On the other hand, coconut oil does have some well-documented health benefits that concentrated MCT oils might be lacking. The biggest drawback to buying manufactured MCT oil is that you might not really know what you’re getting. In order to produce a liquid MCT oil that does not become solid at colder temps, it might need to be more refined than regular coconut oil.
In one study published in the Journal of Obesity and Research in 2013, scientists at McGill University carried out a randomized control trial to compare the effects of medium-chain triglycerides (such as caprylic acid and lauric acid) and long-chain triglycerides (like olive oil) on body fat storage, energy expenditure, appetite control, and other aspects of weight loss in overweight men.
Tallon, these suggestions are meant to be taken one at a time. If you’ve hit a plateau or are struggling with weight loss, you can try to cut back on your protein. If that doesn’t provide results than maybe that wasn’t the culprit..now try cutting back on dairy, see what happens with that. It’s all about finding what works for you. If you cut out everything at once, you’ll never know which one was causing the issue. Hope that makes sense.
Picking through the data, the researchers found that the extra olive oil group did slightly better than the extra nut group, but both were clearly superior to low fat diets. The research was also much more reliable than many diet studies because it was a randomised control trial that looked at a large group of people over a long period of time, rather than just monitoring people on one diet for a few days or weeks.
Watch out for hidden carbs — Carbs are everywhere, especially in processed food. If you’re consuming more than the recommended amount of carbs (5% of your calories), your body will revert to burning those as opposed to burning fat. Try to stick to wholesome, unprocessed foods and be very careful about what you’re putting in your body. Read the nutrition facts on all your food and use our carb counter to help you monitor your carb intake. Know the difference between net carbs and total carbs. Net carbs = total carbs – fiber – sugar alcohols. To achieve and stay in ketosis, most people have to keep net carbs around 25 grams per day.
Loading up on fat lowers your levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that tells your body to store energy, either as fat or glucose.[4][5] The more insulin your body releases, the more fat that gets stored. Insulin also blocks leptin, the hormone that sends a signal to your brain when you’ve eaten enough to meet your energy needs.[6] That means when you eat carb-heavy foods, you’re at risk of overeating and won’t get that full feeling before reaching for a second helping of potatoes.
Instead, a revised version of the study was released on June 13, 2018. (2a) This updated study made statistical adjustments to the data, accounting for the fact that it wasn’t 100 percent random. The language is softer, too — instead of saying that the Mediterranean diet was the direct cause of the reduced rate of cardiovascular diseases and death, it simply says that people following the diet had fewer instances of it.
Olive oil is an integral part of the "Mediterranean diet" which is associated with sensible tasty portions and slower, more enjoyable eating. People who eat a "Mediterranean diet" have been shown to have a remarkable variety of health benefits. The olive oil in the Mediterranean diet can quickly satisfy hunger and lead to fewer total calories ingested at mealtime. It is unclear if any single component of this diet is responsible for these health benefits or if it is a combination of olive oil and a diet high in vegetables, fruit and fish.

Technically, you can eat any food and lose weight. The key to weight loss is not eating “fat burning foods,” the key to weight loss is a sustained calorie deficit. When you are in a calorie deficit (i.e., eating fewer calories than you need to maintain your weight), your body will be forced to use its energy stores, which includes glycogen (stored sugar) and body fat (stored triglycerides).

The benefits above are the most common ones. But there are others that are potentially even more surprising and – at least for some people – life changing. Did you know that a keto diet can help treat high blood pressure, may result in less acne, may help control migraine, might help with certain mental health issues and could have a few other potential benefits?

