Being amongst the keto community for a while now, I’m usually asked a handful of the same questions over and over. One of the top 3 questions I see asked most is how to get more fat on keto.
Which I usually reply…
Somewhere along the line, people were led to believe there was a magical percentage of fat they needed to hit. After all, when you think of a keto diet you also think of a diet that’s high in fat.
And relatively, it has a high fat intake. 1 But do YOU need to need to eat more fat on YOUR keto diet? I’ll assume yes for now, but I’ll also explain why maybe you don’t need to.
How to get more fat on keto?
An easy way to get more fat on your keto diet is by substituting leaner cuts of meat and whole foods with their higher fat equivalent. An example:
- Whole eggs vs. egg whites
- Ribeye vs. Sirloin
- Full fat cheese vs. low-fat cheese
It shouldn’t be hard at all to add sources of fat to help you hit your fat macros on a ketogenic diet, unless…
- You’re a vegan
- You’re purposely trying to limit your protein intake
But back to the question I posed earlier.
Do YOU need to add more fat to YOUR ketogenic diet?
To solve this, I must explain things further, so you have a better understanding. This way, you can decide if you still want to add more fat to your diet.
This article isn't meant to explain how much fat you should eat. If you want to learn just how many grams of fat on keto you should be eating, give my other article a visit.
Main reasons people get lost
I find there are a few reasons people conclude they need more fat:
- Trying to eat a percentage of fat they read was “correct”
- Told to stay away from foods high in protein because it would convert too much to “sugar”
- And “adding fat leads to burning fat”
I’ll briefly address these issues one by one.
Trying to stick to a percentage
There are two things wrong with sticking to a percentage based ketogenic diet.
- The original ketogenic diet was based on percentages optimal to prevent seizures for epileptic children.
- A percentage doesn’t take into account your specific caloric needs based on your body weight, more importantly, your lean body mass (LBM). 2
Told to stay away from high protein
There is often this myth that excess protein gets converted to sugar on a ketogenic diet. That somehow when we eat something like a big juicy steak, the excess protein will magically be converted to chocolate cake.
Oh, how I wish…
They call this process of converting excess protein to sugar gluconeogenesis, and it happens whether you’re eating a diet high in protein or low in protein. Basically, it’s a process in your body that is happening all the time… WHEN IT NEEDS TO.
Eating fat burns more fat
Let that sink in for a second.
Somehow, with guiding ourselves, we always believe we are unique snowflakes. I fell for it too so you’re not alone. It’s not that I’m eating too much, it’s because I'm not eating enough fat.
Eating fat doesn’t lead to more weight loss. Eating less leads to weighing less. Meaning, the number one determinant in weight loss is being in a caloric deficit.
Let's picture a scenario… If you had a dog that was overweight and the vet told you that he or she needed to lose weight for health reasons… what would you do? Feed it more fat? Reduce its carbohydrate?
No, you would feed it less.
CAN YOU EAT TOO MUCH FAT ON KETO?
To answer this question. Yes.
You are more likely to overeat fat on a ketogenic diet than protein or carbohydrates (assuming you are keeping carbohydrate intake low). And guess what eating too much fat will lead to?
Best-case scenario, you’re still seeing progress and eating too much fat leads to slow weight loss. At the very worst, well, you might see your weight creeping in the wrong direction.Calories absolutely do matter , even on a ketogenic diet. Fats have the highest number of calories per gram at 9 calories versus carbohydrates or protein which have 4 calories per gram.
So even if you keep “insulin” low by limiting your carbohydrates (even no carbohydrates), but you’re overeating fat and protein, you can (and will) gain weight.
In 2018 alone I purposely gained 30 pounds (14kg) eating between 0 and 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. Purposely in the sense that my main goal was to put on muscle by combining a keto diet and bodybuilding.
So, there are still certain circumstances where you may look to eat more fat on your keto diet, let’s go over that, shall we?
HOW TO EAT MORE FAT ON KETO
After reading that, if you still believe you need to eat more fat, then keep reading.
Whether you are trying to gain muscle or really do need to eat more fat because your protein intake is already adequate 3, there are plenty of easy ways to get in more fat without guzzling oil.
Remember, I said after your protein intake is already adequate, and you still require additional calories to hit your target. This means you are eating at least 0.8 grams per pound of lean body mass, but more about that on the keto macro calculator if you are interested.
The easiest way to eat more fat I alluded to above is to eat fattier cuts of meat. If you are eating lean sources of protein, the easiest switch you can make is opting for fattier cuts.
Think ribeye, NY strips, 80% or greater ground beef, chicken legs and thighs with the skin, salmon, etc.
If you are looking for something even FATTIER, I also occasionally order 55% ground beef from U.S. Wellness Meats. They sell 100% grass-fed beef and pasture raised meats that are shipped directly to your doorstep. A lot of fat renders from it, but it’s oh so tasty!
