Is This Diet Right For You? Part Two – Low Fat diets
Welcome to Part 2 of this short series where we briefly examine popular weight loss plans, how they work and whether they really work at all.
Part 2 is about the good old low fat diet. This method came about because it was noted that one fat gram contains 9 calories, where a carbohydrate or protein gram only contains 4 calories. The theory therefore goes, that if you take the fat away and replace it with carbs or protein (usually carbs to make low fat food taste better), you will automatically consume less calories and therefore lose weight. Sounds pretty darn reasonable!
A typical adult female require between 2000 and 2400 calories per day to run her body including some activity, body repair and day to day vital functioning. If we lower calories, we only have to get rid of about 9000 calories over a period of time and wala!! a kilo of fat will disappear from our butts (or bellies or wherever its hanging out.)
The low fat theory is that we measure how much we eat with our eyes-by how it looks in size, so if we make a meal low fat, we could eat nearly twice as much as if it contained the original fat, even when the fat is replaced with carbs. We are substituting higher calorie fats with lower calorie carbs. That means we could eat twice as much no-fat yoghurt than full fat yoghurt-wow, sounds great.
There are many, many versions of this diet. Many are highly advertised and you can even by branded food in every supermarket that contains certain numbers of portions or points depending on which brand diet you choose. A lot even come with the food prepackaged and delivered, or available in the freezer section of the supermarket or in long life packets on the shelves. The promoters of these diets are some of the biggest and most successful companies in the world.
Some of these companies provide ongoing consultation although you can follow their plans without this added extra. Some also recommend exercise as well-which is great!
The two biggest studies of these types of plans were actually funded and organised by the weight loss companies themselves. According to the theory, participants should have lost about a kilo of fat every 10 days which should have meant that over the 2 years that the studies were conducted over, each person should have lost about 72 kilos.
In one of the studies, after 2 years, which included weekly meetings, participants lost just 2.9kilos. In fact, some of the participants actually gained weight!! They started obese and finished obese.
In the other study they did slightly better. After 2 years, again with weekly counselling, the average person managed to drop just under 6 kilos. The participants in both studies had their meals and counselling provided free of charge.
This of course didnt help with the fact that they were starving for the whole time. If you had to pay for the service, you may fare better, but you’d also be a hell of a lot lighter in your wallet as well.
One downside to these types of plans (apart from the fact that they really dont work long term) is that you tend to eat more of foods that are labelled low, non, no, lite fat etc. You can justify in your head that if its low fat, its okay to eat more of it. This will increase the overall energy value of what you’re eating for a start.
The other thing is that there is no regard for the myriad of hormone changes going on inside your body every single time you consume anything at all. From a mouthful of water, to a scoop of icecream, to a chicken breast of bowl of vegies. The reactions that go on inside your body are so much more than calories in and calories out.
So will this diet work for you? Short term, possibly. If you can manage to avoid eating extra because its labelled as low fat. If you want to improve your health at the same time-NO. The latest research suggests that high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke and other conditions are not caused by high fat diets. In fact it is becoming known that high carbohydrate (sugar) diets are actually causing them.
If you’d like more information on how you can improve your health and/or lose bodyfat, contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website for lots of free information