Want to burn calories like you did in high school? “Then add creamy MCT oil to your diet,” urges Naomi Whittel, CNC, author of Glow15: A Science-Based Plan to Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin, and Invigorate Your Life (Buy on Amazon, $15.49).
MCT — a fat extracted from coconut — has proven power to “improve blood sugar, eliminate cravings, lift brain fog, fire up metabolism, and even target belly fat,” Whittel says. It basically reverses all the fattening problems triggered by age-related hormonal changes, so we drop pounds easily. “At age 55, I lost 30 pounds in three weeks — it’s the fastest I’ve ever lost weight in my life,” marvels New York homemaker Fran Bronski. “MCT oil even worked well for my 77-year-old mother, Sadie. Everybody needs to try this stuff!”
MCTs — short for medium-chain triglycerides — first got Whittel’s attention after her pal used them to slim down. Combing through an ever-growing pile of studies on the topic, Whittel was inspired to use MCT oil herself and recommend it to millions of women like Fran and Sadie. And she’s not the only excited expert. While filming a documentary called The Real Skinny on Fat, “I had the privilege of interviewing 80 different doctors and clinical researchers, and everyone wanted to talk about the power of MCTs,” Whittel recalls. “The science is that compelling — and the results are that amazing. Plus, it’s easy to use, and it’s delicious!”
How does MCT oil work its magic? Add two to three tablespoons of MCTs a day to a healthy diet, and here’s what you can expect.
All fats are highly satisfying, but MCTs also reduce the production of hormones that make us want to overeat. Says University of Pittsburgh nutrition specialist Joe Maroon, MD, “Even the biggest appetites shrink dramatically.”
MCTs are smaller than other fats and digest very quickly, creating a blast of heat that torches calories. Italian scientists found that after eating MCTs, we incinerate three times more calories for six hours!
Dr. Maroon says that as MCTs are broken down, they trigger the rapid release of special compounds that enhance fat burning, sharpen our brain, and make our energy soar. And though researchers aren’t quite sure why, a Columbia University study found that women in their fifties given MCTs lost 600 percent more belly fat than those given olive oil.
You age in reverse.
“MCT oil has been shown to promote autophagy, a natural process your body uses to heal wear and tear to its cells,” says Whittel. Autophagy even makes malfunctioning cells self-destruct, replacing them with powerful new ones. “Your skin, your metabolism, your immunity — every cell and system is refreshed!”
Easy MCT Oil Meals That Triple Your Metabolism
Even one tablespoon of MCT oil per day will help with weight loss. But for fastest results, Whittel recommends two to three tablespoons daily along with a diet that emphasizes healthy fats, protein, and veggies. (Save any healthy starch for your evening meal, when studies show you’re best able to burn it off.) Always get your doctor’s OK to try a new diet strategy.
MCT oil may cause digestive discomfort at first; Whittel says using an emulsified or creamy MCT oil usually prevents this. You can find MCT oils in health food and supplement stores, as well as online. We like this one from Whittel herself, Simply GoodFats Organic MCT Oil (Buy on NaomiWittel.com, $39).
BREAKFAST: Blend half a cup almond milk, one tablespoon MCT oil, one scoop collagen peptides (protein power with anti-aging benefits, found in health food stores), one tablespoon chia, half an avocado, and half a cup of frozen berries.
SNACK: To make “mayo,” beat two egg yolks and two teaspoons Dijon; slowly add one-third cup of MCT oil. When thick, add one teaspoon vinegar, one teaspoon lemon juice, and two-thirds cup MCT oil. Use a quarter cup to devil six hard-cooked eggs.
DINNER: Peel and slice one jicama; steam eight minutes. Cool and pat dry. Toss with two tablespoons MCT oil and season with salt. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Enjoy with a grass-fed burger.
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine.