How to Use Olive Oil for Weight Loss?

by Marixie Ann Obsioma
Published on June 2, 2021 and last updated for accuracy on June 6, 2021

There must be a reason why the world of health and nutrition cannot stop gushing about olive oil. The Mediterranean wonder is extracted from olive and is used in a variety of raw and cooked preparations.

Studies have claimed that olive oil helps keep bad cholesterol at bay and raise levels of good cholesterol, keeping the heart healthy. Olive oil also contains more mono-unsaturated fatty acids than any natural oil.

According to the book, ‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing House, these fatty acids help normalize blood clotting and control blood sugar levels. Also a good source of Vitamin E, olive oil makes for a great natural skin care ingredient. Its anti-inflammatory properties help relieve pain as well.

Olive oil is also an excellent ingredient you can bank on for weight loss. Why?

1. Olive oil controls hunger

You won’t burn belly fat or any fat, for that matter, unless you first take in fewer calories than your body needs to fuel itself. And you won’t stick with a low-cal approach if you’re constantly hungry. That’s why using olive oil to reduce belly fat and lose weight is a no-brainer.

You often hear that protein or fiber help control hunger, but experts find olive oil is equally if not more powerful. Olive oil is made up of 75 percent oleic acid, a substance shown to help us feel content for hours longer between meals.

Olive oil is extremely filling.

2. It blitzes ab fat with antioxidants

Olive oil is an amazing source of polyphenols, an antioxidant linked to small waists. It also helps us absorb more antioxidants from other foods.

It makes other food, especially vegetables, taste delicious. Raw broccoli? Salad with fat-free dressing? These aren’t very enticing. But broccoli sautéed with garlic and olive oil, salad drizzled with homemade vinaigrette, now they’re mouthwatering!

There are so many micronutrients in veggies with potential to help reduce belly fat, but they won’t work if you don’t eat them. Experts think that’s a huge reason diets rich in olive oil have been shown to take off more weight.

Olive oil leads to greater vegetable consumption!

3. It has a belly-melting X factor – MUFA

Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which have one unsaturated carbon bond in their chemical composition. MUFAs are typically liquid at room temperature.

One older 4-week study found men with overweight or obesity who replaced saturated fat with monounsaturated fats in their diets experienced small but significant weight loss, compared with a saturated-fat-rich diet, despite no major change in total fat or calorie intake (1).

More recent research agrees that unsaturated fatty acids are likely more beneficial than saturated fats when it comes to healthy weight maintenance (2).

Diets rich in monounsaturated fats have also been shown to prevent weight gain and the accumulation of fat in animal studies (34).

4. Olive oil is also rich in MCTs

Furthermore, olive oil is a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which have been long studied for their ability to play a role in healthy weight loss and maintenance (567).

MCTs are triglycerides that contain fatty acids comprising 6–12 carbon atoms. They’re broken down quickly and absorbed by your liver, where they can be used for energy.

While some studies have found a positive effect of MCTs on weight loss, others have found no effect.

Still, one study compared MCTs with long-chain triglycerides, finding that MCTs resulted in greater production of certain appetite-regulating hormones like peptide YY, which promotes feelings of fullness (8).

Other research indicates that MCTs may encourage weight loss by increasing calorie- and fat-burning in the body (910).

5. Mediterranean diet equals a balanced diet

Many of olive oil’s benefits have been observed in the context of following a Mediterranean diet.

This delicious diet relies on high amounts of fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and potatoes. The main source of fat in the Mediterranean diet is olive oil, but fish is also often found in these dishes.

Red meat and sweet treats are limited from this eating style.

And because your diet shouldn’t cause you unnecessary stress, one study with animals suggested that the Mediterranean diet may also help reduce stress in non-human primates (11). While we still need some human studies too, this still shows that there may be benefits to the diet beyond nutrition.

7 Ways to Use Olive Oil for Weight Loss

Olive oil is “the best friend” you can have in the kitchen. It is the perfect companion for all kinds of food and you can add it in any culinary preparation. But if you are interested in losing a few extra kilos, add lemon with the following:

1. Lemon

One way to use olive oil to lose weight is to combine it with lemon. One of the most powerful remedies that exist to purify and eliminate toxins from your body. Lemon contains, in addition to vitamin C, hesperidin. A flavonoid that contributes to improving the function of lymphatic drainage and, with it, the retention of liquids. Take an olive oil juice with half a lemon at breakfast and you will see how your figure is improving little by little. So we can say that the combination of olive oil and lemon will help you to lose weight.

