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7 Ways Omega 3 Fats Help You Lose Weight

Fats have had a bad press when it comes to weight loss. But not all fats have the same effect on your body. Omega 3 fats are essential for your health. And may help you lose weight.

Take the case of Ella. She couldn’t understand why she wasn’t lighter. Her diet was pretty good in the main and she was reasonably healthy. Except her hair and skin were dry and lacklustre and her eyes often felt dry and uncomfortable, particularly when she wore her contact lenses. She often felt low and at those moments she wanted to reach for biscuits to cheer herself up - so she deliberately didn’t keep them in the house.

Ella had always enjoyed vegetarian food and had become fully vegetarian about a year earlier. What she hadn’t realised was that was when she stopped eating fish, she had lost her main source of omega 3 fats (oily fish) and hadn’t replaced it with other sources.

She started adding milled chia and flaxseed to her breakfasts and to her home-baked muffins and bought walnuts to snack on. She also took a vegan omega 3 supplement. It didn’t take long before she noticed improvements in her mood. She no longer had the lows where she wanted cookies. And her hair, skin and eyes all became less dry. She even noticed her weight gradually starting to shift.

So how do omega 3 fats help you to lose weight?

They can:

  1. Reduce your appetite.

  2. Boost your metabolism, so you require more calories to run your body.

  3. Increase the amount of fat you burn.

  4. Decrease the amount of fat you store. Omega 3 fats may also help reduce fat storage around your belly where it is more of a health risk.

  5. Improve insulin sensitivity. When you are less sensitive to insulin, you need to release more to have the same effect. Constantly high levels of insulin give your body the message to store fat.

  6. Reduce inflammation. (Inflammation and weight gain are linked.)

  7. Boost your mood, so you don’t reach for food to cheer yourself up.

Many people are low in omega 3 fats and research shows that the more overweight you are the lower your omega 3 levels are likely to be.

Good sources of omega 3 include oily fish (such as salmon, sardines, herring, trout, mackerel, anchovies and tuna, but not tinned tuna), walnuts, flaxseed, chia and hemp seed. Green leafy vegetables also contain some omega 3.

Learn more - Download Free Guide: 3 Simple Tips On Fats That Will Help You Lose Weight


Albracht-Schulte, K. et al., 2018, ‘Omega-3 fatty acids in obesity and metabolic syndrome: a mechanistic update’, J Nutr Biochem, 58, 1–16.

Buckley, J.D. and Howe, P.R., 2010, ‘Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may be beneficial for reducing obesity–a review’, Nutrients, 2, 12, 1212–30.

Fedor, D. and Kelley, D.S., 2009, ‘Prevention of insulin resistance by n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids’, Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care,12, 2,138-46.

Micallef, M. et al., 2009, ‘Plasma n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids are negatively associated with obesity’, Br J Nutr, 102, 9, 1370–74.

Rogero, M.M. and Calder, P.C., 2018, ‘Obesity, Inflammation, Toll-Like Receptor 4 and Fatty Acids’, Nutrients, 10, 4, 432.

Summers, L.K. et al., 2002, ‘Substituting dietary saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat changes abdominal fat distribution and improves insulin sensitivity’, Diabetologia, 45, 3, 369–77.

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