Counter intuitive? Yes, but when you want to lose weight you first have to burn your own fat!

From: Mistake #4: Stagnant “macro ratios”

Dr. S Phinney on macros

There are three major macronutrients (or “macros”) that supply humans with energy (calories) from foods: carbohydrate, fat, and protein. On a well-formulated ketogenic diet, your daily energy needs should be satisfied by approximately 5-10% carbs, 70-80% fat, and 15-20% protein.

What people frequently overlook is the fact that when you initially begin a ketogenic diet and are losing weight, a significant portion of that 70-80% of energy from fat will actually come from burning your own body fat stores from adipose tissue—so it’s NOT entirely from dietary sources. Later down the road as you approach “weight maintenance” and are aiming to remain weight-stable while keeping your energy levels high and metabolic health at optimum, the fat needed to supply your daily energy will have to come from your food. After all, in this scenario you no longer have as much excess fat to lose! The chart below shows food macronutrient intakes plus body fat contributions as one progresses from through the stages of weight loss to eventual weight stability.

Although your intake of dietary fat will need to increase, no matter if it’s Day 1 or Day 500, you will continue consuming approximately the same, moderate amount of protein in addition to  non-starchy vegetables (your main source of carbohydrates plus essential vitamins and minerals). Depending on your personal health goals, and particularly how well your initial diabetes or prediabetes is held in reversal, some people may be able to increase their carbohydrate intake somewhat in maintenance.

So while it seems counterintuitive for someone wanting to stay slim, you will need to eat more fat as you approach and then achieve weight maintenance. This means that you can give yourself permission to increase your consumption of the tasty, “right” types of fats discussed above, which will become a cornerstone of your success.