Healthy and Natural World is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s why you can trust us.

Coconut Oil For Weight Loss: The Complete Guide (Evidence Based)

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
What Eating Just One Ounce of Coconut Oil Does to Your Weight

Whether you want to drop that last ten pounds or simply maintain the weight you’re at, utilizing coconut oil in your diet can help you lose weight.

Not so long ago coconut oil was not favored by health advocates due to its high saturated fat content, but it has since been deemed healthier and in fact, can successfully help people shed a few pounds over time.


Coconut oil may be comprised of 90% saturated fat, but scientists state that its fat is largely made up of lauric acid, which is a medium-chain saturated fatty acid (MCT) that actually has a better effect on the heart than the other saturated fats.

Therefore, you have permission to add coconut oil into your diet in order to promote health and possibly lose weight as well.

Backing up these claims are reports from countries like India and the Philippines, whose diets prominently feature coconuts and coconut products. Citizens from such countries tend to have less weight issues and have minimal rates of cardiac diseases as compared to individuals from the developed world.

In this article I am going to explain to you how to use coconut oil for weight loss.

Coconut Oil for Weight Loss – The Studies

When it comes to weight loss, metabolism is a big deal, so the faster you can get your metabolism going, the more calories your body will burn. Coconut oil is different from most other fats we consume in our diet. While most other oils mostly contain long-chain fatty acids (LCT), coconut oil consists almost entirely of medium chain fatty acids (MCT).

The thing with these medium chain fatty acids (MCTs), is that they are metabolized differently than the longer chain fats. Reduced chain length means that MCTs are more quickly absorbed by the body and more quickly metabolized (burned) as fuel.

The result is quicker metabolism and instead of being stored as fat, the calories in MCTs are very efficiently converted into fuel for immediate use by organs and muscles in our body.

One study investigated the effects of MCT oil on weight: it compared between rats who were overfed with either long chain or medium chain fats. The study found that the rats fed the medium chain fats gained 20% less weight and 23% less body fat.1

Coconut oil is also considered “thermogenic”, which essentially means that when you eat it, it tends to increase the amount of fat burning going on in your body more so than the other oils that you could be consuming.2

There were other studies about MCT oil and weight loss:

One study found that relatively low-to-moderate intake of MCT (15-30 g per day) as part of a person’s diet may play a role in controlling human body composition by enhancing daily energy expenditure by 5% which is 500 kilojoules (120 calories) per day.3

Another study on obese women showed that long-term consumption of MCT enhances energy expenditure when compared to long chain fatty acids consumption.4

Other studies have found that coconut oil helps to reduce appetite. The Journal of Nutrition mentions animal studies of rats fed on MCT. The rats felt more satiated, which lead to a reduction in calorie intake.5


One small study on men showed that consuming a high amount of MCTs caused them to automatically consume less calories per day.6 Another study found that men who ate MCTs at breakfast delayed their request for lunch and their lunch was significantly smaller compared to the low fat breakfast. 7

There are other foods that can boost your metabolism and you can have a look at them in my article top 10 foods to boost your metabolism. If you are really serious about boosting your metabolism you should also be aware of these 10 factors that affect your metabolism.

How to Use Coconut Oil for Weight Loss

There are essentially two types of coconut oil – virgin and refined.

  • Virgin coconut oil (VCO), is made by pressing fresh coconut meat, milk or milk residue.
  • Refined, or RBD, oil is made from the coconut copra or dried kernel and may be chemically treated.

Choose virgin coconut oil because it is prepared with no chemicals in the process.

In order to use coconut oil for weight loss, you can use it in several ways. These include:

Nut butters

With nuts being so healthy for your body, consider preparing nut butter for good health and weight loss.

To prepare this, grind two cups of cashews or almonds with two tablespoons of coconut oil until the mixture is smooth and buttery. You can throw in some honey, ground coffee, cinnamon, or maple syrup to add more flavor. Feel free to use nut butter on toast, English muffins, or bagels for a delicious and healthy breakfast.


Nuts have amazing health benefits – I’ve already written a post about the health benefits of nuts (including delicious recipes).

