Can low fat products help you lose weight or should they be avoided?
We've all seen the memes about how "low fat = chemical shitstorm" or "they just replace the fat with sugar."
So can low fat products help with our goals, or not?
The statements above about chemicals and sugar are almost entirely untrue. What about lower fat beef, cheese, sausage, turkey pepperoni, salad dressing (check out Bolthouse), butter (whipped), milk, cream cheese, yogurt, and cuts of meat?
These are all very easy ways to save A LOT of calories with minimal or no difference in flavor!
If your goal is fat loss, LOWER FAT PRODUCTS CAN HELP!
The goal is not to remove fat from the diet. We all need fat in our diet. Nor is it to replace all your foods with low fat versions. However, there are many simple substitutions that can be made that can easily save hundreds of calories per day.
Rest assured that unless you are making a lot of deliberate choices to remove fat, you will still get plenty of fat in your diet.
So why do I recommend making some low fat or nonfat substitutions?
Fat is the most calorie dense macronutrient so if your diet is high in fat you actually get to eat less food volume. And when it comes to a weight loss diet, who doesn't want more food?! Even if your goal is to maintain they are great because MORE FOOD.
So what about those scary "chemicals." What chemicals exactly are in low fat cheese compared to regular cheese? Or beef? Or anything for that matter?
And what about sugar? I think you all know how I feel about sugar and how it is falsely solely blamed for the obesity epidemic. If a product is significantly lower calorie because it has some sugar in it instead of extra soybean oil then so what? Unless you are diabetic, it really should not matter.
In short, yes, using low fat products can really help. Calories matter as the bottom line for fat loss, so just check the label. Small changes over time equal big results. :-)
Credit to one of my fav fitness dudes, Ben Carpenter, for this great infographic. By the way "mince" is ground beef, he's British. :-D