Taken from the tissues of fish like salmon and mackerel, fish oil comes in capsule and liquid form. It is a great source of omega–3 fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] and eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]), which research has linked to numerous health benefits, including improved cholesterol balance, better circulation, reduced risk of heart disease, and a stronger immune system, among many others.
Fish Oil for Weight LossWhen combined with regular exercise and a healthy, well-balanced diet, Omega-3 fatty acids also help the body burn calories and excess weight. After taking fish oil supplements for only 6 weeks, some people have experienced noticeable weight loss.
How does it work? Let’s take a look:
Benefits of Fish Oil for Weight Loss:
- Fish oil provides the body with healthy fats that it needs to function properly but that it can’t produce on its own.
- These fats do not turn into excess body weight. Instead, your body uses them to build the outside lipid (fat) layer to protect cells, enabling them to function properly.
- Fish oil improves metabolism, enabling the body to burn fat faster.
- Fish oil also helps the body separate glucose from dietary carbs and store it as energy for later use. Fish oil helps to build muscle.
- Fish oil regulates the release of serotonin, a chemical which regulates appetite. Taking fish oil supplements after meals helps make you feel full longer, enabling you to eat less.
- Fish oil increases insulin sensitivity, which means your body is less likely to store food as fat.
- Studies have shown that those who work out and take fish oil lose more weight than those doing the same workout without taking fish oil.
- Omega-3s stimulate the enzymes that help to burn fat. Combine a fish oil regimen with exercise (45 minutes a day, 3 days a week), and you’ll boost your metabolism and burn more fat.
- Most people will see a reduction in belly fat and an improvement in insulin health while taking a minimum of 1.5 gms of this fish oil per day. However, different people get different amounts of Omega-3s from their daily diet, so ask a doctor how much fish oil is best for you.
- Because fish oil improves metabolism, it reduces the risk of metabolic diseases.
- Make sure to properly balance your intake of Omega – 3s and Omega – 6s. This balance effects how well you burn calories while resting.
- Omega-3s and Omega-6s are poly-unsaturated fats, which are good for your body. They help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL), and they protect your heart and immune system and reduce inflammation.
- A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that overweight and obese people who took 15g of EPA and DHA a day did lose weight, but the amount of weight lost was not significantly more than the amount lost by those who took placedbos.
How Much Fish Oil for Weight Loss?
The recommended dosage for fish oil that contains Omega-3s, DHA, and EPA is 6 gms per day, and most supplement pills contain 1000mgs. So, for optimal weight loss results, start with 6 capsules per day and gradually increase depending on your results and weight loss goals. Remember to take them with food, and if you don’t like the taste, try to find the lemon-flavored ones.
Where to Buy Fish Oil?
Fish oil supplements are available at most grocery stores and online at Amazon.com and Vitamin shoppe.
- How to Choose Your Fish Oil Supplement?
- To get the best possible results, choose a high quality fish oil supplement.
- Make sure the brand you take contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), and that it is highly concentrated.
- Supplements with 750 mg of EPA and DHA per capsule are ideal.
- Also make sure your brand does not contain pesticides or heavy metals, and make sure your supplements are not expired.
What to Expect
Some research has shown that working out 3-5 times a week and taking 2-3 grams of fish oil a day can help you lose up to 2 pounds in one month. Start with a low dosage and slowly increase according to your doctor’s recommendations. The gradual weight loss you will experience with fish oil is much better for your overall health than sudden, drastic weight loss, so be patient.
Tips, Precautions, and Other Health Benefits
Follow these tips to get maximum benefit from it.
- Fish oil regulates the release of the cortisol hormone, which degrades muscles and leads to weight gain and stress.
- For best results, combine fish oil with a diet centered on meat, nuts, seeds, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid sugar and processed grains.
- Don’t overuse fish oil.
- Fish oil can interact with blood thinners, making it difficult to stop bleeding if you should be injured.
- Some studies show that fish oil reduces the risk of cancer.
- In addition to taking fish oil supplements, eat fresh, sustainably-raised fish 2-3 times a week.
- Some people will experience a few minor side effects, including gas, upset stomach, heartburn, diarrhea, and acid reflux.
- Take fish oil in small doses at first in order to make sure you’re not allergic to it. If you notice rashes or other reactions, see a doctor right away.
- For best results, lower your calorie intake in addition to taking fish oil supplements.
- Eating fish in excess is not recommended because they are often polluted with mercury and other toxins found in the waters they live in.
- However, the American Heart Association recommends cold-water fish twice a week because they contain more Omega – 3 fats, , which boost metabolism and burn calories. Omega – 6 fats are found mostly in plant based oils, poultry, eggs, cereals and grains.
- If you are vegetarian, you can get omega – 3s from flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, margarine, cereals, seaweed, canola oil, and dairy products.
- According to the APA, adults require not less than 220 mg each of DHA and EPA per day. Women who are pregnant or nursing requires 300 mg of DHA per day. The Institute of Medicine’s Food Nutrition Board, recommends 1.1g to 1.6g of Omega-3s per day depending on gender and age. Consult a doctor to determine your proper dosage.
- According to the American Cancer Society, taking 7.5g of fish oil per day slows cancer-related weight loss in some patients.
- When combined with regular exercise and a healthy diet, a fish oil regimen with speed up weight loss.
- Mercury poisoning is especially dangerous to children and women who are pregnant. To avoid it, refrain from consuming rancid oil or mercury–laden fish oil. Choose a high quality brand that has undergone molecular distillation.
- Consuming fish oil in excess may actually cause your body to store calories rather than burn them, causing unwanted weight gain. So make sure to take the proper dosage, which usually mounts to 1 teaspoon or less.