How Many Fat Grams Should I Eat To Lose Weight?: One of the most important factors in deciding whether you are losing weight or gaining weight is the choice of fats that make up your diet. Of course, there is no single magic formula for losing weight, but controlling fat consumption can greatly help your goals. Knowing how many fat grams are in the foods I eat is a good way to lose weight. Try the Fat Intake Calculator. It will calculate your ideal body fat percentage and help you determine how much daily fat intake is recommended.
The Importance of Losing Weight is important for everyone, yet many don’t know why. This article will share with you the importance of losing weight, as well as how to lose weight quickly. You can read more about what’s contained in this article .
How Many Fat Grams Should I Eat To Lose Weight
Along with protein and carbs, fat is one of the three macronutrients in your diet.
You consume fat in the form of triglycerides. A triglyceride molecule consists of three fatty acids attached to a glycerol backbone. The fatty acids contain chains of carbons and hydrogens.
One way to classify fats is by the length of their carbon chains:
- short-chain fatty acids: fewer than 6 carbons
- medium-chain fatty acids: 6–12 carbons
- long-chain fatty acids: 13–21 carbons
- very long-chain fatty acids: 22 or more carbons
Most of the fats you eat are long-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acids are mainly produced when bacteria ferment soluble fiber in your colon, although milk fat also contains small amounts.
Long-chain and very long-chain fats are absorbed into the bloodstream and released into the body’s cells as needed. However, the liver takes up short-chain and medium-chain fats directly and stores them as energy.
How much fat is healthy to eat per day?
The appropriate amount of fat to eat will depend on your calorie requirements for weight loss or maintenance. It’ll also be based on your eating style and diet.
You can use this calculator to determine your calorie needs to lose weight or maintain your weight, which is known as your daily calorie goal.
Low fat diet
A standard low fat diet contains about 30% — or less — of its calories from fat.
Here are a few examples of suggested daily fat ranges for a low fat diet, based on different calorie goals:
- 1,500 calories: about 50 grams of fat per day
- 2,000 calories: about 67 grams of fat per day
- 2,500 calories: about 83 grams of fat per day
Studies show higher fat diets, such as low carb and Mediterranean diets, offer many health benefits and may be a better choice than lower fat diets for some people.
High fat, low carb or Ketogenic diet
A ketogenic diet:
- minimizes carbs
- provides a moderate amount of protein
- is very high in fat
The percentage of calories from fat will depend on how low your carb intake is, but it will generally be around 75% of calories
Here are a few examples of suggested daily fat ranges for a low-carb or ketogenic diet, based on different calorie goals:
- 1,500 calories: about 83–125 grams of fat per day.
- 2,000 calories: about 111–167 grams of fat per day.
- 2,500 calories: about 139–208 grams of fat per day.
Moderate-Fat Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet includes a wide variety of plant and animal foods such as:
- extra-virgin olive oil
- whole grains
It typically provides 35–40% of calories from fat, including plenty of monounsaturated fat from olive oil.
Here are a few examples of suggested daily fat ranges for a Mediterranean diet, based on different calorie goals:
- 1,500 calories: about 58–67 grams of fat per day
- 2,000 calories: about 78–89 grams of fat per day
- 2,500 calories: about 97–111 grams of fat per day
Not all fats are created equal. Trans fats, found in processed and commercial foods, are not desirable, as they’re more likely to encourage weight gain and endanger your heart’s health. It’s also prudent not to overdo it on saturated fats from animal products.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 5 to 6 percent of your daily calories come from saturated fats, while the USDA definitely no more than 10 percent. To reduce your intake of saturated fat, choose leaner meats, such as flank steak, white-meat poultry and white fish, and opt for 2 percent milk products.
No amount of trans fat is healthy, regardless of whether you’re trying to maintain or lose weight. This manmade fat is being phased out of the food supply, but for now, you’ll need to read labels to avoid buying foods that contain it. You can identify it in the ingredient list as “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated” oil.
