Low Fat Diet
A low fat lifestyle can cut your risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary disease, cancer and stroke. Unlike other popular diet plans that are complicated and time-consuming, the Low Fat Diet is easy to follow and beginners can adapt quickly.
Some researchers say that the low fat diet is better than the low carb diet for reducing body fat and losing weight. Others say a low carb diet is better for losing weight – and in recent years the low or no carb diet plans have been the trend.
You can easily research these two diet plans along with others you think you might want to try and decide which is best for you.
Basic Principles of a Low Fat Diet
Some research indicates that a low fat diet plan leads to more fat loss and eventual weight loss – and that a low carb diet leads to fast weight loss. Fat loss has proven to be best for your health and is best for obese men and women.
The low fat diet plan encourages exercise to help you lose weight and be able to keep it off. Your energy comes from both burning fat and carbs and both depend on the hormone insulin for a good balance.
A good hormonal balance ensures that your metabolism burns more fat, lowers your insulin levels and causes you to eat less. Researchers in one study noted that the low fat diet resulted in more body fat lost than a low carb diet when it was tested calorie-for-calorie.
When you choose the low fat diet, you’ll be restricting fat and saturated fats, plus cholesterol. Preventing heart disease and obesity is the main focus for the low fat diet. By reducing the fat in your diet, you’ll naturally cut calories, too.
By going low-fat in your diet plan, you’ll be able to eat more food than when your diet was high in fats. Limiting fat intake to 35% of the total number of calories you consume in a day can prevent obesity and control saturated fats.
The low-fat diet includes more carbohydrates than the low-carb diet, so the calories add up easily and you might find yourself gaining weight if you don’t watch the calorie count. The promise of a low-carb diet plan is that you can eat foods high in fat.
Low carb can be much more difficult to keep weight off because you eventually want to eat fruit and other great-tasting, high carb foods. Reducing the fat in your diet means you’re reducing calories, so weight loss will occur.
Most diet plans are based on reducing calories, so other plans can be just as effective as the low fat diet for losing weight. One of the huge benefits of the low fat diet is that you’ll help prevent heart disease and lower your total and LDL cholesterol because you won’t be consuming foods with saturated fats.
Who a Low Fat Diet Works Best For
A low fat diet is especially good for very overweight or obese people who need to embark on a healthy diet that reduces fat in the body and helps regulate the metabolism.
This is a diet plan that can be followed for the long term because followers are usually happy with taste, are satisfied by the amount of food that can be consumed – and, it’s a practical diet that doesn’t require a lot of unusual ingredients.
Also, if you’re at high risk for coronary disease, stroke or the many other problems that can be caused by too much body fat, this could be the diet plan for you. The low fat diet is also a healthy plan, requiring that you change your lifestyle to consuming low fat foods that can keep you on track.
If your main focus is to lose weight, almost any type of diet will work. But if your objective is to lose weight, eat healthy and keep the weight off, the low fat diet may be able to generate results.
If you’re not willing to give up high fat foods such as donuts, cookies, other types of sweets and fatty meats and starches, this diet may not be for you. But, if your cholesterol is elevated you could be at risk for a stroke because of the plaque in your arteries.
The low fat diet limits the percentage of calories you consume from fat and also limits the sodium, dietary cholesterol and total calories. Many have complained that the low fat diet is bland – but it doesn’t have to be.
There are many ways to spice up your food without adding fat calories. Snacking between meals is also discouraged unless you snack on veggies or other low or no-fat foods.
Keep in mind that the foods must also be healthy for you. Some foods that tout low fat may be processed and considered unhealthy. The low fat diet won’t necessarily help you lose weight fast, but it will immediately make an impact on your health. Eventually, you will lose the weight you desire and you’ll be living a healthy lifestyle.
How to Get Prepared for a Low Fat Diet
There are good and healthy fats that you need in your diet and then there are the high fat foods that can put your health at risk. On the low fat diet plan, you need to familiarize yourself with the foods you can cook with and consume without adding fat to your diet.
If you cook with cooking oils that contain saturated fats, change to heart-healthy canola oil. Choose extra-lean meat when purchasing beef, pork or chicken breasts and then trim the meat to remove any extra fat.
Since you can bake, braise, poach, grill, broil, slow cook and microwave foods, you may want to purchase items that you can use for some of those cooking techniques. Be sure to read labels for the calorie amount. Some calorie-rich foods are labeled low-fat.
Healthy carbs can be consumed on the low-fat diet because high carb foods can sometimes trigger hunger. Make sure you choose healthy carbs such as fruit and whole-grains. Again, be aware of calories.
Plan your meals so that you have about as much time when not eating as when you’re sitting down to a meal. Your body will get used to the routine and it will serve to balance hormones.
You can prepare low fat dishes as easily as high fat dishes by following simple cooking conversions. There are lots of online cooking conversion charts you can use at a quick glance.
Measuring spoons, cups and other types of tools for cooking is important for you to have available in your kitchen to take the guesswork out of calorie and fat consumption. If you’re a busy person, you won’t lack for low-fat meals you can just pop in the microwave.
Learn how to read food labels. It’s essential for you to know the exact amount of fat in the product you’re purchasing. For example, extra lean or lean is used for meat such as poultry, seafood, game meat and meat.
