When I get down to the controversial truths about weight loss and healthy diets, there are always quite a few "a-ha" exciting moments, but they are certainly rivaled by the other tidbits of advice that seem to challenge some people to their core.
One such conversation stems from a significant change to our diet that started in the 80's and still remains ingrained in our psyche some thirty years later. Yes, along with the induction of Diet Coke, Bon Jovi and Z Cavaricci jeans, we were blessed with the marketing darlings that are low-fat and fat-free foods.
We have all been greatly influenced by the hype of these foods to promote healthy living and weight loss. But that movement - where low calorie foods were King and fat was to be avoided at all costs - has been a major contributor to our present day crisis where 2/3 of Americans are now overweight or obese.
Many like to point their fingers in other places, blaming lack of physical activity, portion control, and hectic lives that survive only via drive-thrus and the convenience of processed foods.
And I agree. In fact, I think we can all agree there is a lot wrong with the way we are living. But fundamentally we KNOW that sitting on the couch all weekend or eating a slice of cake the size of your head reduces our quality of life and puts us at risk for a host of metabolic diseases and health concerns.
My point is that there are still too many people out there mislead on a simple three letter word: F-A-T.
And while the path to take for lifelong health would be to clean up your act and make some serious lifestyle changes (We see the most success over a transition period of about five months), what about something you could do today -LIKE RIGHT NOW- to improve your health without skipping a beat in your normal routine?
What if reducing your cravings, losing weight, improving energy and just feeling better overall was as easy as letting go of the mantra that the f-word is bad?
Truth be told, some of the healthiest people consume 50-70% of their calories from fats each day. These are healthy fats of course, including nuts & seeds, eggs, avocado, olives & olive oil, coconut & coconut oil, butter, grass-fed beef and full-fat dairy products to name a few.
People who are stalled in their weight loss efforts or struggle to find a place to begin the overhaul of their diet really resist this concept.
Because all those calories in nuts make you fat.
And all that fat can't be good for my cholesterol and heart.
But it often makes all the difference in the world.
Time and again, I roll out the studies and educate them on the realities. I share a snapshot into what my business partner and I eat on a regular basis: Sonia and her three eggs fried in coconut oil breakfast or my 1/4 of a raw coconut and handful of almonds snack and they look at me like I have three heads.
Are we really an anomaly? Fat chance.
Consuming a diet high in healthy fats can provide the following:
- abundant fill power
- improved focus and performance
- sustained energy
- weight loss
- improved cholesterol (increases in HDL and mild elevations of large, benign LDL)
- reduced risk of stroke
- healthier cooking with more stable oils
- and last but MOST important: a delicious way to live
The truth of the matter is this is probably the best part of my job, instructing people to ditch the margarine and opt for real butter, or lose the guilt over enjoying bacon again. To eliminate calorie counting on your to-do list for once and for all.
Because (repeat after me) FAT doesn't make you FAT.
And is always the case, soon thereafter I proceed to hear all about the pounds lost, the control over food they feel throughout the day (often for the first time in their lives) and the incredible meal they just delighted in, much to the horror of their coworker (who consumed three 100-calorie packs of cookies for lunch).
Yes, the 80's have a lot of apologizing to do, but with a little encouragement and a big dose of reality, we can drop the junk and make the return to real food - hopefully as quickly as we freed ourselves of our shoulder pad wardrobe and Jane Fonda workout gear.
Reference these studies for more information: