Why chlorestrol and fat are a vital part of your weight loss journey


Why chlorestrol and fat are a vital part of your weight loss journey:

If you’re trying to take control of your health, you might be concerned about your cholesterol levels—and with good reason.

According to the CDC, more than 12% of adults over age 20 had high total cholesterol levels, and more than 18% had low HDL (a.k.a. high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol). (1)

For decades, our doctors have warned us that high or imbalanced cholesterol levels are bad news.

We know that high cholesterol–especially the “bad” kind–can contribute to plaque build up in your arteries, which can lead to stroke or heart attack.

 However, your body needs cholesterol for most of your basic bodily functions, from digesting food, to maintaining healthy cell structure, to producing hormones, and more.

And while high cholesterol is a warning sign for many people, it might not be for you—and it doesn’t necessarily mean that cholesterol is the root problem.

This is the point where many people go, “Yeah, because fat is the root of the problem!”

Spoiler alert: That’s false!!

You need fat to synthesize cholesterol, which is why people have assumed cutting out fat will fix the high cholesterol issue.

But even if reducing fat was guaranteed to lower your cholesterol (it’s not), that still might not lead to better health.

Remember, correlation does not always equal causation, and that is definitely the case for cholesterol!

There is a lot of misinformation out there about how your body makes and utilizes cholesterol,

what role it plays in your health, and how you should address high cholesterol levels.

So we did the research, and found out everything you need to know about how cholesterol and fat impact your health—including how they actually help you lose weight!

We’ll also talk about what the heck cholesterol actually is, why you need a healthy amount of both cholesterol and fat, and how to address high cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol Fiction vs. Fact

There are so many myths and misconceptions about what cholesterol is, what risks is poses, how you develop high cholesterol–the list goes on.

So let’s get on the same page, and separate fact from fiction so you can take control of your health.

 There are two types of cholesterol.

Wrong again, mostly.

While cholesterol is usually referred to as “good” or “bad” cholesterol, there is actually only one kind of cholesterol.

However, cholesterol is a very sticky, waxy substance, and can’t go through your bloodstream on its own. It needs fats, or lipoproteins, to carry it throughout your body.

The difference between what we call “good” and “bad” cholesterol is the kinds of a lipoprotein it is packaged in, either:

  • low-density lipoprotein, called LDL or “bad” cholesterol,
  • or high-density lipoprotein, called HDL or “good” cholesterol.

We’ll go over LDL and HDL more in a moment.



Only overweight people have high cholesterol.

This myth has held on for a long time, but it is far from true.

According to a study published by the Journal of Lipid Research, “Insulin sensitivity regulates cholesterol metabolism to a greater extent than obesity.”

The study measured cholesterol levels in relation to waist circumference and BMI, versus in relation to insulin resistance.

BMI and waist circumference, on the other hand, did not appear to impact cholesterol levels.

Basically, insulin resistance is much more likely to lead to high cholesterol than being overweight—which is very important, since many people can be average size, or even underweight, and still be insulin resistant.

Avoiding fat will lower your cholesterol levels.

A standard piece of advice from many people in the medical field is to avoid fatty foods—especially saturated fats—when trying to lower your cholesterol.

On a surface level, this seems logical, since fat is what is needed to carry cholesterol around your body.

However, cholesterol levels “should be regarded as one variable for evaluating cardiovascular risk, using an individual’s metabolic status and other risk factors to adjust that risk assessment up or down.”

Low-fat diets have actually been associated with increased weight gain, which increases your risk of cardiovascular disease—so this method could truly backfire on you.

And while eating saturated fats has been associated with cardiovascular disease for decades, recent studies have shown that the source of the saturated fat is actually to blame.

So while a diet high in refined oils, preservatives, butter, and fatty cuts of red meat correlates with a higher risk of heart disease, diets rich in coconut oil are actually associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Fat and Cholesterol Make it Easier to Lose Weight

So, how does cholesterol actually help you lose weight?

