It sounds wrong, but you actually need to EAT fat if you want to LOSE fat!
Contrary to popular belief, eating fat does not automatically make you fat. Fat is simply a source of energy for our bodies.
Of course, eat TOO MUCH fat and your body won’t be able to use all that energy. In that case the excess will be stored as fat, but this is no different from carbs or protein.
But why are fats important if you want to lose weight, tone up and feel great?
Well, fats are actually really important to allow your body to work properly.
Good fats help keep your hormones in check, which is REALLY important if you want to lose fat and tone up. They also help keep your skin and hair healthy and help you absorb vitamins, meaning you feel great and avoid getting ill.
However, as with carbohydrates and proteins, not all fats are equal.
There are good fats and bad fats, and you need to make sure you’re eating the right ones if you want to look great and feel great.
What are good healthy sources of fat?
We want the majority of our fat intake to come from healthy monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids. These include oily fish, olive oil and avocado.
Foods we should try to avoid are those containing large amounts of saturated fat, hydrogenated/trans fat and omega 6 fatty acids.
Well, eating foods with high levels of omega 6s can cause inflammation. It’s not as complicated as it sounds – basically they stop your body working properly, which means you can’t burn fat and lose weight easily!
Foods high in omega 6 fatty acids are vegetable oil and margarine. These are snuck into a lot of packaged foods as they are dirt cheap compared to healthier alternatives.
It’s still open to debate about whether saturated fats are bad for our health. Since eating a large amount of them is not essential to achieving our goals, it makes sense to limit our intake but not cut them out entirely.
The saturated fats in coconut are an exception to this rule as they are primarily made up of medium chain trigycerates (MCTs), which are more easily broken down by the body and can readily be used for energy.
And what about hydrogenated or trans fats?
Well, the American government is banning these entirely in 2016 as they deemed them “not safe for human consumption.” So yeah, they’re not worth eating!
And where do you find them?
Well, hydrogenation is a cheap way to turn (already unhealthy) vegetable oils into butter-like substances. These are then added to packaged treats like cake, chocolate and margarine instead of butter as it’s dirt cheap!
Avoid at all costs if you want good skin and a lean, slim and toned body!
So now you know which fats are good and which fats are bad, let’s give you something you can use in the real world.
Here’s our complete list of healthy sources of fats to get you started:
- Eat 80% of the time – avocado, raw macadamia nuts, coconut, olive oil, oily fish, olives
- Eat 20% of the time – all other nuts, nut butters, butter, dark chocolate, cheese
- Treat Meals Only – vegetable oil, sunflower oil, vegetable spreads, mayonnaise, anything deep fried
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Note- Here’s a quick reminder of what the categories above mean:
Eat 80% of the time – you can eat these every day
Eat 20% of the time – eat these once or twice a week
Treat Meals Only – eat these for treat meals only
The majority of what you eat should come from the 80% section. The TMO foods should be reserved for “treat meals” as they really aren’t healthy – they should be kept to one meal a week at the most (aka the “treat meal”)!