How Fat Can Help You Lose Weight
Fat was formerly deemed a weight loss foe as people feverishly ditched both good and bad fats for low-fat and fat-free alternatives.
But, the result wasn’t what experts thought. People didn’t lose weight, they gained, had cravings, and replaced their former fatty foods with carbs, and they still weren’t satisfied.
Then, we circled back to identifying good fats as ‘good’. People started popping almonds, cooking with coconut oil and slurping guacamole through straws.
Scientists found fat burns fat. Yes, fat can help you lose weight!
How? Science, baby.
How Fat Can Help You Lose Weight: Fat Makes the Body Burn More Fat
We all know about adaptation from high school, right? Well your body adapts internally to the foods you eat. When you are on a low-fat diet, the body adapts to burning carbs as your fuel source instead of fat.
When you introduce more fat, the body recognizes the increase in a ‘fuel type’ and begins re-learning how to tap into fat reserves for fuel.
Additionally, eating fat increases the hormone adiponectin, which is the fat burning hormone. Think about it—the only time this fat burning hormone is needed is when you eat fat. If you stop eating it, the hormone goes away—but the fat on your body doesn’t.
How Fat Can Help You Lose Weight: Fat Curbs the Appetite
Just as we mentioned above, the hormone adiponectin not only burns fat, but it tells the brain you’re full and satisfied. Fat also triggers the release of other hormones that tell the body—HEY, WE ARE STOCKED WITH THE GOOD STUFF—PUT THE BRAKES ON FOOD FOR NOW!
You’ve probably been on a diet where you could gnaw off your own hand, you’re so hungry. A high-good fat diet won’t leave you considering self-cannibalism. You’ll feel full and eat less.
How Fat Can Help You Lose Weight: You Eat Less Carbs
While fat has more calories per gram than carbs and protein, it is more filling. Eating more fat means eating less of muffin-top makin’ carbs. Carbs beckon insulin incessantly. By reducing carb intake through increased fat intake, you’re actually lowering your insulin levels so that your body can use fat as a fuel rather than carbs.
Fat also slows down the release of sugars in your bloodstream and helps prevent overeating.
It’s the fundamentals of the Keto diet.
Don’t believe it? One study showed that people who eat full-fat dairy products are leaner than those who consume low-fat versions.
How Fat Can Help You Lose Weight: You Lower Your Risk for Diseases
Because fat slows down sugar—which is connected to many diseases including metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease, fat can lower your risk of these illnesses. These diseases are linked to the insulin spikes and resulting damage done to the body when sugar and simple carbs are eaten too frequently.
Fat delays the rise in blood sugar which reduces insulin spikes, which reduces damage or resulting biochemical reactions that can alter how your body responds to insulin.
In fact, one full 15-year study showed people who eat good fats decreased their risk for developing diabetes by 46 percent!
Additionally, fat increases good cholesterol which helps reduce bad cholesterol and lower your overall risk of heart disease.
Which Fats Should I Eat?
Good fats are your targets. We wrote up a good blog on the difference here. In summary, good fats are unsaturated fats such as cheese, eggs, almonds, avocados, fatty fish, yogurt, your full fat dairy, etc. They are NOT your saturated and trans fats. Those are bad, mmmkay? Don’t go swinging through McDonald’s thinking super-size fries will make you healthier. Negative, ghost rider.
For best results, you should target about 30-35 percent of your overall intake to be fat. Around 50 percent protein and the other 15-20 percent should be carbs.
Make sure you measure your servings. Some fats in the form of dressing or the like can easily pack on the calories.
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