Virgin Coconut Oil for Weight Loss
By Laura Ng
Many low-fat or no-fat vegetarian diet programs backfire because food tastes bland without fat.
Perhaps you're firm enough to remove fat totally from your meals for a short term, say 6 months. But you aren't willing to skip fat for the rest of your life, not to mention the negative effect of fat deficiency on your health.
While you may succeed to lose weight initially on a no-fat vegetarian diet, you're sure to gain it all back and even more when you finally throw in the towel. That's because when your body needs fat badly for keeping it warm and maintaining other essential bodily functions, your mind will push you to crave it.
So, instead of removing fat altogether, you rather choose to eat fat in moderation. But what kind of fat should you consider as a vegetarian weight loser?
Obviously as a vegetarian, you'll shun all animal fats because they're all long-chain saturated fats which are hard to break down and therefore, easily get deposited as extra body fat. And you probably read about or heard from ill-informed doctors, nutritionists and dieticians that saturated fat makes you put on weight fast.
Hence, you avoid saturated fats at all costs including those derived from plants such as coconut oil and palm oil. Because of the misinformation from those "experts", you actually believe saturated fat in coconut oil to be as bad as that in animal fat and other vegetable oils.
Now, that's truly a misconception. Let me show you why.
To achieve ultimate success with weight loss, your body must burn more calories than your caloric intake continually in the long run. And the key to success is metabolism. You need to trigger your metabolism to burn calories at all times.
Simply put, the more boost up your metabolism, the more calories you can burn.
Regular exercise is a proven way to increase your metabolism effectively. Eating virgin coconut oil can further elevate your metabolic activity due to its plentiful MCFAs.
MCFA (medium-chain fatty acid — aka MCT - medium-chain triglyceride) is the health-promoting saturated fat found in coconut oil which reacts differently from other saturated fats coming from animals. MCFAs travel along the bloodstream straight to the liver, where they're immediately processed and converted into energy, just like carbohydrate.
That means they won't get stored as fat so easily. Being smaller in size, MCFAs, together with other energy components in coconut oil, yield fewer calories than other fats — only 8.62 calories per gram. And if you replace other oils (which carry 9.4 calories per gram, to be exact) with coconut oil, you'll benefit from lower calorie intake and a boost of energy.
Let me show you the math:
Let's say your daily meal intake contains 60 grams of dietary fat. If the dietary fat is not coconut oil (or palm oil), then the amount of fat you would consume per day is 60 x 9.4 = 564 calories.
Changing to coconut oil, your daily fat intake becomes 60 x 8.62 = 517.2 calories. That's a reduction of 46.8 calories per day, In other words, you can easily lower your calorie intake by 1404 calories a month by simply switching to the healthier virgin coconut oil. That's amazing!
How Coconut Oil Boosts Your Metabolism to Burn Fat
Dr. Julian Whitaker, a well-known authority on nutrition and health says, "LCTs (long-chain triglycerides from animal fats and most vegetable oils) are like heavy wet logs that you put on a small campfire. Keep adding the logs, and soon you have more logs than fire. MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides from coconut oil) are like rolled-up newspaper soaked in gasoline. They not only burn brightly, but will burn up the wet logs as well" (Murray, 1996).
Here's the best part. Energy converted from MCFAs literally stimulates your metabolism.
MCFAs boost your metabolism by creating a thermogenic (or calorie-burning) effect where it burns more calories at an accelerated rate to produce more heat.
First, your metabolism uses up calories from other nutrients before turning to fatty tissues for more calories to burn. Hence, you're able to burn unwanted fat faster than you can imagine. While MCFAs are at work, you'll feel warmer (particularly in a cold environment) and full of vitality, mentally and physically for up to 24 hours.
But it's not like caffeine. If you're a caffeine addict, you're no stranger to the perk-up feeling after your regular dose of caffeinated coffee, tea or soft drinks. Such effect is like taking roller coaster since the "high" feeling often lasts for a couple of hours only.
It comes as fast as it goes.
Once you feel your concentration falters and your lethargy returns, you can't help but reach for another boost of caffeine. Gradually, your tolerance to effects of caffeine increases and you need to drink more and more of caffeine-laced drinks to stay alert. Consequently, you feel drained.
Although caffeine also increases metabolism, it can cause increased hunger or cravings for sweets and make you over-ingest empty calories. Studies show that caffeine can result in chronic fatigue, depression, irregular palpitations, osteoporosis, insomnia and gastro-intestinal tract problems.
Unlike caffeine, energy boost from MCFAs (in virgin coconut oil) is subtler and more long-lasting. More importantly, it won't create side effects like caffeine do.
Furthermore, MCFAs activate the secretion of your thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) to help regulate metabolism. When your thyroid gland functions well, your metabolism will rev up automatically and continuously, thus helping you to lose more weight at a faster rate.
In The Coconut Oil Miracle, Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D. says, "Farmers are always looking for ways to fatten their livestock because bigger animals bring bigger profits. Fat and oils are used as an additive in animal feed to pack on weight in preparing them for market. Saturated fat seems like a good choice to fatten up livestock, so pig farmers tried to feed coconut products to their animals for this purpose, but when it was added to the animal feed, the pigs lost weight!
Farmers found that the high polyunsaturated oil content of corn and soybeans quickly did what the coconut oil couldn't. Animals fed corn and soybeans packed on pounds quickly and easily. The reason these oils worked so well is that their oils suppressed thyroid function, decreasing the animals' metabolic rate. They could eat less food and gain more weight! Many people are in similar situation. Every time we eat polyunsaturated oils, our thyroid gland is assaulted and loses its ability to function normally. Weight gain is one of the consequences."
Do not belittle the impact of thyroid disorder; some people do eat less junk food, but their size just grow unstoppably due to their deficiency of thyroid hormones.
Look at your size now, are you eating less food but yet your pounds just keep piling up? Are you doing lots of exercises but your fat just wouldn't budge? You could be suffering from thyroid disorder. And coconut oil can help you with that.
What's more, due to the natural loss of fat off your body with regular consumption of virgin coconut oil, you won't easily get loose skin after weight loss. Yes, it does help you lose weight relatively faster, but it takes on a gradual and safe pace as compared to the drastic loss of 10 - 15 pounds in 7 days with fad diets.
A sensible vegetarian diet added with virgin coconut oil will not produce crash effect. Instead, it'll increase your energy level throughout the day to help you cope with the tasks in hand. Not only that, it also effectively improves your thyroid activity and boosts your metabolic rate to help shed unwanted pounds off your body.
Simply put, if you want to effectuate fat loss more easily, just include virgin coconut oil in your vegetarian diet now. But how much coconut oil to add in order to maximize fat-burning effect? Check out coconut oil's health & weight loss benefits then.