Ok, I know what you’re thinking after reading a title like that, are you crazy?
In the scheme of things, “Fat Free” dieting has been useful for people with sensitive health conditions like Diabetes and for body builders who tend to utilize carbs/protein for bulking.
The idea with diabetics is that since their bodies have great difficulty producing insulin, a ketogenic or insulin reducing diet can be dangerous. This is why medical professionals often recommend high fiber/low fat diets to those with diabetes.
Fat Free is not totally without merit and evidence has shown it to be effective in some configuration. However, counting Fat and avoiding Saturated Fat both have major shortcomings. Saturated Fat may increase cholesterol but can also be metabolized by muscle growth. Eating the alternative without exercise appears to spur weight gain faster than Saturated Fat.
Effectiveness of this diet for losing major weight is limited. Most Fat Free diets cannot promise much. Many of us have tried them and still are left unsatisfied while looking for the perfect alternative. Worst of all, the portions leave us hungry and mischievous.
The oversimplified premise “eat fat to get fat” is dangerous. Empiricism sets simple logic straight when people who live the fat free diet enter obesity from eating bread and pasta. The liver has its own process for converting sugar into fat and it’s storage is often long-term. We’ve had more than 50 years of the high carb regime….and we live in it’s aftermath.
There are healthy fats which your body craves. Omega 3s are incredible at antagonizing glycogen while Boosting metabolism (and therefore energy levels) for those in Ketosis. To the contrary, Omega 6s (Unsaturated Fats) found in seed oils and nuts are being proven harmful over the long term.
This diet can be ignorant of macros, nutrients, and metabolism. While hyperfocused on Fat as the enemy (which it isnt) we forget that an effective diet is an orchestra with supportive roles for many of our other macros. Eliminating fat often limits our protein intake while leading to increased carb consumption to fill the void.
The exercise required to burn off a carb rich diet can be undoable for most people. To burn the excess glycogen of the Western Pattern Diet, it may take the activity of a dedicated athlete. While not impossible, it’s out of the question for most of us–especially if we have joint problems. Ancient athletes who relied on high carb diets would not be considered fit according to modern beauty standards–in fact, they were fairly “flabby”.
A reliance on fruit or vegitables can be either the gateway to carbs or a boring monotonous routine which feels like work. When we’re not satisfied or dangling a sample prize in our own faces every day, it becomes extraordinarily difficult to carry on. A part of why this diet is for the unsuccessful is that our own will-power is existant…a thing….and something (all too often) we underestimate the power of: Positively and Negatively.
Measuring everything can be a pain in the ass. Not to say that other diets won’t have you measuring…to be a hound for the details is taxing. I have to do it with keto though I will say this, the diet’s success does not make it the least bit in vain.
What I have found fat free useful for:
I’ve found fat free useful in emergencies where I unknowingly consumed carbs after a cheat day. Segregating fats from carbs can be time intensive–it takes X time for insulin levels to drop again after eating carbs.
Lately, I added Fat Free dressing to a salad which had carb-laden ingredients as a measure to avoid it being stored as fat.
Conclusion: while a Fat Free can be useful in certain circumstances, it’s most common result is leaving diet-goers unsatisfied, frustrated, and unchanged.