Why You Need to Be Eating Fat if You Want to Lose Weight from Why You Need to Be Eating Fat if You Want to Lose Weight

Why You Need to Be Eating Fat if You Want to Lose Weight

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Why You Need to Be Eating Fat if You Want to Lose Weight

Contrary to what many people believe, eating fat does not make you fat. “Fat is fabulous for keeping a healthy slim lifestyle,” Alia Steglinski, founder of Shift and Shape, PT, and nutritionist, says. “The body loves eating fat in a balanced meal because it’s essential for normal growth and development.”

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Eating fat curbs your hunger

It makes you want to eat less. “The hormonal and metabolic benefits of eating more fat are awesome; satiating fats leave you feeling fuller for longer,” Claire O'Meara, Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach, says. “So pack your meals with foods that have a higher fat content such as nuts, fatty fish (Salmon, Sardines), cheeses, and avocado.”

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Eating fat does not increase risk for heart disease

“Studies have also shown that saturated fats do not increase risk of vascular or heart disease,” O'Meara says. “We have lived in fear and always chosen low fat products [thinking they are] good for us, but these products are normally crammed with sugars to replace the fat. Opt for full fat.”

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It’s a great mood booster

“Omega-3 fatty acids can boost serotonin levels in the brain, helping to improve mood, increase motivation, and help you stay on track with healthy eating,” O'Meara says.

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You will absorb nutrients more efficiently

“[Put] olive oil on that beautiful salad you have just prepared in order for your body to absorb all those delicious and great nutrients from the carrots, tomatoes, celery, spinach etc.,” O'Meara says. “If your body is not absorbing vitamins and minerals properly you have more chance of things like dry skin, brittle bones, fatigue, [and] muscle aches which again can lead to you making poor choices.”

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Healthy fat is an integral component of whole food

“If we’re choosing minimally processed whole food, healthy fat is a natural component of this. Eating fat for weight loss is about choosing good quality whole food which naturally ends up being higher in fat and lower in refined carbohydrate,” Sylvia North, Dietitian, Integrative Nutritionist, says. “Put down and throw away low calorie, highly refined processed convenience snacks.  Embrace fat in the context of whole food such as avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, full-fat dairy products, eggs, fish, and the naturally occurring fat on meat.”

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Fat makes meals tasty

“Many conventional fat-free food products are loaded with sugar to give them flavor and to – let’s admit it - prevent them from tasting like cardboard,” North says. “Added sugar has no place in health, and certainly for long lasting weight loss, reducing sugar is at the top of the list. Using fat in meals makes food interesting and tasty [making] us less likely to want or crave additional sweetness.”

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Eating fat teaches intuitive and mindful eating

“A whole food, low carb, high-fat approach to weight loss teaches us to become more closely attuned to our hunger and fullness cues. It’s about eating when you’re hungry, stopping when you’re not hungry,” North says. “For long lasting weight loss, we need to learn to stop counting calories, and listen to how much and how often we really need to eat.”

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Fat helps to break sugar addiction and regulates blood sugar levels

“Eating enough fat helps us become less vulnerable to extreme food desires and blood sugar fluctuations. Better blood sugar control – both on the high and low ends – is incredibly powerful for releasing the clutch of sugar and refined carbohydrate addiction,” North says. “For weight loss, this means we can make more rational cognitive food choices and aren’t strongly drawn by emotional food desires.”

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Eating fat in place of carbs teaches your body to use fat more efficiently for fuel

“In the context of choosing fewer and better quality carbohydrates, eating fat allows a person’s metabolism to adjust to burning more fat for fuel,” North says. “This is called fat adaptation. For weight loss, the goal to burn both body fat and dietary fat for energy. There still needs to be an element of eating less; the difference with low carb, healthy fat (LCHF), is that it’s just not as painful as a low carb, low fat, calorie restricted diet approach.”

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It attenuates blood sugar rise and insulin

“When we eat fat it slows the emptying of stomach contents into the intestines. This means that in a meal fat works to slow the release of sugar into the blood. A slower blood sugar response (also called low glycemic) leads to the reduced production of the hormone insulin,” North says. “Since insulin’s job is to tell the body to store sugar into fat, lower insulin levels are essential for lasting fat loss. Less insulin means less fat storage and better access to using body fat store for energy.”

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Fat in your diet helps burn energy better

“Fat stimulates a fat burning hormone called adiponectinm,” Alia Steglinski, founder of Shift and Shape, PT, and nutritionist, says. This hormone is a true fat-burning hormone that works to enhance your metabolism and increase the rate in which fats are broken down, curbing your appetite.”

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It cuts the amount of calories we consume daily

“The French are a good example as they don’t do low fat and rather embrace full fat cheeses, oil and meat as part of their complete nutrition meal (fat protein carb and vegetables) and are one of the slimmest populations in the world,” Steglinski says. “Eating fat can taste better making our senses and bodies feel more satisfied and naturally wanting less calories from other macronutrients like carbohydrates.”

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Your body can’t function properly without it

“It needs a bit of both saturated (extra virgin coconut oil, natural butter grass fed, meat if not vegetarian) and more non-saturated fats (avocado, olive oil, walnuts),” Steglinski says. “Any fat found naturally in food — whether animal or plant-based — is healthy for you. Your body burns fat fuel well and needs a bit of it in the day to support the body’s hormones, to be able to exercise and be functional to balance natural weight loss.”

Why You Need to Be Eating Fat if You Want to Lose Weight