by Tim Kearns
Eating the right fats can actually help you to lose weight, here’s how it works! Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential to maintain healthy bodily functionality. Omegas are used to maintain healthy skin, respiratory system, circulatory system, organs, promote fat loss, and even increase brain function. Omega-3 is used in the body as an anti-inflammatory, and can even reduce rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, hypertension, migraines, and eczema. The body cannot produce Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids on its own, which is why it is so vital for human health to ingest these fatty acids on a regular basis.
A normal diet should not include more than 20-36% calories from fat. Eating these healthy fats will actually promote fat loss in the body. Eating Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids promotes the breakdown of fat in the body and increases the body’s ability to use these fats as an energy source.
Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
– Coconut Oil
– Flaxseed oil
– High fat fish Eg. Salmon, Herring, Shrimp, Salmon
– Chia Seeds
– Fish Oil
Ingestion of fatty acids with your meals will also help to lower the glycemic load of the meal, preventing high spikes in insulin levels. Reducing these spikes is a great way to promote fat loss. When your body’s insulin levels are high, it becomes impossible to burn fat. Insulin triggers your body to hold onto fat cells instead of burning these fat cells off as an energy source.
Foods with a high glycemic index to avoid when trying to maintain a steady insulin level and lose weight include: white starchy breads, white rice, white pasta, white potatoes, pizza, and cake to name a few.
Foods to promote a steady insulin level with a low glycemic index and promote weight loss include: lentils, whole grain bread, oatmeal, salmon, herring, shrimp, coconut oil, soybeans, and nuts. This list
is small and could go on much longer.
To lose fat, the key is to create a caloric deficit and minimize insulin spikes. A caloric deficit refers to eating fewer calories than your body is burning during the day.
So now that we know all this information about fats, insulin levels, and caloric deficits, how can we eat in our everyday lives to promote fat loss? The first most important thing is to forget about the concept of three square meals a day. Ditch the large meals for five smaller meals. These meals should include a serving of vegetables, a serving of complex carbohydrates (e.g. whole grains), and a serving of protein. Eating more regularly will help to keep your rev up your metabolism since it is constantly burning calories and will also help to avoid getting cravings for foods we shouldn’t eat. Generally when we get a craving we reach for something like a bag of potato chips, which have a high glycemic index and will spike insulin levels.
Please note that there is a time and a place for foods with a high glycemic index, after a workout for example. At this time it is ok to eat simple, starchy carbohydrates since your glycogen stores have been depleted from the workout.
There is so much more to weight loss than the simple idea of eating less food. Healthy fats are needed to maintain so many of your normal bodily functions including weight loss and insulin levels must be moderated to avoid fat retention. Increasing intake of omega-3’s and omeg-6’s is one of the ways we can maintain our insulin levels. We must embrace the ingestions of healthy fats in order to live a healthy life at a healthy weight!