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The high fat diet - does it really work?

School Of Nutrition Posted Jul 06, 2015 Future Fit Training

What is this ‘high fat’ diet you’ve heard about? It promises weight loss of up to 10lbs in only 2 weeks.

The high fat diet - does it really work?

Can you really eat fat to get rid of fat?  I’ve got to be honest, it sounds pretty awesome, conjuring up images of pizza, cake and a six pack!

Well, that’s what the authors would have you believe. However, there’s many a couch potato that has been practising this art for many years with no sight of their abs yet. 

So what rules do I need to follow to allow this magic phenomenon of fat loss to occur?

In essence, you can eat a lot of high fat foods like nuts, avocado, butter and cream cheese, oily fish and red meat.  You also need to ensure your protein intake is high and your carbohydrate intake is low.  Now the ‘high fat’ diet starts to look a little less fun.  Nowhere on that list does it say you can eat biscuits or chocolate or any of the high fat foods I had imagined.  So maybe it is just another diet fad after all. 

It does appear shockingly similar (though short-term) to the Atkins diet trend of days gone by, previously ridiculed for causing high cholesterol amongst other issues.  Nobody is saying these diets don’t work - on the contrary.  Anything that makes you think every day, or even every meal, is likely to have an impact on your weight.  If you are acutely aware of your intake of food, you are far more likely to only take in what you require.  Any diet plan will agree that an excess of calories will lead to an excess of body fat.  All diet plans aim to limit your calories and make you think about every meal you eat so that you can gain control and avoid the pitfalls of life (like the ‘all you can eat’ buffet) and stay at a healthy weight for you.  The trouble with diets is that if you choose to start one, you have to inevitably come off it.  This particular diet lasts 14 days.  So if you eat in this way for 14 days, lose your 10lbs, the author suggests you will have no problem keeping this weight off due to the hormonal imbalance created by the diet.   We know that to lose 10lbs of fat would take a deficit of 35,000 calories, which would be impossible in 14 days when you are restricted to only 12 minutes of exercise per day.  But could you lose ‘up to 10lbs’?  Well…. errrr, yes.  I would have to say you can.

So essentially this is a low carb diet?

Yes, essentially, it is.  What makes us gain weight is the delicious combination of both carbs and fat (usually presented to us in the form of processed food).  If we restrict one of these elements, in this case carbs, then we can eat as much as we want of the other and still be restricting our calorie intake as we cannot eat what we used to eat as fat without carbs is actually quite boring (as is carbs without fat!).  A diet low in carbs has the additional downfall of making you feel tired and sluggish, low in energy, lacking in attention and generally lowering your productivity.  This couldn’t be sustained.

So does it work?

The only diet that works is the one you can keep doing forever.  Up to 10lbs weight loss in 14 days is not a long-term solution.  Think instead about long-term health, installing healthy eating and exercise habits to your life as well as the lives of your family. 

Written by Heather Oakes   

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