If coconut oil can boost metabolism and reduce appetite, then it should help you lose fat over the long term. In fact, there are several studies that support this.
In one study, 40 women were given either 30 grams (2 tablespoons) of either coconut oil or soybean oil for 28 days. They were instructed to eat fewer calories and walk every day. These were the results:
- Both groups lost weight (about 2 pounds).
- Only the coconut oil group had decreased waist circumference (belly fat) while the soybean oil actually had a mild increase in belly fat.
- The coconut oil group had increased HDL (good) cholesterol levels, while the soybean oil had reduced HDL and increased LDL.
In this study, coconut oil did not cause overall weight loss compared to soybean oil, but it did lead to a significant reduction in belly fat.
In another study in obese men, 30 grams of coconut oil for 4 weeks reduced waist circumference by 2.86 cm, or 1.1 inches.
There are also other studies showing that medium chain fats lead to weight loss, reduced waist circumference and various improvements in metabolic health.
The weight loss effects of coconut oil appear to be fairly mild, except for the abdominal fat.
Abdominal fat, also called visceral fat or belly fat, is the fat that tends to lodge around your organs and cause inflammation, diabetes and heart disease. Any reduction in abdominal fat is likely to have very positive effects on your metabolic health, longevity and drastically reduce your risk of chronic disease. These results are far from being dramatic, but consider that all these people are doing is adding coconut oil to their diet. Therefore, coconut oil can support a healthy, real-food based weight loss diet, but don’t expect it to work any miracles on its own.