It goes against just about everything think we know about dieting, but it’s true: you can eat fats in order to help you burn body fat. The truth behind the myth is that fats are actually good for you. We need them. They’re essential for brain health, and just about everything else that your body needs. We need them in order to store and distribute essential fat-soluble vitamins as well as energy storage. They are a vital macronutrient that we should balance in our diet. Of course, as we all know, too much fat can lead to problems. One of the best ways to combat excess body fat is actually by consuming the right fats.
Saturated fats are definitely the bad guys here. We don’t need a lot, and our bodies hold on to them like crazy. The basic difference between saturated fats and monounsaturated fats is that your body is pretty much forced to store all of the saturated fats that it encounters in your meals, while it can pass monounsaturated fats right through if it doesn’t need them right away. The more your body stores fat, the more fat you have to burn down the road, as you may have suspected.
Monounsaturated fats are the ones you’re looking for. They help target belly fat for burning and they raise your basal metabolic rate to help you burn more calories overall. There are many types of “good fats” found in a variety of foods:
CLA: Conjugated linoleic acid or CLA comes from dairy products
Sesamin: Sesame seed oil. Helps burn fat like CLA. Can be used in cooking or taken like a supplement
Omega 3’s: Mostly found in fish or flaxseed oil. Also great for heart, skin, and cardiovascular health
Good sources of monounsaturated fats are:
olive oil (extra virgin is best)
These healthy fats also lead your body to feel more satiated after meals, which will help decrease the urge to overeat. Adding these fats is a great way to keep your diet on track. Even if you overeat on “healthy” foods, you can still pack your body full of calories, which is sure to set you back. Adding monounsaturated fats like avocado and olive oil to everyday meals is a great way to keep your portions low and your metabolism high.
It’s good to have these fats as a healthy part of your everyday diet. They should be incorporated whenever possible, but with moderation. While these fats do help in burning off stubborn saturated body fat, they are still fats and can be calorically dense. No one recommends eating only fatty foods in order to combat fat, but they are definitely an important weapon in the battle against “bad” fats.
Until the day comes where we can eat whatever we want and we only need to take a pill to give us a six pack, then we need to stay strong and keep our diets and exercise in check. It’s easy to lose motivation when it seems that all you’re eating is “rabbit food.” By adding these healthy fats to your diet you can add some much needed flavor to your healthy food profile while continuing to shed the pounds like a rock star.
Wesley Reacher has a B.S. in Kinesiology with a Minor in Sports Medicine. When he’s not gunning his lats at the gym or sinking birdies on the frisbee golf course, he’s blogging for Weightnot.com, a great resource for healthy weight loss.