Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A High Fat Diet--But Don't Overdo It

A low carb diet is really a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate diet. If you cut out carbs, they must be replaced with either protein or fat, and since too much protein can be toxic, that means it is, of necessity, a high fat diet.

I have posted the macro nutrient content of my diet for a couple of days (here and here) and you can clearly see that fat makes up between 2/3 and 3/4 of the calories in my low carb way of eating. So, indeed, it is a high fat diet.

The temptation, on the Internet at least, is to eat more fat to see how it positively impacts your health. Couple this high fat folk belief with the erroneous belief that only carbs matter in weight loss, not calories, and you have a recipe for weight gain. If you add substantial calories in the form of additional fat, you will likely gain weight or stall out your weight loss. I fear that is what has happened to me over the past few weeks. I have been adding butter and heavy whipping cream to many things, and stalled out. Adding 12 tablespoons of fat will lead to weight gain, not increased health (though to be fair, this is the only day where he went overboard by adding 12 tablespoons of additional fat to a meal. The other meals on his blog within a week or two of this one are much more normal).

So this is why I have started this new blog: to add a rational twist to low carbing, instead of following all of the latest fads I see popping up on the Internet. The low carb way of eating is naturally high fat; we don't have to add any more fat to make it high fat! I like the taste of fat, and I guess I so desperately wanted to be able to eat as much of it as I wished to without weight gain that I didn't stop to think about how silly that idea really was.

As an addendum, Volek and Phinney, in their book, The Art and Science of Low Carb Living, show that for maintenance, after you have lost your weight (but not during weight loss!), you must gradually add more fat to your meals, up until you hit the calorie level for your age, weight, and height. This makes sense, as you are no longer burning through your own personal stores of fat, but they very clearly specify calorie levels. As I have mentioned before, calories count.

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