Once you’ve figured out what your total daily calorie intake should be AND figured out what your ideal daily protein intake is, the next most important part of your diet plan is your daily fat intake.
And here’s where things start to get a little interesting.
You see, there is a lot of confusion out there about how dietary fat affects your body, your diet, and your specific goal (losing fat, building muscle, etc.).
Why? Well, it appears to mostly be due to the presence of various myths and some all around bad information.
So, before we can get into the specifics of what your daily fat intake should be and what foods that fat should come from, we first need to go over a few basics and clear up some fat-related confusion along the way.
Here we go…
Does Eating Fat Make You Fat?
The answer here is “sometimes,” but probably not in the way that you might think.
In the literal sense, NO, eating fat does NOT make you fat. Not even a little. This whole concept is just a silly (more like stupid) myth that should be ignored completely.
Unless of course you are eating too many excess calories, and those excess calories just so happen to come from fat.
In that case, sure, fat will make you fat.
However, it’s NOT the dietary fat itself that would be the cause of your fat gain. It’s the excess calories it provided, and those excess calories could have come from any other macronutrient (protein or carbs) or type of food (healthy or unhealthy) and it would have caused you to gain fat just the same.
Why? Because excess calories are excess calories, and THAT is the one and only true cause of fat gain.
As you learned earlier, when you consume more calories than your body needs (a “caloric surplus”), your body will store those unused excess calories for later use, primarily in the form of body fat (or, if you are providing the proper muscle building signal, at least partially in the form of muscle tissue).
Which means the only thing that actually causes a person to gain fat is consistently eating too many calories. Whether those “too many calories” come from protein, fat or carbs doesn’t really matter. Nor does whether they come from super healthy foods or unhealthy junk. All that matters in this case is calories.
Quite simply, eat too many calories OF ANY KIND and it will all cause you to gain fat.
So no, dietary fat in and of itself does NOT make you fat, at least not in any way different than protein or carbs would when eaten in excess. In the end, fat gain comes down to calories, not the source of those calories.
In fact, getting a sufficient amount of your daily fat intake from certain types of fat may actually HELP with fat loss and various other things you’d like your body to do. I kid you not.
And this of course leads to another related question.
Is Fat Bad And Unhealthy?
Once again, the answer is “sometimes.” Here’s why.
Unlike protein where there are essentially just foods that are either “high” or “low” in it, there are actually 4 different types of fat that a food can be “high” or “low” in.
What makes this extra interesting is that certain types of fat are absolutely horrible for your health. I’m talking worst-thing-you-can-possibly-eat.
On the other hand, certain other types of fat may very well be the closest thing we have to a real life miracle food in terms of the amazingly positive effects it has on the human body.
So sure, if you’re eating the “bad” types of fat, it is definitely bad and unhealthy and should be limited (and in one case even avoided completely).
However, if you are eating the “good” types of fat, it’s the complete opposite, and you should do everything you can to ensure you’re getting a sufficient amount of it in your diet.
All you need to know now is how to tell them apart.
The Different Types of Fat
Like I said, there are 4 different types of fat. They are:
- Trans Fat
- Saturated Fat
- Monounsaturated Fat
- Polyunsaturated Fat
Some are indeed quite “bad and unhealthy” and should probably be limited to some degree or possibly avoided completely.
Others on the other hand are quite “good and healthy” and should purposely be eaten and comprise the majority of your daily fat intake.
Let’s now figure out which is which…
(This article is part of a completely free and amazingly awesome guide to creating the absolute best diet plan possible for your exact goal and preferences. Check out the entire guide here: The Best Diet Plan)