Raw food that has never been frozen, cooked and contains no preservatives can be classified as fresh. Low on a food label might refer to calorie, cholesterol, fat, sodium and saturated fats.
Stay committed to a low fat diet plan and you’ll derive the benefits that it can provide such as good health, prevention of chronic diseases, gaining control of your life and losing weight.
After awhile, you will have more energy and self-confidence. Low fat is a lifestyle that you can easily adapt to if you prepare ahead of time and search for low fat options in the supermarket.
Sample Meal Plan for a Low Fat Diet
You don’t have to give up your favorite foods because you’re on a low fat diet. There are ways to reduce the fat without diminishing flavor. For example, lower the fat content in a BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich by trimming the fat on the bacon, use more lettuce and tomato and use mayonnaise that is fat-free.
Breakfast should always be a main meal on a low fat diet so you won’t lose steam in mid-morning. Use eggs and egg whites to make a great omelet with your favorite veggies and little or no butter.
Another healthy breakfast might consist of ¾ of a cup of oatmeal, orange juice, a banana and coffee. There’s hardly any saturated fat and as an extra bonus, all of the items can lower LDL because of the soluble fiber it contains.
Lunch can be quite filling with a Caesar salad made with egg substitutes and fat-free Parmesan cheese. Tacos or fajitas can be tasty items that you can take to work when you prepare ahead of time.
Use fat-free flour tortillas, lean flank steak – or beans – and lots of peppers and onions. Try ½ of a tuna sandwich made with light mayo, lettuce and tomato, a cup of low-sodium vegetable soup and an apple for a great brown-bag lunch that contains only 7.5 grams of fat.
Dinner can be very satisfying and tasty when you prepare ahead. You can prepare casseroles ahead of time and use trimmed, lean meat, reduced amounts of cream or cheese and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
Add lots of veggies, beans, grain, rice or pasta to the casserole for texture and taste. After dinner, enjoy a piece of fruit (but watch the calories) or a dessert made with low-or no-fat products.
Rather than preparing pasta dishes using high-fat cream, cheese sauce and meat, use pasta primavera or pasta marinara. Cream sauce could be made with skim milk, fat-free cottage cheese and sour cream and add a fat-free Parmesan cheese for a topping.
Give up unhealthy snacks such as potato chips or candy bars and snack on low-fat microwave popcorn and/or baby carrots. Snacking between meals can ruin your diet plans, so avoid the vending machine in favor of low-calorie, low-fat snacks.
Low calorie meal and snack alternatives can provide lots of ideas for revamping your favorites. Also, consider minerals and vitamins when preparing meals. Many foods contain calories from fat and sugar, but have very few vitamins and minerals.
Today, we can choose from many low-fat or no-fat substitutes as ingredients for many dishes. And, non-stick cookware can keep you from having to use oil for sautéing – or try the many varieties of olive oil and no-stick sprays.
Tips to Increase Success on a Low Fat Diet
The best ways to reduce fat and calories in a low-fat diet and achieve the success you want lies in the preparation process. By using some low-fat or no-fat substitutes in your favorite recipes you can eat more of the dish without the fatty side effects.
So many products on the market today can help you along with your low-fat diet plan. Low-fat mayonnaise, non-hydrogenated items and other substitutions for high-fat options are great choices to keep you from feeling deprived.
Avoid convenience items that may contain a high amount of fat and processed ingredients. When purchasing meat, always look for lean – and limit your red meat intake to no more than three times per week.
Dried beans, tofu, peas and lentils are great meat substitutes. You should also limit the amount of egg yolks you use to three or four a week. Always choose non or low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt. Other options for dairy include fat-free cream cheese and sour cream.
Use spices and herbs for flavoring to keep you from missing the fat that makes many dishes tastier. Use lots of veggies, rice and beans for meals and avoid recipes that require the use of a deep-fat fryer.
Our busy lives don’t always leave time to prepare dinner. During those times, choose low-fat frozen dinners or make extra when you cook and freeze some of your own dishes ahead of time.
For a delicious and light dressing for your salads, simply squeeze lemon juice, add a bit of vinegar of mist some olive oil on the veggies. When you’re cooking pastries, use Phyllo Dough for pies, tarts and turnovers.
Learn what your trigger foods are and avoid them. Trigger foods make you crave high-fat foods and can slow down your progress on the low-fat diet. Also, know what are your buffer foods are.
For example, to ward off cravings you may enjoy a couple of squares of dark chocolate in the afternoon rather than a high-fat snack. Using a fat-free chicken broth in your recipes like soups, gravy and mashed potatoes adds taste without adding lots of calories and fat.
Season French fries and bake them in the oven rather than frying them in oil. You can enjoy a glass of red wine in the evening. It’s full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and can actually help your heart by increasing HDL – the good cholesterol.
It’s all in moderation – and calorie counting. Exercise is a big part of any diet plan and you should know that some forms of exercise may serve to make you hungry while others have little effect.
Sleep and stress may also affect your weight loss and health plan. Be aware of your body and what it’s telling you about exercise, sleep and stress and discover how your lifestyle is affecting your eating habits and weight gain.
Your lifestyle greatly affects your metabolism and how your body reacts to the low-fat diet, so pay attention to your actions and preferences.