This may come across as the most contradictory advice you’ve ever received with regards to burning fat and losing weight: you need to eat more fat. Whoa! That sounds preposterous. To the uninitiated, the concept of eating fat to burn fat seems hard to get their heads around. Let us explain!
What We Talk About When We Talk About Fats
First off, when I talk about fats, I’m referring to the healthy fats your body needs to function, not sugar-laden cakes, pies or fried and salty fare such as French fries and potato chips. Healthy fats include avocados, cheese, whole eggs, nuts, chia seeds, and extra virgin olive oil.
You require these healthy fats for your bodily functions. They help your body burn fat.
Proteins, carbs, and fats are the three main nutrients your body needs to keep energized. If you weren’t aware, fat has more energy than the other two nutrients. To put it simply: if you don’t eat enough fat in your daily diet, your body will not be able to effectively burn fat. In other words, foods that are high in healthy fats increase your metabolic rate.
Another advantage of eating healthy fats – especially nuts and avocados – is that these foods make you feel full and you’ll not want to snack between meals. Cutting out – or severally reducing – snacking is one of the best ways to achieve your weight loss goals. Each day, it is recommended to eat at least three foods that are high in fat.
Regularly consuming healthy fats and exercising (either weightlifting or cardio) will increase your muscle mass, which in turn acts as an effective weapon against weight gain.
The consumption of fat increases your body’s metabolic rate, as well as the size of your muscle cells and protein, made up in the body. Fatty acids help to drive muscle protein synthesis, which helps you maintain your body’s muscle mass as you get older.
There are many other benefits that come with eating healthy fats, especially those with unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats lower cholesterol, prevent the buildup of plaque in your arteries, and boosts brain function and production.
More Fats, Less Carbs
These days, many people are concerned about carb consumption. Eating more fat also means you will want to consume fewer carbs, which is essential for weight loss and muscle gains.
By eating fewer carbohydrates and consuming higher amounts of healthy fats, you will lower your body’s overall insulin levels. This, in turn, enables your body to have easier access to fat stores for energy while fueling your muscles.
The Bottom Line?
Since the 1970s, there has been a persistent myth among health care professionals and fitness experts that the key to controlling calories and losing weight is by cutting fat completely from the human diet.
This has turned out to be a fallacy, as in recent years we’ve learned that by eating certain healthy fats, we are able to actually lose body fat and increase muscle mass.
So, there you have it – the truth about healthy fats and why it is crucial for you to consume more of them to maintain weight loss and build muscle.