Green olives

Eat 12 Olives a Day to Shed Fat and Build Muscle

Get ready for a month-long experiment that could completely change the way you view your body composition. Scientists have some findings that might surprise you.

In a study conducted by the University of Palermo a group of 23 individuals ranging from 18 to 65 years old were introduced to a routine of consuming twelve green olives for 30 days. The results were nothing remarkable. On average their body fat percentage decreased by 1.7% while their muscle mass increased by 1.39%.

To put it simply these participants lost around one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of fat and replaced it with almost the same amount of muscle. More intriguing is the fact that these changes occurred without any alterations to their diet or exercise routines.

In the world of research outcomes like these often leave researchers scratching their heads and wondering how it all happened. The team behind this study specifically focused on a type of olive known as Nocellara del Belice in their investigation. While they explored its effects, antioxidant properties and anti inflammatory benefits they couldn't definitively establish its probiotic qualities.

Regardless they did find inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Both interleukin 6 (IL 6) a factor and malondialdehyde (MDA) a marker, for radicals showed a decrease. It is worth mentioning that similar effects could potentially be observed from consumption of any fruit or vegetable.

Interestingly these effects alone didn't appear to be strong enough to explain the change in body composition. The researchers speculate that the key might be a fatty acid;

"One possible explanation could be attributed to the ability of conjugated acid (CLA) to reduce levels of body fat. This molecule can be found in both olive oil and table olives and it can also be produced during their digestion."

CLA, which first entered the market in the mid 1990s (a fact – I was involved in its introduction) has long been considered promising for its potential to burn fat and build muscle especially based on animal studies. However human studies have not always been able to replicate these results due to variations in manufacturing standards.

Nevertheless a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition disclosed that individuals using CLA supplements experienced a fat loss of approximately one pound.

What sets the dozen olives a day research apart is its results, in terms of reducing fat and increasing muscle surpassing other studies on CLA. It's worth mentioning that Nocella del Belice olives are sometimes referred to as Castelvetrano olives in the United States and their derived olive oil is sold as "Valle del Belice" virgin olive oil.

If you're looking for an option you can directly incorporate CLA into your daily routine, you might want to consider trying products like Shred with MCT.

James Freeman


Liam Marshall, the friendly fitness coach, has spent 14 years sharing his love for sports and fitness. With degrees in sports science, he crafts workouts that fit like your favorite jeans. Beyond the gym, he organizes sports clinics and tech-savvy fitness apps that motivate people worldwide. He's all about making fitness doable for everyone, and it's not just about bodies – it's boosting confidence. In 2019, he scored the "Virginia Fitness Coach of the Year" award. Outside the fitness world, he loves family time and hikes in Shenandoah National Park. Liam's journey from a small-town fitness fan to a big-time coach is all about passion, inspiring people to see fitness as a body-and-mind thing. Catch him on Instagram to stay in the loop!