Do you want to lose weight? If so, doing something as simple as taking a fish oil supplement can help you lose a few extra pounds each month. Unlike most weight loss supplements that usually contain caffeine and other stimulants, it doesn’t make you feel jittery and nervous. Your energy levels will never come crashing down a couple hours after taking it either.
Unlike weight loss supplements your overall health will benefit from fish oil. In addition to helping you lose weight, taking fish oil every day can help your brain, heart, and joints health. No weight loss supplement on the market can make these claims.
In this article I list and explain 4 different ways fish oil supplements can help you lose weight. After reading them you will see how this inexpensive and popular product can give your weight loss program — and overall health — a boost.
- Fish Oil Enables You Lose Fat and Build Muscle. Simply popping a couple of fish oil capsules daily can help you lose fat and build muscle. All you need to do is take enough every day. The study I review below reveals just how much. In this study, subjects took about 2 grams of Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) every day for 6 weeks. At the end of the study they lost more than 2 lbs. of body fat. The subjects also gained about 1 pound. What’s really cool about this is that they didn’t exercise, change their diet, or do anything else to lose weight. All it took was taking a couple of high dose fish oil capsules every day.
- Fish Oil Supplements Decrease Your Appetite. If you want to stay full longer between meals, popping a couple of fish oil capsules after you eat may help. In one study, women who did this stayed full longer after their meal and ate less overall. Over time, this will help you lose weight without feeling hungry and suffering with the hunger pangs that occur when we diet. The most likely reason fish oil helps you stay full is that it is able to regulate the release of a chemical called serotonin. Serotonin helps to regulate your appetite and mood. This effect is also what gives fish oil its antidepressant benefits. I also believe that this benefit may also enable fish oil to stop sugar cravings.
- Fish Oil Makes Your Diet and Weight Loss Workout Program More Effective. Taking a fish oil supplement can make your diet and exercise program more effective too. In one study, subjects taking fish oil lost more weight than those taking a placebo supplement. Both groups followed a diet that had them eating less and also had them working out several times a week.
- Fish Oil Helps Minimizes Fat Storage. One study shows that fish oil supplements can minimize the risk that the food you eat is stored as fat. This is because it increases something called insulin sensitivity. Keeping the cells of your body sensitive to insulin is key to losing weight and staying healthy. The reason it’s so important is that the more sensitive your cells are to insulin, the less likely it is that the food you eat will be stored as fat.
What to Look for When Buying Fish Oil
When you’re shopping for a fish oil supplement, make sure you buy one that’s guaranteed to be free of impurities and potentially harmful substances like heavy metals and pesticides. The supplement you choose should also state on its label that it is concentrated. This means you’ll get the most possible Omega 3 fatty acids per serving. A good product will contain at least 750 mg of the EPA and DHA, the Omega 3s that give fish oil its benefits per capsule.
What to Expect When You Take Fish Oil
Research shows that taking 2-3 grams of fish oil daily can help you lose about 2 pounds a month. While this isn’t a lot, it adds up over time. It also doesn’t require any extra effort and costs very little. Following a diet that eliminates processed foods and simple sugars and performing a proven and effective weight loss workout 3-5 days a week will enable you to lose weight even faster.
Determining Your Daily Fish Oil Dose
Figuring out how much fish oil is in every capsule you take is easy. All you need to do is look at the Supplement Facts label on the product’s bottle. In this panel look for the amounts of DHA and EPA in every serving.
I like to think of taking fish oil for weight loss as a bonus. You lose a few extra pounds you wouldn’t have otherwise, and get lots of other health related benefits too. Given that there are no side effects and minimal risk for a healthy person to take fish oil, it’s definitely a winning proposition.
(Photo credit: Rainbow Trout with Fish Oil Capsules via Shutterstock)
- Hill AM, Buckley JD, Murphy KJ, Howe PR. Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1267-74.
- Noreen E, Sass M, Crowe M, Pabon V, Brandauer J. Averill L. Effects of supplemental fish oil on resting metabolic rate, body composition, and salivary cortisol in healthy adults. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2010, 7:31.
- Parra D, Ramel A, Bandarra N, Kiely M, Martínez JA, Thorsdottir I. A diet rich in long chain omega-3 fatty acids modulates satiety in overweight and obese volunteers during weight loss. Appetite. 2008 Nov;51(3):676-80.
- Ramel A, Martinéz A, Kiely M, Morais G, Bandarra NM, Thorsdottir I. Beneficial effects of long-chain n-3 fatty acids included in an energy-restricted diet on insulin resistance in overweight and obese European young adults. Diabetologia. 2008 Jul;51(7):1261-8.
- Thorsdottir I, Tomasson H, Gunnarsdottir I, Gisladottir E, Kiely M, Parra MD, Bandarra NM, Schaafsma G, Martinéz JA. Randomized trial of weight-loss-diets for young adults varying in fish and fish oil content. Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Oct;31(10):1560-6.