How to reduce added fat in your diet?
Before you yell at me for proposing a low fat diet, let me explain.
For majority of Americans who eat moderate amounts of carbs and protein, those who carry extra weight often eat too many calories from fat.
In my experience people overeat on fat way more than on carbs or protein.
Many times it's hard to notice this, because the fat comes from various, often seemingly insignificant, sources spread throughout the day.
Milk in your coffee, butter on your toast, couple of eggs cooked on a greasy pan, peanut butter with your apple, handful of nuts as a snack, avocado and dressing on your salad, steak with roasted veggies for dinner, ice cream or chocolate for dessert.
Sounds like a pretty good day right?
Yet, when you break down the menu above, you will find 11 sources of fat that, assuming you stuck to a portion size, would add up to over 100 g of fat.
How much fat do most people eat when they work with me on fat loss? About 45-55 g for women, and 65-70 g for men.
How about healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds? Those are really good for us right?
Yes, they are very healthy but.....Fat is fat.
Healthy fat and unhealthy fat carry the same caloric value. 1 g of fat = 9 calories.
Eating excess calories, whether they are coming from healthy fat, unhealthy fat, protein or carbs will lead to weight gain.
The reason why I'm talking about fat reduction is because, in my opinion, limiting sources of added fat in your diet can be one of the easiest ways to lose weight and stay lean.
Fat adds flavor but doesn't fill us up much.
You probably can't taste or feel the difference between 1 and 2 tablespoons of olive oil yet the calorie advantage is huge.
(Illustration by Sherri Nestorowich)
Let's get to it.
Follow these 5 simple tips to reduce added fat in your diet:
1. No more free pouring
Measure out your dressings, creamy sauces, dips, butters, nut butters, guacamole, hummuses and oils that you use for roasting, sautéing and baking. You can often achieve same flavor or fullness with much less than you are used to. Serving of broccoli can be 50 calories or 350 calories depending on how much fat you use to roast it or serve it with.
2. Use oil sprays and single serving packs.
Instead of free pouring, get a good quality avocado oil or coconut oil spray for sautéing, and extra virgin olive oil spray for salads, or to spray steamed veggies. You will use a lot less than with regular pour.
Also get single serve packs of guacamole, hummus, nuts, nut butters and dips.
3. Stick to one source of fat per meal.
Note: This tips is predominantly for fat loss purposes.
If you're having whole eggs, that's your source of fat. Cook them on a dry pan or microwave, skip the cheese, no butter on toast, lean turkey slices instead of bacon.
If you want cheese with your omelet, use egg whites not whole eggs. Stick to the 0.5-1oz portion size for the cheese.
If you're having a salad, pick either dressing, or avocado, or cheese, or seeds, not all of them. Or half the dressing and half of the avocado. You can mix them as long as the total equals 1 serving of fat (12-15 g).
If you're having a fatty protein such as salmon or steak with your veggies, that's your fat. Use vinegar or lemon juice as dressing for vegetables and no fat in the starch.
Making bolognese meat sauce? Sauté your meat first and use the fat that comes from it to sautéed your carrots and onions. Do the same thing using any kind of chicken sausages. They already have fat, no need to use extra.
Having creamy sauce over pasta? Skip the parmesan as a finisher, and go with sorbet instead of ice cream for dessert.
Want to have chocolate after dinner? Shave some fat off your dinner by picking leaner protein (chicken vs steak), steaming your veggies instead of roasting with oil, dressing your salad with lemon juice, etc.
4. Don't eat fried food or fat-rich carbs.
If you like crunchy snacks, stick with pretzels or baked crackers (with 0-1 g of fat per serving) instead of deep fried carbs such as regular potato chips, pita chips, tortilla chips or store-bought popcorn.
50% of each skinny pop kernel is pure fat.
5. Make your own "fast food"
Want pizza? Chicken wings? Fries? Donuts? Milkshakes? Ice cream?
Make your own. It's going to have a lot less fat and calories when you make it yourself than when you buy it or order from a restaurant.
Eat out less, cook more at home. Check out my blog HERE for many quick & easy recipes.
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