I understand that there are good and bad fats. I'm talking about the good ones, the fat that comes from avocado, flax seed oil, etc.

I am obese at the moment and wish to lose body fat quickly. I am eating a diet that is giving me a caloric deficit, it's composed of low glycemic complex carbs, proteins and dairy and no fat. Should I add a fat source to my diet?

I understand that eventually a healthy diet must have a fat source but given my situation as an obese person looking to lose weight quickly, should I add a good fat to my diet now or wait a while until I lose some weight first?

The bigger question is, do good fats actually get stored as fat in the body (if one's lifestyle isn't very active) or do they serve some other purpose?

  • I think you're on the right track with a healthy diet, so as long as you maintain a caloric deficit, using good sources of fat shouldn't be an issue. Hopefully, we can also help you with some of your exercise related questions!
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 7:38
  • 2
    I have to point out, that the question of which fats are "good" or "bad" - is not settled. There are plenty of researchers who consider saturated fat to be healthy, not harmful, and the evidence is mounting up, that they're right.
    – John C
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 11:42
  • This nearly-identical question, this answer, and to a lesser extent this question may help you. Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 19:41

3 Answers 3


Excess calories are stored as fat. "Good" fats aren't any more likely to be stored as fat than protein, bad fats, etc.

Your body NEEDS fats, both for energy and delivery of essential nutrients. So switching to healthier fats, like those from fish, nuts, avocado, olive oil or coconut oil, flax, etc., will benefit your overall health. If you're eating at a calorie deficit, you shouldn't worry about the fat you eat turning into fat.

Fat is more calorie dense than protein and carbs, however, so make sure you are accurately tracking your intake. It's easier to overeat fatty foods than protein, for instance. So if you're going to have a healthy snack of almonds, let's say, it's important to be careful with how many you eat. Eating 600 calories (and 51g of fat) worth of almonds is just as bad as eating 600 calories and 37g of fat worth of Fritos, in terms of fat storage. But for your general health - you'd be better off with almonds.

Hope that makes sense.


The short answer to your question is no, eating fat does not cause you to store more fat.

What happens to a given food when your body digests it is actually very complex. See for example this and this. So it is hard to say things "eating X causes Y" or "not eating X causes Y". Furthermore, there is a lot of variation among individuals.

The good news, however, is that to a good approximation there are two major things you can do to burn excess fat: 1) eat at a caloric deficit 2) eat less carbs. Beyond that, what you eat won't matter too much for the purposes of weight control. (You should probably worry about getting micronutrients and some other things but that's a separate discussion.)

What constitutes a caloric deficit varies by individual, but it is relatively easy to figure out. First you need to know what your Basal Metabolic Rate is. For example by using this calculator. That's how many calories your body needs to function -- it does not take into account any activities you do. Depending on your level of activity people say to multiply the BMR by 1.2 (not very active) to 1.5 (very active). To be at a caloric deficit you need to eat less calories than that number, BMR*activity-multiplier, each day. 600 calories less per day translates approximately to 1lb of fat per week.

The second thing, eating less carbs, is very simple. Track the food that you eat for a few days and try to have less than 100g of carbohydrates each day. After a few days of this your body's glycogen stores start running low and your body switches to burning fat instead. This is the principle behind all the low-carb diets (keto, atkins, slow-carb, ...).

Experiment with yourself to find out what works. There is significant variability between individuals.


Try reducing your water intake and you will see dramatic results in first 2-4 weeks in your weight and volume.

Healthy kidneys can comfortably work with 6 cups of liquid a day. They can work more, but with greater effort which eventually weakens them. You should therefore intake less than 6 cups of liquid. This counts for water, alcohol, juice, fruit, even salad :)

Reference: Dr. Stephen T. Chang "Tao of Balanced Diet: Secrets of a thin and healthy body" you can find it on thegreattao.com

I'm doing it for less than a month and it does miracles ;)

also if you want empirical evidence: measure how much liquid you output and see what is the maximum you're "allowed" to intake.

  • 1
    Please include some references. I am inclined to agree that six cups daily water intake can be adequate for some, but what is your evidence that more than that will weaken kidneys?
    – J. Win.
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 21:44
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    There's absolutely no scientific evidence pointing to any amount of fluid intake "weakening" the kidney. In fact there's no such thing as "weakening" an organ. If someone drinks too much than the problem will not be their kidney but their salt balance.
    – anon
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 22:42
  • I edited to answer your questions. You can easily measure your liquid output and you'll see. I think it's common sense that overworking an organ will weaken it, but if you don't believe me, try this experiment: measure your daily liquid output. After that, start drinking 5-6 L of water per day and see if all of it comes out. Also see if your volume increases. btw. reference is Dr. Stephen T. Chang "Tao of balanced diet" which can be found at thegreattao.com
    – danny_boy
    Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 8:15
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    @danny_boy are you sure you're not just losing water weight. I want to lose body fat, not mussel or water weight.
    – Sam
    Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 20:31
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    This is terrible. The recommended advice is to drink more water for wait loss.
    – Mike S
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 9:39

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