With a busy lifestyle and changed eating habits, more and more people are suffering from obesity. Obesity is not just the condition where your body weight is more than the normal weight, but there are also the chances of other health risks, such as blood pressure, diabetes, heart strokes, etc (1).
Not everyone suffers from other disorders related to obesity, but they are at a constant risk and therefore, it is essential to reduce weight as soon as possible. There are several ways to lose stubborn fat like nutritious diet, healthy lifestyle, exercising, and more. But when it comes to losing weight using foods, coconut oil is one of the best choices available.
Coconut oil is extracted from the coconut palm either by dry or by wet processing. It is a saturated oil and is made up of medium chain fatty acids which are better than longer chain acids and have a beneficial effect on weight management(2). It has ample properties which make it a perfect ingredient for losing weight. But, is it really an effective and safe way to reduce weight? Are there any side effects? What are the dosages? Let’s have a look.
How does Coconut Oil Help Lose Weight?
1. Controls Blood Sugar Level
Blood sugar level is also one of the reasons behind excess weight. It is essential that your sugar level is balanced while you lose weight. As both high and low sugar levels are risky and can be health threatening. It promotes weight loss by controlling the production and use of insulin, treating the diabetes in turn. Coconut oil provides more glucose to the body and helps shed extra pounds.
2. Balances Hormones
Your hormones also play an important role in maintaining your body weight (4). There are numerous hormones in our body that are directly or indirectly related to our weight. The hormonal imbalance can actually lead to obesity. Coconut oil aids the production of hormones that increase energy, improve digestion, reduce stress, and eventually burn away the excess fat.
3. Decreases Hunger and Burns Fat Faster
As it is a medium chain fatty acid (5), it forms ketone rapidly and reduces craving and hunger. Coconut oil aids the process of digestion, and helps absorb nutrients faster which makes you feel less tired and therefore less hungry. It also regulates appetite and reduces stubborn belly fat.
4. Boosts Metabolism
Metabolism is the process in which break down of the compounds in our body takes place in order to obtain energy (6). Therefore, it determines how many calories you burn each day. Coconut oil, being a medium chain triglyceride, accelerates the process of metabolism. Increased metabolism means more energy and less accumulation of fat. Many studies have also shown that consuming coconut oil will increase the metabolic rate and will reduce both BMI and waist circumference.
5. Improves the Immune System
Some studies have shown that there is a co-relation between the immune system and obesity. It may decrease the body’s response to antigens, cytokinin’s production, reduce macrophage, etc. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which possesses antimicrobial properties, therefore, eliminates the harmful pathogens from the body and helps improve the immune system of the body (7).
Weight Loss Using Coconut Oil
1. Coconut Oil
For losing weight, take a tbsp of coconut oil two times a day before your meals. It may also reduce your waistline as some studies suggest (8).
- You can also take it after the meals in place of desserts.
- Or else, use it as a substitute for olive oil.
2. Coconut Oil and Drinks
Add one or two tbsp of coconut oil to your juices, smoothies, shakes, yogurt, and apple sauce, etc., in order to include this to your daily regime. It has lots of benefits and is one of the best choices for cooking oil (9) Increase the quantity of the oil gradually after some days to speed up the process.
- Mix equal amount of coconut oil & olive oil and use it as a dressing on your favorite salad.
- Alternatively, spread the dressing on your toast and add some cinnamon powder and honey to enhance the taste.
3. Green Tea and Coconut Oil
Green tea, being loaded with potent antioxidants is an excellent beverage for increasing metabolism (10) & reducing weight. Adding 2 tbsp of coconut oil to a cup of green tea will increase its ability to curb fat and will make you more energetic. Consume this tea once or twice a day.
4. Coconut Oil with Lemon
Lemons not only enhance the process of weight loss, but are also good for overall health (11) as they eliminate the harmful toxins from the body. This recipe works as a great detoxifying drink and is one of the best ways to lose extra pounds.
