It took me a while to stop being scared of fats.
I mean, a good few decades of learning that fats are the enemy will do that to you. I’m not the kind of person to dwell on regrets, but when I think back to the issues I had when I was young and on a low fat, high carb diet – sugar addiction, eating disorders, acne, weight gain and mood swings – it’s hard not to regret that I didn’t know about keto earlier.
When you first switch to keto, making sure you get more fats in is paramount. And at first, it can seem really hard and actually quite scary to be eating up to 200g (or more) or fat a day.
I kind of ‘dipped my toes in ‘ with eating fats in the beginning. I was probably eating around 100g a day (and even that felt like quite a lot).
But it took me a while to adapt and I was so tired, and after reading around I realised that if you want your body to burn fats, you’ve really got to up that fat intake especially in the beginning.
If you don’t get enough fats in, there are a few things that are likely to happen:
You won’t get enough calories in.
This is really detrimental, especially when you are adapting in those first few weeks. Even if your main priority is to lose weight, you must make sure you are eating enough so that your body and brain are not stressed, and you don’t go into starvation mode. The bottom line is if you’re hungry – eat. The keto diet is not about losing weight as quickly as possible, it is about healing your body and your relationship with food so that you will naturally find your ideal weight.
You will not keto adapt (or it will take a lot longer).
If you want your body to primarily burn fats for fuel (which is the goal with eating keto), you have to send a signal that there are plenty of fats available. This is crucial in the adapting phase. If you drastically reduce carbs without replacing those with fats, your body will not adapt – it will just assume that there isn’t enough food available and will start to decrease your metabolism to deal with it.
You will be hungry and miserable and have a much harder time with carb cravings.
If you are not getting enough fats in, your brain will just be shouting louder and louder for you to eat some quick burning carbs so it has the energy it needs. When you eat plenty of fats, your brain is more likely to grumble for a bit but then get on with the job of burning those fats.
So how much fat should you be eating each day?
I like to keep things as simple as possible, and I don’t like to have to measure and count everything all the time. So what I aim for is the equivalent of 3 tablespoons of fat per meal, plus a couple of fatty teas during the day. This generally means that I am getting over 150g of fat in a day.
Here’s How You Can Get More Fats In:
Add fats to your hot drinks.
It may be coffee, tea, herbal teas, hot chocolate. Whatever it is, add some butter, cacao butter or coconut oil. I use a little blender like this to quickly and easily blend in some yummy fats to my drinks. (Great to use in the early mornings if you don’t want to wake up the whole neighborhood with your Vitamix blender!) This is particularly good if you find that your appetite has gone awol but you need to get your calories up.
Make some high-fat dips or sauces to go with your meal.
My favourite is keto mayonnaise. I make a big batch and then take some and adapt it to my meal. For example mixing in chili sauce or chili flakes, or creating a garlic mayo, or adding more cider vinegar to thin it down and use as a salad dressing. I also love to melt butter and add garlic to it and drizzle this over everything!
Make some fat bombs
I ate a lot of fat bombs in the beginning – these are great to help with carb cravings because you can add some keto friendly sweeteners. There are a lot of awesome fat bomb recipes on the internet if you just google ‘fat bomb’. But here are a few of my favourites:
Put a dollop of butter on your meat.
Ohhhhhh I just love doing this! Whether it’s chicken thighs, rib eye steak or even a bolognese, get a good dollop of butter and either mix it in or let it melt and drizzle over the top of your meat.
Cook with plenty of fats
Use at least a tablespoon of fat to cook your meals. This will either get soaked up into your food (for example if you’re making eggs), or it will become part of a delicious sauce. And yes, you can lick your plate afterwards. 😉
Go Mediterranean and drizzle plenty of olive oil on your salads and vegetables
One of my favourite ways to cook vegetables is to use a big pot, fill up with a mixture of vegetables, season with salt, pepper and herbs and cover in several glugs of olive oil. I then let this cook slowly on a very low heat on the hob for an hour or so. Delicious!
Use Coconut Milk ALL the Time!
Coconut milk has around 50-60g of fat per cup. So if you use it in place of dairy milk in your tea and coffee, or use it in smoothies, or make chia puddings with coconut milk you can easily get plenty of this wonderful fat into your diet.
Eat it off the spoon!
Ok, so this may not be for everyone, but if you can, don’t be afraid to just have a spoonful of fat on its own. I’ll admit, I can only do this with coconut oil when it is in its solid version. I know of one lady who was having an issue with weight loss stalling, and she starting adding more fat to her diet by eating coconut oil by the spoonful throughout the day. The first week she did this she dropped 2 pounds! I like to mix a spoonful of almond butter with a spoonful of coconut oil and eat it like that – it’s really quite delicious.
There are actually lots of ways to get more fats into your keto diet, it just takes a little getting used to at first. But you’ll soon find that it becomes easy, and it’s really worth pushing through and making sure you get those fats in so you can experience the benefits of the keto diet all the sooner.
How do you get the fats into your diet? Let me know in the comments!