At this point you know quite a bit about how your daily fat intake can both negatively and positively affect your body, your health, and the overall goal of your diet.
You also learned that:
- Trans fat is garbage and should be avoided completely.
- Saturated fat isn’t as bad as people have always made it out to be and definitely shouldn’t be avoided completely.
- Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat (which includes the essential fatty acids) should comprise the majority of your daily fat intake.
- An added emphasis should be placed on getting a sufficient amount the omega-3 fatty acid.
Now it’s time to get into the specifics of how much fat you should eat per day, what foods that fat should most often come from, and how to factor your total fat intake into the rest of your diet plan.
Let the fun begin…
How Much Fat Should You Eat Per Day?
For the majority of the population, the recommendations for fat intake per day almost always fall within the same general range. That range is…
Ideal Daily Fat Intake: 20-30% of your total calorie intake.
In order for this recommendation to truly make sense, the first thing you are going to need to know is that 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories.
From there, you just need to do some basic math using the ideal daily calorie intake you calculated earlier and (hopefully) remembered to write down.
(If you forgot yours or somehow skipped that step, go back and calculate your maintenance level and then follow the appropriate instructions for creating your ideal caloric deficit or surplus depending on which one is required for your goal.)
Now, with your ideal daily calorie intake in mind, all you need to do is figure out what 20-30% of it is. (Just multiply your calorie intake by 0.20 and 0.30.)
Then, since 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories, just divide both of your answers by 9.
The amount you get now is the ideal range for how many grams of fat you should eat each day.
Confused? Here’s an example…
- Let’s say an example person figured out that the ideal calorie intake for their body and goals is 2500 calories per day. (Again, this is just an example.)
- Next, they’d figure out that 20-30% of 2500 calories is between 500-750 calories.
- They’d then divide 500 and 750 by 9 (because there’s 9 calories per gram of fat) and get a range of 55-83.
- So, in this example, this person would eat between 55-83 grams of fat per day.
Your turn. Just figure out what 20-30% of your ideal daily calorie intake is, and then divide that amount by 9. The answer you get is the ideal range for how many grams of fat you should eat per day.
Did you do it? Awesome! Your daily fat intake is now all figured out.
Should You Use The High or Low End Of Your Range?
Now, you may be wondering if you should stay more towards the higher or lower end of your ideal daily fat intake range. It really mostly depends on you and your own dietary preferences (I’ll explain this in detail later).
However, for most of the people, most of the time, an even 25% would probably be pretty close to perfect in most cases. (So in the example above, this person would consume about 69 grams of fat per day.)
Now that you know how much fat to eat per day, the next thing you probably want to know is what foods to get that fat from.
Examples Of Foods High In “Good” Fat
Below is a quick, simple and basic list of the most common foods high in the types of fats you should be eating:
- Fish Oil Supplements (I’ll be explaining these in detail later.)
- Nut Butters
- Olive Oil
This is by no means meant to be a definitive list of every food that contains healthy sources of fat, but it is a list of the ones that will (and should) end up providing the majority of your fat intake each day.
Pick your favorites (more about how to do that later).
How To Factor Fat Into Your Total Daily Calorie Intake
Just like we did previously with protein, the final thing you need to do after figuring out how much fat you should eat per day is factor that daily fat intake into your total daily calorie intake.
The funny thing is though… we kinda already did it.
You see, with protein, we had to first figure out our ideal amount in grams and THEN factor it into our daily calorie intake. With fat, we actually did this in reverse.
Meaning, we did the “factoring in” part first in order to figure out what our ideal amount in grams should be.
So what I’m saying here is, this part is already done. Assuming you followed the instructions above, you should already know how much of your total daily calorie intake fat will account for.
Using the same example person we used above, somewhere between 500-750 calories from this example person’s total 2500 daily calorie intake will come from fat (625 calories exactly if they went with an even 25% of their total calorie intake).
So, whatever YOUR total daily calorie intake is, 20-30% of that (or 25% exactly if you want to be right smack in the middle) is how many calories fat will account for in your diet each day.
And once again, if you are slightly confused by this step or still don’t see the point, don’t worry. It’s going to make perfect sense in this next step. Speaking of which…
Well, since you’ve now figured out exactly how much fat you should eat per day, it’s time to move on to our third and final macronutrient.
I’m of course referring to the always scary, always confusing, always entertaining… carbs.
This should be fun…
(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)