Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy a diet full of rich, creamy, high-fat foods and still slim down? Until recently, a weight loss program full of fatty foods was nothing but a dream. But now, it’s becoming a reality. In fact, some of the country’s most well-respected doctors are recommending that dieters fill their plates with fat to get thin.
How Does Fat Help Me Slim Down?
Believe it or not, the fatty foods we feared for so long may actually provide health benefits. And these benefits can even help you to lose weight. When you include a source of fat in your meal, you are more likely to feel full and satisfied after eating. The result? You’re less likely to overeat.
But the weight loss benefits don’t end there. According to Mark Hyman, M.D., eating fat can also help you to balance your hormones, speed up metabolism, boost energy, shut down cravings and even reverse heart disease. Those claims might be hard to believe if you heard them from a nameless diet guru on the web. But Dr. Hyman is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center and chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine.
Dr.Hyman has written a new book called Eat Fat, Get Thin, in which he encourages dieters to eat healthy fat as part of a comprehensive program of weight loss. He is one of many experts who now recommend eating healthy sources of fat if you want to slim down.
What is Healthy Fat?
Before you run off to your favorite donut shop or fast food outlet, you should keep a few things in mind. Not all fats are good for your health. Experts still recommend that you avoid trans fat. Trans fats are often found in processed bake goods and sweets. You’ll see them listed on the ingredients list as “partially hydrogenated” oils. Instead, experts recommend fats that are found naturally in many whole foods.
In his eating program, Dr. Hyman promotes eating avocados, coconut oil, nuts and seeds, grass fed meats, olive oil, whole eggs and even grass fed butter. Many of these foods, like beef and butter, were off limits to dieters in the past. But now, many healthy eaters include them in a meal plan to lose weight. Other experts remind dieters about the benefits of fatty fish, like tuna and salmon. Even full-fat dairy products are now recommended by some nutrition experts.
How Much Fat Should I Eat?
Dietary guidelines used to recommend that you consume no more than 25-35% of your daily calories from fat. Current guidelines do not provide a strict recommendation for fat intake. But many nutrition experts still recommend that you watch your fat intake when you are trying to slim down because each gram of fat provides nine calories as compared to just four calories provided by each gram of carbohydrate or protein.
If you choose to include more fat in your diet, keep in mind that when you add more fat, you displace other important nutrients. That means that when you eat more fat, you’re likely to eat fewer energy-boosting carbohydrates and less muscle-building protein. The key is to keep the quality of your food choices high and to eat fats, carbs and protein in balance. A diet full of nutrients that boost your energy, build strong muscles and keep your body satisfied is likely to be a diet that you can stick to for life.