Should you avoid fats and carbs to lose weight?

We have all been bombarded with the various diets that are currently out on the market. Many of these diets are extreme to the point where they recommend that you remove all fats and carbohydrates from your diet to lose weight fast. At a glance, this makes perfect sense. You want to lose fat from your body, so you should remove the consumed fat, and carbs can store up in your body thus making you gain weight, so removing both of them from your diet should be the way to go.

High carbohydrate foodWhile removing fat and carbs from your diet can assist you in losing weight, it is not the healthy way to lose those extra pounds. It is not a matter of if you are consuming your carbs and fats, but rather the types of fats and carbs you eat. As you balance how much carbs and fat you consume, consider using supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps that may occur as a result.


Carbohydrates are necessary for our diet. They assist in glucose production and are the primary source of energy that your cells need to function. The reason we see people gaining weight from consuming carbohydrates is because the majority of individuals consume the wrong types of carbs. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex.

The Simplest Answer Is Not Always the Right One

Simple carbohydrates are found primarily in basic snack foods and sweet treats. These carbohydrates hold almost no nutritional value, but they will give you a quick energy boost when you need it. Because these carbohydrates are simplistic, they are processed faster. Your body can only use so much glucose before any excess is converted into fat for energy later. In addition to being quickly converted into fat, any energy that you receive from simple carbs will rapidly drop, resulting in a sudden feeling of fatigue.

Complex Carbs Are Not So Complex

Complex carbohydrates are found in foods which also provide valuable vitamins, minerals, and fibers. The makeup of these carbs and the food types in which they are found makes your body spend more time processing them. This means you will have a slower and steadier introduction of glucose into your cells, which will continue giving you energy without the crash seen with simple carbohydrates, and it also avoids unnecessary fat buildup.


Contrary to popular belief, fats are necessary for you to have a properly balanced diet. Proper fats do much more for our bodies than what we realize. For instant dietary benefits, healthy fats stay in the stomach longer than other materials. This causes a feeling of being full for a longer period. In addition to the immediate benefits, the vitamins K, E, D, and A are all fat-soluble vitamins. There are two main types of fat: unsaturated and saturated.

Saturated Fats

Derived primarily from animal fats, saturated fats are difficult for our bodies to process, and they store in our arteries. This leads to heart attacks, high blood pressure, and other health issues related to blood vessels.

Unsaturated Fats

These fats are found in vegetable products and melt better than saturated fats. Because they process easier, they do not slip into the blood stream and block your arteries. Some unsaturated fats have also been shown to assist lowering LDL cholesterol in addition to the benefits that were discussed above.

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Are supplements needed for a healthy diet?

Eating healthy food instead of using supplementsUsually, when a diet includes all the food groups, it is deemed healthy and sufficient. Sometimes though supplements may be necessary. This could be especially true either in the early stages of a weight loss program or for people with certain health conditions.

Dr. Richard Hornby is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Medical School and has written on and developed several diet programs. He designs all his weight loss plans to meet the criteria for healthy eating. The diets will typically include lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and fiber-rich vegetables and fruits. However, he agrees that along with any diet, supplements can be taken to make sure you get enough vitamins, calcium, fiber, or when needed a helping hand.

A Daily Multivitamin

Taking a daily multivitamin ensures that you are the recommended Daily Value (DV) of vitamins and minerals. You will want to make sure you get the major ones such as vitamins B, C, D, and E, and folic acid, plus a range of minerals. No matter what diet you are currently on, supplements can include up to 100% of the daily value.

Dr. Hornby says: “I recommend a multivitamin along with omega-3 dietary supplements. Ensure that you’re getting a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids by using flaxseed oil daily as a supplement, or by taking omega-3 supplements. This essential fatty acid protects heart health.”

A Calcium Supplement

Calcium strengthens bones and supports critical functions in your body such as controlling blood pressure, and is needed for muscles and nerves to work properly, and even for blood to clot. If there is not enough calcium in the blood, then the body will take calcium from bones, which causes them to weaken. When your dietary calcium intake is too low, it can contribute significantly to osteoporosis.

It would be ideal if you could get all the calcium you need from food instead of supplements. The typical diet recommends you take calcium daily since most people don’t get enough of this essential nutrient to replenish continually the calcium in their bones. Calcium Carbonate (Tums, Rolaids, Caltrate 600) is the most recommended and affordable form while Calcium Citrate is more expensive but better for people with ulcers.

high-fiber-foodA Fiber Supplement

Taking Metamucil or another psyllium-based fiber supplement is allowed on most of Dr. Hornby’s diets. Although you are getting enough fiber from the foods you eat, the supplements can help manage constipation. Be sure to take the supplement before a meal each day, especially early on in your diet.

An Appetite Suppressant

You should attempt to go through a weight loss plan without these. However, as is the case for everything, they have their uses. It is usually better to get a bit of assistance than to give up on a diet altogether because continuing with it becomes too hard. Popular choices of appetite suppressants include products like Garcinia Cambogia or Forskolin. However, as mentioned, we try to avoid using these unless necessary because their effectiveness is often questionable. If you do decide to proceed, all of these pills should be available worldwide, so now you too can buy your Garcinia Cambogia Canada. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that inside joke.

When Supplements Are Appropriate

While taking supplements on a diet may be unnecessary for many people, there are many of us who should be taking them. For example, these types of supplements are usually recommended for anyone who is pregnant, post-menopausal, a vegan or vegetarian, has a low daily calorie count (less than 1200 a day for women or 1600 a day for men), have certain medical conditions such as food allergies or intolerance, or have chronic diarrhea. As always, talk to your personal physician about taking any of these supplements and their dosage before beginning your weight loss program.

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The path to healthy eating

To be a healthy eater, you need have an understanding of what that means. Many believe healthy eating is only about studying nutritional labels. They think it is all about counting how many grams of fat or how many calories you take in on a daily basis, and strictly sticking to those practices. These beliefs are far from the truth.

Healthy eating is not about being excessively strict. Without a doubt, you should follow a plan, but you also need to allow yourself to be a little flexible. Doing so will help you ensure success. It is fine sometimes to eat either too much or not quite enough. It is fine sometimes to consume foods that are less than ideally nutritious. What you should aim for is to fuel your body and mind on a regular basis in the long run. You want to keep them both strong and to keep your mind alert.

Healthy eating is about being a good food problem solver. You sometimes need to do the best with what you have. Whatever the situation, try to be smart about what you choose to eat. You have to discover how to take care of yourself. Always be aware of what you are eating and take the time to learn what effect each food has on your body.

Healthy eating is about following a balanced diet and eating in moderation. You want to consume a minimum of three healthy well proportioned meals each day, and ideally five to six. Eat when you are hungry, don’t when you are not. You also want variety in what you eat. Limiting yourself to a particular food group, or worse only a few specific foods, is not the way to go.

Ultimately, healthy eating is the way to a better life. It will keep your body and mind healthy. It will help reduce and manage stress. It will help you sleep better. Those close to you will follow your habits, improving their lives in the process. Healthy eating is the way forward.

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