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Friday, August 25, 2006

Cut The Fat! by Christina Gopal

I am sure you have long heard about the implications that saturated and trans fats have on the body.

Increased fat in the diet impairs health and can lead to diseases such as hypertension, arteriosclerosis, heart disease, and diabetes.

An increase in body fat most often is due to an increase in food intake (amount of calories consumed) over the metabolic rate (the rate that the body burn calories). Low calorie diets aim to adjust this problem; however, these diets are not usually a good idea. This is because, sometimes the metabolic rate falls so low, that it prevents further weight loss and one can continue to gain weight on the same or less caloric intake. Instead, one should set caloric intakes to be maintained throughout their life...something that is sustainable. Consuming fat yields 9 calories per gram! This is the highest out of all nutrients, and so fats take up a lot of daily calories. Which is why, everyone could benefit from cutting out some fat from the diet.

Don't get discouraged, often people begin to worry and cut out all fat. That isn't necessary. Fats are an interesting nutrient. As there are essential fats (ones that our body needs) and then there are the fats that we must learn to avoid or limit. Essential fats, include the mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for example). Good sources for essential fats include fishes, nuts, seeds, avacados, legumes, etc.

Reducing fat, contrary to popular belief, does not have to be dreadful. The following helpful tips are simple way to cut the fat in the diet:

  • Add a splash of herbed or flavored vinegar to salads instead of salad dressing
  • Try mustard, chutney, hummus, or salsa on sandwiches instead of butter, margarine or mayonnaise
  • Use fresh/dried herbs, spices, garlic and ginger in your cooking for flavor on low-fat dishes
  • Use beans, tofu, fish in place of meat dishes occasionally (shoot for at least twice a week)
  • Opt for low-fat dairy products
  • Eat lean meats (e.g. chicken, turkey, deli meats)
  • Trim the visible fat off your meats, and avoid poultry skin
  • Avoid the use of processed meats
  • Increase your fiber intake, eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables daily
  • Make vegetables your biggest portion of your meal, try different ones everyday to increase variety and decrease boredom
  • Avoid gravy and limit use of cream sauces (try seasonings or tomato-based sauces)
  • Avoid deep fat fried foods!!

It is important to keep in mind, that food choices should be based on the benefits it provides. If something reads "fat free" it doesn't always mean that it is good in nutritional value. Furthermore, the term fat-free is not the same as low in calories....the taste of fat may be compensated for more sugar for example. It is important to read ingredients and the nutrition labels to see what you are really getting out of the food.

So don't fret...making little changes in your diet every day, brings you one step closer to a healthier you!

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© Christina Gopal, Certified Weight Loss Coach
Christina Gopal is a Certified Weight Loss Coach at My Private Coach. She can be contacted at
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This article may be published without the consent of the author so long as the publisher's box is included in the post.

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About the Author

Christina Gopal, BSc
Meet Christina Gopal, a certified weight loss coach and nutrition expert, to achieve the health and weight loss for which you strive! As a Founding Member of the IAC, and holding a degree in nutrition, Christina can guide you through food choices and how to effectively plan meals to your current lifestyle.


As this article demonstrates, losing weight, and cutting fatty foods out of your diet doesn't have to be torture, just take some time, have a think, and come up with funky new ways to adapt your food and meals, turning them into equally tasty fat reduced meals! Good luck!

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