Weight Loss Wednesday: Fat-free or Good Fat?

Remember when the fat-free craze hit big time a few years back? Fat-free chips, cookies, candy, snacks and such? It seemed the whole weight-loss world had boycotted fat forever.

Including me.

Now, I was able to be successful in losing weight on a nearly fat-free diet. Between babies two and three I dropped over 40 excess pounds that I gained during pregnancy. However, there was one slight problem with staying on a low-calorie, nearly fat-free diet.

I was hungry.

All the time!

Since those days I have schooled myself about fat. Is fat always bad? I think I have discovered the answer is no.

In fact, this time around I am trying to make sure I get enough fat. The so called “good” heart-healthy fat.

MUFAs (pronounced moo-fah) are monounsaturated fatty acids, plant-based fats found in some of the world’s most delicious foods–avocado, nuts and seeds, oils, olives, and dark chocolate! Studies show that these good-for-you fats enhance heart health and protect against chronic disease. And now the latest research shows that these dietary superstars may even target fat where it’s hardest to lose–in your belly! (From Prevention.com:)

So now, I try to have some of these everyday. And since fats metabolize slower and stay in your system longer, I feel hungry less often.

Before for an afternoon snack, I would have a fat-free “mock” treat–you know like a low cal, fat-free Twinkie-type snack or some fat-free potato chips or cookies. They tasted great and were around 100-150 calories.

But I was hungry again in less than an hour since they were made of empty white flour carbs and no fat.

Now, for a snack I’ll have a handful of raw almonds or some sliced turkey wrapped around a wedge of avocado and sprinkled with sea salt or even my beloved three squares of dark chocolate–so dark it is almost like baking chocolate!

They taste great, are between 100-150 calories and I am not hungry again for up to three hours.

Yeah good fats!

If you’d like to read up on these MUFAs here are a few links:

Eating MUFAs for a flat belly

Shopping for MUFA foods

Okay…let’s do our regular check in. How was your week?

Mine drove me crazy since I have banished my scale to the barn for a while. I did not have time to fit in exercise except for two days due to a reason that will be explained in a future post. My eating was great on three days and so-so the other four. I am using a pair of jeans for measurement and they fit just like they did last week so I don’t think I have gained but don’t feel a loss either.

How about you?

And what are your musings about the whole fat-free vs. good fat subject?

Leave a comment with your thoughts.

I’ll grab me some dark chocolate and read them! :-)

Sweet Blessings,

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  • I found this website today. I’m almost 67 years old and have struggled with my weight all my life. I’ve tried every diet out there I believe – Weight Watchers, the Cabbage Diet, South Beach, Grapefruit, Atkins, etc. etc. They all actually worked but eventually I gained every pound back and then some. I am the heaviest I have ever been, even when I was about to deliver both my children. I am a vegetarian so it’s really hard to follow any structured diet plan because a lot of them are geared around meat or fish. I have always felt that I eat healthy and my husband thinks all I have to do is eat slow and that will take care of my “problem”. Well, I’m used to eating fast and it’s really hard for me to chew, chew, chew. Also, I work 3 days a week in a town 1 hour away (used to work 5 days a week). I work 10 hour days plus the 2 hours on the road so I’m really tired when I get home. I feel I must be lazy because I don’t want to exercise even though I have an exercise room in my home. I need help from you all. I’ve made my weight a prayer issue and today you all showed up. Help me, please, and I promise I will try to help myself!! Congrats to all who are meeting their goals. I NEED to lose at the very least 35 pounds.

  • Good Morning Ladies!!!

    I am so excited to find this website. I am turning 40 in a few months and I at the heaviest I have ever been. Due to hormonal imbalances and poor eating habits it is a real battle lately. I started the south beach diet this past weekend and I feel that God has answered my prayer in finding this website of support. It is soooo easy to grab something quick when you are a working mom and your time is limited to spend with your family. Please pray for me as I for all of you. I can relate to so many of these responses but especially to those where family members and friends have died too early due to medical conditions relating to poor eating habits. Diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancer run high in my family immediate and extended. To God be the Glory!!!!!! Let us Praise his wonderful name!!!!