The types of fats you should emphasize in your diet are those that are unsaturated. Unsaturated fats are found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish, such as salmon. Olive oil, flaxseed oil and walnut oil are also good sources.
Unsaturated fats help improve your blood cholesterol, especially when you choose them instead of saturated and trans fats, explains the American Heart Association. Don’t eat them with abandon when you’re trying to lose weight, as they’re still calorie dense, but make sure the vast majority of your recommended grams of fat come from these healthy fats.
Ideas for including healthy fats in your diet include:
- Saute eggs in the morning in olive oil, rather than butter
- Add a small amount of avocado to your lunchtime sandwich or salad
- Spread almond butter on celery as a snack
- Enjoy salmon or mackerel once or twice per week for dinner
The calories determine the grams of fat
To find out how many grams of fat you should have daily, you need to calculate your calorie intake. Because everyone has a different Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), everyone’s calorie intake will look different. In order to determine your calories, you can use the Harris-Benedict formula.
Once you have that number, you can determine the grams of fat by calculating the percentage. Dr. Paul says that the national dietary guidelines say 20-35% of your daily caloric intake should come from fat. She also notes that less than 10% should come from saturated fat.
Why you should eat more fat
While fat was previously known to be a food that consumers should avoid, many studies and nutrition experts have debunked the myth by proving how having a good amount of healthy fats in your diet can actually produce a lot of health benefits.
“Healthy fats offer many health benefits such as promoting brain and nervous system normal functions, lowering cholesterol levels, and reducing inflammation,” says Dr. Paul.
The types of “healthy fats” Dr. Paul is referring to are actually called monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are the fats that help you to feel satiated after a meal, meaning you’ll feel full for hours after. Especially if it’s paired with a good source of protein.
HOW MUCH FAT YOU SHOULD EAT PER DAY TO LOSE WEIGHT?
How much fat should we include in our diet? According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, fats should make up 20-35% of our total daily calorie intake. For those attempting to lose body fat, 0.5-1g/kg of fat should be consumed per day to avoid essential fatty acid deficiency.
For someone who weighs 150lbs (68kg), this would equate to 34-68g fat per day.
If you want a handy tool to measure body fat percentages, check out the NASM body fat percentage calculator.
DAILY FAT NEEDS FOR INDIVIDUALS
Fat needs will vary by individual and will depend largely on body composition goals and body types. For example, dietary fat recommendations are slightly higher in competitive athletes than non-athletes to promote health, maintain healthy hormone function, and maintain energy balance. Typical recommendations for athletes are 30-50% of total energy intake.
LOW FAT DIETS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Low-fat diets (LFD) are those in which fat intake should make up 20-35% of total fat intake — the exact USDA recommendation. Very low-fat diets (VLFD), such as vegan and vegetarian diets, are defined as providing 10-20% of total daily calorie intake from fat. However, limited research exists on the efficacy of these diets to create sustainable fat loss over long periods.
Keto diets consist of 60-80% of calorie intake from fats and limiting carbohydrate consumption to less than 10% of daily intake. While keto diets have been shown to aid in weight loss/fat loss, studies have shown the primary mechanism behind weight loss is due to hunger suppression.
A high-fat diet can suppress appetite since it is highly satiating, leading to decreased caloric consumption. Additionally, many studies have shown that calorically matched diets with identical protein levels aid in fat loss just as successfully as a keto diet.
THE TWO TYPES OF FATS: SATURATED AND UNSATURATED
Saturated fats are those that are solid at room temperature. Examples include margarine, butter, whole fat dairy products, the fat marbling in meats, and coconut oil. The American Heart Association recommends that saturated fats only make up 5-6% of total fat consumption.
For someone consuming 2,000 calories in a day, that would equate to 13g of saturated fat. Saturated fats don’t need to be avoided entirely, but diets high in saturated fats can increase bad cholesterol and triglycerides, increasing the risk for heart disease.
