“Eating fatty food can help you burn belly fat.”
What’s that?? You may wonder if I’ve gone bonkers all of a sudden.
For years, we have been told to cut fats from our food, because, well, it’s right in the name itself – Fats make you fat. So, are you one among million others who have ditched fats completely from your diet and are still expecting that miraculous weight loss, especially the belly fat?
What if I told you are doing it wrong?
Over the years, we’ve all fallen for the “fat makes you fatter” myth that sounds dangerously convincing. In fact, in the past 70-odd years or so, the way we have been told to use fats & our perceptions have changed so much that the truth is far away from what we are made to believe.
However, not all fats are the same. By using the right kind of fats wisely, one can lose weight and even lower the risk of diabetes. In fact, you can even go off diabetic medication with the help of a fat-rich diet.
However, before jumping head-on into loading up fats in your plate, it is important to have a good understanding of how this works. This information will help you formulate a better dietary approach that works for you. In this article, I’ll attempt to break down the reason why certain fats are healthy, how they help in weight loss and how you can safely add them into your diet for better health.
WHY ARE FATS IMPORTANT
When the term “Fat” comes up, we get alarmed and end up voluntarily destroying our health by either avoiding it completely or choosing the wrong kind. Fats are a vital macronutrient. It is not just necessary, but essential. Which is where the term “essential fats” originate from.
Fats are stored sources of energy that is called upon as a survival mechanism to enable the body to keep functioning well even during absence of food. Fats are essential not just for survival, but also for many other vital operations within our body like:
- Building the cell membranes
- Building and regulating hormone production,
- Charging your body with energy
- Improving metabolism
- Improving immunity.
- Aiding absorption of fat-soluble nutrients
- Keeping us fuller for longer and
- Protecting internal organs by creating a cushion &
- Protect us from heart disease
Because they are so essential, it is important that we get the right type of healthy fats from our food.
CARBS ARE YOUR SECRET ENEMY
Fats for the longest time have been associated with junk, that instantly scares people with the very thought of incorporating fats in their diet. They have been demonized by the health industry for a very long-time making people consume lots of carbs and leading companies to manufacture Low-Fat “diet-friendly” food with all the natural fats removed and containing copious amounts of sugar, starch-based fillers and other additives.
But all these carbs, sugar, low-fat and “diet-friendly” food that you’ve been having in place of healthy fats are your enemies. Your body has been secretly converting all these into fats and storing them. Shocking, right? You’d understand it better if you understood how you gain fat.
Our body has evolved in a manner to cope up with starvation as meeting with daily food requirement was a difficult task during early ages. So, our body stores up all the fat in our fat cells to cope up with a possible starvation in the future, as the body needs food for its sustenance.
When you eat carbs and sugars, the brain triggers insulin secretion. Insulin helps to convert carbs into sugar or glucose which is burnt by the body as energy. Furthermore, only a portion of the carbs gets converted to energy. The remaining glucose along with the fats, that is yet to be burnt, gets stored in the liver as fats cells. Once the liver runs out of space, it starts accumulating in other regions of the body. While fat storage is essential as part of the survival mode, excess storage leads to obesity.
By choosing foods that are labelled fat-free, you choose foods that have carbs which are in the form of added sugar. These will tend to leave you hungrier than before making you eat more than what is necessary and leading once again to fat conversion and storage.
NOT ALL CALORIES ARE THE SAME
We’ve been told that in order to get rid of the stubborn fat, you keep an eye on what you eat in order to cut down your calories. The Calorie In, Calorie Out theory.
So, the first step you take is eliminating fats as their calorie content is comparatively higher. This makes you go for carbs to meet the body’s energy requirements as they are low in calories. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way at all. It is not just the number of calories you take that matters, but where it comes from and how the body processes it is what matters most.
Quality over Quantity!
To make this simple, compare the following 2 types of food. An 11” pizza with all the dressing vs. a couple of cartons of eggs. Both are roughly similar in calories. But, are they processed the same way by our body?
The carbs and fats from pizza will mostly be converted to stored fats with barely enough nutrients to sustain the body. So, even though you have had a huge pizza you would still be able to chuck in a couple of sandwiches or any other food. You wouldn’t be burning up any of this energy that you are now eating and thus they will simply be shelved aside & converted to fat.
On the contrary, a few eggs are enough to keep you fill the whole day without getting an urge to eat any more food unless truly hungry. The fats contained in the eggs will not just keep you full, but also provide you with vital nutrients important for your body to thrive. The essential fats from this food, while keeping you full will also help you burn belly fat faster than any other fat-free food.
Where the calories come from matter more than just the calorie count.
Your weight loss depends on where you get your calories from and not just how many you take in.
FATS OVER CARBS
Studies have proven that consuming more fats than carbs are known to show significant results in weight loss. Here are some reasons why:
- As mentioned earlier, we are now aware of the fact that increased intake of carbs spike up insulin levels leading to a significant increase in our waistline. While carbs lead to storage of fats, fats help in cutting down fats. If you are looking to burn belly fat, this should be your go-to approach.
- When you consume more fats, your body solely uses fats to meet its energy requirement. In the process, not only what you eat, but the nasty build-up of fats in your body get used up too. The elimination of unwanted fats keeps you fit and healthy.
- While carbs make you feel dull and low in energy, fats charge up your body and improve your metabolism. Besides that, you are safe from the episodes of craving and overeating as fats keep you fuller and energetic for a longer period of time.
- Studies have also shown that people, who increased their fats intake, while cutting down carbs drastically, burned calories quickly, showed improvement in cholesterol levels and were less prone to inflammation. There were also visible improvements in insulin resistance and in lowering diabetes.
Therefore, if you are in a desperate need to lose weight, tweak your diet by switching on to a higher fat diet with lower carbs. Make sure you get your source of fats from healthy whole foods like meat, fish, eggs, coconut oil, avocados etc. Make vegetables your main source of carbs as they also contain fibre, helping in satiety.
Armed with this information, let’s learn to keep our stomach full and forget counting the number of calories.
If you are looking for a personalized approach to easing into the Low Carb lifestyle, drop us a message and we will design a plan that works for you.