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 ($14.29, Amazon). 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 MCTs Work Magic
Add two to three tablespoons of MCTs a day to a healthy diet, and here’s what you can expect
1. Hunger vanishes.
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.”
2. Metabolism soars.
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 50s given MCTs lost 600 percent more belly fat than those given olive oil.
3. 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!”
A friend suggested Mary Anderson, 63, add MCT oil and collagen protein to her morning coffee. “I lost 30 pounds even though I continued to eat when I was hungry and until I was full,” says the Seattle-area grandmother, who cut carbs a bit but still indulged in rice and pasta. “The arthritis bumps on my knuckles are smaller and I have almost no stiffness in my hands. It’s made a huge difference in my quality of life!”
Lora Douglas, 60, agrees. “On other diets, I didn’t look or feel that great after weight loss. Then I read Glow15 and started a keto diet that includes MCTs every day. I’ve done low-carb in the past without the extra fat, and I couldn’t stick with it. This time I lost without hunger, and I’ve been told I look amazing. My skin is better, my hair is thicker — and my waist is seven inches smaller!” The Florida CPA's only complaint: “I wish I’d known about this years ago!”
Easy Meals That Will 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 Onnit ($23.70, Amazon).
Breakfast: MCT Smoothie Bowl — Blend 1/2 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 1/2 cup frozen berries.
Snack: “Angel” Eggs — To make “mayo,” beat two egg yolks and two teaspoons Dijon; slowly add 1/3 cup MCT oil. When thick, add one teaspoon vinegar, one teaspoon lemon juice, and 2/3 cup MCT oil. Use 1/4 cup to devil six hard-cooked eggs.
Dinner: Burger and Jicama Fries — 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.
MCT Ultra-Fudge Brownies
Rich in MCT oil, these guilt-free treats will help your body burn calories faster than it has in years!
Makes 16 servings.
- 1/2 cup MCT oil, such as Simply GOODFATS
- 2 teaspoons monk fruit sweetener
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, at room temp.
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Combine oil, sweetener, cocoa, and salt.
- Add one egg at a time, until completely incorporated.
- Add flours until thoroughly combined. Fold in walnuts. Pour into a parchment-lined eight-inch square pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit on a low rack until center is set and a pick inserted in center comes out clean, 15 to 25 minutes.
- Cool, then put in freezer for 10 minutes before cutting.
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine.