When I was struggling with an eating disorder, everything was classified into the good, the bad, and the ugly.
– skinless chicken breast
– fat free plain yogurt
– red meat
– starchy vegetables
– oil of any kind
– full fat dairy
– salad dressing
– fried anything
See a pattern?
Cutting back on these extra calories from fat was one of the first habits to develop with my eating disorder, and it was one of the last to leave. Even after getting away from the bulk of eating disorder symptoms, I stayed all-too-familiar with the non-stick spray can, and you would have been hard-pressed to find butter or added oils in any of my home cooking.
To totally ditch the fat phobia, I’ve had to learn that fats add more than flavor to foods. They are an essential part of overall health and body functioning. Here are few reasons why you need to eat fat (and plenty of it):
- fat is the food that provides the body with the greatest level of satiety, so without it you will constantly feel hungry
- without fat, the body can’t process and retain nutrients fully, and you will feel weak and fatigued
- the brain is over 65% fat, so you need to consume fats for clear thinking and productivity
- without eating fat, your body will have a much harder time keeping warm
- fat keeps skin healthy, helps hair grow, increases immunity, and stabilizes blood sugar
- fat protects your organs
Moral of the story:
Overcoming my fat-phobia has made me feel healthier, stronger, more energetic. Oh, and my food is tastier. 🙂 Eating out is no longer an anxiety-ridden process (how much hidden butter/oil is in my dish?!) but is, instead, a fun opportunity to try new and delicious food.
Check out some of the items in my kitchen these days:
The big breakthrough with all of this…fat doesn’t make you fat. It makes you healthy and happy. And I’m okay with that. 🙂