When we think of fat, many of us believe that it’s something to avoid eating. However, many don’t realize that there are several health benefits to including fat in a diet. In fact — it can lead to weight loss and an increase in energy! Fat is a vital nutrient, and a body needs it to function correctly. Dietary fat provides fatty acids which makes skin healthy, bodily functions more regulated, and vitamins more easily absorbed. Besides helping a body optimally perform, it has many other benefits. Ever heard of the keto diet? This diet, if done correctly, can help people transform their health. For people who are having issues losing weight, are struggling with diabetes and other health conditions, the keto diet may reverse these conditions. If we’ve piqued your interest check out the Body Reboot book and keep reading to find out why this high fat, low carb diet requires dieters to eat a lot of fat (which is okay!) to succeed.
Vitagene gives us some quick keto facts so that you can begin to understand why fat plays a vital role in this diet. Even though there are various kinds of keto diets, it’s hard to deny that this diet can lead to positive, healthy changes.
Ketosis occurs when the body is denied access to glucose, its main fuel source. In ketosis, stored fat is broken down for energy, producing ketones. Some people use a ketogenic diet to lose weight by forcing their body to burn surplus fat stores.The ketogenic diet was originally developed in the 1920’s to treat epilepsy but was inadvertently discovered to offer many other health benefits.
There are multiple variations of the ketogenic diet.
Types of Ketogenic Diets
Classic Keto: The strictest form of keto, classic keto requires a 4:1 ratio of fats to carbs or protein. This is a structured, individualized plan in which your diet will consist of 90% fat. Foods are usually weighed when following this regimen.
Modified Keto: The modified version of the diet is intended to be less restrictive. It might be a good place to start if you’re new to keto, or if you’ve done classic keto for a long time and you’re trying to taper down to a more sustainable, long-term eating regimen.
MCT: This version allows for a higher protein and carb intake than classic keto. MCT is short for Medium Chain Triglycerides, or highly ketogenic man-made fats.
Modified Atkins: Carbs are limited in modified Atkins, while fat is encouraged. Protein is not limited at all. When you do consume carbs on this diet, fats should accompany them.
Intermittent Fasting: This dietary intervention launches the body into ketosis by shortening the window of time that you eat during the day. For instance, you may only eat during an 8-hour window of the day, and fast for the other 16 hours. This forces the body to burn energy from fat.
We all want a better shot at losing weight and Eat the Butter says you can lose more weight by going on a high fat, low carb diet. Read below to find out how the body responds when you cut back on carbs and instead eat more carbs.
Our bodies are incredibly complex. Hormones play a huge part in regulating everything, and body weight is no different. It turns out that if you want to burn your own body fat for energy (which is essential if you want to lose weight), you must have low insulin levels. Insulin, you see, tells fat cells to pull fatty acids out of the blood and to keep fat in the fat cells. Whenever you eat carbohydrates, you body floods your bloodstream with insulin. So eating more carbohydrates means less time in fat burning mode. Which means more fat accumulation in the fat cells. Which means hunger and weight gain. Eating more fat and fewer carbohydrates means easier fat burning, less hunger, and a better shot at losing weight.
The Washington Post discusses a few studies that disclose how much weight people can lose on the keto diet and what bodily functions it can help improve. It’s pretty incredible what the studies show!
The ketogenic diet gets its name from a process called ketosis. Ketosis happens when your body doesn’t have enough energy from glucose (carbohydrates), so it adapts by using stored fat for energy. The result? Weight loss.
One study, for example, compared the impact of a ketogenic diet (where participants ate less than 20 grams of carbohydrates a day) to a low-glycemic-index diet (where participants reduced their caloric intake by 500 a day) on weight loss in 49 obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes. After six months, the group on the keto diet lost an average of 24.5 pounds, while the low-glycemic-index group lost 15.2 pounds.
But a recent meta-analysis combining the results of 13 randomized-control trials (1,415 participants) of a year or longer found that people on a ketogenic diet lost an average of two pounds more after a year and improved their triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and blood pressure compared to those on a low-fat diet. However, when the researchers looked at studies that followed participants for two years, they found that HDL improved more in the keto diet group but that there was no difference in weight loss between the groups.
As we mentioned at the very beginning, eating a lot of fat can vastly improve your health. Even though Very Well Fit promotes eating fat, if you’re on the keto diet don’t be afraid to add more than a “drizzle” of olive oil or just a “little bit” of creamy dressing. On the keto diet get enough fat, and you’re likely to lose more weight (which has serious health benefits).
Even when we use healthy meal preparation methods, we usually like to add a little bit of fat for flavor. Let's face it, everything tastes better with a pat of butter on top or a drizzle of olive oil.
From healthful foods like veggies to guilty pleasures like dinner rolls, we are naturally inclined to prefer the taste of food when we add fat. It's just human nature to want to eat creamy, fatty foods.
So, if adding a little bit of creamy dressing helps you to eat salad instead of a hamburger and fries, then do it, but choose your fat wisely and eat it in moderation (just a tablespoon or two of dressing!) And if your vegetables go untouched unless a little butter is applied, then add a small amount to make your veggies taste better.
You can also make smarter choices to keep fat in your diet.
Boosting your metabolism is excellent, which is why Men’s Health mentions that consuming fat can improve it. Eating fat can also stop you from snacking which is a huge downfall for many people.
Fats can boost your metabolism
The body requires three macronutrients for energy – carbohydrates, protein and fats. A gram of fat provides the body with twice the amount of energy of the other two. Once the energy obtained from carbohydrates is spent, the body would turn to the calories from fat as a source of energy, leaning out the body. Additionally, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that stubborn “old” fat stored in the body’s peripheral tissues around the belly, thighs and butt, can’t be burned without the consumption of “new” dietary fat. When consumed, the nutrient helps to break down the existing fat by activating PPAR-alpha (the protein that revs up metabolism) and fat-burning pathways through the liver.
Fats can stop you from snacking
Foods replete with healthy (unsaturated) fat like nuts and avocados are more filling in nature. Fats are extremely satiating, preventing you from overeating or snacking before your next meal. According to researchers at the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition, when fat is consumed by the body, cholecystokinin (CCK) and the gut hormone peptide YY (PYY) is released in the body. These two hormones join forces to cause a decrease in appetite, suppress hunger and make you feel full. Hence, you are less likely to snack between meals or overeat.
Even though you can eat all types of fats on the keto diet, Mind Body Green reminds us that healthy fats are the way to go. Eat a diet high in fat and your metabolism will improve and you’ll start shedding the weight!
Studies show that healthy fats, not militant calorie counting or low-fat diets, can help you get lean. In human experiments, those who ate high-fat diets had a much faster metabolism. Low-fat, high-carb diets spiked insulin, subsequently slowing metabolism and storing as belly fat. The higher-fat diet group had a faster metabolism, even while eating the same amount of calories.
Other research, conducted by Dr. David Ludwig and his Harvard colleagues, compared high-fat, low-carb diets with high-carb, low-fat diets in a controlled feeding study (where researchers provide all the food). Again, the high-fat group did better.
It’s time to lose weight, improve your health, and start making healthy life changes. Eating fat is the keto to being successful on the keto diet, and we can help you get there! The Body Reboot book explains how to make that happen. If you want a free book all you have to do is help us cover shipping and visit this page to get your free copy today!
Sources: Vitagene, The Washington Post, VeryWell Fit, Mind Body Green, NCBI: “Effects of dietary composition on energy expenditure during weight-loss maintenance.” JAMA 2012, Eat The Butter, Men’s Health
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