“Is There a Rule for How Much Fat One Should Eat?”

AskDrAndreasEenfeldt-desat

Is there a rule for how much fat one should eat?

The answer to this and other questions – how do you cram all the food in, and can LCHF worsen hypothyroidism? – in this week’s Q&A with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt:

How do I cram in all the food?

I’ve been following the Ketogenic Diet you suggest for 4 weeks. The first week it was difficult as I was a huge fruit eater so I didn’t worry that the scale didn’t move. The second week was a bit better and yet the scale didn’t move again.

The third week I omitted all dairy including cheese from my menu and increased my fat. No movement on the scale. Week four I bought a new scale.

So here I am in week 5 and have introduced Intermittent Fasting to my daily routine. Monday to Wednesday I fasted from 8 p.m. – 2.p.m. and then ate the exact same thing each day; 2 eggs cooked in coconut oil, bulletproof coffee w/1 tbsp each of coconut oil, butter and heavy cream, 4 strips of bacon. 2 hours later I ate 2 chicken leg/thighs with the skin and 3 cups of raw assorted vegetables (cucumber, tomato, pepper, radish, celery). For a snack I ate 2 fat bombs (cream cheese and peanut butter) and ended my eating window with roast beef and celery with peanut butter spread on it. The scale inched down today by 0.2 pounds (0.1 kg).

I have no appetite since cutting out sugar and carbs and with a 4-6 hour window to eat in I find it really difficult to cram all my food in so I’m sure someone is going to comment that I’m not eating enough. If I only had 10 lbs (5 kg) to lose I’d expect this but I’ve got over 150 pounds (68 kg) to go. I feel good otherwise, so I’m not going to give up this way of eating but I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I am not losing like the rest of the community.

What am I doing wrong? Help!
Pauline

 
Pauline,

“I find it really difficult to cram in all my food”

Stop that. Only eat when you’re hungry. Trust in your body. Stop eating when you’re satisfied, then wait until you’re hungry again.

You’ve got 150 pounds to lose so let your body burn your stored body fat, instead of cramming more food down, when you don’t even want to.

This will absolutely accelerate the weight loss.

Learn more: How to Lose Weight #4: Eat Only When Hungry

Best,
Andreas

Is there a rule for how much fat one should eat?

Hello Dr. Andreas!

While it is clear that we should limit carbs as much as possible and ideally below 20 g per day, it is not clear what to do with fat. Do we have to eat additional fat or the fat that is included in most food (meat, cheese, etc) is enough? Will the diet be effective if we eat meat and vegetables until full, or we must eat additional fat? What is the recommendation for fat intake? Thanks!

Bill

 
Bill,

Eat enough fat to not be hungry. If you’re hungry most of the time you’re probably not eating enough fat.

If you feel fine, energetic and not hungry, you probably eat all that you need.

Learn more:

Best,
Andreas

Is LCHF bad if you have hypothyroidism?

Hello Dr. Andreas,

I’m fascinated by what I have learnt from your site, videos etc. after being a serial dieter all my life…on…off…up…down – mainly calorie counting and exercise. I’ve always been on a diet and yet have always been fat!

I’m 43 and currently weigh 200 lbs (91 kg) but I did manage to lose 40 lbs (18 kg) intermittent fasting a few years ago that has mainly stayed off.

My main question is regarding my underactive thyroid. It is stable now as I have taken 100 mg Levothyroxine for the last 13 years and have 6 monthly blood tests. I have read a few negative things about LCHF and the conversion of T4 to T3…something around insulin being needed for the conversion. To be honest, I’ve been doing LCHF for a month and did feel pretty shocking for the first two and half weeks, joint pain, fatigue etc. Could this have been to do with the T4/3 issue??

I don’t want to stop the LCHF approach as I have already lost 9 lbs (4 kg) in a month which is great…but I’d appreciate your views.

Thanks and best wishes
Helen

 
Helen,

I don’t think this is a problem at all, at least as long as you eat LCHF, and not LCLF i.e. starvation (the latter can certainly lead to all kinds of problems). It’s crucial to eat enough fat to not be hungry all the time, on a long-term low-carb diet.

I’ve treated many patients with hypothyroidism with LCHF diets without problem, as have other low-carb doctors. I think this whole T4 to T3 conversion issue is mostly internet speculation, with limited practical relevance – unless the problem is really people doing starvation diets.

Learn more: Low-Carb Side Effects & How to Cure Them

Best,
Andreas

More

Low Carb for Beginners

More Questions and Answers

Many more questions and answers:

Low-Carb Q&A

Read all earlier questions and answers – and ask your own! – here:

Ask Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt about LCHF, Diabetes and Weight Loss – for members (free trial available)

More About LCHF

  • How to Maximize Fat Burning
  • Isn't weight loss all about counting calories?
  • Cindy lost 80 pounds on keto
  • "I'll do this or I'm going to die trying"

8 comments

  1. Meenu
    Hi ...
    My name is meenu. I am vegetarian and how can i follw LCHF diet... what to include..in my diet
    Reply: #7
  2. Aslan
    Meat ;)
  3. Mitch
    "Is there a Rule for How Much Fat One Should Eat"

    "How do I cram all the food in?"

