The Cleveland Clinic

Weight Loss:
Reducing Dietary Fat

High fat intake contributes to excess body weight, since a gram of fat has about twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates and proteins.

Whether you are trying to lose weight, lower blood cholesterol levels or simply eat healthier, you'll want to limit total fat intake.

Why Do Most Diets Focus on Reducing Fat?

Fat gets a lot of the attention for many good reasons. Fat can raise cholesterol levels in the blood, increasing a person's risk for heart disease.

In addition, some fatty foods (such as bacon, sausage, and potato chips) often have fewer vitamins and minerals than low-fat foods.

Moreover as mentioned, fat has about twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates and proteins. A gram of fat has about 9 calories, while a gram of carbohydrate or protein has about 4 calories. In other words, you could eat twice as much carbohydrates or proteins as fat for the same amount of calories.

Will I Lose Weight if I Eat Low-Fat Foods?

It's true that a diet high in fat can lead to weight gain. But it takes more than just eating low-fat foods to lose weight. You must also watch how many calories you eat. Remember, extra calories even from fat-free and low-fat foods get stored in the body as fat. Many times people replace high-fat foods for high-calorie foods, like sweets, and gain weight rather than lose weight.

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat. You can achieve this goal by exercising and by eating less fat and calories.