Coconut oil and flaxseed oil enjoy popularity as weight loss supplements. Both oils may provide other health benefits as well. Coconut oil is especially touted for healthier skin and hair, and flaxseed for promoting healthy cholesterol levels. Working these supplements into your diet for weight loss requires some know-how, and a determination to accustom yourself to their flavors.
Look for virgin coconut oil at a vitamin shop or a health food store. You should find bottles of flaxseed oil with lignans in the refrigerated section of the same store. Virgin coconut oil is cold-pressed, which means the vital nutrients are not destroyed. Similarly, the best quality flaxseed oil is cold-pressed as well. Keep the flaxseed oil refrigerated at all times, and do not use it in cooking, as heating ruins its beneficial properties. Coconut oil may be stored in a cool, dry place.
Take the suggested dose for coconut oil (1 tbsp. daily), according to Ingrid Kohlstadt, M.D. Coconut oil is often eaten straight from the spoon for thyroid support, up to 3 tbsp. daily. However, for weight loss purposes, it is best to replace your regular cooking oil with coconut oil, instead of adding additional coconut oil to your diet. Virgin coconut oil retains the distinctive flavor of coconuts, so you may want to start by sautéing foods with flavors that do not clash, such as shrimp or chicken. Once you are accustomed to the flavor, try the coconut oil with eggs, beef, or other foods not typically served with coconut flavor.
Take the suggested use for flaxseed oil (also 1 tbsp. daily). Flaxseed oil is ideally consumed by mixing into yogurt or cottage cheese. According to protocols from Johanna Budwig, Ph.D., the probiotic proteins in yogurt or cottage cheese allow the oil to become water soluble, increasing its activation in the body. Even those who enjoy the nutty taste of flaxseeds may be put off by the greasy texture and strong taste of cold-pressed oil mixed with cottage cheese. Fruity yogurts blend better with the flavor, but the texture cannot be avoided. Yet this is the most effective way to introduce flaxseed oil into the body, and the health benefits are certainly worth the distinctive texture.
Work the oils into your diet gradually, especially if you are not already consuming healthy oils through diet or supplementation. Either work in one oil at a time, or begin with half the suggested use of both oils.
Support your weight loss efforts with exercise and healthy food choices. Both coconut oil and flaxseed oil may increase satiety, so you may naturally feel like eating less. A Brazilian study shows that over a 12-week period, consuming coconut oil in addition to healthy diet and exercise habits promotes the loss of belly fat. There is no set time limit for losing weight with coconut and flaxseed oils, but as with any dietary supplement, give the process some time to work—three months, give or take, depending on your specific situation.
Flaxseed oil is reputed to increase satiety, so take this just before your biggest meal of the day.
Never buy unrefrigerated flaxseed oil, and do not buy oil without lignans.
If you just cannot tolerate the taste of flaxseed oil, consider grinding flaxseeds over your cottage cheese or yogurt.
Flaxseed is a source of phytoestrogens, and may have an estrogen-like effect on the body. For some women, this is desirable; taking phytoestrogens may offer support for symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes.
However, the safety of such supplements is as hotly debated as hormone replacement therapy for women. Phytoestrogens and estrogen have both been linked with increased as well as decreased risks of breast cancer. If you are under a doctor's care for any related issue, discuss with your doctor all supplements you want to take.