How Much Fat

How Much Fat

Most people would rather not talk about fat. Avoiding fat has become an obsession in many cultures. The truth is, your body requires fat in order to function properly. Avoiding fat completely can be as dangerous as having too much fat in your diet. Whether you are building muscle or maintaining your size, fat is vitally important for a healthy body.

Fat is just as important in your diet as many of the other nutrients that you are used to hearing about. Fat intake for weight loss and bodybuilding should be relatively low, but cutting fat completely out of your diet is not healthy.

The average adult should receive about 25% of his or her calories from fat.

Your body uses fat to maintain energy. Every movement that you make with your body requires some form of energy. Sugar, carbohydrates and fat, all provide this energy. Fat is actually your very last source of energy when all other supplies are diminished so your body stores fat to act as an energy reserve. 

Typically, fat is only burned after all other forms of energy have been exhausted. While you are completing your strength-training exercises, your body is consuming sugar. Once that sugar is exhausted, the body turns to fat for energy.

A bodybuilder requires a diet that allows for some fat in order to maintain healthy skin and muscles. The standard ratio for a muscle-building diet is 30/55/15. This means that 30% of your caloric intake will come from protein and 55% will come from carbohydrates. The remaining 15% of the calories that you consume should come from healthy fats.

Healthy fats might seem like they are impossible to find, but they are available. Olive oil and nuts are two of the best sources of healthy fat for any diet. Fish can also provide the type of fat that benefits your body and you may have heard of the essential fatty acids that fish contains. 

Everyone knows that butter is not good for any diet, so substituting olive oil or other healthy sources of fat for the butter in your diet can lead to dramatic changes in your body. Bodybuilders often deplete the fat reserves in their body during their muscle-building routines. A small amount of fat added to the daily dietary intake helps to preserve and protect those muscles.

Bodybuilders and other athletes can use their BMI and daily caloric intake to help calculate the amount of fat required for their body. Dividing the number of calories consumed each day by the amount of each macronutrient that is required is a good way to determine the maximum amount of fat, protein or carbohydrates that you need each day. Once you have determined your nutritional needs, you can obtain those calories from healthy food sources.

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