Fish Oil

Does Omega-3 Help With Weight Loss?

The first point here is to understand that all fats are not created equal.

If you are thinking of the fats that cause weight gain, you are probably referring to saturated fats. Saturated fats are commonly found in fatty meat, fried food and cheese, just to name a few.

Saturated fats are the highest source of bad cholesterol and have many harmful effects on your health including an increased risk of heart disease, elevated blood cholesterol and weight gain.

In the 90’s, popular opinion suggested that in order to shed pounds, one needed to follow a low fat diet. While this is somewhat true, one should not neglect the importance of essential fatty acids and their role in cardiovascular health and weight loss.

So let’s talk about Omega-3. This fatty acid is actually helpful for your body!


Essential fatty acids are often known as ‘Omega 3’s’, which refers to the three fatty acids that are essential to health promotion: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

Something is considered essential if your body doesn’t naturally create it. In other words, it’s something you have to get from your diet.

Essential fatty acids can be found naturally in foods including walnuts, flaxseeds, organic eggs, grass fed chicken, beef and lamb, some fruits and vegetables, and cold water fish (including tuna, salmon, sardines and anchovies). Since the most complete source of the three essential fatty acids is fish, and since most North Americans do not eat fish everyday, many people choose to supplement their diet with a fish oil supplement that provides a superior content of Omega 3 fatty acids. 


So what is so magical about these fabulous fats? Here are some of the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids:

Improve Insulin

Insulin is a hormone your body creates that helps regulate metabolism and blood sugar. Essentially, it transports nutrients to your tissues to help regulate the body’s energy supply. 

When your body can’t produce insulin or resists the insulin that is created, you have to regulate your own insulin. That’s diabetes. 

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve insulin levels in the body to help reduce the risk of diabetes.

That’s because Omega-3 has been associated with reducing insulin resistance. When your body becomes resistant to insulin, you could develop a variety of health problems, including diabetes. 

Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation can be very harmful to your body. That’s why so many people are looking for anti-inflammatories to help manage levels. 

Omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect, affect and when ingested in the correct dose, can reduce the body’s inflammatory process associated with many chronic diseases and promote healthy blood flow and circulation.

In fact, some research suggests that Omega-3 and other fatty acids can be helpful for management of chronic illnesses, like Arthritis, Crohn’s, and Lupus. 

Help Brain Function

Studies have also shown that Omega-3 fatty acids have a positive effect on healthy brain function and cognition and can have a role in supporting normal moods.

Research has even been done that shows Omega-3s could be useful for treating depression. 

The Omega–3s can travel through the cell membrane of the brain and interact with mood cells, which could relieve some depression. 

Overall, fatty acids increase learning, memory, cognitive well-being, and blood flow in the brain. 

Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

Research suggests that ingesting Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

On top of that, Omega-3s significantly reduce risk of cardiac arrest for someone with coronary heart disease. 

This research also suggests that the anti-inflammatory effect of Omega 3’s can reduce the symptoms of hypertension, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), joint pain and rheumatoid problems.

So there are many reasons to consider ensuring that you have a good amount of Omega-3 in your diet.


Now, when it comes to fat loss, essential fatty acids can also play an important role.

How? Let’s dive into some ways that Omega-3 can help with weight loss and management. 

Burn More Fat

One way to lose weight is to burn more of your fat. That can keep your body from storing extra nutrients that add pounds.

A study published by the International Journal of Obesity showed the correlation between fish oil and fat loss. The study showed that when a group of people took at least 1.8 grams of Omega 3 fatty acids daily, they burned 25% more fat than the placebo group who did not take any Omega 3.

Lower Insulin Levels

The researchers also studied the subject’s insulin levels during the project and showed that the test subjects taking the Omega 3 had lower insulin levels than the placebo group.

High levels of insulin in the body make it difficult for your body to use stored fat for fuel therefore, lowering your insulin levels by taking Omega 3’s will aid in fat metabolism (source: International Journal of Obesity 32, 1105-1112, 20 May 2008).

Basically, your body will process your food faster. A faster metabolism is associated with losing weight.

Reduce Waistline

Sometimes the number on the scale can be misleading. You might not be seeing a significant change in your weight after extensive effort. 

But you’re likely losing fat and changing your body composition. 

That’s why you might try using a tape measure to see the effect of your efforts. 

In a study, researchers found that participants lost fat and gained more muscle when taking Omega-3 fish oil—even if their weight didn’t change. 

Another study found that those with a fatty fish oil diet didn’t lose weight, but they lost fat. 

Losing fat can help you reduce your waistline and lose inches. 

Increased Fullness

To lose weight, you have to hit a calorie deficit—where you burn more than you consume. 

That’s why many looking to lose weight try to find ways to reduce hunger. It helps them eat less and hit that deficit. 

The good news is that Omega-3s can increase feelings of fullness and reduce appetite. 

In one study, participants who were trying to lose weight reported feeling fuller for two hours longer after a meal—these were the participants who took fish oil daily. 

That being said, some people don’t experience these effects. For example, a study found that obese participants experienced feelings of fullness while non-obese people had the opposite effect.

Enhanced Exercise

Your diet is important to weight loss. The other half of the coin, though, is exercise. 

There’s research that Omega-3s can actually help you get more out of your exercise performance—which makes exercise more efficient and helps you get more of it. 

Researchers suggest that Omega-3s can help your body switch from using carbohydrates as an energy source and instead use fats. 

That would mean you burn fat while exercising. 

Another study found that women taking 3 grams of fish oil per day for 12 weeks burned 10% more calories and 19–27% more fat when they exercised.

Long-Term Maintenance

At the end of the day, you want to keep off the pounds you shed. 

Omega-3s can help you maintain your weight, which makes the process truly effective.


With the power of Omega-3s, how can you make sure you’re getting enough? 

I recommend enjoying fish at least twice a week and supplementing with a high quality fish oil supplement that provides at least 2,000mg of Omega 3 fatty acids. And make sure that your Omega 3 supplement contains high concentrations of DHA and EPA.  

Just 2 gel caps of Full-Mega daily with a meal will keep you fully covered on Omega-3’s.  Not required, but I also personally recommend keeping your fish oil in the refrigerator and always using a reputable brand that ensures the product is mercury free.

Looking for more diet and exercise tips? Download the 1st Phorm app!