3

votes

How do you overcome "Fat Phobia"?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 30, 2011 at 4:59 PM

I???ve recently realized that to be truly successful with a Paleo life-style, I need to overcome my ???fat phobia.??? I understand intellectually that the right fats are good for me. I???ve also never gone really low fat (25-30% of caloric intake has been my norm for most of my life). Plus, I really enjoy eating some fats -cream, avocado and coconut milk are especially lovely! But I still have an aversion to fat, both emotionally and physically. For example, I don???t like the taste of ???greasy??? food, such as eggs fried in bacon fat or even bacon that is still dripping fat (although I do like bacon a lot). Maybe this is a personal taste issue, but it may just be a conditioned taste that relates to a deeper emotional aversion to ???too much fat.??? I have lived 43 years as a very health-conscious person who has been conditioned to believe that some fat is good, but too much fat is bad. I just can???t help having a gut reaction every time I eat the fatty part of my steak instead of trimming it away, or every time I let my sons pile on an extra tablespoon (or two or three . . .) of butter on their potatoes (or watch them just eat butter off the spoon . . . ).

What are your experiences with fat aversion? How did you overcome it, or are you still working on it? Is this something that just naturally lessons the longer you follow a Paleo lifestyle? How do you explain a goal of increased consumption of healthy fats to concerned parents/grandparents when you are still feeling emotionally adverse to it yourself?

Thanks for your thoughts.

EDIT: I want to re-stress that I have a very intelligent, analytical mind and I do intellectually understand and AGREE COMPLETELY with all of the good arguments out there about why we should eat less carb and therefore, more fat and protein. I'm not looking for more rational reasons to eat fat. What I need are strategies for dealing with or even assurances that the long-conditioned emotional reaction will eventually subside.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 15, 2011
at 08:59 PM

I'm probably eating about 35% protein, 50% fat, and 15% carb on an average day. I haven't been losing weight, but the big success is that my constant carb cravings, hunger, and hypoglycemia issues have dramatically improved. And considering that I have spent the last 6 weeks during the double dip holiday season writing my dissertation proposal, taking my 5-day written exams, and am now in the process of preparing for my oral exams AND NOT GAINED WEIGHT or been overly stressed is amazing. I just decided not to force the "extra" fat and to eat full fat foods with plenty of butter. Tasty!

Medium avatar

(39821)

on December 15, 2011
at 01:09 AM

High fat/low carb is an effective means by which the intractably sedentary can go from obese to overweight, but it repeatedly fails to take the majority of those people to either a healthy or lean state. Exercise, tubers and only the essential fats is a tried and true method that works (provided that the first thing is actually done).

Medium avatar

(2301)

on December 04, 2011
at 06:04 AM

haha, how does the song go? glad to have helped! :)

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 02, 2011
at 08:07 PM

Yes, I feel like I'm forcing it too much right now. Maybe that's a big part of the problem. Thanks.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 02, 2011
at 08:04 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one. This seems like a really good common sense appoach to me. I did some calculating yesterday and I'm probably averaging around 45% caloric intake from fat right now, so that's pretty good without the extra "greasy" fat.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 02, 2011
at 07:59 PM

I have to admit this really made me laugh. It reminded me of this silly song I learned in pre-school about feeding my brain. I can't remember it, but I did make up a new silly song about how my brain loves fat and I sang it to my 3-year-old twins as we ate our scrambled eggs this morning. It did stop the gut fat aversion, although I'm not sure if it was the "feed the brain fat" part or just the fact I was singing a silly song about it. Thanks!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 01, 2011
at 09:24 PM

It's still good to consider counter arguments to all things paleo. If solid evidence shows saturated fat to be bad, I am going to pay attention. It's just that the current evidence against it is very weak and the evidence suggesting that it is healthy is actually pretty strong. There may be some truth to the idea that it is not healthy in the context of a high sugar diet - but it's probably the fault of the sugar (or at least that's my bias).

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on November 30, 2011
at 09:40 PM

Interestingly, this is what turned the road for me, too, in a way -- My holistic neurologist (treating my MS) told me that it was going to be REALLY hard for my body to work around the damaged myelin if I refused to eat saturated fats and cholesterol. It took me a couple of years, but the steady improvement in my MS symptoms over time kept me going.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on November 30, 2011
at 08:38 PM

I hadn't thought about the physical difference in seeing the fats, though I have to admit I'm turned off by "pooled" fat on top of food, but not by fat mixed thoroughly into food (such as in a coconut smoothie). Interesting.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on November 30, 2011
at 08:31 PM

Thanks, Kewpie. I imagine more "healthy" results such as increased energy and clearer skin will help me believe emotionally as well as intellectually.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on November 30, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Thanks for the link. I like Mark's blog and his approach to food.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on November 30, 2011
at 08:26 PM

I've read a lot of Gary Taubes and enjoy his writing. It's part of what convinced me intellectually that I need more fat and less carb (I already get a lot of protein.)

