Do you need to eat more fat ?
On the one hand, this might sound like a funny question to ask. After all, most people are trying to lose fat, right? The traditional wisdom is that when you eat more fat it’s bad for you. However, this is not completely true. Actually, eating fat can provide many benefits that can help you reach your fitness goals and improve your overall health. By not eating enough fat, you could actually be keeping yourself from attaining peak physical form!
Now, to clarify, when I am referring to “fat” I’m referring to “good fats” like full fat dairy, nuts, olive oil, and avocado, to name a few sources. Think whole food sources!
So, are you eating enough fat? Here are 5 telltale signs that you could use more fat in your diet:
1. You’re hangry. “Hangry” is the term given to describe that feeling that you get when you’re so hungry that you get a little angry. If you’re experiencing this sensation on a regular basis, chances are you could benefit by upping your fat consumption. There are a few reasons why.
First, foods high in fat provide high satiety. This means that you won’t feel as hungry between meals, and you’ll have a more steady, slow-burning energy. To offer an example, it’s like the difference between eating a few eggs versus cereal for breakfast. While both might give you an initial energy boost, the higher-fat eggs are more likely to provide longer lasting energy.
Additionally, being “hangry” is often the result of overconsumption of foods high in sugar or carbohydrates. According to a Harvard study, by eating more healthy fats (such as nuts or full fat dairy), you may be able to reduce cravings for unhealthy foods such as refined carbohydrates.
2. You have no energy. Lower fat foods can cause you to crash and burn. Fat, on the other hand, can provide more sustained energy.
According to Human Kinetics, “Fat is the body’s most concentrated source of energy, providing more than twice as much potential energy as carbohydrate or protein.” As the article goes on to say, “During exercise, stored fat in the body (in the form of triglycerides in adipose or fat tissue) is broken down into fatty acids. These fatty acids are transported through the blood to muscles for fuel.” In a nutshell, by eating more fat, you’ll have a higher quality fuel source to energize your workouts. This means that you’ll get more bang for your buck, energy-wise.
3. Your weight loss has stalled. While there are multiple reasons why your weight loss may have stalled, insufficient fat could be to blame. In the New You Challenge, we put a lot of emphasis on nutrition, and help our clients create a meal plan that will provide the necessary nutrients to fuel their workouts and lifestyle.
For many, considering a diet such as the ketogenic diet, or trying a low carb meal plan such as the one offered by our partner, Diet-To-Go, can be of assistance in breaking through a weight loss plateau. By adjusting the amount of healthy fat in the diet in a safe and calculated way, you may find that you will get back on track with your weight loss goals.
4. Your skin is dried out. Dry skin (and hair, and eyes) can be a strong indicator that you’re not getting enough fat in your diet. Basically, when you’re getting a sufficient amount of fat in your diet, the body’s sebaceous glands secrete something called sebum. This is an oily substance that protects your skin and keeps it supple and hydrated. If you’re not getting enough fat in your diet, these glands get the message that you don’t have enough fat to spare, and less sebum is secreted. By increasing dietary fat, you can regulate the secretion of sebum and you may see improvements in your skin tone and overall moisture.
5. You’re having trouble thinking clearly. Did you know that there’s a connection between fat and cognitive function? This article details a study wherein scientists studied the link between fat consumption and brain function. As the study concludes, “Essentially, a diet high in monounsaturated fats altered the basic chemistry and electrical properties of the brain in such a way that learning was enhanced, age-related cognitive decline slowed and the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease was reduced.”
Did any of these symptoms ring true for you? If so, it’s possible that it’s time to re-evaluate how much fat you’re eating. By joining the New You Challenge, you’ll receive more in-depth nutritional counseling so that you can determine the proper amount of fat to consume to make your fitness goals a reality!
Are you eating enough fat?