Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Sarah88

A question about Fat, and how to achieve a fat-adopted body (state of ketosis) (sorry that I am still confused!)

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, 

 

I am on day 4 of my first whole30, (after eating mostly paleo for over 4 years now) and so far so good. I started this whole30 because I have lately gained quite some fat around my belly (which I hate (obviously), without knowing the cause - for I already eat paleo, and my thyroid is working properly (got that checked out).  One of the major changes that I have now made is eating little to no fruit - and I am very excited to see what this will do for me. I have a terrible sweet tooth, and since I was already eating paleo most of the time before I started my whole30, I tried to satisfy it with fresh fruits, and occasionally some raisins. My breakfast typically consisted of a big bowl of 1 to 2 sliced medium sized appels, 4-5 sliced baby carrots, 1 sliced banana, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, 5 to 10 raisins, a tablespoon of dessicated coconut, 8 to10 halves of chopped walnuts, and a sprinkle of cinnamon -  sometimes with some lean turkey on the side. Now, even though this meal consists of healthy whole foods, I now understand that this is still a sugar bomb, and that my brain ''does not know the difference'' between a candy bar and a plum; it craved sugar, and it got sugar. (It Starts With Food, p. 124). Moreover, it is never truly satiating (even when paired with protein!) Surely, I feel stuffed minutes after eating it (because of all the water in the fruits), but then an hour later I am already hungry again. But then I count the calories in my serving (adding up to 400 to 500 - depending on the size of the banana and the amount of walnuts I ate), decide ''it must be enough'', and tell myself I cannot eat some more (because that will result in more calories and possibly weight gain), leaving me hungry for most of the day. Now, after reading ''It starts with food'', I begin to realize that MAYBE, the fact that my body (which is clearly NOT fat-adopted)  is putting on fat, is because I eat too much sugar, and because I stay clear from fat (because of my immense fear of gaining fat) I used to start my day off with sugar, I snacked on sugar, I rewarded myself with sugar after workouts. It may be in the form of apples, pears, plums and the occasional banana, but still its sugar. So, now, on this whole30, I am really making an effort to eat as little fruit as possible, and to only eat it when it is incorporated or part of a whole meal. So far so good, I am interested to see where that takes me...BUT...

The only thing I am really finding hard still is the ''fat issue''...Don't get me wrong, I totally believe the Hartwigs, Loren Cordain and Robb Wolf when they say that fats can be good for you and actually help you achieve weight loss. I do not at all doubt their expertise, but my fear of fat runs deep...I am still scared that when I start eating fat, I might eat too much of it without realizing, and then start to store it up around my waist. Like, with eggs. Eggs are one part protein, one part fat.  So, when I eat 2-3 eggs for breakfast, I think that is enough fat. But is it really? Should I use more fat, i.e. fry em off (in coconut oil, (I am on the ''paleo team'' that is against ghee and butter'', and I cannot get my hands on grass-fed butter anyway), or eat some avocado on the side? Same with meatloaf, I eat 100 % grassfed, organic meat (i.e. game meat: Calloway cattle and Highland cows (soooo happy about that!:)). But sure there is fat in beef mince. So, I know that a big slice of meatloaf (in which I also put some omega-3 enhanced eggs as a binder) will provide me the necessary protein, and I would think, also the proper amount of fat. But again, is this true, or should I eat some more fat? I really don't know what to make of that ''thumb-size'' serving suggestion - when my protein is not a lean cut of meat like a beef steak or a chicken breast (in which case I have no problem adding some avocado or olive oil to my meal) but, as in the example above, minced beef or chicken thighs...Oh and what about beef broth - made from a beef shank. It has quite a bit of bone marrow, but is it enough fat - in a 2liter soup + 800 grams of chopped veggies? Or is it wise to add some plain beef meatballs, say 300 grams? ( 300 grams for convenience, for that is how my minced meat is packaged;) ). Also, is fresh coconut meat a good snack, or source of fat when incorporated in a meal? And should I then eat a ''thumb-size'' slice, or can I have some more? 

