Lose Weight with Flax
When you think of fat, you probably don’t think about it helping you achieve your weight loss goals.
However, when it comes to healthy, essential fatty acids, they can actually improve your health and help you shed excess weight.
The essential fatty acids found in flaxseed oil are a good example of these healthy, essential fats.
This blog will help break down why healthy fats, like the ones found in flax oil, can help you lose some weight.
If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’re probably aware that flax is the highest plant source of omega–3 fatty acids. To learn more about the different kinds of omega fatty acids, you can check out our blog post that breaks them down here.
Like we said, flaxseed oil is high in omega–3s, which is classified as a polyunsaturated and essential fatty acid. An essential fatty acid is one that our bodies don’t produce naturally, so we have to get it from our food.
It’s important that you don’t try and avoid all fats when you’re trying to lose weight or even when just trying to maintain a healthy diet. Fight fat with fat. Weird, right?
However, always ensure that you are not consuming harmful fats. This includes anything labeled as hydrogenated, processed or containing artificial trans-fats. Margarine and processed meats are a major no-no but a lot of other packaged foods contain these, so check your labels.
Flax for Weight Loss
You may be wondering how exactly the fats in flaxseed oil can help with weight loss.
Well, flaxseed oil contains a high amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a type of omega–3, that helps improve the metabolism of fats. That means that it assists your digestive system with breaking down and using the fats that you eat (instead of storing them).
Our bodies can only get ALA by consuming ALA-rich foods — such as flaxseed oil. Unfortunately, many people are not getting enough ALA in their diets.
Science Daily reported on a study that showed how harmful the typical “western” diet can be:
“In the past forty years, there has been a steady rise in obesity over the generations in Western societies. During the same period, the diet in industrialized countries has seen a quantitative increase in the calories ingested (lipids account for 35 to 40% of food intake), high levels of linoleic acid (omega 6) and low levels of alpha-linoleic acid (omega 3).”
Neil at fitclarity.com summarizes those trends. He says that “it is strongly believed that the imbalance between the essential fatty acids is causing obesity problems.”
The imbalance of omega–3s and –6s may not only lead to obesity, but can also cause an increased risk of other health issues — such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance (often associated with excess body weight), can lead to diabetes, as your body is unable to respond properly to insulin and therefore can’t adequately control blood sugar levels.
The team at superfoodprofiles.com explains further: “Insulin is the hormone responsible for, amongst many other things, fat storage. When we have a high carb meal with no fiber or essential fatty acids to slow down its digestion, our blood sugar can spike dramatically. This stimulates fat-storing insulin to correct the blood sugar rise. Not only do you feel tired and lethargic as insulin goes to work, it is also converting the excess carbohydrates in a heavy meal to triglycerides and shuttling them away to the fatty adipose tissue around your hips, waist and belly.”
Additionally, omega–3s have an anti-inflammatory effect on your body, which is another reason why flax oil is an ideal fat to include in your diet if you are trying to lose weight.
A study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology notes that,: “Traditionally, obesity-related disease conditions have been often treated and/or prevented using many plant materials including flax.”
Omega–3s & –6s
Ideally, everyone should consume a healthy ratio of omega-6s to 3s that is between 1:1 and 4:1.
Unfortunately, for most of us, it’s closer to 16:1. According to HealthyFlax.com, the reason for this is the large quantities of processed foods in most modern diets.
Many people over-consume omega-6s, which mainly come from grain-fed, as opposed to grass-fed meats and as mentioned, processed foods. We also tend to get the from unhealthy sources more often than healthy ones (there are healthy omega–6s but they aren’t found in a Big Mac).
Jessica Bruso at livestrong.com also points out that: “If you’re trying to lose weight, it may be best to limit your omega-6 consumption, which can cause you to retain water.”
By adding flax oil into your diet, you will increase your omega-3 intake. But ideally, you should also make note of your omega-6 intake, in order to maintain that healthy omega balance. Try to reduce your omega–6s overall and make sure that the ones you do eat are coming from healthy sources.
This can be done by doing a little research and paying attention to what’s in the food you’re eating.
