Swapping Macros

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Are fat and carbs interchangeable?

Short Answer


Long Answer

Yes, to an extent. Carbohydrates will fuel workouts, provide you with energy, & provide fiber. However, carbohydrates are not essential, as you can live without them. Fats are required in your diet. Essential fatty acids help regulate hormones & can help prevent cognitive decline. While there is little data available about minimum fat amounts, a good suggestions on fat are to set dietary fat between 15-25% of total calories while dieting, with a minimum of 0.25g/pound. For carbohydrates a minimum of 0.5g/pound.

  • Carbohydrates have 4 Calories (kcal) per gram.
  • Fats have 9 Calories (kcal) per gram.


Joe has 50g of carbs and 0g of fat left in his macros for the day but wants to have a piece of candy that has 10g of carbs and 8g of fat.

  • 8g * 9 kcal/g of fat = 72 Calories that Joe needs.
  • 72 / 4 kcal/g of carb = 18g of carbohydrates
  • 50g - 18g = 32g of carbohydrates now remaining.

Joe swapped 18g of carbohydrates for 8g of fats.