When it comes strictly to weight loss, the best diet will always be the one that allows you to stay the most consistent. The energy balance equation primarily dictates weight loss and weight gain over an extended period. Burn more calories than you consume on average, and you will lose weight. Consume more calories than you burn, and you will gain weight.
This is why when it comes to dieting for weight loss, the best diet is ultimately just the diet that makes it easiest for you to stay in a caloric deficit. For some people, that might be a low-carb diet, while for others, it might be low-fat. It all depends on which foods you enjoy more and which foods you can limit your consumption of without requiring too much discipline.
Does this mean that food quality doesn’t matter? Of course not. The nutrient density and quality of your food play a crucial role in your overall health, but calories matter most when we talk specifically about weight loss and weight gain.
That said, is there something about a low-fat approach to dieting that isn’t ideal for someone that is looking to lose weight without sacrificing their overall health?
The foods we eat are all made up of fat, carbs, and protein. For the most part, everyone agrees that protein is essential. Most people also acknowledge that carbs are our body’s preferred energy source. But what about fat? Does fat just make us fat, or is there something else to this macronutrient that makes it more essential than we may realize?
You’ll love how you feel if you ditch sugary snacks and substitute good fats, instead
Unfortunately, fat has been villainized by Big Food over the past few decades to move people away from whole foods like meat and eggs so that they can sell us more of their processed junk. Over-sweetened fat-free yogurts, fat-free cereals, and low-fat processed margarine have been huge money-makers for Big Food, mainly at the expense of our health.
The truth is that fat is an incredibly crucial component of a healthy diet. We need healthy fats for optimal hormone health and proper cell function. Studies have shown that low-fat diets in men lead to a significant drop in testosterone levels. In women, low-fat diets can decrease estrogen levels, which can cause symptoms of estrogen deficiency (insomnia, night sweats, heart palpitations) at any age.
The key takeaway? As we get closer to the New Year, you might start thinking about how you’ll approach your nutrition to start the year on a healthy note. First of all, you could always begin to make minor incremental improvements to your nutrition now instead of waiting to make radical changes come Jan 1. Just a thought.
But if you are considering trying a weight loss program anytime soon, be weary of anything that is very low-fat. While it might lead to short-term weight loss, cutting out healthy fats from your diet is not the best idea and can lead to some serious implications for your overall health. We love good fats and you should, too!
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