By Coach Juan Rojas
If you grew up in the 80's or 90's, you may remember the low fat diets recommended by the majority of people.
At this point in recent history, obesity and disease were climbing at an alarming rate and we knew that something was to blame for it. So dietary fat instantly got the bad reputation of being guilty of this. Companies began a revolution to create all sorts of food low in fat. But in order to still keep certain consistencies and flavors, it was missing something... So these fats were replaced with other man made ingredients and sugars in order to be able to have a similar resemblance to their regular fat versions. Unfortunately, the obesity and health epidemic continued growing and is now at an all time high.This whole topic can have an article of its own though.
What my point from this is, that ever since this era, dietary fats have received a bad reputation and many people around the world think that avoiding them is the best option in order for them to have the best body composition and health. Now, not all fats are created equal. Man made fats like hydrogenated vegetable oils should always be avoided as these have a slew of negative consequences. But healthy fats such as avocadoes, nuts, seeds, olive oil, egg yolks, animal fats (from organic sources), and coconut oil should be staples in your diet. These fats contribute to many processes in the body such as decreasing inflammation, energy, heart health and hormone production.
Many do not know that it is possible to survive and be completely healthy by not eating any carbohydrates, but the same cannot be said if you eliminate fat from your diet. Many also think that eating fat makes you fat and that this is a reason dietary fat should be avoided. Calories from fat can be deposited as fat stores, but this can be said for any macronutrient when you ingest a high amount of calories over what your body requires.
Now, I am not necessarily saying you should have no carbohydrates. Everyone is different, has different goals and has a different tolerance to carbohydrates. But what I am saying, is that essential fats should be a priority for you to get in just like you worry about brushing your teeth every morning, taking a shower, or even checking your email.
So does this mean I have given you the green light to eat all the bacon and cookies you want? NO!
Although fats are very important to get in our diet, the amount should be tailored to your specific goals and needs. Too much dietary fat, even if healthy, can definitely put you in an excessive surplus of calories causing you to gain unwanted weight. Since fats are so calories dense (9 calories per gram as opposed to only 4 calories found in every gram of protein and carbohydrate) it is important to measure it out and have them in moderation. It is very easy to fit 4 tbsp. of almond butter in one teaspoon and to have 600 calories worth of cashews in just a handful.
As much as fats have been demonized the last 20 years, they are actually very important to keep in our diet. Many people feel and look much better when they experiment with adding fats and lowering carbohydrates in their diet as well. I find with a lot of my clients that they overeat carbohydrates and will under eat healthy fats before they seek help from a coach.
Once they are eating the proper ratio of nutrients, many of them report more sustained energy and better focus throughout the day as fat helps control your insulin levels. Carbohydrates often make individuals feel groggy and sleepy as well, which is not optimal if you are looking to maximize your performance and mental acuity. Those who live a sedentary lifestyle, oftentimes end up not using the carbohydrates they eat for energy and end up desensitizing their insulin while storing excess carbohydrates as fat. Make sure to adjust your fats to tailor your specific goals and lifestyle so you can reach the physique you have always dreamed about!
With the pursuit of achieving the best possible physique and helping hundreds of clients do the same, Juan Rojas has dedicated his life to finding the best strategies for transforming human bodies. Constant research, trial and error and continous education in the exercise physiology and nutrition field, Juan Rojas thrives off finding the most efficient ways to transform your body and live a happier and healthier lifestyle.