On today’s episode, I’m talking about why low fat foods are making you fat.
Just because a food is marketed as “low fat” or “fat free”, it doesn’t mean it’ll help you lose weight.
In fact, in many cases these low fat foods are making you fatter.
First of all, let me clarify what I mean by low fat foods.
I’m classifying a low fat food as any food that naturally contains fat, but food manufacturers have removed it, and in most cases, replaced it with fat substitutes.
Yes, you heard right.
The low fat craze started back in the 1980’s.
As a headline, it made logical sense.
From a calorie perspective, dietary fat contains 9 calories per 1 gram of fat.
That’s over 2 times more than the 4 calories per gram found in protein and carbohydrates.
So to most people, it would make logical sense to fill your grocery cart with low fat foods, if your goal is weight loss.
Well food companies jumped all over this opportunity by removing the natural fat from it’s snack foods and replacing it with fat substitutes, sugar, and chemicals.
Remember, when you take an ingredient out of food, you have to add something back in.
To help maintain the taste and flavor, food manufacturers added in fat substitutes, sugar, and chemicals.
Even though, in many cases, this only lowered the calorie count slightly, it allowed the marketers to put “Low Fat” on the label, thus the diet crazed population jumped on board.
However, during this low fat craze, the population got fatter, and fatter, and fatter.
From a behavioral standpoint, people, especially those who are overweight, typically eat more food if they see a label that says “low fat”.
People assume, since it’s low fat, they can eat a bigger portion.
However, although the label says low fat, the actual difference in calories is usually pretty minimal.
Therefore people think they’re eating less calories, but they tend to overestimate the portion size, thus eating more.
Always read the nutrition label and portion out the food correctly based on your calorie needs.
Calories in, calories out, is important for weight loss.
But not all calories have the same affect on your body or your hunger.
Think about it.
What’s the point of eating low fat foods, if you over eat them, because they don’t fill you up, and in many cases, they increase your hunger.
This increased hunger causes you to consume more calories at the end of the day, than if you ate the full fat food.
Since dietary fat is very filling, you’re more likely to fill yourself up, thus eating less calories throughout the day.
Fortunately the health advantages of dietary fat is gaining speed due to the popularity of the paleo diet and ketogenic diet.
Plus, over the years, these fat substitutes have been receiving a lot of bad press due to their negative side effects.
Yes, I said anal leakage.
One of the most highly publicized issue was with a fat substitute called Olestra (brand name Olean).
Olestra was a fat substitute that was added to Frito Lays’ Wow low fat potato chips as well as Pringles Light.
Since people were told it was a “diet” food, many people over ate it, and reported anal leakage.
Due to these nasty side effects, Olestra is now banned in many countries, including Canada and the UK, but it is still found in snack foods in some countries.
First of all, low fat salad dressings are usually hidden sugar bombs, sometimes containing over 2 tbsp of hunger inducing sugar.
Secondly, lets be real, not many people eat salad because they enjoy the taste of vegetables.
They do it because they know vegetables are filled with healthy vitamins and minerals.
But guess what?
In order for your body to actually absorb a lot of those healthy vitamins, it requires a fat source.
Vitamins A, D, E, K are what we call, fat soluble vitamins, meaning the body needs a fat source to properly absorb them.
This is why you should always add a full fat healthy salad dressing to you salad.
Here’s a video on a healthy salad dressing recipe for weight loss.
Chemical and additive bombs filled with hydrogenated oils and soybean oil.
Stick with grass fed butter or coconut oil.
If you’ve earned it, have a cheat meal.
Don’t opt for the “diet” version because it just won’t satisfy you.
You’ll more likely to over consume it chasing after the satiating high.
Low Fat Chips Ahoy cookies are a great examples of this.
They are only slightly lower in calories, but they won’t fill you up.
So have a few full fat cookie and satisfy your cravings, rather than binging on a bunch of low fat, higher sugar cookies, that’ll do nothing more than make you hungrier.
Once again, when the hunger crushing fat is removed, the hunger spiking sugar is added back in.
Stop eating diet food and start eating real food.
If the food naturally contains dietary fat, eat it.
If you look at the nutrition label and can’t pronounce many of the ingredients, it’s a product, not food.
Healthy fats are your life-long friend, that can optimize your hormones, and keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day.
Embrace dietary fat, and get ready to wave good bye to your stored body fat.
If your goal is to lose weight or build muscle, there is a healthy and sustainable way to do it, and that’s what we show our group coaching clients over at TeamLiveLean.com.
Each week, we provide a new meal plan and delicious cooking recipe videos showing how to sustainably fuel your body with the necessary nutrients it needs to thrive, 365 days a year.
You’ll also get workouts and accountability from other people just like you.
If you’re not yet a member, it’s time.
Thanks for watching, and keep Living Lean.
Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.