Nutrition Weight Management

How To Use Olive Oil For Weight Loss – Can Olive Oil Really Help You Lose Weight?

Olive oil plays a crucial role in the Mediterranean diet and has become an integral part of healthy eating habits worldwide. In the United States, an impressive 90 million gallons of olive oil are consumed annually. Extensive research on olive oil has revealed its potential to promote health benefits related to cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and certain types of cancer.

It is important to recognize that weight and body composition play a significant role in the development of these diseases. Therefore, a nutritional approach that not only prevents weight gain, but also supports the maintenance of a healthy weight can contribute to overall well-being. In this article, we will explore the scientific aspects of using olive oil to shed excess pounds.

Is Olive Oil Effective For Weight Loss?

Contrary to popular belief, including healthy fats in your diet is essential to facilitating weight loss. It is crucial to moderate the consumption of foods high in saturated fats and calories, as they are typically associated with unhealthy choices.

Instead, it is advisable to focus on incorporating unsaturated fats, specifically polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, into your diet to maintain a healthy balance of calories derived from the fat group.

Olive oil stands out for its remarkable monounsaturated fatty acid profile, making it a highly recommended choice for a healthy oil. Olive oil may indirectly contribute to weight loss by influencing blood glucose levels and insulin response.

Where Does Olive Oil Actually Come From?

Olive oil, often called liquid gold, comes from the lush groves of olive trees that dot the Mediterranean landscape. These ancient trees, with their silvery green leaves and gnarled trunks, bear fruit that is carefully harvested and pressed to extract the precious oil. The process is a labor of love, rooted in tradition and a deep connection to the land.

What Are The Ingredients That Make Olive Oil So Healthy?

The health benefits of olive oil are a delightful combination of nature’s finest ingredients. In particular, extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid, which promotes heart health and reduces bad cholesterol.

Its antioxidant content, including vitamin E and polyphenols, fights free radicals, slowing the aging process and reducing the risk of chronic disease. Its anti-inflammatory properties help alleviate conditions such as arthritis, while the phytonutrients in olive oil support overall well-being. This golden elixir is not just a kitchen staple; it’s a flavorful embodiment of good health.

The Effect Of Olive Oil On Weight Loss

Effect of olive oil image

A study of diabetic patients examined the effects of three diets over the course of one year: the Mediterranean diet with olive oil and mixed nuts, a low-fat diet, and a diet enriched with olive oil. The results were compelling, as patients who followed either the Mediterranean diet with nuts or the diet with added olive oil experienced a significant weight loss compared to their initial body weight.

The relationship between body weight and blood glucose levels is substantial, with insulin playing a key role in regulating blood glucose. Insulin resistance, characterized by reduced responsiveness of tissues and organs to insulin, leads to elevated insulin and blood glucose levels. If left untreated, it can progress to diabetes.

A comprehensive meta-analysis examined the relationship between olive oil consumption and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D). The results showed that individuals who included olive oil in their diet, as opposed to those on a low-fat diet, had a significant reduction in HbA1c levels, a key biomarker of long-term glucose control.

In addition, the analysis showed that a daily increase of 10 grams of olive oil was significantly associated with a 9% reduction in the risk of developing T2D.  Consuming up to 15-20 grams of olive oil daily was associated with a 13% reduction in T2D risk. It appears that a diet rich in olive oil may contribute to effective weight management through its positive influence on blood glucose and insulin levels.

Using Olive Oil For Effective Weight Loss

Achieving sustainable and healthy weight loss does not involve consuming excessive amounts of any single food, including olive oil. It requires the adoption of a well-rounded and personalized nutritional plan that meets your specific nutritional and caloric needs.

