Fat DOESN'T Make You Fat! In fact...it will help you be more FIT both PHYSICALLY and MENTALLY.

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    This is a RE-RUN!


    The topic of fat is confusing.  I don't necessarily suggest we all do heavy scientific research, but we should give ourselves the basic education.  BFL is simple and meant to be that way.  That's good and in some ways can hurt if we confuse things.  I am not only not against fat, but believe that most all of us aren't getting enough.  I'm not even afraid of saturated or animal fat, but we need to understand and not just say, "fat is okay".  Getting enough of the right kinds of fat is vital to good health and for that matter, to losing fat.  So...not against fat, but am against blanket statements about it. 


    Mike Harris helped me with this blog.  I wrote it and he made really important edits and of course, gave his sage wisdom along the way.  Mike and I did disagree on the topic of fat.  He swore most people naturally got enough fat from what they already ate and I believe new evidence says otherwise, at least with regard to essential fatty acids, which is what I'm talking about here.


    Fat DOESN'T Make You Fat!  In fact...it will help you be more FIT both PHYSICALLY and MENTALLY. 


    Before you reach for those french fries you should read the entire blog!  Omega 3 Fatty Acids are an absolute miracle and called Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) for a reason.  Your brain is primarily good fat and cholesterol.  Ever heard of "Mommy Brain"?  It's a real thing and not because a woman who just gave birth is more tired and therefore, forgetful.  The baby requires so much healthy fat that new Mother is literally missing parts of her brain and that's the reason for the phenomena about new Mothers and losing words, being forgetful, having trouble thinking and such.  The solution is rather simple; it's to immediately supplement with a good quality Omega 3.   Omega 3s have a profound impact on your overall health in many different areas: Physical - significantly lessen your chance of Cancer Physical - reduces bad cholesterol Physical - increases good cholesterol Physical - good for your immune system and kidneys Physical - increase fat loss because your body will hold onto the good fat and get rid of what it does not need (the bad fat) Physical - natural anti-inflammatory (some bodybuilders won't take NSAIDS such as Advil and alike drugs because they increase cortisol).  It's a necessary supplement for anyone with any kind of arthritis or chronic pain disease. Mental - reduces anxiety Mental - calms mood swings and eases depression Mental - helps reduce psychotic episodes Mental - it has an enormous effect on ADHD.  This is so drastic that brain scans prove people with ADHD are literally different from a DNA perspective after getting enough Omega 3.  Brain scans further prove that people with ADHD are naturally deficient in Omega 3.   In many cases people can go off mental health medicines completely after properly supplementing with Omega 3.  Please DO NOT change your medication routine without your doctor's approval.  Your health and medicine are between you and your doctor.  I am simply making the suggestion that you consider doing something holistic to help yourself and then you might be in a position to change your regimen.  For instance, SSRIs, which are typically given for depression and anxiety are natural inhibitors to the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and will therefore impede muscle gain and fat loss.   For a great reference on the brain and mental health effects of Omega 3 there is a book that is nothing short of revolutionary called Spark.  It's by John Ratey and Eric Hagerman.  That caught my eye initially because it's written by one of the writers of Driven to Distraction, which, although has now outdated studies, is still the most referenced and respected book on ADHD. Dr. Amen also writes a lot about Omega 3 and its effects on his patients.  He wrote Magnificent Mind at Any Age and others on the same topic.  Spark is not specifically about Omega 3, but does reference it a lot.  Spark is entirely about the relationship between exercise and your brain.  Please read Spark and the thoroughly documented studies it references as evidence.  Interestingly, for BFLers especially, Spark talks about HIIT being best for your mental health, as opposed to other cardio.  It's an absolutely fascinating read.  A recent study on anti-depressants showed that they work in 50% of the people and only 50% of the time, but regular exercise and proper supplementation has a dramatically higher effectiveness rate.  There are now Psychiatrists who admit that Omega 3 might be the miracle drug that replaces Lithium.  It's vital that we use good information because as we have seen from the BFL Guestbook, we can all find lots of studies that directly contradict one another.  Spark uses good quality reliable and verifiable information.   When should you take your Omega 3 supplements?  It's ideal to take it evenly throughout the day with the exception of your post workout meal.  Your body needs a good whey protein after workout to quickly feed your muscles and fat will inhibit this process.  Post workout is when you want your body to continue acting quickly.  Fat is best during your last meal.  Many people do not realize this because they know that unauthorized foods are more harmful late in the day.  That is true because then your body will turn it to sugar during the night instead of acting on it during the day.  It's okay and best to take good fats at night though, because this will keep your system slow and steady throughout the night when your body is looking to replenish and rebuild.   It's important to take a good quality.  That is not only to be more effective, but also safe.  Poorly made fish oils have heavy metals.  You should be okay with a reputable company and do know that you pay for quality.  Also, Charles Poliquin, the world renowned strength coach, swears that you should not have fishy burps if you took a good quality capsule.  I do not know enough about that one, but thought it should be mentioned.  I do not take capsules because that's too many pills.  I buy my fish oil directly from the Poliquin Performance Institute at www.charlespoliquin.com and get it in liquid oil form.  (UPDATE: I get Carlson’ now, which is much less expensive and more easily accessible.  It’s also very good quality).  It does not taste gross because he was smart enough to make his flavored with lemon.  It really does taste lemony.   How much Omega 3 should you take?  That is a heavily debated topic with no real answer.  It is almost impossible to get too much.  A widely accepted rule of thumb is to take 1 gram per % of body fat.  A teaspoon typically has 5 grams.  In my case, still needing to lose weight at 37.1% body fat, I take 7-8 teaspoons per day.  Your body will naturally release what it does not need.  It's not something the body feels the need to store as excess.  If you heavily supplement Omega 3 for over 4 months then you need to put in some GLA / Omega 6 for about a month.  That's easy to get.   Another debated topic is the calories and if they should count.  Some argue all calories count, but I have heard bodybuilders who take calories very seriously claim that the calories from this supplement does not count because your body puts it to immediate good use and will not store in your belly or wherever.   Most people are seriously lacking in Omega 3.  Even eating fish doesn't always do it because it gets damaged in the heating process.   There are THREE (major) different kinds of Omega 3: ALA - Alpha-Linolenic Acid EPA - Eicosapentaenoic Acid DHA - Docosahexaenoic Acid It gets complicated now so I will try and simplify.  Fats are long chains of carbon atoms.  ALA is 18 carbons long, EPA is 20 and DHA is 22 carbons long.  Why are you telling me this you ask?  Ahhh, because your body actually uses the DPA/DHA.  It takes the ALA and converts it to DPA/DHA, but it's a terribly inefficient process.  It is sometimes as bad as 2.7% goes to what you need.  Fish oil has EPA & DHA.  ALA is in nut butter, flax, soy and a few green veggies.  The one with the most ALA is by far, flax.   Should you ditch the flax to get a more effective Omega 3?  No, not entirely, but you need fish oil.  The absolute best source of flax oil that I have seen is Udo Oil.  It's a good quality and will benefit you, but it should not be your only source of fat.  The 2.7% conversion is simply not enough.  What I have learned is that fish oil cannot be ignored.  You would still benefit from the flax because flax does a more effective job reducing lipids.  I will continue to get Udo Oil.  Other brands interest me less because flax goes rancid so easily and quickly.  Udo oil does NOT contain any fish oil.  It is solely ALA.   Now...some final bombshell thoughts on fat.  New studies are strongly indicating that the American Heart Association is wrong about cholesterol and animal fat.  They show that eating healthy fatty foods do not negatively affect our cholesterol and heart they way once thought.  I do not know, but am interested to learn more about this one.  Along the same line of thinking, Charles Poliquin recommends having whole eggs and not just the whites.  He claims that we process the whites alone too quickly to use them.  Having the entire egg will provide the fat that slows up the protein and will make it be better utilized and the yolk is what contains all the nutrients.  He agrees that the cholesterol arguments about whole eggs are a farce.  Again, I don't know because I haven't seen enough information either way, but putting it out there.  Keep in mind that having all your eggs as whole eggs will be too much so why the extreme all whole or all whites?  At least 20% of your diet should be healthy fat.  We often forget this absolutely vital element.   I would LOVE to see a study done on Vegans.  Please let me know if you see one!  If flax cannot convert highly enough then I wonder what their brains scans look like.   

