What if I told you that you could lose weight while still eating delicious, high-fat foods?
I have struggled my whole life with belly fat. It’s been a lifelong problem because even though the rest of my body was skinny, I’ve had a bit of belly fat since kindergarten, when I was picked to read a free-for-all poem. I was traumatized in first grade when a kid called me “Chubby Checkers” (a popular singer in the 1960s who was a bit overweight). Even as a raw fooder, I couldn’t get rid of the “apple shape” or having a belly relatively larger than my hips.
That is…until I discovered the secret of fighting fat with fat. Now, at 53 and post-menopause, I have reached my goal weight for the first time since high school. I can proudly wear designer jeans and dress like a younger woman. And best of all, I no longer struggle to keep it. I’ve learned the secrets to fighting fat with fat.
In the 1980s there was a theory that we could eat all the carbohydrates we wanted and that they would not be stored as fat. Body fat came primarily from dietary fat, the theory went. And there were studies to test this theory, of course. So the idea was to eat as little fat as possible. While there is some truth to that, since dietary fat can be more easily stored as body fat, those who subscribed to this theory overdid it by eating less of essential fatty acids. They suffered from depression, fatigue, premenstrual syndrome and all kinds of diseases. Simply put, your body needs fat. Next to water and oxygen, fat is the most important component of the body.
We now know that we need fat to burn fat. We need the good fats to boost our metabolism. Fats are necessary to produce hormones that burn fat. Our brains need fat, especially the kind that contains DHA, which makes up 60% of our brains.
Eat monounsaturated fats with every meal
Studies show that monounsaturated fatty acids, called MUFAS, are the secret to getting rid of belly or abdominal fat. In The Flat Belly Diet, they teach you to divide your meal into three meals and one snack, each 400 calories. Each meal/snack should include around 100 calories of MUFAS. This could be two tablespoons of walnuts (macadamia nuts are especially rich in MUFAS), 10-15 olives, 1/3 avocado, one tablespoon of acai berry, one tablespoon of olive oil, or one ounce of chocolate.
Eat plenty of omega 3 fatty acids
But I recommend even more fats! To burn even more unwanted fat, simply add Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, pharmaceutical grade fish or krill oil). The MUFAS mentioned above will help your body not only burn belly fat, but also absorb Omega 3 fats, which are fat burners. These Omega 3 polyunsaturated fats are thermogenic, speeding up metabolism, without the jittery side effect of other thermogenics like the herb ephedra. Take 3 to 6 grams of pharmaceutical grade fish oil for truly impressive results. Just make sure it’s pharmaceutical grade, or you’ll end up getting mercury, which is extremely toxic. (Much better to be overweight than full of toxic mercury!)
Eat coconut oil or butter
The third part of your fat-fighting regimen is raw virgin coconut oil or butter. I once advised someone switching to a raw diet to eat coconut butter. She loved him. Later, when I told her that this would have the side effect of making her lose weight, she replied, “No way! Something that tastes so decadent can’t help me lose weight!” But it’s true.
Coconut oil or butter contains medium chain fatty acids or triglycerides (MCTs). Most vegetable oils are made up of long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). LCTs are typically stored as fat, while MCTs are burned for energy and increase metabolic rates, leading to weight loss.
One study showing that MCTs help keep weight down is “Medium Chain Triglyceride Overfeeding in Rats” (Metabolism, 1987). The study notes that the body is less inclined to store fat with MCTs and that eating them is even better than a low-fat diet for decreasing stored fat.
Another study involved comparing the effects of 400-calorie meals of MCTs with LCTs by measuring metabolic rates before and six hours after meals. MCT meals were found to increase metabolism by an average of 12%, while LCTs only increased metabolism by an average of 4%. The authors concluded that consumption of MCTs “over long periods of time produces weight loss even in the absence of [caloric] intake” (“Thermal effects of medium-chain and long-chain triglycerides in man,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1986).
Farmers have known for years how to feed animals LCTs, such as soybean and corn oil, to make them fat and feed them MCTs to slim them down. Now that people are demanding leaner meats, some farmers are feeding their animals coconut oil to lose weight.
Eat at least 2 teaspoons a day of coconut fat, which can be used in smoothies, salad dressings, or eaten on its own because it’s so delicious.
Eat your fats RAW!
Eating most or all of your food raw can be a very important factor in weight loss. I have never seen an obese raw food eater.
Dr. Edward Howell spent his entire life researching the biochemistry of enzymes. He pored over hundreds of published scientific studies on enzymes and came to some initial conclusions that they affect health, longevity, and weight loss. He discovered that eating food heated above 118 F causes all enzymes to die, and that when we eat cooked food, our pancreas has to produce enzymes. When this function runs out, we die. But if we eat raw food, the enzymes to digest food are already in the food and our pancreas has a much lighter load. We live longer, we are healthier, we have more energy. And it is easier to reach and maintain our ideal weight.
One of the studies he reviewed showed that cooking food raises the glycemic index; that is, it causes the body to respond by secreting more insulin (Rosenthal and Ziegler at George Washington University Hospital, 1929). It’s well known that eating cooked starches (like potatoes or popcorn) causes your blood sugar to spike. Some diabetics in this study ate raw starch and had very little rise in blood sugar, the opposite of what would have happened if the starches had been cooked. They did not need insulin. Non-diabetics had a very slight increase in blood sugar. This showed that cooking raises the glycemic index of foods. As we will see later, this means that foods get fatter when cooked.
Howell found that raw calories don’t act like cooked calories. “Cooked calories excite the glands and tend to make you fat… As a general rule, we can say that a raw potato is not as fattening as the same cooked potato. A raw banana is not as fattening as a baked banana. A raw apple is not fattening” . fattened like a baked apple” (Enzyme Nutrition, The Food Enzyme Concept, p. 107). He pored over various veterinary journals and learned that the way farmers fattened animals for maximum profit was by serving them cooked food. Pigs , for example, weren’t fattening enough on raw potatoes, while cooked potatoes did the trick for the farmer to earn more.
Lipase, the enzyme that breaks down fat for digestion, is absent in cooked foods. Traditional Eskimos ate enormous amounts of fat, but all of it was eaten raw with the lipase intact. Dr. VE Levine of Omaha, Nebraska examined 3,000 traditional Eskimos during three trips to the Arctic and found only one person was overweight.
Lipase has been found to be deficient in obese humans. Howell cites a Tufts University School of Medicine study (1966) in which the abdominal fat of obese people was tested and found to be deficient in enzymes in their fat deposits.
A raw diet that is low in calories does not have to leave one hungry or malnourished. But put someone on a low-calorie diet of cooked and especially processed foods, and they’ll feel hungry, even obsessed with food. Put the same person on a low-calorie raw diet and they’ll feel great, energized, and satisfied. If you need to lose weight, you’ll probably lose more weight on a raw diet than on a cooked diet with the same number of calories.
Also, a raw diet is not primarily about losing weight. Even when you reach your goal weight, this is a way to “eat for life,” in both senses of the phrase. Your body on a raw diet has a much better chance of preventing disease and even reversing it. Your raw body receives the enzymes, vitamins, minerals, biophotons and other nutrients lost in the cooking fire.
Finally, to lose weight and keep it off, write it down! Counting your calories and writing down what you eat will ensure you stay on track and won’t deny how much you’re eating. By eating raw and eating these good fats, you won’t go hungry. By writing it down, you won’t overdo it or wonder why you didn’t lose weight. While it’s true that what you eat is more important than calories, calories still count.