Understanding Fats: Setting the Myths Straight

You’ve heard it before and you will likely hear it again. If you are looking to lose weight or maintain your current weight, you need to consume a diet that is low in fat. Not only is a diet that is low in fat good for your weight but it’s also essential in helping to manage your cholesterol as well as in preventing a number of health problems. However, it’s not so much just a low-fat diet that you need to be worried about. It’s the type of fat that that you are consuming that matters.

Good Fats vs. Bad Fats:

There are good fats as well as bad fats. Good fats, which include omega-3 fatty acids are key in maintaining optimal mental and physical health; including preventing cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, you have your bad fats. These bad fats can put you at risk for high cholesterol as well as cardiovascular disease.

The Basics of Dietary Fats:

In a world where everything as a low-fat or fat-free option, understanding what you should actually be eating can be rather challenging.

● Bad fats include saturated fats as well a trans fats. These fats are too blame for clogged arteries and excessive weight gain.
● Good fats include omega-3s, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. These healthy fats help you to control your weight as well as manage your moods, provide mental clarity and can even help you to fight fatigue.

Fat Myths:

All fats, no matter what types of fats, are bad for you. This is far from true. As stated earlier, saturated fats and trans fats are not good for your health. They increase your cholesterol levels and put you at a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Polyunsaturated fats as well as monounsaturated fats do just the opposite. They help to keep your cholesterol levels in check and reduce the chances of you developing cardiovascular disease.

If a food is described as fat-free, it is definitely good for you. Fat-free does not always mean good for you. A fat-free label does not mean that you should enjoy as much as you want. Fat-free foods are often still very high in sugar, calories and refined carbohydrates. Always read the nutrition label before determining is a fat-free food is really as good for you as you may think.

A low-fat diet is a must if you are trying to lose weight. While this may seem logical, the truth is that reducing your caloric intake and exercising regularly is what is going to lead to weight loss. In fact, you should not cut fats from your diet entirely. Fats are filling. Since fats are filling they can help to prevent you from snacking and overeating.
A little extra belly fat does not matter. All body fat is not the same. It’s actually extremely important that you do not carry excessive fat in your mid-section. Carrying abdominal fat increases your risk of developing diabetes; this is because your liver and other vital organs are found in your abdominal region.

Not all fats are bad for you. In fact, there are fats that are helpful in maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet. The key is to understand the difference between good and bad fats.


How do I tone or lose weight to a specific area of my body?

Unfortunately, this cannot be done. There is no such thing as spot reduce. You can’t wave your magic wand and it make disappear. If so all of us would have the ideal body we want.
The truth is our genetics make up where we store fat and lose. I did read somewhere, the areas that you gained the weight in first, is part that you lose first. Exercise and healthy eating is the only way to lose overall weight. Eventually, the weight will come off you just can’t target where is comes off at first. You can tone your muscle, but you will not be able to see it until the fat comes off. So keep moving!

How much exercise should I do?

This can vary depending on your goals, to maintain your current weight you must at least exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes at moderate intensity. If you trying to lose weight you need to do a little more, but healthy eating is not part of this equation, if your diet if full of
lean meats, veggies and fruit you should see some weight loss. Strength training is also important to do at least twice a week to help build lean muscle which will aid in the weight loss. Remember the more muscle you have the more fat you will burn.

Should I be on a diet?

If you have been keeping up with fitness-over40 you already know how I feel about diets. Diets do not last, because you cannot stay on a diet for life. It is better to learn how to eat healthier with the right kinds of foods, such as eggs, fruits, veggies, nuts. Plenty of people do lose weight on a specific diet but they usually gain all of it back and more once it is over. The healthiest approach is good eating habits so you will keep the weight off.

How many pounds should I lose in a week?

Losing more than two pounds a week is not healthy according to experts. A pound equals 3500 calories. The minimum calorie intake for women is 1200 and 1500 for men. If you go below these numbers you start losing important nutrients, and muscle. Most of us consume more calories than the minimum. You can start by cutting 500 calories a day which would equate to a pound a week. Losing correctly also helps you keep it off!

What is the ideal weight for men and women?

This all depends on your height and your body type.

See chart under category (health over 40).

What is the best time to exercise?

There is no right or wrong answer here. There is some controversy out there, but the best time is when it’s most convenient based on your schedule. This way you stick to it.
I personally like to exercise in the morning so I get it out the way. After working 8 hours a day, I have no energy to workout. As long as you are working out, you still will see results no matter what time you choose.

What are the best foods to eat for weight loss?

Lean meats, eggs, fruits and veggies are king. See my article Jumpstart your 2013 Fitness over 40 plan for some tips.

What are some safe exercises for seniors?

Swimming, walking, dancing, yoga are all good for seniors. I have more reading material on this here on the site.