Are you one of those people who go to the supermarket, looking for food items which are either fat-free or all natural? Reading food labels is certainly a good practice regardless of your fitness goal, from weight loss to general well-being. Even in my weight loss journey, many so-called nutritionists and fitness experts told me to switch to food, which is fat-free, natural or contains zero sugar, which I happily did. But honestly, I did not see any positive changes. On the contrary, I only put on weight.
In my extensive research and training over one thousand clients, I realised that food labels could be misleading! Just because a foodstuff is fat-free doesn't mean you can eat as much as you want! There are foodstuffs that come in tetra packs. Why do they, if they are natural? And we all know that anything, which gets packaged, usually contains preservatives.
Eat fat to lose fat
Fat is not the enemy! A lot has been written about fat but eating fat can be very healthy for all of us. Yes you heard that right! Eating fat can make you lose fat.
Fat doesn't make you fat
Do you know that consuming fat doesn't make you fat, but it is the selection of fat which can make you overweight or fat. This is the mistake I was making when I was trying to lose 20kg, avoiding fat altogether from the diet. On the contrary, our bodies do need some fat to work efficiently.
And also there are certain dietary fats which can help you lose weight. You can include them in your daily diet.
Don't go looking for fat-free food, the mention of "fat-free" on the label, doesn't mean the food is healthy. Most of the fat-free food available in India contain high amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrate (glorified sugar), which can be detrimental to our waistline.
Research: Low-fat diet can make you fat
In the late 1980s and 1990s the fat-free rage was at its peak in the US. This meant people were opting for fat-free products in the market, hoping to lose that extra weight. But the reverse happened to the US population. Though the fat consumption decreased by 33 per cent, the obesity increased by 11 per cent. This tells us that fat is not the culprit here.
Make friends with fat
In fact, research shows that the fat found in meat and milk - a saturated fat known as stearic acid - is actually good for us. And omega-3 fatty acids (which are commonly found in fish) can do everything, from decreasing blood pressure and inflammation, to improve bone health and help us lose weight. In contrast, trans fats, which are industrially produced and lurk under a name like partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, will cause all the harm to our body.
Not all fats are bad, only trans and saturated fats (commonly found in chips and junk food) can be unhealthy because they may raise your body's cholesterol level resulting in heart problems.
Low fat diet doesn't lead to weight loss
The key to weight loss lies in cutting calories, and if you are eating more than you are burning, you aren't losing any weight. This is something I understood after I started eating healthy fats, which included fish and walnuts. Fats are very filling and they helped me curb my overeating pattern, which helped me shed a lot of weight.
Stay away from trans fat
With the exception of trans fats, most of the fats that we eat are not bad and we should them add to our diet if our goal is to lose fat or weight. Don't worry about the ratio too much as long as you consume fat from a variety of whole food sources, and make sure that you consume fish two-four times every week to provide your body with the omega-3s you need. Eat fat to lose fat.