Did you know that oily fish could help you lose weight or even help banish obesity? Yep, it is true. According to a recent study, if you supplement your diet with some fish oil, you will lose weight.
Oh, you have to exercise a little as well, but you can eat whatever you want, so it is a swell deal – - or can you? If this sounds painfully familiar, you probably have read my recent article about alleged weight loss benefits of Tonaline CLA.
Well, now a new study found that a group of overweight-to-obese adults who took “small daily doses of fish oil and who walked or ran for 45 minute three times a week” lost 4.5 pounds over three months. The control groups did not lose any weight, and all participants ate anything they wanted.
The article suggests eating oily fish to lose weight, but the study used fish oil, which is not the same as eating oily fish. In also links Omage-3 fatty acids to “significant weight loss”, while the research leader states that the fish oil group “lost significantly more fat“.
I would not call 1.5 pounds a month a significant weight loss. It is a very small change in body composition. People routinely lose over 1 pound a week by following a sensible diet.
There is no indication that this study accounted for differences in calorie intake, because all subjects ate whatever they wanted. Not to mention, as I explained in CLA post, that such a small variation in body weight could be statistically insignificant.
The subjects in this study had a bouquet of medical conditions, such as elevated blood pressure and high blood triglycerides. They were also overweight-to-obese adults at risk of coronary disease.
Clearly, one of the best things they can do to improve their health, is to change their eating habits. Instead of stressing this point, the article sends a misguided message by calling a tiny change in body composition a “significant weight loss”.
It is certainly a good idea to supplement your diet with fish oil. However, if your goal is to improve your health and lose weight, your best bet is a good diet.