A few too many Santa snacks? Feeling stuffed like a Christmas turkey? You're not alone. Holidays is a time for fun and many of us are finally getting a break after a tough year. This means inhibitions tend to go out the window as you load up on high-calorie foods and celebratory booze! If you want to prevent the scale going up a few too many digits, know that there are ways you can prevent the upward slope.
What is MCT?
MCTs are a healthy fat that consist of a medium length carbon chain - they are perfect for keto and low carb fans, especially those on a diet as they are absorbed differently to other fatty acids. MCTs are absorbed from the intestines and sent to your liver, to be used as fuel.
What is CLA?
CLA is another healthy fatty acid (an omega-6) that is usually found in animal products like dairy and meat, but can also be made vegan from safflower oil.
What was the study about?
A randomized, single-blind study studied nineteen healthy adults. These participants were watched over three days, under the three conditions shown below.
Each participant drank a 123 calorie smoothie, and either
16 grams of vegetable oil and 5 grams of CLA
25 grams of MCT
22 grams of vegetable oil
The calories for all three groups were made the same. The participants then had to answer questions about hunger and satiety every thirty minutes. This continued until they were hungry enough to ask for their lunch.
At lunch, each person was free to eat however much they liked of the provided sandwiches. The amount of eating was recorded, and each participant then kept a food log for the remainder of the day.
This processed repeated itself for two days, using the different fat options.
So what were the results?
The researchers found that though each person ate around the same amount of lunch, the food intake for the rest of the day was very different.
For the MCT group, they ate 525 calories less than the vegetable oil group.
For the CLA group, they ate 471 less than the vegetable oil group.
Furthermore, the MCT and CLA group also were satisfied for longer after having the oils, asking to eat lunch later than the vegetable oil group.
Looking at these results, there is great potential for these oils to be used for healthy weight management, though more studies are needed.
To note from the study:
Long term trials are needed and with more people
Gastrointestinal effects may be part of eating less
Food diaries can be inconsistent between people
How can it work for you these holidays?
Remember that there are no 'free' calories - oils still carry a lot! If you want to try it out, download a food tracking app like MyFitnessPal. Make sure to have the oil early in the day before you start feasting to get the proper benefits. If you notice that you get full quicker, then you're on to a winner!
- MCT Pro Rapid Going Faster Oil by Melrose
- MCT Oil Powder by Locako
- CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) by Maxine's
- CLA 1000mg by Gen-Tec
To gain the full benefits, make sure you're also taking these action steps below!
Tips to prevent overeating these holidays:
- Drink a big glass of water before eating
- Try a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) before eating
- Eat slowly - engage in more conversation with your loved ones!
- Fill up half of your plate with non-starchy veggies
- Use smaller plates
- Reduce your holiday stress to manage emotional eating
- Don't skip meals or try to starve yourself
Examine.com. 2020. Do Mcts Or CLA Help With Appetite Reduction?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 October 2020]
Leah D Whigham, Abigail C Watras, Dale A Schoeller, Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 85, Issue 5, May 2007, Pages 1203–1211, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/85.5.1203
Maher T, Sampson A, Goslawska M, Pangua-Irigaray C, Shafat A, Clegg ME. Food Intake and Satiety Response after Medium-Chain Triglycerides Ingested as Solid or Liquid. Nutrients. 2019 Jul 17;11(7):1638. doi: 10.3390/nu11071638. PMID: 31319633; PMCID: PMC6683029.
St-Onge MP, Jones PJ. Greater rise in fat oxidation with medium-chain triglyceride consumption relative to long-chain triglyceride is associated with lower initial body weight and greater loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Dec;27(12):1565-71. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0802467. PMID: 12975635.