The study found that those people eating a Mediterranean diet that was supplemented with the olive oil deliveries were 30 percent less likely to die of heart attack, disease, stroke or death from cardiovascular causes than those eating a low-fat diet. (1) In fact, the study finished earlier than planned, because the results were drastic enough that it was considered unethical to continue conducting it. For those of us who advocate eating a Mediterranean diet, this study was a welcome validation.
A meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials following overweight and obese participants for 1-2 years on either low-fat diets or very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets found that the ketogenic diet produced a small but significantly greater reduction in weight, triglycerides, and blood pressure, and a greater increase in HDL and LDL cholesterol compared with the low-fat diet at one year. [10] The authors acknowledged the small weight loss difference between the two diets of about 2 pounds, and that compliance to the ketogenic diet declined over time, which may have explained the more significant difference at one year but not at two years (the authors did not provide additional data on this).
With the importance of weight loss in the back of your mind, and an understanding of some of the factors that impact weight loss, we can now look at the amount of weight you can expect to lose on keto. This guide is based on the assumption that someone is following a strict keto diet where 75% of their calories come from fat, 20% comes from protein, and 5% comes from carbohydrates.

Weight loss caused by low-carb diets isn’t just because of a loss of “water weight”. In research studies that measured change in body fat, subjects eating low-carb diets had a greater loss in body fat than those eating low-fat diets. Additionally, keto diets lead to a greater reduction in waist circumference, a critical indicator of harmful stomach fat.
Wow! You look great. I am in. Always worked out, always ate what I thought was cleanly. 2 years ago I began eating primally and was in awesome shape but let the stresses of the wine biz add it back on. A piece of bread (or 3!!!) here and there, etc. In just two days, I’ve lost 3 lbs. I work out 4 days a week (2 day split x 2, all free weights) and HIIT 2 x a week (usually one day on its own and then on chest/back/tri day). No fears of bulking up (I’m female).

Notes Gomer, “There is also reason to believe that whatever modest health benefits are associated with consuming olive oil are largely due to the beneficial plant chemicals, such as polyphenols and plant sterols, found in the extra virgin olive oils, but these plant chemicals are largely lost in the more processed ‘light’ olive oils. These phytochemicals may provide some protection from the harmful effects caused by consuming a high-fat meal.”


Han, J. R., Deng, B., Sun, J., Chen, C. G., Corkey, B. E., Kirkland, J. L., …. & Guo, W.(2007, July). Effects of dietary medium-chain triglyceride on weight loss and insulin sensitivity in a group of moderately overweight free-living type 2 diabetic Chinese subjects [Abstract]. Metabolism, 56(7), 985–991. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17570262

Both MCT oil and coconut oil are beneficial for balancing bacteria in the gut microbiota, which in turn has positive effects on the digestive symptom, energy expenditure, and the ability to absorb vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. Medium-chain fats can help kill a wide range of pathogenic viruses, strains and bacteria that cause digestive issues, including candida, constipation, diarrhea, food poisoning, stomachaches and so on. (8)


