Does Eating Fat Make You Fat? 41

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Short Answer: No! If you are eating the right fats and not eating it in excessive amounts.


I bet a lot of you are saying “Wait, what? I don’t believe you.” I know I have said these words quite a few times when anyone tells me this. The fact that eating more good fats may actually be good for you and not make you gain weight is something that has taken me a long time to even start to come to terms with and actually believe. It just seems like common sense that the more fat that you eat, the more fat you gain. Well, shockingly that isn’t necessarily true!!

How many times have you heard that eating carbohydrates gives you energy? As a former college athlete and runner I have heard this a lot. And it is true. When you digest carbs (sugars, starches, and fiber) your body breaks down these carbs into sugar which the body stores and uses for energy. [1]

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This is all good and dandy, but if you’re burning sugar as energy you are not burning fat. Most of us, if we are trying to lose weight or become leaner, we want to burn off that excess fat! It turns out that if you cut some of the carbs in your diet and eat more healthy fats instead you can actually turn your body from sugar-burning into fat-burning!

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When you eat carbs, your body releases insulin into your body in proportion to how many carbs you eat. Insulin is a molecule that controls how your body uses the nutrients that are put into it. Lower insulin levels that result from eating less carbs allow your body to more easily burn fat as energy instead of sugar. [2]

Also, if you aren’t eating any fat, your body won’t know/be good at burning it! The more fat you eat (again GOOD fats) the more efficient your body is at burning fat. Lastly fats keep you fuller for longer so you end up more satisfied and eating less.


Good Fats

  • unsaturated fat
  • polyunstaurated fats
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • Ex: olive oil, coconut oil, salmon, tuna, avocados, nuts


Bad Fats

  • trans fats
  • saturated fats
  • EX: shortening, butter, beef fat, pork fat, vegetable oil



Now as with most things, this must be kept in moderation!! You can’t have a diet that is entirely fat because fat is also very high in calories and you need to be getting all your other nutrients also. If you go binge eat nuts, you aren’t going to lose any weight since nuts are so high in calories. The first time I tried giving up processed carbs I did just that. I needed to munch on something and I ended up munching excessively on nuts. Rather than losing weight I gained it and then abandoned the no-carb idea all together. The past few weeks I have been trying to eat little to no processed carbs again and am having much more success. I am making sure I don’t over-do it on the fats and am noticing I am leaner and even losing a couple pounds! Usually I have at least one snack during the day and one after dinner that is high in fat (nuts, raw granola bar, almond butter, etc) but always try to keep serving sizes in mind and stick to those pretty well. I am not always successful but definitely more successful than I was last time around!

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41 thoughts on “Does Eating Fat Make You Fat?

  • Runwright

    I love this post. I am reading the Wild Diet and planning to start a new eating plan TODAY. I do love the carbs but eating carbs and running isn’t working for me – I have high energy but I am not burning the fat that I want to lose.
    I have also done some research that indicates that eating a small amount of good fat will help, not hinder, fat loss so thanks for sharing and reinforcing that today

    • Margaret Post author

      Im glad you have heard this somewhere else too! I know for me it takes hearing things a few times from a few different people to finally accept they might actually be true.. haha!

  • Kristen @ A Mind Full Mom

    I could not agree more with you on that we need to eat less processed carbs and healthy fats. When you pair those together and excercise you are doing your body a huge favor. I think we are so uneducated in this country and everyday new trends confuse people more and more.

    • Margaret Post author

      Yes for sure!! People believe everything they hear so believe things they do no research on. My hope is that thru blogging can some of us can help educate people more even if its just one person at a time.

    • Margaret Post author

      I am with you there! It takes me a while and a lot of research to accept a new way of thinking especially when it comes to food. Nice meeting you!

  • Diane

    Perfect timing for me to read this post. I have been trying to cut my carbs these last few weeks but probably eating too many cashews. I am feeling sort of tired, but I’ve been very busy too so it’s probably that. I definitely miss my salmon! We used to eat it at least once a week but have totally cut back. OK, I’m going to stick with this and get some avocado in this house! Great post and helpful tips regarding fat burning! Thank you. Nice meeting through Blog Hop. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Margaret Post author

      Glad you found it helpful!! 🙂 Gosh arent cashews sooo good?? I really cant keep them in my house or else I’ll eat them all! I almost bought a bag last night and forced myself to put it back.. haha! The struggles. Great meeting you thru the hop! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  • Tamieka@ Fitballingrunningmom

    Yes!!!-olive oil, coconut oil, salmon, tuna, avocados, nuts!!!

