One of the most common misconceptions in dieting is that a high-fat diet will make you gain weight. Of course, eating lots of calories will likely put you in a caloric surplus, making weight-gain inevitable. However, the likes of butter, nuts & eggs have all been demonised in the past into being foods you should use sparingly – and thus a negative image has been developed on fatty foods!
In terms of calories, fat contains far more calories than other macro-nutrients such as carbs & protein. 1g of fat contains 9 calories, whereas protein & carbs contain 4 calories per gram. Even alcohol contains less calories per gram than fat! Therefore, a diet very high in fats, without monitoring carbs & protein consumption, will likely leave you in a caloric surplus and cause you to gain weight through muscle or fat.
The golden rule is calories in versus calories out. So it seems to make sense to restrict your fat-consumption the most, seeing as this is the most calorie-dense macronutrient. However, your body is a complex machine and each food source causes different reactions in it, and this is why we need to re-examine our weight-loss strategies. Fats are necessary folks!
1. BRAIN & HUNGER FUNCTION
Studies have found that eating high-levels of fats can shut off your brain’s hunger and craving centre. This is massively important as this will significantly reduce the overall amount of calories you’ll eat and prevent you from snacking – most people’s kryptonite in reaching their fitness goals.
2. BOOST YOUR METABOLISM
Fats can also help boost your metabolism. The body requires energy to keep its metabolism properly functioning, and a 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming fatty acids can boost metabolic health. So by consuming certain fats, you’ll actually aid your metabolism on its quest to burn calories!
3. AVOID FAT-STORING INSULIN SPIKES
Finally, a diet high in fat will often see a drop in your consumption of carbohydrates. Those who train & exercise are more meticulous about getting a certain level of protein consumed than they are their other two macro-nutrients. A diet high in carbohydrates means that your blood sugar levels are unlikely to be stable throughout the day (carbs can cause spikes in insulin – causing fat-storage). Swapping out some sugar for some healthy, brain-boosting fats will stabilise your blood sugar and help you keep leaner at the same level of caloric consumption!