Want to Lose Weight? Eat More Fat

Want to drop a few pounds fast before you hit the beach this year? Don't fall for another diet fad. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem recently discovered a better way to lose weight, and it takes a page from the French way of living: Eat more fat.

Yes, you read right! Opt for healthy fat and eat it at scheduled times throughout the day, and you'll rewire your metabolism to use fat for energy instead of storing it, say the researchers. In the 18-week-study they ran, four groups of mice were fed high-fat and low-fat diets at scheduled and unscheduled times. The weight loss winners, coming in at a significantly lower body weight: high-fat dieters eating fat at specific times every day.

But just how much fat should you eat to lose weight? “Aim to get at least 25 percent of your daily calories from healthy fats,” says Corrine Dobbas, a San Francisco-based registered dietician. These include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats -- found in avocadoes, nuts, seeds, fish and olives -- which not only speed weight loss but also boost heart health, improve cholesterol levels and quell inflammation.

Here are three versatile healthy fats you can add to every meal from now till beach time to slim down while staying healthy:

Healthy Fat No. 1: Avocado
Serving Size: 1 ounce, or about 2 tablespoons or one-fifth of the fruit
Fat: 5 grams (45 calories)
The creamy, rich flesh of the fruit has a divine consistency, and packs healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, which protect skin from damage while keeping it fresh and moist.
Best way to eat it: Halve a ripe avocado and top if with 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese for a healthy snack, or add avocado slices in salads during lunch or dinner.

Healthy Fat No. 2: Salmon
Serving Size: 3 ounces
Fat: 10 grams (90 fat calories)
Salmon is chock-full of inflammation-fighting omega 3s, which protect against disease and keep your skin youthful. But skip the farmed version: In 2003, the Environmental Working Group found farmed salmon to contain 16 times more toxic PCB chemicals than wild. Canned salmon is also a clean, safe option, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.
Best way to eat it: Top it with fresh ginger and rosemary, both of which contain anti-inflammatory compounds. Then bake at 375 F for 15 to 20 minutes. Squeeze fresh lemon juice for a tangy twist.

Healthy Fat No. 3: Chia Seeds
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Fat: 4 grams (40 fat calories)
These crunchy super pellets pack essential omega-3 fatty acids, and a whopping 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon, which keeps you fuller longer and ensures healthy digestion.
Best way to eat it: Soak 2 tablespoons in 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, top with cinnamon, and let soak for 30 minutes or overnight for a delicious breakfast or snack.

Bonus: You can also get 5 grams (45 calories) of healthy fats by eating six almonds or eight olives. Eat them at the same times each day, and you’ll be on your way to getting summer-ready.