Hallberg suggests caution, however, around very long fasts lasting multiple days. “If you are skipping meals because you are not hungry from doing a proper low-carb, high-fat diet that is just fine.” She is concerned, however, about very long fasts in which people are ignoring hunger signals and for the potential for a dangerous physiological fluid and electrolyte imbalance called refeeding syndrome that can arise after very long extended fasts, lasting many days, when normal eating is resumed.
What is even more surprising is that the monounsaturated-fat-rich diet and saturated-fat-rich diet were equally damaging. “The monkeys fed monounsaturated fat developed equivalent amounts of coronary artery atherosclerosis as those fed saturated fat,” wrote Dr. Lawrence Rudel and colleagues at Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University in Winston–Salem, North Carolina.
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.”
Add in intermittent fasting: Once you are fat-adapted, hunger pangs diminish and it is easy to go for longer periods without eating. Many people naturally stop eating breakfast — they just aren’t hungry when they wake up. The number one rule of low-carb eating is “eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.” So if you are not hungry try fasting for 16 hours, and then eating just lunch and dinner in an 8-hour window, called a 16:8 fast. Or try eating dinner one night, than fasting until dinner the next night, doing a 24-hours fast.
What makes MCTs a top source of essential healthy fats? Medium-chain fats are digested easily and sent directly to your liver, where they have a thermogenic effect and the ability to positively alter your metabolism. This is one reason why many people claim that MCTs, including coconut oil, are burned by the body for energy, or “fuel,” instead of being stored as fat.
MCTs have antiviral and antibacterial properties and there is some evidence that they may help balance gut bacteria and combat pathogenic bacteria. They also offer the digestive system a break because they are so easily utilized by the body. When used with a healthy diet and other ways to support gut bacteria, MCTs may help improve gut health over time. (Though regular coconut oil may be more effective for this, see below).
When you’re on keto, you’re less hungry. Ketones help control hormones that influence appetite.[2] They suppress ghrelin, your “hunger hormone,” and at the same time they boost cholecystokinin (CCK) — the hormone that keeps you feeling full.[3] You won’t want to snack as regularly, making it easier to go longer without food. Your body will then reach into its fat stores for energy. The result? More weight loss. Learn more here about how the keto diet suppresses appetite.
However, the researchers noted that it was still substantial and noted that “Evidence from this systematic review demonstrates that low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets are more effective at 6 months and are as effective, if not more, as low-fat diets in reducing weight and cardiovascular disease risk up to 1 year.” [20] They emphasized, however, that more research needs to be done to evaluate the long-term effects of the ketogenic diet on weight-loss.
Not only is the Mediterranean diet a tasty way to eat, drink and live, but it’s also a realistic and sustainable way to reduce disease-causing inflammation and to lose weight, too (or to maintain a healthy weight). In fact, in January 2019 when U.S. News evaluated 41 of the most popular diets they identified the Mediterranean Diet as being the “#1 Best Overall Diet.”
You’ll find that in their meals, they emphasize a plant-based eating approach, loaded with vegetables and healthy fats, including olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids from fish. It’s a diet known for being heart-healthy. (1) "This diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, nuts and legumes, and olive oil," says Nancy L. Cohen, PhD, RD, professor of nutrition at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. On this plan, you’ll limit or avoid red meat, sugary foods, and dairy (though small amounts like yogurt and cheese are allowed).
Set realistic expectations: Both Dr. Hallberg and Jackie Eberstein note this tip is particularly important for women, of all ages. Some women are aiming for an arbitrary number on a scale, perhaps from a long time ago or an idealized weight they have never achieved — a number that has no real bearing or relationship to their actual health and wellness.

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One of the diets that implement these principles is the low-carb ketogenic diet. It primarily consists of highly-satiating foods like meat and low-carb vegetables while cutting out all carb-ridden, highly-palatable foods. By eating in this way, most people experience tremendous amounts of fat loss — not because it lowers insulin levels, but because keto dieters tend to eat significantly fewer calories than high-carb dieters without realizing it.
The 2017 meta-analysis by Drs. Kevin Hall and Juen Guo provide us with very convincing data, but we must also consider the fact that the data came from studies where all the food was provided by the scientists. Although this is a great way to assess the difference between low-carb and high-carb diet, this does not simulate the real-world effectiveness of each diet. For this reason, we must investigate data from less strict studies. In other words, we need to look at what happened when subjects were told to follow a specific diet on their own.
It's generally accepted that the folks in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and suffer less than most Americans from cancer and cardiovascular ailments. The not-so-surprising secret is an active lifestyle, weight control, and a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat and high in produce, nuts and other healthful foods. The Mediterranean Diet may offer a host of health benefits, including weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention and control. By following the Mediterranean Diet, you could also keep that weight off while avoiding chronic disease.

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Great article and very inspiring. I am very interested in the Keto lifestyle. My husband has Chrons disease and a friend of ours was telling us about the Keto diet. From the research I have done this seems very beneficial. However, I am struggling with the meal planning part of this. I currently plan our meals and grocery shopping weekly and know if I had a meal plan/recipes that we could be very successful. Do you have recommendations or suggestions on a place to find this?
Outside of Reddit, I have never seen what I would call a great write up on keto. Following one of these purchased plans, with lots of expensive supplements, is not only unnecessary but usually contains lots of bad advice. I can't even begin to imagine why you would be told that Granny Smith apples, which come in at around 12 net carbs per cup, are ok but brussel sprouts (~3.5g net carbs per cup) or carrots (11g net carbs per cup grated) are not. Doesn't even make sense. A spoon of peanut butter kick you out of keto? ~4-6g net carbs per 2T! The keto diet is not hard and it is very sustainable as a way of eating permanently. Part of America's problem with weight is that they think everything needs to be handed to them in a bottle or package, with no work or thinking involved. Keep your daily intake of net carbs very low (less than 30 is probably best) and get your carbs from healthy natural foods before you reach for prepackaged food. Moderate protein. Eating tons of fat is not a requirement. Keto is called high fat because in terms of percentages, you are getting the most calories from fat. If you eat moderate protein and very low carb, you need to get the rest of your calories from somewhere. I'm a 40 year old female and lost 100+ lbs eating keto with no purchased plan and no bs supplements. I still eat that way 4 years later. I have arthritis but I run, I lift weights, I ride horses, I ride bikes, I live a very healthy, active lifestyle since losing the weight and finding keto. I have tried to go back on a standard American diet and immediately lose my motivation and energy, my body feels awful. The benefits of keto go far beyond weight loss. The hardest part about eating keto is social because so many people think it's so hard and there are so many misconceptions. It is completely sustainable as an individual.