    "I have no appetite since cutting out sugar and carbs and with a 4-6 hour window to eat in I find it really difficult to cram all my food in so I’m sure someone is going to comment that I’m not eating enough."

    "No movement on the scale. Week four I bought a new scale"

    Key words
    - no appetite
    - Cramming food
    - bulletproof coffee
    - scale not moving

    I'm a active male - lean, physical job, lift weights a few times a week, yoga a few times a week, walk a few times a week and I don't *usually* don't eat as much as listed.

    Why cram?
    Just learn to eat as much as required and stop ( too much food for you it seems).

    The so called 'bulletproof coffee' isn't helping - just have coffee with milk or some cream.

    Just an opinion from a random person on the Internet.

  4. Apicius
    Recently, I have been experimenting with the type of fats and protein in my diet. I was always eating low carb, moderate protein and high fat...consistently before and now. But recently, I experimented with changing all my protein to lamb, or eggs, or beef, or fish....etc, you get the picture. I did the same thing with my fats...did alternate weeks of lard, or butter, or coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil, etc. This way I was able to isolate the best proteins and fats for what made me feel better. I noticed that there was a remarkable difference for me.

    Wow...I made a HUGE discovery. What works best for me is fish and sea food for protein and extra virgin olive oil for fats. I can't explain it...but, I feel soooooo much better eating this way. Also, I eat TONS of green leafy veg...a whole lot more than I used to...in fact, I kinda am forced to eat lots of green leafy veg, because there's no other way to get all that olive oil into my mouth....I'm certainly NOT going to drink it!

    I also am still doing daily intermittent fasting. No breakfast (just an espresso coffee without sugar in the morning), lunch (usually 2boiled free range eggs or smoked salmon or canned sardines) and then dinner (fish or seafood, lots of green veg with tons and tons of olive oil).

    I target one litre olive oil ingested per week.

    I come from Italian heritage...so, perhaps I am just eating what my ancesters ate? Perhaps that's why this LCHF protein/fat combination works for me?

    I'm reminded of an old italian saying..."the purpose of food is to carry olive oil into the mouth".

  5. Pierre
    "What am I doing wrong? Help!
    Pauline "

    You still overeat.

  6. 1 comment removed
  7. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Meenu!

    Here you have some inspiration:

    http://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/recipes?s=&st=recipe&kd_...

    Hi ...
    My name is meenu. I am vegetarian and how can i follw LCHF diet... what to include..in my diet

  8. Tim H
    About the hypothyroidism, in 2013 my TSH was 6.16 µIU/ml, T4 7.8 µg/dl, T3 68 ng/dl. I weighed 72 to 75 kg on my 5' 10" frame. My diet was 20 to 25% carbs & protein together, 75-80% oil, cooking in coconut/palm oils. That TSH is above my lab's reference range, the T4 just under mid-way and the T3 barely inside the bottom of the reference range. It is like the TSH is asking for more T3 but for some reason the T3 is not obliging its request.

    3 years later in 2016 my TSH was gone even further above the reference range to 8.09 µIU/ml, T4 has dropped slightly to 7.4 µg/dl, my T3 has remained unchanged at 68 ng/dl. Weight has dropped to 69-70 kg. My diet has changed to 10-15% protein, no significant carbs, 85-90% oil, cooking in coconut oil, lard and butter. The TSH's demand for more T3 is louder than before but the T3 still likes it just where it is.

    Since low T3 is associated with longevity, I am not too worried by the low T3. But the contrast with the high TSH does make me wonder if anything is wrong. Unfortunately I did not do any blood tests before going low carb but the low T3 values with both LCHF and ketogenic allow for the possibility that low carb does repress T3. Any clues to understanding this would be appreciated.

  9. Naomi
    Pauline: "So here I am in week 5 and have introduced Intermittent Fasting to my daily routine. Monday to Wednesday I fasted from 8 p.m. – 2.p.m. and then ate the exact same thing each day; 2 eggs cooked in coconut oil, bulletproof coffee w/1 tbsp each of coconut oil, butter and heavy cream, 4 strips of bacon."

    I don't think a high fat diet means that you should get all of your fat from dietary sources all the time. Especially when you are overweight. Instead of adding fat, let your body use its own first and eat the fat more as a treat if you still feel hungry. As a 36 year-old sedentary woman on a 16:8 intermittent fasting protocol, for breakfast I usually have 1 fried egg, 1 rasher of bacon, a huge Greek salad with feta, avo and vinegar and some fried mushrooms/green pepper (about 1 tablespoon of coconut oil for frying). I eat it at 11am and it lasts me until 6pm - no snacks needed. I will drink coffee or tea with milk with breakfast and then only have black Rooibos tea until dinner. I have consistently been losing about 1kg per week for the past couple of months doing this. I used to weigh 94kgs and am now down to 75kg and am still losing weight. I personally think you need to add more low-carb veggies to your diet to fill you up and cut all of the extra added butter and cream. Just another random opinion from a person from the Internet.

Leave a reply

Reply to comment #0 by

Older posts