Don’t get it wrong — just about all the cheap and abundant oils in coconut oil are good for you, which is why coconut oil is high on the list of Bulletproof foods! The problem is that studies show you can’t get enough of the really useful MCTs from just eating coconut oil or a so-called “MCT oil” that is diluted with lauric acid, a useful, but cheap, and hugely abundant part of coconut oil that is marketed as an MCT oil.[1]
These are the widely recognized LCTs, or long chain fatty acids in coconut oil, mostly saturated, including stearic acid (C18:0), oleic acid (C18:1), and linoleic acid (18:2). The exact percentage of each depends on the region the coconut is grown, time of harvest, and other growing variables. They are good as a fuel source, but they are also widely available in other oils, and you won’t benefit from eating a lot more of them compared to eating true medium chain fatty acids.
After the initial drop in weight due to water loss, your body will then begin to adapt to using fat as its main energy source. At this stage, you’re becoming “fat adapted.” This is the point in the process when you achieve a state of ketosis, meaning your body switches from using glycogen as its fuel source to using fat. When your body starts burning fat for energy, it produces ketones (also called ketone bodies). You can test your body’s level of ketones to determine whether or not you’re in ketosis.
Milk is limited. There are no long-term risks to eating Mediterranean, says Cohen. But you may be put off if you’re big on eating a lot of milk and rely on it to get all the calcium you need. You’ll get to eat cheese and yogurt, but in smaller amounts. "To get enough calcium in the diet without milk, one would need to eat enough yogurt and cheese, or seek nondairy calcium sources," says Cohen. If needed, drink skim milk. Otherwise, nondairy calcium sources include fortified almond milk, sardines, kale, and tofu made with calcium sulfate. (30)
Studies suggest an ideal ketone concentration for maximum hunger suppression and fat burning is 0.48 millimole per liter (mmol/L).19 Ketone measurements can be done through urine, breath or blood testing. Blood testing is the most expensive but also the most accurate and easy to test with home meters and strips. Measure your ketones about one hour after taking your MCT oil, and slowly build up your dose until you reach 0.48 mmol/L.
For Brown University researcher and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine Dr. Mary Flynn, the development and advocacy of a plant-based, olive oil diet was at one time considered outrageous. In the 1990s when the notion of consuming low-fat and fat-free foods for health was gaining widespread popularity, Flynn, who is also a nutritionist at The Miriam Hospital, was a vocal dissident. She openly expressed her concerns that this eating pattern was largely unsupported by sound science, even though many others in her field opposed her views. “I know that people in the nutrition community thought I was a near heretic,” Flynn says.
Extra virgin olive oil has high a percentage of omega fats (polyunsaturated fats that are good for your heart) along with monounsaturated fats. Delhi-based Dietitian, Dr. Deepali Solanki, shares, "Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids, unlike other oils which have a lot of saturated fat acids. It can be consumed in the same amount like any other oil. The recommended amount is half a liter per person per month."
These two meta-analyses (and the other research you’ll find in this article on keto & weight loss) provide us with a look at the real world significance of low-fat and low-carb diets. When you put people on a low-carb ketogenic type diet, they tend to lose more weight than people who are on a low-fat diet. The ketogenic diet also provides us with clear rules to follow, which makes it is easier for us to keep ourselves from overeating.
Dr. Westman never brings up exercise as a first step in weight loss. He wants patients to focus on the diet first. “But later on, if things are no longer working well and there is still significant weight to lose, I bring up the E-word, exercise. But I try to get them back to things that are fun for them. Exercise will help you get through a plateau.”
Coconut oil is blowing up in the health and wellness scene, but there’s a catch to all the so-called benefits. Coconut oil contains different strains of fats and not all of these strains are equally effective for energy and fat loss. That’s why I specify the exact types of oils that work best in “The Bulletproof Diet,” and why Bulletproof makes Brain Octane Oil and XCT Oil, neither of which is the plain MCT oil found in coconut oil.
Cancer — While we can’t say that being obese or overweight causes cancer, consistent evidence indicates that higher levels of body fat are associated with increased risks for certain types of cancer, including breast cancer, kidney cancer, colorectal cancer, and endometrial cancer. In fact, overweight women are two to four times more likely to develop endometrial cancer (a type of cancer that begins in the uterus).
As the tide began to turn in the early 2000s and the claims for low-fat diets grew more dubious, new dietary culprits were called into question, such as refined carbohydrates and gluten. Meanwhile, more research emerged exploring the benefits of diets rich in healthy fats. These days, Flynn is noted for seemingly having known before others that low-fat diets were not optimal for health. “I constantly hear from people now ‘How did you know low-fat diets were unhealthy?’ ” She laughs this off remarking that she would simply always read the references supporting dietary guidelines and was a critical reviewer of the evidence. “I constantly tell my students to not take dietary guidelines at face value; look into the evidence.”
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Cancer — While we can’t say that being obese or overweight causes cancer, consistent evidence indicates that higher levels of body fat are associated with increased risks for certain types of cancer, including breast cancer, kidney cancer, colorectal cancer, and endometrial cancer. In fact, overweight women are two to four times more likely to develop endometrial cancer (a type of cancer that begins in the uterus).
In 2017, Drs. Kevin Hall and Juen Guo published a meta-analysis of controlled feeding studies that compared diets of equal calorie and protein content with variations in carbohydrate and fat content. By designing the study in this way, the researchers could finally find out whether restricting carbs or limiting calories is more important when it comes to weight loss.

Nuts are another Mediterranean diet staple. Grabbing a handful, whether that's almonds, cashews, or pistachios, can make for a satisfying, on-the-go snack. One study in Nutrition Journal found that if people replaced their standard snack (cookies, chips, crackers, snack mix, cereal bars) with almonds, their diets would be lower in empty calories, added sugar, and sodium. Plus, nuts contain more fiber and minerals, such as potassium, than processed snack foods.