One of the most highly recommended diets endorsed by health authorities is the Mediterranean diet, known for its inclusion of olive oil. In addition to incorporating olive oil into your diet, it is important to make mindful choices by including foods known for their health benefits and fat-burning properties, such as:

  • Whole grains
  • Legumes and beans
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Non-tropical vegetable oils rich in monounsaturated fats
  • Fish and poultry
  • Low-fat dairy and dairy products

By incorporating these nutrient-dense options into your diet along with olive oil, you can create a balanced and effective approach to weight management that prioritizes both your health and weight loss goals.

Foods To Avoid:

  • Products with added sugar: These include sugary drinks, cookies, and fruit juices.
  • Foods High in Sodium: Limit your intake of foods high in sodium.
  • Ultra-processed foods: Avoid processed meats and packaged foods.
  • Refined Carbohydrates: Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates such as white bread and sugary cereals.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), adopting the above dietary patterns not only promotes overall health, but also helps prevent heart disease. It reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, which are more accurate indicators of health than simply focusing on the number on the scale.

It’s important to note that while there are recommended healthy weight ranges, everyone’s body is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all ideal weight in kilograms. The main goal of losing weight should be to feel better and healthier.

Using Olive Oil For Weight Loss: Recommended Daily Intake

The idea of consuming plain olive oil for weight loss has gained popularity, but you don’t have to resort to this extreme measure. Instead, you can incorporate olive oil into your daily diet in a variety of ways, such as using it for cooking, adding it to sauces, dressings, and more. It’s important to remember that fats, even the healthiest ones, are calorie-dense, so they should be consumed in moderation, especially if you’re actively trying to lose weight.

A balanced diet typically includes a fat intake of about 20-35% of total daily energy intake. It’s important to distinguish between healthy fats (unsaturated fats) and unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fats). When making choices, choose sources of unsaturated fats such as:

  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Tree Nuts
  • Fish

Choosing The Best Olive Oil For Weight Loss

Are you ever confused when it comes to choosing the right olive oil? The terminology on olive oil labels, such as “cold-pressed,” “pure,” “light,” “extra virgin,” and “classic,” can be confusing. Let’s demystify the choices:

  • Extra virgin olive oil: This is considered the healthiest type of olive oil because it contains the highest concentration of antioxidant polyphenols.
  • The flavor of extra virgin olive oil varies depending on factors such as the origin of the olives, their ripeness at harvest, and the processing methods used. It can range from mild to intense and from peppery to buttery. Look for labels such as “first press” or “cold pressed,” which indicate that no heat or chemicals were used during processing. In fact, all extra virgin olive oils are produced without heat.
  • Olive Oil: Unlike extra virgin olive oil, regular “olive oil” is a blend of refined olive oil and virgin or extra virgin olive oil. As a result, it has a milder flavor. Some labels you may come across for olive oil include “classic” or “pure. If the label mentions “light flavor” or “light tasting,” it means it contains very little virgin olive oil.
  • Freshness matters: When it comes to olive oil, fresher is better. You can determine the age of the oil by checking the harvest date. However, it’s wise to also consider the “best by” date, as several factors, including olive variety, quality, and harvesting techniques, affect the oil’s shelf life.

In summary, for weight loss, choose extra virgin olive oil for its rich polyphenol content. Pay attention to the flavor profile that suits your preferences and choose oils labeled “cold pressed” or “first press” for purity. Always look for freshness by checking both the harvest and “best by” dates. By making informed choices, you can ensure that you’re getting the best olive oil for your health and weight loss goals.

Where Should I Buy My Olive Oil?

When it comes to choosing where to buy your olive oil, it’s all about trust and authenticity. Look for reputable sources like local farmers’ markets or specialty stores, where you can often find artisanal producers who take pride in their craft. Look for certifications like “extra virgin” and check for a harvest date on the label to ensure freshness.

Consider exploring online options from trusted brands, but always read customer reviews for authenticity. Ultimately, the best place to buy your olive oil is where you can connect with the producers and trust the quality, ensuring that you bring home a little piece of Mediterranean magic.

