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Do you watch your fat intake?

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Old 03-11-2005, 10:32 AM   #1
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Default Do you watch your fat intake?

I'm really curious about how important y'all think reducing fat intake is in weight loss. I've read in Thin for Life that successful maintainers tend to eat a low fat diet, but I REALLY hate eating lowfat or fatfree yogurt, cheese, mayo, or salad dressing. :gross I also enjoy olives, olive oil, avocado, and almonds. When I've logged my food on Fitday, my fat intake is often around 40-45%, but it's primarily the so-called "healthy fats". I'm losing weight, so my feeling is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." What do you think? Do you reduce your fat intake? If so, why? Do you do it to reduce calories or for health reasons? If not, is it working for you? Please share!
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Old 03-11-2005, 11:33 AM   #2
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I too have struggled with my fat intake (and had that same "uh oh" moment when reading Thin for Life!). Like you, most of my fats are "healthy" ones (ok, except for cheese, but I try to stick to lower-fat cheeses like parmigiano), but I struggle keeping my fat intake under 35% of my diet. Optimally, I would like to have a perfect balance of 33/33/33 fat/protein/carbs, but I rarely hit that.

I don't mind some lowfat stuff, but I *hate* the processed, artificial-tasting low and fat-free products (fat free cheese = disgusting to me) and would rather eat "whole" foods. Plus, foods with some fat fill me up much more than those without.

We are losing, so maybe it doesn't matter so much as long as our focus is overall health (although sometimes I wonder if this is why others lose so much faster than I)? I wish I had an answer for you, but I'm in the same boat! I'd love to hear others' thoughts.
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Old 03-11-2005, 12:05 PM   #3
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Fat intake is surely of some importance for me. I do not see any problem eating low fat yogurts, mayo, margarine, etc… However, in my situation two other values have a much higher importance.


Since my weight loss program is partly based on calories reduction#, I count them very closely. Furthermore, having high BP, amount of sodium is also very important.
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Old 03-11-2005, 01:56 PM   #4
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Last pg I had a gallbladder attack and I went on a very low fat diet. I was tracking to make sure I only had the tiniest bit of fat. Once the baby was born I had no milk unlike the last 9 times. I always wondered if its related. I managed to gain 13 lbs in 6 mos while making 50 oz of milk a day and walking 3 hours a week while still on a very low fat diet. Last summer I read the book Eat, Drink and Be Healthy. It has a lot of info about good fats and bad fats, and healthy eating. He claims people on low fat diets tend to be overweight. He also says after smoking being overweight is the leading risk in heart disease. What you eat comes after. Harvard School of Public Health has a website explaining the healthy eating. I was surprised as I had learned that fat was bad in college nutrition.

Since I count calories I tend to eat less fat just because they make the calories add up fast. My food goals includes 2 servings of fruit, 5 of vegetables and 90 grams of protein. It's hard to get them in at 1500 cals if I eat too much fat. I don't buy anything anymore with transfats and I limit saturated fats for the whole family.

I don't think you need to eat low fat to maintain or lose. I'm with you on the fat free products. Most are gross. I'd rather eat less than eat them. The 2 things I missed the most on the very low fat diet were cheese and chocolate. I'll have to look for parmigiano

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Old 03-11-2005, 02:08 PM   #5
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I definitely watch my fat but I've never actually counted grams, or calories for that matter, so I have no idea what percentage of fat I eat in a day. I substitute fat free/low fat alternatives for the things I don't mind like fat free sour cream and salad dressing, yogurt, etc. But there's just some things that cannot/should not be substituted. So I say, for the ones that matter most to you, enjoy them the way they are, but sparingly. And try to stick to the "good" or "healthy" fats as much as possible. The thing is, this works differently for everyone, and you've got to find what works for you. Who cares how many grams of fat society thinks we should eat in a day? If what you are doing is working for you and you feel you can live with this way of eating for the rest of your life, then go for it!

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Old 03-11-2005, 02:26 PM   #6
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I remember reading somewhere that the daily allowance for men was 65 grams. I do watch my fat and try to stay within 40 to 50 grams a day. However my calorie counting usally keeps me within those limits anyway. I know you don't have to count fat to lose because I never did before. It's just a question of wanting to be more healthy for me. My dad had heart problems and I would like to avoid that if possible. Did not start out the first half of my life doing that so I'm trying to make amends now.
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Old 03-11-2005, 03:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabear
Since I count calories I tend to eat less fat just because they make the calories add up fast.
That's pretty much me. I set a goal on fitday to try and stay under 50 a day but it doesn't always work out. Some days I may only take in 10-20 and other days have close to 100.

