Sorry. I mean “Get” like understand, and “Fat” as in dietary fat, not a state of body compositional being.
Over the years I’ve gotten to take a sneak peak into quite a number of people’s nutritional lives. Interestingly enough, the folks who are looking to improve their body composition, whether they be big, tall, heavy, or small, almost all of them have been deficient in their fat intake. The second thing people are deficient in is protein.
Here is a mock dialogue that usually follows after telling someone to eat more eggs for breakfast. Eggs are high in both protein and fat and a great way to start your day. I can’t say enough about eggs. I seriously love eggs.
Coach: “Eat more eggs. Like 4-6 a day.”
Newbie: “Isn’t that unhealthy?”
Newbie: What about my cholesterol?
Coach: It will be fine or improve.
Newbie: Won’t I get fat eating all of that fat?
Newbie: Don’t I need more carbs for energy?
Coach: Mostly no.
I also answer these same questions in about half the hostels I stay in when people see me eating my usual travelling breakfast of 6 eggs, a piece of fruit or some berries and a nice helping of nuts or an avocado. The fat is bad myth pervades the entire globe in my experience.
When I am at home here is the breakfast I eat every-day, and go to sleep dreaming about.
Try it! Then message me telling me how much you love it, and how ready to smash the day you are afterwards.
Anyway, one of the most detrimental food myths is that dietary fat will make you fat and raise your cholesterol. Studies have not corroborated these theories and in the late 90’s at the height of the “fat is bad” craze, fat consumption was at an all-time low, but obesity was at an all time high. Unfortunately this “fat is bad” thinking still permeates the average psyche today and leads to a lot of lost muscle, increased body-fat percentages, and in turn a lot of tax dollars wasted on treating obesity related health problems. Sugar is the enemy, not fat. Processed food is the enemy, not fat. Lack of exercise is the enemy, not fat. Alcohol consumption is the enemy, not fat. Nickelback is the enemy, not fat.
Fat is our friend. We need it. It is a better energy source than carbohydrates, and it is also more satiating. Many of the foods that are high in fat are enormously nutrient-dense compared to their carbohydrate rivals. In my personal experience, and my experience coaching clients, reducing carbo-hydrate intake and having fat as your main source of energy throughout the day will lead to a better body composition. So, without needing a meal-plan or measuring food, if you want to lose some weight, you can consider skipping the potatoes and mashing up an avocado instead. Less carbs, more fat.
In case you need to hear it from a doctor, the list below is pulled from a book called The Metabolic Diet by Mauro DI Pasquale M.D. which is a great read for someone who wants to start thinking differently about their diet and relationship with fat. And it presents a rather loose, or flexible, version of dieting.
I will leave my argument for fat here. I am not going to take on the monstrous task in this blog post of convincing you that what you’ve been told for years is wrong. If you are still wary, I encourage you to do some research, and if you are skeptical and not sure where to look, please send me a message and I can point you in the right direction. In the mean-time here are links to two great articles that go into more detail than I have here.
If you are “woke” on fat, here are my five favourite fat sources that I try to eat everyday when I am not living out of a backpack. These are my top five because I enjoy cooking and eating them, but they also provide a fairly balanced fat profile providing some mono-unsaturated fat, poly-unsaturated fat, and saturated fat. And just to be clear, in case someone is completely new to the fat game, fish oil is not something you cook with or use with salad dressing. Think of it like a vitamin.
I have also included the nutrient info for each fat source so you know how much you are getting when you consume these foods. Fats are calorically dense, in a big way, so it is pretty easy to go overboard and eat and extra 500 calories in a day by snacking on nuts. This may be the difference in reaching your body composition goals.
So there you have it. Five new friends to make you healthier going into the New Year. Eating enough fat is essential, however it is just one piece of the puzzle. If you want to learn how to put the whole picture together, please fill out the contact form on my web-page to get in touch and get started.