How To Lose Fat By Eating It

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We’ve been told to avoid eating fat for decades – but new evidence shows that we’ve been led astray. Not only does it increase weight loss, but it can lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes too. Author Nina Teicholz explains why dietary fat is a force for good. 

Since the 1970s, people have been told to eat less fat if they want to lose body fat. This came about because scientists assumed that eating fat must make people fat, simply because it packs nine calories per gram whereas the other macronutrients, carbs and protein, have only four. This was based on the assumption our bodies are straightforward mathematical calculators processing all kinds of calories in the same way. 

But when the low-fat approach was tested in clinical trials (long after it had been adopted as official policy), it proved ineffective at helping people lose weight or get healthier. In short, cutting out fat backfired. 

Big fat truths

Instead, a diet high in fat and low in carbs is far better for weight loss. The proof? Dozens of clinical trials on thousands of people lasting up to two years. Scientists don’t exactly know why a high-fat diet works better – it could be partly that fat and protein are naturally more satiating, that people feel full after high-fat meals and are less likely to snack or overeat during the day – but there’s little doubt that it does.

Carbs such as cereals and potatoes are converted into glucose in the body, triggering the release of insulin, a hormone that is the number one culprit in storing fat. So if you fill up with fat and leave less room for carbs, it will have a positive impact on your body composition.

Lard gainer 

Make sure your shopping basket contains foods that are naturally high in fat: butter, cheese, eggs and all sorts of meats. These are dense in essential nutrients, and while you might worry about their high saturated fat content, all the recent evidence shows these fats don’t cause disease. In contrast, the processed oils in margarine and many packaged foods often contain trans fats that can increase your risk of cancer, heart disease and other problems.  

Other foods with good fats are avocados, nuts and olive oil, but it’s always been hard to make a full meal out of them. Returning to animal foods solves that problem. You can make lots of main courses using cream sauces, red meat and even offal – just as our grandparents used to do long before obesity became a crisis. 

So eat fat to lose fat. It’s not a fad but a return to the way we ate for millennia before the low-fat diet took hold. Nutrition science has finally corrected itself.

Chew the fat  

Reach for these high-fat treats to ward off the belly bulge


Butter is a natural fat, rich in nutrients, as opposed to margarine, which is artificial, made from processed vegetable oils and has only been part of our diet for a century or so. Grass-fed butter is especially high in omega 3 fatty acids.

Red meat

Historically, the fattiest cuts of meat such as T-bone were the most prized, and lean cuts such as sirloin were fed to the dogs. Likewise, organ meats, such as kidneys and liver, were preferred because these are especially nutrient-dense. 


Full-fat dairy of any kind is always the best choice. When removing the fat from foods, manufacturers must use ‘fat replacers’ to make up for lost texture and flavour, which are nearly always carbohydrate-based. So dodge the low-fat cheese.


Former web editor

Between 2014 and 2015, Andre Jackson was the web editor of Men’s Fitness UK, which predated and then shared a website with Coach. A love for climbing ropes and boarding slopes, he doesn’t have the most traditional of workout plans but he’s obsessed with finding out how much protein he can get from everything. His favorite gym move is double wave battle ropes, his favorite sports are football and snowboarding, and his personal best is conquering a V6 bouldering climbing wall.