Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Eat Fat Lose Fat ... maybe not

I haven't posted in quite some time (as I was reminded by a friend: "Posts for November. Zero!"). It has everything to do with this book: Eat Fat Lose Fat. It is co-written by one of the same authors as Nourishing Traditions which I have found to be an extremely informative and useful book.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for Eat Fat Lose Fat. But first, this post isn't intended as a book review. Not at all. What happened was this ... I read Nourishing Traditions and thought it was great. I found that Sally Fallon co-authored EFLF and was very excited about the prospect of getting to eat LOTS OF FAT!!! Butter on toast? Ya, babeee! Cream on my porridge? Bring it on! Fat with breakfast, lunch and dinner? Yes, please! To some people that probably sounds disgusting, but to me it sounds delicious.

So, here's what happened. I read the book. I drooled. I couldn't wait to get started. But I was scared. Here was a book saying (with heaps of testimonials I read on different websites) you could add a lot of fat (mainly butter, coconut oil, cream, and olive oil) into your diet and actually have fat loss. This was a direct contradiction to my nutrition programme - I had to cut out fat to lose fat. It would be remiss of me not to mention that the EFLF nutrition guidelines are all about eating real foods - wholesome, organic foods that humans are designed to eat - get rid of the white flour, sugar and processed foods. This is my philosophy too.

Despite my fear of eating loads of fat ... I had a go at the programme anyway. (Even as I type this I am thinking: why, why, why did I ever think this was going to work for me when I have been successfully maintaining my weight on a low-fat diet for the past 5 years? Calories in/calories out - eat more than you burn and you're gonna gain weight. I'm either stupid or a chow hound. I'm a stupid chow-hound. Ha!)

However, my first stumbling block with EFLF is they recommend only eating 3 meals per day (I eat every 3 hours!). The idea is that your meals are loaded with enough fat to satiate you until the next meal and you actually eat less calories (than what, I don't know) by not having snacks in between meals. On the first morning I drank a cup of warm water with a tablespoon of coconut oil dissolved in it. The coconut oil is known to initiate fat loss. My first meal on EFLF consisted of oatmeal porridge with low fat yogurt and about one tablespoon of butter. It was tasty, I enjoyed it and felt full - like really full. I was feeling quite smug. Here it was 8am, I'm really, really full and I won't need to eat again for hours - realistically I needed to last until 1pm. By 11am I was starving. Hmmm, that's not how it's supposed to work. The fear set in again. I went back to eating my normal low-fat fare for the rest of the day.

On day two, had the coconut water again then breakfast which was oatmeal porridge, FULL fat yogurt and three tablespoons of butter. That should do it - I figured my problem the previous day was I had low-fat yogurt and not enough butter - just not enough fat to satiate me. Three hours later I was hungry. Nooooooo! This was so not working for me. How was I ever going to manage on just three meals per day when I was hungry every three hours?? I'd be having dinner by 2pm!

On day three I repeated the breakfast regime of day two with sinking hopes. Maybe something would be different on this day. Nope. Three hours later - hungry. My husband said perhaps it is because my body is just too well-trained with my three-hourly eating. Or perhaps this programme just doesn't work for every body.

In reality, I didn't give EFLF a true trial - I couldn't even stick to it past breakfast. But that sums up the fact it just wasn't working for me. I wasn't even trying to lose weight, I was just hoping to maintain my weight - and get to eat lots of fat in the process.

So, after this bizarre diversion from my successful nutrition programme and some soul-searching questions such as: 'what was I thinking???', I'm truly convinced I'm on the right track with my nutrition programme and keeping my fat rolls in check.

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