If you know anything about my 12 week transformation you know that I eliminated all fats from my diet except those found in lean cuts of meat. My significant weight loss was due to that aspect.
What you don’t know is that as the number on the scale dropped, my energy levels also dropped significantly. I was running on Empty. I didn’t even realize that my body was throwing up red flags. Truth be told, I became severely fatigued, suffered from constant brain fog, my face broke out with acne and I developed amenorrhea. Each of these came on gradually and I just assumed each were due to the intensity of the workouts.
Finally, I was able to relate each symptom to my restriction of healthy fats. After doing hours and hours and hours of research I learned that fats are essential assets to health… That’s why they call them essential fatty acids. There are three macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Each as important as the others. Think of these nutrients as a three legged stool; without one leg the stool would be unstable. I was missing the fat leg of the stool, I was imbalanced. (Find more info on macros here)
Where am I going with this? Well, after just 2 weeks of upping my fat intake I believe I have found has been my cure.
During my transformation I was lucky if I was even getting 8 grams per day. In the 5 months after the program I was consuming 20-40 grams per day (because I feared gaining fat from fats). During that time I was recovering from amenorrhea and my energy levels were increasing but probably only because I was not training nearly as hard. My acne, however, became worse. Much much worse …
BUT I’m now eating half my body weight in grams of fat per day. So that means 120lbs x 0.5 = 60 grams. I’ll admit I was completely nervous about increasing my fat intake but that much but I knew it had to be done, I wasn’t as healthy as I presented myself to be.
After just two weeks of eating a balanced diet with high healthy fat intake I cannot even believe how clear my face is becoming. This has been such a sore subject for me. I NEVER had acne in high school. In fact, my friends would compliment me on my clear skin all the time. But now I’m so relieved that its finally going away.
I’ve also noticed that I am 10x more alert and I can actually concentrate. This is because Healthy fats also act as a source of energy, not just carbs.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to educate yourself. Read, read, read, and ask questions!!! Unfortunately, I kept most of my problems to myself and I had to learn the hard way. But I’ve learned so much from these experiences and I’m excited to recover and move on!
I also have this theory, and don’t quote me on it because its just a theory! I live in Florida, I’m Italian, and both my parents have naturally darker skin. I’ve used a variety of tanning oils and have spent countless hours out in the sun trying to get a nice sun kissed glow yet by the end of summer, I was still pale. It’s almost been a year from my transformation start date in which I have been taking a multivitamin daily(I honestly don’t think I’ve missed a day since). I truly believe that my skin has become so much healthier because of this daily intake of vitamins and therefore better able to absorb those sun rays. It’s May, I’ve probably only spent 4 days out in sun “tanning” yet I promise you I’m darker now that I usually am in September. My theory? Daily multivitamins.