2. Ginger

Ginger is a root that, when ingested, produces a thermogenic effect in the body. Ginger is able to activate your nervous system and, as a consequence, activate all processes that produce energy, which also supplies fat. That is, ginger is a natural fat burner.

3. Cucumber

Good weather is synonymous with lots of fruit and vegetables. And among them are the cucumbers. Delicious and very refreshing. A food that helps you lose those extra pounds. Its high water content makes it have a low amount of calories. In addition, cucumber contains a lot of fiber that helps eliminate toxins from the body. Add a pinch of salt and olive oil to a couple of cucumbers and you will get a great starter that will help you lose weight. Do you think there is a better way to use olive oil to lose weight?

4. Cayenne pepper

Although it may not seem like it, cayenne pepper is a digestive stimulant. This spice stimulates the production of juices and gastric enzymes that digest the food you eat, eliminating the toxins that are generated in your body. It also speeds up metabolism and fat burning.

A trick to make cayenne pepper is to put a couple of them in a glass bottle with olive oil to flavor your dishes. You will see how cayenne pepper serves you along with olive oil to lose weight. Remember that it is important to know how to preserve olive oil.

5. Balsamic vinegar

There cannot be a better mix than olive oil with balsamic vinegar. Both products perfectly combine their exquisite flavors. With them you will create a culinary elixir that will maximize the flavor of your dishes.

But in addition to all this, the balsamic vinegar served together with the olive oil to lose weight, did you know? This type of vinegar has very few calories and, among its many nutrients, potassium stands out. A diuretic mineral that eliminates toxins from the body.

6. Smoothies

Detoxifying green shakes to reduce weight have become fashionable. And with good reason. They are a time bomb against the body’s fat and toxins. Full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients that help keep your weight at bay. But you can enhance its power much more, and especially the flavor of these shakes, adding a little olive oil. So you will have another way to use olive oil to lose weight.

7. Meals

Cooking with olive oil maximizes the flavors of food. Whether raw or cooked, the best ally you can have in the kitchen is olive oil. Experts in nutrition and health advise using one tablespoon of olive oil in each meal. Remember that it is fat and, although it is the healthiest, it has its percentage of calories.

Therefore, you must consume just those that are necessary. If you want to use olive oil to lose weight, do not overdo it.

How Much Olive Oil is Needed Daily for Weight Loss?

Olive oil is most effective for weight loss when incorporated into your overall diet. In fact, a 2010 study comparing an olive oil-enriched diet to a standard low fat diet found that participants on the olive-oil diet lost more weight (12).

So, how much should you be using each day?

It’s important to first understand that 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of olive oil contains 119 calories and 14 grams of fat, which can quickly add up.

Try to keep your olive oil intake limited to a few tablespoons. That means that just drinking olive oil for weight loss isn’t the best idea.

Additional Tips

What do you think of these different ways of using olive oil to lose weight? Delicious and easy to incorporate into your day to day, right? But these 7 ways are not the only ones that exist. You can use olive oil in many other culinary remedies and enhance its slimming properties.

Remember these tips if you want to lose a few extra kilos:

  • Do not consume more than one tablespoon of olive oil in each meal.
  • The amount of calories you should consume per day is between 2000 and 2500 kcal.
  • It is important that you drink more than two liters of water.
  • Do not eat precooked foods.
  • Try to reduce the consumption of sugar to the maximum.
  • Decrease the amount of salt in your meals as much as you can.
  • Use extra virgin olive oil to dress your salads.

Other Health Benefits of Olive Oil

1. It has anti-Inflammatory properties

Chronic inflammation is thought to be a leading driver of diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and even obesity.

Extra-virgin olive oil can reduce inflammation, which may be one of the main reasons for its health benefits.

The main anti-inflammatory effects are mediated by the antioxidants. Key among them is oleocanthal, which has been shown to work similarly to ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug (13).