Two Delicious Olive Oil-based Weight Loss Recipes

EVOO Enhanced Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a convenient, fiber-rich breakfast choice. It is typically paired with a protein source such as milk or Greek yogurt. Incorporating olive oil into your oatmeal enhances both its flavor and fat content, making it more filling and satisfying. You will need:

  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup milk, Greek yogurt or water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • Assorted fruits and nuts, such as berries, bananas, walnuts, and almonds

Blend all the ingredients together and voila! You have a simple yet invigorating oatmeal. Olive oil proves to be an extremely versatile cooking oil, suitable for a variety of culinary applications. Its high smoke point makes it a health-conscious choice, and EVOO stands out as the most stable cooking oil. Beyond these recipes, olive oil can be used to create delicious salad dressings, enrich pasta sauces, and enhance the appeal of fruit salads.

Zucchini Pancakes

Who wants some nutritious (and healthy) pancakes? Zucchini pancakes make a delicious summer meal that’s great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. To make a batch of 12 pancakes, you’ll need:

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 6-8 ounces feta cheese
  • Salt and herbs of choice
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying

Here’s how to make them: Start by grating the zucchini, adding a pinch of salt and letting it sit for a few minutes. Then squeeze out any excess water and mix the dried zucchini with the eggs, flour, herbs of choice, and crumbled feta cheese to create an even mixture.

Heat a skillet over medium heat with a little extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Once hot, spoon portions of the zucchini mixture into the pan and cook until they turn a nice golden brown. They are now ready to serve, ideally with a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!

What Are The Side Effects Of Taking Olive Oil?

While olive oil is known for its many health benefits, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects of overconsumption. Excessive consumption of olive oil can lead to weight gain due to its caloric content, so moderation is key, especially if you’re watching your weight.

Some people may experience digestive discomfort, such as diarrhea or upset stomach, if they consume large amounts in a short period of time. In addition, in rare cases, allergies to olives or olive oil may occur, causing symptoms such as itching or rashes. To reap the full benefits of olive oil, it’s wise to consume it in balanced amounts as part of a healthy diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it true that olive oil can help with weight loss?

Yes, olive oil can be a beneficial part of a weight loss plan. It contains monounsaturated fats, which are considered healthy fats and can help with weight management.

How does olive oil help with weight loss?

Olive oil can help you feel fuller and more satisfied, reducing your overall calorie intake. It may also be a healthier alternative to the saturated and trans fats commonly found in other cooking oils and fats.

What type of olive oil is best for weight loss?

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is often recommended for its quality and purity. It retains more of the natural antioxidants and nutrients that can support your overall health and weight management.

Are there specific recipes or meal plans that incorporate olive oil for weight loss?

Yes, there are several recipes and Mediterranean-style meal plans that emphasize the use of olive oil along with whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins, and fruits for a balanced approach to weight management.

Are there any side effects or considerations when using olive oil for weight loss?

Olive oil is generally safe for most people. However, it is high in calories, so overconsumption can lead to weight gain. People with certain medical conditions should consult a health care professional before making significant dietary changes.


In summary, extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, a type of healthy fat that offers potential health benefits, including the prevention of high blood sugar, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. While incorporating olive oil into your diet can help you lose weight, it’s important to remember that a healthy weight loss strategy shouldn’t focus solely on one food or food group.

Achieving sustainable weight loss requires a well-planned, balanced nutrition program that is tailored to your individual nutrient and calorie needs. If you have any concerns about your weight and nutrition plan, it is a good idea to consult a healthcare professional and a registered dietitian who can provide expert assistance in developing a healthy eating plan tailored to your weight loss goals.


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By Jayson Peterson

Jayson Peterson is an experienced pharmacist, naturopathic physician, medical examiner, and minister. After earning his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Medical University of South Carolina, Jayson Peterson completed clinical rotations at several prestigious healthcare institutions and has been affiliated with several pharmacy chains throughout his career. His main passion and zeal is focused on providing world-class patient care by giving precise details and thorough instructions to those who need it most.