Ask Away...: "Fatting" Fit? How Fat Can Be Your Friend

Friday, April 21, 2017

"Fatting" Fit? How Fat Can Be Your Friend

The battle against the bulge is something we’ve all got to contend with, and while the information we’re told about weight loss is to cut down on the dreaded “F” word – fats! But, in fact, more information is coming to light about why fat isn’t as bad for you as was once thought. The debates around the diet that we perceive to be healthy might not be as good for you as you think. The gospel of a diet high in carbs with a low amount of fat has been linked to many health epidemics. In the western world, the amount of diabetes and obesity has seen a massive increase over the last 30 years, round about the same time as the low-fat phenomenon was beginning to take shape. The low-fat alternatives to every foodstuff you see on the shelves are loaded with sweeteners and sugar to replace the lack of taste. As the debate on fats gains momentum, let’s have a look at the reasons why we can use fat in our diet to make ourselves healthier, but also to help us lose weight.

Fat Keeps Us Feeling Fuller
Feeding our body with sugar and excessive amounts of carbohydrates increases our hunger. Here comes the science part! There are two hormones related to hunger, leptin and ghrelin. Firstly, ghrelin is a hormone that increases your appetite, and leptin is one that suppresses your appetite. Fat has been shown to increase your leptin hormone, and it won't send a signal to your brain saying that you need to eat something!

Fat Stops Unnecessary Cravings
As a result of feeling fuller for longer, your cravings for lots of processed foods will naturally decrease. When you eat a high dose of carbs, your blood sugar spikes, meaning that your pancreas pumps out insulin, which is the body’s response to high blood sugar. When your pancreas works overtime and eventually gives up on you, this is how you get diabetes. Fat also contains more energy per gram than any other nutrient, which gives you a perfect reason to pick up the butter. Fat also slows the absorption of carbohydrates and good quality fats also contain fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamins K, D, A, and E, so you should be eating fat at every meal to make the most of the vegetables you should be consuming!

Fat Helps Us To Lose Weight
There are dieticians out there that are talking about the high-fat diet, but a major piece of information in this whole diet is to limit your carb intake. Fats should ideally make up around 70 to 75% of your daily intake, 15 to 20% should come from protein, and only 5 to 10% should come from carbs. By reducing your carb intake, you will naturally be providing your body with less sugar, which when unused, turns into fat. As fat makes you feel full, you will naturally begin to lose weight, without feeling the horrible hunger cravings that come with a low-calorie, low-fat diet.

Now, while there many people that think the idea of mainly consuming fat is a complete waste of your sophisticated palate, there are ways to get a perfectly balanced diet into the mix. For those that are on a high-fat diet, consuming butter, cheese, cream, and heavy milk can get old fast. But there are ways around it. There are so many people that love their sweet treats for example and satisfying that sugar craving is a big thing to get nailed down, especially when starting a new diet. This is where fat bombs come into play. For many people who have a constant battle with the sugary side of life, the fat bomb has been a little life saver. The high quantities of fat in a typical fat bomb recipe, along with a sneaky sweetness in the form of a dollop of maple syrup or some high-quality dark chocolate helps to remove the desire for lashings of sugar in every dessert. There are many great recipes to find online, and here is one of my personal favorites. If eating little balls of fat isn’t your idea of a great dessert and you are looking for other things, you can make the gradual change from your dessert of choice and make swaps in your ingredients to make the transition less noticeable. You can make an easy chocolate mousse which has cream, eggs, and dark chocolate with a hint of sweetness as ingredients. As you get used to the richness of the dessert, you can reduce the sweetness to the point where you won't notice it as much and enjoy the sumptuous flavors instead!

The trick with eating high-fat, as with any change in your eating habits, is to make the food as appealing as possible to your senses. The way to do this is to mix it up a lot. The high-fat diet can become on the repetitive side, but if you can find ways to mix it up, it will be much more interesting for you. Breakfast can consist of bacon and eggs, and coffee with full-fat cream. Lunch can be a small piece of chicken with vegetables (covered in butter) and then an evening meal can be a piece of steak with some sautéed potatoes and green beans (to get your minimal amount of carbs in). Then the next day can be steak and eggs for breakfast, smoked salmon with home-made hollandaise sauce for lunch and then Mediterranean-style tapas for your evening meal, consisting of olive oil, sundried tomatoes, various cheeses, and meats.

Fish, eggs, and meat are always on the menu and the fattier the cuts, the better. And always go for organic wherever possible, such as grass-fed beef or freshly caught fish from the sea. It can cost a bit more than normal, but with the money, you’d normally be spending on sweet treats you can invest in food that makes you feel fuller for longer and far more satisfied. You will also have so much more energy, and you will find yourself “fatting fit!”

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