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!
03-11-2005, 11:33 AM
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.
03-11-2005, 12:05 PM
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.
03-11-2005, 01:56 PM
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 (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/) 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 :)
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!
03-11-2005, 02:26 PM
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.
03-11-2005, 03:43 PM
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.
03-11-2005, 04:05 PM
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.
03-11-2005, 04:06 PM
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!!! :devil:
03-11-2005, 04:11 PM
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.
03-11-2005, 04:49 PM
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.
03-11-2005, 05:05 PM
Yup, the sour cream. Preferably with a spoon, right of out the container. Kidding!!!! Kidding!!!
Kidding my foot! You know you love it Jen! :s: 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! :sssh: Mmmmm, sour cream! :T
03-11-2005, 05:38 PM
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.
03-12-2005, 12:56 PM
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!
03-12-2005, 01:30 PM
(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. :lol: )
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.
03-12-2005, 07:05 PM
I count fat grams and it has helped me lose 10 pounds so far. It's been a long time, this is the 3rd month, but so far its working, I TRY to stay at 35 grams of fat per day, however, I have been known to double that when chocolate is in the area! I have not eaten a spoonful of sour cream by itself before, but I have eaten icing like that.
03-12-2005, 10:43 PM
I watch my fat intake, but calories are my main focus. I do watch food labels closely and try to get foods with low saturated fats. I eat regular cheese, just measured portions and I count it all. Some things I prefer low-fat, such as milk. Regular 2% milk tastes like heavy cream to me now!
03-13-2005, 07:49 AM
I have eaten icing like that.
Oh yeah, me too, :T along with hot fudge, peanut butter, and I even ate mayonaise straight out of the jar when I was a kid! Now THAT'S twisted! :crazy:
03-13-2005, 11:32 AM
EWWWW! That just turned my stomach Beverly. Mayonaise straight out of the jar. LOL The sour cream was bad enough. I don't even like milk unless I have food like Italian or peanut butter. I can't stand to just drink a glass by it's self. I love all these things in the right cobo but just not alone.
03-13-2005, 11:47 AM
Nah I can beat that. My little cousin, when she was like 4, used to eat straight butter. When we would go out to eat and they had those little butter pats........she would sneak and just eat those straight. Anybody elses kids do this? Shes like a teenager now and all self conscious about what she eats. Ah. The difference about 10 years can make.
03-13-2005, 02:42 PM
I like butter creamed with sugar...If you dredged those pats in sugar, I'd be THERE. No, not anymore, I wouldn't.
Hey, I eat peanut butter about every day. I usually have 1/2 a serving on a couple pieces of wheat bread for breakfast -- when I alternate from cereal and fruit for breakfast.
03-13-2005, 03:15 PM
Both my kids were butter eaters. They started out licking it off their toast as toddlers then when they got older they would sneak a stick split it in half and eat it. I thought for awhile I was going crazy because of the missing butter til I found the wrappers in their garbage. Well thankfully they out grew it. My daughter is married and has a 1 month old baby and my son is in High School and they would say it never happen. lol
As for watching fat I do and I believe it is the key to my weight loss. I do try fat free and low fat stuff and have enjoy some and hate others. I think it would be a nice thread for us to pass on what we liked or didn't like about a ff or low fat or we can even go into sugarless , low carb.. the list goes on... products.
Here's some of my hits
2% cheese kraft cheese slices
FF Kraft Pudding
Light Dasiy Sour Cream
Laughing Cow Cheese
94 % FF ActII popcorn (mini bags)
Splenda (my sugar sub)
Brumel and Brown Yogurt Butter. (all flavors)
That's all I can think of right now since my cold meds make me a bit fuzzy.
03-13-2005, 03:46 PM
We use Brumel and Brown. I love that in place of butter.
03-13-2005, 03:51 PM
I thought I'd hate FF cottage cheese, but I really like the Darigold brand.
Some things I like:
Tillamook FF Sour Cream
Sara Lee Delightful Wheat Bread
Laughing Cow Light spreadable cheese
94% FF popcorn
FF milk (any brand is good to me)
Trader Joe's FF pepperjack cheese (melted in omelets only)
FF plain yogurt (Nancy's or Cascade Farms)
SF FF jello pudding (mixed with the above mentioned yogurt)
Best Foods Light Mayonnaise (Hellman's in the east, I believe)
Heart Smart FF mayo is okay for some things
Dr. Praeger's veggie burgers (tried Morningstar veggie sausage today--a big yuck!)
