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Coconut Oil For Weight Loss: 5 Helpful Ways To Use It Effectively 2023

Lakshmi Vemuri

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Ramakrishnan, G., Ph.D

Coconut Oil For Weight Loss

Coconut oil has been in use for cooking purposes, and as a skincare oil since ancient times. Recently, coconut oil has seen a serious surge in popularity as a fat burner. As many people adopted the ketogenic diet, people have started using it as a popular hair mask to adding it in morning drinks such as bulletproof coffee. Coconut oil has been there for us all the time. Now, coconut oil is in high demand due to its ability to keep the body in a fat-burning state called ketosis. 

Whereas in recent times many people are opting for CBD for weight loss, coconut oil contains a type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which also helps you in losing weight. More than 50% of the fat from coconut oil comes from these medium-chain fatty acids. But how does coconut oil help with weight loss? Well, you will learn that in this article.

How To Lose Body Fat Using Coconut Oil?

  • Use coconut oil as cooking oil
  • Use coconut oil to bake
  • Add coconut oil to drinks
  • Eat a spoonful of coconut oil everyday
  • Coconut oil supplements

5 Ways Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Weight

Coconut oil can be used in many ways, as you can use it as cooking oil or have a spoonful of it. You can even add it to coffees and teas, like the famous bulletproof coffee from the keto diet. In this read, you will learn five effective ways to include coconut oil to lose weight. 

Use Coconut Oil As Cooking Oil

Coconut oil turns into a solid-state at room temperature. The saturated fatty acids in this oil keep it stable even at high temperatures. This makes coconut oil ideal for cooking. But it is also important to know that, unlike soybean oil and canola oil, coconut oil has a relatively low smoking point. 

This means they can produce carcinogens if used for deep frying food. So, avoid using coconut oil to deep-fry foods. Instead, you can use soybean oil and canola oil as these oils have higher smoking points. Whereas, olive oil has moderate smoke points.

Except for deep frying, you can replace traditional cooking oils with this MCT-rich coconut oil. This way you can incorporate coconut oil into the diet. You can add some of this oil to make popcorn or curries, or even drizzle some on your soups and stews. You can also add coconut oil to boiling rice to reduce the overall calorie intake.

Use Coconut Oil To Bake 

You can bake cookies, brownies, and cakes using coconut oil. By simply replacing the regular oil with coconut oil at a ratio of 1:1. Make sure to allow the eggs and milk to come to room temperature before combining with coconut oil to avoid clumping of the batter. 

A study[1]conducted by researchers found that adding coconut oils to the food increases the volume of the stomach, thereby, increasing the fullness hormone, leptin. 

Furthermore, some researchers also found that consuming foods that have high amounts of saturated fats can increase fullness more than consuming monounsaturated fat.

You can use this oil instead of olive oil to stir fry or saute veggies, eggs, fish, or meat. You can use it as a salad dressing or mix it into sauces. In addition to this, you can marinate the meat or poultry with the spice mix and coconut oil before baking.

Add Coconut Oil To Drinks

Using coconut oil in drinks has to be one of the most popular and most widely practiced methods of including coconut oil in one’s diet. As mentioned earlier you can add 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil to your regular drinks such as coffee or tea, herbal teas, or even plain hot water and smoothies. You can also add it to your smoothies or make a coconut matcha latte. 

Research suggests that coconut oil can help lose belly fat[2]. A 4-week study with 20 obese adults showed that consuming 2 tablespoons of coconut oil reduced the waist circumference significantly in male participants. So why not add one tablespoon of coconut oil to get a beautiful slim waist.

Eat A Spoonful Of Coconut Oil A Day

As mentioned earlier coconut oil curbs your appetite, but that does not mean that it is free of calories. Like all other oils, coconut oil has saturated fats and hence it contains calories. So it is important to consume coconut oil in moderation. For a start, consume a tablespoon a day. 

According to a study[3], researchers found that coconut oil can help decrease inflammation, and improve the levels of HDL cholesterol which protects our heart from heart disease. Furthermore, it can also improve insulin sensitivity.

However, most beginners complain that they have a feeling of queasiness on starting this habit, even after consuming coconut oil for a long period of time. Your coconut oil intake should be limited to a maximum of 3 tablespoons daily. Keep in mind that too much of anything can be bad. 

Coconut Oil Supplements

One can consume coconut oil supplements. Since coconut oil is an appetite inhibitor, it can keep you full for a longer time and keep you away from food cravings. The MCTs are fatty acids that are present in coconut oil that can curb the appetite and boost the fat-burning process. 