Baked foods

Since coconut oil can be used under high temperatures, you can use it to replace butter when baking foods like cookies, muffins, cakes, and brownies. Coconut oil can be used to substitute other oils (as well as butter) in nearly all baking recipes. To bake with coconut oil, replace your other oil by using a 1:1 ratio. Virgin coconut oil has long shelf life and it takes a few years to go rancid.

Roasted vegetables

Vegetables like zucchini, beets, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash can be brushed with a mixture of thyme, lemon juice, coconut oil, salt and paper to give them a desirable coconut flavor. Go ahead and sauté them using coconut oil or brush them with it and cook them on the grill. There’s nothing like grilled vegetables!


Coconut oil is known to nicely pop corn kernels when it is used instead of normal vegetable fat. Hold off on the butter to maximize your weight loss regimen.


You can add coconut oil to your smoothies or other beverages, such as your morning coffee.


Adding Coconut Oil to your Daily Diet to Lose Weight – General Guidelines

You might reach for your jar of coconut oil and see that it has solidified. This is because coconut oil usually solidifies at 76 degrees Fahrenheit. It is completely safe to use coconut oil in its solid state but if you want to use coconut oil to replace you normal oil, you can dip the jar into a hot water bath before using it.

The best time to consume coconut oil is about a half an hour before mealtimes, as coconut oil has satiating effects that makes you feel fuller, thus helping in weight loss.

If you want to consume coconut oil by the tablespoon, the recommendation is to take up to 3 tablespoons daily per adult.

Coconut Oil and Weight Loss – What About the Calories

It is important to be aware that coconut oil is fat – it contains 9 calories per gram. If you want to use coconut oil to lose weight, you need to take into consideration the added calorie intake of the coconut oil. Especially if you consume a fixed amount of calories.

But, most people don’t count calories and in these cases, adding coconut oil to your diet will reduce your appetite and probably make you eat less of other foods instead.

Instead of adding coconut oil on top of your other cooking fats, try to replace some of your other cooking fats with coconut oil.

There are other natural ingredients that can help you lose weight:
1. How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) For Weight Loss
2. Delicious Honey & Cinnamon Weight Loss Drink
3. Daily Teaspoon of Cumin Help You Lose 3 Times As Much Body Fat
4. 60 Ingenious Uses for Coconut Oil

Using more coconut oil in your daily routine is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone


61 Responses to Coconut Oil For Weight Loss: The Complete Guide (Evidence Based)

  1. shruthi says:

    dear mam/sir

    i am sufering havy black patches on face cause after delivery harmons in balance, Let me know how to reduce Black patches.

    Thanking you

    • Jenny says:

      It is common for pregnant women to develop areas of darkened skin (called melasma or hyperpigmentation). Women with darker skin are more prone to this condition than women with lighter skin. These changes may be triggered by hormonal changes during pregnancy, which stimulate a temporary increase in the production of melanin. Sometimes the areas of the hyperpigmentation will fade within a few months after delivery, although in some cases the changes never completely disappear. You can refer to my article about natural treatments for hyper-pigmentation here. Take into consideration that it takes quite a while to see results. Usually it’s not a quick fix.

    • Rose Angella says:

      I have used a product called Dermavate for the dark spots on my face. It’s quite effective however it is not sold ‘over the ‘counter’

  2. nandini singh says:

    Excellent remedy

  3. nasim jamal says:

    Thank you for the information it’s very useful I’ll try it

  4. LoriP. says:

    I love to saute tilapia, vegetables and pineapple in coconut oil… what an amazing and satisfying dinner!

  5. Leah says:

    Nice informative article. I’ve been hearing a lot about coconut oil lately, but this article sold me. However, I’d like to point out that it’s important to remember to pair these kind of tips with an actual weight loss plan for lasting results. You must approach your weight loss as a combination of habits that promote an overall healthy LIFESTYLE. That’s the “secret” to successful weight loss. In fact, check out the following article that does a wonderful job of explaining the key factors in an effective, long-term weight loss strategy:

  6. vishal so. dhiwar says:

    I am having diabetes and taking medicine, then also the sugar level is on higher side. Please tell natural remedial measures

  7. Lisa says:

    I love coconut oil, I’ve combined it with the 3 week diet ( and I’ve had great weight loss results.

