Healthy fats can stimulate your weight loss!
When losing weight, many try to cut out the ingredients in food that appear to keep them from shedding the excess pounds. There are diets for avoiding carbs, plans to completely nix out sugar, and most popularly, foods that are advertised as healthy for their low- or no-fat content. Many salad dressings, yogurts, cheeses, and other products are processed in a way that takes out all of the fat, making them seem healthy for consumers to ingest. However, taking out fat can also take out much of the flavor of these foods, so other substitutes such as extra sugar, higher sodium content, and high fructose corn syrup are added to replace the taste that was lost from extracting the fat.
Taking the fat out of foods has not exactly proven to help people lose weight. In fact, many that consume these fat-reduced food report having a hard time losing weight, and furthermore, tend to even gain weight. The fact of the matter is, that fatty acids are completely essential to a healthy diet, and must be consumed in order to live a balanced lifestyle. Actually, the consumption of healthy fats (those that are either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated) can actually aid you in the process of losing weight, and losing weight more quickly, for that matter.
What are Healthy Fats?
All types of fat are needed to maintain a healthy body, even saturated fats. In fact, the Maasai, a population of tribal people in Kenya and Tanzania, live on a consistent diet of whole milk and beef, as they are cattle herders. The Maasai are reported to have some of the healthiest body mass indexes of all of the groups of people in the world. If this is the case, then there is an argument to be made for the necessity of benefit of fats in our diets.
There are many unsaturated fats that will aid in more successful and healthy weight loss that should be implemented in our daily diets. “Healthy fats” are those found in nuts, olive oil, leafy green vegetables, legumes, and avocados, among many other foods. These are monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats include flaxseed and fish oil. It seems almost counterintuitive, but the consumption of fat actually helps you shed excess fat and weight from your body.
While the modern definition of healthy fats tends to only refer to these unsaturated fats, healthy fats can also be found in animals, containing both dark and light meat. Like previously mentioned, many different peoples have lived off of diets that mainly consist of saturated fats. These groups of people tend to live off of the livestock and animals that are native to the region in which they live and make the most of every part of the body. It is not uncommon for an indigenous cattle farmer to not only eat the muscle tissue, or meat, of the cow, but also to consume the fatty tissues, blubber, organs, and brains of the cow as well. With this in mind, it is impossible to label all saturated fats as “unhealthy”. A more appropriate view of the term “healthy fats” is any fatty food that has not been processed or manufactured to remain edible for long periods of time. In other words, saturated fats that are found in whole foods can still be considered “good” and are even necessary to a balanced diet.
The saturated fats that are linked to weight gain and high LDL (bad) cholesterol levels are those that have been man-made, such as trans-fats that can be found in processed and packaged foods like chips and pastries. Generally, these man-made fats are added to preserve the life of foods. Other types of “bad” saturated fats include soybean oil, corn oil, and anything fatty that was produced with the intention of maintaining a long shelf life.
Healthy Fats and Weight Loss
By now it is clear to see that consuming the right types of fat can be beneficial to any weight loss endeavors. In fact, it is proven that not consuming enough of the “healthy” fats can actually be detrimental to your overall health and brain function. One of the biggest benefits of consuming fats is the gain of useful energy. They body gets energy from the consumption of three major food groups: fats, protein, and carbohydrates. In a one to one ratio, fat actually provides twice as much energy per gram than either of the other two energizers. Exercise is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle and is even more impertinent to those that are attempting to lose weight. With more energy available in smaller amounts, eating fat can allow you to push through a strenuous workout without having to eat excess amounts of food to push through.
Consuming adequate amounts of fatty acids can also provide an array of many other health benefits. For example, fats boost your metabolism, allowing your body to burn more of the energy consumed, instead of storing it in your body as extra weight. Having a faster metabolism leads to an overall boost of weight loss. Additionally, the consumption of fats boosts both immunity and hormone production. Immune system health is necessary to an active lifestyle. If you are not feeling your best, it is impossible to exercise and work toward your weight loss goals. Healthy hormone function is also necessary to a healthy lifestyle. Having an abundance of certain hormones such as serotonin, estrogen, and testosterone will help your body function at a high level.
