A novel fat-suppressed balanced steady-state free precession (b-SSFP) imaging method based on the transition into driven equilibrium (TIDE) sequence with variable flip angles is presented. The new method, called fat-saturated (FS)-TIDE, exploits the special behavior of TIDE signals from off-resonance spins during the flip angle ramp. As shown by simulations and experimental data, the TIDE signal evolution for off-resonant isochromats during the transition from turbo spin-echo (TSE)-like behavior to the true fast imaging with steady precession (TrueFISP) mode undergoes a zero crossing. The resulting signal notch for off-resonant spins is then used for fat suppression. The efficiency of FS-TIDE is demonstrated in phantoms and healthy volunteers on a 1.5T system. The resulting images are compared with standard TrueFISP data with and without fat suppression. It is demonstrated that FS-TIDE provides a fast and stable means for homogenous fat suppression in abdominal imaging while maintaining balanced SSFP-like image contrast and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The scan time of FS-TIDE is not increased compared to normal TrueFISP imaging without fat suppression and identical k-space trajectories. Because of the intrinsic fat suppression, no additional preparation is needed. Possible repetition times (TRs) are not firmly limited to special values and are nearly arbitrary. Magn Reson Med, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.