holistic health & pain managment
healthy fats

My Experience Of The Low Fat Diet

‘Eat Low Fat To Lose Weight’ – That’s What We Were Told

My own personal experience came from being involved in the health and fitness industry in the early 90’s. All the health, fitness and bodybuilding magazines were telling us to keep fats to a minimum because ‘fats make you fat’. The lean physiques in these magazines all appeared to result from high protein, low fat and moderate carb diets.

I was lucky enough to land a role testing new supplements to the market and promoting drug-free bodybuilding. As an 18-year-old kid, whose passion was health and fitness, things couldn’t have gotten any better.

However, when it came to dieting and getting lean, I was pretty much left to get on with it. All my research stemmed from the industry magazines, but with a few valuable words of advice from veterans, telling me to stay away from drugs to put on the size and get lean. Staying clean wasn’t an issue for me because I promised myself I’d always stay drug-free.

Dave Collinge 1998
Dave Collinge 1998

Weight Watchers

To further reinforce the notion of ‘fat being bad’, my mother so happened to be a Weight Watchers leader. The system she had been indoctrinated into, also emphasized on keeping fats to a minimum, making up the bulk of one’s meals with carbs and some protein.

The Result Of Low Fat For Me

Initially getting lean wasn’t too difficult; I was able to be disciplined with the diet, but hunger was always a factor. The training side was easy, going to the gym, hitting the weights, doing cardio first thing in the morning; I didn’t have a problem with any of it. What did happen, however, is that over the coming years as I hit my mid-twenties, my metabolism seemed to crash. Keeping lean wasn’t so easy and my body just didn’t respond the way it used to. In short, I believe but cannot prove, that the lack of fat in my diet contributed to a form of metabolic syndrome. Combine this with way too much protein which primarily came from shakes ladened with Aspartame.

Fat Is Most Definitely On The Menu Now

Fat now forms a big part of me and my families diet. We cook in butter, ghee coconut oil and beef dripping. Lashings of Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil is spread all over our salads and veg. Smoothies contain MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides) which are a saturated derivative of coconut oil.

I feel so much better for consuming these healthy fats. From improved skin through to a strengthened immune system, plus numerous other benefits; fats now play an integral role in all meals. Food tastes so much better and cholesterol remain at the right levels. Because carbs are kept low, my blood sugar rarely spikes and therefore I maintain good levels of insulin sensitivity.

Eat Fat To Lose Fat

One of the hardest things for people to wrap their heads around is, you need to ‘eat fat to lose fat’. For me, I had to have a complete paradigm shift; it was against everything I believed. But the results speak for themselves. Along with the benefits detailed above, my own body composition has improved. It’s now far easier for me to lose body fat and the process is nowhere near as demanding as before because eating fat keeps you satiated.

In summary, fat is an integral nutrient for wellness. So many systems of the body require fats to operate efficiently. We have to put the dogma of the low-fat diet behind us, move away from the reduced fat foods and embrace this nutrient in the way nature intended. As will be detailed in the next article, we will look at why fats were thought to be bad and which ones we should and shouldn’t be eating.

Committing Myself

As it’s 20 years next year since that magazine photo was taken, I thought I better set myself a goal. Using the knowledge I now have, I am going to get the same shot taken, but this time reduce my bodyfat down in a healthy, sustainable, more enjoyable way……there, I am now committed………….watch this space.

Dave

“don’t fear that fat!”