  • Hi
    i have been trying to read through all the old posts for Weight loss Wednesday and am not completely done, but wanted to get on board. I have been on Weight Watchers (this time) for a little over a year and have lost about 22 pounds. I have about 35 pounds to go to reach my goal. My weigh in is on Sundays so I can either report what I’ve lost each week there or start a Wed to Wednesday log going here. That might give me an idea of how I am doing in the middle of the weeks. Okay that’s what I’ll do. :)
    I also have heard of needing the good fats and oils and this was a good reminder for me. I am not loosing a lot each week and am thankful for the 1/2 lbs but would like to step it up a little. I walk, hike or swim, 3 – 5 times a week and eat fairly sensibly, especially during the day. I don’t typically eat desserts, however we do eat fast food 2 or more times a week. So I welcome suggestions and I will check in tomorrow for the newest Wednesday check in. I will post my diff from Sunday to Wednesday and then use that weight for my Wednesday anchor if that is okay.
    Thanks

  • Forgot to share this about my cousin’s NO fat “I don’t even keep peanut butter in the house!” diet: She began losing hair. LOTS of hair. Only after going to the doctor did she learn that good fats are essential to good health. She switched to a healthy diet and her hair got healthy again.

  • I love my healthy fats, and I love how they make me feel. :) My eating this week, though not terrible, hasn’t been my best, but now I’m eager to run out and stock up on avacadoes and dark chocolate, so there’s more hope for this coming week!

  • I totally agree with the good fats theory! I even tried to explain this to my hubby the other day but he made fun of me. Now he pinches the fat on his tummy (what little there is, dang it you high metabolism people) and says “this is good fat!!”

  • Hi everyone,

    Yesterday got away form me as well. It was an exhausting day. I know I’ve been staying up too late watching the Olympics! The good thing about that is I have been using the treadmill in the evening while I watch if I didn’t get my regular workout in earlier. I’m down 1.5 this week. I don’t remember actually trying a low fat diet but I do remember buying the low fat crackers etc. and eating the whole box in one sitting! I also used to buy the big containers of animal crackers and pretzels from Sams. Ugh! I feel much better when I eat a handful of almonds for a snack. I love olives too but didn’t realize those were on the good fat list. Yeah! Congrats to Vicki! Thanks for the info, Karen.
    Rebecca Ann

  • First off, Congrats Vicki! That is such an amazing time.
    Second, yikes what a week! I think many of us had hormonal/PMS weeks. I can’t believe how much h2o my body is retaining! That coupled with the feeling of being stuck in my house with the little ones. It’s just so cold that I can’t take my kids out. Especially with both of them just getting over RSV. So, it has been a tough week. I’m praying that I can get back on track over this weekend. Thanks ladies. Even when I have a tough week I know I can come on here for support and prayer!
    Love to you all!

  • I’m a day late reporting-yesterday got away from me, work is crazy, home life is crazy. Down 1.2 pounds this week-slow and steady, that’s my goal!

    Vicki-Congratulations! That is so very exciting!

  • I just got back from the grocery store. I watched Dr. Oz’s show today where he gave a list of foods that help prevent cancer. I was sooo glad to see many foods I already buy for the family!!!
    Dark chocolate was there listed for dessert! Prevention Magazine.com has also helped me to learn more about these good fats. I’ve been drinking water w/ lemon and it is soo good, too.
    Our family went camping again and I did soooo much better on cooking only enough for everybody and I got to have a cup of coffee. I gave up coffee up until Valentine’s and have only had a small amount compared to the last camp out.

    I’ve been obeying more on portions and am enjoying learning about praying. I’ve gone hiking and exercised two times. I’ve also been using the stairs a bit more and am more aware of the times when I start to complain, and stop!

    Thank you all for your prayers,
    praying, too.
    Congratulations Vicki! What a blessing!

