A low-fat diet, or simply a lower fat diet makes a big difference.
When I started losing weight, I went for a low-fat diet to start with. I was aware I consumed a lot of my daily energy from fat. I love rich foods, and most rich foods contain high proportions of fat.
The standard culprits were part of my regular diet: chicken skin, crispy fat on the meat I ate, rich gravies and cream sauces...all divine! I still enjoy these things, I'm more aware though of what I'm doing and I don't eat them all the time. I've also found a huge range of foods and meals that I like as much, which aren't as heavy on my body, or my arteries!
Getting started on a low-fat diet.
One of the things I did, was to open my eyes to the amount of fat I was consuming, I started a food calories list for fat.
I went through my cupboard and looked at each meal I ate, and took notes or where and what fat I used in cooking. What fat I added afterwards, and where there were fats in the foods I bought.
That was very confronting. But if you can't face the reality of where you are, doing something different is nearly impossible.
Next step using my food calories list of fats.
Then I went through the list and started making notes on where I could make changes that I could live with.
Because I was tired, frustrated and sleep deprived, I didn't do this all at once. I remember the first day I only wrote two things on my food calories list of fats, then I worked out one change I could make immediately. Halve the amount of fat, butter and oil that I used in cooking.
I started doing this straight away, then I left the list on the kitchen bench and added one or two things when I could, and noted adjustments the same way. This was all I could fit in.
Keeping the low-fat diet going
Because I was doing this in small chunks and getting back to my list in small bursts, it was a continual reminder of what I was currently doing to help myself, and of what I could do next.
Then I started looking for alternatives to the high fat content foods in my cupboard. I started with foods I ate a lot of. Milk (I still don't like no-fat milk, so I've stuck with what I can, reduced fat milk, which has been the only one in my fridge for over 7 years, and I don't miss the full fat at all...in fact when I have full fat somewhere else, it's not very pleasant)
Milk, then snack foods (processed muesli bars, biscuits, sweet and savoury), then swapping full fat cream for low fat, and so on.
A low-fat diet doesn't mean no fat
You need fats though, to eliminate fat from your diet is not good either. Your brain needs fats, and so does your skin, organs and your body to function.
Somehow though, fats have become a huge part of our diets. In some cases they make up 50-70% of the energy we take in...and it's easy to do.
I still, on occasion, look at everything I'm eating and make a mental note of the fat...I'm often surprised to see how much can creep in.
For example, now the kids are bigger, I use bigger pots to cook in...and because the pot is bigger I haven't even noticed that I use more oil or fat in the bottom...it's easy to have low-fat become way too much fat, especially in cooking and processed foods where fat (and sugar) often make up the biggest components.
Every gram of fat contains 9 calories! 9, that's nearly double what's in carbohydrates. So if your food calories list shows that at you've consumed, say 60 grams of fat a day...that's 540 calories...drop that by 20 grams and you've dropped you're calorie intake by 180 calories a day...And 20 grams of fat is one tablespoon and one teaspoon...that's all.
180 calories a day by 7 days...that's 1260 calories a week...you've dropped an entire day's calories in a seven week period. That's a lot of energy you don't have to exercise off...all for 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of fat a day!
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