I don’t blame you one bit because our trusted government has pushed a low-fat diet on society for 40 years now. Our Western diet promotes a high amount of carbohydrates with very little fat. You can’t go anywhere past your front door without seeing that this high carbohydrate, low-fat diet is failing us tremendously.
Why can I imagine you right now with your fists up in the air and your head tilted back crying, “All I want is an easy, healthy, convenient and effective way of eating! Can’t I eat in a way that tastes great, gives me tons of energy, helps me lose weight and keeps me thinking clearly all day?“
The struggle is real but good news… You’re going to love what I share with you today.
In this blog, I will explain to you what a higher fat, lower carb diet is and why it’s superior to any other way of eating. It’s my ultimate guide to high fat eating, and why it’s so beneficial for your waistline, as well as your long-term health.
Is Fat Bad?
Your first question is probably, “Isn’t fat bad for me? Won’t I get heart disease and.. fat by eating fat?”
Fatty foods like red meat and butter have been wrongly demonized and labeled as unhealthy and downright dangerous for our health.
Crazy thing is, recent research has proved the exact opposite. Saturated fats, like red meat and butter, raise good HDL cholesterol and change the bad LDL (small particles) cholesterol into harmless LDL (large) cholesterol.
I know you’ve heard your whole life to avoid saturated fat like the plague, but it does NOT cause heart disease. In fact, if coming from humanely raised and organic sources, it’s one of the healthiest and most essential fats for our body.
So now that you know that fat’s beneficial to your health, you might be asking,
“Why a diet so high in fat Melissa? Can’t we keep fat lower and still eat carbohydrates like grains and fruit? I know fat has twice as many calories as carbohydrates.”
The Carb Curse
When eating a diet that’s high in carbohydrates, your body relies on glucose (sugar) for its main energy source. Large amounts of glucose in your bloodstream means large amounts of insulin as well. Insulin is our “fat storing hormone” and tells your body to store these calories as fat. It’s very easy for your body to store carbohydrates as fat…unlike protein and fat.
Plus, carbohydrates break down very quickly, never giving you a true sense of fullness and leaving you feeling hungry way more often. Not only that, but when your body is used to the glucose (even from grains and fruit) in the blood stream and you run low, your body sends the signal to your brain that you need something to eat and it usually comes in the form of a craving for something sweet.
However a diet that’s higher in fat is very satiating. It doesn’t raise your insulin levels and food takes much longer to break down…giving you a more stable and effortless energy. It’s those snack companies that tell you that you need to eat every 2 to 3 hours. Both them and the government capitalize on you eating whole-grain snacks throughout the day.
Do It For Your Long-Term Health
Now, before I walk you through how to transition into a higher fat lifestyle, let me make sure you understand that this will not only help you lose weight but it is also, if done correctly, an extremely healthy lifestyle to adopt. My ultimate guide to high fat eating was put together to help you to look after your long-term health, and for good reason!
A week doesn’t go by that I don’t find a new medical journal that touts the benefits of eating a diet that’s higher in fat and lower in carbohydrates compared to The Standard American Diet (The S.A.D. diet). These include:
Lowered risk for diseases like type II diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease and more…
Hey, just look at me, I’m living proof that a diet higher in fat makes you look younger, smarter, more energetic, healthier and leaner. Maybe it makes you a bit more sarcastic too 🙂
So How Much Fat?
Now that I know you’re comfortable with adding more fat into your diet, you’re wondering exactly how much, right?
Now this answer is unique to each individual but I can give you some general guidelines to start with.
I recommend that extremely sedentary people keep their carbohydrates closer to 10% of total calories, where someone that is incredibly active might do better with around 20% of total calories coming from carbohydrates. I personally stick right around 15% and those calories come from whole foods like Shakeology and a wide variety of vegetables.
Protein is the second macro-nutrient that we should talk about. And again, it depends on how active you are that will determine your percentage. If you are very active and working to increase muscle mass, your protein can go as high as 35% of total calories. But keep in mind if you’re not very active, you have to keep your protein lower as well because of a process called gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is a metabolic process of making glucose from a non-carbohydrate source, such as protein. Very inactive people should keep their protein around 20% of total calories.
So what is left of your daily caloric intake can be anywhere from 45-70% fat.
So What Should I Eat?
Now I know there are people out there that like to be told exactly what to eat but when someone who doesn’t personally know you gives you such precise numbers…they are overgeneralizing and doing you a disservice. It’s going to be up to you to do a little self experimentation to figure out what ratios are best for YOU!
