One of the biggest questions I get about coconut oil is, “how do I eat it and what does it do?” And “why didn’t it do that for me?” You want to lose weight, cut fat, have energy and stomp all over the world daily. You want to break down cubicles and smash stop signs at will. You’ve heard Coconut Oil can help you do this, but you’ve tried it, and it didn’t seem to work. Or your friend tried it and said it didn’t work. Or you just have no clue what’s happening with it and suspect it’s just another fad.
I wrote this to clear the air for you.
What I want to do with this article is discuss exactly how I eat it and why it probably works the way it does for me (and why it can fail someone). This is divided up into the theory of what is likely causing it to be a success or failure for weight loss and improved mental clarity, as well as how to ingest and what to expect. Coconut oil is the only real diet hack I know of. This stuff can give you literal wings.
No, I’m not a Doctor, if your Doctor told you not to eat coconut oil, this article isn’t for you. This is anecdotal: meaning, this is how I do it and what my experiences have been for 5+ years worth of self-experiments. These are my regimens which I feel work, and insight into why I think specific regimens fail or succeed for people looking for weight loss and improved mental health. This is long and detailed, but this basic understanding could lead you to weight loss and an overall better well-being.
I don’t like the taste, though, it’s just weird to put in my mouth.
This article isn’t for you. If you can get over trifles, keep on reading. If you aren’t even willing to deal with a “weird taste,” then this isn’t an article that will help you out.
What happens when I eat coconut oil?
I eat coconut oil straight. There are a variety of ways to ingest coconut oil; I, however, choose to eat it straight using a spoon. I do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I’ve perfected this formula through trial and error. I only eat coconut oil from bottles which have “cold pressed” on them. If it says Expeller Pressed or it says nothing at all, I pass. Terms like “virgin” or pictures of palm trees do not play into the equation on the matter.
When I eat it, I get high. You read that right.
This is to say that I feel happy, positive, energetic and like I could win a WWE match. My skin gets warm. If the temperature is cold outside, this effect helps a lot. My brain goes into extreme focus mode. I can focus on task with strict discipline, for example, reading lengthy documents or articles. I can zone out on it, shutting the rest of the world out. I eat it for this reason primarily, but weight loss (management) is a part of it. However, they are very closely related. If you do things following my specific way, you will feel this mental clarity and you will either lose weight or manage it, depending on your weight situation. Many people do not see these two benefits, but if they did things correctly, they’d almost have to reap these benefits. So let’s get into all that.
First, let’s grasp a concept that’s likely at work here.
Your body has a metabolic system. You have a metabolism. Your metabolism, in the simplest of ideas, allows your body and brain to burn resources for energy. The resource we are talking about here are foods. But food is vast and complex, something so many of us has been introduced to in the past decade with the onset of paleo diets, gluten free diets and low carb (the list goes on). The body sees your food as complex as well, and it prioritizes how it sources it.
The point is: your body and brain need energy, and your metabolism uses food to supply that energy. To understand coconut oil and it’s effects is in understanding this principle.
If you stop eating carbohydrates for three days, your body will most likely begin to produce ketones. You will begin to enter a state of ketosis. You could get ketostixs at a CVS and urinate on them to test this. Ketosis is a metabolic state. The body in all cases will look for the easiest possible source of energy for both the body and brain. Most of the time, this means carbohydrates.
Have you ever been out to a dinner and had time start to slip away because some coworker of yours begins telling long drawn out boring stories? Or have you ever been on a bad date? Before you went out, maybe you said: “I’m not drinking tonight.” But then things got late, like past the time you naturally stay out (or up for that matter). So you suddenly decide to have a beer or a glass of wine. If you had to explain this, you’d simply say your coworker was a jackass, or the date you were on was so hideous; you needed a drink to get through it.
