DuJour’s “Body Language” column offers short tidbits of info about one specific body part each week. This week, it’s all about metabolism.
One of the most common culprits for a stall in weight loss is a slow metabolism, the internal calorie-burning, fat-dissolving process that converts food into fuel and, later on, burns that fuel for energy. To stay lean, you need to keep your metabolism—which is mostly influenced by factors like age, gender and even heredity—working at a high rate, and there’s a myriad of ways to speed it up. Things like tweaking your daily routine by snacking between meals to keep the calorie burning process going, adding metabolism-boosting foods like lean protein and chili peppers to your diet or even just moving around more through the day have proven to be helpful. But, of course, there are a few unexpected ways.
Thanks to one of the latest trends in weight loss science, there may be an even simpler way to boost metabolism: by adding the healthy fats found in MCT oil to your diet.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s) are a special kind of fat that are naturally found in coconut oil and palm oil and are easily used by the body to increase calorie consumption and boost fuel. The fatty acids even improve cognitive function by enhancing the production of ketones, which fuel the brain and strengthen the immune system. MCT oil is so healthy, it’s sometimes even added to juices and smoothies during cleanses to up the weight loss potential. Plus, the effects of increased energy and lowered hunger can be noticed almost immediately after ingesting the supplement.
Two teaspoons of the coconut-pineapple flavored MCT oil should be taken 1-3 times per day for optimal results and can be ingested either on its own or mixed into juices, smoothies or other beverages. The oil can even be used for cooking.
“I am now recommending MCT oil to my patients who want to lose weight,” Dr. Frank Lipman told DuJour, “as it can reduce appetite and increase fat burning.”
Be Well MCT Oil, $44, Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman, bewellbydrfranklipman.com
But, wait. If I’m trying to increase metabolism, shouldn’t I try to cut out fat?
While this would appear to be true, MCT’s are actually quite different than regular fats. “These fatty acids are more easily digested and metabolized in the liver and are used extremely quickly,” explained Jenny Sansouci, a health coach who works with Dr. Lipman at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, “whereas other fats are actually stored inside the body for later.”
Sansouci recommends using the MCT oil with an intermittent fasting routine for even better metabolism boosting effects, where a specific period of time is set between the last meal of one day and the first meal of the next, usually within the range of 12-16 hours. “A lot of people will take the MCT oil in the morning while they’re fasting because the body will use the energy to keep you satisfied until lunch,” she said.
“The MCT’s even can help protect your immune system and are anti-inflammatory,” she continued, “whereas other highly-processed fats are toxic and not good for weight loss or overall health at all.”
For even more of an energy boost to go with your increased metabolism, try making a cup of Bulletproof Coffee by adding a bit of MCT oil and two tablespoons of unsalted grass-fed butter to your morning cup of Joe. The fatty acids in the coconut oil improve brain energy while the butter provides the benefits of healthy milk fat, jumpstarting your body to burn energy all day.
“It’s also good to have before a workout,” she adds. “I often don’t want to eat right before a workout because it may make me feel nauseous, so having coffee with MCT oil is a really good pre-workout tip.”