Here’s a shocking weight loss secret: Adding the right fats to your diet, via foods or supplements, can make it easier for you to lose weight.
Motor up your metabolism with Omega 3s. A recent Australian study found that a daily serving of salmon, tuna, mackerel or sardines not only helped dieters lose an average of 12 pounds, it actually decreased blood levels of the feel-full hormone leptin by an impressive 80%!
Leptin is a messenger that tells your body whether or not it needs to store fat, and in overweight people, somehow that message doesn’t get through. Eating too many bad fats throws a monkey wrench into your body’s fat burning machinery and Omega-3s help get it back in balance. Not a big fan of fish? No problem! Most experts say you can do just as well by getting your super healthy Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements.
If you’re adding more fish to your diet, look for wild-caught varieties. They’re likely to have far fewer of the toxins that the government has warned about—and, unlike farm-raised fish often fed corn, the natural diet of wild fish gives them the maximum Omega-3s. Fish oil supplements made from fish caught in extremely cold waters of the Arctic and Antarctic oceans are also more pure.
Taking the pill that burns body fat. CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), another type of fatty acid found in meat and dairy products, makes dieting a breeze. According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, overweight people who took 3.4 grams of CLA daily for a year lost 9% of their body fat and increased their lean muscle mass by 2%. You’ll need 3,000 to 6,00 mg a day.
Even better, participants in a shorter-term Norwegian study lost an impressive 20% of their body fat in just 12 weeks when they combined CLA with three 90-minute gym workouts a week.
CLA reduces fat storage and sends fats to the muscles to be burned for energy. Those leaner, meaner muscles add up to increased calorie burning (up to 15%, say some experts). Plus, Belgian research shows that people who stopped taking CLA and returned to their old eating habits maintained their lean muscle mass, so they didn’t gain back as much weight. Tonalin, the type of CLA used in virtually all the scientific research, is found in dozens of brands of weight loss formulas, including those sold under the brand names Source Naturals, Vitamin Shoppe and Natrol. No side effects have been noted at the recommended dosages of 3.4 grams a day.
Try the most weight loss friendly fat: Coconut oil has a unique combination of fatty acids that have powerful effects on metabolism. Several studies show that coconut oil helps you shed fat, particularly dangerous abdominal fat while helping build muscle mass.
Coconut oil is high in medium chain fatty acids, that are stored differently in the body than less healthy long chain fatty acids and help stabilize hunger-inducing blood sugar swings and reduce carb cravings. They also help you feel full and satisfied with smaller portions.
Look for organic virgin coconut oil. Be aware that it is solid below 76 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s not great as a part of salad dressings, but works well in smoothies and for cooking (beware of the low smoking temp).