In the 1980s, fat was labelled as the villain for weight loss. It become associated with weight gain. Fat free was considered the gateway to fat loss. Sadly, this is not the case.
Fat free products are not calorie free. For effective weight loss, you need to focus on consuming fewer calories. Providing your calorie intake is lower, than fat can be eaten as part of your slim-transformation diet.
Surprisingly, fat does also have important benefits for our bodies. Here are a few key benefits:
Fat is real food. It has been part of human diet for thousands of years and our bodies can use and process the energy. Fat is also responsible for making foods taste nice. Often, during weight loss diets, we move away from food with fats and switch to processed or refined alternatives. These generally have higher levels of salt and sugars and other processed chemicals (which give the food a nicer taste). Studies have shown that these chemicals can leave you feeling more hungry and have a negative effect on the body. It is better to eat the foods with fats but make sure your portions are smaller.
Your body is capable of making its own fats, but there are some fats you must get from your diet or you risk becoming deficient. These are known as “essential fats”. Essential fats include omegas-3 and -6. These are important because they help the functioning of our brains, hearts and body cells. Simply put, fat is brain food!
You need a little fat to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins. These include vitamin A, D, E and K, beta-carotene. Without that little bit of fat, the vitamins will not be absorbed by our bodies.
Fat helps your body balance blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can affect your mood, cravings and even affect your food choices.
Fat keeps you feeling full. Fullness is actually a real feeling that is created during the digestion process. This happens when fat triggers the release of cholecystokinin, a hormone that slows down how fast the stomach empties food into your intestines. This not only helps you to get full but also ensures you will stay fuller for a longer.
It is important to remember, not all fats are the same! Plant-based fats should make up the bulk of your calorie intake, as they contain the healthiest types of fatty acids.
Here are some good plant-based fat foods:
Avocados and avocado oil
Nuts and nut butters
Seeds and seed butters
Cooking oils including olive, coconut and grapeseed
Moderate amounts of animal fat are also fine to have. Here are some good examples of animal-based fat foods:
Oily fish such as: sardines, mackerel, herring and wild salmon
Lean cuts of beef, pork, chicken, turkey
Low-fat cheeses including part-skim mozzarella, ricotta and cottage cheese
The key thing to remember is moderation. Too much of one thing is as bad as too little. Focus on ensuring you have balance and that you are eating the right amount of calories for your slim-transformation journey.