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MCT Oil and Weight Loss

MCT Oil and Weight Loss

You may have heard, or will soon see more of on social media, that MCT oil helps with weight loss. We think it is important that you understand the science and biology of how the body works before you believe any misguided hopes of a new fat loss method and that is why we are writing this post.

Check out this Video of Craig and I Discussing MCT Oil in Detail!

How the Body Processes Fats

We have done several posts about energy metabolism including this one warning about using bullet proof coffee and adding fat bombs HERE. Also about Lipolysis HERE. Oxidative priority HERE.

Let’s just talk specifically about what happens when you eat dietary fat. When you eat any fat, there are really two places it can go. Either out through your stool or digested and into your bloodstream.

Does a significant amount of fat end up in the stool? No, as THIS study and others have shown, they varied dietary fat form 62 grams a day to 152 grams per day and the fecal output remained constant and always less than 10 grams per day. So no, it doesn’t go through the stool in any significant amounts. If it did, you would have uncontrolledly bowels. Remember Olestra and WOW chips? They were cooked in a synthetic fat that did go right through you undigested. They had to put a warning on these chips because they resulted in “anal leakage”. And that was from just an additional 10 grams or so of this fat ending up in the stool!

That means that almost all fat you eat ends up in your bloodstream. There it is packages in chylomicron and is either used as fuel or stored in your fat cells (adipose tissue). But studies have shown that little is used at fuel at this point so basically all of it ends up in your fat cells where it is later sent into the blood to be used for fuel (we discuss this fat flux in detail in our book “Keto.”)

In some ways MCT oils are a bit different than fatty acids in your meats. MCT oil is primarily oxidized in the liver and in that way act a bit more like glucose than other fats do. But any excess MCT beyond the body’s current energy needs (like any fuel) will end up going into storage. Where do MCT oils get stored? In your adipose just like all fats in your diet.

So in any case, dietary fat will either displace burning your own body fat for fuel or add to your storage of body fat. Or likely a bit of both. Neither of these things are going to help you with fat loss.

There are some arguments being made that maybe there is some other mechanism for fueling the mitochondria (the power centers of our cells) with MCT oils that is different than other fats. But that really doesn’t matter since the cell needs energy to live. If the energy to fuel the cell is coming from MCT oil in the diet, that means it isn’t coming from your fat storage. Which means you lose less body fat.

Now this doesn’t mean you should fear fat. Fats are good and are our primary energy source. But when losing fat off your body is the goal (weight loss) then you want to lower the fats in the diet to let the body burn more of its own fat for fuel.

Nutrient Density

One of the most important things for a healthy diet and for weight loss is to consume the most nutrient dense foods possible. These means that per calorie, there are more vitamins and minerals. This is one of the main reasons that processed foods are so unhealthy. They are empty calories with little to no vitamins and minerals. Every person in nutrition, regardless of if they are vegan, carnivore, or anything in between, will agree that the more nutrient dense a food is, the better it is for you.

What about MCT oil? What vitamins and minerals does it contain?

* Vitamin C in beef, the FDA just doesn’t measure it and assumes it is zero. HERE is a study showing there is vitamin C in beef (about 25.3 mcg per gram).

That is not a typo. There are zeros across the board. MCT oil is just pure energy, not vitamins and minerals at all! This is not what you want for health or weight loss. Even granulated sugar has more nutrients!

I think we can all agree that drinking refined MCT oils with no nutrients is not a healthy option compared to whole fats from animal proteins, eggs or other whole food that are far more nutrient dense.

The Start of this Trend:

The start of this recent trend comes from a person on Instagram who claimed to have lost 12 pounds in 1 month using MCT oil. But there are many confounding factors that make us very skeptical about even her own claims.

First, as she shows in her posts, according to the tests she ran she lost 5.5 pounds of fat mass and 6.2 pounds of muscle mass! She tries to explain this by saying the muscle mass was lost in her trunk that was associated with having food in her stomach and higher hydration levels. Then in the second test she had an empty stomach and lower hydration levels.

But here is the problem, the contents of your stomach and your hydration levels can easily skew these tests by 12 pounds! In the first test she had eaten and was well hydrated which increases the amount of fat and muscle the test reads. Then in the second test she had an empty stomach and was less hydrated (or possibly dehydrated) which will lower both your muscle and fat volumes.

Even given all this biology and understanding of what really happens to fat in our bodies, there was a recent study just released that tried exactly this experiment. THIS study was a metabolic ward study using a high tech metabolic kitchen where they can weight and measure every calorie and gram of food people ate. One group ate a ketogenic diet (light square) and the other ate exactly the same calories of a ketogenic diet plus exogenous ketones (dark square) and a third ate a low-fat diet (triangle). There was zero statistical difference in fat mass or lean mass. MCT oils are really just a poor man’s exogenous ketone so the results would be the same.

Conclusion:

Don’t try adding pure refined fats like MCT oil that have no vitamins and mineral with the hopes that you will lose body fat. They just displace your own body fat being used as fuel, likely result in eating less nutrient dense proteins and not getting enough protein for the day and will not be good for long term health.

