Try adding it to your diet to reach your goals

Coconut oil has been hailed as the healthiest oil on the planet, thanks to it’s high smoke point (meaning it doesn’t spoil in extreme temperatures like other oils) and its unique nutritional properties. Everyone seems to being going nuts for coconut, but did you know including it in your diet could help you reach your body goals, no matter if it’s to lose weight, reduce body fat or gain muscle? Yes, coconut oil really is the oil that does it all.

For Weight Loss & Cutting Fat

The old myth that coconut is “fattening” has been dispelled by contemporary research that has shown that coconut oil (extracted from the meat of mature coconuts) may actually be beneficial for fat loss and maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol. Although the fat in coconut is a saturated fat, often labelled “bad” fat compared to “healthy” unsaturated fats, this specific type is an exception to the rule, as it acts in a unique way. This is because coconut contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are able to be absorbed straight into our cells and used as energy.

Recent research from the Garvan Institute suggests that including ample coconut oil in the diet is helpful for weight loss and preventing type-2 diabetes, by preventing fat storage and insulin resistance. Other studies show that MCFAs are more than twice as thermogenic (fat burning) as long chain fats, with one study indicating that consuming 15-30g of coconut MCTs induced dietary thermogenesis to increase 24-hour energy expenditure by 5 per cent. This equates to burning about 120 calories per day just from chowing down on coconut oil.

“Coconut oil is one of the best fat burning foods because it is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, stimulating to the metabolism, easy to digest, and full of antioxidants,” says nutritional therapist Catherine Crow. Coconut oil is also extremely satiating, meaning it keeps you fuller for longer, which can be a benefit when following a weight loss of cutting dietary regime.

How to take it:

The thermogenic effect of consuming MCTs lasts for approximately 24 hours. This means it’s ideal to eat about about 1 tablespoon a day (which can be divided up between meals) if your aim is to lose weight or cut fat. This quantity should provide you with a regular intake of MCTs to continuously stroke your metabolic furnace, without providing a heavy load of calories (as coconut oil is still an energy-dense food). Use it sparingly to replace other oils in your cooking, put a teaspoon into your smoothie or simply eat it on a spoon from the jar between meals.

For Bulking Up Muscle

To gain muscle, you need to combine the right training with a calorie surplus at the end of the day, which can be used by the body to build up muscle. Instead of resorting to junk foods to create this surplus, coconut oil offers an easy and healthy way to ramp up your calorie intake along with a host of other benefits.

Being high in lauric acid and thus highly antimicrobial and immune boosting, coconut oil may help prevent overtraining by bolstering your system. Using coconut oil post workout can also replenish Intra muscular fatty acid (IMFA) stores in the body and in turn create a greater pump post workout, which leads to an improved muscle growth, according to experts from Harvard University.

How to take it:

“In order to get the full muscle mass building benefits, many take large amounts, approximately 3-6 tablespoons a day,” says body building trainer Mark Otto. The amount needed will ultimately depend upon the individual, how they are working out and what the rest of their diet looks like. The best option is to calculate the calorie surplus you need to hit your goals, and adjust the amount accordingly, bearing in mind that 1 tablespoon of coconut oil contains roughly 120 calories. Slather it you’re your vegetables, spoon it into shakes and smoothies, mix into yoghurt or eat it straight up - just get into that coconut oil!

Tip: Make sure you choose a high quality, organic and unrefined coconut oil. Visit FIT in store to get your hands on the Honest to Goodness Organic Coconut Oil, which we proudly stock and think is the best on the market.