  • Congratulations to new grandma Vicki and all who were able to shed a few pounds!

    I have mostly been weighing the same. Eating OK and exercising just some; not enough to get healthy or really honor God with disciplined behavior. I couldn’t even honestly send a quick “restart” the last couple of weeks because I knew I wasn’t making a serious effort!

    But come Wednesdays, WDW is always on my mind. So I thank Karen and all of you for that nudge.

    What I remember about going through low fat diet years with my husband is: those huge tubs of low fat animal crackers and pretzels from Sam’s. Eat ’em up!
    Woo boy. What a way to gain weight and feel crummy.

    We have learned many good nutritional lessons from South Beach (Prevention.com writes it up better than the SB book) and Prevention’s 3-2-1 Diet. We routinely work MUFA foods into our cooking and snacks, and feel better when doing so. When I’m taking the time to cook that way, we do lose the desire for the empty carbs. I even have a wonderful cake recipe made with nut flour—but haven’t made it in years.

    Thanks for a good write-up and wake-up call, Karen.

  • Hi all. This week I am down 200 grams. That seems like such an insignificant amount! I have changed my weight watchers meetings to another day and a new leader and was told that the goal weight I had set for myself was unrealistic! Therefore we revised my goal together and now I only have 5.6 kgs to loose instead of the 10.6 I had thought. Yipee :-) !
    Also she had some ideas as to why I had been struggling to loose any weight for the last 3.5 months, so I now feel more inspired to get going.
    Congrats Vicki on the new grandson!
    Where is everyone else this week?!

  • I’m looking for a healthy AND good-tasting oil for making salad dressing. I’ve tried flaxseed oil and cold-pressed olive, but don’t care for the taste of either. Any suggestions?

  • Hi Karen. I have been reading your blog for a while and enjoy it. I wanted to tell you how much I admire your Weight Loss Wednesdays and saw your video available and admire your continued success in keeping your weight off and encouraging others.

    I had first heard about good fats and bad fats when I was on South Beach a few years ago. The weight went tumbling off yet I did gain it all back (plus some).

    I’m currently participating in a weight loss challenge yet my goal is to eat less (and more healthy) and move more. Good luck to all you ladies!

  • Very interesting that you are posting about this today. Throughout my weigh loss journey, I was snacking on things like almonds, whole grain flat bread crackers with a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese spread or apple wedges dipped in peanut butter. Worked great for me battling the great 4pm hunger crisis.

    When I went grocery shopping this weekend, my husband asked me to buy potato chips. So I compromised and bought fat free chips. And then bought onion soup mix to mix into fat free sour cream. Guess what I have been eating all week around 4pm? And I have been starving! I have eaten more this week (quantity wise) than I have in a long, long time. And to top it off – it is major PMS week so that has been one bad combo for me.

    Weight? I stayed the same – even with the extra water I can feel myself retaining.

    This week I must return to the high fiber, good fat, high protein goodies! Thanks for bringing this topic up, Karen! It really does make a difference – even when you are eating the same, if not less calories!

  • Checking in a little earlier than usual – congrats on the new grandbaby to Vicki! I may have lost a pound or so – or I’m dehydrated today which is possible. I did eat better and exercise more faithfully this past week – but mentally and physically I was so much more tired. Really feeling worn down emotionally right now. I DID say last week that I was hormonal. My sister suggested that when I see my GYN in a few weeks I talk to her about the whole peri-menopausal thing. I am praying for you all every day.

  • I couldn’t understand why I looked worse in clothes even though I could feel by how they fit I was losing inches. I figured out my belly has shrunk (yea pants fit better) and the fat layer around my ribs has shrunk (yea I have a chest, not just a blob) but the stuff in between has not shrunk. I feel exercise is helping the first two parts, but drastic changes in my diet are needed for the third. So I have more incentive to get sugar and other white foods out of my diet.

