Get over your fat phobia if you want to lose weight
For decades fat has been my enemy – and I am not just referring to the fat that I carry around under my skin every day. I am also referring to the fat in my diet. Low-fat and fat-free is how I have lived for most of my life. What did I achieve? Absolutely nothing – nada, neinte, niks!
If anything I have managed to slowly but surely get fatter. How is that possible? For years I could never understand what the problem was. I was doing everything I was supposed to do. I watched my calories, ate low-fat, had phases of exercising like a demon – but real results always eluded me. Hunger, frustration and feelings of deprivation and failure were my constant companions.
For those out there, who like me have struggled with their weight – please listen carefully. Fat in food is not our enemy. Fat does not make you fat. My new mantra is, “Fat is my friend – I love fat“. I am trying to permanently delete the words low-fat, fat-free, lite and skinny from my vocabulary – and you definitely won’t see them written on the products in my shopping trolley anymore.
Why is fat good for us? Fat is essential to our bodies, especially our brains. Fat has healing and immune properties and it supports our metabolism. Fat is what helps us to feel full for longer and helps to stop the cravings for sweet treats. Make sure that you are choosing healthy fats such as olive oil, butter, coconut oil, nuts, avocados, olives and cheese.
Stay away from trans fats – they are toxic and cause inflammation. You will find them in store-bought biscuits, cakes and pies, donuts, french fries and margarines. Be vigilant about food labels and if it says “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” or “hydrogenated vegetable oils” put it back on the shelf.
Sugar and refined carbs are the real culprit. When they take out the fat from food, e.g. fat-free or low-fat yoghurt, it doesn’t taste so good anymore, so they add more sugar or refined carbs to make the food more palatable. This will increase your blood sugar and raise your insulin. Remember, insulin is the hormone that shuttles fat into your cells for storage – even if you have plenty in storage already! Fat that you eat in your diet does not affect blood sugar or insulin at all.
Life’s too short to eat low-fat. It is time to start enjoying our food. It is time to start feeling satiated and satisfied after a meal (and for hours afterwards) . I have been on a weight loss plateau for a while now. How did I get off it recently? I started eating more fat. Yes, lots of it. Greek yoghurt, cream in my coffee, a whole avo at one sitting, snacking on olives and full fat cream cheese – and you know what happened? I have started losing weight again! Effortlessly, easily and not once have I felt hungry. I am actually consuming way fewer calories than I used to because I am just not as hungry as I used to be. My energy levels have been amazing too. High fat/low carb – I love it!
And there’s the catch – don’t think you can eat high fat and high carb – then the reading on your bathroom scale will be high too.
I plan to do a post soon which will give you a bit more insight and details around how I determined how much fat, carb and protein I need to eat for me to lose weight (I am still busy experimenting myself). It might be helpful as a general template which you can use to start experimenting with your ratios.
Reference article: The Big Fat Lie by Cassie Bjork