Fat For Wellness
I eat lots of fat. I think the conscious decision to increase my fat intake may be one of the most important and impactful changes I have undertaken to improve my wellness. At a minimum, I now eat 50% of my calories from fat. It is typically closer to 60% and can even approach 70% on certain days.
The areas within wellness that I am noticing positive changes include energy levels, strength, body fat composition, and regulation of appetite. I have been steadily burning fat deposits in my body while leaning out with healthy muscle retention ever since I made the concerted effort to increase my fat consumption.
For my entire adult life, I had been resigned to the fact that my body type would remain “skinny fat” with areas of flab basically stuck on me for good. These problem areas, where my body previously clung to fat, are slowly and noticeably starting to change for the better. It is the ultimate irony that the tide for my body composition is steadily starting to turn thanks in a large part to eating more fat.
My Sources Of Fat
The main and recurring sources of fat that I eat are avocados, salmon, grass-fed beef, grass-fed butter, coconut milk, nuts, and olive oil. While I used to eat strictly within the confines of the Paleo diet, grass-fed cheese and sugar-free peanut butter are consumed often. I just enjoy cheese and peanut butter too much to be without those two tasty food items in my life.
For an additional boost of powerful fats I supplement with MCT oil every single day. I use it in Bulletproof style coffees, add it to salad dressings, and even mix it with lemon water in the afternoon. That fatty lemon water serves as an energizing alternative to drinking a 3rd cup of coffee. MCT oil provides an immediate and noticeable boost of clarity and overall steady source of energy upon consumption. It is noted to have multiple and significant wellness benefits.
My Introduction To Fat For Wellness
Fat as a healthy ingredient for wellness first got on my radar through an introduction to bulletproof style coffee, which someone had posted online about. It was early in my stages of Paleo, so I was becoming more aware and open to new concepts for wellness. However, I recall my initial reaction to adding butter to coffee as skeptical and defensive. I still had low-fat dogma ingrained in my being from all the low-fat hysteria I lived through as a kid in the 80’s and 90’s.
While I jumped into trying and ultimately enjoying bulletproof coffees, I still did not fully grasp the overall importance that fat played in our wellness. I incorporated the buttered beverage into my life but took no further actions to increase fat intake overall.
As I grew older and became a father I became even more interested in wellness and how foods directly impact our performance in life. The more I dug for information the more I started to come across key authoritative figures preaching the value of fat. As the apt saying goes “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. There were two podcast episodes I viewed online that both created seismic shifts in my belief in fat as a key component to wellness.
The first involved Mark Sisson as a guest on The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. Mark is a wildly impressive and accomplished guy, but he keeps his teachings and beliefs on wellness grounded in everyday life. He does not veer off into new age quackery which I appreciate.
While Mark is someone I would describe as a front line experimenter and investigator of life performance hacks, the second influential podcast episode featured a figure entrenched in the medical community.
That second transformational podcast I viewed was an episode with Dr. Mark Hyman on the Bulletproof Radio podcast, founded and hosted by Bulletproof brand CEO Dave Asprey. It was incredibly powerful to witness as Dr. Hyman acknowledged significant players within the medical community got it wrong with pushing low-fat diets.
He even specifically called out the American Heart Association for being complicit in pushing diets high in refined carbs. Those high-carb diets only served to further wreak havoc on the overall wellness of society.
These two figures, a front line hacker and highly respected representative of the medical community, put me on a new path of consciously increasing fat intake.
If you were a kid in the 80’s and 90’s then you got beat over the head with low-fat dogma. The majority of the medical community pushed a high-carb diet and demonized fat in the process. I recall as a kid sitting down and digging into all sorts of snacks and processed junk food and thinking it was healthy because it was branded and marketed as “low-fat” or “fat-free”. We put trust into our doctors for guidance on these matters and the sad fact is that they got this one wrong.
Even worse, there is still a significant contingent of the medical community that is woefully behind on the times or just plain ignorant of proper nutritional information. The current healthcare model seems to be lacking a comprehensive approach towards general wellness which should include an emphasis on the foods we feed our body.
Thankfully, the internet has completely shattered the model for the way information now gets disseminated to the masses. Long gone are the days of having to rely on the top-down flow of information through a few concentrated sources, like relying only on your family doctor for all wellness guidance. Groundbreakers are out there on the front lines testing the limits of previous misconceptions and pushing wellness forward through productive chatter in communities online. New means of improving your performance in life are spreading like wildfire online and are tipping beyond niche and into the mainstream.
Food Powers Our Performance In Life
Since graduating from college, almost 20 years ago now, and leaving behind the gluttonous nature of the college lifestyle, my life has involved a series of different dietary and exercise strategies. While some concepts completely flamed out on me, like my attempt at vegetarianism, I do not consider anything I have ever attempted for the sake of wellness to be a failure. Even my period of being a vegetarian highlighted for me that what we feed our bodies has a direct and immediate impact on our performance in life.
So while vegetarianism was not a fit for me, I stayed open and aware of the lessons it was teaching me. My recent education and evolution of my diet surrounding fat had been one of the most significant changes I have undertaken for my wellness efforts. Adding fats to your diet is an easily actionable step that you can take and repeat with consistency. You are not depriving or restricting yourself of anything by taking this step. In fact, you are opening yourself up to some incredibly tasty foods like cheeses, guacamole, salmon, and grass-fed butter.
Focus on Breakfast First
As you begin to consume more fats you will undergo some positive changes. Changes like your body primarily burning fat for fuel and energy as opposed to burning sugar from carbohydrates. This is especially key in the morning hours. Try focusing your breakfast around fats and proteins and truly limit the carbohydrates first thing in the morning. You will feel fuller for longer and burn fat as your primary source of energy. You can even try experimenting with buttered coffee as a simple, tasty, and fatty meal replacement option at breakfast.
By eliminating carbs in the morning you slowly but surely become “fat adapted”, as Mark Sisson would say. Your hunger and appetite will become regulated more efficiently. Your energy will be smoother and more sustainable. You will finally get yourself off the roller coaster ride of afternoon crashes resulting from carb-laden meals earlier in the day.
Fat Is A Powerful Ally
I truly feel fat is a powerful ally in our wellness efforts. I have been experiencing incredible first-hand benefits from my decision to increase fat intake. Try with the simple first step of changing your breakfast away from carbohydrates and moving strictly to fat and protein in the morning. You will be well on your way to better regulation of appetite, sustained energy levels, and a leaner body composition.
Give fat a chance as your primary calories for breakfast for a few days and drop a comment with how you feel afterwards. Is fat a key component in your wellness efforts already? What are the tastiest food sources you get your key fat calories from? Let us know in the comments.