    It could be placebo but I also think it’s helped me skin too.

  8. Gayle says:

    I live in South Africa, please tell me where can I buy coconut oil. Many thanks.

    • Jenny says:

      Generally speaking, organic virgin coconut oil can be purchased in some supermarkets, health food stores or online. The product label should mention specifically that it is organic and virgin (unrefined).

      • LU ANNE says:

        I put refine c. oil mixes with c.milk and a dab of olive oil on my hair for a 1-5 hour treatment. does this matter for use for your hair refine or organic < probably better results using the organic or virgin ,oil? I intake organic virgin c.oil. thank you lu anne

        • Jenny says:

          When consuming coconut oil internally, it’s best to use the virgin (unrefined) for maximum benefits. Both refined and unrefined coconut oil contain the same amount of lauric acid, but unrefined coconut oil is richer in phytonutrients than refined coconut oil (as some of the nutrients, especially the anti oxidants, are damaged by the bleaching and heating process used to produce refined coconut oil). But for hair you can use the refined oil if you want. It is less costly, and suitable for people who don’t like the scent of the virgin oil.

    • Rashika says:


    • LU ANNE says:

      ITS best form is from the coconut itself. ebay is a good start research drug stores or research virgin coconut oil in your search bar something will come up for you.

  9. nicole says:

    Is eating a table spoon of coconut oil as is per morning good for you or do you need to combine it into your daily cooking.

    • Jenny says:

      You can add virgin coconut oil to hot drinks (tea, coffee) or smoothies. It doesn’t have to be used only for cooking/baking.

  10. Patterson says:

    Any idea what the environmental, economic or social impact is of coconut oil harvesting? I read that Indonesian red palm harvesting is very damaging as compared to the African methods.

  11. Patterson says:

    Do you really just eat a spoonful plain or do you melt it down? I am new to using coconut oil!

    • Jenny says:

      You can add it to coffee, tea or hot drinks, smoothies, or as a spread on a toast. In hot drinks it will quickly melt. Otherwise you can put the coconut oil jar in a bowl with warm or hot water and it will quickly get a runnier consistency.

  12. Ron Stack says:

    When you add coconut oil to coffee does it have to be in the liquid form, or can you stir it in if it’s in the solid form?

    • Jenny says:

      You can stir it in its solid form as it will quickly melt in the hot/warm drink.

    • Ron Stack says:

      Thanks, Jenny- Have you noticed an improvement to your health, or weight loss?

      • Jenny says:

        I don’t need to lose weight and my general health is good and I try to maintain it like that, so I can’t really give you a personal feedback.

      • LU ANNE says:

        Hi I can answer that question for you Yes I have noticed improvements in hair skin and weight. I drink it daily in my coffee the coconut oil had let me cut aback on my sugar use in my daily coffee. having regular bowl movements is a plus… Recommend daily use

  13. Audrey says:

    I tried the coconut oil for about a month 1 tables first thing in am..the first three weeks were fine…but the last week….had severe loose bowels and at times I was wondering what in the hell was wrong…after I stopped taking it all symptoms went away

    • C. Stewart says:

      You could have lessened the MG you took to see if would help you..sometimes for some people’s bodies less is more..

  14. C. Stewart says:

    I us coconut oil capsules 3000 MG capsules 2-3 times a day for 30 days it works really well BUT it is not an overnight thing, it takes time to work..30 days I could see and feel a difference. I didn’t change anything else in my daily routine..

  15. Paul says:

    What brand of coconut oil would you suggest is the best. Can you tell me your top 3 thanks.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Paul, brands vary between different countries and the brands where I live may not be available in other countries. I also prefer not to be associated with any brand/product. Choose a brand which mentions that it’s organic.

    • Tammy says:

      I use spectrum organic virgin unrefined coconut oil. ITbs in my coffee in the morning and one at lunch. Sauté zucchini and fresh garlic and yellow squash is really good side dish. Just new to this so I’m exsperimenting

    • Deb Casey says:

      I use Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. It is their top of the line.

  16. Rachel says:

    I have only just read up on this and bought some coconut oil. Do you really just take a tablespoon before each meal in its solid form??

