Thanks to an endless supply of information on the internet — much of which is misleading or downright false — it's difficult to understand how to eat to achieve your goals. For instance, if you want to learn how to eat for fat loss, some might suggest drastically reducing calories or opting for sugar-free foods and drinks. Let's cut through the garbage and get to the heart of how to eat for fat loss. Here are a few common myths, and conversely, tips for what you should really be doing instead.
3 Common Misconceptions About Fat Loss
Here are some of the most common fallacies about eating for fat loss.
1. Limiting Fat Intake Will Help You Lose Fat
This is one of the most common misunderstandings about shedding extra fat. Before you fall into the low-fat/fat-free diet trap, you must know healthy fats are an important dietary component our body's needs. Here's why.
- We need fat to completely absorb fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.
- Healthy fats provide and store energy for future use.
- Essential fatty acids are needed for the body’s growth and development.
- Research says our brains are made of 60% fat! Healthy fats are required for it to perform its operations.
- Fat help slows the breakdown of carbs and maintain our sugar level.
- They keep us feeling full and satiated, and help reduce cravings.
Subjecting your body to a long-term deprivation of fat could lead to undesirable health issues, including vitamin deficiencies and depression.
If you want to lose fat without succumbing to the unpleasant results of unhealthy diet practices, you must know how to eat for fat loss properly — this does not include cutting fat to dangerously low levels!
2. Too Many Calories is a No-No
To most people on a crash diet, lowering caloric intake is a shortcut to the "perfect" body. A big mistake.
A dangerously low caloric intake on a daily basis can result in rapid weight loss. But shedding fat this way is a pyrrhic victory — winning something at a terribly higher cost.
Rapid weight loss from low-calorie diets can lead to nasty results. One of them is gallstones. This happens when the body, deprived of calories, starts to get energy from stored fat. Our liver tries to counter this effect by producing more cholesterol. Very good then!
All hell breaks loose the moment cholesterol from the liver combines with bile. Over time, this kind of cholesterol-bile fusion will let itself manifest through gallstones. According to the Obesity Action Coalition, around 25% of people who go on crash diets develop gallstones.
This only scratches the surface. Don’t forget the slingshot effect dramatic calorie restriction has. When you deprive yourself for too long, your metabolism slows down to prevent you from starving. When you inevitably start adding calories back in, your body hangs on to every last one for dear life.
This is why people who go on crash diets often gain all the weight back very quickly — and then some. It's more common than you think. Gaining back more than what was lost happens to about 40% of people who go on crash diets, says the OAC.
3. Eating Nothing for as Long as Possible is Great for Losing Fat
While it’s true skipping meals reduces your calorie intake significantly, it isn’t a surefire way of losing fat in the long run.
For one, it makes you feel tired because of the lack of nutrients from having insufficient food intake. Also, tiredness combined with uncontrollable hunger pangs will eventually lead you to binge on extra sugary foods.
This often translates to unwanted weight gain.
Eating at the right intervals is crucial in order for your body to be able to perform all of its daily functions. Wait too long, and you might pay for it.
If you want to shed fat in a healthy manner and also in a way that allows you to keep it off long-term, here are a few helpful suggestions.
3 Cardinal Rules for How to Eat for Fat Loss
1. Reduce Your Carb Intake First
We already know fat is not the culprit for making you store that unwanted weight. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, play a bigger role.
It helps to understand the role of carbs. Our bodies use them as energy, particularly after a grueling workout. Carbs replenish your muscles and help you grow strong.
The problem arises when you consume more carbs than your activity level demands. In this case, your muscles aren't using the carbs, so they get stored as fat.
All you have to do is to know how to balance out your macronutrients. Cutting back on high-carb foods like refined grains and refined sugars that can be found in most sweet treats, such as cookies and cupcakes, will help you achieve your goals.
Starchy vegetables are okay in moderation, but remember that overeating even healthy foods can have a counter-productive result.
This is one of the things we love about paleo. It makes eating healthy so much easier because it's based on natural, wholesome foods. If you know your diet needs a lot of work, simply start by swapping out bad carbs for good ones. You'll likely feel a difference almost immediately.
2. Get Sufficient Protein
- a slow metabolism.
- difficulty building muscle.
- low energy.
- trouble sleeping.
If you think these are all connected to stubborn body fat, you're correct. Aim to get clean protein with each meal in the form of things like chicken and fish.
3. Go for Natural Foods, Not Processed
Do you wonder why you can’t find any articles describing our hunter-gatherer ancestors (AKA cavemen) as overweight? This is largely because of their diet: natural food. No drive-thrus. No processed snacks.
These are the kinds of foods they gathered from the wild, such as berries, vegetables, and fresh kill. They settled for this kind of life for many years until advanced farming and processing techniques were developed. Then everything changed.
Food processing drastically undermines the nutritional values of otherwise healthy foods. More often than not, food processing introduces refined sugar and unnecessary salt content into products to make them more likable yet less nutritious.
Care for a diet soda? Not a good option either. This seemingly safe drink for dieters has been recently linked to weight gain, among other scary side effects.
Clever marketing often leads to product labeling claiming the food inside is "all-natural," but the truth is this: if it comes in a package with a lengthy list of ingredients, read the label carefully, because it might not be all that healthy.
There's a lot to learn — we understand. That's why we want to make it easier on you. If you really want to eat for fat loss and better health but lack the time or ability to do so, Paleo Power Meals can help. We have all the expertise to craft the nutrition you need, and we will deliver your meals right to your door.
We ensure only the best quality foods for our valued customers. Try Paleo Power Meals today!