# When I’m trying to lose weight, I couldn’t have more than 30 grams of fat a day.

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I found your website from “3 fat chicks on a diet”. Ask the Dietitian® website is so informational I didn’t know anything like this even existed. Thank you!

First of all, I’m 33 years old, 5 feet 6 inches and weigh 290 pounds. I know I need to lose weight, so I have made my mind up to just do it.

I cleaned out all the cupboards and put a “fat” before picture of me on the fridge for encouragement. I am going to make this work this time!!

I answered the questions on the “Healthy Body Calculator®” and got the results. I have a question about that. I don’t understand the results. I won’t go over the whole thing, just a couple: Calorie daily value: 2,660, calories from fat 800 and total fat 89 grams. My question is, when I’m trying to lose weight, I thought I couldn’t have more than 30 grams of fat a day. I don’t understand how this is supposed to work when 89 grams of fat a day seems like way too much. I started over on two separate occasions just to make sure I did the calculator correctly. Could you please try to help me with this? Thank you, I appreciate your time.

Thanks for the feedback.

What a great commitment you have made! Follow the “if you don’t buy it or cook it, food has a hard time getting into your mouth” mentality.

The weight loss goals you entered into the Healthy Body Calculator® will determine Your Nutrition Facts. For instance, a 1 or 2-pound weight loss will reduce the calorie calculation you would need to maintain your weight. Also, I have built safety factors into the calculator to support successful weight change. Then how the calories are distributed will determine how many fat grams are recommended. The calculator is pre-set to 30% fat which you can change to a slightly higher or lower value.

Unfortunately, when you restrict fat too much, you may find that you are hungry all the time because food fat helps keep you satisfied from meal to meal (satiety) for 6 hours.

My calculator doesn’t have a 1 diet fits all mentality. Your current weight impacts the results. Successful weight loss occurs slowly at 1 to 2-pounds per week. Sure if you followed a 1,200 calorie eating plan with 30 grams of fat (22.5% of calories), you would lose weight faster, but may not stick to it long term because you feel hungry all the time. A 1,200 calorie eating plan would be too great a change from your current calorie intake that is maintaining your current weight. While most people who are ready to lose weight want all their excess weight off as fast as possible, you didn’t gain your weight overnight and it will take time to lose successfully.

So taking this one step further, I would suggest you set a weight goal that you can reach in 1 month. Say 4 to 8 pounds. Then when you have reached your goal, set another goal one month in the future. Keep focusing on that short-term goal rather than your final weight goal which may seem a long way off from where you are. Success would be you met your goal of 4 to 8 pounds weight loss in 1 month. Failure mentality would be setting a higher weight loss goal like 15 pounds and then you only lose 10 pounds. Discouraging your efforts to continue.  It’s all about setting yourself up to succeed.

You haven’t mentioned exercise which is a critical component of successful weight loss. Make sure you have your doctor’s permission to exercise first. Find an exercise that you like doing and do it for 60 minutes at least 5 days each week so that you break a sweat.

Also, write down everything you eat in a food diary as it makes you accountable. Research has found that successful weight loss includes keeping food records, change in eating habits, calorie-controlled eating plans, consistent food intake from day to day in 4 to 5 meals, eat breakfast, daily or weekly weight in, limit television watching to 10 hours a week and regular exercise.

Joanne Larsen is a licensed, registered dietitian with extensive clinical experience in nutrition therapy in hospitals, clinics, mental health and long term care. She has a bachelor's degree in dietetics with a minor in chemistry and a master's degree in nutrition with a minor in counseling. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly American Dietetic Association).