There are 5 different ways that fish oil helps you lose weight:
One: by turning off the fat storage genes and turning on the fat burning genes. When you are healthy, 80% of your food intake gets burned off as energy, 15% goes to your liver and 5% is stored as fat. However, the typical high carb diet - combined with poor quality fats - means that 80% of your food gets converted to body fat, 15% goes as energy and 5% goes to the liver. Taking a heavy dose of fish oil for a few month helps reverse this.
Two: by increasing serotonin in the brain, making you feel calmer, leading to fewer cravings. Cravings for food are caused by brain imbalance due to various stressors – poor diet, excessive exercise, not enough exercise, poor lifestyle and stress.
Serotonin is just one of many neurotransmitters in the brain – and is probably the best known. Fish oils are a good source of tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin and is found in some foods, so taking a good dose of fish oil will not only improve your mood, it will also help gain control over food choices.
Three: by inhibiting the adrenal activation of the stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol.
Most stress we meet on a day-to-day basis is hardly life threatening – but, due to our unrelieved stress, a huge problem we have is that the body over reacts to quite simple stresses, blowing them out of all proportion. When the body perceives it is highly stressed, it can drive you to eat excessive amounts of carbohydrate. High carbs increase serotonin – that calming neurotransmitter. So by modulating the activation of the stress hormones you will cope with stress better and, again, have more control over food choices.
Four: by turning on the carnitine enzymes. Now these wonderful things are responsible for the metabolism of fat – they burn it up. So taking fish oils with something like acetyl-L-carnitine really gets that body burning up its stores of body fat like billy-o.
Five: They also block sugar absorption. When you eat a meal, your blood sugar rises. High blood sugar is dangerous for the brain, so the body produces insulin to rapidly reduce the blood sugar. Insulin is extremely good at its job, so after a little while, your blood sugar has dropped so low - which is also bad for the brain – that you are driven to eat something sugary (and this can be a bag of crisps or a sandwich as well as the more obvious sugary things) to rapidly raise blood sugar. And so the seesaw goes on. By taking fish oils and blocking sugar absorption, your blood sugar does not rise as much leaving you less hungry and satisfied for longer. Also when you do come to eat, you will make a better food choice because your blood sugar is not driven so low by excessive insulin. Therefore you eat less and you eat well.
What is interesting is that a high carb diet raises serotonin, which makes you feel very happy. But by constantly pushing the body to produce large amounts of insulin, eventually type 2 diabetes will develop (if other diseases don’t get there first caused by the poor nutrition of a high carb diet) and then the person is unhappy. So with a little will power and the aid of fish oils, it is possible to turn away from the sugar high that the high carb meal/snack gives again gaining real control over food choices.
But before you rush off to Boots to go and buy some fish oil it is important to consider why the government quite rightly recommends restricting the consumption of oily fish.
Genes: when we are born we all have different genes and not all of them are good genes. It is a common misconception that just because you have inherited, for example, one of the breast cancer genes you are going to go on to develop breast cancer. These problem genes have to be triggered by things like poor lifestyle, poor food choices, unrelieved stress, toxicity caused by exposure to heavy metals/pesticides/plastics etc. Now someone with very good genes may well live to a ripe old age having smoked, drunk, never exercised in their life and lived on tuna fish sandwiches. Another person living like this will be lucky to get to 50. So it is that some people have a predisposition to gain more body fat than others– and current food fashions (and the sheer easy availability of food) lead these people to trigger the gene that leads to gaining excessive body fat. Fish oils help reverse this gene. So not only can genes be triggered, they can also be turned off again.