By Katie Watson

Katie bio pic

I want to talk about the F word. No, not the four-letter F word but the three-letter F word. F.A.T. In my last post, I talked about how to lose weight. But in this post, I want to give you reasons why you should not be afraid of fat! 

Fat has a bad reputation and I hope to change the way we think about fat. Our bodies need fat! So much so that our bodies will make and store fat!  We know that having too much of anything can cause problems. Yes, too much fat does create health problems that should not be ignored. Not having enough fat on our bodies or not eating enough fat can also cause health problems.

fat

Not eating fat will not prevent us from storing fat. Anything with calories, be it protein, carbs, or fat, can be turned into stored fat if eaten in excess. If we wanted to get into macro counting and what the optimal percentage of each macronutrient is for different activity levels we could. But I think I will save macro counting for another post. Just know that eating anything in excess will be turned into stored fat even if it’s labeled as “fat-free”.  

Remember, calories are a measure of energy. So excess energy becomes stored energy for later use. But if you always have extra energy then there will always be stored energy in the form of fat.  If you want to know how many calories you need every day go check out my last post, “Eat Less To Lose…But Less Than What?” for the formula for your Total Daily Energy Expenditure.  

Why Should I Include Fat in My Diet?

There are some really good reasons why everyone needs to eat fat as part of a balanced diet, even if you are trying to lose weight. Vitamins like A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble which means they can only be absorbed when eaten with fat. 

If you want beautiful healthy skin then you want to be eating fats! 

What’s the Skinny on Healthy Fats?

You can find healthy fats from unsaturated fats derived from plants such as;

  • Olive oils
  • Nuts
  • Seeds 
  • Avocados
fat

You can also find healthy fats in saturated fats from animal sources such as meats and dairy products. 

Fat is like salt, a little goes a long way to improve the taste of the foods we eat! It adds more flavor and at the same time helps to keep us feeling fuller longer! 

Healthy fats like Omega-3 are also important for heart health and can only be obtained through our diet. Other healthy fats from unsaturated fats can help lower levels of LDL cholesterol. 

So many great benefits can come from eating healthy fats. So don’t be afraid to eat them!

Body Positivity and Fat

While I’ve only touched on consuming healthy fats I would also like to talk about how we view the fat we have on our bodies. We all have fat on our bodies and it is vital for our health! 

Fat stores in our bodies provide energy for daily life. Fat stores help support cellular growth and renewal. There is a layer of fat around our organs to provide warmth and energy. There are fat stores within muscle fibers that provide energy during vigorous exercise. 

Fats play an important part in the building blocks of our hormones. If our hormones are out of whack we know that can cause all sorts of chain reaction issues within our bodies. 

Why Does Avoiding Fat Sometimes Backfire?

Avoiding eating fats has not prevented us from gaining fat. That is because any extra calories consumed that are not used are then turned into “food storage” or fat stores for later when it’s needed. Now some of us have gone crazy with our food storage and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, when eating a low-fat diet we tend to have more cravings that cannot be satisfied by endless carbs. 

Have you ever found yourself constantly snacking throughout the day but not feeling satisfied? Stop and ask yourself what you’ve eaten.

Have you ever found yourself constantly snacking throughout the day but not feeling satisfied? Stop and ask yourself what you’ve eaten. If you’ve eaten lots of veggies, fruit, crackers, or bread, perhaps try something with more fats such as cottage cheese, string cheese, jerky, nuts, tofu, or deli meat.  You might actually need to eat a meal if it has been several hours since your last meal. 

Have Constructive Goals When It Comes to Body Fat

Sometimes it is helpful to know what your body fat percentage is. Most of the time it’s not necessary to know unless you have specific fitness goals that can be measured and assessed based on your body fat percentage. 

If you want to know your body fat percentage I would recommend having a goal in mind or a purpose other than “what is my body fat?” We want to have constructive criticism when evaluating the current state of our bodies. If you have a goal to get to 30% body fat then it would be important to know where you are now. Whatever the percentage is, in order to have a healthy relationship with fat and our bodies, it should not affect you in a negative way.   

I have used this body-analyzer-scale to calculate my body fat percentage. I have compared this scale’s information with the Navy-Body-Fat-Calculator, which is known for being a highly accurate formula for calculating body fat, and my results were the same for either method.  You can do the math if you don’t have a scale to tell you. 

Think Positive: The Secret to Prolonged Motivation

It is ok to want a healthier life, but try not to become obsessed or self-degrading over it. Those thoughts are demotivating and ultimately not helpful! Rewiring your thoughts can have a powerful, positive effect on your health goals. 

Try loving the fat you have! I’m totally serious! If you continue to chase numbers on the scale or celebrity physiques, you will never love the body you have. Once you love your body the way it is right now with all its flaws, something powerful happens! Those flaws, the number on the scale, the cellulite, all of it has no control over how you feel about yourself! It’s very freeing! Now all the dieting and exercising is done out of love and gratitude for the body you have rather than punishment for not being good enough.  

Our society has taught us that in order to be attractive, successful, smart, creative—you name it—that we need to look a certain way. It’s simply not true! We are much more than our physical appearance and fat is nothing to be afraid of!! I do believe we should take the best care of our bodies that we can but not at the expense of our self-esteem and self-worth. 

We are much more than our physical appearance and fat is nothing to be afraid of!!

I know the majority of us, myself included, carry more body fat than we want, despite our best efforts. We let it weigh us down, define us and take away our value. It does not need to be that way!!  No matter your shape or size, you have value! You provide value in your families and communities. Your physical appearance is not what makes you YOU! 

Our UpLIFTed Community!

Have I convinced you that you don’t need to be afraid of fat? Excess fat we might have on our bodies or eating fat are not the demons we may think they are. We need to appreciate what fat does for us and learn how to use it to benefit our health goals rather than run from it. Fat is a tool we can use in our fitness journey that is underused and undervalued. 

If you want to learn more about health and body positivity, I want to be there for you! Follow me on Instagram @katiewatson2018 for more motivation and tips to stay connected. 

Thanks for being here! Together, we are STRONG! 

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