeters from the waistline in two weeks.2 Coconut oil is safe to consume and just a teaspoon a day can show results. This is attributed to the improvement in metabolism as a result of medium chain fats present in coconut oil.
2. Coconut Oil Regulates Diabetes
As we know, diabetes and obesity follow a vicious cycle. While obesity can set off diabetes, diabetes can lower metabolism and cause obesity over time. Coconut oil helps regulate blood glucose levels.3 As a result, all of the energy in our body is utilized more effectively and less of the carbs get stored as fat. This is also attributed to the ease of digestibility of coconut oil.
3. Coconut Oil Reduces Cravings
Cravings are the arch-nemesis of anyone trying to lose weight through diet. However, cravings happen when our stomach doesn’t recognize the fullness signal or when yeast overgrowth in the body makes you crave more sugars.
Coconut oil can work on both of these factors. On the one hand, it slows down your digestion so it takes longer for the food products to reach your bloodstream. Since you feel full for longer, you are less likely to experience cravings and confuse them with hunger.
On the other hand, being an antifungal agent, coconut oil can help reduce the yeast overgrowth in our body and our gut that is causing cravings. With this twofold approach to fighting cravings, coconut oil can help you kick the snacking habit.4
How To Use Coconut Oil For Weight Loss
First, and this is very important, always use virgin coconut oil without impurities. Most oils in the market may have refined adulterants. You can start slow by including coconut oil in your smoothies or making nut bars with the oil- it freezes quite well.
Over time, you can even begin cooking with coconut oil, use it in dressings and to marinate your meat. Finally, replace all of the oil you use with coconut oil. Contrary to popular belief, coconut oil does not emanate a very strong odor when used in its pure form.
|↑1||Papamandjaris, A. A., M. D. White, M. Raeini-Sarjaz, and P. J. H. Jones. “Endogenous fat oxidation during medium chain versus long-chain triglyceride feeding in healthy women.” International journal of obesity 24, no. 9 (2000): 1158.|
|↑2||Liau, Kai Ming, Yeong Yeh Lee, Chee Keong Chen, and Aida Hanum G. Rasool. “An open-label pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of virgin coconut oil in reducing visceral adiposity.” ISRN pharmacology 2011 (2011).|
|↑3||Zulet, Mᵃ Angeles, Ana Barber, Henri Garcin, Paul Higueret, and José Alfredo Martinez. “Alterations in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism induced by a diet rich in coconut oil and cholesterol in a rat model.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 18, no. 1 (1999): 36-42.|
|↑4||Gordon, Trent. Coconut Oil -The Numerous Advantages: Hygiene Diet and Weight loss. Speedy Publishing LLC, 2013.|