I encourage Apps like MyFitnessPal and FatSecret to help you learn what ratios you’re eating and where to tweak if needed. Pretty soon you won’t have to track your food so closely because you will learn to eyeball your proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Now if you’re thinking that I am going to tell you it’s OK to have processed meat, pork rinds and Velveeta cheese all day, everyday…you don’t know me very well. I aim to make you healthy, and when you’re healthy your body wants to release the excess weight. Thin on the outside but sick on the inside is pointless.
Your food should be minimally processed…think natural, whole food. Your animal products should ALWAYS come from humanely raised, pasteurized and organic sources. I personally think it’s better to be vegan than to eat products from feedlots and inhumane farms. Here is a list to get you started:
Meat: Beef, chicken, pork, turkey, bison, lamb, etc.
Seafood: Trout, salmon, cod, crab, lobster, muscles, oysters, ahi, anchovies, scallops, shrimp, etc.
Dairy: Full fat heavy cream, grass fed butter, grass fed ghee, full fat yogurt and full fat cheese
Just a sidenote: I personally don’t have dairy except for grass fed butter, ghee and an occasional serving of plain greek yogurt. Some people do OK with it but I find my body looks and feels better when I don’t have cream and cheese.
Eggs: Chicken, Duck, pheasant, goose, etc.
Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, cucumber, zucchini, bok choi, carrots, artichokes, spinach, kale, squash, tomatoes, celery, green beans, asparagus, snap peas, peas, cabbage, sweet potatoes (on occasion), etc.
Fats: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, tallow, avocado oil, coconut milk, 75% dark chocolate (on occasion), etc.
Nuts and seeds: Coconuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, pinenuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, cashews, almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, hazelnut, walnuts, etc.
Beverages: Low acid organic coffee, organic tea, sparkling water, fruit infused water, Bulletproof coffee, etc.
Herbs and spices: Pink Himalayan salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, parsley, turmeric, cinnamon, oregano, ginger, balsamic vinaigrette, apple cider vinegar, Bragg’s Amino Acid, etc.
Fruits: Avocado, lemons, limes and berries on occasion
Some “foods” I want you to avoid like your life depended on it (because it does) are:
Sugar: Table sugar, regular and diet soft drinks, fruit juices, frozen desserts, candy, etc.
Artificial sweeteners: aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, etc.
Another sidenote: Although you see terms like organic Stevia, xylitol and erythritol on the labels of health foods, I don’t recommend them. The reason being is you are feeding the sugar monster by sweetening your food and increasing your cravings for more sugar. Learn to love the way natural food tastes and the craving for the sweetness will disappear.
Oils and trans fats: Soybean, corn, cottonseed, safflower, vegetable, sunflower, grapeseed, canola, margarine, hydrogenated oils, etc.
All grains and legumes: They contain phytic acid which is an anti-nutrient that interferes with the absorption of minerals. Absolutely not worth all the calories for such minimal nutrition. Get your fiber from your vegetables.
Start Living Your Life!
Are you ready for me to give you examples of some healthy snacks? Well I’m going to sound just like your grandma and tell you, “No snacking before dinner!” Set yourself up to eat just three large meals a day (like the good ol’ days when we weren’t so overweight and obese) to keep those hormones in check and avoid constantly ingesting food that wreaks havoc on your digestive tract and gut health.
Alright, I think you’re good to go. You should no longer feel frustrated, confused or nervous! You have everything you need to start living a life feeling full, energetic, clearheaded and full of life! I hope you’ve enjoyed my ultimate guide to high fat eating.
My name is Melissa McAllister. I just turned 44! I have a son and daughter and my husband and I are new empty nesters! My husband is the reason I eat, drink, and sleep health and fitness. He has 2 speeds, GO and GO Faster. We have been together for over 28 years and married for 23 (yes, he had me at “hello!”). Don’t get me wrong though…I was a Doritos and Coca Cola eating Hoover when I was in school! Fitness has been an essential part of my life for over 19 years. I have the 3 best jobs in the world—being a stay-at-home Mom, business owner, and group exercise instructor for several large fitness chains. I have been teaching everything from yoga to kickboxing for over 17 years. I have also had the great opportunity to train, inspire, and motivate other instructors for the past 11 years. You might even see me in a few fitness videos out there! 😉 Reaching out to others who are struggling to be healthy and happy is my passion. I couldn’t tell you next Fall’s latest fashion must have or what flowers to plant this season, but I can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. With your determination and my motivation, we can find and keep the best YOU! I will inspire by holding myself and those around me accountable!