In the Daily Mail today, Zoe Harcombe, a specialist in the field of obesity and nutritionist, discusses why a skinny latte will make you fatter not slimmer. She says that “fat tastes good for good reason. It keeps us alive and it is uniquely satiating – it makes us feel full“. If you don’t get enough fat in your diet, it’s easy to feel hungry all the time, keep eating and put on weight.
Traditional wisdom says that to lose weight we need to eat less. This makes no sense. Harcombe explains that attempting to eat less makes us eat badly.
She says that she used to think that being ‘good’ was counting calories and avoiding fat. She would eat 4 apples and a box of Fruit Gums a day, which is only 700 calories. You would think eating such a small amount of calories would make you lose weight. Containing no fat in her meals made her body crave the fat and nutrients. She wanted to get thinner but instead gained weight. We need to think more about the quality of the food we are eating not about quantity.
Zoe Harcombe explains “Any lifelong dieter will count calories, but any successful dieter will keep consuming healthy fats and concentrate on controlling carbohydrates. The biggest difference between the two types is that the successful dieter’s approach enables them to eat real food — the stuff that our bodies have evolved to consume“.
Harcombe is correct in that we need to eat how our bodies have evolved to eat. This will make us healthy and slim. Real foods consist of meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, salads and some fruit. Eating processed breakfast cereal or bread instead of eggs is only depriving your body of nutrients and minerals.
A recent study found that 11,000 two-year old toddlers who drink full-fat milk are less likely to be overweight or obese by the age of four than those on low-fat milk. This is likely due to the higher fat content allowing children to feel fuller for longer and eat less food as a result.
Eating fat also means cooking with real fat such as coconut oil or butter not processed vegetable oil. It is important to remember that if a product has had the fat taken out of it, it is likely that they have replaced it with sugar, sweeteners or artificial ingredients. These are the ingredients that contain no nutritional benefit and will make you gain weight. So, choose full fat yoghurt (sugar free), full fat milk, full fat cheese over low-fat versions. It will only make you slimmer and healthier.