For some time now, coconut oil has been one of those substances that offers a considerable amount of health benefits from healthy skin and hair to increased brain function and accelerated weight loss, especially when it comes to stubborn body fat.
One of the latest trends in techniques for losing weight is rubbing coconut oil on the stomach for fat loss.
But before we can dig into whether or not that’s possible, let’s take a look at the overall benefits of coconut oil.
What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is derived from the white fleshy part of the coconut, a substance called copra. Coconut oil is high in vitamin E, fatty acids, and some saturated fat. These chain fatty acids have been shown to help your body burn fat.
They’re also a great energy source, giving a rapid energy boost to both your brain and your body.
When it comes to fats, most fats we eat are known as long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). Coconut oil, however, has a fair number of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). When you consume MCTs, they head right to the liver and provide you with that quick burst of energy mentioned above.
But In addition to using them to produce energy, the liver also turns MCTs into ketones.
Ketones are a hot topic in health science and they’ve been studied extensively. Studies suggest they provide many different health advantages, including increasing mitochondrial production, preserving muscle mass, and can even help prevent cancer.
They’re also thought to be a possible treatment for brain disorders like epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
What Can Coconut Oil Do?
Aside from the benefits listed above, coconut oil, possibly more than any other substance, is associated with numerous health benefits both internal and external, mental and physical.
What follows is an in-depth list of many of the health claims assigned to the power of coconut oil.
- Increases good cholesterol. The fatty acids found in coconut oil raise the high-density lipoproteins (HDL, or the “good cholesterol”) in your blood. This can help reduce the volume of high-density lipoproteins (LDL, or the “bad cholesterol”), which will help promote overall cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Makes you feel fuller for longer. Some people feel that consuming coconut oil fills you up after a meal. This has the net effect of eating smaller portions. Some studies suggest this may be a function of coconut oil itself; other studies favor this as a side-effect of MCTs.
- Controls blood sugar. Some coconut oil studies indicate that the MCTs found in coconut oil can possibly help preserve insulin sensitivity.
- Prevents liver disease. Because of the positive effect of ketones on the body, some studies have made an association between coconut oil and the prevention of liver disease, especially with a high-glucose diet.
- Reduces stress. Coconut oil, especially that classified as virgin coconut oil, may offer antioxidant properties and could be beneficial in treating certain forms of depression.
- Fights candida. Candida albicans is a type of yeasts most common in causing yeast or fungal infection in the body. Some limited studies have shown coconut oil to be effective in combating this pathogenic organism.
- Promotes shiny hair. People have been using coconut oil to maintain shiny hair for decades. It’s also great for maintaining a healthy scalp, as it can penetrate the skin more effectively than mineral oils.
- Maintains healthy skin. Regular applications of coconut oil to the skin can help enhance the skin as a protective barrier to disease and infection. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.
- Enhances mouth health. Some people use coconut oil similar to a mouthwash, a technique known as oil pulling. This has the effect of mitigating cavity development, improving gingivitis, and helping maintain a healthy balance of mouth bacteria.
Can Coconut Oil Reduce Belly Fat?
Being overweight can have serious physical and mental health repercussions. When a person is overweight, they can suffer from a lack of self-confidence and also put excess stress on the body that can lead to joint pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, back pain, and an overworked heart.
Belly fat, or visceral fat, is a particularly troublesome type of fat, primarily because it’s generally very obvious, but high volumes of belly fat have been linked to diabetes, colon cancer, breast cancer, dementia, and asthma.
Belly fat is more common in women than in men, mostly due to the regular fluctuation of hormones, such as estrogen. But starting around age 45 or so, men can start to develop belly fat, especially if they drink alcohol heavily, eat high-processed or fatty foods, or have a smoking habit.
Stress, poor sleep habits, and a lack of regular exercise can also contribute to the retention of visceral fat.
You may also be subject to factors such as a genetic disposition toward retaining fat or having a low metabolic rate that contributes to the build-up of fat in the midsection.
Now that we understand how problematic belly fat can be, let’s take a look at how to get rid of it.
Losing Belly Fat
Belly fat is recognized as one of the hardest types of fat to lose. In the stomach area, there are many soft tissues where the body easily stores fat.
The fat cells in the abdomen are more resistant to the process of breaking down fats, known as lipolysis.
In general, there are two types of fat cells in the body: alpha cells and beta cells. Alpha cells respond well to lipolysis and it’s relatively easy to lose fat from them.
Beta cells, on the other hand, retain fat and are resistant to being broken down. As it so happens, the belly, along with the thighs and hips, have a higher concentration of beta fat cells.
So if fat cells in the belly hold onto fat despite your best efforts, how do you get rid of it?
Some people have claimed that rubbing coconut oil on your stomach for weight loss is an effective technique.
The Coconut Oil Belly Fat Reduction Plan
As we’ve mentioned before, coconut oil is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids. So the idea is, when rubbed onto the stomach, the coconut oil works its way into the fat layers of the belly, entering the pores of the skin and dissolving those beta fat cells much more quickly.
Here’s the recommended process:
The technique for rubbing coconut oil on the stomach for weight loss.
- Step one. Heat between three and four tablespoons of coconut oil.
- Spread the oil evenly across your abdominal area.
- Massage the oil into your belly for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Repeat these steps daily for a minimum of three weeks to get results.
It’s important to note that this claim comes with a big caveat. That is, this process alone will not reduce your belly fat. The technique must be used in conjunction with a dedicated diet and regular exercise.