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Rachel, you can use coconut oil in smoothies or warm drinks (coffee, tea), spread on toast instead of butter, use in baking, cooking and stir fries, roasted veges.

      • Rachel says:

        So to lose weight you add it to cooking etc? I thought you should have three tablespoons a day as in just spoon it straight into my mouth and swallow

        • Jenny says:

          You can just swallow coconut oil as is if you like to consume it that way. It’s up to you. Coconut oil can be used in several ways in the kitchen.

  17. Ginger says:

    I am low carb and the way I get my sweet fix is two tablespoons of coconut oil, 2 sections of the unsweeted chocolate in the bakery section, check the label for 0 carbs and then put them in the microwave 1 min or less until the chocolate and oil is melted and then add splenda and stir. The I pour it onto a small plate with a handful of almonds spread out on it and put it in the freezer. After 10 minutes I take it out and have a wonderful chocolate bark, yum. You can also use an orange flavoring without almonds after you take it out of the microwave or add peanut butter after it partially hardens and then refreeze them together. It is limitless and I never miss my yum even on the strictest low carb regime.

    • Lorraine says:

      Can I put the melted coconut oil, chocolate, and almonds on wax paper and then put it in the freezer? Sounds so good would like to try and make.

  18. Charlotte says:

    I would love to lose a total of 10 pounds. If I put 1 tsp of coconut oil in my coffee in the morning (I have 2 cups every morning) & then 1 tsp in a cup of tea around lunch time…how long will it take to lose the 10 pounds? Would love to lose the belly fat & get my thighs a little thinner. I already use coconut oil on my lips & they are so soft. My husband uses the oil on his feet & doing great. I guess I could use the oil on belly, legs & arms to get them looking smoother & not as wrinkled? Thanks a bunch for your help!

  19. Lilee says:

    Hi I heard u can put coconut oil on ur body and it will help u lose weight …is that true??

  20. Ann Marie says:

    Wouldn’t putting coconut oil in hot drinks make them greasy?

    • Jenny says:

      It makes it greasier but this is why you add a small amount to it (a teaspoon or two). Some people put all the ingredients of the drink in a blender or food processor and mix on high speed for 20 seconds. It helps to distribute evenly the oil in the drink.

  21. Emma Poyner says:

    Hi Jenny. I have heard coconut oil aids is better than other oils for weight loss. How is this so and are there some journal articles you know of that I can look at

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Emma, I’ve elaborated more under the title “Coconut Oil and Weight Loss – The Studies” so you can refer to the studies mentioned there (see references at the bottom of the article).

  22. KK says:

    Question 1: can I stir coconut oil in green tea..? is it fine?

    Question 2: Can we consume the coconut oil randomly at any time in a day or do we have specific time to consume it for better results?

    • Jenny Hills says:

      1. Yes, you can add coconut oil to drinks such as teas, coffee, smoothies. 2. I don’t think there is a specific benefit for consuming it in a certain time of the day.

  23. KK says:

    Any coconut oil brands that you can suggest us?

    • Jenny Hills says:

      I generally try to avoid recommending a certain brand as brands vary in different countries, and I’m also not associated with any brand or company.

  24. Gurpreet singh says:

    I’m suffering from hupothuroidism.
    I take 1-2 tablets of thyroxin 100 mg of dose acc. To season.
    But my weight is between 70-75 kg. Since 4 years. I want to loose weight but no dieting,workout,yoga nothing is going beneficial.Now i started drinking hot water but due to summer season it is too difficult to continue…
    What should have to do, to overcome this prob.

  25. Dan Perryman says:

    Coconut oil is an awesome thing to have. A must try!!

  26. Steve says:

    Coconut oil also a great natural lubercant for personal use and between couples.
    Partner and I found that manufactured lubes left burning sensation. Not the case with coconut oil. Also great for the skin.

  27. Linda Tuttle says:


    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      It’s good to eat the coconut flesh as a snack, but the studies about weight loss were done on the oil itself and not the fruit as a whole. I don’t know how many coconuts you will need to eat in order to get the amount of equivalent oil that is recommended to consume (usually around 2 tbsp. per day).

  28. DJB says:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *