How Much Fat is Too Much?
If you’re anything like me you walk through the grocery store and can’t help but notice the fat craze! It’s funny, not too long ago there was a craze of just the opposite – LOW FAT everything. It seemed like every popular food brand came out with a low-fat or fat-free option.
We were told that fat-free was the secret to weight loss and many of you probably jumped on board. Now we are told to not fear the fat but to embrace it and lather our skin, face, hair, and food in healthy fats. It’s gone full circle, no-fat to full-fat.
But…this craze poses one big question: How much is too much?
A quick little lesson about fats before I jump right in…
1 gram of fat has about 9 calories. This means that fat as more than twice the calories in 1 gram of carbohydrates(4kcal/per gram) and protein(4kcal/per gram).
Hmmmm. So you may be thinking why the heck is there such a fat craze? You want me to load up on the highest calorie macronutrient? Hold up, I don’t think so!
Before you swear off fats for life, let me break this down with some examples to put it into perspective. A little fat goes a long way which means you may be REALLY overdoing it. It’s easy to do, believe me.
One serving of the following is 45 calories, 5 grams of fat:
- 1 tsp oil, butter, margarine, or mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp salad dressing or cream cheese
- 1 Tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise or low-fat spread margarine
- 1.5 to 2 Tbsp reduced-fat cream cheese or reduced-fat salad dressing
- 1 Tbsp seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower)
- 6 almonds, cashews, or mixed nuts
- 4 pecans or walnut halves
- 2 Tbsp avocado
- 1.5 tsp peanut butter
- 8 to 10 olives
- 2 Tbsp half and half (lookout my coffee drinkers!)
Depending on your goals, I recommend 20-35% of your daily calories coming from fat. For example, if you eat 2,000 calories a day then you should consume between 44 to 77 grams per day.
My fat intake recommendations:
- Read nutrition labels and be mindful of what you put in your mouth
- Choose lean protein sources
- Don’t drink your calories away and opt for espresso or Americano with nonfat or skim milk and sugar-free flavoring instead of the double chocolate chip frappuccino or white chocolate mocha
- Watch the amount of cream or half and half you put in your coffee
- Try substituting big calorie wasters like mayo for hummus or avocado
- Explore different salad dressings like vinegar or oil-based dressings instead of creamy dressings
- When eating out choose grilled or baked dishes instead of fried
- If you prefer to eat dessert often… select fruit with cool whip, angel food cake, frozen yogurt or sorbet instead of heavy more saturated desserts.
Fun fact… I like to heat my chocolate protein bar up in the microwave for about 25 seconds and add a tablespoon of almond butter to it. It’s like molten lava cake but not 😉
At home, I’d encourage you to try this recipe, one of my favorite “dessert” shakes I make for breakfast or a snack. This smoothie only has 4 ingredients and is a great balance of protein/carbohydrates/fat.
Toss the following in a blender & enjoy:
- 1 small banana (try frozen if you like an ice cream consistency)
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 TB almond butter
- 1 TSP chia seeds
- 1 TSP cinnamon
- 1 scoop of Dymatize Gourmet Chocolate ISO 100 protein
Approximately: 400 kcal, 36.9 g carbs, 18.5 g fat, 33.8g protein
In closing, don’t fall TOO FAR into the fat craze, but don’t run away from it either. Seek balance and moderation with all that you do. If you are left feeling confused or wondering how much you should consume to reach your weight loss or fitness goals then let me help you.
I will share all my tips and tricks to a successful, safe, and sustainable plan to create a new you.
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