For years, I’ve been a big consumer of nonfat/reduced fat foods. Even before I lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers, I had absorbed enough of the “Fat is evil!!” rhetoric to know to stay away from full fat anything–or full calorie anything, for that matter.
When I first started learning about “clean eating” a few years ago, I started to see the importance of eating foods that were as close to their natural state as possible. I started shopping more in the aisles of my grocery store (and pretty much switched over exclusively to places such as Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and farmer’s markets), made sure to include vegetables and fruits at every meal, switched to whole grain carbs, and started paying way more attention to labels and ingredients than I ever did (a traumatic experience at times, let me tell you). But one thing I still couldn’t quite master was embracing the “we need fat” philosophy.
Oh sure, I started to take baby steps towards it. I did concede somewhat by slowly incorporating avocados and olive oil and nuts into my eating, but I still couldn’t fully let go of the fat phobia I’d had for years. Maybe it’s the trauma of being called a “butterball” at the age of 13 by the guy I liked in junior high, but I’ve never been able to really go full hog (no pun intended–well, maybe a little ;)) into the realm of eating full fat foods–even if they were far less processed than their lower-fat and nonfat frankencousins.
That is, until I tried whole milk. Now I admit, I was scared to at first. I mean, as someone who watches my calories like a hawk, the idea of switching from skim milk to whole milk made me all panicky. But, I’d read enough about the health benefits of eating foods in their natural states–which includes avoiding reduced fat foods as much as possible–that I decided to finally make the leap. And much to my surprise? I love it!
My big fear in making the switch was that I’d basically have calorie bombs for meals. I drink a lot of milk and eat a lot of cheese, and I kept doing the math in my head, thinking it was all going to add up and I was going to gain all of the weight back that I’d worked so hard to lose. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that for the first time in a long time, I actually feel fuller after a meal, and find that I’m less prone to cravings or snack attacks. And at the end of the day, when I looked at my food journal and added up all of the calories, what do you know–I actually took in fewer overall calories than I had been doing for weeks!
Quite the paradox.
So… I am sold. Not only do I feel more satisfied with my meals, but, let’s face it–full fat stuff just tastes 1000x times better than their nonfat and reduced fat counterparts. Score!