The short version is that if you don’t have enough cholesterol, you can’t produce enough cholesterol-based hormones, your digestive system doesn’t work as quickly, and you heal very slowly—all of which make it very difficult to lose weight, build muscle, recover from injuries, and just generally function. (10)

And to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, you need to make sure you have plenty of healthy fats in your diet, so your liver can synthesize HDL and LDL.

That’s because as your body starts breaking down fat for fuel, the lipids and cholesterol stored there have nowhere to go except your bloodstream.

Your liver will eventually filter this extra cholesterol out, and cholesterol-lowering medication will not help you during this time. (12)

So don’t freak out! This increase isn’t really a bad thing, especially since you’re making positive health changes.

The benefits of exercise, healthy eating, and weight loss far outweigh the potential risks of short-term high cholesterol.

Once your weight has stabilized for a few weeks, your cholesterol levels should return to normal.

So if you do have higher than average cholesterol, make sure to talk to your doctor about your whole health, and let them know that you have been losing weight, and for how long.

And if your doctor is still concerned about your health, ask them about other lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health before starting on a cholesterol-lowering medication—since simply lowering your cholesterol can actually make it harder to get healthy, especially if your hormones are already out of whack.

A Plan for Weight Loss and Real Improvements in Your Health

So now that you’re not afraid of dietary fat and cholesterol, it’s time to make a plan to address the real health culprit: insulin resistance.

Improving your insulin sensitivity is no easy feat, and many people struggle with their weight and health for years because their bodies simply aren’t absorbing glucose readily.

The truth is, you have the power to reverse insulin resistance—but it’s going to take some serious dietary changes to make it happen.

Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies

The most important component of an effective weight-management program must be the prevention of unwanted weight gain from excess body fat. The military is in a unique position to address prevention from the first day of an individual’s military career. Because the military population is selected from a pool of individuals who meet specific criteria for body mass index (BMI) and percent body fat, the primary goal should be to foster an environment that promotes the maintenance of healthy body weight and body composition throughout an individual’s military career. There is significant evidence that losing excess body fat is difficult for most individuals and the risk of regaining lost weight is high. From the first day of initial entry training, an understanding of the fundamental causes of excess weight gain must be communicated to each individual, along with a strategy for maintaining healthy body weight as a way of life.


Weight-management programs may be divided into two phases: weight loss and weight maintenance. While exercise may be the most important element of a weight-maintenance program, it is clear that dietary restriction is the critical component of a weight-loss program that influences the rate of weight loss. Activity accounts for only about 15 to 30 percent of daily energy expenditure, but food intake accounts for 100 percent of energy intake. Thus, the energy balance equation may be affected most significantly by reducing energy intake. The number of diets that have been proposed is almost innumerable, but whatever the name, all diets consist of reductions of some proportions of protein, carbohydrate (CHO), and fat.

Meal Replacement

Meal replacement programs are commercially available to consumers for a reasonably low cost. The meal replacement industry suggests replacing one or two of the three daily meals with their products, while the third meal should be sensibly balanced. In addition, two snacks consisting of fruits, vegetables, or diet snack bars are recommended each day. Using this plan, individuals consume approximately 1,200 to 1,500 kcal/day.

Long-term maintenance of weight loss with meal replacements improves biomarkers of disease risk, including improvements in levels of blood glucose (Ditschuneit and Fletchner-Mors, 2001), insulin, and triacylglycerol; improved systolic blood pressure (Ditschuneit and Fletchner-Mors, 2001; Ditschuneit et al., 1999); and reductions in plasma cholesterol (Heber et al., 1994).

Winick and coworkers (2002) evaluated employees in high-stress jobs (e.g., police, firefighters, and hospital.

 Unbalanced, Hypocaloric Diets

Unbalanced, hypocaloric diets restrict one or more of the calorie-containing macronutrients (protein, fat, and CHO). The rationale given for these diets by their advocates is that the restriction of one particular macronutrient facilitates weight loss, while restriction of the others does not. Many of these diets are published in books aimed at the lay public and are often not written by health professionals and often are not based on