But all you did was change your metabolic energy source to something easier to source. Alcohol will always prioritize before carbs when it comes to metabolic structure. They will burn more immediately. When you drink a glass of wine or beer, you feed your body a new, faster source. Your body will stop burning carbs as the priority and start burning the booze. This creates fast energy (and later a fast drop off and probably a raging hangover). But what else happens? Your body layers the alcohol before the carbs. If you ate pasta at dinner, even in your idle state of listening to your crappy Tinder date’s diatribes about his or her unusual cats, your body was trying to burn off the pasta. Once the Chardonnay hit the bloodstream, it stopped, creating a situation which allows pasta to convert to fat storage.
You are becoming a fat ass because the booze is taking over (you thought it was calories, right?)
Your body loves carbs. And this article is not an abomination against carbs (or booze for that matter). I eat carbs, and I drink booze. I don’t do that well with some fruity (fructose) carbs. But that’s neither here, nor there, everyone is different. Your body loves to burn carbs for energy. It loves to use converted glucose carbs to supply the brain with energy. Now, you can change this. You can shift gears. You are in control.
Naturally, you could go down a glass of your old friend Chardonnay, but that’s not the goal here. So the other method to change this is to go three days without carbs. And this, once again, enters you into a state of ketosis. Ketosis means that your body’s metabolic system has realized that carbs are gone, so it begins the process of converting fat to energy. Fat is a super stable energy, way more reliable than carbs are. You don’t crash ever on fat energy. The brain loves it. And furthermore, well, you are burning fat for energy. If you have a weight issue, you are likely burning the extra fat, as well. Translation: you are losing weight.
I love certain aspects of ketosis, but I also don’t like certain other aspects, which is pretty important regarding the role coconut oil plays. In ketosis, your brain will feel sharper (anecdotal and via my experiences). It should be noted that studies on ketosis are lacking, but it is considered safe and healthy. I suggest you read The Scientific American later on to get a better grasp on the concept. Ever known that low carb friend that said: “man when I was low carb I just felt so good, my head was clear!” If you haven’t, search low carb forums. This is what’s happening. It’s fat meeting the brain.
For now, I’m going to keep it simple and layman, basing things on what’s worked for myself. So we get it, Ketosis means the body is burning fat. It should help your brain focus easier, and it should contribute to weight loss. Because there is a lack of carbs, your body is no longer put in a position to crave sugars, so your appetite lowers significantly. Most people who go into ketosis react with splendor because they can’t believe how little they are craving food. Their entire lives have been this production of weight watchers and calorie counting and torture when waiters ask if they want desert, but suddenly they are managing their appetites with ease and control. (again, read low carb forums, this is a common thing said).
But where does it fail? Well, for some people, it doesn’t fail. For many others, there are issues that seem to be impasses. For me, I get nasty insomnia. When you eat lower carbs, you should expect shorter, but more productive sleep, however, you need some sleep. In ketosis, I lay awake all night ready to do pushups and body slam opponents off the ropes. Ketosis kills the sex drive for many (I included). There isn’t a lot of research for why these scenarios unfold, but a quick search of the web reveals many diet sleuths trying to solve it. Ketosis is easy and makes managing your weight easy, so people try to find ways to solve the issues. Another issue is that carbs can be magnificent for digestion. The stomach needs bacteria, namely prebiotics. You will want to bookmark this article for later about resistant starches; you will notice that many tests show people remain in ketosis even when using them.
Problems with ketosis can go beyond insomnia and lowered sex drive. Culturally it can be difficult to harness it at all times. We live in society whereas carbs are the token item on every restaurant menu. If you eat carbs, you break ketosis within a matter of minutes. Remember; the body loves to burn them. It’s also a lot of meat, which can be costly, and an extreme lack of suitable fibers for the gut (again, prebiotics). And hey. Maybe you want to be vegan? I am looking out for you folks also here!
But that moment you enter ketosis and you feel your body slimming (you will dump fluids), and you feel that “high” from the brain being fed ketones, you almost want to force it to work.
