Fats are a very important macronutrients!
A lot of people try to eliminate fat from their diet when trying to lose “weight” what you have to remember is there is a few different types of fat in our body.
I will post another blog explaining them in detail with where in our bodies we find them and their functions this blog will be discussing fat in general.
Ok firstly how much fat is needed? Well when fat intake is reduced to below 20 grams per day, serious problems could arise. Feelings of increased tiredness and a reduction in the ability of the immune system to work are caused by low fat intake. This could have the effect of increased susceptibility to healthy problems including colds and flu or more serious ones such as osteoporosis.
To maintain a healthy heart a diet low in saturated fat is needed. But the difference between a healthy low fat diet and unhealthy no fat diet is immense. Cutting out too much fat can also result in the body not receiving important health benefits from certain oils and fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,F and K). A common way of reducing fat is to stop eating red meat, or dairy products; however they are both good sources of iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin B12
Why do we need fat?
Fats, oils and even small amounts of cholesterol are vital for our healthy function and are excellent sources of antioxidants. Two other good fats are the essential fatty acids known as linoleic acid and linolenic acid. Both help regulate blood clot formation, blood pressure, immune response and can prevent inflammatory diseases.
Fat is a more dense energy supply than protein and carbohydrate, and is also easier to store. However, there is growing scientific evidence that different fatty acids have different capacities to be stored as fat. This could be the reason why people in the Mediterranean have body fats lower than expected, considering their fat intake. With a traditional Mediterranean diet the fat intake comes from foods such as olive oils, nuts, yoghurts and cheese.
What is the best way of controlling fat intake?
Red meat is a rich source of protein, B vitamins, zinc and iron. Instead of eliminating it from the diet the best solution is to simply trim the fat, choose lean cuts or not add any additional fat in cooking. Dairy foods are also a source of calcium and most natural low fat diary products still contain good levels of calcium.
It is important to remember that fat is not all bad and an extremely low fat diet may be an unnecessary restriction that could have negative health effects. As a result, fat intake should be regulated and not eliminated.
How much exercise must you do to lose weight?
Brace yourselves, you won’t like what you are about to read: To lose 1lb of fat, you need to burn about 3,500 calories of fat energy.
That could be about six hours of jogging on a treadmill (600 calories per hour), seven hours riding a bike (500 calories per hour) or eight or nine hours of fast walking (450 calories per hour).
In food terms, it is the equivalent of two large bowls of spaghetti carbonara, five bottles of wine or about 10 chocolate bars mmmmmm. If you had a chocolate bar every day beyond your body’s calorie requirement, you would gain about 33lb of fat within a year thats how quick our bodies can store subcutaneous fat.
However, if you walked fast for an hour every day, you could lose about 52lb in a year. It’s simple
“if you like to eat and you don’t exercise, you’ll get fat”
They say a female body needs an average of 1,800-2,000 calories per day, a males needs 2,300-2,500 to survive comfortably (another subject that I will blog in a bit more detail.)
If you drastically reduce the amount you eat, you are in danger of slowing down your metabolic rate. But if you increase your activity rate, you will be burning unwanted fat reserves with big time.
The most effective way to create this good-energy deficit is to exercise consistently, using a combination of aerobic activities (jogging, walking, swimming), maintaining a moderate-heart rate for 45 minutes, AND some minutes of high intensity exercises that focues on your the main muscle groups (chest, back, and front and back of the thighs), using weights.
So, if you want results, you must commit to a regular programme of at least three hours a week with cardio vascular work and resistance exercise.
There are no short cuts, I’m afraid, particularly if you are partial to the odd bowl of spaghetti carbonara.