The word that instills fear among female friends keen to look great in the LBD (that’s little black dress to the men out there) and draws gasps from protein quaffing male gym buddies.
But you really can and should use fat to your advantage when it comes to weight loss. I Love my locally produced meat complete with the fat and my bread (slow release wholegrain of course) together with full fat organic butter.
But can you really eat fat and get thin? Well actually you can. You can believe and try those old outdated diets that tell you not to eat fat, but you are wasting your time. Eating fat, the right kind of fat, will speed up weight loss and that protein shake would be so much more useful when consumed with fat, better still get the protein you need ( less than you think) naturally and undoubtedly more cost effective from REAL NATURAL FOOD!
Why MUST we have fat in our diet?
The role played by fat in the diet cannot be underestimated:
- · It is involved in the formation of virtually all cell membranes
- · It is needed for optimum function of the nervous system
- · The majority of the Central Nervous System and Spinal Cord are formed by lipids (fats)
- · It is necessary for the synthesis (making) of steroid hormones and reproductive organs – vital in the body.
- · Fat soluble vitamins A,D,E and K cannot be absorbed without fat in the diet. Therefore a fat deficient diet ensures we are deficient in these vitamins and will suffer effects such as dry, scaly skin, hair loss, cold intolerance, bruising, poor growth, lower resistance to infection, poor wound healing and loss of menstruation to name but a few.
- · It is necessary for the uptake of calcium and formation of bone.
- · It is necessary for lining the surface of the lungs, for efficient breathing.
- · Protection of vital organs.
- · It assists in the regulation of enzymes. Enzymes are part of the catalyst of actions and reactions which cause anything to happen in the body.
- · Fat provides flavour and texture to help prevent food from being bland and dry.
- · Fat helps food to stay in the stomach longer, giving a greater sense of satisfaction and preventing hunger soon after meals.
- · Fat helps your body produce endorphins (natural substances in the brain that produce pleasurable feelings).
- · Diets too low in fat (less than 20 - 25%) will trigger cravings. We always reach for sugar in this instance. It is sugar with its empty calories and no goodness for the body which is the real problem in our diet. Inadequate balance of our blood sugar really does lead to the sugar blues and mood swings
v The above are the essential things you probably haven’t even thought of, but furthermore fat is vital for energy, it is also a stored form of energy in the adipose tissue and is a fuel source during lower intensity workouts.
There are certain types of fat that will make you put on weight, but there are also fats that speed up weight loss. Butter for instance is a good fat and it will slow down the release of the carbohydrate that you might have with the butter into your bloodstream. A slice of wholemeal bread with organic full fat butter will make you feel fuller for longer, taste great and balance those blood sugar fluctuations which encourage you to reach for more food...usually sugary thing or hydrogenated fats.
Coconut oil is a great source of Saturated Fat, we should use it when we cook, on our skin, to flavour our porridge..it really is a Super Fat Food!
Which fats should I avoid?
The answer is simple. Stay away from hydrogenated oil and partially hydrogenated oils. The change in their molecular structure due to the hydrogenation process is really not good for our bodies and will only encourage the body to store fat rather than encouraging the metabolism to work in the appropriate way. These types of fats are found in biscuits, bought pastries, chips and other snack foods. It is important to also avoid margarine, fat in cheap cuts of meet, skimmed or low fat dairy products, artificially lower fat products and cheap plant oils such as sunflower and vegetable oil. If you can avoid these, you will become healthier and start to shed those extra pounds. Again anything which is artificially lower in fat or skimmed has gone through a process unnatural to the body and will encourage the body, not to stay in its natural balance!
I can also recall countless occasions where friends reach for sweets because they have fewer calories than for example a bar of chocolate. Neither are ideal choices , but we really must switch our minds from calorie counting to giving our body the appropriate nutrients it needs to balance our blood sugar, mood and health. If we do this, our weight will naturally stay in balance.
Watch out for another article coming soon on sugar and its negative impact on our cells, our mood and our long term health!
If you’d like to learn more in depth about the balance of fats and sugar and the natural intake of food required for a healthy body and mind, why not come on one of our courses!
For further information contact Helen@exercisestudies.co.uk