T Nation

Low Fat?

What do all of you consider a low fat diet? When I ask this I mean in macronutrient precentages. For example 55% CHO, 20% protein, 25% fat. Also what precentage of fat makes up your diet if you follow a low CHO diet? Right now my diet consists of 50% CHO, 30% protein, and 20% fat. Just curious how everyone constructs their diet.

dynosar13, I tend to be an advocate of higher fat diets. I think 10% is as low as anyone should go. Even then, it should only be for short periods of time. Remember, fat is required for health. Quality fats help with cognition, are anti-inflammatory, are responsible for more fluid cell membranes, allowing nutrients and waste to enter/leave more efficiently

20% is a nice compromise if you’re wanting to restrict fat. Myself, I’m happier with 30%, comprised mostly of quality fats. Of course, every time I raise fats, I lower carbs, and I do avoid F+C (except on cheat meals/days).

What are your goals, and what are your thoughts?

Agree with Terry except I don’t think anyone should ever go below 15%.

A natural lifter should be around 30%, with that total being evenly split between polys, monos, and saturates.

You just had two of the biggest dietary gurus answer your question.

TT’s answer points something out: carbs and fat are kind of on a scale. Whenever you increase one, you have to decrease the other proportionally, unless you’re trying to increase your calorie intake.

Basically, I think that it depends on how insulin-sensitive you are how much you should be getting of each macronutrient in the carbs/fat ratio.

Dan “The UnGuru” McVicker

I disagree STRONGLY with Dan McV. As you can see by the quality of his advice, he’s Nutritional Guru #3 on the scene. (wink)

I do agree with all of you. I was just cruious what everyone considered a “low fat” diet. I try to keep mine at about 20% because I gain weight easily. Right now I am trying to lose some weight and have kept the precentages the same as my original post, now I know what your gonna say. For the past two weeks I have lost about six pounds and I am getting stronger. I’ve done the T-Dawg diet before and I liked the results so I am wanting to hop on that again in roughly five weeks, or until I stop seeing results.

What opinions do all of you hold in regard to the precentages that I am following? I am about 15% bf right now and I am wanting to get down to 10-8%. Do you guys think I will need to switch it up a bit to achieve this goal?

I try to keep mine at about 20% because I gain weight easily. [/quote]

This suggests a flaw in your thinking. It is not the % of fat in your diet or even fat in general that necessarily makes you fat. It is a caloric surplus which can come from anything (ie. carbs, fat, etc)

You haven’t provided much info about yourself (ie stats). Not knowing that, I would personally say drop your carbs, up your fat, and maybe up your protein depending on where it sits now.

Macronutrient percentages are not as important as actual grams/calories of the macronutrients.

215lbs. at 15% body fat. Diet: 2500 cal per day
50% carb 312g per day
30% protein 187g per day
20% fat 55g per day
Hope this helps and thanks for the help.

the types of fats i believe are a very important consideration and what they are eaten in conjunction with.
20% fat in your diet may be fine, but if that comes from a meal at KFC washed down with half a gallon of coke… you get my drift.
I prefer to minimise my saturate intake mainly beacuse they occur abundently in a typical diet anyway. (I eat quite a bit of red meat).
up the O3’s and invest in some stinky fish oil caps.
'my $0.02

I would have to agree with Thunder once again. Fats are still hanging on to the much of the bad rap that the lose weight fast diet gimicks pinned on them.

As far as your intake, as Thunder suggested up the fats, drop the carbs, and up your protein intake and watch the results come.

As far as exact #'s. If you are shooting for a T dawg type of diet, I would say that fats should be around 110g a day or .6 x LBM, Protein @ 275g = 1.5 x LBM, then say 100g carbs. Comes up to 2490 kcals. Then you could also drop the carbs lower on the non/workout days as layed out in the T-dawg, which will add to more of a calorie deficite, and more weight loss.

I would also like to add another benefit that you may experience from the higher fat intake is a lowered appetite. This due to their slower digestion in place of the carbs they are replacing. They will keep you satisfied longer between meals.


I don’t do well with carbs, in fact, i gain weight pretty easily (mostly fat) if i eat grains or carbs in amounts over 15% of calories. I try to keep my carb intake at 10% or less of my calories. Fitday is a really easy tool to keep track of that. www.fitday.com

my averages are about 60% cal from fat, 10% carbs and 30% protein, with a 3000 calorie diet. lately, i’m a little lower on calories, somewhere around 2000 to 2500. i weight 125lbs. If i lower the carbs, i usually increase the fat. this gives me at least 150-200g of protein a day. i have one day a week where i eat massive amounts of carbohydrates in the form of fruit and veggies (to increase glycogen stores) a beer and some brown rice round out that day. other than that, i’m LOW carb, high fat. works for me! i’m at 11% bodyfat last time i checked, could easily go lower but being a girl, not sure i want to.

After putting my food log into fitday to check it out, it seems as if I’m at about 50 percent protien, 25 percent Carbs and 25 percent fat. I get between 2400-2800 calories a day because I eat essentially the same thing every day. I am at 243 pounds with 21 percent body fat. I have not started using either fish oil or flaxseed, but I have purchased both. Should I drop the fat I am taking (the fat is evenly distributed between saturations) and instead get my fat from the oils? Or should I use the fat in addition to the fat I’m eating? Attemping to lower body fat while gaining strength, if that makes a difference.