While there still isn’t a magic fat loss pill – sorry – fitness enthusiasts can take extreme comfort in knowing that recent studies have shown a well-known supplement is proving nothing short of miraculous. This healthy eating guideline should be added to any weight loss tips you have ever read.
The enormous health benefits of essential fatty acids have been known for some time now, but what’s almost startling is the recent research citing weight loss benefits as well. In a May 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition it mentions this, “The test group which incorporated essential fatty acids into their weight-loss plan lost more body fat than all the other test groups combined.” This is huge no matter what healthy weight loss diet you may be following.
While it is not known exactly why essential fatty acids – termed essential because they cannot be produced by the body and must be consumed through diet – improve weight loss efforts, I believe it can be due to several reasons:
1. Research has shown that DHA may prevent the conversion of pre-fat cells to fat cells and kill them before they become permanent fat cells.
2. Fish oil has the ability to increase the clearance of certain types of fat cells along with fats following a meal. This may have a positive effect on how your body utilizes stored fat.
3. Fish oil can decrease heart rate thus increasing the level of work or exertion needed to reach your desired intensity. Overall you will essentially burn more calories. This was shown to be true in a recent study completed in Australia looking at the impact of exercise and fish oil on weight loss. Researchers found that with the combination of exercise and fish oil it will led to an increase in fat loss.
4. Fish oil increases the oxidation of fats within fat cells. Your body burns more fat as energy instead of storing it.
With the overwhelming clinical research pointing to the need for essential fatty acid supplementation, most fitness enthusiasts should be incorporating them into their healthy weight loss diets and any healthy eating plans. As for recommending a brand of fish oil I have to admit I am biased as I am the director of research and development for Prograde Nutrition. What I will tell you though is to not skimp and get the cheapest fish oil pills on the market. Quality does come with a price. The benefits of this product are so outrageous it would be silly for me not to prescribe them to just about every one of my clients. Add this to your list of healthy eating guidelines.
1. Hill AM, Buckley JD, Murphy KJ, Howe PRC. When you combine fish-oil with regular aerobic exercise it will improve body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors. 2007, pp 1267-1274.
2. Kim HK, Della-Fera M, Lin J, Baile CA. Docosahexaenoic acid inhibits adipocyte differentiation and induces apoptosis in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. The Journal of nutrition2006; 136: 2965-2969.
3. Smith BK, Sun GY, Donahue OM, Thomas TR. Exercise plus n-3 fatty acids: additive effect on postprandial lipemia. Metabolism 2004; 53: 1365-1371.
4. Flachs P, Horakova O, Brauner P, Rossmeisl M, Pecina P, Franssen-van Hal N, et al. Polyunsaturated fatty acids of marine origin upregulate mitochondrial biogenesis and induce beta-oxidation in white fat. Diabetologia 2005; 48: 2365-2375.