Those who desire getting in shape often turn to natural ingredients for help with shedding pounds and building muscle. One such ingredient that is becoming increasingly popular is coconut oil, which provides some amazing benefits when it comes to losing weight. Here are some things you should know about coconut oil in order to maximize your fitness efforts.
Provides Fat-Burning Capabilities
According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders, the Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil increased the fat-burning capabilities and calorie expenditures of obese men, and also reduced their fat storage. That same journal published a second study that showed similar effects among women who used coconut oil over a 27-day period. Between two to three tablespoons of coconut oil each day is needed to provide you with the same benefits as those participants.
Increases Muscle Mass
Ketones are a form of high energy fuel that nourishes the brain. The body can produce ketones from stored fat, thereby increasing energy and preventing muscle loss. The MCTs in coconut oil can be converted into ketones to help facilitate the process. Coconut oil has been shown to be especially effective for those on a high-fat ketogenic diet, helping people to build lean muscle mass while also shedding unwanted pounds.
Improves Flavor of Food
Some people have difficulty sticking to a low-calorie diet because of the bland nature of many healthy foods. Adding a dab of coconut oil can significantly improve the flavor of these foods without adding an excessive number of calories. You may desire substituting coconut oil for vegetable oil when sautéing, frying, or baking. This is one way of getting the recommended amount of coconut oil without needing to add it into a protein shake or take an additional supplement.
Coconut oil contains loads of healthy monounsaturated fats that are known to promote good heart health. In addition, monounsaturated fats tend to digest much slower than carbohydrates do, thereby providing you with long-lasting energy. This means that you will be able to work out harder and for longer than if you did not consume coconut oil, yet will not experience the same “crash” that is common with many diet supplements.
Extra Virgin Recommended
The type of coconut oil you use is very important. Refined coconut oil is extracted using hexane or other solvents, and may therefore contain unwanted additives. It is also hydrogenated, making it full of unhealthy trans fats. On the other hand, extra virgin coconut oil is carefully regulated by the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community, and processed in such a way that its healthy fat content is preserved. As such, extra virgin coconut oil is the only type recommended to assist with weight loss and improve your overall health.
Coconut oil literally has hundreds of uses, making it easy to add to your diet. Since it provides numerous health benefits, chances are you will want to continue using coconut oil even after you have reached your weight loss and fitness goals.