You have it down pat – low fat snacks, fat-free chips, fat-free cheese, low-fat this, no-fat that – you’re stocked and ready for your diet plan. But before you cut your life entirely, you need to realize that fat isn’t always a bad thing to have as part of your diet. While cutting out unnecessary fats in chips and everyday snacks, you don’t have to cut it out completely to diet and lose weight. The important idea is striking a balance in your diet and not merely cutting out the fat. Since the start of fad diets and healthy eating, fat has really gotten the worst reputation as what causes people to be overweight and unhealthy. While in a lot of ways this is true, it is not the main culprit in the reason that people are overweight. The lack of balance in a diet is what leads to being overweight; while fat can be the place where there is regular overindulgence, but so can carbohydrates and protein. Fat is not all bad despite the common idea associated with it, and having a certain amount of fat in your diet is essential to losing weight.
Keeping a sense of balance in your diet is important, and cutting out all fats is not going to help you in the journey of your weight loss. The Mayo Clinic, perhaps the most trusted health source in the United States, highlights that dietary fats are good as long as you know which ones to choose. Even if you eliminate fat completely from your diet, the Mayo Clinic explains; “Your body makes its own fat from taking in excess calories” in the article Dietary fats: Know which types to choose. So even if you eliminate fat altogether, the amount of calories you take in can still result in body fat and being overweight. Fat is not the bad guy here, it’s what you’re putting into your body. The amount of calories you consume directly influences the amount of weight your frame carries. If you take in more calories than you burn in a day, you are going to gain weight, and vice-versa. Rounding out your calorie intake to include healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables guarantees that you are going to lose weight as long as you consume fewer calories than your body needs in a given day.
Fats can be a healthy part of your diet if you let them. Have you ever noticed that you don’t feel quite as full after a low-fat pre-portioned snack versus eating a handful of nuts or chips and guacamole? The reason is the fat. Healthy fat can provide more energy and help you feel fuller. A healthy fat makes a snack more satisfying to your taste buds and triggers the feeling of being satisfied and full faster, and instead of feeling as if you are depriving yourself, you feel more rewarded for what you have just eaten. Healthy fats are not only a good part of your diet, they can also keep your heart healthy and even aid your metabolism in some ways. The most important thing when dieting is maintaining a balance in what you are putting into your body. Fat is not all bad and you shouldn’t deprive yourself of including healthy fats in your diet. While scores of people will tell you to cut the fat because that’s what they have always heard, you have to balance your diet in a way that works for your body. While some people are overly sensitive to certain fats, others are more sensitive to sodium or carbohydrates, and to lose weight, they have to balance each of those things in contrast with the way that their body works.
Dieting itself does not automatically indicate weight loss because it often leads to a cycle of depravation and indulgence, but that’s another article for another day. However, in any way you approach weight loss, balance is the key to being successful. Making fat the enemy in your diet because you associate it with being overweight isn’t going to make your diet successful or solve your problem. Knowing what works for your body and having some fat in moderation, along with a balanced diet, will make you happier and healthier in the end. So don’t think of fat as the enemy, but rather a part of the power that some foods have to make you feel fuller and can ultimately help you lose weight. Changing your mindset in regards to dieting is not easy but essential to success, as does taking time to research maintaining a healthy diet. The Internet is full of resources, and trusted sources like the Mayo Clinic website are good places to start. But also remember that what works for your body may not work for the next person. Taking time to design a diet that works for you is just as important as balancing out your diet, but don’t take the easy way out by blaming fat in foods as your enemy. Dieting is hard work but worth it and successful when done for the right reasons.