It Was Hard to Lose Weight Until I Started to Eat Fat

Have you ever tried to lose weight with no results? It's frustrating!

For years I tried to lose weight with no tangible results. Almost everybody says the key to weight loss is increased exercise and decreased calorie intake. And while this approach works for weight loss it requires tremendous personal discipline and an iron will. I don't have an iron will. Much less discipline. Ok, so I might be exaggerating a little, but I love food and I can't deal with feeling hungry because it drives me nuts. Feelings of being deprived and hunger take over my entire brain like a gooey blob consuming its victim. If that makes me weak willed then I am not just weak willed, I am supremely weak willed.

My biggest weakness is a sweet tooth. I love buttery creamy pastries, and scones, or bread with butter and jam. Yum! I also like dairy even though dairy doesn't like me in return. Hello Haagen Dazs ice cream. Talenti gelato? Yes, please. And on top of that, I will eat until I explode. I am no stranger to food commas. Who cares if I have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) a chronic condition that I developed in 2012? It's all worth it in the name of good food, or so I thought.

Last spring my husband and I discovered the ketosis diet, a high fat low carb diet. Before that losing weight was slow and frustrating. The key to our weight loss was increased fat consumption. Yup, it sounds super counter intuitive but it works. Combined we've lost close to 80 lbs in one year (he's done the bulk of the weight loss). I've only lost 10 - 15 lbs.

Eating a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates keeps my cravings in check, mostly. My tummy is happy and my brain is satisfied and I can (heart-achingly) pass on beautiful treats that I once enjoyed. If I indulge in naughty treats I will often feel guilty, but I will also feel like I am giving a well-tuned machine junk to run on (aka my body). My cravings are particularly bad prior to my period. Seven and three days prior to my period I get monstrous desires to indulge in sugary treats. If I am good I will enjoy sweet potatoes or other higher carb healthy alternatives, but if I am naughty I will indulge in (massive) chocolate consumption. However, despite these challenges, I've managed to keep at least 10 pounds off from the 15 pounds I initially lost (I've gone through one winter) and this summer I plan to lose another 10 pounds.

For me, it's easier to lose weight when the weather is hot. The heat makes me crave salads and my mood improves. My optimism about my personal weight loss goes through the roof. The more weight I lose the more energy I have and the more energy I have the more I want to move and do things.

That's the other thing about this diet. If you are very over weight you can lose weight without any exercise. However, the closer you get to your ideal body weight the harder it will become to shed those extra pounds without exercise. But, here's the thing, as you shed fat you should also notice your energy levels rise, sometimes dramatically. You can harness your newfound energy to engage in exercise or new projects. Another marvelous side effect of this diet is greater mind clarity. That's definitely my favorite perk! I am typically a low energy individual and it feels amazing to feel zingy from head to toe.

So this diet is too good not to share therefore today I've written 7 tips on how to lose 10lbs with little to no exercise by amping up your fat consumption. Please know that I am not a nutritionist and that these tips worked for me. However, your body is different and your results may vary or this diet might not be for you. For more information on the ketosis diet please check out this link: An Interview with Dom D'Agostino.

7 Tips on How to Lose 10 Lbs with Little to No Exercise

1. Cut out carbohydrates.
To cut out carbohydrates, don't eat bread, pasta, sugar, and even fruits high in fructose. The body turns carbohydrates into glucose, a simple sugar. When you eat (anything at all) your body releases insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps move glucose into the cells to power your body. In fact, glucose is your body's preferred energy source because it can be easily converted into energy. But certain foods trigger more insulin production than others and if you have excess insulin your body stores excess glucose as fat rather than remove it through your urine. As a result, you pack on fat. Reducing carbohydrates therefore helps reduce insulin production which, in turn, does not allow your body to pack on fat.

2. Eat fat.
If you are not going to eat carbohydrates as your primary fuel source you'll need an alternative fuel. It turns out that your body can also run on fat or more precisely it can run on fat by breaking down fatty acids into ketones.  Ideally, you want 60-80% of your total caloric intake to come from fats. Good sources of fat include avocadoes, cream, coconut oil, butter, olive oil, fatty fish, fatty meat, and so on. You'll also want to eat moderate amounts of high quality protein and green leafy vegetables.

3. Eat 2 meals per day instead of 3.
After being on a high fat low carb diet for a while you will feel fewer hunger pangs.  If so, you can then practice intermittent fasting (or occasional feasting). Instead of eating 3 meals per day opt to eat 2 meals per day. Intermittent fasting (or occasional feasting) increases insulin sensitivity and stimulates human growth hormone, two key factors in weight loss.

4. Plan meals 2-3 days in advance.
To prevent temptation and falling victim to poor food choices it's important to know what you are having to eat in advance, preferably 2-3 days. When your breakfast, lunch, or dinner, are undetermined it's easier to make poor food choices. When you are hungry, tired, and don't want to cook because cooking requires too much effort and preparation you will fall off the wagon. Trust me. Eliminate this hassle and decision fatigue. Set yourself up for success by making food choices ahead of time. This will allow you to shop, prepare, and have components ready to cook, or even meal prep whole meals in advance so it's easy to feed yourself.

5. Eat high fat snacks.
Choose to eat high fat snacks like cheese, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, or whole-fat kefir in predetermined portion sizes.

6. Eat plenty of salt.
Being on a low carb diet causes your kidneys to dispel lots of water. If you are feeling lethargic, try consuming something salty, even water with salt will do. This will increase your electrolytes and make you feel more energetic.

7. If you are feeling deprived find healthy alternatives to your favorite treats and recipes.
You can make healthy versions of your favorite treats such as cauliflower pizza, lettuce wrapped burgers, and coconut flour pancakes. If you have a sweet tooth you can indulge in a Quest Bar. They use sugar alcohols to make yummy sugary treats. Be warned, however, some people are sensitive to sugar alcohols and it might give you a headache.

8. Keep it simple. 
Finally, as a bonus, my number 8 tip is to keep things simple. Choose simple recipes so your meals are a snap to prepare. Add flavor to your dishes with seasonings and high quality salt or fermented side dishes like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha or even chilies or hummus. This has really helped me. Fermented foods are amazing for your gut bacteria.

In addition, it's very important to have a routine and stick to it. For example, opt to eat the same breakfast (or dinner) everyday while varying your dinner (breakfast). For example, you could opt to eat  two eggs and half an avocado with a green smoothie for breakfast and for dinner a piece of protein, avocado, cheese and veggies.  For dessert, a glass of kefir or hot peppermint tea and for a snack, a Babybel cheese or a cup of peanuts in their shell. Do this consistently and in the long run you will bear fantastic weight loss results.

Good luck losing weight and let me know how it goes.



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