I was born just before the explosion of ready meals, fast food and added sugar and as a result of this I joined in fully – Birds Eye roast dinners in a tin foil tray, crisps, sandwiches, new mega chocolate bars and the list goes on. So it was no real surprise that I then joined in fully with the next new thing which was dieting. Slim fast, F plan, South Beach, Weight Watchers, Slimming World I tried them all – and they worked. It wasn’t until I stopped trying at them that I put all the weight back on and more.
It wasn’t easy though – each day on these diets was a struggle – I decided that it must be me – I was just greedy I could eat all my ‘allowed’ food for the day and still be looking for ‘free’ snacks – I could eat masses of fruit and low fat yogurt and still be on the look out for more.
Imagine my distress, when I was told that on a low carb ketogenic diet you had to increase your fat intake? That was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard as we all know that fat makes you fat – every diet that I had ever been on had instilled that in me and the government backed it up. Even when I wasn’t ‘on a diet’ I would avoid too much, cream, cheese etc. However, I didn’t want to have seizures anymore and the nutritionist warned me that one of the side effects was weight loss, so I gave it a go.
I distinctly remember sitting with a bulletproof coffee (coffee, cream, coconut oil and butter whizzed up) and every sip was making me feel fatter. But guess what? I lost weight. The appetite that I had all my life disappeared, and my meals got smaller and the gaps between eating got longer. So I decided to find out why.
So for anyone struggling trying to do low carb and low fat, or who just can’t bring themselves to eat more fat here it is (in a nutshell).
When we eat carbs OR too much protein (that is turned into glucose to store it) :
- Insulin is produced to take away any excess glucose that we don’t need, to store it as fat in our cells.
- While the insulin is in our blood we can’t access the energy already stored as fat in our cells.
- For a little while we have no energy from the food we ate and none from our cells.
- Appetite hormones are produced because, if we had to run away for survival we’d have no energy.
- We eat more high carb foods.
- Insulin is produced etc.
When we eat fat:
- We use it for energy and it makes us feel full (as it promotes the hormone that does that)
- We get used to using fat for energy.
- We become ‘fat adapted’.
- When there’s no food around, we are able to access fat from our cells as there isn’t loads of insulin around stopping us, so the hormone that makes us hungry is balanced and we aren’t constantly hungry.
- We lose weight.
Let me give you an example – before eating low carb, I would wake up hungry and ready for breakfast, eat breakfast and then get hungry again before lunch, eat a snack and then have lunch etc etc. Now on the weekend I don’t wake up hungry, have a coffee with cream and forget to eat until lunch time. So you can see how this might help me to lose weight?
It’s so refreshing to not constantly be on the look out for food, and to be able to look at chips, crisps, chocolate etc and not feel like I’m losing out because I’m ‘on a diet’ – as I’m really not that bothered.
If you are worried about cholesterol (which is a whole other blog post) in 1997, Ancel Keys, the originator of the flawed hypothesis about fat and cholesterol, conceded that “there’s no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in food and cholesterol in the blood.” It is fat and sugar together which cause a problem and you have cut the sugar by cutting the carbs.
So give it a go, up the good fats like coconut oil, olive oil, butter, ghee, and animal fats and watch your appetite disappear and if you need any help or advice just let me know.