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One important fact in the ketogenic diet is to get your macros right to achieve all the significant benefits of being fat fueled.
What are macros on a keto diet?
There are three major macronutrients( ‘macros’) that the human body needs to function correctly: carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
Each of these macronutrients provides energy in the form of calories.
Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram;
Proteins provide 4 calories per gram;
Lipids, provide 9 calories per gram;
Counting your macros may become overwhelming especially if you are a beginner, but knowing your macros may help lose weight or break through a plateau. You should take some time to understand what are your macros. If you want expert guidance, meal plans, shopping lists and much more join my unique keto program here.
The ketogenic way of eating is not a high-fat diet. That’s a myth. It is high in fat, moderate in protein and low carb.
Protein on a keto diet
Proteins are body’s building “bricks.” Most our body organs are built on protein such as muscle, skin, bones, and others. The digestive process, immune system, blood are all based on protein to work properly. Even hormones, antibodies, enzymes are proteins. Your body uses protein to build or repair body tissues.
Protein consists of long chains made of 20 different amino acids. Eight of them are essential for the human and are called “indispensable amino acids ”: phenylalanine, tryptophan, methionine, lysine, leucine, isoleucine, valine, and threonine.
Another important amino acid is histidine which is required for growth (in children) and tissue repair. Protein is transformed into amino acids through the various biochemical processes.
Dietary proteins are first broken down into individual amino acids by different enzymes and the acid present in the gastrointestinal tract. These amino acids are further broken down into α-keto acids which can be recycled in the body for generation of energy and production of glucose or other non-essential amino acids. This break-down of amino acids to α-keto acids occurs in the liver by a process known as transamination.
Protein is an essential macro that should always be reached. Eating too little protein leads to muscle loss and eating too much protein can kick you out of ketosis.
If you eat enough protein, you will feel fuller and eat fewer calories leading you to lose more body fat.
If you want to find out your optimal macronutrient intake for weight loss or maintenance, have a look at our calculator, a free tool that we developed to help you achieve your goals.
The right amount of protein depends on various factors like your activity level, weight, gender, age. Being more active means, you need higher protein intake than you have a sedentary job or lifestyle. Be more active and exercise for the health benefits!
How to know your keto fat macros?
If your weight is in pounds:
- Sedentary: 0.6-0.8g of protein per pound of lean body mass.
- Lightly Active: 0.8 – 1.0g of protein per pound of lean body mass.
- Highly Active: 1.0 – 1.2g of protein per pound of lean body mass.
If your weight is in kilograms
Sedentary 1.3-1.8g of protein per kilogram of lean body mass
Lightly active 1.8- 2.2g of protein per kilogram of lean body mass
Highly Active 2.2- 2.6g of protein per kilogram of lean body mass
Lean mass is calculated by subtracting the body fat from the total body weight. It’s easy to figure out your lean body mass; just subtract the percentage from 100. For example, if you have 25 percent body fat, you have 75 percent lean body mass.
There are many ways you can use to calculate your body fat. I use this scale that can track Body Composition Data including Body Weight, BMI, Body fat, Water, Skeletal Muscle, Bone Mass, Protein, Calorie and Body Age. It also comes with an app that you can install on your phone to track your progress.
The easiest way is just to estimate it from some comparison pictures.
Let’s take my case I am 5.9” tall, I weigh 150 lbs, and my body fat is around 25%. Let’s say I am sedentary because I have a desk job and don’t move too much. Based on my data, I should stay above 68g protein and eat as high as 113g if I work out regularly. My body feels great when I’m eating around 90g daily, so you should found yours too.
Remember: On a ketogenic diet, you should eat enough protein to prevent muscle loss. If you prefer to follow along and have meal ideas made for you, try my program ACCELERATED WEIGHT LOSS & HEALING KETO MEAL PLAN.
Fats allowed in keto
Fat will cover the majority of the calorie intake, in a ketogenic diet. You should forget what we’ve been told for so long. Fat does not make you fat!
Consuming fat from organic and grass-fed sources would be ideal.