I really really want my body to become fat adopted, but I am still confused as to how to achieve this..Should I also cut the carbs - i.e. less carrots, beets, and pumpkin? (I already hardly eat any (sweet) potatoes). Sorry for this long (and possibly tedious/confusing) post, but I really want to make the most of this and hope you guys can help me! 

:)

 

xoxo

Sarah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep eating the starchy veggies. They are important to energy and often to mood. They are important to my sleeping well. 

 

You do not need to add fat to your meal when you are consuming a fat food like whole eggs or ribeye steak. Some minced beef is low fat and some has an adequate amount. You have to exercise judgement in these regards. A good rule of thumb is that your meal should taste good and keep you satisfied 4-5 hours. If you do not get enough fat, you will get hungry too soon. Too little protein might cause the same problem, but if you are following the meal template portion sizes, it is usually lack of fat that makes a meal not keep you going long enough.

 

Snacks are not a good idea. You can eat something if you get hungry between meals, but rather than planning for a snack, let getting hungry between meals be a signal that you need to increase the size of your meals or adjust their composition (add more fat) to make them last longer. When you need to eat between meals, a mini-meal with protein, fat, and veggies is superior to a one dimensional snack. Your body needs nourishment when you get hungry and that calls for a mini-meal.

 

The broth that I make is rich with fat, but when I make soup, I add a can of coconut milk to make the soup even creamier. I usually make a veggie soup, so I have to add a protein portion to make a meal with soup. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was afraid of fat too. Lots of people are when they start. I ate a ton of fat for a whole year...probably a can or more of olives per day, fatty cuts of meat with mayo added, eggs almost every day, and my vegetables were always cooked in coconut oil or steamed and then I'd add olive oil. I also ate coconut flakes and nuts a few days a week. I am 5'5", 130-135 pounds for reference, and I workout 3-4 days per week. I did not gain weight the entire year. Now...my goal was to lose 10 pounds (I was around 140-142 last year) and that didn't happen either. I found that I did need to cut back a bit on the fat and increase my protein portions instead to lose some weight (I'm still operating within the meal template). But it was pretty awesome that I could eat all that delicious fat and not gain weight. You're just going to have to experiment, everyone is a little different. Try not to worry about it though...at least give it a chance for the 30 days and see how you do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adding to the above - about the time you start to become morally appalled by the amount of fat you're eating, you're close to halfway to the amount your body actually needs. Women have been lied to about fat. We really, really, really need it. If you have a question about whether you need to add more, just add another dollop. It's almost impossible to go over the top on fat consumption if you are a woman, just because of how much we've been lied to about fat and how desperately we fear it.

 

We also need carbs, especially right before our periods. The reason we crave carbs (chocolate often fills that role in USAmerican culture) is because we need carbs.

 

In Whole30 land we really believe in not going hungry.  Eat your fat, eat your carbs, eat your protein. If you're hungry again soon, eat that again. At some point you'll figure out how to eat three meals a day most days (but in the days before my period I'm at six full meals per day and that ain't gonna change until menopause).

 

Eat. Eat fat. Eat carbs. Eat other veggies. Eat protein. Often the sugar dragon just really means we're hungry. So happy Whole30ing and enjoy all the wonderful food. :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also just to be clear, which strangely no one else seems to have addressed - Whole 30 is not a ketogenic way of eating. 

From the heading of your post, you may be thinking that is it. 

If you want to achieve ketosis, that is a whole other program. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife is a former natural bodybuilding champ and has been told that fat is the enemy for years. On the bodybuilding plan she would go on no added fat for... months, before a competition. She would get all kinds of side effects from that diet, especially her joints would ache and she did trainings on will power alone. Not even mentioning food boredom, low energy and hunger.... but if her coach told her it was just steamed fish/rice/broccoli and whey shakes for the next 2 months, she would do it.
When we started the Whole 30 she loved the results, but we noticed that if she cooked our breakfasts... we would be starving at 10:30am. When I cooked breakfast, we would be fine till lunch. She really had to make an effort to override her internal programming and add some ghee (instead of dusting the pan with pam spray).
We are now months further, she overcame her fear of fat (and is now allowed to cook breakfast again)... her body actually looks better now than in her bodybuilding years... because she is able to train harder, recover quicker and she is less obsessed with her bodyfat percentage.She has an 8-pack stomach while eating normal to big portions of fat (I don't, but my stomach is flatter then when I was in my 20's). Fat really is not the enemy here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes to all above me! I lose weight on a W30 because I stop snacking, cut out the sugary stuff (even fruit - no more than 2 servings a day works well for me), and eat fat. I don't add mayo to everything anymore, but on my first Whole 30 I ate 1/4 cup mayo dip every day for lunch. Plus coconut milk mixed into my sweet potato mash. Plus whatever I had to go with dinner. I lost 14 lbs on that one, and felt fantastic.