Last, another easy way to add in additional fat is to cook with fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, etc.
WHAT ARE GOOD FATS FOR KETO
What are healthy fats for keto? Well, I would say good fats for keto can take on a few definitions:
- Foods that balance your omega 6 to omega-3 ratio
- Foods rich in certain fats (MCT’s, CLA)
- Fat sources that offer other benefits
Balance your omega 6 to omega-3 ratio
They say your average American eats on average a 16 to 1 ratio of omega 6 to omega-3’s. Contrast this to the recommended ratio of 4 to 1… that’s quite the difference.
Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today’s Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive effects.
The easiest way to improve your omega-3 to omega 6 ratio is by replacing some omega 6’s in your diet with omega-3 fat sources.
Good sources of omega-3 fat sources include fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Other great sources that are keto-friendly include flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
If none of those fat sources strike your fancy, then I would recommend supplementing with a quality fish oil supplement.
I recommend the following fish oils based on 3rd party lab testing. Basically, the below supplements are more likely to meet what they say is on the label.
My recommended fish oil supplements:
5 of my favorite healthy fats for keto
If you’re looking to increase your healthy fats on keto, why not eat fat sources that offer other sources of nutrition and health benefits as the ones listed below.
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, but they also contain tons of fiber and rich in potassium.
Plus, who doesn’t love guacamole? Or a side of avocados with pork or turkey bacon and eggs for breakfast?
If you’re wondering can you have cheese on keto? That would be my next recommendation so thanks for asking.
Cheese is a good source of fat that is also high in protein, a great source of calcium on keto, and contains the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2. Even better if you can stick to cheese from grass-fed cows.
Yepp, chocolate! But actual chocolate… not “milk chocolate. The chocolate itself is high in fat but is also rich in antioxidants, iron, magnesium, and even fiber.
I would try to stick to 70% and above, but I stick to 85% or higher. Since they load most chocolate bars with added sugars, you must find one that uses a sweetener like stevia or monk fruit. I listed a few below:
Zero sugar added chocolate:
Eggs really are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. Think about it, you’re eating an entire chicken in one small package.
Egg yolks, where all the goodness lies, are filled with a bit of practically every nutrient we need. Not only that, yolks are filled with plenty of antioxidants and choline which is good for the brain.
I know what you’re thinking, you’re worried about all the saturated fat and cholesterol… they have brainwashed you in the past to think dietary saturated fat and cholesterol is evil, but I assure you it’s not bad as you might think.
If you’d like to have a better understanding of saturated fat and cholesterol, I’d recommend checking out David Feldman’s website cholesterol code. You may also try searching his name and listening to a podcast as he discusses cholesterol more in-depth.
High in healthy fats and in fiber, nuts are a tasty treat you can eat on a ketogenic diet.
Just be mindful as nuts contain carbs and are calorie dense… they also might be a trigger food for you, I know they are to me. Give me a jar of peanut butter and it’s game over.
Some of the lowest carb and most nutritious nuts include pili nuts, macadamia nuts, and brazil nuts. Also, refer to the image below for net carbs of various nuts for those following a ketogenic or low-carb diet.
While not my favorite way to add in more fat because they are easy to overeat and get out of hand… adding in little fat bombs or treats are great if you can control yourself. I’m also fond of a product from fellow keto bodybuilder keto savage the keto brick.
Here’s one of my favorite and simple to make fat bomb recipes.
Closing thoughts on how to get more fat on keto
If you were wondering how to eat enough fat on keto, you might see how it isn’t as hard as you may have thought. A few simple swaps and maybe an addition or two should provide ample amounts of fat.
Also remember, you might not need to add in as much fat as you think. Sticking to an arbitrary percentage calculated originally for epileptic children isn’t probably what’s optimal for you.
Instead of asking how to get more fat on keto, most people should ask IF they need more fat to begin with.
While I know you want an exact number of how much fat to eat, it takes experimentation to find out what is optimal for your own body. However, a simple rule of thumb is if you’re not losing weight on keto… then dial your fat back.
Questions or comments? let me know in the comments down below. If you found this article useful, I’d appreciate if you shared it on social media or pin it on Pinterest.
The amount of fat you eat should be calculated AFTER you've determined your total caloric intake and have sufficient protein.
Good sources of fats for ketosis include fatty fish, avocados, whole eggs, and nuts.
You do not need to eat a lot of fat to be in ketosis. The only requirement to establish ketosis is a sufficient reduction in carbohydrates.
An easy way to increase fat intake is by swapping leaner cuts of meat with fattier cuts. Another simply way to increase fat intake is to cook using healthy sources of fat such as olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil.
If you're truly not losing weight on keto, it would be a result of not being in a caloric deficit. Here are 11 reasons why you may not be losing weight on keto.
If you eat too much fat on keto you will inevitably gain weight.