5. Water and Coconut Oil
This is one of the easiest and hassle free methods. All you need to do is, add 1 or 2 tbsp of coconut oil (organic) in a cup of hot water or any herbal tea. As drinking enough water helps reduce weight (12), and coconut oil act as a catalyst, this mixture will make you look slimmer in no time. Drink 1 cup of this every day for satisfactory results.
6. Coconut and Cherries Juice
To prepare this juice, take 14 oz. of coconut milk, 7 ounces of water, 1 cup of cherries or blueberries and ½ tbsp of coconut oil. Add all the ingredients in a blender and process them at the highest possible speed until thoroughly mixed. Add any natural sweetener if desired and consume this at least once, every day to shed pounds and reduce your waistline (13).
7. Coconut Oil with Berries and Almond Milk
Almond milk, like almonds is rich in many nutrients, fibers & protein and is beneficial for weight management (14). Berries, on the other hand, are not only tasty but are packed with loads of nutrients which helps maintain cholesterol level & blood sugar level. To prepare a weight losing smoothie, take 1 cup of almond milk (unsweetened), 1 cup of berries (any), 1 tbsp of coconut oil (preferably organic), 1 tbsp of protein powder, and ice cubes as required. Just churn all the ingredients in a blender and enjoy the freshly prepared smoothie.
8. Pineapple and Coconut Oil
Pineapple is not only enriched in fibers, vitamins, and minerals but also in water and bromelain (15), which are essential for losing weight. All you need is one cup of coconut water, 1 to 2 tbsp of coconut oil, ½ cup frozen pineapple, 1 tbsp of organic spirulina, a handful of spinach, ½ banana (frozen), and a few ice cubes. Blend all the ingredients and prepare a smooth juice. Drink it regularly for visible results.
9. Coffee with Coconut Oil
Caffeine is an energy booster and keeps up the mental balance by making hormones more effective. Coconut Oil, on other hand, is an appetite suppressor and increases energy expenditure and metabolic rates (16). A mixture of these two works as a great remedy for losing weight. Just add one or two tbsp of coconut oil in a cup of coffee and drink it. For extra flavor, you can also add natural sweetener or whipped cream to it.
- Alternatively, add one tbsp of coconut oil and one tbsp of grass-fed butter to your hot coffee and drink it regularly.
- If you don’t prefer coffee, add it to your favorite tea.
Add It to Your Diet
Apart from weight losing remedies, you can include the oil to your diet in several forms. There are no strict guidelines on how to use the oil and you can experiment on your own. However, the studies in cooking suggest using it only sparingly while cooking (17). Some of the ways to include it in your diet are:
- Use coconut oil in place of butter or vegetable oil, to cook your food or for baking cookies, muffins, etc.
- You can also roast your veggies in it.
- Spread 1 tbsp of the oil on your salad.
- Prepare mayonnaise at home with coconut oil and olive oil and use it for your sandwiches or toasts.
- Add 2-3 tbsp of the oil to a cup of nuts (like almonds, cashew, etc.) and grind them to form a paste.
Although, there are no such guidelines and no side-effects of the oil, but it should be taken in a controlled quantity and must be taken with a gap of a few hours. Generally, the dosage depends on the weight of the person (18) and is as follows:
- For a person weighing 90 to 130 lbs: 1 tbsp of oil before every meal, 3 times a day.
- For a person weighing 131 to 180 lbs: 1.5 tbsp before each meal and up to 4.5 tbsp per day.
- For a person above 180 lbs: 2 tbsp of the oil, 3 times a day.
Coconut Oil Tablets
Though the oil is easily available everywhere, you can also get it in the form of tablets and capsules. These capsules are made up of pure, virgin, refined, and organic coconut oil, out of which organic pills are the best ones. Some brands have started making gel based pills as well. These pills are portable and easily consumable and are equally effective as raw oil is. The daily dosage varies according to the weight of a person. Generally, a person can take 4-6 tablets a day, but one should always consult a doctor for an exact amount.
Note: Pregnant and breast-feeding women and people with a high cholesterol level should consult the doctor for the correct dosage of coconut oil (or tablets, capsules, etc.) as an excessive use may harm their health (19).