On my journey to a healthier lifestyle, I have been conducting a LOT of research. What to eat, when to eat it, what to make it with, how to cook it, can I afford it? All of these questions start to feel overwhelming. My solution to not feeling completely lost and disheartened has been to focus on one thing at a time. The very first thing being to eat breakfast. This has not been an easy task for me but with it being the last day of January, I can proudly say I have eaten breakfast everyday this month! Some of you may think it's a small feat, but let me tell you...for those that are not use to eating breakfast, it is a huge lifestyle change. I actually felt sick for the first week or so...but I persevered! And after one month I feel like it's made a huge difference.
Now that I've helped out my metabolism, my second task has been to investigate fat. Is anyone else as confused as I am? Good fats vs bad fats? Huh? How can one kind of fat be better than another...and don't all fats contribute to weight gain? Apparently not. But do you know WHY? After some investigating, here is what I've found:
As long as you're eating less calories than you burn, having fatty acids in the blood stream means that you'll burn them as energy; subsequently leading to burning more body fat.
Omega-3 is very important during the fat burning process because fats are broken down and used as a form of energy.
Fatty acids lower the glycemic load (measure of blood glucose-extra glucose is stored in the liver and muscles) of a meal and consequently, the insulin spike that comes with food consumption won't be as high.
I also learned that including more of these "good fats" into your diet will reduce cravings. Well, when I hear cravings I think chocolate so I made chocolate fat bombs.
Ingredients: 0.5 cup cocoa powder, 0.5 cup almonds, 0.25 cup oats,
0.25 cup natural peanut butter, 3T flax seed, 3T hemp hearts,
1 cup dried pitted dates, 2T hot water, pinch of salt
Easy, right? You can adjust the amount of things you put in per your own taste. Shockingly, I didn't want to add any spices because I wanted a fudgey, chocolatey, decadent treat. But feel free to add cinnamon, or coriander, or instant espresso...or some dried cranberries or cherries...the options are endless! It's a bit of trial and error to get the texture right but worst case scenario, you just get a lot more than you anticipated. The dried fruit is for sweetness, so if you'd like the bites to be a bit sweeter, increase the amount of dried fruit. Also, if your fruit is VERY dry, or rock solid, soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes before getting started.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, I've been investigating fats. Here is a quick breakdown of why I included the ingredients that I did.
Both flaxseed and hemp hearts are packed full of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects and improve skin.
Flaxseed contains Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities.
Hemp seeds, flaxseed, almonds, and oats are full of fibre which helps aid in digestion.
Almonds are high in iron which helps with energy.
Hemp seeds are high in protein and produces Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which produces prostaglandin E1, which reduces the effects of prolactin, which is one of the main culprits contributing to PMS.
There you have it. Hopefully I've helped shed some light on your fat questions. If you have more, I'd recommend you follow Jessica @up.lift_fitness on Instagram. She has great tips, recipes, motivators, and more!