Oh, boy. Here we go again. Another lab-rat miracle-cure that everyone is going to misinterpret and definitely NOT lose weight because of.
I’m talking about this study, which says a carefully scheduled high-fat diet will prevent obesity by resetting metabolism. Any time someone hears something about metabolic boost, they go nuts. Many bogus books and products have been sold in the name of boosting metabolism, and I’ve written quite a few articles ripping them apart.
What’s my issue with this study? Well…
– It was done on mice. Not people, but mice. It’s amazing how often things like this don’t cross species barriers. Just because something worked for a mouse doesn’t mean it will for you.
– It required careful meal timing. How often do people do that in today’s hectic-pace world?
– It completely ignores the bigger picture of controlling calories.
Let’s say maybe it does give a little metabolic boost to humans, will that overcome all the other weight-gaining issues associated with a high-fat diet? Such as:
– Fat is calorie-dense. There are 9 calories per gram compared to protein and carbohydrates, which only have 4 calories per gram. With a high-fat diet you get a very small volume of food for a very large wallop of calories. This is not good for promoting satiety.
– Fat makes things taste really good. When something tastes good you eat more. More calories equals more body fat.
– Fat has an insignificant thermic effect. Carbohydrates and especially protein burn extra calories in the process of being digested, whereas fat hardly burns calories during digestion at all.
There are good, plant-based fats that you need, but cutting back on trans and animal fats is not only good for health but, for simple satiety reasons, makes watching fat intake a powerful tool in losing weight.
Think about this: one tablespoon of butter has the same number of calories as two whole pounds of fresh spinach. That’s two big plastic tubs of spinach. Which one do you think fills you up more? Which one is healthier?