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on November 30, 2011
at 08:25 PM

Thanks, Dave. I'll check out a few of these authors that I haven't read yet. I'm thinking maybe it will just take more time for my emotions to catch up with my intellectual knowledge.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 30, 2011
at 08:09 PM

I got over it by reading the books and blogs of Gary Taubes, Dr. Mike Eades and Tom Naughton. It was further reinforced by Dr. Kurt Harris, Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Peter at Hyperlipid, Dr. Uffe Ravskenov, Denise Minger, J. Stanton, ThatPaleoGuy, Emily Deans, and a host of others - especially some great paleohackers. Paleo isn't necessarily high fat. It can be and many do well with high fat. But you will need to find what works best for you.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on November 30, 2011
at 07:34 PM

+1 for the link -- I just read the same article, think it would be very helpful

  • B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

    asked by

    (3924)
  • Views
    1.9K
  • Last Activity
    1403D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

11 Answers

6
Medium avatar

(10663)

on November 30, 2011
at 05:28 PM

Two words: Gary. Taubes.

After reading his books and watching several of his talks on YouTube, I left conventional wisdom in the middle aisles of the supermarket.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on November 30, 2011
at 08:26 PM

I've read a lot of Gary Taubes and enjoy his writing. It's part of what convinced me intellectually that I need more fat and less carb (I already get a lot of protein.)

5
828429fe885f42968c0519d5b84cec40

(608)

on November 30, 2011
at 07:05 PM

I think fat should be embraced, but not forced. Eat full fat everything, and eat the fatty things you enjoy. However, I do not think that you need to add extra fat to your meals. I do not see how this is helpful in any way. For satiety I would say to increase protein intake, before melting coconut oil over a fatty pork chop, just because.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 02, 2011
at 08:07 PM

Yes, I feel like I'm forcing it too much right now. Maybe that's a big part of the problem. Thanks.

5
Cd61bdabc3cc5fad501cefa0d19c663e

on November 30, 2011
at 05:28 PM

Maybe try some butter or ghee instead of bacon fat, since those dairy fats tend to be less greasy and have a smoother flavor. As much as I love bacon, sometimes I find that pork fat can be a bit of an overload when I cook with it.

Just take it slow, and remember that fat is an extremely important component of the diet, especially for getting fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and K2.

This is a great article by Mark Sisson. He takes a moderate approach to diet, and gives a great number of different ways to up the fat content of your food.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-eat-more-fat/

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on November 30, 2011
at 07:34 PM

+1 for the link -- I just read the same article, think it would be very helpful

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on November 30, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Thanks for the link. I like Mark's blog and his approach to food.

3
Medium avatar

(2301)

on November 30, 2011
at 08:28 PM

This is kind of weird, but thinking of my brain as fat makes me feel like I'm supposed to feed it fat to keep it functioning well, if that makes any sense.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on November 30, 2011
at 09:40 PM

Interestingly, this is what turned the road for me, too, in a way -- My holistic neurologist (treating my MS) told me that it was going to be REALLY hard for my body to work around the damaged myelin if I refused to eat saturated fats and cholesterol. It took me a couple of years, but the steady improvement in my MS symptoms over time kept me going.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 02, 2011
at 07:59 PM

I have to admit this really made me laugh. It reminded me of this silly song I learned in pre-school about feeding my brain. I can't remember it, but I did make up a new silly song about how my brain loves fat and I sang it to my 3-year-old twins as we ate our scrambled eggs this morning. It did stop the gut fat aversion, although I'm not sure if it was the "feed the brain fat" part or just the fact I was singing a silly song about it. Thanks!

Medium avatar

(2301)

on December 04, 2011
at 06:04 AM

haha, how does the song go? glad to have helped! :)

3
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 30, 2011
at 06:12 PM

I started to overcome it after reading Gary Taubes' Why We Get Fat and Sally Fallon and Mary Enig's Eat Fat, Lost Fat, but I really overcame it when I started seeing the results in the mirror and on the scale. It seemed like the more fat I included in my daily diet, the less fat was on my body. Seeing is believing.

You can get lots of fat in your diet without eating greasy food or globs of fat off the spoon. If you don't like those things, don't eat them. Stick with the foods you like: avocado, coconut milk, cream.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on November 30, 2011
at 08:31 PM

Thanks, Kewpie. I imagine more "healthy" results such as increased energy and clearer skin will help me believe emotionally as well as intellectually.

