In this short video I explain why you should be eating more fat and what to do if you’re struggling with this. Watch the video (which has subtitles) at the bottom of the page, and/or read the transcript below if preferred.
Most importantly, leave me any questions in the comments!
Hi everyone!! Thank you for tuning in and welcome! Today I want to talk about getting your head around eating fat.
If you been in this group a little while or if you follow functional medicine then you will know that WE. NEED. DIETARY. FAT.
Many of my clients struggle to get their head around this. People seem to grasp quite easily the reasons behind why we need to reduce carbohydrates, in particular processed and refined ones, but many struggle to accept that they should be upping the fat to replace the carbs!
So I want to talk a little more about this particularly because I know that fat and higher calorie food can be quite triggering for some people.
So to start let’s rewind a little bit because I’m sure there are plenty of you that are still avoiding fat or counting calories because that’s your understanding of healthy eating and I want to make sure that we are on the same page.
My philosophy for weight loss or more accurately, FAT loss, involves various factors but the overarching concept is low carb, high fat. I’m calling this my philosophy because this is what I do with my clients but that doesn’t mean that this is something that I have made up. My philosophy is based on scientific research that has shown that a high fat, low carb lifestyle is an effective treatment for obesity and diabetes, and it’s healthy in the long-run i.e. it’s something you can do forever. It’s been shown to reduce risk of degenerative conditions such as Alzheimers, reduce risk of autoimmune conditions, support gut health and the list goes on and on.
This philosophy is also based on the results I see in my clinic every day. And from working with real people I have created a strategy that works and easy to follow… it’s a lifestyle change and not a diet.
So this is partly what I coach my clients to implement. And as I’ve said, people can understand why we need to reduce starchy and processed carbohydrates but they struggle with the fat. So just quickly, carbohydrates are foods like bread, pasta, rice, potato, cake, biscuits, chocolate bars, crisps etc. All of these food are digested down into sugar, which we need for energy. HOWEVER, we only need a tiny bit energy at a time and any sugar that isn’t used to make energy will be stored as fat.
So it’s fairly easy to see that we need to reduce carbs. There is more to it than that but I want to keep this simple.
What people find confusing is that they need to increase their fat intake. Fat does not make you fat. The only way we can store fat is by converting glucose or sugar into fat within our cells.
Eating fat will not make you fat. Look at the eskimos who survive on whale blubber, their diet is 80% fat- they are not overweight, they have no diabetes, no cardiovascular disease, no dementia. Sure their, lifestyles are very different but if fat made you fat, they would at least be a little chubby!
Research also back this up and previous research that linked fat intake to heart disease has been discredited.
So here are some reasons why we need fat in the diet:
- We need fat to make hormones. Your body makes your hormones from the food you eat. If you are deficient in fat, you will more than likely have hormonal imbalances.
- Fat is digested extremely slowly and therefore it keep us full up for hours, giving us a steady release of energy. Most importantly, it does not promote the production of the fat storage hormone, insulin.
- Fat is incredibly nutritious. Certain vitamins are fat-soluble. This means that we cannot absorb them without fat being present. This also means that those who have a very low fat diet are probably chronically deficient in these vitamins. It’s worth noting that some fats should be limited and whilst might immediately think that I am going to say avoid saturated fat, I’m actually talking about vegetable oils. That’s a discussion for another time!
So that’s three key reasons to eat fat. I think a lot of people think that they can make their own rules to speed up weight loss and not only reduce carbs but also avoid fat because fat is calorific.
Here’s the truth for you… there is not such thing as a low fat, low carb diet. Well, not unless you are just eating lean meat and lettuce. There are only three macronutrients, fats ,carbs and protein. If you limit fat and carbs then that just leaves protein and you can’t survive with your calories coming predominantly from protein. If you think that you are doing low carb, low fat, trust me, you’re not.
Low-fat options are usually loaded with sugar (and loads of other stuff). Whether is yoghurt, mayonnaise, hummus- if it’s the low fat options- they replace the fat with sugar. Sugar is a carbohydrates and so this means that by still opting for the low-fat options, you are inadvertently still eating a significant amount of carbohydrates, because sugar is carbs. This will be fueling carb and sweet cravings meaning you have to rely on willpowder to control yourself.
So do yourself a favour. As well as keeping carbohydrates to a small proportion of your diet, enjoy fat! Trust me, you’ll enjoy your food more, you’ll feel fuller for longer and you will lose the cravings and ultimately you will lose weight.
Please let me know if you have any questions, I know this stuff can be confusing but it doesn’t have to be. Also, if you’re one of my clients who have been through this process with me, please do share below how you have found switching your diet around. I know it will help others to hear from those in a similar position about how it has helped. So thank you in advance to anyone who does share.
Please do ask your questions in the comments or let me know if you are confused about anything.
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