Already have an account?
Get back to the
Weight Loss

Adding a Few Spoonfuls of Coconut Oil to Your Diet Can Speed Metabolism Like Keto Does — Without The Carb Counting

Dr. Josh Axe: "Add it to a healthy diet and you'll lose roughly 10x the weight you otherwise would"

Wondering if coconut oil a smart choice for folks hoping to slim down? Then you’re in good company: Even scientists are curious. It’s what led a group of researchers to analyze 9 peer-reviewed studies on the topic. Here’s what they concluded: “Compared to other oils and fats, coconut oil substantially decreases body weight, BMI and percentage of fat mass.” And that’s exactly what natural health expert Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, has seen among his patients time and again. “Coconut oil is one of my top foods for fast weight loss,” he says. “Add it to a healthy diet and, regardless of your age, you’ll lose roughly 10 times more weight than you otherwise would.” So how do you use coconut oil for weight loss? Read on to find out — and to get inspired by women like Fran Bronski, 60, and Sandee Jordan, 73, ladies who each sped off about 30 pounds in 3 weeks.

What is coconut oil?

Coconut oil is made by pressing fresh or dried coconut to extract natural fats. When fresh coconut is used, the product is labeled ‘virgin’ or ‘extra virgin’ and has a light coconut flavor; dry meat yields flavorless ‘refined’ coconut oil. Experts say about 85% of coconut oil is saturated fat, which makes it firm like butter even at room temperature. But unlike 95% of other fats, a majority of the fatty acids in coconut oil is are medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, which, as you’ll see below, have many health benefits.

Coconut oil and heart disease

Isn’t saturated fat bad for our hearts? While there’s a lot of conflicting research, a committee that helps determine government nutrition guidelines recently found that 88% of studies analyzed do not support a link between saturated fats and heart disease.  

On top of that, coconut oil contains traces of plant sterols, compounds that mimic blood cholesterol and may help to block the absorption of cholesterol in the body, say Harvard experts. Other research suggests that plant sterols combined with MCTs may lower cholesterol levels. More research is needed, but plant sterols may be help explain why people who traditionally eat diets rich coconut — such as those in Polynesia and the Philippines — tend to have low rates of heart disease.

Which is the best coconut oil to use for weight loss?

For his part, Dr. Axe is a fan of extra-virgin coconut oil, which he says you can use as a spread, to sauté or lightly fry food and in healthy baked goods. “It’s also tasty in smoothies and hot drinks,” he says. Start adding it and “you’ll feel a difference right away.”

The reason why you’ll feel an immediate difference lies in the way medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are processed by the body. “That’s the big reason it’s so powerful,” notes Dr. Axe, bestselling author of Keto Diet and Ancient Remedies. “Your body goes through 17 steps to break down other fats. But it only takes three steps for MCTs.” He notes that you can also opt for pure MCT oil, a flavorless liquid that makes great salad dressing and can be swirled into everything from drinks and soups to sauces and dips. (Click through to learn more about MCT oil and weight loss.)

How coconut oil boosts weight loss

No matter whether you choose virgin coconut oil, refined coconut oil or MCT oil, all contain enough MCTs to set off a biochemical surge that benefits us from head to toe. But body systems that help us get and stay lean get perhaps the most benefits of all. Here are 3 top ways consuming coconut oil helps with weight loss:

1. Coconut oil naturally kills hunger and cravings 

Dr. Axe explains that the body turns MCTs into ketones, a high-octane form of fuel that also acts as a powerful appetite suppressant. In one study, overweight folks ate up to 638 fewer calories at a breakfast buffet when food was made with coconut oil instead of olive oil. From your first spoonful, “you’ll eat less without struggling,” he notes. Heck, you won’t even notice that you’re eating less.

2. Coconut oil helps speed metabolism  

As MCTs turn rapidly into ketones, it prevents them from being stored as fat — and it also creates intense metabolic heat, says Dr. Axe. So much so that an Italian study found we burn three times more calories for six hours after an MCT-rich meal.

Meanwhile, a Boston University team found that MCTs stimulate fat to break down with so much speed, “it literally mimics the rate at which fat breaks down during a prolonged fast,” shares Dr. Axe. In other words, coconut oil delivers the perks of fasting without the feelings of deprivation and hunger.

3. Coconut oil targets stubborn belly fat

Many of us struggle with too-high blood sugar levels these days — and there’s evidence coconut oil can help. Compounds in coconut oil may improve the way insulin functions, making it significantly better at controlling blood sugar. And as this happens, our bodies naturally store less and burn more abdominal fat. Proof: In one study, dieters given muffins made with MCT oil lost 568% more belly fat than those given muffins made with another oil.

