Know what makes me really angry? Like irate?
Thinking about all the damage the years of the ‘low fat’ diet message has caused. Normally I’m a really calm person, but when I consider all the health problems, not to mention all the bland horrible food that we have suffered through.
All for no good reason.
It really drives me crazy.
Why were we told to eat low fat?
The advice was based on a simple assumption. It’s true that fat contains more energy than protein or carbohydrates. So for every gram of fat you eat you get about twice as much energy to burn.
So if you want to lose weight by reducing your energy intake, eating less fat seems like an easy way to cut the calories.
Plus is sounds like common sense, right? Eating fat makes you fat.
But it’s not that simple.
The ‘low fat’ hypothesis doesn’t take into account the way our bodies store and use energy. Or the delicate system which balances our hunger and satiety.
Plus it doesn’t factor in that there are some fats that our bodies must get from food, called ‘essential fats’. If we don’t get those fats, our wise bodies crave what we are missing. So no matter how strong your will power – eventually eating low fat is doomed to failure.
Repeat after me… ‘Fat is my friend!’
How to Know if You’re Eating Enough Fat?
For some it’s keeping a food diary and analyzing the percentage of calories from fat. Which is fine if that works for you but isn’t something that appeals to me.
So how do I know?
For me there are two parts…
1. I make sure I include fat with every meal.
A few tablespoons usually, but sometimes more. Home made mayonnaise is a favourite but I also love a drizzle of olive oil, or chilli oil or just adding some grass fed butter. Adding higher fat ingredients like nuts and cheese also helps.
And I always eat the fat on my meat. Unless I’m at a restaurant where I suspect the meat may be factory farmed.
2. I pay attention to my hunger levels.
If I find myself getting ravenous between meals, I allow myself a satisfying high fat snack. Like nuts, a spoon of coconut oil, some peanut butter or even a bite of butter. [See here for more ideas]
I also use the feedback to focus on upping my fat intake at my next meals.
How to Know if You’re Eating Too Much Fat?
This is even easier to diagnose! If you’re achieving your goals and happy with your eating and hunger levels. Then you’re not eating too much.
If, however, you’re not seeing the results you want. Especially if you’re not seeing results and you’re certain your carb intake isn’t too high. Then the most likely cause is too many calories from too much fat. As much as I love eating LCHF, it’s still possible to overdo the ‘high fat’ part.
What about you?
Do you feel like you know when you’re eating enough fat? Need some more help in this area? Let me know in the comments below…