The technique recommends that, in addition to rubbing your belly with coconut oil, you should work out for an hour every day (if not more), focusing on cardio and abdomen such as planks, reverse crunches, and V-ups. This, coupled with eating a low-fat, high-protein diet with plenty of fiber can make this remedy particularly effective.
Alternatives to Rubbing Coconut Oil On Your Belly
So you don’t want to rub a quarter cup of coconut on your oil for half an hour every day for a month. One can hardly blame you. Fortunately, there are other options when combating belly fat.
The premise behind rubbing coconut oil on your belly is that the oil is absorbed through the skin via what’s known as the Pechoti method. Specifically, the lauric acid in the oil is soaked up which has many health benefits.
The Pechoti method is common in the Indian medicinal practise of Ayurveda, and basically suggests that there is a gland in your navel that will soak up oils and provide you with fast-acting health benefits as a result.
Some people use other carrier oils like olive oil, or even essential oils like CBD too.
Of course, there isn’t a wealth of scientific research to back this method up, so for the most part rubbing coconut oil on your stomach expecting to lose weight is more optimistic than anything else.
However, there’s certainly no harm in trying, and so long as you are actively taking other measures to reduce your belly fat then you certainly could see results over time.
Whatever the case, whether you believe it’s effective or not, it’s a good idea to know what the science-backed methods for losing belly fat are.
These are the actions you want to take if you’re looking to lose weight and belly fat, since they are proven to work.
- Eat More Fiber and Protein
One of the best things you can do to reduce belly fat and lose weight is up your intake of both soluble fiber and protein.
In layman’s terms, by increasing the amount of fiber and protein in your diet you’re going to feel fuller for longer. This will effectively curb your cravings, and make it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan.
There are other reasons, too, such as boosting your metabolism and digestive health.
- Avoid Trans Fats
The other main dietary factor in losing weight is cutting out trans fats.
While you might think fats in general are the devil, this is a common misconception. It isn’t fat that’s the problem, only certain kinds of fat.
Trans fats are those found in margarie, spreads, and they are associated with inflammation in the body and belly fat gain.
- Limit Alcohol Intake
As for liquid intake, stick to water for the most part.
By that we mean you shouldn’t overdo sodas or alcohol, since these can contribute to belly fat gain.
Alcohol is especially bad, and there are several studies which link excessive consumption of it to obesity.
- Do Cardio Exercise
You can’t lose weight without putting in the work.
Yes, diet is a major part of losing weight, but to accelerate the process and see faster results you’ll want to schedule regular cardio exercise.
It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you move.
It can be a brisk walk once a day, or an hour running on the treadmill 3-4 times a week. You could even take up a sport if you don’t enjoy the idea of moving purely for the sake of moving.
- Reduce Stress
One thing you may not have thought contributes to weight gain and belly fat is stress.
That’s right, cortisol the stress-producing hormone is behind a lot of the bad stuff in our lives,
So how can you reduce stress in your life?
Well, there are many things that can be effective. There are supplements such as Ashwagandha that can help, breathing techniques through meditation, or even something more active such as yoga or tai chi.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coconut Oil for Weight Loss
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is a plant-based oil made from the copra (or white part) of coconuts that’s high in fatty acids and MCTs.
The carrier oil is often used topically to treat the skin and keep it hydrated.
It can also be used in cooking, and is found in a variety of food products and drinks such as bulletproof coffee.
Is coconut oil good for you?
Coconut oil does offer a significant number of potential health benefits.
But it’s also high in saturated fats, which aren’t considered healthy. As with all things, moderation seems to be key when using coconut oil.
Can coconut oil help with weight loss?
It’s possible that coconut oil can help you lose weight, but how effective it is at stimulating weight loss is the subject of debate.
Certainly consuming coconut oil doesn’t seem to make sense for weight loss, since it has a high number of calories and fat which would contribute to weight gain.
Then again, in small doses such as a teaspoon in your morning coffee, you can get the good kind of fat that will potentially boost your weight loss with coconut oil efforts.
Why do I have belly fat?
You could have belly fat for any number of reasons including age, poor diet, hormones, genetic predisposition, or stress.
Specifically, belly fat is seen as the layer of fat that forms around the abdomen.
As you’d imagine, eating a caloric surplus is the main contribute to belly fat, but it also depends on the type of calories you eat.
Will rubbing coconut oil on my stomach reduce belly fat?
Possibly. But it needs to be done in tandem with a daily exercise routine and a balanced diet right in protein and fiber.
The reason why rubbing coconut oil on your stomach could reduce belly fat is that it can penetrate the layer of skin and fill your body with omega-3 fatty acids and other useful vitamins and minerals.
As such, the coconut oil can get to work on the fat cells and potentially accelerate belly fat reduction if you are actively taking other steps such as exercising and eating well.
A Final Word From Wellness Nova
Proponents of coconut oil, like author Dr. Bruce Fife, tout coconut oil as a miracle drug with big health advantages opening the door to positive wellbeing. Others, like Harvard professor Karin Michels, have called coconut oil “pure poison.” So what’s the truth of it?
There do seem to be some significant health benefits to coconut oil. It’s high in good fatty acids (in the form of MCTs) and HDLs, can boost brain function, has good antimicrobial effects, and, because of those MCTs, may help reduce stubborn belly fat.
But will rubbing coconut oil on your stomach reduce belly fat?
Maybe, but not by itself. Along with a potential coconut belly rub, a healthy diet, exercise, and stress reduction will help contribute to a loss of belly fat.