How Much Men and Women Need Daily


 Child’s AgeTotal caloriesFat intake Fat grams
1 year90030–40%, 270–360 calories30-40
2–3 years1,00030–40%, 300–400 calories33-44
4–8 years 1,200 for females, 1,400 for males25–35%, 300–420 calories for females, 350–490 calories for males33–47 for females, 39–54 for males
9–13 years 1,600 for females, 1,800 for males25–35%, 400–560 calories for females, 450-630 calories for males44–62 for females, 50–70 for males
14–18 years 1,800 for females, 2,200 for males25–35%, 400–560 calories for females, 450–630 calories for males50–70 for females, 61–86 for males

Daily Fat Intake for Different Weight Goals

Your daily fat intake will differ with different weight goals. Generally, you will consume less fat when trying to lose weight and consume more fat when trying to gain weight.

Weight Loss

You will likely want to keep your fat intake on the lower side for weight loss since grams of fat have more calories than grams of carbohydrates or protein. Consuming less fat and less carbohydrates makes it easier to keep your total calories low. 

Weight loss is achieved when your daily calorie goal is lower than your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), a calorie calculation derived from estimating your physical activity and basal metabolic rate (BMR), the amount of calories you burn at rest. This can be achieved through diet, exercise, or both.

Once you calculate your TDEE based on your weight and weight loss goals, you will multiply it by 20% to figure out your minimum daily amount of fat calories and then divide that number by nine to determine your minimum daily amount of fat grams.

For a 2,000-calorie diet, the minimum amount of fat you need is 44 g, but you can adjust this number depending on your individual goals and preferences. You can lose weight with a higher fat intake, but this is the minimum amount needed.

Weight Gain 

Gaining weight typically requires a calorie surplus, or consuming more calories than your body needs to complete everyday functions. Calculations for gaining weight typically start with adding 100–200 calories per day to your TDEE, but this number can be highly variable depending on how much weight you intend to gain.

Weight gain can be accomplished through eating a variety of different foods, as long as your overall calories for each day exceeds what your body needs. Usually, this is accomplished either through increasing your fat or carbohydrate intake to consume more calories.

If you are looking to gain muscle mass, you also need a higher calorie intake each day. However, you also need to focus on your protein intake and how much exercise you get. A higher calorie intake without stimulating your muscles through exercise, like lifting weights, doesn’t send signals to your body to build more muscle.

Consuming more calories from protein can help you gain muscle mass rather than body fat, so your fat intake doesn’t necessarily have to change when trying to gain muscle. 

Comparing Types of Fats 

Not all fat is created equal. Some fats are healthy and even essential for a healthy diet, while other types of fat are inflammatory and should be consumed in moderation or not at all. The main types of fat are unsaturated fats, saturated fats, and trans fats.

Unsaturated Fat

Unsaturated fats are heart-healthy fats. Unsaturated fats are divided into two different types: polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. It is recommended that most of your daily fat intake come from unsaturated fat sources. Unsaturated fats can be found in fatty and oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, peanut butter, and oils.

Saturated Fat

Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products like red meat and dairy, but are also found in coconuts and coconut products. Because saturated fats can be inflammatory in high amounts and increase the risk of cardiovascular conditions, WHO recommends keeping saturated fat intake to less than 10% of your daily calories.

Trans Fat

Trans fats are fats that are created from the partial hydrogenation (a chemical reaction caused by molecular hydrogen and another compound) of saturated fats that occurs with industrial food processing. These fats create a lot of inflammation in the body and are bad for your health. Trans fats are found within fried foods, processed baked goods, and partially hydrogenated oils used to make many processed foods.

WHO recommends keeping trans fat intake to less than 1% of your daily calories, or ideally, avoided altogether.

Amount of Fats in Specific Diet Types

Special diets, including the following, often manipulate daily fat intake to help with weight loss or health goals.

Keto

The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. It is recommended for weight loss and overall health, and may be beneficial for conditions like diabetes and epilepsy. 

The standard keto diet follows a recommendation of 70% of calories coming from fat, and 10% or less coming from carbohydrates, with the remaining 20% or more coming from protein. This comes out to 50 g or less of carbohydrates per day, with a highly variable amount of grams of fat, depending on your daily calories.

Low Fat

Because fat is high in calories, a low-fat diet may also be recommended for weight loss. Low-fat diets will typically require at least 20% of your daily calories from fat to meet essential functions. 

Summary

Dietary fat is essential for maintaining proper health, but too much fat may lead to weight gain and other conditions. For most people, it is recommended that 20% to 35% of your daily calories come from fat, but not all fat is created equal. Most of your fat intake should come from unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated and omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats.

Saturated fat should be consumed in moderation, and trans fats should be consumed rarely. You can adjust your daily fat intake depending on weight-loss or weight-gain goals or individual preferences, but your fat intake should never be less than 20% of your daily calories.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  7. Kansas State University. Physical activity and controlling weight.

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  9. Sartori, R., Romanello, V. & Sandri, M. Mechanisms of muscle atrophy and hypertrophy: Implications in health and disease. Nat Commun 12, 330 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20123-1.

  10. American Heart Association. Polyunsaturated fats.

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By Kristen Gasnick, PT, DPT

Kristen Gasnick, PT, DPT, is a medical writer and a physical therapist at Holy Name Medical Center in New Jersey.



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