ICBINB Light margarine
Newman's Own Balsamic Vinagrette Light salad dressing
03-13-2005, 04:38 PM
I love Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. I don't like most foods with aspartame - yogurts, especially, seem to have a nasty bitter aftertaste. I'd rather have regular low-fat yogurt any day. I worry about the sugar substitutes, especially Nutrasweet and headaches. I adore Ken's Steakhouse fat-free raspberry vinaigrette.
03-14-2005, 08:48 AM
I don't count my fat grams, since almost everything I have at home is either low-fat or fat-free. I have started buying things differently simply because they include nutrition information, though. I now use Kraft 2% American cheese slices rather than deli cheese because I was afraid I wasn't accurately accounting for te calories in the unlabeled deli cheese. Same with sandwich meat. I now buy the plastic containers of pre-sliced ham (thinly sliced, only 10 calories per slice, and I am fine with just 2 slices on a sandwich)--I don't remember what brand that is, though.
Splenda makes me very nervous. I don't avoid it all together, but I do watch how much I take in, and I don't use it when I make things from scratch. It has not been on the market long enough, and not enough long-term studies have been done to test the effects of the chemicals. Actually, Splenda is also presently being sued for false advertisement (lawsuit was filed in December by the Sugar Association--they're also being sued by the makers of Equal) for their claims of being made from natural sugar. While Splenda does begin as sucralose, which comes from sucrose, which comes from sugar cane, it is then chemically alterred to remove the calories. Therefore, basically one of the ingredients is sugar, then a bunch of stuff is done to it and added to it to alter its makeup. Saying "Splenda comes from sugar" is like adding a little powdered sugar to crack cocaine and saying "crack comes from sugar, so it must be healthy." Bah, I just don't think chemicals should be the answer to the obesity epidemic. :soap: Sorry, I'll get down now :p
I think the one thing that really turned me off of sugar subsitutes was sugar-free candy. Have you ever had sugar-free Hershey's or Reese's candies? When I tried a low-carb diet, I thought they were a godsend! Then I found myself in the bathroom multiple times and having horrible stomach aches--NEVER again. They come in many forms...lacitol, malitol, sorbitol...these "itol"-ending sweeteners are **** on my digestive system! IT makes sense, though...if it's not natural and has no calories, then your body has no use for it, so what goes in must come out...Just my two cents (or three or four).
03-14-2005, 09:21 AM
Thanks for your responses! I find it so interesting how people successfully lose weight using different strategies. I guess it shows there is no one "answer" to weight loss. Goddess Jessica, I, too, strive to be a "whole foods" girl, and that's another reason why I don't like to use fatfree stuff. Aren't they full of chemicals? If I'm wrong, please, someone correct me!
03-14-2005, 10:36 AM
My daughter loves butter. When we have corn on the cob and have a slab of butter sitting out, we have to watch her or she'll reach in with both hands and chow down.
I have heard of some pediatricians actually encouraging parents to put butter on toddler's food just to get in more fat in their diet.
03-14-2005, 12:25 PM
I watch my fat intake but I'm not religious about it. I too am a bit of a fan of Dr Andrew Weil, and avoid "scary fats" the trans fatty acids, and try to avoid saturated fats as much as I can. I have discovered hemp oil, which is lovely on salads, and you only need a wee little bit to make your salad taste delicious.
One of the things that helped me a lot was Dr Weil saying that we are meant to like fats, that it's natural to love rich, creamy foods, that they are comforting and nourishing. I had such a guilt complex about my love of butter and cream. now I accept that I like them, but they are not good for me, and I feel a lot more "zen" about staying away from them, if that makes sense!!!
03-15-2005, 11:02 PM
Jillybean, I just saw an article about the Splenda lawsuits. Pretty scary stuff, I agree. There's a website http://www.truthaboutsplenda.com/ that bears reading. I know, there's an alarmist website about everything, be it natural or chemically-altered man-made stuff...But still, bears reading.