Revyourbody.com explains that: “The consumption of flaxseed oil slows the digestive process, creating a “full” feeling and decreasing food cravings. This slower process helps balance the levels of insulin and blood sugar. When blood sugar spikes too fast, insulin is produced and leads to fat storage. The healthy fats contained in this oil offset this process. It also speeds up metabolism to burn more fat cells.”
With flax making you feel full longer, you are less likely to overeat. This helps to ensure that you maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet — which is essential for weight loss.
Also, ALA plays a major part in the metabolic cycle when it comes to metabolizing fats in the body. Nicole from simplysupplements.net goes into more detail: “ALA improves the conversion of carbs to energy, which means that fewer carbs are stored as fat cells. Several large-scale trials have shown that ALA supplements have the potential to boost weight loss efforts when taken in combination with a calorie controlled diet.”
This process, particularly the metabolism of fats, is helpful when it comes to athletics, especially for endurance sports like running.
HealthyFlax.org explains that, “when a runner “hits the wall” and their glycogen stores are used up, the body begins burning fats. In this case, efficient burning of fats makes a difference in performance. ALA also improves response time. Electrical impulses move from the brain to muscles across cell membranes, which are rich in ALA when consumed in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as ALA, are the most efficient fatty acids in allowing these electrical impulses to move from cell to cell. Thus, response time is improved. ALA also aids in muscle repair at the cellular level.”
Of course, improving your exercise regime will help you reach your weight loss goals, too!
If you want an easy way to add flaxseed oil to a healthy dish — check out some of the recipes in the Activation Kitchen for dressings made with our Perfect Press® Flax Oil. One of our favorites is a vinaigrette with herbs and spices. Simple, delicious and healthy!
What About Flaxseeds?
In addition to flax oil, there are also whole flaxseeds. One of the additional benefits of eating flaxseeds is that they have a high fiber content, which you can’t get from the oil.
Sylvie Tremblay from livestrong.com notes that: “Adding fiber to your diet promotes weight loss. In fact, making that one simple change of increasing your fiber intake is enough to help you lose weight, reports a study from the February 2015 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Ground flaxseed is also lower in calories than flaxseed oil… That means that ground flaxseed takes up less “space” in your calorie-controlled diet, which may make it easier to cut the calories you need to lose weight.”
It’s important to remember though, that you don’t get the same concentration of omega–3s when you eat the seeds.
So depending on what the rest of your diet is like, both flax oil and ground flaxseeds have benefits. For example, if you have a high-calorie diet and struggle with reigning that in, ground flaxseeds might be a better option. But, if you’re trying to up your omega–3s, flaxseed oil is your best bet. Check out our post on flax seeds vs. flax oil to figure out which is best for you.
A Healthy Balance
Relying on an oil for weight loss alone is not realistic. It is important to remember to maintain a healthy diet that contains a balance of omega–3s, –6s and –9s. If you want to learn more about where to get these omegas from, besides flax, check out this blog post.
Healthyflax.org explains that “flaxseed may actually help promote weight management. Consumption of nutrient-rich, high fibre foods such as flaxseed contribute to satiety and may help with weight loss or, possibly more importantly, preventing weight gain. Flaxseed also can help improve your health while you are losing weight by decreasing blood cholesterol levels and inflammation.”
Of course, everybody is different, and what works for one, may not work for another. But overall, adding flax into your diet will be beneficial.
In addition to a healthy, well-balanced diet, you should ensure you are also staying active, and getting some sort of physical activity daily. Even a walk will benefit you.
Perfect Press® Flax Oil
If you’re looking for flaxseed oil that is pressed from organic and non-GMO seeds, you’ve got to try Perfect Press® Flax Oil.
This oil is pressed in such a way that ensures absolutely zero damage to the delicate nutritional components. We exclusively bottle our oil in Miron glass bottles to preserve its freshness and guarantee its potency.
We’ve got a great new weight loss package that includes Perfect Press® Flax Oil and two other fat-burning superfoods. It also comes with a free guide to losing weight with superfood nutrition.
This content is locked
Share this post to find out what kind of cardio is best for you!