Unsaturated fats are those that are liquid at room temperature. Examples include olive, peanut, and canola oils. We want to include as many unsaturated fats in our diet because they can decrease bad cholesterol, contain high amounts of antioxidants such as Vitamin E, and contain essential omega-three and omega-six fatty acids. Unsaturated fats are typically classified by how many hydrogen bonds they have in their structure: either 1 (mono) or two or more (poly).
Fat Intake Calculator
QUESTION: What’s an easy way to see how much fat I eat each day?
ANSWER: Tracking fat grams is an easy way to see if your fat intake meets dietary guidelines.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the following targets for healthy adults:
- Total fat: 20% to 35% of daily calories
- Saturated fat: 10% or less of daily calories
To figure out what that means for you, start with the number of calories you normally eat or want to eat a day. Multiply that number by the recommended percentages to get a daily range of fat calories.
Here’s an example based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet:
- Multiply 2,000 by 0.20 (20%) to get 400 calories and by 0.35 (35%) to get 700 calories.
- Multiply 2,000 by 0.10 (10%) to get 200 calories.
How many fat grams is that? There are 9 calories in a gram of fat, so divide the number of calories by 9.
- Divide 400 calories by 9 to get 44 grams. Then divide 700 calories by 9 to get 78 grams.
- Divide 200 calories by 9 to get 22 grams.
So if you’re following a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, your target range for total fat is 44 to 78 grams a day. Of that, saturated fat should make up no more than 22 grams.
To monitor the fat in your diet, simply add up the fat grams from the foods you ate during the day. Use the Nutrition Facts label to find out how much fat is in the foods you eat.
Remember to choose healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and limit unhealthy ones (saturated and trans).
Importance Of Losing Weight
1. Helps regulate blood sugar and diabetes
Losing weight improves insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes, says Preeti Pusalkar, a certified clinical nutritionist with Hudson Medical Center, a primary care provider in New York City.
Excess body fat leads to an increase in adipose tissue, which causes inflammation and interferes with the function of insulin — the hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Weight loss reduces adipose tissue, which allows the body to manage blood sugar more effectively. Plus, you don’t have to lose that much weight to see results. Research has found that just a 5% reduction in body weight improved blood sugar levels in adults.
2. Improved heart health
Losing weight can also improve heart health by reducing pressure on arteries, meaning the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood through the body. The result is lower blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels — the “bad” kind of cholesterol that can increase your risk of heart disease, Pusalkar says.
And it doesn’t matter if you lose weight through diet and exercise or weight-loss surgery like metabolic surgery — you’ll reap benefits regardless, according to a large 2020 study.
Researchers examined the effects of weight loss surgery on obese patients who either had weight loss surgery or who lost weight through lifestyle changes. The risk of heart disease for the surgical group decreased after a 5% to 10% loss of body weight while the nonsurgical group saw a decrease after losing about 20% of body weight.
3. Decreased risk of stroke
Excess weight can increase blood pressure, and therefore your risk of stroke. This is because high blood pressure puts a strain on your blood vessels, making them stiffer and more likely to cause blood to clot.
“Losing weight helps improve the efficiency of the heart due to less constricted blood vessels,” Pusalkar says.
4. Better sleep
Overweight people are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea — a disorder characterized by disrupted breathing while sleeping. Excess weight can increase fat deposits in your neck, which can obstruct your airways.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, losing weight likely won’t entirely cure the condition. However, losing just 10% to 15% of your body weight can improve sleep quality and reduce the severity of sleep apnea in moderately obese patients, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
5. Improved mobility
Losing weight alleviates pressure on knees and joints, which can improve mobility, Pusalkar says. A large 2012 study of obese adults with type 2 diabetes found as little as a 1% drop in weight cut mobility limitations, such as difficulty walking or climbing stairs, by more than 7%.