Fat Calculator – Calculate Ideal Fat Intake

Enter your age, height, weight, activity level, and nutrition goal to calculate how much fat you should eat per day.

Gender:
Gender:

Daily Fat Intake Allowance:

Total Daily Calorie Allowance

  calories/day

Daily Fat Allowance (20-35%)[1]

  grams/day

Daily Saturated Fat Allowance (10%)[2]

  grams/day


How Much Fat Should You Eat Per Day

The word “fat” tends to have a negative connotation. But the truth is, just like carbs and protein, fat is an essential macronutrient that plays a vital role in overall health. Fat is a required nutrient in every normal diet.

Fat not only provides energy, but also is a component of cell membranes and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. You should aim to consume fat using a smart approach as part of an overall healthy eating program.

To figure out how much fat you should eat each day, you first need to calculate your total daily calorie needs. From this, you can determine the right proportion of calories that should come from fat based on your individual needs.

For the average adult, the National Academy of Sciences and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 recommends that 20-35% of your total daily calorie intake should come from fats.[3][4]

Macronutrient goals set by the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Even if you are an athlete and are extremely active, fat intake is still essential. Fat intake should still range from 20% to 35% of total energy intake.

Consuming <e;20% of energy from fat does not benefit performance, according to a position statement from The American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance.[5]

How to Calculate Fat Intake

Your daily fat intake will be a percentage of your total daily calorie needs. This means the first step in determining daily fat intake is to calculate your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). This is based on your basal metabolic rate (BMR) multiplied by your activity factor.

Your total daily energy expenditure is an estimate of the total number of calories you should eat each day. These calories will need to come from a combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

Calculating how much of each macronutrient you should consume is commonly known as “counting macros.” The proportion of each macronutrient that you should include in your diet will depend on your current weight, activity level, and fitness goals.

Daily Fat Intake

Fat intake should be sufficient to provide the essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins, as well as contribute energy for weight maintenance. In general, this will range from 20-35%.

This is a wide range, and you can determine your specific percentage based on your goals and activity level.

This table is a helpful guideline for calculating proportions of macronutrients based on your fitness goals.

table showing the breakdown of macronutrients for various fitness goals
Goal Protein Carbohydrate Fat
General Fitness 10-15% 45-55% 25-35%
Medium to High Intensity Fitness
(1-2 hours/day, 4-6 days/week)
20-30% 55-65% 30%
Weight Loss 25-30% 45-50% 20-25%

Grams of Fat Per Day

By taking your daily calorie needs and multiplying this by 20-35%, you will then have how many calories you should consume from fat each day.

You can then convert calories from fat into grams of fat. One gram of fat provides nine calories. Therefore, if you divide calories from fat by nine, this will give you your recommended fat intake for the day.

Calories per gram of each macronutrient
Macronutrient Calories per Gram
Fat 9 kcal
Carbohydrate 4 kcal
Protein 4 kcal

Your recommended fat intake will also depend on if you are aiming to lose weight, maintain your current weight, or gain muscle. Counting macros is an effective method to aid in weight loss, and this includes calculating your fat intake based on a calorie deficit.

Determining the amount of fat you should eat each day will be based on your calorie requirements for safe weight loss. One method for doing this is to calculate how many calories you should eat to maintain your current weight, and then subtract 500 calories from this.

This will give you a calorie deficit that will still result in safe weight loss if consistently maintained. However, this will also depend on other factors, such as gender, age, genetics, and the type of exercise in which you engage.

Fat Recommendation for Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is a popular diet trend that a number of people use to lose weight. This is a high-fat diet where 60-75% of your daily calorie intake is derived from fat.

The idea behind the keto diet is that the ultimate fuel supply for your body becomes fat. This lowers your insulin levels which decreases fat storage and intensifies fat burning.

You should consult your physician or dietitian before engaging in high-fat diets to ensure this is a safe dietary approach for you to take.

Healthy Fat Consumption

The type of fat that you consume is also important. Not all fat calories are created equal, and the quality of the food that you consume is just as important as the quantity.

There are foods that are considered “healthy fats”, while other unhealthy fats contribute to obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, and other chronic diseases.

When it comes to fats in the diet, try to stay away from large amounts of saturated fats and stick to foods containing the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DLA), and α-linolenic acid (ALA). Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease.

Recommendations from the American Heart Association Dietary Guidelines suggest including at least two servings of fish per week (particularly fatty fish).

In addition, the data support inclusion of certain vegetable oils (e.g., soybean, canola, walnut, flaxseed) and foods such as walnuts, flaxseeds high in α-linolenic acid in a healthy diet for the general population.[6]

platter of foods high in healthy fats, including fish, walnuts, almonds, and avacado

Saturated fats should be limited to less than 10% of total calorie intake. Foods high in saturated fat include butter, certain oils, creams, fatty beef, lamb, and dairy products made with whole milk.

Many fast foods and processed foods are made with saturated fats and should be limited. For example, studies have found that lowering the intake of dietary saturated fat and replacing it with polyunsaturated vegetable oil can reduce cardiovascular disease by about 30%.[7]

Platter of foods high in saturated fats, including butter, cream, vegetable oil, and lamb

By utilizing the TDEE calculator along with calculating your macronutrients, including fat intake, you can determine the amount of fat that you should eat daily.

References

  1. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Dietary Reference Intakes - The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements, https://www.nal.usda.gov/sites/default/files/fnic_uploads/DRIEssentialGuideNutReq.pdf
  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2021-03/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans-2020-2025.pdf
  3. Meyers, L. D., Hellwig, J. P., & Otten, J. J. (Eds.), Dietary reference intakes: the essential guide to nutrient requirements, National Academies Press, 2006, https://www.nal.usda.gov/sites/default/files/fnic_uploads/DRIEssentialGuideNutReq.pdf
  4. Tuma, P. A., Dietary Guidelines 2020-2025: Update on Academy Efforts, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2019, 119(4), 672-674. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2021-03/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans-2020-2025.pdf
  5. Rodriguez, N. R., DiMarco, N. M., & Langley, S., Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2009, 109(3), 509-527. https://jandonline.org/article/S0002-8223(09)00006-6/fulltext
  6. Kris-Etherton, P. M., Harris, W. S., & Appel, L. J., Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease, Circulation, 2002, 106(21), 2747-2757. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.CIR.0000038493.65177.94
  7. Sacks, F. M., Lichtenstein, A. H., Wu, J. H., Appel, L. J., Creager, M. A., Kris-Etherton, P. M., Miller, M., Rimm, E. B., Rudel, L. L., Robinson, J. G., Stone, N. J., & Van Horn, L. V., Dietary fats and cardiovascular disease: a presidential advisory from the American Heart Association, Circulation, 2017, 136(3), e1-e23. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000510