I ran out of coconut oil last week and popped into a local supermarket to pick some up. While I was there I got a little bit of inspiration for writing an article to educate you on ‘fat-free’ products and why you should AVOID them…
When I go shopping I almost never go down the food isles in the middle of the shop because it’s pretty much all processed and refined foods. But the other day, I ran out of coconut oil so I made a quick stop at the new Sainsbury’s in Sunderland to pick some up. I know that many supermarkets still don’t stock coconut oil, so I knew that I was taking a chance but I really didn’t want to battle traffic and fight for a parking space in the town centre just so I could go to Holland and Barrett, so I decided to give it a shot.
Since I wasn’t familiar with the layout of the shop, I started to look for the signs above the isles for cooking oils, and when I found the aisle…(not to my surprise)…I couldn’t find any coconut oil. As a last ditch effort I decided to asked the shop assistant if they sold coconut oil, and much to my surprise she said that they do and I would be able to find it in the “health food” aisle. Great! So I headed down the “health food” aisle to look for the coconut oil, and that’s when I noticed all of the so-called health foods that were in the aisle.
Honestly, other than the coconut oil and a few other things, I couldn’t identify any other products that I would consider healthy, just processed foods and drinks marketed as being healthy. And one of the most obvious themes in that aisle was ‘fat free’ or ‘reduced fat’.
Dietary fat has been the scape goat for the UK’s ever expanding waist line for a long time now and it’s difficult to simply erase the stigma it carries. As well as many food companies still pushing ‘healthy foods’ that are really high in sugar…it’s no wonder that people are completely confused.
I don’t want to sound like a proponent for all things fatty, because there are bad fats and even good fats can be bad if you combine it with certain foods…in particular foods high in sugar. However, fat can be the ultimate scale tipper IF you eat proper foods. I mean that literally because consuming enough fats in your your diet can make a huge difference in your body weight and body composition. But this is only the case if you’re restricting your sugar intake.
Keep in mind that not all sugars are created equal either. You want to eliminate all refined sugars and stick to getting naturally occurring sugars from whole foods such as vegetables and fruits. Although I would recommend staying away from eating too many fruits, especially those with very high sugar contents like bananas, mangoes, grapes.
I have believed in low carb eating for sometime now, (hence the Nutritional Responsibility Guide that my clients stick to) but I know that if you don’t eat the right foods it can be difficult to stick to. Some of the common complaints people have are low energy, increased hunger and feeling weak.
When you first lower your carb intake you’ll notice that your energy level goes down. Some people will notice it more than others, but it’s completely normal and it’s just your body going through withdrawals from not being able to get energy from sugar sources. If you stick it out this will pass. It may take up to 3 weeks or longer depending on how dependent you were on sugar, but your body will eventually learn to get energy from other sources, which in this case is mostly fat.
The other problem is hunger and feeling of weakness. This is more to do with lack of calories. As soon as you cut down on your carbs you’re automatically cutting your calories. The mistake that people make is to try and make up the calories by consuming more proteins. Although you should be eating ample amounts of protein, most people simply can not eat enough protein to make up for the calories loss. Protein is vital but it’s not meant to be eaten alone…you need fat with it. In fact when you’re eating low carb the single biggest mistake that people make is not eating enough fat. Not eating enough fat makes you hungry and weak.
You see, when you opt for these ‘low-fat’ or ‘fat free’ items you are missing out on key nutrients that your body NEEDS!
As long you’re consuming enough fat with your protein and not over training you should be able to easily sustain a low carb diet without ever feeling hungry or weak.
So if you’re still stuck in the mindset that eating fat it bad…you need to let it go. And if you’re currently on a low carb diet and are struggling to sustain it because of constant hunger and weakness, make sure to increase your dietary fat intake. If you’re unsure of what kinds of fat to consume, here are my recommendation of healthy fats: coconut oil and other coconut products (like coconut butter, coconut milk), olive oil, avocados, fatty meat (grass-fed), salmon (any cold water fish) and nuts (in moderation).
Thanks for reading,
P.S. When you’re on a low carb diet, you need to make sure that the fitness program seamlessly works with the diet. Most fitness programs will have you do too much and your body simply can’t sustain the necessary energy needed to finish the program when you’re restricting your carbohydrates. If you’re looking for a fitness program that’s designed to work with a low carb diet, then G-Low Fitness Academy workouts are for you. They are specifically designed to maximize fat burning while maintaining your lean muscles so you can get stronger and more fit…all while being on a low carbohydrate eating plan. And although it’s not easy…in fact it’s quite challenging…the rewards are well worth it. If you’re ready to put in the work and reap the rewards of getting lean and fit, then boot camp or personal training is for you.