Why Eating Fat Will Help You Lose Fat
The Fat Myth
For decades we've been told that we should limit our fat intake if we want to lose weight. It's as if we believe that the fat we eat will enter our stomach and migrate to our belly or thighs immediately, leading to weight gain and poor health. The reality is that eating fat, when part of a healthy diet, is no more likely to lead to gaining weight than is going for a walk. There are several reasons why eating fat will actually help you lose weight. First, eating fat will satisfy you, keeping your appetite in check so you don't eat too many calories. Second, eating more fat will likely come at the expense of carbohydrates and when you eat fewer carbohydrates, you store less fat in your body. Finally, eating fat is essential for good health and as the building blocks of hormones that help you control your weight. Read on to learn why eating fat will help you lose fat.
Eating More Fat Will Satisfy Your Hunger
Did you know that when you eat fat, your digestion slows, helping you to feel full longer? It's true. You've probably experienced this yourself. You eat a low fat meal and feel hungry in an hour or two but eat a meal with some fat and you can go for four or five hours.
You can thank hormones for this feeling of satisfaction. When you eat fat, the stomach and small intestine release a hormone that slows digestion, keeping food in the stomach and small intestine longer and leading to feelings of satisfaction for longer periods of time.
Research has also shown that because you're more satisfied, you'll eat less at your next meal, further aiding weight loss. On the other hand, if you eat a low fat meal, you'll feel hungry a couple of hours later, reach for a snack, and also will likely overeat at your next meal. This is not a recipe for weight loss success.
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Eating More Fat Will Lead to Eating Fewer Carbs
Many low fat foods taste bland. Food manufacturers want you to like their foods so they add sugar to their low fat offerings in order to improve the taste. Go to the yogurt aisle and take a look at the sugar content in the low fat fruit flavored yogurts. It's astronomical. In fact, so many packaged foods contain added sugar that it's difficult to avoid it. This includes things you may not suspect like sauces and canned vegetables.
So why is sugar so bad? It will lead to fat storage. When you eat a food that's high in sugar or even processed white foods like bread, pasta or cereal, your blood sugar rises. The body quickly releases insulin to bring the blood sugar level down. Insulin is very effective. It shuttles the sugar into the cells to be stored as fat. So every time you eat sugar or processed foods, you're not only shutting down you ability to lose fat but you're also causing your body to store fat.
If you want to lose weight, replace the refined carbohydrates and sugar in your diet with healthy fats. This will keep your insulin in check and will keep you burning and not storing fat, exactly what you want! Limit your carbohydrates to those with a low glycemic index. Things like whole oatmeal, brown rice, berries, and apples are great examples.
Eating More Fat Will Help Keep You Healthy
Fat is required by the body for many important functions. These include absorbtion of fat soluble vitamins like A, E, and K, for healthy cell function, and to produce steriod hormones that are essential for maintaining a healthy weight. For example, the body cannot absorb fat soluable vitamins in the absence of fat in the diet. These vitamins are essential for good health. In addition, steroids like testosterone are produced using dietary fat. Without it, your muscle building efforts will be sub-optimal and that will minimize your weight loss efforts. Finally, healthy cell function, including the prevention of insulin resistance is dependent on having enough fats in the diet. Proper insulin function is essential for health.
Which Foods Are Best?
Research has shown that some fats are better than others. The Mediterranean diet seems to have a lot of backing from advocates of eating fat for weight loss. This diet contains healthy fats from olives, olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.
In addition, there are many advocates of coconut oil as a healthy fat. Coconut oil contains a high concentration of lauric acid, which has antimicrobial properties that enhance the immune system. Coconut oil is also great for stir-frying or other high heat cooking methods since it's more stable and won't oxidize as easily as other fats.
Finally, eggs, butter, full fat yogurt, steak, and other fattier meats are fine to eat in moderation. You should avoid hydrogenated fats like the plague. The same goes for processed oils like the canola oil you find in your grocery store. And avoid deep fried foods. These are not healthy in any diet.
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