Well there’s a confusing title right there, how can fat not make you fat? It’s obvious, right? Fat makes you fat! Well wrong actually, in my opinion anyway.
I’m always playing around with my diet to see what works and what doesn’t. I’ve tried loads of different things, some of which have worked short term and others haven’t, but the more recent thing I’ve been sticking with is carb limitation. Not a totally low carb way of eating (I don’t seem to get on too well with that) but a restriction. Generally in loose terms it means I usually have one carb free meal a day, and even the meals I do have carbs in I eat less than I used to eat with more emphasis on the vegetables and protein. I’ve been doing this for probably around about 6 months or so but I’ll be honest I’ve been a lot less strict with my diet in that time calorie wise. I’m into more of a maintenance phase, just losing a pound or two a month which I’m OK with as I’ve not really got a stack of weight to lose anymore. Plus I like food, so now and again I have to take time out of being too strict, so that I can enjoy it!
So the main reason for the post is my take on the whole ‘fat’ thing. A few months ago I was looking at the whole reason for lower carb ways of eating and a lot of things mention how carbs restrict the way in which fat is processed and can actually mean you store fat. Switching to lower carb means the fat isn’t stored but is burned off as fuel instead. Of course it’s way more complicated than that, but I thought it seemed worth giving a go as it meant I could go back to eating more of some of my favourite things. Cheeeeeeese for a start!! The other scary thing was that to go with the low carb you need to increase fat intake, which was really difficult at first. I mean you’re so conditioned to believe fat is bad for you, and I’d always opted for low fat things, for so many years. Yes I was one of those guilty of going to McD’s for a large Big Mac meal and a diet coke 😉 But anyway, it was tough at first, but gradually I’ve added things in. Cheese, cream, dark chocolate and lashings of butter on things have all found their way into my life! In some ways I’ve found carb restriction easier than low calorie/fat as you can pretty much eat anything you want as long as you plan around it.
So this is the interesting part… now I’m eating all this fat, how much weight have I gained? Well none. I got on my brother’s scales a few days ago and was really surprised by the readings I got as I’ve not used them for a while. Since the last time I’d used the scales there was a gap of 5 months. In that time I’d lost 2kg, but the most surprising thing was I had lost around 2.5% body fat. Now based on other readings I’ve taken in the last year or so losing 2kgs has never resulted in much more than a 1% fat loss. Indeed at one reading even losing 3.5kg had resulted in less than a 1% fat loss. The other thing was that for the first time since using these scales my visceral fat was 7. It has been at 8 for about 18 months! Also my muscle percentage had increased by almost 1.5% which is the most significant I’d seen… fairly surprising since I’ve not been exercising as much now the triathlon season has finished. Additionally I’ve had my measurements redone and I’ve lost quite a good amount from all areas in this time too, particularly from my waist, hips and thighs. So there we have it. I think the results speak for themselves.. and they’re telling me to keep eating cheese. Lots and lots of cheese 😀