You’ve probably heard ALL about the benefits of the high-fat diet (or lifestyle, as I prefer to call it). Women are losing weight, feeling energetic, and kicking butt at HIIT workouts. But, with any deviation from the norm (that being that ‘fat is bad’), people are skeptical. Maybe you had these thoughts while reading my Fat Freedom emails. Maybe you’re wondering if it was even true, just how awesome people feel after they’ve updated their eating habits. Perhaps you’ve even asked, is eating high-fat sustainable over time?
Believe me, if you were skeptical, you are not alone!
I’ve worked with a few clients over the past 4-6 months who I helped transition to a high-fat lifestyle. At first, they were okay with some minor changes. Baby steps, you know – they usually work best!
But, once they started to feel better, we focused more on swapping out carbs for fat. And boy, let me tell you – there has been a LOT of resistance!
One client has had some strange health concerns pop up that research says shouldn’t be caused by the high-fat / low-carb diet. But, just like me, if it coincides with a major change, it’s hard to chalk it up to coincidence!
I don’t blame her for being worried or concerned. I would be too! Eating differently is very personal and a high-fat diet is so against everything we’ve ever been taught!
Is This Symptom Because of My Diet?
Health concerns arise for a variety of reasons. I’m very well educated in how certain foods affect certain parts of my body and even I freak out over a symptom that pops up after I change a food. You really need to be patient and understand what’s happening in your life and in your diet to start pointing at the true cause.
I’ve had clients become so energized that they can go hard at the gym for days on end…only to come down with a really nasty cold or even a flu or infection. Is it their diet changes? Well, not likely. Exercise to a point boosts immunity but if you push past that point, immunity drops dramatically.
And, this happens even if you eat the healthiest of healthy diets!
This is why a lot of athletes or fitness gurus get sick when they introduce a new, hard-core routine. It’s best to ramp up slowly to give your immune system a chance to keep up.
But Are High-Fat Foods Unhealthy?
Yes and no, is my short answer.
Remember that there are a few different types of fat out there. Bad fats are trans fats, hydrogenated fats, most animal-sourced saturated fats and many low-cost vegetable oils.
Good fats are minimally processed vegetable oils, coconut oils, fats found in avocado, raw nuts and seeds, and even grass-fed chicken or turkey foods. The saturated fat in grass-fed butter isn’t unhealthy.
The difference between the good and bad fats is that the good fats are super anti-inflammatory. They help neutralize free radicals and reduce chronic low-grade inflammation. Thus, healthy fats improve memory, boost immunity, help balance hormones, and reduce your overall risk of many major diseases.
Bad fats do the opposite.
And when you work with me, I focus on removing as many bad fats and replacing them with good fats!
My goal is to keep you as healthy as you possibly can while also making these eating changes doable across the long-term!
Will I Never Be Able to Eat Carbs Again?
The second side to the high-fat lifestyle is the low-carb half. This does NOT mean eliminating all carbs from your diet.
Some carbs are superfoods and I enforce the need to eat these very often! Fresh fruits and vegetables are your immune system saviors. They provide phytonutrients, antioxidants and numerous vitamins and minerals. Your body NEEDS these foods.
What it doesn’t need is processed, refined carbs. This includes foods like baked goods, packaged pasta, white bread, granola bars, protein bars, white rice, or anything that contains refined sugar. Because most grains can be very pro-inflammatory, you can reduce these drastically, too.
When you transition to a high-fat / low-carb diet, it should happen slowly. You don’t want to shock your system. I help women slowly remove grains and bad carbs from one meal a day, preferably breakfast. Once you’ve got that mastered and you have no trouble figuring out your own breakfast ideas, we move on.
This way, you’re more likely to stick to your new lifestyle AND notice when certain foods cause symptoms.
And yes, you will be able to eat some of your favorite grains, sweets and treats again – don’t worry! We just have strategies to make this work!
So, is Eating High-Fat Sustainable?
I’m not going to lie – it’ll be tough to change how you think about food. The idea that ‘fat is bad’ is almost ingrained in most of us! I see this a LOT in new clients who tell me they eat healthy because they have a lot of low-fat yogurt, low-cal cereals, lots of salads, and chicken breast with pasta.
I can tell you that a high-fat / low-carb lifestyle is quite sustainable once it’s tailored to your needs. Your activity levels, your food preferences and your health status and symptoms are all very important to discovering the best lifestyle for you.
Is eating high-fat sustainable? Yes, it absolutely is! It just takes patience, time, and effort. But suddenly, you’ll never recall how you ate before.
Think about this: With the introduction of sweeteners and packaged foods, many of which are low-calorie and/or low-fat, the incidence of major diseases, cancer and obesity rose in tandem. However, in societies that eat a lot of healthy, plant-based fat and hardly any processed low-fat/low-cal foods, the incidence of major disease is almost non-existent.
Would you not love to live out the rest of your life without worrying about major disease? Feel free to travel, join a club or do whatever it is you love to do well into your 80s, 90s or even 100s?
The Other Benefits of a High-Fat Diet…sorry, Lifestyle
Consider these additional benefits to a high-fat diet.
- You’ll eat less food.
- Your grocery bill will reduce.
- Your carbon footprint related to food transportation will reduce.
- You can help improve the overall food supply.
- Animal health and welfare can improve without so much pressure to produce more.
If you’re still wondering, is eating high-fat sustainable, well, I can tell you from my own personal experience that it works well. Your cravings will drastically reduce and you won’t fight your willpower. Your waistline will shrink and you’ll have more energy for all the activity you’d like in your life. Sleep will improve and you’ll be able to go longer between meals without getting hungry.
If you’re still skeptical, I’d love to hear why! Please comment below with your concerns or questions.