Additional benefits range all across the health spectrum. Healthy fats protect your heart and boost the amount of good cholesterol in your blood. Consuming these fats also improve the overall composition of your body, allowing there to be a more productive ratio of fatty tissue to muscle. One of the most noticeable changes that come from implementing healthy and good fats into your diet is the boost of your mood and alleviation of depression and depression-like symptoms. Your entire life, from diet to exercise to mental health, will benefit from a better mood and positive outlook on your goals.
How to Implement Healthy Fats
When looking to improve your eating habits, it can be hard to know where to start. This is the reason that so many fad diets make loads of money off of people that are looking to lose weight. It is so much easier to order a month’s worth of food in packages that promise weight loss and slimmer waistlines than to take a look at your eating habits and implement foods that will improve your overall health. In order to make the changes necessary to achieve success with the foods you eat in order to lose weight, there must be manageable and attainable goals set in place. This can be done in baby steps, and in ways that fit your work schedule and lifestyle.
Maintain a Variety
One of the biggest things to remember in any diet is that variety is your friend. Eating too much of any one food can be detrimental, no matter what that food may be. Even an over-indulgence in “healthy” foods can deprive your body of the necessary nutrients for healthy function. When looking to add these good fats to your diet, it is important to glean the nutrients from different types of foods. Add not only monounsaturated fats but also polyunsaturated fats and even saturated fats to your everyday diet. Whatever you eat, remember to change it up from meal to meal.
If you are short on time in the mornings, it can be easy to skip packing a lunch for work, knowing that you can stop by a drive-thru window to pick up something fast and inexpensive. If you get home from work exhausted and starving, ordering a pizza can sound extremely more convenient that putting in the time to actually cook a meal that will provide you with the healthy nutrients your body is craving for. This can be a huge contributor to consuming unhealthy and processed fats, which will, in turn, inhibit your weight loss journey. Plan your meals at the beginning of the week. The best way to do this is to sit down and write out a rough schedule for yourself. If you know that certain days are very busy and that there is little time to cook a wholesome meal, then find ways to prepare the meals for those days ahead of time. You can precook meals at the beginning of the week and either freeze or refrigerate them for later consumption. If you find ways to avoid obstacles from the start, you are less likely to cave into meals that are filled with all of the bad fats, and none of the good.
Bring Snacks With You
If you are at work and feeling the 2 pm lull, it is very convenient to walk to the vending machine and grab a bag of chips. Bring a bag of almonds to work, and keep it in your desk for those times when you start feeling a lack of energy or those pesky hunger pains. Another way to satiate hunger while also consuming those much-needed good fats is to eat an avocado for a snack. Avocados are considered a super food, and for very good reason. They provide not only monounsaturated fats but also 40% of the needed fiber for a day, at about 10 grams per cup of sliced avocados. Fiber can help you remain full, and keep you energized throughout the day. There is also a fair amount of natural sugar in an avocado, which will keep your brain alert in times when you are just craving a good nap. Keeping a snack close by will not only keep you from going to the vending machine but also regulate your blood sugar. When your blood sugar is regulated, your metabolism is more stable, which in turn helps your body to constantly burn unneeded calories throughout the day. All in all, keeping a snack with those needed good fats close at hand will help with your energy levels and overall weight loss goals.
Eat Peanut Butter Before You Go to Sleep
Interestingly, eating a serving a peanut butter before you go to sleep can be one of the best ways to help you lose weight in the long run. Many that diet follow a general rule of cutting off their food intake about three hours before they go to sleep. This is very wise for the most part, as any food that is left to digest while you sleep will be stored as fat cells in your body. However, the small amount of peanut butter can do many wonders for you. The sugar, protein and unsaturated fats will all work together to keep your blood sugar level and your metabolism active in your sleep, helping you to burn energy you did not use during the day. Additionally, the sustenance received from consuming the peanut butter will keep you from waking up in the middle of the night from hunger pains, thus preventing you from searching for anything you can find to satiate your hunger in the middle of the night.
Eating Fat to Lose Fat
Even though it seems to be the opposite of what you should do, eating the right kinds of fats will aid you in your weight loss, and even help speed up the process. Your body and brain both need fats to function healthily. It is not particularly wise to diet in a way that cuts these out. Avoid fat-free options in stores, as they are likely loaded with sugars and sodium to replace the flavor that was lost in extracting the fats that were originally present. If you want to lead an active and healthy lifestyle, the truth of the matter is that all kinds of good fats, from monounsaturated, to polyunsaturated, to saturated are necessary. Look to implement these into your diet on a daily basis, in a way that is healthy and balanced.
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