When examining the studies, the researchers noted that, on average, the participants in the VLCKD groups lost about 2 lbs. more of bodyweight compared to the low-fat diet groups. [19] This difference was statistically significant and described as “moderate”. The researchers also noted greater improvements in triglycerides, blood pressure, and HDL cholesterol in the VLCKD group compared to the low-fat diet group.
The premise of the ketogenic diet for weight loss is that if you deprive the body of glucose—the main source of energy for all cells in the body, which is obtained by eating carbohydrate foods—an alternative fuel called ketones is produced from stored fat (thus, the term “keto”-genic). The brain demands the most glucose in a steady supply, about 120 grams daily, because it cannot store glucose. During fasting, or when very little carbohydrate is eaten, the body first pulls stored glucose from the liver and temporarily breaks down muscle to release glucose. If this continues for 3-4 days and stored glucose is fully depleted, blood levels of a hormone called insulin decrease, and the body begins to use fat as its primary fuel. The liver produces ketone bodies from fat, which can be used in the absence of glucose. [1]
But much has changed on Crete – and throughout the Mediterranean – since then. Today, the people of Crete still eat a lot of olive oil, but their intake of whole, natural foods has gone way down, as has their physical activity. The island’s new staples are meat, cheese, TV, and the Internet. Today, more than 60% of Crete’s adult population – and an alarming 50% of its children – are overweight.

You have to ban all the commercial and artificial products. They did not exist fifty or sixty years ago. They are artificially hydrogenated products and derivatives, and anything suspected of containing trans-fats. In USA, it is compulsory from January 1st 2006 to show in the labels the trans-fat proportion. You should choose products with 0% of trans fats. You should consider that 0% means right up to 0.49 grams per serving. If the serving is small and you take many, you may eat a lot of these fats. They increase the bad cholesterol (LDL) and reduce the good one (HDL). Apart from other supposed negative effects.
The group who ate yogurt with the extract had increased blood flow in brain areas typically associated with fat consumption—even though the overall fat content of the snack was low. That's all thanks to the scent of olive oil, which might help you feel full, according to the researchers. (This isn't the first time studies have shown that olive oil can increase feelings of satiety and fullness.)
Some patients constantly graze on "legal" keto foods that can stall fat loss. Intermittent fasting is the answer here: You naturally reduce your caloric intake and give your gut a break. By not eating, you're allowing inflammation to quiet down in your body, which helps with blood sugar balance and weight loss. As an example, some plans combine daily fasting with a ketogenic diet. Have a big dinner, close up the kitchen, and push breakfast as far back the next morning as you can. I talk more about this type of keto diet, which I call a Cyclitarian plan, here.

There are actually a few different forms of MCTs, some that are likely more effective than others. The four different kinds of MCTs include caprioc (acid C6:0), caprylic (acid C8:0), capric (acid C10:0) and lauric (acid C12:0) acids. Generally speaking, the shorter the chain (meaning the lower the number of carbons the acid has), the faster the body can turn the fatty acids into usable energy, in ketone form. Ketones are what the body produces when it’s using fat for energy instead of glucose.
Your current health status. Your overall health plays a major role in how fast you will lose weight and adapt to a lower carb diet. If you have any hormonal or metabolic issues, weight loss might be slower or a bit more challenging than expected. Insulin resistance, excess visceral fat, and thyroid issues, for example, can all have a significant impact on your weight loss rate.

Many people may look at my side-by-side before and after pics and think, "She was fit before and she looks the same now." (Isn't it strange how differently other people see you versus how you see yourself?) But eating and exercise should always be about more than the aesthetics. How do your diet and fitness habits make you feel? Food is fuel (and recovery) for the activities you like to do most. If eating well means you gain some perspective, then ending up with a better butt is just icing on the cake. BTW, I can have cake now.


What’s next for Flynn? With teaching, research, clinical and non-profit work on her plate, she still feels that there is much left to learn about the application of a plant-based diet that includes high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Securing funding remains challenging, which Flynn attributes in large part due to the “dismal failure” of low-fat diet research. She also is confident in the potential of using “food as medicine” to improve risk factors for chronic diseases among low-income groups, which offers dual benefits of improving lives as well as decreasing health care costs. She is also curious about the freshness of olive oil vis-à-vis its provision of health benefits and whether there is a cutoff at which these benefits begin to decline.

Welcome to the 21st century, where the low-fat diet is slowly but definitely on its way out to make room for a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet. For decades we have been following the faulty advice to reduce our fat intake to a bare minimum while increasing the amount of sugar in everything. Even a well-known brand of packaged macaroni and cheese contains added sugar, leaving us wondering why noodles and cheese might possibly need to be sweetened.
Based on ultra-simple guidelines in The Belly Fat Diet for Dummies, these menus, which feature yummy olive oil recipes for weight loss, incorporate six servings of waist-shrinking olive oil a day into meals that are both low in calories and highly delicious. Just pick your favorites — we love combining lemon and olive oil for weight-loss-friendly meals that also taste good — and let the waist shrinking begin! While using this plan, drink as much water as you like. Add ultra-low-cal extras (coffee, tea, herbs, spices, vinegar) as desired. Note: As always, get a doctor’s OK before trying any new plan.
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