Did you know that your body NEEDS fat in order to function? Nutritionists and dieticians recommend that your diet is at least 20% to 25% fat, as that ensures that your body has the nutrients it needs to absorb antioxidants, calcium, and other vital minerals and vitamins.
When you cut fat from your diet, you often expect to see IMMEDIATE results. After all, eating fat is what causes your body to store more fat, right?
Where Fat Comes From
When you eat, your body turns the carbs and fats you eat into glucose–blood sugar. That glucose is sent to your muscles, where it is used for energy. When your muscles work, you burn that glucose as fuel. It provides your muscles with the power to contract and function, so glucose is a vital part of life.
However, your body can only use so much glucose. Only 400 to 500 calories of glucose can be stored in your body at any given time, but what happens if you eat more than 500 calories? Your body won’t eliminate the calories, but instead wants to hang on to them in case you need them later. What does it do? It turns them into fat!
Fat cells are made up of excess glucose, both from fat and carbs. It doesn’t matter if you eat 800 calories of fat or 800 calories of carbs, those excess calories are going to be turned into fat cells for your body to store. You’ll have them handy for when you need them later, but until you use them, they’re going nowhere but are instead kept in the form of fat.
Why Your Low Fat Diet Isn’t Working
So, given the understanding that your body stores excess carbs and fat as fat cells, are you starting to see the reasons why your low fat diet isn’t working? Let me help you understand further…
Let’s say you’re going on a low fat diet. You cut out MOST of the fat in your meals, eliminating most oils, fatty foods, nuts, seeds, and high-fat proteins. Your primary sources of fat are chicken, fish, and the natural fats found in vegetables, but everything else you eat is very high in carbs. You may look forward to weight loss, but HOW MUCH are you eating?
Remember that the average human burns about 2000 calories per day, but how many calories do you eat per day? There may be little or no fat in your diet, but eating too many calories of carbs and protein is just as bad as eating too many calories of fat. On your low fat diet, you’re guaranteed to eat a lot more sugar, both natural sugars and the sugar in the fat-free foods you eat. Sugar is actually worse than fat, and it will cause the formation of fat cells that are harder to burn.
Plus, when your body realizes that it’s not going to get more fat, it will hoard the fat it already has stored. You will produce plenty of glucose to burn for energy, but it will be much harder to activate the fat cells stored around your body in order to get rid of them. Your body is storing them because it senses that it is going through a period of “starvation”, not getting enough fat.
So, your low fat diet may not be working for a number of reasons:
- You’re eating too many calories
- You’re eating too much sugar
- Your body is trying to cling to the fat
A low-fat diet may not be the key to weight loss, but instead cutting calories will do the trick!