One of my friends recently contacted me asking if I would try a coconut oil diet. Up until that point I had never heard about one. In fact as soon as my friend explained the diet to me alarm bells started to ring in my head.
From counting calories in the past I know that an average sized coconut can contain up to 1200 calories, and most of those calories are made up of fats. However from doing more research I must say that I am intrigued.
With most “miracle” or fad diets I am always skeptical, as the science behind these diets are way off. With the coconut oil diet however the science is backed up by a lot of research. The research that I carried out into coconut oil suggests that:
- Coconut oil helps with weight loss
- Coconut oil has powerful effects on the metabolism
- Coconut oil is highly effective in losing weight in the abdominal area
All of the above points to me sound like hype. Nearly every weight loss product that hits the market claims to have metabolism boosting effects. As soon as I hear metabolism boosting or similar hype words my hype detector goes off.
The last point for me is where this diet starts to sound too good to be true. Simply because up until now it has always been believed that you cant spot reduce your weight loss, meaning that you can not pick an area to lose weight from. In this instance it would be the abdominal area. For example you can not do 1000 sit ups a day and expect to have a lean stomach if your diet is off, doing those situps will give you strong abdominal muscles, but they will still be covered in fat if your diet is not good.
From my research however, I found one article that found that participants who took the coconut oil in their diets while keeping the same diet as before stayed roughly the same weight but did inches from their midsection. I have heard of people staying the same weight and losing inches through exercise, but through diet is a different matter. How is this all possible?
The science behind the coconut oil diet is that:
Firstly coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids which are metabolised differently from long chain acids, this means they are used right away and are turned into energy rather than being stored as fat in our bodies.
Coconut oil is also thermogenic, this means that eating it “boosts” your bodies metabolism by 5%. this means that eating 2 table spoons a day could burn up to 120 calories. Coconut oil is also said to keep you feeling fuller for longer, and in some studies participants ate up to 250 calories less a day.
If we combine the 250 less calories ate along with the 120 calories burned we would be eating close to 400 less calories a day. Now if a person is eating 400 less calories than they need a day then you would expect to lose anywhere between 1-2lbs a day.
At this point I do have concerns about these claims, as 2tbls spoons of coconut oil is going to contain a ton of calories. Depending on your coconut oil 2tbl spoons contain up to 250 calories. Therefor your looking at being in a calorie deficit of 150 calories, which really is not a lot.
Forgetting all of the above, something that interests me the most is the claim that coconut oil can decrease your waistline even if you stay the same weight. This would suggest that spot reduction is possible. Which every fitness expert will tell you it is not.
I am going to test these large claims out by adding 2 table spoons of coconut oil to my diet for a minimum of 14 days, possibly longer depenging on the results. I shall take measurements of my waste and weight and report daily. I shall be keeping to 2011 calories. Consisting of
- 200g of carbs
- 133g of protein
- 75g of fat (28g from Coconut oil)
More on this coming soon….