You can take coconut oil in the form of capsules, as supplements offer control on dosage and are convenient. Most supplements have 1-3 grams of coconut oil per capsule, so you might have to take around 13 capsules to get 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. However, there are much better ways to consume coconut oil. You can simply buy a jar full of premium quality extra virgin coconut oil and have a spoonful of it before meals to consume less food.  

A study conducted by the University of Geneva[4] found that eight healthy men were given 1-2 tablespoons of MCFAs or LCFA’s before meals. By the end of the research, men who consumed MCFAs experienced a 5% increase in their energy expenditure and a total loss of about 120 calories a day.

How Does Coconut Oil Work?

Coconut oil is undoubtedly a healthy fat but It is unclear how it promotes weight loss, however, many studies are proving its effects on weight loss. The belief that this oil promotes weight loss is based on its hunger decreasing properties along with the fact that coconut oil contains specific fats such as medium-chain triglycerides. These medium-chain fatty acids are metabolized differently in the body than long-chain fatty acids.

Before knowing about the benefits of medium-chain fatty acids let us also learn about the long-chain fatty acids. Most the vegetable and seed oils are made of long-chain fatty acids. Long-chain fatty acids are hard on our digestive system and are mostly stored as body fat. This increases the LDL cholesterol levels, which is bad cholesterol levels. 

Coming medium-chain fatty acids, these fatty acids are easily digested, they are also converted into energy in no time, unlike long-chain fatty acids which get stored as body fat. MCFAs accelerate our metabolism which in turn leads to weight loss. MCFAs are saturated fat that makes up 90% of coconut oil. This fatty acid contains lauric acid, which helps in weight loss. 

Lauric acids promote ketosis, a state in which the body burns fat to use as energy. It also increases high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (HDL), thereby, decreasing the risk of heart diseases. Moreover, MCTs get metabolized in the body differently than long-chain fatty acids (LCTs). Unlike LCTs, MCTs are less likely to be stored as fat. 

Coconut oil has an array of health benefits apart from being beneficial for weight loss. It increases the feelings of fullness and improves appetite regulation. It boosts metabolism and gives a natural energy boost. It controls blood sugar levels, it burns belly fat. In addition, this also balances out our hormones and improves thyroid hormone activity. Lastly, it aids in digestion as well. 

Final Words

Coconut oil is 100% fat and 80-90% of it is saturated fats this fatty acid is proven to boost metabolism and help you lose weight and burn fat. Apart from this, many health benefits make coconut oil a good choice to include in the regular oil group to use on a regular basis. Also, make sure that you follow a healthy diet and active lifestyle with regular workout sessions. Hydrate yourself properly and get a good sleep every night to lose weight quickly. 

+ 4 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Carreiro, A.L., Dhillon, J., Gordon, S., Higgins, K.A., Jacobs, A.G., McArthur, B.M., Redan, B.W., Rivera, R.L., Schmidt, L.R. and Mattes, R.D. (2016). The Macronutrients, Appetite, and Energy Intake. Annual Review of Nutrition, [online] 36(1), pp.73–103. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4960974/
  2. Liau, K.M., Lee, Y.Y., Chen, C.K. and Rasool, A.H.G. (2011). An Open-Label Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Virgin Coconut Oil in Reducing Visceral Adiposity. ISRN Pharmacology, [online] 2011, pp.1–7. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22164340/
  3. ‌Newell-Fugate, A.E., Lenz, K., Skenandore, C., Nowak, R.A., White, B.A. and Braundmeier-Fleming, A. (2017). Effects of coconut oil on glycemia, inflammation, and urogenital microbial parameters in female Ossabaw mini-pigs. PLoS ONE, [online] 12(7). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5509134/
  4. Dulloo AG;Fathi M;Mensi N;Girardier L (2021). Twenty-four-hour energy expenditure and urinary catecholamines of humans consuming low-to-moderate amounts of medium-chain triglycerides: a dose-response study in a human respiratory chamber. European journal of clinical nutrition, [online] 50(3). Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8654328/
Lakshmi Vemuri

Medically reviewed by:

Lakshmi Vemuri holds a bachelor’s degree in Dentistry. She is also a published author of several Food and Wellness books. Lakshmi has a profound interest in alternative medicines, various forms of physical exercise, mental health, diets, and new inventions in medical sciences. Besides being a dentist, Lakshmi is passionate about gardening and is an environmental enthusiast

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