If the goal is fat loss through a Keto diet, why add so much dietary fat?

If one's weight is 30% fat as measured by an impedance scale, I understand keeping carbs low. But with all that body fat available why not keep fat moderately low? I will either have to change the way I cook and use way more butter, etc. or start supplementing with MCT oil to meet the macro goals that Chronometer has set for me. It makes no sense to add dietary fat when I am already fat. Why would the body ignore existing fat and metabolize new dietary fat? Why would protein get turning into glucose when there is all that existing fat that could be digested? The video's I watch do not explain this to my satisfaction.

Best Answer

  • Answer ✓

    Cronometer seems to wilfully misunderstand keto. On keto, protein should be a goal, carbohydrate a limit, and fat is lever.

    They call fat a goal, but it is not.

    You should make sure you get enough protein (I am aiming for at least 60g/day, and mostly go over that). You should keep carbs to a minimum (20g net is a good goal to start with). Fat is used for fullness and enjoyment of food. You should not eat fat beyond your appetite. People stall their weightloss progress with bulletproof coffees and fat bombs.

    Eating a lot of fat will keep you in ketosis, but if your aim is to lose weight you need to realise (as you do) that every gram of fat you put in your mouth is a gram you don't burn from your body.

    I've been keto for 2 years on Friday!

Answers

  • Great question.

    A couple of things:

    1. Stored body far comes from sugars (glucose) via action of insulin. Insulin is produced by glucose in the blood, not fats. The idea of low carb/limited protein eating is to use fat as the energy system, not glucose. If you limit CHO’s and protein, calories have to cone from the other macro, fats.
    2. If weight loss is a goal, the app calculates your desired weight and figures you dietary need, per day, to loose weight AND get to nutritional ketosis. When in nutritional ketosis, you are not needing insulin to get glucose out of the blood and into the cells. The body is burning fat - both dietary and stored. Thus, you’ll start loosing weight. Drink a lot of water and exercise. It works.
  • Er, more correct: glucose is produced by the beta cells in the pancreas when blood sugar increases.

  • Regardless of the origin of the fat in my 30% fat body I have plenty of fat to loose.And, yes, by limiting CHO, the body turns to dietary and stored fat to burn.

    To, my point, why add so much dietary fat when body fat is plentiful and available? I am not talking about eliminating dietary fat but my chronometer setting have me adding way more than I find appealing or rationally necessary. It just doesn't make sense.

  • @Perplexed1ne

    The truth is that the only diet that really works is the one that you can follow for the rest of your life. Many people get excited for keto because of the rapid weight loss in the first few months (which is really a loss of stored carbs and the water that is kept alongside those carbs). If you follow keto adherents long-term, you find that their rate of weight loss and ability to maintain is no different than those following other calorie-reduced diets.

    If you're not enjoying this way of eating now, it's unlikely you'll want to follow this diet in 10 years from now (diets have to be forever if we want the results to last). My suggestions are to work from a calorie deficit and focus on nutrient density, especially fibre. This little nutrient is very satiating and has no/few calories. Plus, it can alter our gut microbiome for the positive and the way food is metabolized.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • This is very helpful. Thank you.

    I get your point and I don't disagree. More to what motivates my question is the almost mystical assertions I see online that adding fat somehow "burns" fat. That is, if you don't eat sufficient fat, protein will be transformed into fat. That's what seemed counter intuitive. I would have thought stored fat would be metabolized.

    The Keto diet macro suggestions, filled in by Cronometer, seems to be pretty high in fat relative to my fat loss goals, while the protein goals are low relative to my desire to increase muscle mass.

    I get that on a long term "keto diet" these might be the appropriate macros. And, its not so much how it feels. My current goals are likely different and I just wanted to affirm that protein would not be "converted" into fat if I did not eat enough fat.

    Looks like I am correct and any fat needed above and beyond what I eat would come from stored body fat.

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