Many of us have gone through all kinds of diets trying to lose weight and eat smarter. Not too many years ago doctors kept telling us to restrict our calories and eat a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet. It was assumed that eating a high-fat diet would pack on unnecessary pounds and make us unhealthy.
Now, with more people looking to get healthier than ever, many have started following a diet high in healthy fats and lower in carbs. Many people have also stopped counting calories. So, why the complete change in approach? Let’s look at the science behind a high-fat diet and find out.
How many times have you heard that you simply need to take in fewer calories than you consume, and you will lose weight? Well, that is partially true. Yes, it is possible to lose weight while restricting calories. That may not make you healthy, though, and it isn’t sustainable for most people.
Some nutritionists and physicians have their patients on a low-calorie diet, but they don’t tell them how to eat appropriate foods. To put this in perspective, you can eat a sweet potato and get the same number of calories that you get from eating half a candy bar. Does that mean you should eat the sugar-loaded, processed candy bar?
We have gotten sold the myth of a calorie is a calorie. Some people believe you can eat what you want if you cut the calories. That thinking is flawed and can truly wreck your health. Yes, when you want to lose weight, you should consider putting yourself in a calorie deficit. The problem is many people go on crash diets and cut their calories too much. That makes them lose muscle and not only fat. You also want to eat healthy foods and not swap out whole foods for processed junk food.
It is hard for many people to eat more fat in the beginning. We have gotten told for years to stay away from it at all costs. After all, it will make us gain weight, right? Science has shown that a diet high in healthy fats does not cause weight gain.
You want to eat high-fat foods that pack a nutritional punch. These foods won’t spike your insulin, and they also will not cause you to crave more. Quality foods will satiate you, and they contain tons of nutrients your body needs.
When we talk about consuming large amounts of fat, we don’t mean grabbing some fries and a burger at the local fast-food place. When trying to lose weight or dial in the right fats for health, you want to take in things like fatty meats and fish, butter, olive oil, and avocados. Many people add olive or avocado oil to salads to get a bit of healthy fat. MCT oil is incredible for energy and gut health. You can add some nuts to your diet for a healthy snack.
These foods have healthy fats and aren’t filled with sugar. You will notice these are natural sources of fats and don’t contain processed ingredients.
Some people switch to a high-fat diet and don’t see results right away. They may get tempted to go back to their prior way of eating, which means tons of carbs. The standard American diet gets loaded with sugar and unhealthy carbohydrates.
When incorporating more fats into your diet, it is easy to over-consume. If your goal is to lose weight, you may have to cut back on the fats so that your body will burn the stored fat as fuel. Once you become fat-adapted, your body will be much more efficient at burning those unwanted fat cells. We often talk about wanting to lose weight. What we need to do is lose fat. When you have belly fat, your cortisol levels are high, and that’s the stress hormone that helps your body survive if there is a threat. Elevated cortisol causes insulin and blood glucose to soar. Eating a diet rich in whole foods can lower cortisol levels.
If your goal is to eat a diet high in more whole foods and less processed junk, you may not be concerned with weight at all. Whatever your goal is, using an app can help you learn how much your body needs to thrive. There are free apps that will let you know your fat, protein, and carb intake. These can be beneficial when you want to get specific about your goals.
Although eating fat doesn’t make you gain weight, you still need to avoid some foods. With the keto diet gaining in popularity, many companies have jumped on the bandwagon. Remember, you want to be eating whole goods as much as possible.
You never want to consume hydrogenated oils. These cause inflammation in the body and will make you feel awful. Also, be cautious about any processed foods. Having a treat now and then is fine and may help you stay the course. The problem is that many foods get labeled as keto-friendly but may be loaded with sugar. If you look up recipes online, make sure these contain sweeteners like monk fruit, allulose, xylitol, or erythritol.
Some people don’t tolerate dairy products well. When you consume more fat, you must watch how you feel after eating different foods. Pay attention to your body. Sometimes we have tons of gut issues because of our past eating that needs to get repaired. You can add a little heavy cream to your coffee, but don’t overdo it. Many people make the mistake of drinking their calories.
When you start eating more fat than you are used to, you may notice some changes. Some people feel a little tired at first. That is sometimes called the keto flu. Don’t let it worry you because it is very common. That can happen when your electrolyte balance gets disrupted after changing your diet. You can take an electrolyte powder and even sprinkle some pink Himalayan salt on your foods and in your water.
If you have any stomach issues when eating more fat, back off the amount of fat a little bit. As your body becomes more fat-adapted, you can add more fat if you want. That can happen more with people who don’t have a gallbladder, but you can still eat a high-fat diet. It may take a little tweaking at first.
When it comes to healthy eating, research shows that low-fat diets do not work. In some studies, they even get linked to early death. Other research shows a high likelihood of heart issues and other diseases.
Your body needs fat to function at its best. Fat assists in muscle movement and blood clotting. It also works to protect your nerves by forming shields around them. When you eat fat, your body absorbs vitamins and minerals from the foods consumed.
When people follow a low-fat diet, they often eat refined grains like rice and bread. These people tend to gain weight even though they think they are eating a healthy diet. One of the reasons behind this is that these foods make us want to overeat. Foods that are highly processed have additives that lead to more consumption. We simply don’t feel satisfied when eating regular amounts.
These foods also make people lethargic and can produce a cycle of illnesses. When you don’t eat natural foods meant for your body, you will never feel your best.
When you begin eating a high-fat diet, you will notice things start to change. You may feel better within a couple of weeks. You will have more energy, and most people find their sleep improves.
You won’t have to measure foods or count calories. You can be off a calorie or two when you make sure your diet gets filled with natural fats and whole foods. Your body will notice the improvement. Meals with moderate protein and high fat will keep you full for long periods, so you will be less likely to overeat.
The main takeaway is that eating fat is entirely natural. We have been told for so long that fat makes us fat, and we’ve believed it. It may seem odd at first to change our diets because what we once thought was healthy is not. Habits can be hard to break, but we can form new ones. Eating a diet high in good fats is completely natural. Our ancestors ate that way.
We can eat some berries and healthy veggies as well for more nutrients. Make sure you focus on quality foods that fuel your body. When we eat a natural diet, we can heal our bodies from the inside out. You may find that you also spend less money at the grocery store because you skip all the expensive junk food! Real food is medicine, so enjoy the natural benefits a healthy high-fat diet can offer.