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MCT oil is a fat and when incorporating it as a supplement to support your fitness goals, it might leave you wondering if consuming too much of it could cause weight gain.
Can too much MCT oil make you fat? It is unlikely that MCT oil consumption alone will make you fat. Consistently consuming calories over and above your daily calorie needs, regardless of where those calories come from, is what will lead you to put on fat. If taking MCT oil is putting you over your calorie targets, it could contribute to weight gain.
MCT oil consumed as part of a balanced diet and in consideration of your daily calorie intake is unlikely to make you fat.
In this article you’ll learn:
- How many calories and fat are in MCT oil?
- How much is “too much” MCT oil to consume?
- Will MCT oil make you fat?
- Do MCT oil calories count? and
- What you should and shouldn’t do to avoid gaining fat while supplementing with MCT oil.
How Many Calories & Fat Are In MCT Oil?
MCT oil is 100% fat and its calorie content per gram is slightly less than more common oils like olive or coconut oil.
Every one gram of MCT oil contains approximately 8.4 calories. For reference oils like olive oil have 9 calories per gram. An average serving of MCT oil is a tablespoon (15 grams), which equates to around 126 calories.
With MCT oil being quite calorie-dense, when considering body composition goals like muscle gain or fat loss, it should be considered as part of your daily caloric intake.
How Much Is “Too Much” MCT Oil To Consume?
In the context of MCT oil causing weight gain, too much MCT oil would be considered to be anything in excess of your daily calorie needs.
If you aren’t factoring MCT oil in as part of your daily caloric intake and consuming it in abundance, it is highly probable you’re eating in a calorie surplus, which is consuming more calories than your body requires. If your body has no use for those excess calories then they will be stored as fat.
The common suggested serving amount of MCT oil is a tablespoon, and it is recommended that you not exceed more than 7 serves of MCT oil a day. 7 servings of MCT oil would roughly equate to 824 calories.
- For the average adult male in their twenties recommended calorie consumption is about 2,900.
- For the average female in their twenties recommended calorie consumption is about 2,200.
- Consuming 7 serves of MCT oil would equate to 28% of the male’s dietary intake and about 37% of the female’s dietary intake.
By not factoring in MCT oil as part of your dietary calorie intake, you could be eating significantly above your calorie needs, creating a surplus of calories, which may be stored as fat.
In addition, if you’re consuming MCT oil in high quantities and this is increasing your overall dietary intake you may be displacing nutrients coming from elsewhere or causing yourself gastrointestinal discomfort. These are other indicators you could be consuming too much MCT oil.
Generally speaking MCT oil is supplemented 2-3 times a day to complement meals or used as an energy source during fasted periods. Taking your MCT oil in this way is a good guide to help prevent you from consuming too much.
Will MCT Oil Make You Fat?
MCT oil in isolation will not make you fat. You would need to be consuming MCT exclusively and in extreme excess (10-15 tablespoons per day) in order for it to be the cause of you getting fat.
MCT oil could lead to fat gain in instances where the quantities you are consuming create a calorie surplus and unused calories are then stored as fat. If this is something that is occurring consistently, you could see your weight increase over time.
Do MCT Oil Calories Count?
MCT oil calories count. There are 8.7 calories to every 1 gram of MCT oil and in an average tablespoon serving there are approximately 126 calories. Just like calories in any other oil or food you consume they will count toward your total calories or energy consumption for the day.
Your body, however, doesn’t differentiate between the calories it stores, it will just store whatever it doesn’t use.
If you’re looking to try a flavorless and versatile MCT oil, I’d recommend Bulletproof.
How To Avoid Not Getting Fat When Taking MCT Oil?
By being mindful and sensible when using MCT oil, you’ll be able to avoid getting fat. Consider these guidelines to support your use of MCT oil.
- Treat MCT oil like a food not a supplement. Going overboard on MCT oil might result in eating above allotted daily calories because of their high calories density.
- Factor calories associated with MCT oil into your daily caloric intake. This will help you monitor your consumption against your daily dietary needs. Use a macro tracking app like MacroFactor.
- Be mindful of the frequency and amount of your MCT oil serving sizes. MCT oil is best consumed within recommended ranges of anywhere between 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, 2-3 times a day.
- Incorporate MCT oil as part of a balanced diet and in line with your fitness or body composition goals.
Don’t do this:
- Assume the calories for MCT oil don’t count because of its reported health benefits.
- Forget to consider MCT oil in your daily caloric intake.
- Consume frequent, high amounts of MCT oil.
- Exclusively consume MCT oil at the expense of other foods
If you’re incorporating MCT oil into your diet within recommended amounts and in consideration of your daily dietary and calories needs, it’s probably not going to cause you to gain weight.
Energy balance is key when it comes to changes in body composition like fat loss and fat gain. So if you’re excessive in your consumption of MCT oil or any food for that matter and creating a surplus of calories as a result, these calories will be stored as fat.
Reach out to us if you’re looking for guidance around MCT oil consumption and understanding your dietary needs.
Other MCT Oil Resources
- Can I Take MCT Oil At Night? (A Nutritionist Explains)
- Can I Take MCT Oil On An Empty Stomach? What Not To Do
- MCT Oil in Protein Shakes: 4 Benefits (Plus, 2 Cons)
- Can I Take MCT Oil & Collagen Together? (Pros & Cons)
- Can You Mix MCT Oil With Apple Cider Vinegar? (Pros & Cons)
- Can You Use MCT Oil If Not On Keto Diet? (Yes, Here’s Why)
- Does MCT Oil Cause Bloating, Gas, & Constipation?
- Does MCT Oil Cause Headaches? (What The Science Says)
- MCT Oil vs Powder: Pros, Cons, & Which Should You Take?
- Top 5 MCT Oil Alternatives (That Have Similar Results)
- MCT Oil vs Omega 3: Pros, Cons, & Do You Need To Take Both?
About The Author
Steph Catalucci | Nutrition Coach
@macronutritionau | macro-nutrition.com.au
Steph Catalucci is an online nutrition coach from Australia, working with clients all over the world. Her passion for nutrition was born through wanting to treat her body better, for health and performance. She is a strong advocate for understanding nutrition to develop informed nutritional habits that go beyond just food. Steph leverages a decade of her own nutritional experience to help people make sense of the noise and carve a path forward with their nutrition, supporting clients with whatever body composition goal they have. When not coaching or writing, you’ll find her training for her next powerlifting competition.