I began reading about every way imaginable to take advantage of ketones for weight loss and mental clarity. Intermittent fasting was one way, whereas you limited meals to shorter time spans. For example, you might eat one meal per day, or maybe you only eat meals from noon to 5 pm and that’s it. This approach is very telling, because, in essence, it is allowing extreme spaces between foods (between carbs).
But what about the space you already have naturally given yourself? We know full blown ketosis takes 3 to 5 days to enter.
But what if we could hack that?
Enter the Coconut Oil hack.
This isn’t me opening a debate from the medical community; this is me putting forth how I think things work. You can have Blood Sugar tested, and you can easily purchase ketostix to figure things out on your own. You can conduct your own science here. At the end of the day, your weight and how you feel tell you a lot.
I believe one of the most major issues in the Standard American Diet is within breakfast. For years, breakfast has been symbolic of a time to carb load. The logic is there, kind of, but it seems incredibly flawed. The idea is that you wake up from a fast, and you give your body and brain it’s preferred energy source. This has long been an easy sell to everyone. And hey, maybe for some or many, it works. But in doing this, we don’t harness the ideas which support mental clarity and weight loss.
When you sleep at night, you stop eating. By the time you wake up, you are maybe 10 to 12 hours since your last meal. Remember; the body looks for energy sources from the metabolism, so when you sit up out of bed, walk the dog, and begin thinking, your body is sourcing energy. But the advantage here is that it is looking for carbs and seeing its been 10+ hours, the carbs aren’t there in full force. The advantage here is that your body is priming itself to lose some weight. When you eat a banana, you pretty much shit on that idea (sorry for the language, it is just what’s happening).
The solution then would be to avoid carbs for breakfast and well, for lunch. Give your body a carb break, allow it to burn off remaining carbs and search for fat options. Now, the issue here is that full on ketosis should take three days. If you eat carbs at dinner, you will blow that.
Coconut Oil can help. Coconut Oil, I believe, is going to force ketosis on you if you allow it the opportunity. How do you do that?
When you wake up, you eat only coconut oil, or coconut oil with light protein (you don’t want to slam three steaks because your body can utilize an overabundance of protein and turn it to carbs). At lunch, you want to enter more proteins and a little more coconut oil. If you do this, you will feel a buzz.
Within 30 minutes, you will feel an uplifting energy, positivity, and incredible focus. This is the brain sourcing ketones. You will feel your skin warm up. This is the body burning fat (check out thermogenesis). Usually cold at your office because some jerk coworker blows the AC all day? No problem, you won’t feel that.
The coconut oil forces a state of ketosis because I believe your metabolism prioritizes the coconut oil much like it prioritizes the chardonnay. And this is huge. This means that your body is burning fat all day. This means that your focus and energy are killer amazing.Coconut oil has MCT or Medium Chain Triglycerides in it. This is the hack. Instead of going a full three days without carbs, you do 17 hours, and then you eat carbs.
So why do people go wrong?
Because coconut oil is pushed as a supplemental superfood, most believe they can do whatever the want with it. Want to make cookies with coconut oil? It is possible. Add it to oatmeal or a baked potato? No problem. This isn’t me telling anyone that it isn’t still good for them, of course, it is, but you aren’t harnessing the true power of it for the goal you most likely have.
Often this is exactly what people do, they add to something carb rich. But if we consider the concepts written here to be true, that’s probably not the right approach. For years, I’ve gotten very polarizing reactions to ingesting coconut oil. For some, they tell me “it didn’t do anything, they noticed nothing.” But for many others, they say “it made me super focused and energetic.” I began to notice that the difference here typically seemed to be how it was ingested. Those who felt nothing were using it with carbs, for example, in oatmeal or on toast. They used it as a replacement for butter. They swapped fat for fat.
