This article was published in the August 2015 edition.
For years we have heard that the best way to control calories and shed fat is to cut fat from our diet. Since fat contains more calories per gram than protein or carbs, it only makes sense, right? Wrong. Lowering fat intake doesn’t equate with dropping fat. A little fat could even help make your fat loss more successful!
A Closer Look! – Eating Fat Displaces Eating Carbs
When you look at the macronutrient percentages of your diet (your consumption of fat, protein and carbs), everything needs to add up to 100 percent. Eating more of one macronutrient means that your intake of another macronutrient needs to decrease. Regardless of your goal—fat loss, hypertrophy, or performance-you should meet your protein needs first, then adjust your fat and carb intake accordingly.
Eating more fat means eating fewer carbs, and vice versa. From a fat-loss perspective, displacing carbohydrates by increasing fat in your diet sets the stage for an optimal fat-loss environment. Insulin is released by your body in proportion to the amount of carbohydrates you eat. Lower overall insulin levels—achieved by reducing carbohydrates—allows your body to more readily access fat stores for energy while also allowing fat to enter and fuel your muscles.
Eating Fat Enhances Your Body’s Ability to Burn Fat
From a biochemical standpoint, low-fat diets don’t make sense. They don’t condition your body to be efficient at burning fat. Instead, they ramp up the enzymatic machinery in your body so it becomes efficient at burning carbohydrates.
Lower-fat diets can also lead to lower levels of adiponectin, a true fat-burning hormone that works to enhance your metabolism and increase the rate in which fats are broken down, curbing your appetite .
Eating Fat Makes You Want to Eat Less
One of the best benefits of eating fat might be its satiating effect. Nothing is worse than eating a lower-calorie diet that leaves you hungry all the time. This is traditionally a huge problem in diets which deny you foods with a higher fat content such as nuts, fatty fish, cheese, and avocado.
Satiating fat leaves you feeling full. The more satiated you are, the less likely you are to sneak in snacks between meals or pile on a second helping.
A Word Of Caution: It’s true, fat is good for you. That said, fats are not calorie-free. Fats are delicious and easy to over-consume, so be careful and make sure your efforts are calculated.