T Nation

How Much Fat Is Ok?

Calling all calorie counters worldwide!

Hey guys (and gals); I’m a big nerd. I too like most of you; count my calories.

I have been doing this for about a year; but have done it a few other times; cutting cycles mainly.

Now I’m transitioning from maintenance to a building phase. Not a ‘bulking’ phase because its a slow increase in caloric intake; not a “see food” diet.

Now I’ve been using the (BW *15)*1.2=caloric intake to get that number (1.2 being my daily activity adjustment factor; i sit at work all day…)
And have been shooting for 2-3g/lb for my protein intake.

That just leaves carbs and fat.

Carbs; keeping them as low as I can. Only having then on training days; and only for the first 2 meals of the day.

Fats: I know this will have to be high; but can’t find a good range. Any suggestions? I currently weigh 181 LBS…

Thanks in advance!
~b rock!

Don’t let this float down the page into oblivion!

You have three sources of calories: protein, fat, and carbs. You know how much protein you’re getting, and you know how much carbs you’re getting… so logic dictates that the rest of the calories come from fat.

As long as your sources are from Omega 3, Omega 6, mono and polyunsaturated fats it will be hard to go overboard. Just stay in your calorie range and keep to the previously mentioned categories of fats and you should be fine.

Don’t be afraid of fats. Including saturated fats which have been unnecessarily vilified.

If you just focus on unprocessed fats (aside from oils like olive and coconut oil) from natural sources, you’ll be fine. Go for variety.

you are getting too much protein, you body cannot utilize 2-3 grams per lb. Try around 1-1.5g. carbs are fine as long as they are from natural sources like green vegetables. May you should try carb cycling.

[quote]Work_For_It wrote:
you are getting too much protein, you body cannot utilize 2-3 grams per lb. Try around 1-1.5g. carbs are fine as long as they are from natural sources like green vegetables. May you should try carb cycling.[/quote]

Says who? I don’t even start to grow until I hit 2g/lb, and anything after that is money.

I think 2-3g/lb of protein is way too much. If you consume that much and are trying to stay within a certain calorie range, then you’re limited on the fats and carbohydrates you can use for energy. You’ll start to use protein for energy instead, which isn’t good.

I personally feel like crap if a majority of my calories come from protein. I may feel shitty during the day at work and then get home to my computer and see that my protein calories are way above my combined fat and carb calories. If I eat a good amount of fat thereafter, I feel better.

As a lot of articles around here mention, if on a low carb diet, fat should be about 55-60% of your calories, protein 30-35%, and carbohydrates 10% or less. Christian Thibaudeau’s second transformation article mentions that protein and fat should be about equal.

I think the amount of protein depends highly on the individual, you’re just going to have to experiment with your diet and figure out what works best for you. That said, more is probably better, as long as it isn’t the majority of your calories.

Imo, you are seriously shortchanging yourself by not eating carbs post workout. I eat protein and carbs for breakfast every morning, then two protein and carb meals 1 and 4 hours after my workout, the rest of my meals and protein and fat.

Once you have your meal timings down and know your total caloric intake, it should be easy to see how much fat you will need to make up the difference.

Figure out how many cals a day your gonna eat. Subtract the 2-3g/lb for protein from this total, and subtract the carbs you eat in the morning, and the amount left over is how much you should be eating for fats

[quote]Work_For_It wrote:
you are getting too much protein, you body cannot utilize 2-3 grams per lb. Try around 1-1.5g. carbs are fine as long as they are from natural sources like green vegetables. May you should try carb cycling.[/quote]

The RDA for endurance athletes is 1.2-1.4g per kg, while the RDA for strength athletes is 1.6-1.8g per kg body weight. Using protein for energy is fine, excess protein beyond what is needed for the building of body tissues either has its CC bonds broken for immediate energy, transformed through gluconeogenisis, or made into fats for storage. Using protein for energy is fine, in fact it is less efficient than using fats or carbohydrates for energy, so through the thermic effect of food you get fewer net calories out of it.

1-1.5g per LB of bodyweight is fucking horse shit, even the RDA is way above that. The RDA for “normal” people is .8g/kg body weight.

Don’t be afraid of carbs, you are lean,unless you have gotten fat since I last saw you; just don’t go overboard. If you are still afraid of carbs time them around your workouts and in the morning. As for fats, stick to the healthy ones, the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, especially the omega-3 variety. I don’t feel like getting into another argument with the guy that fully believes that eating boatloads of saturated fats is healthy, so stick to lean meats, low fat dairy, almonds, natural peanut butter, etc. Get the amount of protein that you want, add in the carbs that you are comfortable with, and let the fats take you to your daily caloric goal.

No one can magically tell you how many calories of fat you should eat to “build.”

And why the fear of carbs?

You have got to make your own dietary manipulations and track your progress! Add some calories from fat, see what happens. Add some calories from carbs, see what happens. If you eat more carbs, you will not benefit from all the protein.

Also keep in mind that if you increase calories and gasp gain some fat, so what? You can always lose the fat again. It’s not a big deal.

THanks for the info Lee…you’re learning alot not at RIT lol. And yeah I’m still pretty lean…I’m trying to stay at my current bf% while adding some mass…which as we know can be difficult. i’m going to experiment.

and just to put this to rest; i’m NOT “afriad” of carbs.

I just choose to keep them as low as I can.

[quote]andersons wrote:
No one can magically tell you how many calories of fat you should eat to “build.”

