I am actually shocked that I showed another significant decrease this week. This morning I weighed in at 143.2, an exact one pound loss. I’m shook with the consistent .2 lingering at the end!
Next week I will take updated measurements, so this week I decided on progress photos. I’m definitely lacking in definition, but I’m not upset with where my physique is currently. I’ve definitely seen fluffier times.
My mom and step-dad came to town over the weekend, so I knew that meant my weekend routine would be off a bit. Since I knew this in advance. I was able to make some changes earlier in the week to accommodate. I switched up my protein sources beginning Monday and chose leaner options throughout the week. I traded out 90% ground beef for 99% ground turkey, traded fattier fish for low-fat options like mahi-mahi and orange roughy, and eliminated all stovetop cooking with butter and oil, and opted for air frying, boiling, or baking.
When comparing micronutrients of ground beef versus ground turkey, ground beef has more iron, zinc, selenium, and B-vitamins, but the turkey I chose this week had 9 grams of fat less per serving. Over a five day period, that is a significant difference. So, yes, I am taking in less calories by eating 99% ground turkey due to the fat content being less, but I’m also consuming less vitamins and minerals.
When choosing fish, my top go-to’s are mahi-mahi and halibut. This week I chose the lower fat of the two which was the mahi-mahi. In comparison to halibut, mahi has greater concentrations of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese, and higher levels of vitamin A, B-vitamins, and folate; whereas, halibut is higher in phosphorus, and has a much higher fat content (including more omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, EPA, and DPA).
By replacing halibut this week, my calories were considerably less due to the decrease in fats, however this also eliminated a substantial amount of Omega-3 fatty acids.
When making comparisons, it’s not that one source is radically superior to the others, but the intake of differing micronutrient/macronutrient of each food provides a more well-rounded diet for optimal health. While low fat, leaner options provided me with overall less calories for the week and allowed me to shed more weight, this approach wouldn’t be ideal for long, extended periods. Dietary fats need to be consumed regularly in order for the body to function properly. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential, meaning the body cannot create these fats and they must me consumed through the foods we eat. Omega-6 fatty acids are often consumed in higher amounts because they are found in most processed foods, so it’s important to get these fats in the form of whole foods such as walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, etc. (foods that include linoleic acid), as opposed to other Omega-6 sources that contribute to inflammation like canola oil, safflower oil, corn oil, etc. Omega-3 fatty acids are most often under-consumed, which are found highest in oilier fish such as halibut, wild salmon, tuna, and plant options like ground flaxseed and chia seeds. These fatty acids make hormones that regulate the immune system and central nervous system, as well as, help all the cells in the body function as they should. Omega-3s are a vital part of the cell membranes, helping to provide structure and supporting interactions between cells. While they’re important to all your cells, Omega-3s are concentrated in high levels in cells in your eyes and brain, making them critical for sight and brain function. They are also required in order for our bodies to absorb important vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K.
So, while a low-fat approach to dieting does mean a lower caloric intake overall, this approach for an extended period of time will eventually lead to a cascade of unhealthy responses. A low-fat diet decreases the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone. This is because all hormones are made from protein and fat, while sex hormones (such as estrogen and testosterone) are made from cholesterol. If fat and cholesterol are cut out of the diet, a steady supply of estrogen isn’t produced, which can lead to symptoms of estrogen deficiency including insomnia, night sweats, heart palpitations, hair loss, etc. (mimicking symptoms of menopause for a female). Low-fat diets inhibit the body from making serotonin, a neurotransmitter necessary for regulating moods and contributing to a sense of well-being. Low levels of serotonin are often associated with sleep problems, anxiety disorders, depression, and fatigue.
In conclusion, fat has the most calories of all macronutrients, so it’s easy to see why they are the first to go when trying to lose weight. My approach this week was strategic and therefore yielded the results I hoped for, but it’s not an approach that I will take every week. Calculated and intentional eating throughout the week can allow for more flexibility on the weekends when needed, but the best approach is a balanced diet that includes good dietary fats which will promote better responses overall in the long term.