2
Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on December 01, 2011
at 06:52 AM

I'm with you on greasy foods! I don't like that sensation in my mouth. I still don't like excessively greasy foods and I still pat down my bacon with a paper towel. I get plenty of fat otherwise (butter in cauliflower mash, cream and coconut oil in my tea, the fat still present in the bacon after patting, etc), so I stopped feeling like it was necessary for me to like the way "greasy spoon" food feels. Yech!

I think you could start by eating more the types of fat you already enjoy; having to choke something down every time won't endear it to you. Maybe over time, as you increase the fatty foods you DO like, you might start to feel okay with the fatty edge on the steak. (Though I don't think it will harm your health if you never adapt to it, either; I get more than half my calories from fat without eating the stuff I don't enjoy.)

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 02, 2011
at 08:04 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one. This seems like a really good common sense appoach to me. I did some calculating yesterday and I'm probably averaging around 45% caloric intake from fat right now, so that's pretty good without the extra "greasy" fat.

1
0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on December 15, 2011
at 02:47 AM

This might be an unusual answer, but marrow was a big gateway for me. I was in a similar place as far as my preferred fats (leftover from a vegan-ish lifestyle), but the first couple times I tasted that rich creaminess that is unique to good marrow - and the primal voracity that it seems to invoke - I was really hooked. I started cooking in tallow shortly thereafter.

1
Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on December 15, 2011
at 01:00 AM

I just sort of forgot about it over time. In the beginning of my Path to Paleo???, I read books and studied blog posts about it, and I still had those lingering doubts. Days and weeks passed, I stopped reading, studying and thinking about it so much. Instead, I just kept on eating in a way that someone like, for example, Mark Sisson would probably approve. I kept on feeling great.

Fast forward a year or so, and now that I re-visit the issue, I find that the experiential part of this path informs me as much or more than any book or blog post I could read. Instead of hoping the theories I have been reading about are true, I now know that I feel great and quite honestly I don't care one iota about the fat fearmongers. I feel good and know I'm healthy and that's enough.

1
191ad6c44dc63fdacb1b53652fc28a4c

on November 30, 2011
at 08:22 PM

Eat organic, grass fed fat in the form of butter, ghee, raw cream, raw milk, lard, avocado, activated nuts and seeds, fatty cuts of meat. You will never be hungry and save money. The difference between eating good saturated fats is that you can see them, whereas all those seed oils and transfats are hidden so you can be in denial that they really exist. When you embrace what fat can do for you, lose/maintain weight, curb hunger, endless energy, regularity, cognitive clarity, no aches and pains and save you money you will enjoy seeing it slapped on your food. Take a bowl of steamed vegetables covered in grass fed butter - healthy? Yes! Compared to a vegetable stirfry in peanut oil - healthy? No!
I have lost 6 kilos in 6 weeks by increasing my fat intake, I can get through 250g of organic butter on my own in one week - it's great give it a try.. Check out my blog for ideas on how to incorporate fat into your diet..

www.modernpaleo.com.au

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on November 30, 2011
at 08:38 PM

I hadn't thought about the physical difference in seeing the fats, though I have to admit I'm turned off by "pooled" fat on top of food, but not by fat mixed thoroughly into food (such as in a coconut smoothie). Interesting.

1
Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

on November 30, 2011
at 07:32 PM

Keep reading, studying, researching. Eventually you'll come to truly believe it.

0
59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

on December 15, 2011
at 12:53 AM

I feel the exact same way, so you are not alone. I have recently tried all variations of Paleo - lean protein, limited carbs, low fat (lost my mind with no satiety) than sort I've been gradually increasing my fats, (very very scared while doing so) I am up to eating 60% fat, 10% carb, 30% protein and i am still terrified when i put cream in my espresso, or eat an avocado and have fatty beef for dinner. I just don't trust that this will help me lower my body fat %? Can you tell me how you have been doing with your fat intake?

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 15, 2011
at 08:59 PM

I'm probably eating about 35% protein, 50% fat, and 15% carb on an average day. I haven't been losing weight, but the big success is that my constant carb cravings, hunger, and hypoglycemia issues have dramatically improved. And considering that I have spent the last 6 weeks during the double dip holiday season writing my dissertation proposal, taking my 5-day written exams, and am now in the process of preparing for my oral exams AND NOT GAINED WEIGHT or been overly stressed is amazing. I just decided not to force the "extra" fat and to eat full fat foods with plenty of butter. Tasty!

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!