So where does all of my energy come from eating a Paleo diet? It’s time to talk about Fat, not like Doritos fat but healthy natural fats. As your body begins to realize you’re not going to be feeding it any simple sugars that it craves it has to find energy to keep you moving somewhere. The goal of this whole challenge, from the internal side, is to get you to be a fat burning machine. If you have been feeling a little sluggish, aka crabby, lately it’s because your body is deep in the heart of this transition.
Types of Fats
So let’s talk about types of fat of which there are 3 major types: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. We won’t dive too far into the nerdery for this one I’ll keep it simple.
- Saturated Fat is Paleo approved – no, it doesn’t give you heart disease, or cancer or diabetes or anything else.
- Monounsaturated fat is also Paleo approved.
- Polyunsaturated fat is a little bit more complicated: Omega 6 and Omega 3. This can dive deep but for the short version get more Omega 3 (see fish oil) and less Omega 6 (see vegetable oil).
Food Sources of Paleo Fats
On Paleo, fat should be the main staple of your diet. Weird that eating fat won’t make you fat but I promise it won’t. This is where your energy (calories) is going to come from to get you through the day. Fat from whole foods should not be avoided, eat the whole egg, keep the skin on your chicken, cook with bacon fat or real butter. You want to avoid the fake stuff: canola oil, margarine, vegetable oil, etc…
How Much Fat Do I Need?
It’s a hard sell to get people to eat fat on a paleo diet after years of hearing that “fat is bad for you”. I promise fats from natural sources are really good for you, and yummy. Fat’s need to be the main source of energy (calories) in your diet. We want to avoid counting calories for now so make sure you are not removing the fat from whole foods. Use the whole egg when cooking and don’t remove the skin from your poultry. Make sure each meal contains either a fatty animal protein (ground beef, bacon or skin on chicken), 2 tablespoons of cooking fat, or an avocado, coconut milk or other healthy source of fat.
Don’t think you need to get crazy with it and start doing shots of coconut oil, make smart food choices and don’t be afraid of the fat! You’re energy level will start to skyrocket and you’ll be burning through you stored fat, making you a lean mean jacked unicorn.
Sara Mozingo is the Co-Owner, head coach, and programing wizard at CrossFit Icehouse. When she’s not developing rep schemes and diving into the nerdery she enjoys hanging out in nature hiking trails or climbing rocks with her side-kick Mr. Mosely.