The goods on fat

The fact is, fat gets a bad rap! We need fat in our diet at about 20% of our daily intake of calories. Naturally occurring fats especially vegetable fats are not something we should avoid. Instead, try to lower your fat intake by reducing the amount of additive fats like butter, mayo, and salad dressing, and reduce the amount of deep fried foods often found in fast food restaurants or as appetizers in regular restaurants. Just such a reduction alone will improve your quality of life and health, for it is the saturated animal fats often found in these products that contribute to heart disease and stroke. Higher percentages of fat in the diet also increase the daily caloric intake as fat has about twice the number of calories per gram as protein or carbohydrate. Higher levels of fat calories can contribute to increases in body fat percentage.

Some rules for reducing body fat

Do not crash diet or attempt to lose fat rapidly. It can result in low energy and fatigue which will impair your training and performance, or result in injury. The keys to fat loss are:

  • Reduce the intake of additive fats (fried foods, oils, butter, mayonnaise, cold cuts, bacon, sausage, peanut butter) and replace them with fruits, vegetables, pastas, low fat sauces, low fat cheese, potatoes, breads, rice, soups, skinless chicken and fish, and much, much more water.
  • Avoid plain sugar (candies, pop, desserts) as they provide few nutrients and lots of calories.
  • Smaller meals 5-6 times/day are better than larger meals only two or three times per day.
  • High intensity aerobic interval training for 20-25 minutes each 4-5 days per week will help reduce fat stores.
  • Drink at least two liters of water every day. It is important to cut back on alcohol consumption and replace it with juices or water.
  • Log what you eat over several days and you may be able to find areas that you can change that will be easy and may reduce your caloric intake with little effort.

This information was provided by Reg Grant, Strength and Conditioning Coach for the New York Rangers.