Most people think that to lose weight, they must drastically reduce their fat intake. However, this is not necessarily true. You can lose weight by eating fewer calories than you burn.
It is also important to note that fat is an essential nutrient, and one should not eliminate it from their diet altogether. Fat helps absorb nutrients, boosts brain function, keeps you full, and supports healthy skin and hair.
The best weight loss strategy involves meals that offer a balance of all nutrients, including a limited amount of fat. What is important to consider is the type of fat you consume.
For example, unsaturated fats are better and healthier than trans fat and saturated fats. Therefore, your daily calorie intake should also include the precise amount and type of fat you should consume.
With nine calories per gram, fat is more calorie-dense than protein or carbohydrates. Hence, set your fat intake at a moderate range to keep your body healthy and satisfy your appetite.
Fat and Calorie Intake
It is no secret that one should reduce caloric intake to lose weight. It means creating a calorie deficit by taking in fewer calories than you burn daily. A daily calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories results in a healthy weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds (0.45 to 0.9 kg) a week.
A low-calorie diet that promotes weight loss for most women and men consists of 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day. However, women should not consume less than 1,200 calories per day, and men should not consume less than 1,300 calories per day, as this can lead to nutrient deficiencies and a decreased metabolic rate.
A healthy portion of your daily calorie intake should come from healthy fats. Research suggests that 25-35% of your daily calories should come from fat (visible and non-visible), equating to approximately 80 grams per day if you consume 2,000 calories daily. Therefore, you should consume between 42 and 58 grams of fat per day in a 1,500-calorie diet to lose weight.
Low Fat and High Fat Diets for Losing Weight
The USDA’s recommendation for low-fat diets (LFD) shows that total fat intake should be no more than 35%. Most vegan and vegetarian diets fall under very low-fat diets (VLFD), which supply 10% to 20% of daily calories from fat.
If you’re on a very low-fat diet, here is a general calculation of proposed everyday fat based on various calorie goals:
- 1,500 calories: 16– 33 grams of fat per day
- 2,000 calories: 22– 44 grams of fat per day
- 2,500 calories: 27– 55 grams of fat per day
On the other hand, ketogenic diets consist of 60% to 80% of calories from fat and fewer than 10% from carbohydrates per day. So, if you are on a 2000-calorie ketogenic meal plan, the amount of fat translates to 165g. You should only take up diets like ketogenic under the guidance of a registered dietitian, as these diets can have severe complications if not done correctly.
If you’re on a ketogenic diet, here is a general calculation of proposed everyday fat based on various calorie goals:
- 1,500 calories: 83– 125 grams of fat per day
- 2,000 calories: 111– 167 grams of fat per day
- 2,500 calories: 139– 208 grams of fat per day
The HealthifyMe Note
To lose or maintain weight, you must eat the right amount of fat. Additionally, your choice of fat is also essential. The Dietary Guidelines suggest that 25-35% of your daily calories should come from fat. Therefore, keeping your fat intake between 42 and 58 grams is ideal for losing weight.
Fats that are liquid at normal temperatures are known as unsaturated fats. Olive, peanut, and canola oils are among the examples. Unsaturated fats can lower bad cholesterol (LDL and VLDLs), are rich in antioxidants like vitamin E, and contain vital fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. Depending on how many hydrogen bonds they have in their structure, they are either one (mono) or two or more (poly)unsaturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats should make up 15-20% of your calories, or 33-44 grams of a 2000-calorie diet. Polyunsaturated fats should be around 5-10% of your total calories or 11-22 grams of a 2000-calorie diet.
Saturated Fatty Acids
If you consume too many saturated fatty acids (SFAs), your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels might increase. It partly depends on how much fat you consume.
According to research, you shouldn’t have more than 5-6% of your total fat intake as saturated fat. For example, if you eat 2,000 calories daily, you should consume no more than 13 grams of saturated fat. No amount of trans fat is healthy for you, whether you’re trying to lose or maintain your current weight.
Fats play many vital roles, such as making food taste better and making you feel fuller after eating. A moderate amount of fat in your diet is healthy. Eating the right kinds and amounts of fat can help prevent weight gain and improve your overall health.
Your daily calorie goals will determine how much fat you should eat. However, as every individual needs a different amount of fats daily, it can be challenging to plan your meals.
Talk to an expert nutritionist from HealthifyMe and determine easy ways to incorporate healthy fats into your meals without compromising taste.