Maintaining a healthy weight is important. Not only for the sake of vanity but for your overall health. Excess fat, especially around the belly can cause a myriad of problems when it comes to your well-being. Too much jiggle around the middles can lead to diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, and inflammation.
There is no quick fix to losing weight. Strive to burn more calories a day then you eat and you will shed those pounds. Of course, taking a few shortcuts like putting lemon in your water or practicing intermittent fasting, are a healthy way to reach your goal a tad quicker. Synthetic fixes like pharmaceuticals or surgery work, but they should be a last resort.
Today, we want to take a look at one of those shortcuts toward slimming down. Here are the benefits of coconut oil for weight loss.
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When it comes to losing weight, getting your metabolism moving is a great way to get the ball rolling. If you are unfamiliar with the term, your metabolism is that thing that enabled you to eat a whole pizza when you were eighteen but has somehow disappeared and turned into a spare tire now that you are forty-eight. In all seriousness, metabolism is the chemical reactions that help living organisms live.
Our cells metabolize to keep our bodies going, and in order to lose weight, our bodies need to function at their best. Eating healthy and exercising is one way to keep your metabolism up, and adding coconut oil to your diet is a natural way to boost your metabolism. This is because this lipid contains a high level of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which are not metabolized in the same way as other fats.
MCTs take a fast track to the liver, and it is used immediately for energy or turned into ketone bodies, which are the product of burning fat. When it comes to losing weight, the whole idea is burning fat. It seems that, so far, coconut oil might be a good alternative.
Metabolism is a complicated process and goes all the way down to the cellular level. There are two types of metabolism: anabolism and catabolism. When it comes to energy, we want catabolism.
Anabolism is when all the compounds cells need are synthesized. Catabolism is when molecules are broken down to gain energy, which is essential for losing weight. When you think of the body, you have to think of it as a machine. Every little part, every screw, every bolt, and every wire are essential to keeping our machines working well.
When our cells are metabolizing, then our bodies work more efficiently. That good work starts to creep its way up and we find that we are feeling great and energized. Other fats like monounsaturated long-chain fats (LCTs) aren’t broken down as efficiently as MCTs and can leave you feeling sluggish.
Burns Calories When Resting
Not all foods are broken down in the same way, as we’ve seen with the MCTs, which come into play in this benefit as well. It seems that MCTs when compared to LCTs, are able to bring up the amount of energy available to expend by five percent, which helps a consumer burn another 120 calories a day. Combined with exercise and a healthy diet and when other cooking fats like olive oil and butter are replaced with coconut oil, you will be giving that metabolism the boost we covered earlier.
That boosted metabolism is what will help you burn calories when you are resting. In fact, the amount of calories you burn at rest is called the basal metabolic rate. The leaner you are, the higher that is. But, we know that the MCTs already bypass the typical route and give your metabolism a kick start, so they require less energy to break down, which saves more for you.
Makes Body Work Efficiently
Toxins are a real problem when you are trying to lose weight. They clog up our systems and make us sluggish. When you remove these toxins from your body, it will run like a well-oiled machine and burn calories at a faster rate. Coconut oil pulling has shown to remove toxins from your body, so I don’t see why consuming it would be any different.
Still, even if there is no proof that eating coconut oil will remove toxins, it seems that pulling does help by removing them from your mouth, which is where toxins begin. Also, you can pair coconut oil with a weight loss cleanse to up your game. Of course, before you start any weight loss plan or detox diet, it is important to consult your healthcare professional.
Scales Down Your Appetite
There is only one way to stop yourself from feeling hungry, and that’s to fill your stomach. Of course, sometimes we feel hungry even though our bodies are not in need of any real nourishment. Anyone out there that’s helped themselves to that second piece of pie knows what I mean.
Still, there are times when we are genuinely feeling hungry, and when you are counting calories, every single one of them becomes precious. Think of your 1,300 calories as money, what would you buy with it? Do you want to spend them all on an order of fries or maybe have a sensible salad so you can eat that ice cream bar later?