Some scientists estimate that the oleocanthal in 3.4 tablespoons (50 ml) of extra virgin olive oil has a similar effect as 10% of the adult dosage of ibuprofen (14).

One study also showed that olive oil antioxidants can inhibit some genes and proteins that drive inflammation (15).

2. Strongly promotes cardiovascular health

Olive oil is considered heart-healthy for (many) good reasons. In the frequently cited PREDIMED study, people who ate a Mediterranean-style diet that included 4+ tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day had a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and their combined risk for heart attack, stroke, and death from heart disease was around a 30% lower than people who ate a low-fat diet (16). EVOO has also been linked to improved cholesterol levels and reduced blood pressure. Oleic acid, the most abundant MUFA in all olive oil grades, and various polyphenols are likely to thank, given their ability to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and modify cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.

But you don’t have to consume 4+ tablespoons of olive oil per day to reap the benefits. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says there’s credible evidence to support the claim that consuming 1 ½ tablespoons of oleic acid-rich oils, including olive oil, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, provided they replace fats/oils higher in saturated fat and do not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.

3. Supports healthy memory and brain function

Oxidative stress is implicated in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. But extra virgin olive oil’s polyphenols, particularly oleocanthal, function as potent antioxidants that may help counter this effect. A 2019 study on animals found that oleocanthal-rich olive oil helped restore healthy blood-brain barrier function and reduce neuro-inflammation in a way that may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s (17).

4. Supports a healthy gut microbiome

Your gut microbiome influences everything from digestion to mood to the appearance of your skin, so keeping it healthy is in your best interest! Great news: Olive oil’s polyphenols may reduce inflammation of the GI tract and foster the growth of good bacteria, according to a 2019 review (18). Specifically, researchers found that eating about 1.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day helped elevate populations of healthy bifidobacteria in the gut.

5. Prevents diabetes

Healthy fats are a key dietary component for anyone trying to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes. In a 2017 study, people who ate the most olive oil had lower fasting blood sugar and a 16% reduced risk of developing diabetes (19). All fats help slow the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, which can keep blood sugar stable, but research suggests the main monounsaturated fat in olive oil, oleic acid, may be particularly protective against insulin resistance (20). Saturated fats, on the other hand, can promote inflammation and have a harmful effect on beta cells, the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.

6. Boosts bone health and strength

In the weird-but-true category: A 2018 study revealed increased bone density among women who had the highest intake of olive oil; results that held true even after accounting for the women’s intake of bone-building calcium and vitamin D (21). Inflammation in the body can actually turn on osteoclast cells, which break down bone, but researchers speculate that olive oil’s anti-inflammatory polyphenols may trigger mechanisms that help prevent bone breakdown and stimulate bone formation.

7. Healthiest oil you can cook with!

Contrary to popular belief, EVOO actually has a moderate-to-high smoke point of 350⁰F to 410⁰F, however, smoke point does not correlate to how stable a cooking oil is under heat. Research from 2018 suggests that extra virgin olive oil is the most stable cooking oil, resisting degradation better than oils with a high smoke point (22). This means you can use extra virgin olive oil for sautéing, stir-frying, baking, and even frying. Thanks to its abundance of heat-stable MUFAs and polyphenols, olive oil counteracts the oxidative stress caused by heat and slows the formation of unhealthy compounds, like free radicals. But what really sets olive oil apart as a cooking oil? A 2015 study found that cooking vegetables like tomato, eggplant, and pumpkin in extra virgin olive oil actually boosted the antioxidant content of those vegetables (23)!

The Bottomline

Olive oil is incredibly nutritious, and no other cooking oil compares in terms of flavor, versatility, and head-to-toe health benefits!

So go ahead, give your meals and recipes a good drizzle of this liquid gold.

Start losing extra weight and stay healthy!

References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/13129479/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24363161/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5691764/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26896233/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2874190/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25636220/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20367215/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4192077/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25636220/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28808791/
  11. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352289520300448?via%3Dihub
  12. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jwh.2009.1759?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%20%200pubmed
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21443487
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16136122
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20179144
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29897866/
  17. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acschemneuro.9b00175
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6471980/
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5436092/
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6770508/
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6115724/
  22. https://actascientific.com/ASNH/pdf/ASNH-02-0083.pdf
  23. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26041214/

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