And why the fear of carbs?

You have got to make your own dietary manipulations and track your progress! Add some calories from fat, see what happens. Add some calories from carbs, see what happens. If you eat more carbs, you will not benefit from all the protein.

Also keep in mind that if you increase calories and gasp gain some fat, so what? You can always lose the fat again. It’s not a big deal. [/quote]

the point of my diet and training in the past 4 months has been to:
A.) lose fat; done
B.) maintain low weight and bf%; done
C.) slowly gain mass WITHOUT adding fat

See that? “Without” adding fat…there is the key. Its my personal goal; not to be confused with your opinion.

Also, I’m aware of how everyone is different and I have to make my own dietary manipulations…and I do. This post was just for a general guideline to help me have a basepoint to go from. That’s all. Thanks for not contributing whatsoever. :slight_smile:

I am trying, I read a lot about training and nutrition, and since I get to learn and talk about the science end of it while in classes it all comes together rather nicely. Though, I still have a lot more to learn, can’t wait until I get my certifications and start training people. Yeah, I hated RIT; so glad I did a 180 in life.

What else have you been up to Brian?

As for me I am still trying to lower my bodyfat, shooting for single digits as part of a behavior change project for a class. In all reality I might be there already, about 10-12 lbs leaner than my current avatar. Will probably put up a nice big post here in like threee weeks when I am done with the project.

Dear Fat Fact Finder,

I would ask what kind of protein satisfies your hunger 2-3 hours after a meal. Light purine proteins like whey, white meat turkey or chicken, cod fish, etc., if these satisfy you then you probably don’t need as much fat.

If these protein sources leave you hungry all the time, you definitely need more fat.

Personally I do better with Sirloin, Venison, pork, and other high purine proteins. If I do eat chicken breasts I add fat to them. I usually cook using coconut milk as a base for a dairy free high fat sauce.

Bottomline, we all are made up differently. There’s no hard and fast rule.

[quote]analog_kid wrote:
Work_For_It wrote:
you are getting too much protein, you body cannot utilize 2-3 grams per lb. Try around 1-1.5g. carbs are fine as long as they are from natural sources like green vegetables. May you should try carb cycling.

Says who? I don’t even start to grow until I hit 2g/lb, and anything after that is money.

[/quote]

Says many people. Like CT. And I agree with him. The numbers are a bit higher though. He believes natural lifters can not really use more than 1.75g per bodyweight. It’s not that more is a ‘waste.’ But there’s no additional benefit than meeting your calorie totals. If you made up the calories with fat, you’d grow just fine. The problem with really high protein diets is that your body then does have to maintain that level to grow.

[quote]Zagman wrote:
Work_For_It wrote:
you are getting too much protein, you body cannot utilize 2-3 grams per lb. Try around 1-1.5g. carbs are fine as long as they are from natural sources like green vegetables. May you should try carb cycling.

The RDA for endurance athletes is 1.2-1.4g per kg, while the RDA for strength athletes is 1.6-1.8g per kg body weight. Using protein for energy is fine, excess protein beyond what is needed for the building of body tissues either has its CC bonds broken for immediate energy, transformed through gluconeogenisis, or made into fats for storage. Using protein for energy is fine, in fact it is less efficient than using fats or carbohydrates for energy, so through the thermic effect of food you get fewer net calories out of it.

1-1.5g per LB of bodyweight is fucking horse shit, even the RDA is way above that. The RDA for “normal” people is .8g/kg body weight.

Don’t be afraid of carbs, you are lean,unless you have gotten fat since I last saw you; just don’t go overboard. If you are still afraid of carbs time them around your workouts and in the morning. As for fats, stick to the healthy ones, the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, especially the omega-3 variety. I don’t feel like getting into another argument with the guy that fully believes that eating boatloads of saturated fats is healthy, so stick to lean meats, low fat dairy, almonds, natural peanut butter, etc. Get the amount of protein that you want, add in the carbs that you are comfortable with, and let the fats take you to your daily caloric goal.[/quote]

Do you understand how kilos work? 1 kilo is 2.2 lbs. This means a 220 lb athlete weighs 100 kilos. The RDAs are WAY low. Even the top RDA of 1.8g per kilo yields 180 grams of protein for the 220 lb guy. Obviously less than 1g per lb of bodyweight. As far as 1g per lb, it’s really not too low. But neither is 1.75g too high. Anything in that range is appropriate in my view. I err on the higher side and typically get 1.5g per lb when dieting and 1.75 g per lb when maintaining or gaining.

I can do up to 300g a day and feel pretty good.

yeah but …It’s not like your fat intake is DEPENDENT upon your carbs and protein and overall expenditure. It seems to me that carb and protein intake tends to be much more flexible than fat intake. A couple hundred calories deviation from the amount of carbs or protein you want usually isn’t a huge difference, but for fat intake it would be. You see what I’m saying?

Seems like it would make more sense to establish your optimal protein and fat intake and then figure out carbs, even if you are carb cycling. Like, just assuming a moderate day should be equal carbs and protein and figuring out your fat from the leftover calories like CT advises doesn’t seem right. That would have you way low on fat for some people too, especially those cutting, like under 30g…

I’m like OP and can’t really find a good guide to fat intake when making gains vs. dieting to lose fat (or staying at maintenance for that matter, not that anyone ever does that!)

thoughts? ideas? this is the type of thing it would be awesome to get an answer from an author about