Today I’m going to tell you why you should eat more fat in your diet. If you tried to lose weight any time in the 80s and 90s, you’ve probably been taught fat is the enemy.
The key to losing weight, we were taught, is to eat fewer calories than you take in. Fat is high in calories compared to protein and carbohydrates. So low fat foods became hugely popular. Food manufacturers worked furiously to create low-fat versions of our classic favorites, which usually meant adding a ton of sugar to keep things palatable. Remember Snackwell’s cookies? The sandwich cookies were okay, but the Devil’s Food cookies were like chocolate-flavored cardboard.
Yet obesity rates actually doubled between 1980 and 2000.
So what happened?
1. Sugar causes weight gain, not fat.
The scientific community somehow arrived at the mistaken conclusion that fat was the reason we gain weight, without any actual scientific data. Guess what? Fat is not the reason we gain weight (click the button below to download an explanation of what controls your body weight). Sugar is actually the enemy. When food manufacturers take fat out of our food, they often replace it with sugar (really- check out the download).
2. Carbs don’t make you feel full.
Our bodies create signals for fullness after fat intake in the form of hormone release. This doesn’t clearly happen with carb intake. That’s why you can eat an entire bag of popcorn without feeling full.
3. Fat is delicious.
Seriously, this one is important. Eating fat is very satisfying. I remember trying to lose weight by eating low fat. My evening snack would be fat free cool-whip with a fat free pudding cup. Really not satisfying at all, and I always wanted to eat more when I was done. I don’t actually have an evening snack now (frequency of meals contributes to weight gain, as you can read about in the download). But my “dessert” is often berries with unsweetened whipped cream. I drink HWC in my coffee. I eat bacon, and full-fat sour cream, and creamy ranch salad dressing, and avocados, and peanut butter. In other words, real food. And it tastes awesome, and I’m satisfied at the end of the day.
How can you eat more fat?
There are so many ways to eat more fat, that once you start getting out of the low-fat mindset, you’ll think of a hundred ways to add fat to your diet. Try eating nut butter, nuts, avocado or olive oil. Cook with butter. Eat eggs. Top your food with full-fat cheese and sour cream. One caveat- avoid yogurt, unless it’s plain; the flavored varieties have tons of added sugar. It feel strange at first, but adding more fat to your diet will actually help you lose weight. Try it and let me know!
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Dr. Greer is a Plastic Surgeon who practices in Cleveland, OH. Her passion is helping moms regain self-confidence by getting rid of sagginess, wrinkles, and stubborn fat. Read more about her at www.greerplastics.com.