What should have been happening was ingestion of coconut oil in an isolated, or small protein setting, so as to allow the current carb fast to be expedited into ketosis. When you wake up, you are winning. You haven’t eaten. While many people rely heavily on this time to refuel with carbs, it may not be the best method. Instead, you can harness that carb fast and use coconut oil to shuttle yourself into a thermogenic, fat burning state.
So what would your day look like?
8 am (or when you awake): 1 TBSP coconut oil.
10 am: 2 eggs, boiled or cooked in coconut oil. (if you can, just skip this meal entirely)
11am: 1 TBSP coconut oil.
noon: protein (chicken, steak, eggs, pork or seafood), veggies.
5 pm: protein (chicken, steak, eggs, pork or seafood), starch (yam, potato, rice), veg, fruit, nuts.
Bedtime: starch for sleeping (this means you eat a small potato or some oatmeal to help you sleep)
The 5 pm meal is going to allow you to carb refuel, which should knock you out of long term ketosis. However, you should reap the rewards of your short term, coconut oil induced ketosis throughout the day.
1) Weight loss (your body will burn fat for energy).
2) Higher mental clarity (the brain loves ketones, google ketones and alzheimers).
3) Decreased appetite. This is the hook. Avoiding that sugary lunch is going to be no problem because when you have ketones present, you will not crave sugar. This not only decreases a blood sugar yo-yo situation and insulin storing fat on your body, but it also lowers your calories naturally.
Can I still eat carbs in the morning with it?
You can do whatever you want. But remember, when you eat carbs, your body prioritizes carbs for the energy source. So really it isn’t likely you will feel the full brunt of the effect. This is fine, it only matters what you are looking for. I put coconut oil on baked potatoes sometimes; I enjoy it.
I heard people drink it in coffee.
This is true. And I’ve done this a lot. But let’s get into this. Coffee is not a true energy source. I don’t want to get all into this because it upsets people greatly. Coffee is fine. If you sleep at night and don’t deal with anxiety during the day, nothing all that wrong with drinking it.
Coconut oil is a much more powerful, real energy source. It’s super legit. The metabolic structure of your body accepts it. Coffee isn’t even in the same realm. The power and energy and focus you get from coconut oil are stable, you won’t crash off like on coffee. That said……sure, you can do this. If you already drink coffee, and it’s how you want to do it, then go with it. But, make sure you are dealing with black coffee, not coffee that has added sugars or fake sweeteners. You don’t want to elicit an insulin response and tell your body carbs are coming.
Also, remember, you are adding in powerful energy. This shouldn’t be taken lightly.
I workout, how do I handle this?
Coconut oil was born to make your workouts extra amazing. Not only will your energy be off the charts, but your focus will be that of laser accurate. Many people still believe in carbs before a workout, but I don’t see that as the correct approach. Most body builders go with fat and protein before a workout, carbs after. Carbs help resupply muscles with glycogen, so they heal you up nicely (even build muscle if that’s what you want). When you take carbs before your workout, your body sources them, when they run out, so do you. Coconut oil doesn’t run out.
What about my stomach?
Coconut oil can clean you out. It can do this because it’s an antibacterial substance, but also because, well, it’s fatty oil. Sometimes it causes me to go to the bathroom pretty fast. Other times not at all. If I went out the night before and cheated up with some beer and nachos, I can pretty much expect coconut oil to make me pay once or twice in the bathroom. Also, when you just eat coconut oil, you aren’t eating something fibrous or hearty until later, so really, you might just have a looser stool due to that. Again, though, I’m not a Doctor, if you have other issues or suspect you have other issues, get that checked out.
Do I need to workout?
Working out always helps, but you don’t have to. Working out will speed up the process, but don’t overdo it, particularly if you don’t already workout. If you haven’t worked out for a while, trying doing a set of 30 jumping jacks, a 10-second plank and ten air squats. Then rest for 1 minute. Then do over. That kind of workout, as easy as it may sound, can go well with a ketogenic state.
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