It seems everyone I talk to recently wants to lose a little (or a lot) of weight. The problem is, no one I talk to is really sure the best way to go about it. For years we’ve been told if you want to weigh less, you need to eat less – as if our bodies were calorie bank accounts where exact calorie deficits equated to predictable pounds lost. We’ve also subscribed to the mantra You Are What You Eat which, unfortunately, has become synonymous with Eat Fat And You Will Get Fat. There is a ton of confusing, contradictory information out there and you aren’t alone if you feel like no one is telling you the truth.
One of the habits my clients and I work hard to establish is building a balanced plate at every meal. Most are astounded at the emphasis I place on including healthy fats in their daily diet. Everyone knows they need to eat plenty of vegetables and fruits to be healthy, but very few know how ESSENTIAL dietary fats really are. That’s right, you can not survive with out them. What many of my clients find even more surprising is the role healthy dietary fats play in appetite control, feelings of satiety, experiencing pleasure in eating, as well as achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
If you find you are having trouble losing weight, adding more food to your daily intake in the form of healthy fats may be just what you need to break your plateau and continue building a leaner, healthier, happier body. Oh, and as we mosey our way into the driest season of the year, a little extra fat in your diet will help keep your skin moisturized, your hair shiny, and your nails strong – all from the inside out!
Here are a few of my favorite places to get the healthy fats I need and love:
A daily fish oil supplement – Jam packed with the best source of Omega-3 fatty acids, a daily dose of high quality fish oil is a perfect way to start your day. Aim for 3g (3000 mg) of DHA + EPA (listed on the back of the bottle) per day. Not sure what to pick, try Bonfire liquid fish oil. Great taste, no handfuls of pills to swallow, and no fish burps. Click HERE to purchase, or here to read more.
Anything coconut – As in coconut oil, coconut milk, and good ol’ coconut meat. Rich in lauric acid (the same fat found in human breast milk), the saturated fat in coconuts can protect you from viral and bacterial infections as well as improve cholesterol ratios. Try cooking with coconut oil, blending coconut milk into a smoothie or stir-fry, or using unsweetened dried coconut flakes to bring texture and sweetness to your next recipe. Try this warm sweet breakfast recipe! Read more on the benefits of coconuts here and here.
Grass fed meat and butter – A healthy cow makes for a healthy meal. Unlike traditional grain fed meats, the fat of a grass fed animal (either meat or dairy sourced) is rich in healthy Omega-3 healthy fats.
Avocados – The fat in avocados (a.k.a the alligator pear) reduces inflammation in the body and increases absorption of fat soluble nutrients like carotenoids. They are also a rich source of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant essential in maintaining healthy skin, eyes, and immune system.
Olive oil – excellent for dressing salads and other veg, but not fantastic for cooking especially at high heat. The fats found in olive oil can actually help you break down your own body fat and use it for energy.
If you’d like to learn more about the different roles of protein and fat in the body click here. Want to know some other sources of healthy fats? Click here. Eating well, but still not losing? Try these simple tips from Mark’s Daily Apple.