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How much fat should I eat on Paleo diet if I am trying to lose weight?

by (35)
Updated about 9 hours ago
Created July 25, 2011 at 10:51 PM

Hi. I have been eating Paleo for about two weekss, and so far I have lost about 9 pounds. I want to continue to lose weight (trying to lose about 50 more pounds to reach my goal weight).

I am wondering how much fat I should have? I generally cook my vegetables in coconut oil or olive oil, and if I am steaming them, I will add some butter. I also like to eat peanut butter or almond butter (the good kind with no sugar) but I am not sure how much I should have in a day.

Thanks.

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10768 · July 26, 2011 at 12:20 AM

My votes reset, so I can gladly vote this UP!

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1054 · July 26, 2011 at 12:06 AM

By the way I've heard this referred to as an "oil change" -- out with the old bad excessive fat sitting on your body, in with the new good fat from these high-quality sources (that your body will use up rather than store away)!

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7 Answers

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1054 · July 25, 2011 at 11:57 PM

I recommend eating 100% coconut butter rather than peanut or almond. But almond is better than peanut.

The percentages people have here are right on, but you also probably want to keep in mind total calories just to make sure you're not wildly overdoing it in all three categories.

Depending on your size, age, gender, level of activity, etc. your calorie requirements will be different. But if you are eating 10% of your calories in carbs and your total calories are 4000, then that means you're eating 100g of carbs per day which is probably enough to stall fat loss in the average person regardless of ratios. Same idea with protein, too much protein will probably stall fat loss.

I'm a medium-sized woman, age 41, moderate activity, and for fat loss I am shooting for roughly 1,500 calories a day at percentages of roughly 70-20-10, which gives me 35-40g of carbs and 115-120g of fat per day. If I can eat fewer carbs and more fat in a day, bonus. I could be a lot more aggressive but right now I'm feeling ok about this general plan.

It actually takes work to get enough fat in there without also getting too much protein and carbs. Coconut butter, macadamia nuts, olive oil (don't cook with it), ghee, coconut oil, avocadoes, and egg yolk are my friends. If you can tolerate dairy then butter, whipping cream, and creme fraiche are friends too.

91d422b073139d35e0856967ba1c21d6
1054 · July 26, 2011 at 12:06 AM

By the way I've heard this referred to as an "oil change" -- out with the old bad excessive fat sitting on your body, in with the new good fat from these high-quality sources (that your body will use up rather than store away)!

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded
10768 · July 26, 2011 at 12:20 AM

My votes reset, so I can gladly vote this UP!

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2047 · July 25, 2011 at 11:02 PM

I think it's something each individual has to play with to see what works. I lose weight very easily when I eat 70% fat, 20% protein and 10% carbs.

Congrats on your weight loss so far!

You may want to do some research on peanut butter, as peanuts are a legume and it's pretty high in PUFAs, so not considered Paleo by many.

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3631 · July 26, 2011 at 12:00 AM

You can have::: AS MUCH AS YOU WANT!!! isn't that awesome? Prolly better to eat less of other things if you do that, just so your calories don't go way over - but you'll most likely want less other things if you eat a lot of fat.

There isn't really any one best way to eat Paleo - it depends on the person - but for losing weight many people find it helpful to eat Low Carb, so the fat get's jacked way up... up to 85% of calories.

I'd take it leeeetle easy on the nut-butters.. but if it's really helping you transition, don't sweat it too hard. The reason is the kind of fat they have isn't as healthy in high amounts as fat from animal sources and coconut, but honestly, you can think about that later. Good Luck!

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78422 · July 25, 2011 at 11:03 PM

fat is not the issue, really. watch those carbs! as long as you aren't eating mega calories, you'll lose weight, and if the carbs are low enough, it will be tough to put anything back on, period, though weight loss can stall.

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8757 · July 25, 2011 at 11:39 PM

congrats!! sounds like what you are doing is working, but just keep an eye on it and adjust the fat% if you start to slow down.

High fat is good, and if things stall, lower your carbs (unless you are VLC already) and I'd stay with almond butter over any kind of peanut butter.

keep going!!

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3946 · July 25, 2011 at 10:59 PM

Unless you are at a stall, it seems that whatever you are doing is working. I would go to fitday.com and enter in all the food you ate today to see what your percentages are. Then stick with what's working until it isn't. At that time, you can consider changes.

Weight loss percentages for me are: 70/25/5, fat, protein, carbs, but everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you. Congrats and good luck!

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15385 · July 26, 2011 at 2:02 AM

Fat tends to be the most satisfying of the 3 macronutrients and is a great source of energy without much affect on your insulin, so the short answer is, as much as you want.

Mark Sisson gives specific advice here for what percent of each food type you should eat, it is generally what other folks are saying here, 50-70% fat, at least 20% protein, and some carbs, but aim low on the carbs while trying to lose weight. He generally starts with a recommendation for how much protein (usually 0.7-1.0 grams of protein per pound of desired lean body mass), then less than 50g of carbs, and then fill in the rest with fat by calculating how many calories you can have in a day (based on BMR and exercise).

Note that this is 70% in calories which is a lot less than that in weight.

Good luck, it sounds like you are off to a great start.

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