Eating A Low-Fat Diet, Yet No Weight Loss

It is fairly common for people to think they are eating healthy, but still struggle with reaching their weight loss goals.  Let me shed some insight on this topic.

I would like to initially state that fat is an important part of a diet.  Some people become fat-free freaks and try to eliminate it completely and I would never do that.  Low fat is acceptable in my book, but not zero fat.  It is surprising how many try to wipe it out completely. Fat, sodium, and carbohydrates (often sugar) are what make foods tastier.  Eliminate those, and you may as well peel bark off the Oak in the front yard as you mentioned, as it will have more flavor.  Because 1 gram of fat has over twice the calories of 1 gram of protein or carbohydrate, people often try to reduce the fat.

While it is easy and convenient to take advantage of the many low-fat or fat-free products on the market, they are often loaded with carbohydrates or sodium to make them more palatable.  Overusing these products is a common mistake for many, as the carbohydrates add up quickly and damper the weight loss efforts.  Maintain balance in your diet, which means reading the labels on products!

Another mistake people have shared is to pick products that only have minimal amounts of fat, like 1 or 2 grams for example.  While this can be a wise decision, let’s look at this manner of food selection from another viewpoint.  Turkey bacon for example, only has 1 gram of fat, but it only has 20 total calories.  1 gram of fat equals 9 calories, and if 9 out of the 20 calories are fat, that means that turkey bacon is 45% fat.  This is not a low-fat food when you look at it this way.  Now I need you to keep it all in perspective, as the normal person does not eat 20 slices of turkey bacon to get their protein requirements, but this same philosophy can apply to other food choices.  Do the math and figure out how much of the total calories are made up of fat.

I have seen many simply change the type of carbohydrate they are eating and see their weight loss get a boost.  For example I had a woman who ate a low-fat bagel for breakfast, a bag of fat-free pretzels for a snack, a baked potato without butter or sour cream lunch, a bag of plain popcorn for mid-afternoon snack, and then pasta in a marinara sauce for supper.  Everything was low-fat and low-sugar, but the bulk of the carbohydrates were starches, which are calorie dense.  Where were the fruits and vegetables?  She lost 15 pounds over time by eliminating some of the starches and replacing the calories with a few fruit choices and fibrous vegetables.

I realize that eating leaner cuts of meats and fibrous vegetables are not the most enjoyable things to eat.  I encourage you to look into healthy recipes or various spices that can add flavor to your meals. Over time your eating habits will change, I promise you.  Years ago, I would never eat a plain baked potato, but now it is a habit, and butter and sour cream on a potato is gross!

I want to add if you are trying to lose weight with diet alone, you have a very rough road ahead.  I never say “never” but I will say it now, for if you are significantly overweight you will never lose and keep the weight off with diet alone.  You must incorporate that nasty “E” word.


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