Let me start with a statement.
Fats, any kind of fats, are not a weight loss food!
It is not some kind of weight loss supplement! Fats will not magically flatten your belly without you doing much else.
I’m on high fat diet (ketogenic diet). I’ve been on it for 5 years now, learning, failing and succeeding.
I love it. It keeps me the healthiest, the happiest and the leanest.
It took me a while to figure it out, but now I finally feel like I know what I’m doing.
I lost weight, I gained weight, I maintained weight eating plenty of fats. Different kinds of fats.
Animal and plant fats, processed and refined fats (Yes, olive oil is also a refined fat, since it doesn’t grow on a tree in a bottle), whole food fats, saturated and unsaturated, from all kinds of foods.
There are so many fats! So many fatty foods!
There are so many diets built around fat these days. Everyone likes to say, “Eat Fat — Get Lean”. Like, if you start adding all kinds of fats all over your food, it’s going to magically make you lose weight.
No! No! and No!
Fat is not a weight loss food!
Pouring oils all over everything you eat is not going to make you leaner. There are still calories, a lot of them! And adding thousands of calories of fat to your diet will not make you into a fitness model! Not gonna happen! No matter how good fats are for your hormones.
Kinds of fats.
Healthy VS Unhealthy.
Healthy fats are fats, WELL-PRESERVED, in good quality whole foods, animal or plant, or gently extracted and preserved without oxidization.
Healthy fats deliver nutrition from sources like olives and avocados, nuts and seeds, grass-fed or pastured, or wild land and marine animals.
Unhealthy fats are trans fats, short for “trans fatty acids,” trans fat appears in foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. And there are a few other types. Here is a list of good and bad for health fats from an MD doctor/nutritionist that I personally trust 100%. (Some fats might surprise you.)
You must eat only healthy fats — that should be clear. But here is a trick — a lot of healthy fats can be made unhealthy, by improper storing and cooking. That mostly goes to unsaturated fats like olive oil or sesame seed oil, fish oil, oils in most nuts and seeds (Nuts actually need to be stored with caution, not to oxidize the precious fats and to prevent growth of different microorganisms, that easily can make you sick — I store all my nuts in the fridge.)
Olive oil must be stored in a cool dark place — that’s why dark bottles are a MUST!
Saturated fats, like coconut oil, like butter or lard, are not that gentle, you can cook with them at high temperatures and store them on a shelf.
Now we know, what fats are good to eat for health.
But what about weight loss?
How to eat fats too lose weight?
Many beginners make a mistake, thinking fats, no matter where they come from, are all the same, and somehow all the hype about high fat diets made it possible to eat unlimited amount of fats, magically losing weight.
As I wrote in an earlier blog, different macronutrients and different types of food require different amount of energy, to be digested and used for energy and other needs of our bodies.
“On average, a person uses about 10% of their daily energy expenditure digesting and absorbing food, but this percentage changes depending on the type of food you eat.
Protein takes the most energy to digest (20–30% of total calories in protein eaten go to digesting it). Next is carbohydrates (5–10%) and then fats (0–3%).
Thus, if you eat 100 calories from protein, your body uses 20–30 of those calories to digest and absorb the protein. You’d be left with a net 70–80 calories. Pure carbohydrate would leave you with a net 90–95 calories, and fat would give you a net 97–100 calories.”
Fats take the least amount of energy to digest and absorb as a macronutrient, delivering THE MOST amount of energy per gram (9 calories VS 4 calories in proteins and carbohydrates).
But that is not the end of the story.
Let’s say you eat the same amount of fat from walnuts and from pure olive oil right from the bottle.
To get the fats out of nuts, your body has to work pretty hard breaking down all that fiber and anti-nutrients, that most nuts tend to have, that also make the digestion harder.
And then olive oil. It requires almost no digestion power, compared to walnuts.
And if your main fat source is refined oils and butters of all sorts — guess what? You gonna be adding a hell lot of calories, without your body having to do essentially any work.
Compare fish oil and fatty fish, with all the protein that takes energy to digest in fish, all the muscle fibers — animal flesh takes digestive energy to break down and to get the fats out.
Sometimes it’s just about the numbers. Hidden numbers, that we don’t understand.
It’s very confusing and nobody seems to talk about it.
Fats from foods and fats from bottles and packages are not the same!
And refined fats (bottled and packaged fats) are so much easier to overeat! I guess disaster pants may stop you from drinking a bottle of coconut oil on the spot, but over the course of the day? You might easily consume lots and lots of oils and butters without digestive distresses stopping you from doing so.
I lose weight easy, when I eliminate all the refined fats, all the bottled and packaged fats.
And yes, it goes to bulletproof coffee too, and even 100% chocolate, unless it’s chewing unrefined cacao beans.
Somehow in biohacking circles especially, adding butter and oil to coffee and all kinds of healthy creamers almost by the cup, became the norm, a weight loss brain enhancing cure, that is supposed to magically shred our belly fat.
It’s still pure refined fat, that has A LOT of energy, energy that will keep your ass bigger than you want.
I lose weight very easy, when I eat my fats ONLY from foods, the only exception being 2–3 spoons of olive oil dressing in my salad. My favorite fat sources are fatty fish (sardines, herring, mackerel, salmon, anchovies), olives, avocados, coconuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, eggs, pistachios.
Not a huge fan of a lot of saturated fats from animal foods, that’s a personal preference, and it seems to work best for my health and energy levels, and for many people, when their health is a concern, plus it’s better and more sustainable way to eat for the environment.
To lose weight on a high fat diet (ketogenic diet), without counting anything I do 3 things:
I eat fats only from whole foods I mentioned above.
All my carbohydrates come from non-starchy vegetables.
I eat a huge salad with a lot of fresh greens every day.
Bonus tip for accelerated returns: I eat in a time-restricted window, consuming calories only 6 hours a day.
For many of my clients 10 hour eating window works perfectly.
You don’t get healthy and stay healthy.
HEALTH is a DAILY PRACTICE. One bite at a time.
Daily Bite of Health
LEARN TO EAT FATS.