Reducing calories and increasing levels of exercise are good ways of initiating weight loss. Decreasing your daily intake of fat will also help you reach your goal weight. In order to do this, you need to determine how many grams of fat you can eat per day, as well as how many calories you should be taking in. If you want to lose weight safely, you should talk to your doctor about your weight loss goals and how fat grams affect those goals.
Why Fat Contributes to Weight Gain
Despite fat's bad reputation, our bodies still need it as a nutrient in order to function properly. Fat provides energy to burn as we exert ourselves physically. If we limit ourselves to a certain amount of fat in our daily diet, we can maintain our weight. But if we allow our intake to go out of control, fat will be stored by the body and cause weight gain. One gram of fat contains nine calories, which means you need to be aware of the number of fat grams in the foods you eat in order to lose weight.
Fat and Calories
The more calories in a food, the more energy that food provides. If you eat more calories than you expend, you gain weight. Consider this: 1 lb. of fat equals 3,500 calories—that means you must reduce your weekly intake of calories by 3,500 through diet and/or exercise to lose 1 lb. a week.
Determining Fat Gram Requirements
A healthy adult should ideally strive to keep daily total calories from fat between 20 and 30 percent. To determine calories from fat, check food labels. Many will tell you the percentage, or you can calculate the percentage using this formula: Multiply fat grams by 9, divide by the total number of calories in the product, then multiply by 100. This will give you the final percentage of calories from fat.
Fat Gram Requirements
If you are a woman, you have a different requirement for fat grams than a man. A woman of normal weight should take in no more than 65g of fat per day, while a man probably needs no more than 88g of fat a day to maintain weight. That's based upon a 2,000 calorie diet. Women and men who are overweight should consult a physician or registered dietitian for help in determining their daily requirement of fat grams for weight loss.
Making Good Fat-gram Choices
It's easy to reduce fat grams if you stop and think about your food choices first. Choosing a fast-food hamburger rather than a cheeseburger, for example, saves 100 calories and cuts intake of saturated fats and trans fats nearly in half. Three medium slices of bacon contain 9.5 fat grams, while 3 oz. of boneless ham contain 3.7 fat grams.
One cup of whole milk contains 8g of fat, while 2 percent milk has 5g. Or enjoy further reductions by choosing 1 percent milk, which contains only 2.5g of fat.