Does Eating Fats Make You Fat?

June 24,2019

Not exactly, although dietary fats can have a significant number of calories from fat grams, consuming fat does not directly cause your body to gain weight. Naturally, whether you gain, lose or stay the same weight, depends on your total caloric intake and not your macronutrient consumption ratios. Since your body establishes an order of priority for burning foods to produce energy, storing macronutrients as fat is the last choice. However, if you consume excess carbs or protein, the extra may or may not be stored as fat but, if you eat quantities of fat; the extra amount translates as fat gain.

Since dietary fats are calorie-dense, it is easy to understand that they are often less satiating than lean proteins and good carbohydrates. This makes sense, as your body will burn carbs and proteins before it burns fat. If your goal is to lose stubborn fat deposits, then your food intake or menu plan should take precedence and mimic a low-carb and high-fat (keto-like) diet. However, if your goal is simply to reach a number on a scale, numerous studies support low-carb over low-fat diets, and vice versa. To make matters more complicated, supplements cannot replace macronutrients but can make the nutrients you consume work more efficiently.

Dietary fats contain nine calories per gram, versus the four calories per gram for protein and carbs. Nonetheless, the theory that "a calorie is a calorie" and have the same impact on your body, metabolism, and weight is one of the most persistent nutritional myths behind our nation's obesity epidemic. Although it is true that all calories burn the same in a vacuum in a laboratory, food affects the expression of your genes and impacts hormone production, gut flora, brain chemistry and autoimmunity. The National Institute of Health found that people who ate more fat compared to an identical amount of carbs burned an additional minimum of 100 calories per day.

If you are interested in losing weight, the quality, the type, and the quantity of foods you eat control fat-cell biology. That suggests you should eat high quality fats, lean proteins and good sources of carbohydrates. So, before you start on a weight loss journey, schedule an appointment with a board-certified physician to discuss you weight loss goals and the weight loss approach that will work best for your body.