It sounds counter-intuitive that eating a high fat diet will help you burn excess body fat; it almost sounds like someone saying, “drowning your campfire in gasoline is the best way to extinguish it.” It’s this misconception that needs to be overcome in order get into one of the best weight-loss strategies (1).
Overcoming the long-held belief that fat makes you fat is difficult because it’s been so ingrained in us with advertising and packaging. This ability to think past the advertisers, to do what’s best for your health, is why research is so important. Research is one of the biggest reasons niKETO was started.
Education is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal when it comes to losing weight.
So, without further adieu, here is how eating fat helps you lose fat.
EAT FAT TO LOSE FAT
When living a low-carb lifestyle, you’re expected to eat a diet where 75% of your calories come from good fats. This takes your body off of simple sugar (glucose) dependency for fuel and prompts your liver to create ketones for your energy source.
We’ve covered KETONE synthesis extensively, so follow these links to get a deeper, scientific understanding of how ketones are made and used for fuel.
Ketones burn more efficiently as an energy source and will dig into stored fat to keep your internal fires stoked, creating the excess body-fat burn off (2). But this only works if your body is absent of the glucose fuel source that comes from carbs. Your body will always burn off glucose first to get it out of the way before switching to fat created ketones and tapping into your fat stores.
BUT KETONES AREN’T THE ONLY BENEFIT OF EATING FAT
Another powerful tool that fat brings is its ability to keep you sated longer (3). Fat takes longer to digest which stops your stomach from sending your brain ghrelin as often; ghrelin being the hormone that tells us we’re hungry. Eating fat keeps you satisfied and less likely to binge on extra calories because now you just aren’t hungry.
Complimenting this awesome side-benefit is the fact that fat regulates and tempers your blood insulin levels to keep you at a more steady state of energy, while at the same time preventing you from feeling like you need to eat because you have the low-insulin shakes (4).
All of this amounts to you eating fewer calories, which keeps you on the winning side of the weight loss math equation:
CALORIES EATEN – CALORIES EXPENDED = (if this number is a negative, you’re losing weight)
1800 – 2000 = -200 (that’s 200 extra calories of stored body fat you burned off)
Fat’s got your back when it comes to appetite. The number one most reported problem dieters face when it comes to staying on the diet wagon.
BUT, BUT… WHAT ABOUT VITAMINS AND MINERALS ON LOW-CARB DIETS?
Meat, all meats, are full of essential vitamins and minerals (5).
Click here to see the FDA’s vitamin and mineral chart. Notice how many of the sources are low-carb diet approved meats and dairy products? That’s because meat is filled with the proteins and vitamins we need. On top of this, low-carb diets call for strategic use of your daily carb allotment by spending them on leafy greens that make up any mineral gap.
To complete the vitamin trifecta, many low-carb dieters take a daily multivitamin tablet every day. This is a great way to ensure you get any vitamins you may have overlooked for the day, (they aren’t crucial to your success on low-carb, just a good idea).
Side note: when shopping for a daily multivitamin, look for one that has no iron. The meat you eat on low-carb has more than enough iron.
The final thing to know about fat is that not all fat is the same.
It’s also a good idea to avoid cheap-fat foods. Technically, hot dogs and cheap cheeses like Cheese Whiz are low-carb, but overall they aren’t a good use of your calorie budget as they offer very little in the way of actual nutrition.
Eat whole, natural fats: avocados, healthy oils like olive oil and coconut oil, meat fats, and dairy fats. These will ensure you get the most out of your low-carb living (6).
So don’t shy away from fat, seek it out. It occurs in food naturally for good reason, it’s the optimal fuel to feed our human engines.
(1) Hite, A. H., Feinman, R. D., Guzman, G. E., Satin, M., Schoenfeld, P. A., & Wood, R. J. (2010). In the face of contradictory evidence: report of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 26(10), 915–924. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2010.08.012.
(2) Westman, E. C., Mavropoulos, J., Yancy, W. S., & Volek, J. S. (2003). A review of low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets. Current Atherosclerosis Reports, 5(6), 476–483. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14525681.
(3) Rizi, E. P., Loh, T. P., Baig, S., Chhay, V., Huang, S., Quek, J. C., … Khoo, C. M. (2018). A high carbohydrate, but not fat or protein meal attenuates postprandial ghrelin, PYY and GLP-1 responses in Chinese men. PLOS ONE, 13(1), e0191609. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0191609.
(4) Boden, G., Sargrad, K., Homko, C., Mozzoli, M., & Stein, T. P. (2005). Effect of a low-carbohydrate diet on appetite, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Annals of Internal Medicine, 142(6), 403. https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-142-6-200503150-00006.
(5) Wyness, L. (2016). The role of red meat in the diet: nutrition and health benefits. The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 75(3), 227–232. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0029665115004267.
(6) Harvard Health Publishing. (2008, July). “Natural” trans fat less harmful than artificial version. Retrieved September 7, 2018, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/natural-trans-fat-less-harmful-than-artificial-version.