    Your comments are welcomed and encouraged.

    NOTE - When someone is taking blood thinners it's important to consult your physician before taking anything else that also thins blood.    


    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Good Read

    “"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out..." - Robert J. Collier”


  • Olive Oil (Extra-virgin) FTW IMHO

    I went out walking through the city center, it happened just the other day. Sometimes Sydney Harbor in the winter, blows a little luck my way.

  • Very true...fat does not make you fat!  Typically a person needs at least 0.45g of fat per lb of body weight in order to support/maintain body functions.  For guys especially, dietary fat aids in the production of testosterone...Excess calories is what makes you fat.

  • Jessica, Parson Brown, anyone - I agree with all of the above but I need someone to break it down into laymen's terms.  I do not like taking a handful of supplements and neither does my wallet, if you know what I mean.  So, if I were to buy one (and one only) supplement to get in my daily Omega 3s, what would you suggest?  

  • Amy ~

    If you were to get 1 and only one supplement for Omega 3s or healthy fat in general, then it's absolutely fish oil.  


    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Thanks, Jessica - used to take it but I stopped a few years ago.  Will get back on it ASAP!

  • A gal I went to high school with is a fitness trainer and former professional body-builder with a degree in nutrition. I recently asked about her diet - it is 40-60% fat yet she has great blood work and incredibly low body fat. At 51 she is still shooting magazine covers and can do 25+ pullups.

    Want it. Plan it. Do it.

  • More puzzling than that is the strange difference sometimes between body fat content and cholesterol levels.  I have known folks who were as skinny as a rail with a cholesterol level that was through the roof.

  • Bill,

    The people who are skinny as a rail with high cholesterol are typically "skinny fat".  Basically, they have fat deposits on their organs, but don't look fat.  There are several factors for high cholesterol, but there's no question that being fat, be it overtly or inside is the biggest one.  


    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Saralynn,

    Now that's interesting.  I certainly have heard about 40-30-30.  That's the first time I've heard about a diet being that high in fat.

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!