  • I am down the three pounds I gained on Valentines weekend. I am grateful that Those pounds are gone. I’ve realized that the chocolate, white flour and sugar need to be out of my diet for now. I’m just not ready to eat them within reason. Maybe by Easter? Once I started back on this track the weight came back off, so it’s what I’m suppose to do for now. Congratulations on the new grandson! Enjoy being a grandma. Thank you for th post, those are all my favorite foods! Prayers for a good week for everyone.

  • **Congrats Vicki on your joy of being a grandma!! What a blessing. :)

    **Andrea-it could be muscle or water retention, stress….that’s the trouble with our bodies, who knows! :) I can totally relate to your frustration. I hope you don’t throw in the towel; these things will happen and will continue to happen throughout the journey. Continue to eat healthfully and exercise and you’re on your way. :)

    Karen, I ABSOLUTELY agree with you on the fat issue! I, too, tried that “no fat/low fat” diet when it was all the rage and I, too, was hungry. I’ve come to realize that often these “fad diets” come and go because after more research is done—what do ya know…it wasn’t so great after all! So, I decided to stick to common sense. I try to eat healthfully most of the time and exercise 5-6 days a week.

    I no longer weigh myself, either. I’ve stopped for a few months and it get easier. I realized I needed to stop obsessing over the number on the scale and pay attention to how my body is actually feeling.

    The MUFA foods you mentioned are all foods I really enjoy. I try to get in @ least 15 g. of fiber/day, along with healthy fats and protein. I also usually have a dessert EVERY day! My current fav. is the 100 cal. slow turned Edy’s icecream on top of a piece of cake I made from a box mix. (All I add is canned pure pumpkin so this dessert comes in under 300 cal-depending on your piece of cake!!) Being a vegetarian it’s a little more tricky for me to get protein but I do get it in thru whole grains,nuts, peanut butter–my fav.-cheese, and protein powder.

    I’m praying for everyone involved with Weightloss Wed.!

    -Amy

  • I had a great week this week not because I lost tons of weight but because I went on vacation with my husband and when I weighed in this morning I was down 1/2 pound from last week. That never happens when I go on vacation. I usually come back heavier than when I left. I tried to make healthy choices throughout the week but there were times I gave in and indulged in something. So this week I am back in my routine and will get my eating back to normal and hopefully lose weight.

    Congratulations Vicky on your new grandson. What a blessing God has given your family.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful and successful week.

  • I love to read, so I’m always reading about losing weight! I know everything I should know, but have a hard time putting it in to practice. I just forced myself to weigh. I didn’t want to. I did not have a good weekend. But, I managed to stay the same and that really inspired me! I thought it was going to be soooo much worse. My boyfriend is trying to quit smoking and so as a support to him, AND for Lent, I have given up desserts. (but not my 1 pc of drk choc every day though) Because of my weekend, I will have to go an extra week to make up for it! I’ve worked real hard this week to get myself back on track spiritually. I DON’T WANT TO WONDER IN THE DESERT ANY MORE!!! Each day I put a little more effort back and feel like I’m beginning to get it all together again. I only have 4 more lbs. to break the 200 mark and I REALLY want that. So, obedience, faithfulness and self control here I come!! :)

    AND….I became a grandma for the first time last Thursday. Praise God, he is a beautiful 6 lb 4 oz little boy named Cooper Daniel. So precious. He and my daughter are both doing great.

    Have a wonderful week ladies. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Well, I have been eating healthy and a lot less than usual. I have been exercising as well. I was down 4 1/2 pounds, but I gained a pound even though I have been good. That is very frustrating. Everyone tells me it is muscle. Maybe. How long before you actually start losing weight?

    I hope everyone had a good week =)

  • This is the eating plan I have been doing and it’s pretty easy to follow. You eat a MUFA at every meal. You keep your total calories for each meal around 400 including your MUFA (and the serving for dark chocolate is a 1/4 cup and is over 200 calories so you have to watch that). You eat three meals and one snack totalling around 1600 calories. My only problem is I don’t like olives, yuck! I’m down around 2 lbs this week.