How to Lose Body Fat Quickly by Eating Healthy Fats
Here’s a quick primer on how you become overweight and obese. You take in calories with your meals, and your body uses those calories for energy. However, your body doesn’t use all the calories, which happens when you don’t exercise enough. So your body converts those calories into stored fat. Thus, it’s simple enough to understand how to lose body fat. You need to limit your calorie intake and increase your physical activity so that your body is then forced to burn off the stored fat for energy to compensate.
The Shocking News: You Have to Eat Fat to Lose Fat
On the face of it, this doesn’t make sense. It’s like being told that to get rid of the poison in your body and you have to ingest more poison to get rid of the poison already in your system. How does that even work? After all, a lot of “healthy” consumer food items these days advertise themselves as low-fat or even no-fat products.
The real truth is that you actually need dietary fat if you want to remain healthy. Dietary fat is different than the stored fat in your body. In addition, there are different types of fat and some are healthier for you than others. More than 50 years ago, scientists discovered that saturated fatty acids were unhealthy, as they raised your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. But the unsaturated fats can be good for you, such as the monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids.
As for the low-fat and non-fat food and drinks, they don’t really work when it comes to weight loss and preventing obesity. It’s no coincidence that the fads on low-fat items came hand in hand with rising obesity rates. You simply need fat in your diet to remain healthy. In fact, eating fat can help you get rid of the body fat you’ve stored in your system.
How Fat Burns Fat
Let’s start by acknowledging the 3 basic nutrients that your body needs for energy. These are protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Fat isn’t just a minor requirement either. In fact, you get double the energy from a gram of fat compared to a gram of the other 2 nutrients.
When you ingest calories, your body burns these calories and turns them into energy. However, this process of burning calories requires energy as well, and that energy comes from fat.
You need the fat to maintain your metabolism, and it’s important that your body burns as much calories as possible. The faster your body burns calories, the more likely that your body will then burn your fat cells for energy if you have fewer calories in your diet than the amount of calories your body needs.
It has been found that fatty acids do indeed improve your metabolism. When you eat fat, you burn off calories more quickly, and therefore you’ll tend to burn stored body fat for energy because you ran out of calories.
It has also been revealed that your body can’t really burn off the stored fat properly without the help of the new dietary fat. The new fat in your food activates various compounds in the liver that assists in breaking down your fat cells more efficiently.
How to Lose Body Fat by Eating The Right Fat
Now just because you need dietary fat doesn’t mean all fats are good. Some fats are better than others, and others are just downright bad for you.
So what are healthy fats? The good fats to eat you have to include in your diet are:
1. Unsaturated Fatty Acids
These are the fats that aren’t saturated with hydrogen. You have the monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) as part of the healthy fats list.
For MUFAs, you can eat avocados, olives, seeds, and nuts, and you can cook with vegetable oil. Vegetable oils also contain PUFAs, and this type of fat can also be found in fish and other types of seafood. Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the essential types of PUFAs that you can only get from your diet, and you can get lots of these from salmon and tuna.
Another essential PUFA is Omega-6. It is true that it’s one of the healthy fats to eat. But the problem is that you’re probably already eating too much of it. Omega-6 is an ingredient of just about most of the foods we consume. It’s in restaurant food, fast food, and packaged foods. We use it to cook and bake food at home.
What you have to understand is that like everything else you need fat in moderation, and you need a proper ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3. You can get by with a 2 to 1 or even a 4 to 1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3. Others can consume more Omega-3 than Omega-6.
Unfortunately, modern diets are full of Omega-6 fatty acids so that current ratios for most people are 16 to 1. This is why lots of advice columns call for you to eat more Omega-3-rich foods like salmon.
2. Saturated Fatty Acids
These fatty acids are solid at room temperature because they’re saturated with hydrogen. You can find these fats in meat as well as in dairy products like cheese and butter. You can also find saturated fats in some types of vegetable oils, like palm oil and coconut oil.
The key to keeping yourself healthy is to consume limited amounts of these fatty acids. It’s also important to get your fatty acids from healthier sources.
3. Trans Fatty Acids
These are also referred to as “partially hydrogenated” oils. Whatever it’s called, you can just call it bad for your health. These are vegetable oils that have been chemically processed so that food manufacturers can make more money.
These are used in processed foods, fried foods, and in some types of margarine so that the food taste and texture improves, and the foods also have a longer shelf life. However, these improvements come at the expense of your health.
You have to avoid these trans fatty acids and partially hydrogenated oils like you would avoid a deranged homicidal maniac. They’re just going to kill you in the end.
However, there’s CLA, which is a kind of trans fat that’s actually good for you. It helps keep your heart healthy and it also reduces abdominal fat.