The fat intake depends on what your goals are. Not everyone is on the keto diet for weight loss. Some people are following the keto diet as a treatment/ control for different diseases. It’s important to keep an eye on the calories that come from fat.
Eating nutrient dense, high-quality protein & fats will help you to eat less as fats are very satiating naturally. Being closer to your goal weight makes it essential to control the fat intake.
You have to consume healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and some nuts and seeds. Fats are an important part of every well-formulated ketogenic because fat provides energy, prevent hunger, weakness, and fatigue.
For weight loss, the primary goal is finding the balance between using our body fat as energy and supplementing with dietary fat to enhance the production of ketones.
How much fat should you eat on a ketogenic diet? That depends. Are you following a ketogenic diet for weight maintenance or weight loss? Use our macro calculator to find out!
Carbohydrates – Best carbs to eat on keto
We restrict carbohydrates, and that’s for a good reason. They have the highest effect on blood sugar converting directly into glucose. They raise in glucose levels triggers insulin release, which then helps store the glucose as either glycogen or fat in our cells.
There is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate.
The most important thing for optimal ketosis is to eat maximum 20 grams of carbs a day.
2 options to count carbs intake on a high-fat diet:
1. Count Net Carbohydrates.
Let’s say you track your carbs and at the end of the day you have 40g carbs and 20g of fiber. Therefore, the NET carb intake will be 20g net carbs.
To calculate NET carbs, subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols (if in the product) from the TOTAL Carbs.
2. Count Total Carbohydrates.
This means you sum up all the carbohydrates consumed during the day and that’s your total carb intake. This way is the best for blood sugar control and ketone production.
What carbs can I eat?
You can eat all kinds of dark leafy greens like salads, kale, spinach. You can also have broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, peppers and much more.
I created a printable keto food list to help you understand what are the approved keto foods and what foods to avoid in a keto diet.
Let’s take an example of how to calculate keto macros for fat loss. Prepare to feel like in a math class.
Anna is 5.6″ tall and weighs 170 lbs, is in her early 30’s and works in an office and she’s not going to the gym. Anna is new to the keto diet. She heard all about the benefits of a ketogenic diet and wants to lose some body fat. She has 28% body fat. Let’s help Anna calculate the keto macros for fat loss.
We use the Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation because it’s one of the most accurate and reliable formula according to the American Dietetic Association.
for females = 10 x (Weight in kg) + 6.25 x (Height in cm) – 5 x age – 161;
for males= 10 x (Weight in kg) + 6.25 x (Height in cm) – 5 x age + 5.
Anna’s BMR( Basal Metabolic Rate); the number of calories you burn by being alive) is 1544kcal.
Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is an estimation of how many calories are burned per day when exercise is taken into account. It is calculated by first figuring out the Basal Metabolic Rate, then multiplying that value by value between 1.1 and 1.9.
Anna is sedentary, so her TDEE=1698kcal
Let’s say we take 20% deficit.
0.2*1698= 339 kcal (20% deficit)
2123-424=1359 kcal needed for weight loss (TDEE – DEFICIT)
With a 28% body fat, Anna has 56kg (122lbs) of lean body mass
Anna eats 20 g carbs = 80 kcal from carbs
98*4= 392 kcal from protein
1359 (kcal needed for weight loss) – 80 (kcal from carbs) – 392 (calories from protein) = 887 calories left for FAT
As fat has 9 calories per gram, 887/9=98g fat
We helped Anna find out her macros for fat loss:
- 1358 kcal
- 20g carbs (6%)
- 98g protein (29%)
- 98g fat
Now, Anna is ready to start the keto diet. She only needs to figure out the right vegetables to eat on keto. She already knows what to eat and what to avoid keto, but if you don’t click on this link to find out. As Anna starts losing weight she has to recalculate the macros to get the best results she desires. If she joins a gym, Anna needs to change her status from sedentary to moderately active.
PS: If you don’t want to get so technical with your macros and are still confused about your daily requirements, but want to achieve excellent results, you can consider joining my program ACCELERATED WEIGHT LOSS & HEALING KETO MEAL PLAN for expert help & motivation.