For those who are new to the ketogenic diet, measuring keto ratios, keto macros and ketones can be confusing and even frustrating. At first it seems like a bit much and you may think that you won’t be able to manage it but once you have someone more experienced break down the technical terms you will find it easily understandable.
What are keto macros?
Macronutrients are food components that provide your body with the energy it needs. Protein, fats and carbs are the three main types of nutrients that macros are made of. Finding a way to balance your macronutrient intake ensures success with the ketogenic diet. Even the smallest imbalance, meaning just a few more grams of carbs can stop you from achieving your goals. This brings us to the question, why do macros matter?
For the ketogenic diet to work, your body needs to be forced to transition to using fats as a fuel rather than glucose, which means that you should stick to a minimal carb intake. This metabolic transition in which your body changes the source of burning (carbs are replaced by fats) is called ketosis. It is also important to remember that getting enough fat and limiting the intake of protein and carbs is vital to this process, because when stores are low, both protein and carbs may be converted into glucose which will enable ketosis.
With the help of a keto food calculator or by determining your ideal keto percentages you will be able to select food which can help you reach and maintain ketosis.
5 ways to calculate keto macros
Now that we have made clear that keeping track of your macros is a crucial aspect of keto nutrition, we are going to tackle the next question that is surely causing you trouble. How to calculate macros?
As you already may know the internet provides us with a lot of free options that will help with calculating how many grams of macronutrient your body needs. Usually, the best keto calculator websites require information about your gender, age, activity level and weight, to give you a personalized recommendation about which macronutrients and how much of them you should consume.
If you are not a fan of this type of calculations, you can easily do so on your own. Just follow these simple steps:
- Set your keto macro goals
Most recommendations say that 15 to 20 percent of protein with 30 to 50 grams of net carbs and 70 to 80 calories from fat per day is perfect. Nonetheless, our advice to you is to find a ketogenic ratio which best suits your needs and use it to calculate your desired protein and fat intake.
- Calculate daily calorie needs
Using the following equations, you can easily calculate how many calories you need on a daily basis.
- Female: 655.1 + 9.6 x (Weight in kilos) + 1.9 x (Height in cm); 4.7 x age
- Male: 66.5 + 13.8 x (Weight in kilos) + 5 x (Height in cm); 6.8 x age
Next, multiply your total by one of the mentioned bellow according to your level of activity.
- Sedentary (little to no physical activity) 1.2
- Lightly active (exercise 1-3 times a week) 1.375
- Moderately active (moderate active 5-7 times a week) 1.55
- Very active (intense exercising every day or twice per day) 1.725
- Extra active (hard exercise at least twice per day) 1.9
This should give you information about the calorie intake you need to maintain your weight. For those wanting to lose weight it is commonly agreed upon that consuming 500 calories bellow the line of your daily needs will bring about one pound of loss weight per week.
- Determinate fat needs
As we mentioned before fats should make the biggest part of your diet, so it is best to start with them. If you want healthy fats to make 70 percent of your total daily calories, multiply your total calorie needs with 0.7. with this you will determinate your daily calories which should come from fat. Then divide the number by 9 and you will get the grams of fat you need per day.
- The procedure is similar to the previous one, for example, if you are aiming for protein to make 15 percent of your diet and your calorie income is 2,000 per day then multiply 2,000 by 0.15 and divide the total by 4 to determinate how many grams you need.
- Start tracking your intake
Keeping a food journal for your goals and progress may be helpful but if you cannot make the time for it there is a set of easy ways to keep track of the calories you are consuming through the day.