A carboholic at heart, I’ve always been slow to add fats into my diet. We know unequivocally, that fat does not make you fat. The order of priority in fat loss will always be calories followed by macronutrients. However, focusing on your fat intake daily can be a great way to help support a healthy diet and weight.
How much fat should we be eating then?
To answer this we must take a person’s lifestyle into context.
Fat Intake for Athletes
The minimum recommended amount of fat is 20% of your calories. This is the rule of thumb that most bodybuilders and athletes will follow. Their activity levels allow for higher amounts of carbohydrates to fuel performance. Athletes, whether high intensity or endurance, should still consider eating at least 30% of their calories from fat to support healthy hormone regulation.
Fat intake for General Population
A great goal to start with is 50%-60% of your calories coming from fats. Even the weekend warriors will benefit from getting the majority of their calories from fat. You have to get over the myth that fat will make you fat and start thinking of eating like anything else the body does. Sprinters improve their speed through neural adaptations in speed training. Practice makes perfect because your body adapts to the stimulus you place on it. Eating more fat will improve your body’s ability to burn it. I personally follow this recommendation.
Briefly, Ketogenic Dieting
Without getting too much into nutritional ketosis, I’d like to discuss where fat levels should be. Not getting enough fat is by far the most common issue people come across when they try ketogenic diets. 75% of your calories should consist of fat. This leaves 20% for protein and 5% or less for carbohydrates. Too much protein or carbohydrates will counteract the metabolic benefits of ketosis. If you feel terrible, then you’re doing it wrong.
Check out my post on ketosis, You’re doing it wrong for a more in depth look!