How I track fat grams is really very simple.. You can eat between 20 and 35 grams a day. This is about 10% fat. Fewer than 20 is not good. Your body needs some fat. One of the things I like about this way of eating is that you don’t have to count very high, only to a maximum of 35 grams a day. I don’t want to do math when I eat. And most foods don’t have to be counted at all.
My basic fat counter book is something called “The T-Factor Fat Gram Counter” (I have no clue as to what the T-Factor is – I bought it because it is pocket sized, and at first I took it to the grocery with me.) I have a couple of other books for more unusual foods, but most processed foods have their fat grams written on them. So you need it mostly for meat, or generic things you eat in restaurants.
Find a way to track your grams every day. It’s annoying at first, but it becomes second nature. T-factor has a little graph sheet in front, which I expanded on my computer. It has room to write down your grams every day for three weeks. If you can make it through three weeks, I find that it’s pretty easy to keep eating this way.
Weigh/measure food with fat. Weighing is more accurate but sometimes impractical.
If the fat grams in a product end in a .5, round up to the next whole number
Don’t bother counting vegetables (except for corn) or fruit, or other things that have a minuscule amount of fat, unless you put butter or something else with fat on them. Then count what you put on them.
If you eat a lot of a non-fat food as a snack, like bread without fat grams, count 1 gram. You probably ate one and it keeps you honest.
Don’t buy “diet” foods, eat regular food. The only non-fat or low fat products I buy are dairy products like skim milk and low fat cheese. Some non-fat products are so bad they’re not worth eating. I do, however, try to buy lower fat versions of regular items, like bread and cereal.
Reducing fat in a recipe – ok this is math. You can take many recipes and reduce their fat by changing a few ingredients. My most typical is muffins – which often call for 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of vegetable oil. You can usually make them with 3 tablespoons of applesauce and one tablespoon of oil. So multiply the fat grams/serving by the total number of servings (e.g., 5 grams/muffin x 12 muffins = 60 grams) and subtract the number of grams you left out: 14 grams/tablespoon of oil x 3 = 42 grams, total fat in recipe is now 18 grams. Now divide by the number of servings (12 muffins) = 1.5 grams/muffin. Now I can eat two delicious muffins with my evening cup of tea, for a snack of 3 grams. Now that wasn’t so hard was it? You can do this with lower fat cuts of meat, non-fat instead of regular sour cream, etc.
Weigh yourself once a week, preferably on Monday morning, buck naked, right after you get up and after you use the toilet. This is your official weight for the week. If you weigh yourself other mornings, which I do to remind myself that I want to lose more weight, don’t obsess about the ups and downs of poundage. A body just does that. Only Monday is official.
Other things that help you keep counting grams:
- You can eat pretty much anything, as long as you account for it. This lets you make up for unexpected issues like a lunch out by eating something like an Egg Beaters Omelet for dinner
- You can follow a food pattern that suits your way of life. I grew up eating big dinners. I feel deprived if I can’t have a big dinner, so I save most of my fat grams for the evening meal. But other people might want big breakfasts or just to graze all day. No matter.
- You don’t have to eat weird foods that are not a normal way of eating. Therefore, it is easy to maintain your weight loss because you just eat the same foods, but maybe a little more fat.
- You can make gourmet foods, but you don’t have to. When you don’t feel like fussing with food, there are lots of things that you can eat that don’t require a lot of preparation.