Back in the 1980's, nutrition experts told us that if we wanted to lose weight, we should not eat much fat in our diets. Shortly thereafter, fat free and reduced fat products bombarded the marketplace. By reducing fat, people seemed to lose some weight, but couldn't keep it off.
Fat is one of the macronutrients that our bodies need in addition to protein and carbohydrates. Much more research has been done in the last thirty years to support that we should be eating a good amount of this macronutrient daily and that most of those fats should be healthy fats.
What is a healthy fat?
Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, nut butters, avocado, organic dark chocolate, chia seeds, flaxseed, and hemp seeds are all examples of healthy fats.
I can eat an unlimited amount of healthy fats, right?
NO! Depending on your health goals, you most likely should be eating anywhere from 40-70g of fat per day where the majority are healthy fats. The amount of fat you should be eating depends on many factors such as your current weight, age, what your health goals are, etc. If you track your food in a food tracker app, it will automatically compute your daily ranges for all of you major nutrients. Pay attention to those ranges!
Let's put this into perspective. One avocado is around 290 calories and 27g of fat. One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil is around 120 calories and 14-18g of fat. So imagine a salad where you have put 1/2 an avocado and 3 tablespoons of dressing. That would be your daily fat or possibly over your daily fat depending on your daily fat range. So even though they are healthy fats that doesn't mean you can eat a lot of them. Fats are also high in calories. 3 tablespoons of olive oil would be around 360 calories and if you add 1/2 an avocado that would be a total of 505 calories! That does not include anything else you have added to the salad or anything else you have eaten that day. Normally you would want to eat between 1200-1700 calories daily to lose weight. 505 calories is a lot for just dressing and 1/2 an avocado!
What should I do then?
You should plan out your daily fat and be mindful of the serving sizes. Read the nutrition label so you know the calorie and fat content. Always measure high fat foods even if they are healthy fats. Perhaps try 1-2 tablespoons of dressing instead of 3 tablespoons. You could also try reduced fat salad dressings from the store, just be mindful of the ingredients in the dressings. Make sure you are choosing dressings without chemicals and/or preservatives.
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Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any illness or disease.
The information provided in this blog is for general educational purposes, has not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA and is not intended to take the place of advice from your medical professional, licensed dietitian or nutritionist.
You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices. Participation in this blog does not constitute a client-coach relationship.