Does Fat Really Make You Fat?

We all know by now that it is a well established fact that in order to achieve considerable weight loss, a combination of exercise with a healthy eating plan is essential. With this in mind it can often be a nightmare for those who venture into the supermarket unprepared or uneducated, with regard to healthy food choices, especially when it comes to fats. In this article we’ll talk a little about the bad and the good fats, and dispel one of the biggest myths in the health industry, created by the clever marketers out their (with the help of some health professionals) that suggested that fat was the main reason why the world has become so fat.

It’s true to consume as little ‘bad’ fat in your diet as possible, and the reason for this is simple. Too much bad fat makes you fat, and junk foods are especially responsible being very high in bad fats. Not only is it considerably higher in calories than both carbohydrate and protein, but it’s more easily converted to stored body fat compared to it’s two marco siblings, carbs and protein. If you had two metabolically identical people and they both consumed exactly the same amount of calories and exercised the same in a month. One however, consumed those calories in a low fat diet and the other consumed their calories high in fat. It’s almost guaranteed that the high in fat diet person’s body fat would be higher.

The aim of of any fat loss diet is to eliminate as much fat out of your diet as possible which will assist you in losing weight. If you can commit to a healthy diet that is low in bad fats then I’m confident you will have success. But don’t be fooled by low fat, having fat in your diet is really important too. Not so long ago fats had such a bad wrap and every person that wanted to lose weight got on the bad wagon of the NO-fat diet. This is because fat was accused of creating all sorts of health problems from heart disease to obesity. And of course this is true when it was a diet very high in bad fats in a body that did no exercise. However, not all fats are created equally and here is why. Fat is used for numerous functions in the body, such as providing the benefits of a healthy heart, skin and hair when you’re consuming a small amount of good fats in your diet. So let’s now have a closer look at the difference between good and bad fats.

Here are the main three natural sources of fats and the one nasty man made fat.

Saturated Fats

Although saturated fat is the most harmful of the three, it is also necessary in small amounts. Saturated fats are found mainly in animal based foods, like whole milk, cheese, red meat and pork. Unfortunately your liver can produce bad LDL cholesterol from Saturated fats, but avoiding them totally is near impossible. Unless you’re a vegan, just minimizing them by cutting off visible fat from meat or using skim versions of dairy products can help reduce your saturated fat intake.

Monounsaturated fats

These fats can be found in vegetables, seeds and nuts. Monounsaturated fats are actually good for you and help with optimal heart function and lowering LDL cholesterol levels. Adding some a small amount of seeds or nuts to your daily diet will ensure your getting these good fats and will no doubt help your muscle building efforts.

Polyunsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats are the best kind of fats to source in your diet. They contain “essential fatty acids” or EFA and can be found in good olive oils, nut oils, flaxseed oils, and in some fish, such as Salmon and Tuna. They’re known as essential because your body can’t produce them, but it needs them, so ensure you consume your recommended weekly dose of EFA’s.

Other benefits to polyunsaturated fats include lowering bad LDL cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol (HDL). The two types of Polyunsaturated fats are Omega-3 and omega-6. Ensuring you get a good dose each day will do wonders for your heart, skin, body and muscle building goals.

Trans fats

Lately, there has been one really evil type of fat introduced in commercially manufactured foods. They’re known as Trans Fatty Acids, so look for them in foods when you’re next at the supermarkets. Even though trans fats are illegal in Australia, always look at the packaged foods that you buy to avoid these type of fats at all cost. Trans fats are man made and where designed to reduce production costs in foods.

So does fat make you fat? Yes and no. The bottom line is to be aware of the foods and types fats you eat. If you over eat fats even the healthier one of course it can contribute to fat gain. But a balanced amount of healthy fats is absolutely essential in any healthy fat loss diet. If you want a healthy body you’ll need a well-balanced diet. You need protein, but you also carbohydrates and some good essential fats, in particular polyunsaturated fats. Check out my article What Foods Burn Fat? But whatever you do, forget about NO fat diets. There are numerous problems associated with NO diets and the main result is that most people often return to their normal lifestyle at a later date, and regain the weight that they had previously lost, all because they didn’t have a balanced diet that included some good fats. Hence the reason why most diets are unsuccessful in the long term.

I really recommend you ensure your fat, carbohydrate and protein intake is balanced for your goals. I recommend you check out Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle which is a balanced fat inclusive eating program. If you have any questions or comments then please feel free to comment below or contact me. Enjoy your healthy fats to help you get leaner long term.

Roger

As a Trainer and Coach for over 10 years now, I've helped many people reach their goals as well as achieve my own including having lost 35kg. I'm my very own guinea pig when it come to achieving a fitter, healthier life and now I'm here to help you. Start by signing up to the Really Really Fit newsletter, Free Book and Video training that will change your mindset and life.

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