As mentioned in my previous post “why you don’t need exercise to lose weight,” calories are the main factor behind either gaining or losing body weight. The same exact logic applies to this topic. So how come there are so many products marketed as low fat? And why does everyone avoid eating it when they are trying to lose weight?
Firstly, calories are actually made up of three types of macro-nutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fats. Both the protein and carbohydrate groups contain 4 calories per gram, while-as fat contains a whopping 9 calories per gram.
So the reality is, 1 gram of fat contains just over 2 times the calories that can be found in 1 gram of protein or carbohydrates. Theoretically, by reducing the amount of fat you eat, you are also reducing the amount of calories consumed per day. This is why you see so many ‘low fat products’ – but fat is not the enemy, calories are. In fact, there is often much more sugar and simple carbohydrates found in low fat products than their full-fat counter-parts. And we all know how consuming too much sugar can be detrimental to your health.
As long as you are eating less calories per day than your body requires, you are going to lose weight – yes, even if every single one of those calories come from fat!
Though doing that is not advisable, as each specific macro-nutrient plays an important role in keeping our body running. And believe it or not, fat actually helps keeps us fuller for longer. So if you are attempting a low-fat diet, perhaps this could be the reason behind why you’re always hungry?
I’ve personally found that severely restricting the fats in my diet leaves me feeling unsatisfied with meals and also often very lethargic. Fat is actually vital for our brains to function properly! It is recommended to include a variety of fat sources in your diet such as avocados, nuts and oils.
And the next time you reach for that low-fat labeled snack, just remember that fat does not make you fat!