Dr. Axe adds that because MCTs aren’t broken down in the liver like other fats, it takes stress off the overworked organ, allowing it to perform alternate functions — like helping regulate thyroid hormones. That’s why switching to coconut oil is linked to 50% better thyroid function

Dr. Axe’s easy Rx: How to use coconut oil for weight loss

To get all these benefits and more, Dr. Axe advises going easy on other fat as you aim for 2 to 3 Tbs. of coconut oil or MCT oil a day. What else should you eat to get the fastest results possible? His simplest advice: “Focus on getting 30 grams of high-quality protein three times daily along with lots of vegetables.” It’ll enhance all the great things coconut oil does inside you. “I’ve helped thousands of people improve their health and lose weight, and I’ve found these basic strategies are the best diet to get them there.”

Coconut oil success story: Sandee Jordan, 73

After decades of yo-yo dieting, extra weight took a toll on Sandee Jordan and her hips. “The orthopedic surgeon told me I’d need both of them replaced,” shares the New Mexico retiree, 73. Scared, she started looking for ways to reduce her inflammation and put off the procedure. The internet prompted her to cut out gluten and sugar, which helped a bit. “Then I found a keto group on Facebook, and that’s when I discovered MCT oil.” 

Using the free Carb Manager app to help keep her nutrition on point, Sandee started using the oil in her coffee, salad dressing, even fudgy ‘fat bomb’ treats. Her body responded like gang busters. In just three weeks, Sandee shed 28 pounds. 

So she kept at it. “The oil definitely kept me feeling full longer.” It also seemed to ease her joint pain and make her belly fat disappear like never before. All told, she shed 59 pounds and five sizes. As for her mobility issues? “My pain level went to zero,” she shares. “Six years later, I still have my own hips. I think MCT oil played a big role in that. It was definitely the game-changer for me.”

Coconut oil before and after: Fran Bronski, 60

Before and after photos of Fran Bronski, who learned how to use coconut oil to lose weight and dropped 80 lbs
Laura DeSantis-Olsson, Getty

Fran Bronski tried diet after diet without lasting success — and once she was diagnosed with a slow thyroid, not even meds or a keto diet helped. Luckily, she saw a YouTube documentary about the power of good fats. “I started adding MCT oil into oatmeal and smoothies and using coconut oil to cook,” says the New York grandmother, 60. One of the first things she noticed? She was barely hungry, especially in the evening. Her energy shot up. “And I could feel the weight falling off.” Down 30 pounds in just three weeks, “it was thrilling to say the least.” As she continued focusing on coconut oil, MCT and things like seeds and avocado, she shed 80 pounds and has maintained for five years. “I’m off thyroid meds, my mind is more clear and my energy is off the charts. For me, these fats were life-changing.”

Want more proof coconut oil is powerful? It helped California retiree Kris Ronchetti upgrade a keto diet. She reversed pre-diabetes, flattened her belly and shed 113 pounds — at age 73. Click through for more about how coconut oil and keto helped Kris reach her health goals.

Coconut oil recipes to get you started

To lose weight at top speed for your body, Dr. Axe suggests you start your day with a coconut-oil spiked smoothie made with collagen protein (such as the Multi Collagen option at Then enjoy simple protein-and-veggies options at lunch and dinner, using a little more coconut oil for cooking if you like. You can even add a daily coconut-kissed treat! Do aim to be active daily. Find more meal ideas and tips at

Dr. Axe’s Easy Coconut-Collagen Smoothie

Dr. Axe’s Easy Coconut-Collagen Smoothie made with blueberries and coconut oil for weight loss

This satisfying sip takes just minutes to make, perfect for a quick morning meal.


  • 1 cup berries
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs. spouted flax meal
  • 1 scoop vanilla collagen protein


  1. In a blender, combine berries, coconut milk, coconut oil, flax meal and collagen protein.
  2. Blitz until smooth, adding ice to taste.

Grilled Chicken Salad with ‘Secret Sauce’ Dressing

Top a large mixed salad with grilled chicken and optional avocado; for dressing, drizzle on 2-3 tsp. MCT oil and vinegar and seasonings to taste.

Slimming Meat & ‘Potatoes’

Mash steamed cauliflower with coconut oil, coconut milk and seasoning; enjoy with grilled steak and broccoli.

Upgraded ‘Peppermint Patties’

Homemade peppermint patties using coconut oil for weight loss

Dr. Axe’s wife, Chelsea, created this coconut-boosted take on a classic Peppermint Patty.


  • 2 cups coconut oil, at room temp.
  • ½ cup honey or allulose syrup
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract or 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 12 oz. 72% dark chocolate


  1. Mix oil, honey/syrup and peppermint. Spoon into silicone disk candy molds; freeze 30 minutes.
  2. In a double boiler over medium heat, melt chocolate. With a fork, submerge frozen disks in chocolate; place on lined sheet. Freeze 30 minutes more. Let come to room temp. to enjoy. Makes 24 treats

For bonus health benefits of coconut oil, click through:

These Easy, Surprising Self-Care Tips Can Reverse Gum Disease, Say Dentists

Three Ways Coconut Oil Can Benefit Your Head and Scalp

Slugging: This New Spin on an Old Hack Has Gone Viral Because It Hydrates Hair Like Nothing Else — For Pennies!

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.