I say that if what you are doing now works for you then I wouldn't try and mess with your fats. If you do start plateauing and need something to spice it up, that may be something to mess with.
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:05 PM   #8
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I don't count fat grams, but I do eat according to a pattern (using exchanges) which provides roughly 20% of my calories as fat. I almost NEVER eat fat-free anything, and eat only select reduced-fat products. I use lowfat (not nonfat) milk, reduced fat cheese (sometimes, depending on taste) or cheese that's naturally lower in fat, like parmesan, lowfat cottage cheese & ricotta, reduced fat sour cream. I will use some reduced fat salad dressings IF I like the taste, or salad dressings that are already lower in fat (usually vinaigrettes vs. creamy dressings). I do eat nonfat yogurt, but that's about the only nonfat thing I can think of that I eat. I use real olive oil (just a dribble), margarine made from olive oil, real mayonnaise.

The point is that it's hard to eat a reduced calorie diet (however you define that) and eat a lot of fat, without shorting other nutrients. Yes, good fat is healthy and necessary, but I reduce my fat intake along with everything else. Because I want to eat enough carbohydrate, a lot of fruit & vegetables, adequate protein, etc., I limit the amount of fat in my diet. By definition, I eat a "low fat diet" but it is NOT chock-full of "fat free" foods and it does include adequate good fats.
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:06 PM   #9
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You're right - Like you guys, I definitely eat less fat than I used to because of counting calories! It's like this... I can have a HUGE spinach salad with some tuna or I can have... a dollop of sour cream. Which am I gonna pick now?

Yup, the sour cream. Preferably with a spoon, right of out the container. Kidding!!!! Kidding!!!

Ewww.
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:11 PM   #10
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Thumbs up Less than 20g a day for me!

I do watch my fat intake. I keep it under 24 grams a day. I've been consistant with this for 2 months and, along with exercise, have lost 26 lbs.

Some FF stuff IS absolutly nasty. Kraft FF cheddar is awful, i usually go fo the 2% milk cheeses or reduced fat, and use it sparingly. FF yougurt is really good, you don't get that film in your mouth like you do with full fat kinds. I like the Dannon Light n Fit.

I also REALLY like chips and salsa, but bagged baked corn chips are spongy, so I bake my own! buy a low fat corn tortilla and cut into 8 wedges, spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, spread out the wedges in a single layer, sray with cooking spray, salt and bake for 15 min at 350.

If I know I'm going to have a food that's going to use most of my grams for that day, I just compensate by eating FF everything else for that day. For me, keeping a chart really helps, figuring out the serving size of foods and being accountable for what you take in.
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:49 PM   #11
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I hate the Fat Free stuff, it makes me gag! But I'm enjoying low fat marble cheese, and prefer low fat sour cream, and I don't notice much of a difference between low fat and full fat salad dressings. I don't count fat grams, or calories, or anything for that matter.. I probably should.. but it feels like too much work for me right now. Instead I eat veggies and lean proteins, and thats about it. I eat tons of salads and stirfry's, omlet's.. every once in a while I have something else, but it makes my tummy sore. It always amazes me how different we all eat.. just proves there is no one way to lose weight.

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Old 03-11-2005, 05:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Yup, the sour cream. Preferably with a spoon, right of out the container. Kidding!!!! Kidding!!!
Kidding my foot! You know you love it Jen! But I'm right there with you, I could literally sit down with a full container and a spoon and eat the whole damn thing! Mmmmm, sour cream!

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Old 03-11-2005, 05:38 PM   #13
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Jennifer, you make me laugh!

I'm a big fan of Dr. Weil who doesn't believe in the theory of "everything can be eaten as long as it's in moderation," because there are some things that shouldn't be eaten at all! I watch my fats and try to pick fats that are good for me but I don't subsititute fats. So if I'm going to use cheese, it's going to be the real thing.

Now there are things that I consider permissible:

Fat-free cottage cheese tastes no different to me.
Neufchatel cheese tastes better than cream cheese to me!
Non-Fat milk and yogurt - same.

But I'll have olive oil & vinegar over any fat-free salad dressing any day of the week.

I'm becoming more and more a Whole Foods girl.
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Old 03-12-2005, 12:56 PM   #14
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Fat gram intake is actually the only thing I do when I'm dieting (which I'm currently not ). I lost 96 lbs in 10 month on low fat dieting and exercising alone. I don't count calories or carbs. I originally ate 30 grams of fat per day, eventually cutting it back to 20 on the 2 days I didn't work out and 25 on the 5 days per week I did. It certainly isn't the thing for everyone but for me, who is way more of a fat food addict than a carb addict, it does the trick.

I agree with most those that just plain sensible portions and sensible choices are the best way to go. For me I needed some kind of guidelines and knew eating too much fat was my problem so I chose to make that the # I count. I have figured out a few times approximately what my caloric intake is and it runs around 1500 on the average day when I'm dieting.

Just thought I'd throw my two cents worth in!
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Old 03-12-2005, 01:30 PM   #15
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(Okay, I'll fess up -- In my earlier days, I've been known to TASTE sour cream by itself, with a spoon, but let's keep that just between us. )

After reading these posts, another piece of advice from Thin for Life occurs to me: Do It Your Way. There's not just one way to lose the weight. Each of us has to find a strategy that works for us and that we can live with forever. I find that to be an exciting prospect, actually.

Yay us.
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