How Many Carbs Are You Allowed On Keto?
In the realm of low carb diets keto is the most carbohydrate restrictive of all. Overall how many carbs are you allowed on keto is determined by many factors and is not set in stone. Just as each person is unique, so is their carb tolerance and ability to maintain a state of ketosis. Keto Macros typically recommends individuals limit their carbohydrate intake to 25 net carbs or less per day to have optimal results. Stress, exercise, and the other foods we eat can have an impact on our keto goals so being diligent on following your macros is essential.
What impacts how many carbs you can have on keto?
People will experience varying results at the same carb limit on keto due to their stress levels, protein intake, keto adaption, exercise, and overall activity. It is better to start at a lower amount to kick start your keto adaption and slowly include while checking your ketone levels. Experiment with eating healthy foods like low carb vegetables and fruits until you see a drop in your ketone levels.
Once you notice a drop you have found your limit of where you need to stay under to maintain a state of ketosis. Keep in mind though that you can always forgo that extra work and just maintain a total carb limit of under 35 and generally be fine. How many carbs are you allowed on keto will be specific to your lifestyle and own biology.
Where do the carbs come from?
Nearly all foods will have at least some carbohydrates in them. A sustainable meal plan isn’t formed by avoiding all vegetables, berries, dairy, nuts, and fruits. Our bodies need the vitamins and nutrients that make up a balanced collection of these. We compiled a complete low carb food list to make planning what to eat or logging your macros easier. A diet with a complete absence of carbs is not a healthy one, but it is important to smartly spend your daily allotment on high quality and healthy foods.
Your lifestyle and your macro calculations
Do you workout heavily or have a physically intensive job? If so, you likely have more leeway when it comes to ketosis and how much you can eat daily and how many carbs are you allowed on keto. People with more active lifestyles have a higher resting metabolic rate and naturally burn more calories daily. If you consume carbs your body will prioritize burning glycogen stored by their intake. Athletes who adhere to a keto diet typically will consume 5% or less of their daily intake as carbs.
So, if you are a very active individual you will need to consume additional calories but those should come in the form of protein and fats. On the other hand, those that work in an office or do not have a high daily physical activity level will have a smaller daily calorie burn rate. As a result, they will have less opportunity to burn off any consumed carbs or extra calories from a large meal or extra snacks.
How stress can impact your ketosis
Our bodies react to stress by releasing a number of hormones which increase your blood glucose levels. The fight or flight response triggers the release of adrenaline and as a result higher blood glucose which stimulates an insulin release. While it’s impossible to rid our lives of all stress it is something to be mindful of how it will impact your goals. If you’ve been adhering to your macros you will stay fat adapted even when temporarily kicked out of ketosis. It happens and it’s another small consideration in the grand scheme of your daily carb allotment.
We recommend getting some low intensity exercise, meditation, and a healthy sleep schedule to help offset those daily stressors that invariably come up. Just as mindful eating is an important aspect of better overall health, taking the time to improve on these other areas in your life will pay dividends in your mental and physical well-being.
How your protein consumption will impact your ketosis
If you eat a meal heavy in protein you are getting a large influx of amino acids which will cause an insulin release. A very high protein meal can pause ketosis as your body believes there is a lot of energy available and does not need to product ketones. This body process is sometimes lost on those who seek to avoid carbs completely and go overboard on protein. Eating sufficient protein is an important aspect of a balanced diet and can serve to help prevent the loss of lean body mass. But as with most things in life, balance and moderation is key.
One way to help in balancing your macros here is to eat a higher fat protein, this will help you in feeling full longer while getting a sufficient number of calories. You might find that chicken thighs which are higher in fat versus a chicken breast works better in your macros. Or those that love red meat will find it advantageous to reach for the ribeye steaks instead filet at the butcher shop.
Which foods to avoid on a keto diet
Knowing what to eat is nearly as important as knowing what to avoid when it comes to ketosis or a low carb diet. So, what exactly should you avoid? For starters stay away for empty carbs in the form of refined sugars. You are much better served using your carb limit on healthy foods like vegetables, berries, nuts, and fruit. The avoid list is a long one and you should stay far from starchy foods including bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, legumes, beans, lentils, beer, high sugar fruits, candy, sports drinks, chocolate, and all sweets. If you have an insatiable sweet tooth there are sugar alternatives that will give you the sweet treat you are craving.
Be Wary of of “Sugar Free” & “Keto Friendly” alternatives
A word of warning there though, with the growing popularity of the keto diet there has been a boom in the number of packaged products purporting “keto friendly” or “low carb” products looking to cash in on the wave. Not only do you have to be diligent about inspecting their labels to look for hidden carbs, but they may trigger your cravings for those high carb foods you have worked so hard to replace. We highly suggest keeping to whole, natural ingredients and not going overboard into the heavily processed foods looking to capitalize on those looking for a healthier way of eating and life.
How many carbs are you allowed on keto in a nutshell
Ultimately there are a large number of factors at play when it comes to determining how many carbs you can eat and maintain a state of ketosis. Your personal limit will be determined buy your own unique lifestyle, diet, and physiology. As a whole though most people will have the best results and likeliness for success and a healthier lifestyle by adhering to a net carb limit of 25 net carbs per day or less.
Instead of seeking out a sugar substitute use those carbs on healthy low carb fruits, vegetables, nuts, and dairy and avoid the highly refined “keto friendly” foods that are popping up everywhere. This way of eating has shown great health benefits apart from weight loss and can be used as part of an overall healthier lifestyle promoting better mental and physical health. So to answer to the questions of how many carbs are you allowed on keto? Well, the answer is it varies.