    What are your thoughts on oatmeal? I have oatmeal and egg whites for breakfast each morning.

    PB and banana for my am snack and 12-15 cashews or almonds for my PM snack. I have to count them out and pack them or else I will eat the whole bag-lol!!

    Thanks for the information!

    • Margaret Post author

      I think oatmeal can be good and bad it totally depends on the kind you are eating! Steel cut or Irish oats are the best — closest to their natural state and have the lowest glycemic index so wont spike your blood sugar as much as others. Definitely try to avoid pre-packaged kinds at all cost. They have so much added sugar and chemicals (Yuck!). Sounds like you have the healthy fat part of your diet down!

  • Kim Hatting

    SO great to meet you through the Hop, even if your a Buckeye LOL (I’m a Hawk from Iowa) 😉 Great tips on the whole balancing/moderation thing. I also read your “about me” bit…I played volleyball, too…but it ended at the high school level because I wasn’t that great (but I’m tall, so I had a small advantage). I look forward to following you…and, yes! Definitely do another half marathon 😉 (they’re addicting)

    • Margaret Post author

      great meeting you!!! I wish I had the “tall” advantage in volleyball but my genes did not workout that way sadly haha right now I am planning for another half in the spring I am excited 🙂 hoping my body holds up through training!

  • Rachael Novello

    This is one of the hardest concepts for me to get my clients to understand. Many of them struggle with needing to “eat to lose” and can’t grasp that when they don’t eat ENOUGH they won’t lose weight. This is such valuable information.

    Oh a side note, I have actually visited your site a bunch in the past to check out your recipes and have in fact tried a few!!

    • Margaret Post author

      Thats awesome!! So glad you have liked some of the recipes 🙂 It really is a hard concept to grasp and I am still coming to terms with it myself. Nice meeting you thru the hop!!

    • Margaret Post author

      Thats awesome!! So glad you have liked some of the recipes 🙂 Eating to lose really is a hard concept to grasp and I am still coming to terms with it myself. Nice meeting you thru the hop!!

  • Pascal

    Hello Margaret,
    nice to meet you through the bloghop.
    Hope you liked it.
    You are a runner and biker,very good.
    I like that too 🙂
    Eating healthy is good when you do Sport, i just dont like Avocados lol.
    Greetings from germany

  • Runaway Bridal Planner

    Great post, lots of points here! So many people really do hear the word “fats” and just assume it’s all bad for you, but like you mentioned the right fats are actually good for us. I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes I forget to look at the label on things, I really do need to do better at this.
    I had a friend once who told me good fats, can even help the body repair itself faster with injuries, I haven’t been able to remember to ask my Dr. that, but like you said good things in moderation.. Who knows maybe she is right!
    I really do need to take better care of what goes in, and label reading not to mention watching the carbs a little, I hate to admit I enjoy breads and pasta’s too much sometimes.
    Great info, thanks for sharing it with us!

    • Margaret Post author

      Thanks so much! And thanks for organizing this hop! As someone who has only been blogging for a little over a month it has been super helpful to meet others in the health and fitness blogging community. Great meeting you through the hop 🙂

  • Kristen

    Love this! It took me a while to figure this out too, but it’s so true. It’s hard to know how to eat sometimes when there’s so many mixed messages out there telling us different things are bad for us.

  • Cynthia

    Funny, I just read an article the other day about how not eating can make you fat. I really believe in a “moderation” approach. We tend to stay away from junk food anyway; the kids get one thing they can pick (usually, they want Doritos or Ruffles) each week and that is it.
    And, fortunately, some of the margarine companies have come out with a lactose free version; it makes it so much easier to bake at home now and really control what is going into my system.
    There are so many that still do not understand the basics. I wish we could put this post in every grocery store by the checkout for people to read.
    Great information.

    • Margaret Post author

      I know I 100% agree!! The trouble is that so many people are not educated and believe whatever they hear. I think your method of allowing one special treat per week is great. Then they know it isn’t a regular thing but it’s not completely off limits either making them want it even more!

    • Margaret Post author

      Agreed!! That’s all I’ve heard for so long it’s ingrained in my head. Trying to get myself to believe some fat isn’t bad. Easier said than done!