More than 40% of adults in America are overweight or obese, but even people living within their healthy weight range can suffer from stubborn belly fat.
For that reason, the vast majority of us are looking for ways to lose this dangerous layer of fat around our middles.
Many supplement their diet with fish oil, does fish oil burn belly fat? This is one question we’d look into in this article.
Also, this book talks about the foods that could be causing you to gain and store excess fat and should be avoided at all costs.
What Is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is one of the most popular supplements on the market. Many people who take it do so in the hopes that it will help them lose weight, but does fish oil burn belly fat?
To answer this question honestly, let’s take a close look at what fish oil is.
Some types of fish, such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, swordfish, and tuna, are known as fatty or oily. This is due to the oil that can be found in their tissue and the cavity around their gut.
In fact, fatty fish fillets contain approximately 30% oil, depending on the species.
Fish oil is simply the oil that has been extracted from the tissues of these fish, or in some cases, the livers of other fish (for example, cod liver oil).
Fish oil is extremely rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids and usually contains both vitamin A and D.
Omega-3 fatty acids make up around 30% of the oil, while the other 70% consists of other fats. It has some major health benefits, including protection from many diseases.
It is worth noting at this point that the omega-3s in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
The omega-3 that comes from plant sources (such as flaxseed, walnuts, chia seeds, and hemp) is primarily alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Although ALA is an essential fatty acid, EPA and DHA have a more significant number of carbon atoms (long-chain). They are reported to have a larger number of health benefits.
Does Fish Oil Burn Belly Fat?
You need to eat between one and two portions of fatty fish per week to maintain healthy levels of omega-3 fatty acids in your body.
If you don’t like fish or don’t think you eat enough, then you should seriously consider adding fish oil supplements to your diet.
There is extensive research available that shows the many benefits of long-chain omega-3s, and one of the benefits that come up time and time again is, in fact, weight loss!
You have to lose weight to burn belly fat, so that’s a good start. Let’s take a closer look at the evidence.
Fish Oil to Aid Weight Loss: The Evidence
There is a huge body of evidence to show that fish oil supplements have favorable effects on weight loss in animal studies.
When it comes to humans, however, the evidence has been more inconsistent.
Some studies have reported significant differences in weight loss, while other results are minor.
Significant Differences in Weight Loss
- A study published back in 2007 showed the difference between dieting and exercising with and without fatty fish or fish oil in young men’s diets.
The young overweight men who consumed fish oil (in any form) lost an average of one kilo more body fat over a period of four weeks than the placebo group.
- Another study showed that combining fish oil with regular aerobic exercise helped improve body composition by significantly reducing fat.
Minor Differences in Weight Loss
- In a 2011 study, it was found that fish oil didn’t appear to contribute to significant changes in weight loss over a six month period.
- A further study in 2013 showed only minor differences in weight loss in groups that consumed fish oil supplements against a placebo (4.35% and 3.37% respectively).
The difference in fat mass reduction was 9.76% and 8.95% respectively, whereas triglycerides were lowered dramatically (27%) in the fish oil group.
Overall, we feel that the evidence for fish oil and weight loss is hugely positive.
Although the differences in weight loss and fat reduction aren’t “significant” in the latter two studies, all four prove that fish oil can indeed aid weight loss.
To be fair, we’re happy to take all the help we can get!
Evidence for Belly Fat Reduction
We then came across another paper that was published in 2015 that combines and analyzes data from a collection of other studies.
This meta-analysis covered all of the randomized controlled studies that had been conducted on humans to date to see if fish oil really did have an anti-obesity effect.
Unfortunately, it concluded that there was no significant evidence to show that fish oil reduced body weight.
However, when combined with regular exercise, waist circumference was more greatly reduced in groups that took fish oil.
Also, the waist-to-hip ratio was also significantly reduced in people who took fish oil, with or without life modification (for example, regular exercise). This is great news for people wanting to lose belly fat!
It also makes us wonder if some of the studies that looked at weight loss alone offer slightly skewed results.
The test subjects who were exercising would have been gaining muscle and losing fat.
Muscle weighs more than fat, so maybe the fish oil was helping them lose inches and gain more muscle, which could be the reason why the differences in weight weren’t that significant.
Either way, yet again, we feel the evidence for fish oil aiding belly fat loss is looking pretty good to us!
Did you ever wonder why belly fat is so stubborn and difficult to lose?
Find out what foods cause your body to store up excess fat, especially around the waistline.
If you know what foods are encouraging your body to store fat, then you’ll know which foods to avoid at all costs.
The book also educates you on what your body needs to run healthily and effectively, especially as you age.
It offers advice on which foods will help you lose weight and actually help you burn fat. If you want to lose belly fat, then this is a great resource to help you do so.
After looking at the evidence, we feel that eating fish regularly, or taking fish supplements, will help you lose stubborn belly fat.
Still, it doesn’t just work by magic. You’ll need to make this change yourself, along with other adjustments to your lifestyle and diet.
Only by exercising regularly and eating well can you expect to lose your excess belly fat.
It appears that fish oil will help you achieve your goals, but you should be realistic about your expectations.
More than taking supplements, you will need to make more changes to your lifestyle to be the best version of yourself you could ever be.