As you settle back into work post-Christmas holidays, we’re guessing you feel less like you’re ready to hit the beach in a bikini and more like a ball of champagne and all those indulgent treats that you consumed over the last month. So we had a chat to nutritionist Fiona Tuck to find out just which foods you should be eating (and which foods you should be avoiding) to feel back to your healthiest self in no time. And surprisingly, one of Tuck’s biggest tips is to add more fat to our diets. “We need moderate amounts of fat for good health and if we are eating the right kinds of fat with the right kinds of food, fat can actually help us lose weight,” she says.
So what are the different kinds of fat?
While there are many different kinds of fat that can be found in food, generally the ‘bad’ fats are known as trans fats and saturated fats. These types are usually found in packaged foods with long shelf lives, margarine spreads, highly processed carbohydrates, such as doughnuts, hot chips and pasta; basically all the foods we already know are not good for us. These kinds of fats have the potential to increase our cholesterol levels, which is a big no-no.
The good news here is, as Tuck explains, “saturated fats have long been deemed the enemy of weight loss, however new schools of thought suggest we need small amounts of good fats in our diet, and low fat diets might actually contribute to weight gain.”
She explains that foods like butter, cream and full fat milk, which people were once terrified of, can actually be valuable sources of nutrients so long as they’re not eaten in excess.
Now for the good fats…
The healthiest kinds of fats are known as monosaturated fats and are found in foods like avocado and olive oil. Eggs are also in Tuck’s good books, “[they] are a nutrient powerhouse as they supply us with a complete protein source and an array of healthy nutrients,” she says.
Even better news, dark chocolate contains mostly monosaturated fats, as well as antioxidant benefits. The darker the chocolate usually means the lower the sugar, says Tuck.
Other foods that are beneficial include those that contain omega 6 – which is an essential fatty acid –, flaxseed oil, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and nuts such as almonds and peanuts, which is great news because as we all know (natural) peanut butter makes everything okay!
Omega 3 (another essential fatty acid) found in foods such as salmon, mackerel and tuna, are also known to speed up metabolism. Victoria Beckham has already caught onto the benefits of this good fat, swearing by a daily dose of salmon in her diet to keep her skin blemish free.
So in order to kick start (or continue) those New Year’s weight loss resolutions, try embracing good fats into your diet. Tuck also advises that fat can actually contribute to our overall fullness and satisfaction after eating, “so including fat in meals can help us to feel satisfied, which helps limit the need for extra snacking or overeating.” Just remember that everything (including good fats) must be eaten in moderation for a balanced lifestyle.
To help you feel beach ready for the rest of summer, try these exercises to tone your abs when all you have is an exercise ball.
Image credit: @gigihadid
From Kylie Jenner's latest lip kit launch to cutting edge skincare technology, Jordyn has covered all things beauty for titles including BEAUTYcrew, marie claire and beautyheaven. Her words also appear in Harper's Bazaar and Collective Hub.