These are the difficult choices we need to make when we diet. Yet, when you choose coconut oil, you are putting in nearly the same amount of calories as olive oil, another healthy fat. But, because of the MCTs, you are left feeling more satiated than you would with a fat made of LCTs. Reviews of this study have shown its ability to curb hunger pangs.
Reduction In Belly Fat
A study was conducted with 40 women ranging from twenty years old to forty years old. They were split into two groups with group S ingesting 30ml of soybean oil a day for a twelve week period while group C consumed the same amount of coconut oil over the same period of time. During the study, both groups were instructed to walk for fifty minutes every day.
In the end, it seems that group C saw a reduction in abdominal obesity while group S showed an increase in belly fat. While coconut oil is comprised of MCTs, soybean oil is made up of LCTs, which shows a significant difference between the two and what type of fat they target when breaking down. It should be noted that both groups lost the same amount of weight so the type of oil used didn’t dictate the total amount lost, just the place where it was diminished.
An added bonus is that group C showed an increase in HDL cholesterol, which is the good kind. Group S showed a reduction in HDL and an increase in LDL.
I don’t know about you, but if I have natural choices when it comes to my health including weight loss, I am going to try that route first before I start looking for synthetic remedies. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a stranger to taking a couple of over-the-counter meds when I have an unexpected headache or I get that dreaded summer cold, but I still use steam baths with few selected essential oils to relieve my sinuses and or my cranial pressure.
We’ve already gone over several ways in which this oil has can be used to help your body burn more calories and attack that belly fat. Although this is a good place to mention that unless you count the calories you are adding with each tablespoon, then you will be defeating your purpose. Still, a diet of healthy foods like vegetables and lean proteins combined with a bit of this natural fat is a better way to go than popping the latest pill.
Diet pills come with all kinds of side effects like a higher risk for stroke or heart attack, addiction, gaining weight when you go off them, or the possibility of them not working at all. As for artificial sweeteners, they have been found to be associated with weight gain and heart disease.
It’s Easy To Use
This is the point of the article where you might start thinking that you are going to substitute all your fats with coconut oil so that you can start shedding those pounds. Unfortunately, this is also the place where I pull the rug out from underneath you. Hey, I couldn’t let anyone do that in good conscience, but I can lead you in the right directions. First things first…
Coconut oil is high in calories at 121 per tablespoon so it should be used sparingly. Another reason to monitor your use is due to the fact that even though coconut oil is full of MCTs, which are metabolized faster than Long Chain Triglycerides found in other fats, it is high in saturated fat (12g for 1 tablespoon), which can lead to high cholesterol.
How To Use Coconut Oil For Weight Loss
Consider using this natural fat as a replacement for you cooking oil once in a while. While olive oil has the same amount of calories, give or take a few, it is lower in saturated fat. The suggested dose for coconut oil is about 2 tablespoons a day. So, if you cook with olive oil, you could use coconut oil as an additive in your morning coffee. Just be sure to mark it in your calorie counter when you do.
It’s Easy To Find
Coconuts go so far back in history that it is difficult to discern exactly where they are from in the first place. Our research has led us to claims that they are from Mexico, others say they are from India, while another says that this brown seed that falls from the top of palm trees in the Pacific basin. No matter where they are from, it is a fact that these multi-functional drupes are cultivated in tropical climates.
When they were discovered by travelers and brought to the areas of the world where coconuts are not grown, they were most likely considered a luxury, and obtaining them not only cost a lot of time, it also was a great monetary expense. Industry, the flight, and higher levels of production, as well as deportation, has made the ability to get a coconut, and the oil derived from it easy. Of course, if you can get extra virgin coconut oil, this would be your best selection, which can be easily found at your local health food store or on the internet.
We all want to look our best and feel our best. One way we can do that is by making sure our bodies are working at their fullest potential. What goes in is important so, before you grab that slab of bacon for your dinner tonight, consider sauteeing some healthy veggies in a little bit of coconut oil. We’ve already told you the good that can come from it, and you’ll love the way it tastes.
If you found this article helpful, please let us know in the comments below. While we love researching these topics, we want to mention that we are not dieticians, and we always suggest consulting an expert before starting a weight loss plan.