Other Benefits of Healthy Fats
We’ve already covered how dietary fats can help get rid of the stored fat in your body. The fat provides the energy you need to burn the calories, and the fat also enables your body to burn off your stored body fat more efficiently.
However, healthy fats can make you healthier and slimmer in other ways:
1. Fat Enables Your Body to Absorb Other Nutrients You Need
Your body needs many different types of vitamins to function properly. When you don’t get enough of a certain type of vitamin, the deficiency can lead to various types of health problems. Your blood may clot abnormally, your muscles may ache, bones cab turn brittle, and skin can dry up. You can even go blind!
Keep in mind, however, that some of these important vitamins are fat-soluble. These include vitamins A, D, E, and K. Your body can absorb these vitamins with fat. Without enough fat, you don’t absorb the vitamins and you end up with a vitamin deficiency.
When you have proper amounts of these vitamins in your body, you gain various benefits that contribute to your overall health. With vitamin D, you’re able to lose more fat, especially from your belly. Vitamin E helps with your metabolism, and it’s also a strong antioxidant that combats the ravages of aging. These fat-soluble vitamins keep your muscles healthy, enable you to focus better, and provide you with energy to keep you going.
2. Fat Encourages Muscle Growth
Building muscles is important to your health. It doesn’t just make you stronger and more attractive. Having bigger muscles also increases your metabolism so you can consume calories at a faster rate.
It is true that if you really want to build bigger muscles, you need to use resistance training and lift weights. However, you get much better muscle growth when you combine healthy fats with your workout than if you neglect to include these fats in your diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids and other PUFAs are especially helpful for muscle growth. These fats boost protein concentration and increase the size of your muscle cells. For older adults, the benefits also include countering the loss of muscle mass that often accompanies aging.
3. The Fat Helps You Feel Full
When you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t want to feel hungry again just a few moments after eating a meal. That can lead to overeating and this can obviously derail your weight management efforts. It’s hard to keep the pounds off if you feel hungry all the time.
But when you have fats in your diet, you can feel full for a longer period of time. It really isn’t all that easy to digest fat quickly. So it stays in your digestive system for a longer period of time compared to other nutrients.
When you have MUFAs with your meals, these fats can help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Eat more omega-3 fatty acids and you feel a lot fuller after you eat. This can last for 2 hours straight after eating, so you’re more likely to keep to your diet because you don’t feel hungry as often as when you don’t have enough fat in your diet. If you want to know how to lose body fat, it helps if you don’t have cravings all the time.
4. Fat Counteracts Bad Moods
Lots of people eat a lot when they’re depressed or not feeling well emotionally. This is understandable since when you’re feeling blue there are very few things that can boost your spirits like your favorite flavor of ice cream or a slice of what you feel is the best pizza in your neighborhood.
Countless millions of people are emotional eaters. What’s more, 2% of men and 3.5% of women have been diagnosed with binge-eating disorders. That’s 3.1 million men and 5.7 million women who have this binge-eating disorder.
However, you’re less likely to feel upset when you regularly have healthy fats in your meals. That’s because when you eat a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, you also increase the serotonin levels in your brain. Serotonin boosts your mood so you don’t crave comfort food, and it also helps to bolster your motivation so you’re less tempted to stray from your diet.
Which Food Items Have Healthy Fats?
Now that we’ve established the importance of healthy fats for your health and weight management efforts, you should then make sure that you regularly include the following food items in your diet. These foods with healthy fats can help make sure that you have enough fats to maintain your health and proper weight.
1. Coconut Oil
This is what you should use when you cook your food with oil. The saturated fat it contains mostly comes from the lauric acid. This is a compound that improves your cholesterol levels, fights off bacteria, and even boosts your body's energy use by 5%.
2. Grass-fed Beef
The healthy fats it contains keeps your heart healthy, reduces “bad” cholesterol, and even reduces abdominal fat.
3. Dark Chocolate
The fat it contains takes more time to digest, so you feel full for a longer time and you can stave off hunger. It’s also full of antioxidants that combat aging.
While you should keep it to half an avocado for each meal at the most, the fats it contains are good for you. It can suppress your hunger pangs, plus you also get fiber and protein.
5. Whole Eggs
The egg white contains the protein, but the yolk has the good fats that lower “bad” cholesterol. Eggs also contain choline that fights off your body’s tendency to store fat around your liver.
These stimulate genes that reduce fat storage.
7. Wild Salmon
Go for the pink salmon and not the farmed Atlantic salmon. It’s full of omega-3s.
So now you know how to lose body fat — there are bad fats and there are good fats which you really need. Make sure you get the good types of fat into your diet if you want to remain healthy and to keep the excess pounds off your frame. Eat good fats and you can say goodbye to your body fat at last!