Fats are a trendy source of exclusion for most fad diets. However, they are as important as carbs and proteins and with the correct type and balance of portions, can be a game changer for one’s health. Read on to learn why fats are a necessary part of one’s daily diet and how they can help most fitness goals with regards to weight loss.
Step One: Know What You Are Messing With!
Fats (I’m referring to the unsaturated good fats) help aid in providing one’s body with energy, hormone regulation and brain function, eye function and help prevent ailments such as heart disease, strokes, depression and arthritis.
With recent segments of Dr. Oz talking about the importance of essential fatty acids, and EFFA’s supplementation decreasing one’s waist size almost instantly. This is true, but does not necessarily mean these supplements are true fat burners by themselves. However, they are aids in completing a balanced diet and contributing to all of the above health benefits, allowing one’s body and metabolism to burn calories efficiently.
What are the different types of fats and where do we find them?
Saturated fats (also known as animal fats) are found in animal products such as cheese, milk, butter, eggs, cream and meat. Mammals (warm-blooded) incorporate some saturated fats into tissues to keep them more solid. In contrast to cold-blooded fish and plants, these species cannot include saturated fat because they would become too stiff.
Monounsaturated fats are the primary unsaturated fats and are found particularly in foods such as olive oil, peanuts and avocados.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in plant foods such as nuts, seeds and vegetable oils, and in cold-blooded sea-foods. In natural foods, they come protected with antioxidant vitamins. There are two main classes polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6. These include the essential fatty acids. Oily fish (e.g. herring, salmon and mackerel) is a good source of omega-3, while omega-6 is mainly found in plant foods such as sunflower oil and grapeseed oil.
Trans fats can be natural or artificial. They are mostly artificially created through a process known as hydrogenation (which involves heating and chemical structure change). Artificial trans fats are mostly found in fast foods, fried foods and commercial baked products such as cookies and are the most unhealthy fats (even worse than saturated fats!). Natural trans fats can be found in small amounts in milk and beef, and in quite large concentration in cheese.
How do I burn fat with fats?
Clearly fats can be over or under done. Leading to either a reduction in these functions or body fat storage if over used. So let’s discuss what roughly makes up the appropriate amount of daily fats.
To establish a rough estimate of daily calorie allowance for calories, take your weight and multiply that number by 15. This puts you in a healthy maintenance level if eating from lean proteins, complex carbs and good fats. Then, depending on your goal, you can deduct around 500 calories for weight loss or add calories for contributing to lean mass gain (Of course this is assuming one is implementing the ideal exercise program for target goal). Next, to establish fat calories, multiply your target goal, calorie allowance by 20%. Then take this number and divide it up by 5-6, depending on how many meals you are having throughout the day. Now you know what serving size of fat calories you can have per meal.
Now, stick to good, unsaturated fats. Apply nuts, avocadoes, olive oil, flax seed oil and peanut or almond butter to satisfy hunger cravings and complete the balance in your daily diet. Also, supplements such as Fish Oil, ALA, GLA and CLA can be purchased individually and in a complex form to aid in meeting fat calories. Going beyond these fats makes your goal incredibly hard to manage and increases your chances of body fat storage.
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Cheers w/water to your health!