Don’t eat any fat in your diet because it’ll make you fat.
Good night everybody! *walks off stage*
Whoops, that’s a blatant, and obnoxious lie.
Fat is an essential macronutrient that you definitely need to include in your meal plan, however like everything else, there are limits to how much you should and should not eat.
So, how many grams of fat a day should you eat so you can enjoy your diet, but still turn into a muscle beast?
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Does Eating Fat Make You Fat?
First of all, eating dietary fat doesn’t make you automatically gain body fat. I don’t know how that lie started, but it seems like every mainstream media outlet is trying to convince you that if you have one donut, it’s going straight to your ass.
Well, you’ll be happy to know that that’s not the case. The truth is… you NEED fat in your diet to simply function correctly.
The main factors that lead to weight gain and fat are:
1. Eating in a Calorie Surplus
If you consume more calories than your body actually needs to function, you’re going to gain weight.
Of course, this is a good thing if you’re trying to gain more muscle mass because you need those extra calories for performance and muscle-building reasons.
This additional body mass can occur even if you’re on a low-fat diet. *mind blown*
2. Pairing High Fat Intake with High Carbs
Having high carb meals that are full of fat leads to more body fat gain, so if you’re going to the fair to have some deep-fried Twinkies, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Pairing fat with high protein does not have the same effect, so have your steak, eggs, and breaded chicken tenders as long as it meets your calories.
The Most Common Diet Mistake Related to Fat
Now, I’m not going to go into the details of the KINDS of fats to consume (e.g., saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, etc.) because that’s outside the scope of what I want to talk about…
(However, it’s often recommended to take some form of fish oil to keep those omega 3 fatty acids up)
… but the BIGGEST mistake that you can make is…
Cutting fat out of your diet completely. This is a big “No, no.”
Even though it seems like all you need to build muscle and stay healthy is a crap-ton of protein and carbs, fats are critical to your health and here’s why:
1. Fats Help Regulate Your Hormones
Have you ever met someone who went on a very restrictive diet that didn’t eat a lot of fatty foods?
They probably weren’t very pleasant to be around.
At one point, I limited my fat WAY down when I was a complete noob and my wife claims that I was just a total douche all the time.
(My words not her’s)
Fats will not only keep you in a better mood, but will also help in regulating your cravings as well.
If you add too many restrictions to your diet, in the event you cheat, you’re more likely to drive off road into a ditch instead of taking a modest scenic route.
2. Fats Help Testosterone and Your Sex Drive
If you still want to “perform well” when you’re on your diet, you better have a decent amount of fat.
I didn’t want to say it, but there it is.
How Many Grams of Fat a Day Should You Consume?
You probably just scrolled straight to this section to get the goods, didn’t you?
(Is my writing just pointless to you…)
First of all, 1 gram of fat is about 9 calories. Use that to your advantage however you please.
Like the other recommendations in your diet, the answer to “how much fat should I eat” is in a range.
To figure out how much fat is right for you, consider these points:
How Lean Are You Right Now?
Since leaner individuals become more insulin sensitive, they can actually tolerate more fat in their diet without stalling or seeing weight gain.
So, if you’re asking “how much fat should I eat per day,” you’re under 10% body fat, and you can see your abs, you may want to consider consuming near the middle or upper threshold.
As you decide to gain weight for the purpose of putting on more muscle, throttle your fat increases back a little so you can slow down the increase in body fat.
Do Some Slight Experimentation
For me personally, I can’t eat less than 60 grams of fat a day and function normally.
Otherwise, I get irritable, I feel weak, and I’m not a fun person to be around.
However, there are natural bodybuilders who claimed to have eaten around 30 grams of fat without any problems whatsoever.
(I don’t believe that, but that’s why they say)
My point is, there’s probably some wiggle room in there and you can test your own limits.
Just keep a good log of how low (or high) you went with your fats and how it made you feel. That’s the important part.
Here Are Some Fatty Foods You Can Include in Your Diet
The days of sticking to strictly brown rice and lean chicken are over. Since you can include adequate fat in your diet, you have more options and can make your diet more enjoyable.
Just as an example, these are foods I eat on a day-to-day basis:
- Ice cream
- Peanut butter
- Breaded chicken tenders
- Burger patties
OK, the ice cream probably makes you question whether or not I’m photoshopping my pictures, but let me be clear, all of these things can fit into your diet if they fit into your daily fat allowance.
If you add calories for one thing, you need to take away from another. If there’s a large amount of fat in one thing, you need to eat a little leaner on another.
It’s really that simple.
Here’s What You Should Do Now
Figure out how many grams of fat a day you need.
Start with the range I talked about earlier and make adjustments based on your own experimentation because you know you can’t completely cut it out.
That’s a plan for disaster.
Next, think about your favorite foods and how you can reasonably fit them into your current muscle-building diet.
If your diet says you can have 60 grams of fat per day and you want ice cream which only uses 15 grams… then there’s nothing stopping you!
You’ll just have to balance it out in another food option.
Leave a comment below and tell me your action plan. I’d love to hear it.
To your gains,