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Olive oil is an integral part of the "Mediterranean diet" which is associated with sensible tasty portions and slower, more enjoyable eating. People who eat a "Mediterranean diet" have been shown to have a remarkable variety of health benefits. The olive oil in the Mediterranean diet can quickly satisfy hunger and lead to fewer total calories ingested at mealtime. It is unclear if any single component of this diet is responsible for these health benefits or if it is a combination of olive oil and a diet high in vegetables, fruit and fish.
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We now know that ideally MCT oils like coconut oil should actually be consumed every day. Certain saturated fats, especially MCTs and other healthy fats found in things like coconut oil or grass-fed beef, are in fact easier to digest than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) and might even have more benefits related to heart health, obesity prevention and brain health, too.


Julius thanks for sharing your story with us and the great breakdown of everything. I’m two weeks in on my standard keto diet along with exercise and I feel great. I know how vital sleep is but I find myself waking up very early in the morning usually between 3-4 am(I wake up at 5 for work) but I have so much energy I can’t go back to sleep and I am not tired throughout the day. From your knowledge and experience is this normal? And is working out more than 3x a week counter productive in your opinion? Thanks again, Josh

During my honeymoon to Greece I had the chance to visit the oldest-known olive oil tree in the world. Most olive trees can live more than 500 years, but this one is at least 2,000 years old! Given that Greeks consume 12.8 kilograms of olive oil per year — compared to four kilograms in North America — it got me thinking about the importance of these trees to their daily life. Greece’s increased consumption of this healthy fat shows why the Mediterranean diet has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and lowered cancer risk for those who follow it.
I just started keto on dec 1st, im kind of winging it … Im drinking half my body weight in water, not eating at night at all, ive been researching non stop .. Again this goes against everything ive ever known … Yesterday i had bpc for breakfast, 2 eggs,heavy cream, 1/4 c shredded cheese, 1/4 pancetta & half an avocado, for lunch, dinner was 2 small haddock fillets crusted in parmesean with 2 cups of steamed broccoli & a green salad, romaine & cucumbers with 2 tbs poppyseed dressing .. Things i thought that werent keto friendly other websites says are ok.. I just want to do this right, i want to see my weight go in the opposite direction, i would hate to gain !!
The Mediterranean diet might help you lose weight. While some people fear that eating a diet like the Mediterranean diet that is relatively rich in fats (think olive oil, olives, avocado and some cheese) will keep them fat, more and more research is suggesting the opposite is true. Of course, it depends on which aspects you adopt and how it compares to your current diet. If, for instance, you build a "calorie deficit" into your plan – eating fewer calories than your daily recommended max or burning off extra by exercising – you should shed some pounds. How quickly and whether you keep them off is up to you.
Technically, you can eat any food and lose weight. The key to weight loss is not eating “fat burning foods,” the key to weight loss is a sustained calorie deficit. When you are in a calorie deficit (i.e., eating fewer calories than you need to maintain your weight), your body will be forced to use its energy stores, which includes glycogen (stored sugar) and body fat (stored triglycerides).
However, there is one caveat when it comes to weight loss. In response to a calorie deficit, the body will typically burn some of its muscle mass for fuel by using a process called gluconeogenesis. As a result, many people will lose muscle along with the fat when they diet. Luckily, there is a way to preserve muscle mass, even in the midst of extreme caloric deficits.
This was an awesome read, man! Convinced me to go Keto again, as I’ve had great results in the past. I workout 3-4x a week heavy lifting (powerlifter), but my weight has gotten too high for me. 5’8″ 21y/o Male, 223 pounds, but a lot of muscle mass. I’m ready to transition my focus to fat loss, mostly for health and body composition reasons, and the fact that diabetes run in my family and most my relatives have it!! I refuse to be apart of that! So thank you for this awesome read and inspiring article. Awesome job on your progress!!

Unsaturated fatty acids, whether monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, can lower your levels of "bad" cholesterol (which decreases your risk of heart disease) if you eat them instead of saturated fatty acids, Hughes says. Saturated fat -- found mostly in animal products and in palm and coconut oils -- is the main dietary cause of high blood cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association.
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