 

I don't eat much fruit (I allow myself some at breakfast) but I do eat lots of starchy carbs. My husband and I have at least one sweet potato per day and, most days, also have white potato, parsnip, and/or carrot. Hubby is more active than me (shoulder issues stlil plaguing me) and he wouldn't survive without it. One of our dinners this week was a beef roast with carrots, parsnips, carrots, and mushrooms. We served that with mashed potatoes. Last night we topped a baked white sweet potato with taco beef, salsa, and a spoon of mayo with cucumber and a few slices of pineapple on the side.

 

Lunch is probably my lowest-fat meal, but that's just the way that my body seems to prefer it. I eat a fairly large breakfast and a fairly large dinner, with lunch just being enough to tide me over. If I'm starving before dinner, I keep a small baggie of salted pistachios in my desk at work. I don't usually touch them (don't want people asking if they can have them...) unless I need them, and it gives me what I tend to miss more at lunch time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone for your kind and useful advice! I will definately try to conquer my fear of fat, and eat plenty of it, especially when it comes from good animals, like game and grassfed beef. I am still not a 'sauce and condiment' person - I don't see myself adding dallops of mayo to my food, but again, I will try to eat more avocados and bone broth etc. 

 

@Deb: I know the whole30 is not designed to achieve a state of ketosis. What I do know, from Loren Cordain's book on the Paleo Diet, is that Ketosis was crucial to our evolution. Hunter-gatherer tribes would have a big ''meat'' meal in the evening, and often the next day they had to run and run on an empty stomach, chasing a mommoth, before they could eat again. Given the relatively minor role of carbohydrate-rich foods (even the consumption of many tubers is thought to have come later with the advent of cooking practices), our bodies were fairly frequently operating in the arena of ketosis. Add to this the fasts and famines of primal living, and it’s clear that ketones served as an essential energy source. 

I should have made myself more clear; sorry about that, because I indeed said that I wanted to achieve a state of ketosis. That's not completely what I meant, but I do know that even on my paleo diet, I think most of my energy comes from fruit, that is sugar, which might be part of the reason that my body never becomes ''fat adopted'' as the Hartwigs put in in their book. So, I am definately interested in trying to achieve that ''fat-adopted'' state, in which my body will also rely on fat for its energy. That's why I have minimized my fruit intake (huge difference with before my whole30), and try to eat more fat, but this is a hard goal to achieve if you are as ''afraid'' of fat as I am. That's why I formulated the question the way I did, but I totally understand that I came across as if I did not understand the whole30 program. Sorry about that! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest WholeStanley

Is it really true that you can't eat too much fat?! i love fat and so have never had an issue with adding it to meals - avocado, olives, nuts (although not too often), coconut, olive oil and animal fat (one of my motto's in life is that there is near to nothing that isn't made better with chicken fat) are some of my favourite foods so I am always happy to add these to meals (regardless to whether I have am eating them with fish, eggs, steak or fatty lamb)..is this something I should be watching out for? What are the consequences of over doing my fat in take?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it really true that you can't eat too much fat?!

 

Fat is a mostly self-regulating substance--it is so satiating that, assuming hormones are in line and you aren't confusing your bodies signals with processed food--you will stop eating before it becomes "too much." That said, if fat is pushing protein and veggies off your plate, its possible to be eating too much. The meal template is the key here. Make sure you have all three components (palm of protein, thumb or two of fat and lots of veggies) and you will be just fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites