The ketogenic diet can be an extremely simple and effective nutrition regimen once you’ve gotten the basics down.
It requires you to have a general understanding of nutrition, specifically macronutrients.
To achieve the full benefits of keto, you must restrict certain macros while increasing others.
If you are a complete beginner, this article will get you up to speed on what macronutrients are and which ones to avoid to successfully incorporate a ketogenic lifestyle.
But first, it’s important that you understand what macros are in the first place.
What are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are molecules our bodies use to create energy. They are found in all foods in different amounts, which are measured by grams.
The three main macronutrients all foods are comprised of are:
Calculate Your Macros for Weight Loss
Before we go into the macronutrient ratio for the ketogenic diet, it’s important that you understand how weight loss works, no matter what nutrition protocol you’re following.
To lose weight, your body must burn more calories per day than you are eating. This is also known as being in a calorie deficit.
For example: If your body needs 2,100 calories to maintain your current weight, consuming 1,900 calories per day will result in steady weight loss.
If you’re trying to lose weight, setting your deficit at 10% to 20% of your caloric maintenance is a great place to start.
What are the Macros on the Ketogenic Diet?
A successfully formulated ketogenic diet consists of low carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high fat intake.
This means you must keep carbohydrates down to a minimum while consuming healthy fats and proteins for the bulk of your diet.
The standard ketogenic diet macronutrient ratio is as follows:
With the ratios above, you will now use these percentages and allocate them based on your calorie allowance goal.
This is the fastest way to enter ketosis and lose weight because you aren’t leaving anything up for guessing. Instead, you’re following a calculated approach to help your body burn fats for energy and lose weight long term.
Let’s quickly go over each macronutrient and how they should be approached on keto:
For most people on keto, carbohydrates should stay under 50g of total carbohydrates or under 30g of net carbohydrates.
Net carbohydrates = total carbohydrates - fiber - sugar alcohol
How to calculate: If your total calorie allowance is 2,000, 10% of carbs means you should only consume 50g per day. This is calculated by multiplying 10% by 2,000 = 200. Then divide 200 by 4 because there are 4 calories per gram of carb.
Protein should come mostly from animal meats and whole food sources.
How to calculate: If your total calorie allowance is 2,000, 25% of protein means you should consume 125g of protein. This is calculated by multiplying 25% by 2,000 = 500. Then divide 500 by 4 because there are 4 calories per gram of protein.
Fats should make up the majority of your macronutrient breakdown on the ketogenic diet. It’s important that you consume healthy sources of fat and avoid vegetable oils or processed fats at all costs.
How to calculate: If your total calorie allowance is 2,000, 70% of fats means you should consume 155g of fats. This is calculated by multiplying 70% by 2,000 = 1,400. Then divide 1,400 by 9 because there are 9 calories per gram of protein.
Note: If you want to gain weight and build muscle on keto, increasing your fat intake should be your priority.
How to Calculate Macros on Carb Manager
Tracking the amount of macros you consume is extremely simple on Carb Manager.
First set your specific goals and let the app calculate your recommended macro ratio.
Once you're on the homepage, simply press the "+" sign at the top right of the app, search for the food you just ate, and you'll be presented with the exact macronutrient breakdown.
Counting Macros is the Fastest Route to Success on Keto
Once you gain a better understand on your own individual macronutrient breakdown, you’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll start to hit your goals.
Additionally, counting your macronutrients on keto will allow you to enter ketosis (and stay there) much faster. Remember, becoming a fat-burner means you need to deplete your body of any carbs.
Counting your macros is the fastest way to see results because you’re measuring everything you eat.
Carb Manager is the easiest and most powerful way to count carbs and live the low carb life. In this blog, we've invited experts on LCHF to contribute their views on everything low carb.