Kara here on today’s blog.
We’re taking a different approach to this one. A little something we like to call “he said/she said.”
And it all started the other night when I was at an event and talking with a former client.
She was telling me her husband was talking with his trainer about their newest body transformation program. Like any program where you’re trying to change your body composition, this one included exercise and some dietary changes.
But outside of those things, there was another “magic” piece to this puzzle.
In fact, the trainer said that this single thing was the exact reason for his success.
It was that he had all his clients take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil 1 hour before eating each meal.
That’s it. And fat magically falls off the body.
The changes you’ll see in your body have NOTHING to do with the training or other dietary changes made. It’s the coconut oil, of course. [insert sarcasm]
We’ve talked about the benefits of coconut oil in the past.
But let’s take a look at this from how it as a “fat loss miracle” as this clients trainer suggested, from a “he said/she said” angle. Chris will talk about some of the science behind coconut oil and I’ll be back to talk about the mindset shift.
Chris — checking in here. Let’s talk nutrition science behind this “secret to fat loss.”
How would someone come up with the idea that taking 1 tablespoon of coconut oil before each meal will help with fat loss?
Let’s take a step back and revisit how coconut oil has skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years compared to previously.
Coconut oil has traditionally gotten a very bad wrap because it is mostly saturated fat. And it’s been shown through research that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. Put those two sentences together … and in the most simplistic terms, it means too much coconut oil can cause heart disease.
But then some research started to emerge, looking more closely at the type of saturated fat that is in coconut oil (primarily lauric acid, for other nerds like us). And proponents started to point at the longevity of some populations in tropical areas who have been eating coconut oil for centuries as evidence that it should be part of the diet.
Further, these same populations that get most of their fat from coconut oil have some of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world.
Again, it comes back to the type of saturated fat. And coconut oil certainly does have some unique properties that make it a good choice.
But what about this fat loss piece — taking 1 tablespoon of coconut oil before meals to burn fat?
Another benefit to coconut oil is it is high in something called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These aren’t new – MCTs were popular when I first got into fitness in the early 90’s. They kind of fizzled out because the results weren’t there. You can buy MCT’s at a health food store just like you can buy regular ‘ol coconut oil, which is high in MCTs. In fact, coconut oil is the highest natural source of MCTs, which are burned more efficiently for energy than other nutrients. Imagine holding a newspaper over a flame vs. a log. MCTs are like that newspaper that get burned quickly and efficiently.
Does that mean it helps with fat loss?
Well, some data suggests there might be benefit when combined with other dietary changes and exercise. However, like all science, not all studies support this belief. Further, a few studies showed the benefits may change depending on the starting body weight of the people as well — leaner individuals may find more of a benefit than overweight ones.
Lastly, most of the actual studies that we found didn’t add a tablespoon of coconut oil before each meal, but rather replaced another type of oil. So it was taking MCTs in place of olive oil.
Moral of the story?
Surprise, surprise — coconut oil is not a miracle fat loss solution.
However, that being said, we are very impressed with the data and health benefits of coconut oil. Use it in place of some other oils when cooking, baking, etc, but science (and we) don’t support adding a tablespoon of it before each meal for fat loss.
But there’s another piece to this we want to talk about (Kara here again). And that’s the idea of any one thing being a “MAGIC” piece to a weight loss puzzle.
You see it’s our experience working with hundreds of weight loss clients over the years that everyone is looking for a hook. A magic trick, technique or potion that will suddenly make fat loss easy and effortless.
And sure you may be able to follow an extreme diet, workout twice a day, or even take a tablespoon of coconut oil before every meal for a short period of time…but you likely won’t be able to keep it up forever.
At some point, schedules, work, kids, life catches back up with you.
And then what?
Without your magic hook, you’ve got no chance at success. Pinning your success on something OTHER THAN YOU takes all of your power away.
If you want to get radical about changing your diet or your body so you can see a big transformation, by all means Do. It.
But just don’t turn the power of change over to anything but you and your decision to make it happen, whether it be coconut oil, gluten, intermittent fasting … or whatever the flavor the day happens to be.
Can you do us a favor and ‘like’ this post below to save your friends and family from falling for any miracle fat loss protocol?