Do I need to consume all that fat? 70-75% of your calories should be from fat with a ketogenic diet. That’s what most people say. However, that is a tremendous amount of fat and most people are a little bit freaked out because they don’t want to die of a heart attack or clogged arteries so let’s chat about that.
What’s the right amount of fat vs too much fat on a ketogenic diet?
If you have hypoglycemia or if you have a low blood sugars you’re going to need more fat in the beginning of starting your ketogenic diet because your main problem is you can’t go from one meal to the next without being very hungry. So, if there’s a blood sugar issue it’s going to take more fat because we want to add enough fat to go from one meal to the next with very little snacking to prevent insulin spikes. Remember, insulin is that dirty little hormone that blocks fat burning and it’s present every time you eat! Doesn’t matter if you’re eating keto or not.
If you’re eating too much fat what’s going to happen is you’re going to overload the liver and gallbladder and pancreas. The gallbladder breaks down the fat into small particles but the pancreas releases an enzyme called lipase which takes it from that small particle down into the smallest particle. If you have a blood sugar issue your pancreas is exhausted already from trying to stabilize blood sugars and you’re probably not going to be able to produce as many enzymes thereby stressing the body out even more.
So how do you know that it’s too much fat for you?
If you’re feeling bloated, gassy, or nauseated. You also may have some right sided pain or a “full” sensation over the gallbladder on the right side. The pain may even step up to the right shoulder blade, to the neck, or cause a headache or tension in the eyes.
So in the beginning you’re going to need a little bit more fat because you haven’t fully adapted to being a fat burner quite yet. You’re not able to switch between sugar burning and fat burning. This doesn’t happen until about week 6-8 of staying on a ketogenic diet. When you do this over a long period of time you’re going to switch very easily to fat burning from sugar burning back and forth so the need for fat is going to be less and less, but here’s the thing… if you have too much fat it could be the dietary fat that you’re burning and not necessarily your own stored body fat when you show ketone production.
So even though you’re in ketosis… you’re not losing weight because you’re burning mostly dietary fat and not your own fat. Butttt… if you keep doing it you keep adjusting the fat to the sweet spot where you can go for one meal to the next comfortably and not overdo it with the fats you’ll start tapping into the fat on your body and feeling fuller longer with a decreased appetite helping you to consume less fat calories all around.
Too much fat won’t interfere with your ability to really get into full ketosis but it may interfere with your results.