Love the Fat!
Just checking in - are you still thinking about losing weight?
I’ve been talking to a lot of folks about losing weight. I continually find that not many are strategizing how to put MORE FAT into their diets in their efforts to eat well and lose some of their body fat. Why not? Well, it seems that they still believe that eating fat = gaining fat. I thought it might be helpful to remind you how eating quality fats is essential for shifting from storing fat to burning fat.
The myth goes like this… If you eat fat, you will get fat. Most people believe this myth and strive to reduce their intake of fats. When this happens, many will increase carby (breads/pastas/bagels/crackers/pretzels/juices/etc) foods for energy and nourishment. Several things happen when higher quantities of carbs are consumed and fats are reduced:
1. When your diet becomes higher in carbs and lower in fats, the delicate dance of blood sugar regulation is altered. You see, when you have balanced blood sugar levels in your body, your pancreas secretes insulin (a storage hormone keeping blood sugar levels balanced in the blood by moving sugar out of the blood and into cells, liver, brain, muscle, and fat tissue) in gentle waves with a corresponding feeling of consistent energy levels.
But things get out-of-whack with greater quantities of carbs and lower quantities of fat. This happens because carbohydrates are absorbed in the body more readily (the more refined the carb, the quicker it affects blood sugar levels) than fats. A quick intake of sugar (remember bready things turn into sugar in your body) leads to a high spike in glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. The pancreas responds and shoots out a lot of insulin so the cells can quickly open up and absorb all the excess glucose. Moving all of the excess glucose out of the blood results in plummeting glucose levels which leaves you feeling low in energy, depressed, and irritable. You crash.
Instead of reaching for a nourishing high-fat snack, folks
usually go for a snack/drink that provides quick energy (high in carbs/ caffeine) and is low-fat. The glucose levels will soar again, there’s the release of insulin, then the plummeting affect. Over time and through varying stages, the pancreas is hyper-producing insulin as it is trying to respond to the burden of a diet too high in sugars.
I really want to emphasize this…Insulin is a fat-storing hormone. Insulin first sends the glucose to cells, liver, muscle and brain. But these locations have a limited amount that they can store . Soooo…all the rest of that glucose has to get stored somewhere because it can’t stay in the blood. Where does it go? The extra sugar gets stored as fat (triglycerides).
Eating higher amounts of SUGAR = Higher levels of INSULIN = more STORAGE/GAINING FAT.
With this in mind, having fat with a sweet/bready food will actually slow down the release of insulin. This helps reduce mobilization of high-quantities of insulin (the message of storage) as well as reduce the spike and crash effect.
2. If you are not eating enough quality fat in your meals and snacks, then the physiological trigger of satiation cannot be released. It is true that eating a meal or snack higher in fat and lower in sugars literally triggers mechanisms in your body signaling being full and feeling satisfied. The more carby/sugary the snack, the less this signal is triggered leaving you feeling hungry longer. Eating fat leaves you feeling fuller sooner and longer.
Losing weight is not easy and simple for everyone. Many components are involved with weight including physical, emotional, and spiritual dynamics. My primary focus is the nutritional components impacting weight. From a nutritional standpoint, including more fats (and less carbs) is essential for helping your body balance many of the key hormonal messages that regulate weight.
Finally, please remember I’m talking about including quality fats and not damaging/rancid fats. To start, try including these phenomenal fats:
Lard (from a local farmer)
First, cold-pressed Olive Oil
Flax Oil (never heat this oil)
Full fat yogurts and milk
Click here for further reading on the structure and benefits/harms of various fats.