Drop holiday weight [immediately]
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a magical pill or food you could eat that would stop cravings in their tracks, would give you long-lasting energy, and promote weight loss all at the same time?
There actually is, and it’s called Fat.
Contrary to what you might believe or have been told, new research is showing us how consuming healthy types of fats can be beneficial not only for curbing cravings, boosting energy, and supporting weight loss but also for preventing chronic disease and cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Before we dive into this fat conversation, let’s set the record straight on what types of fats are beneficial for your health.
Fat gets a bad rap, but not all fats are created equal.
There are 4 major categories of fat:
- Saturated fats
- Monounsaturated fats
- Polyunsaturated fats
- Trans fats
All foods with fat contain various amounts of the different types of fat; saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Some fatty foods can also have naturally occurring or artificial trans fat.
Each type of fat is essential for bodily functions and each comes with its own list of health benefits.
Saturated fats are commonly found in butter, lard, milk, coconut oil, and milk. They serve as a primary source of energy in the body; as the preferred fuel for the brain, as signaling agents for cells, and can even encourage weight loss.
Monounsaturated fats can be found in avocados, olives, certains meats, and types of nuts. This type of fat is known for its positive impacts on cardiovascular health by reducing LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammation, and blood pressure, and increasing HDL cholesterol.
Polyunsaturated fats are mostly found in fish, some nuts and seeds, and oils such as flax, corn, safflower, and soybean. This type of fat plays a critical role in forming cell membranes, cell function, and regulating gene expression. Omega-3 and 6’s are a type of Polyunsaturated fat.
Though Trans fats are most controversial, even some of these are healthy for you when they are naturally occurring. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a natural type of Trans fat that reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, and autoimmunity. It can also improve glucose tolerance, which can prevent or help manage type 2 diabetes.
On the other hand, artificial Trans fats are highly inflammatory and have been shown to increase the risk for cancer, heart disease, obesity, and other chronic inflammatory-related conditions.
Without dietary fats, or adequate amounts of them (for you), the body can’t function at its potential.
The quality of Fat is what counts.
Aside from the different types of fat, the quality of the fats you are consuming is what counts.
Fat is not only how the body stores energy, but it’s also where the body stores toxins and excess hormones to protect itself from those harmful particles circulating through the system.
If you eat sources of fat that have been exposed to pesticides and herbicides or injected with hormones and antibiotics such as non-organic, grass-fed, free-range meat and eggs, then guess what? You’re consuming those toxins, hormones, and antibiotics too.
The same goes for fat derived from plant sources such as avocados, olives, and oils.
To really reap the benefits of dietary fats, you’ll want to avoid all the additives. Aim to consume them from natural, clean, organic, hormone-free, grass-fed, pasture-raised, free-range, humanely-raised, and minimally-processed sources.
Look for your fats to be:
- Cold-pressed organic oils
- 100% Grass-fed and finished organic hormone-free beef and related products
- Free-range organic hormone-free poultry and eggs
- Organic avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, and coconut products
- Wild-caught fresh fish or packaged in non-toxic containers
Now that you know about fat, its direct health benefits, and what sources of fat to focus on, let’s get to the important stuff- how it can help you lose weight and boost your energy!
In this week’s video and blog, I dive into more detail about why you should eat fat for weight loss, more energy, and better health!
Did you know that 80% of the population is estimated to do better on a higher fat and protein diet and only about 20% thrive with higher carbohydrates?
Yet the dietary guidelines for Americans suggest that your daily food intake should consist of 45-65% carbohydrates.
Let’s talk about what’s wrong with this recommendation…
Carbohydrates are the easiest macronutrient for the body to metabolize. They are instantly converted into glucose (aka sugar) that floods the bloodstream. Your blood sugar goes up for a period of time, and what goes up must come down.
This is why you may have noticed that you get an instant energy boost after eating a meal higher in carbs, followed by an energy crash – feeling like you need to take a nap or feeling hunger within 30 minutes to 2 hours after.
As your blood sugar comes crashing down after eating a higher-carb meal, your body loses its energy source and starts craving food to bring your blood sugar back up.
Proteins and fats, on the other hand, require a much more complex and lengthy process to be metabolized and converted into glucose.
Thus, if you eat a meal higher in fat and protein, you’ll have a nice and steady release of glucose over a longer period of time, keeping your blood sugar balanced, energy even, and curbing those cravings.
In fact, fat can’t be converted directly to glucose. It has to go through an even longer process of conversion before it hits your bloodstream.
When you eat a diet higher in fat, as your body works to metabolize the fat you ate (which is a long process) it will tap into your existing fat stores for immediate energy, thus promoting weight loss!
In addition to keeping your blood sugar in balance, eating more fat (and therefore less carbs) promotes weight loss and more energy by:
- Increasing your feelings of fullness to curb cravings
- Decreasing appetite-stimulating hormones such as insulin and ghrelin
- Increasing calorie expenditure due to the complex process of metabolizing fat
- Boosting fat loss versus lean body mass due to decreased insulin levels
- Balancing your hormones with essential nutrients needed to make hormones
- Maintaining cell structures for energy production and body efficiency
If you don’t believe me, then I challenge you to try it, just for one meal.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Experience it and challenge yourself to eat one meal higher in fat, with moderate protein and a small amount of carbs.
A great example meal would be a ribeye steak dinner with a side of leafy greens or types of vegetables that grow above the ground (asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc.) sautéed or cooked with olive or coconut oil.
Remember, you just want your fat sources to be clean, as previously discussed.
Notice after eating this type of meal how you can go 3-5 hours, or possibly longer, without feeling hungry. Your energy is even, and when you cut the cravings or need to snack between meals, it becomes easier to manage your weight.
So don’t fear fat. It does a body good. Use the right fats to get the results you want!
If you need help figuring out what fats and other foods are right for your body so you can lose weight, have more energy, and get back to feeling like yourself again then, click here to check out my Food & Body Language Log.
P.S. If you are a part of the 20% who don’t do as well with a higher fat and protein diet, you’ll know right away. Within 30 minutes to 2 hours you’ll experience the opposite effects; you’ll feel sluggish, have a heavy stomach, and want to take a nap while your body is trying to digest.