Stick with nutrient dense whole foods. Get correct macros like with our Free Macro Calculator HERE.

 

TESTIMONY OF THE DAY

“Ok well this is my 4th post today.  I’m sorry, but I’m so excited I’m crying!  I mentioned before that I have been keto/ carnivore for 3 years.  I felt amazing but my weight-loss was stalled for the last two years and I couldn’t reach my goal.  That’s a long frustrating stall.  I thought I was doing everything right and working so hard at it.  When I started Maria and Craig’s way I broke my stall!  Focusing on eating enough protein and lowering my fat has made me more satiated than ever in my life.  I can’t believe I’m now one of those people that just isn’t hungry.  I’m so over joyed to not be the hungry girl anymore and I know I will reach my goal now.  Thank you so much Maria and Craig!!!  You are both changing the world in big ways and saving so many lives ️” – Katie

 

Most people I consult are doing keto totally wrong. Get fast results with the my NEW Keto Packages!

Click HERE to check out my NEW Keto Packages!

If you want a great way to speed up fat loss or break a stall, nothing is better or healthier than a Protein Sparing Modified Fast. Our book The Art of Fat Loss explains this and gives you amazing recipes and meal plans that give you results like the testimony below!

CLICK HERE to get it!

We even have all new FREE meal plans (you need the books for the recipes) that combine this ebook and our 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse cookbook to create perfect meal plans for breaking any stall or speeding up fat loss results! CLICK HERE for that meal plan. 

 

Maria Emmerich

About Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".

24 Comments

  • Holly says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I had seen her post and listened to her podcast and was ready to order a large container of MCT oil. But now I won’t.

  • Megan says:

    My husband and I tried 1 bottle of MCT oil in very small doses and it pretty much behaved like the Olestra you spoke about. I could see how you could lose weight, but it sure made for a few days of bathroom anxiety, so never again!

    We eat rib eyes, ground sirloin, eggs, zucchini, an occasional 1 teeny red potato and husband eats lots of butter every day and that’s it. Oh, and pork rinds for snacks.

  • Kathy Audy says:

    Can you clarify the use of MCT oils in recipes to replace other fats. I’m currently doing the 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse (and loving it) but many of the recipes do include MCT oil.
    The 30 Day was written in 2016 and I don’t know if your research is now recommending a different oil be used instead.

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Yes, if used in a sauce or dressing or other recipe it can be fine. But adding it just to add it is not a good idea. They just eating tablespoons of the stuff.

  • Jennifer says:

    Love that you posted this! Excellent explanation.

    The clickbait headline of “SHOCKING RESULTS! 12 LBS LOST IN ONE MONTH!?” is enough to put blinders on anyone desperate to lose weight. When you stop and look at the entire picture, things become more clear.

    Also, her before photos in her Instagram feed do not look any different than her after photo. Being that she was already lean, an actual weight loss of 12 lbs would look pretty dramatic.

    DEXA Scans can be duped. And they inherently have an error of margin of 2.5% – 3.5%. Her supposed body fat loss amount was 2.6%.

    So, as you stated, so many confounding factors! Plus the ones we don’t know about. And being that the entire thing is fishy at face value, it would not be surprising if there are other undisclosed factors.

  • Stephanie says:

    Dear Maria, thank you 🙏🏻 so much for this post and telling people the truth about MTC oils.
    Thank you again 🙏🏻😊🙏🏻

  • Carole Hoffer says:

    Hmm no thank you to Anal Leakage AND MCT unless I need to treat Epilepsy or Senility I would rather loose my own fat and hopefully keep my own clean britches. I love how you both take complex biology and give it a no nonsence straightforward explanation that everyone can understand. My primary care doctor follows you because I have sent her so many links to these kinds of articles. And she refers patients because its such a great healthy way of eating.

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Yes, if dealing with epilepsy or Alzheimers, then MCT or exogenous ketones cab be an option. Otherwise, not needed.

  • Jill says:

    MCT oil still seems to have benefits for people with epilepsy who are on a ketogenic diet for seizures, not weight loss. Is this going to be debunked too?!

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Yes, correct. But seizure control and Alzheimer’s are really the only place they need to be used.

  • Leone Seely says:

    Maria, in your 30 day Cleanse book you use MCT oil in many of your recipes. Should MCT b swapped out for another oil, or is it great to continue using? Just clarifying. Thanks!

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Using it in a recipe like dressing is ok. Just adding tablespoons of it just to add it is not. 🙂

  • Victoria Atwater says:

    You have asked what we would like for you to discuss. I would love for you to talk on women of all ages putting on muscle mass. I did not need to lose weight. Only wanted to try keto to get healthier
    Love your knowledge and recipes.

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Gaining muscle is all about getting enough complete proteins (animal proteins, eggs) and strength training to failure. And the older we get the more protein we need just to maintain.

  • margaret says:

    Do you address age in any of your books? I am 84 years old and noticed that as we age we need more protein. I have been trying Keto with not much success, I think a lot of it is, not fully understanding all the fundamentals.