Fats are your friend

Fats are your friend

Whenever I write something which mentions what an average day of my eating looks like, I inevitably get questioned that I’m eating as much as I say am. I have no reason to lie about what I eat – why would I say that I eat 3500-4000 calories a day if I only ate 1500-2000?

On paper, it may seem like my meals are indeed only adding up on the smaller side of calories.Β The discrepancy is a combination of my portion sizes (huge!) and the amount of fat I eat in a day. I tend to eat a lot of fat throughout the day but I don’t spell it out as it’s not the base of my meal.

Starting with breakfast, I cook my eggs in coconut oil or butter if I’m having bacon. If I’m not having bacon, I will always have an extra serve of fats on the side. My idea of a “serve” is probably larger than most – 2-3 tablespoons of nut butter, for example. At lunch, I tend to have meat or chicken with the skin on (again, cooked in oil), plus one to two additional fat servings such as olive oil, avocado, cheese or nuts in my salad.

eggs

I always ensure my afternoon snack is fat-heavy so it lasts me through my workout. I will have a small bag of nuts or a few tablespoons of peanut butter alongside some more eggs or fruit.

Post-workout, I again load up on the fat as it’s my last meal before bed. I know many people are scared to have fats post-workout as it slows nutrient absorption, but screw that. I don’t like waking up starving in the middle of the night.

When I say dinner is my biggest meal of the day, I’m not kidding. Every meal is at least 1000 calories, or more if I’m eating out at a restaurant. I typically have 250-300g of meat (usually red meat, which has a higher fat content and therefore contains more calories), a big serving of carbs (eg 3-4 potatoes, 300-400g rice, one squash with fruit, etc) and 3-4 serves of fat (more oil/butter, cheese, bacon, coconut milk, chocolate, etc).

Bacon, parmesan, butter in the beans and potatoes, and red meat = a lot of fat

Bacon, parmesan, butter in the beans and potatoes, and red meat = a lot of fat

So in total, I take in about 1000-1500 calories per day from fat alone. Because of the training I do, the metabolism I have and the fact I have no desire to be super lean, I need to eat a lot of calories. Fats are a simple way for me to reach that target. It’s a heck of a lot easier for me to eat 1000 calories’ worth of peanut butter than the equivalent amount of potatoes.

Most people who start working with me severely underestimate how many grams of fat they need. Most people are only hitting 30-40 grams of fat per day, largely thanks to the low-fat propaganda long promoted by the health and fitness industry. These people are generally the ones who need to eat every two hours or they will feel faint. I would much rather have a bigger meal and not have to carry around tupperware with me.

As a minimum, most people should be consuming at least 60 grams of fat per day. You can do this in an entirely healthy way via eggs, nuts, seeds, oils and avocados, but having some bacon, butter, cream or dark chocolate is good for the soul too.Β Fat is good for your skin, hair and nails, as well as a necessary part of maintaining a healthy metabolism.

As your calorie needs increase, you can expect to eat upwards of 100 grams of fat per day. It will take your body a little time to adjust to this level, so don’t rush into it right away. Having a high fat intake is a great way to ensure you are consuming enough calories if you struggle with eating more voluminous forms of food such as grains, vegetables and lean proteins.

How much fat do you eat per day?

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