Is a Low Fat Diet Right for You?

There are so many different types of diets out there it can be hard to choose just which one is right for you. One of the common options is a low fat diet. This type of diet can work for some people but won’t necessarily work for everyone.

Adherence

The first thing to consider before starting a low-fat diet is whether or not you’ll be able to stick with it. Multiple studies have shown that the style of diet isn’t as important as longer-term adherence to the diet. Basically, if you’re willing to stick to this type of diet until you reach your goals (and preferably even after that for maintenance), then it might be the right one for you.

Fat Replacement

If you’re decreasing the amount of fat you eat, you’re most likely replacing the fatty foods with something else. If this means increasing the amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein you’re eating, this is a good thing. However, you won’t lose as much weight and may actually gain weight if you replace the fatty foods with highly processed foods high in sugars and refined grains. A lot of the low-fat versions of foods available in stores use sugar or other sweeteners to replace some of the flavor that’s lost when they reduce the fat, so you may want to avoid these and just eat less of the regular versions of these foods.

Type of Fat

For the best results, the remaining fat consumed should come from healthy fats, such as the omega-3 fats found in fish and the monounsaturated fats found in foods including olive oil, nuts, avocados and olives. Small amounts of polyunsaturated fats are also okay. Limit foods containing saturated fats, as these tend to raise cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease while unsaturated fats may actually reduce heart disease risk.

Feeling Full

Whatever diet you choose, you’ll want to feel full on fewer calories, as overwhelming feelings of hunger will make it hard to stick with the diet. Including some fiber and protein in each meal can help to provide these feelings of fullness. Another thing to consider is the overall bulk of a meal. Foods with few calories per gram, such as non-starchy vegetables, help you feel fuller on fewer calories, so be sure to eat plenty of these.