Keto Macros Explained
You might have heard of the keto diet and are wondering how it works or looking to have keto macros explained.
If you’re looking to lose weight, the ketogenic diet is a low-carb way of eating. Used for decades, Keto changes which foods are eaten so that your body enters into a state called “ketosis.” In short, it means your body uses fat as its primary source of fuel instead of carbohydrates from grains or sugars. But how does this work?
It can be hard to start eating keto if you don’t know what keto macros are, but in this post, we’ll explain what macros mean and take you through why they’re essential on keto diets so that you can get started on your keto lifestyle journey!
What Are Macronutrients in a Ketogenic Diet?
Macronutrients, or macros for short, are nutrients that your body needs in large quantities to function correctly. The primary macronutrients we use are protein, fat (both dietary and stored), and carbohydrates.
Protein is needed by every cell in our body because it helps build muscle mass, regulate neurotransmitters, and keep the brain functioning optimally. Getting a sufficient protein intake each day is necessary to promote a lean body weight and gain muscle with a keto diet.
Eating fat provides energy to cells when glucose levels run low, like with a ketogenic metabolism or after exercise and extended fasting.
The importance of carbohydrates, more commonly called carbs, is debated in the keto community to some people believing they are only necessary for temporary energy and increased performance. In contrast, others feel that humans need a small amount to help maintain muscle mass.
Nutrition labels show macronutrients are a breakdown of calories. The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act requires calculating a food’s total caloric value by accruing the calories supplied by the energy-containing nutrients: protein, carbohydrate, fat, and alcohol. The National Data Lab (NDL) reports that the majority of the calorie values in the USDA and industry food tables are based on the Atwater system, which uses the average values of 4 Kcal/g for protein, 4 Kcal/g for carbohydrate, 9 Kcal/g for fat, and 7 Kcal/g for alcohol.
What Is A Keto Macros Diet?
The ketogenic diet is an excellent method for weight loss, but what many people don’t realize when starting the journey with this new lifestyle change is that it’s not just about eating less and exercising more. The macronutrients in your food are also vital as they can affect how you feel both mentally and physically after consumption.
Protein is a daily goal and one of the utmost essential components in your keto diet. Not consuming sufficient protein can lead to muscle atrophy and a slower metabolism, making weight loss much more difficult. Protein also helps maintain lean body mass (muscle), so if we don’t get enough of that, our bodies won’t be able to keep up with their natural metabolic rate and lose all those unwanted pounds or even lose muscle mass!
Macro Calculations & Keto Macros Explained
In a ketogenic diet, fat is used as an allowance – and for this reason, the fat allowance calculated should be gauged based on your goals. In the beginning, it can be helpful to max out your total fat intake to stay satiated and not feel too restricted by this new lifestyle change. Once achieving a ketogenic metabolism, you will stay full longer, so feel free to lower your fat intake to at least 50-60g per day. A high fat consumption diet is counter-intuitive to many old schools of thought, but it works well in conjunction with a low carb intake to lower blood sugar levels and achieves health and fitness goals. Another benefit of keto is the nature of it being rich in both amino acids and fat soluble vitamins.
Net carbs are the limit; this is the key to keto. Metabolically speaking, the body only requires a limitation of total carbs to reach ketosis. The total carbs allowed to achieve ketosis is 20-30g net carb limit per day for keto to attain nutritional ketosis and lose bodyweight. Net carbs are total carbohydrates minus fiber carbs. Fiber is subtracted because it cannot be converted to sugar or digested and used for energy like other carbohydrates can – so net carbs are what you need to track when trying keto or any low-carb diet plan. Where possible, as many of your carbs should come from vegetables as possible while avoiding a calorie surplus for optimal results.
How To Calculate Your Macronutrients to Lose Weight?
Determining your daily needs is essential in losing weight and beginning a nutritional keto diet. The initial step in getting the most out of your weight loss efforts is calculating a few numbers, such as beginning body weight and body fat percentage. Doing so gives a more accurate overview of where you’re at right now.
Next, you’ll need to input your typical Activity Level and Weight Loss Goal.
The Keto Macros Calculator helps by giving you Total Calories To Eat and a breakdown of your macros Protein Goal, Fat Allowance, and Net Carb Limit to achieve ketosis. You will also see included information about estimated Lean Body Mass and Daily Calories Burned.
Why Track Macros on Keto Diets?
Counting macros and tracking what you eat is crucial to a successful ketogenic journey. Take some time out of your day to track or write down what you eat and see how it affects your body. Tracking will help ensure that you’re hitting those numbers for fat, protein, and net carbs so that you may achieve your goals and stay in ketosis over time. Keto diet macros don’t have an exact formula – but knowing if the macro ratios work for your body makes tweaking things easier if needed. Practicing this is particularly crucial for those new to keto.
To understand weight loss macros more in-depth, let’s first break down some key keto diet concepts and terms:
Total Daily Energy Consumption. Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) determines the number of Daily Calories Burned based on your body weight, body fat percentage, and activity level. Your body burns a certain quantity of calories just by existing every day.; this is known as your basal metabolic rate, or “BMR.” “TDEE” calculates how many calories you burn by scaling the BMR with your activity level. Therefore, those with low activity levels need fewer calories and to eat less fat to maintain their proper calorie intake. Especially those who aim to lose fat by minimizing their carbohydrate intake on a keto diet achieve healthy body weight.
Your lean body mass and body weight
Whether your goal is to drop a dress size or get a little healthier, the key is in understanding how to burn more calories than you consume by monitoring your calorie intake. In a nutshell, weight loss is achieved by burning more calories than consumed in a day. On that same ideal, weight gain is achieved by not eating in a calorie deficit. An overabundance of dietary fats or too much protein can lead to a calorie surplus. Following a planned caloric deficit can help you hit weight loss goals quickly but steadily on a low carb diet. Conversely, too many carbs or a slight calorie deficit can cause you to maintain weight by not burning fat or creating a calorie surplus.
The standard keto diet has proven itself invaluable in helping burn fat and regulating blood sugar for many. A healthy lean body mass promotes a healthy weight and prevents weight gain by burning more calories each day as a part of the TDEE. Body fat will disappear with time if you stick to your plan diligently and watch those net carbs.
The different types of calories and macronutrients
All calories are not created equal. Calorie counts are a calculation based on macronutrients, and how that quantity breaks down matters. Calories come in three primary macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat which each contain a different number of calories per gram; furthermore, the quantity matters as well – for example, some foods have much more unsuspecting hidden carbs than others, so don’t forget to read the Nutrition Facts label.
The ketogenic diet can be hard to start if you don’t know what macros are. Tracking macronutrients helps support weight loss goals by reducing hunger hormones such as ghrelin and insulin while boosting metabolism for more energy. Doing this will help curb cravings, so there’s less temptation to binge on high-calorie foods (like carbs!) when losing weight or maintaining current body composition.
Examples for Healthy and Balanced Macro Ratios
We cannot stress enough that all macronutrients are necessary for overall health and to lose weight. Not everyone wants to count macros, but it is the best method to monitor your carb intake and calculate net carbs. Fortunately, many keto recipes calculate net carbs for you. To lose fat, you need to eat at a calorie deficit and be mindful of your protein intake. Easy keto recipes abound to make sticking to your net carb limit that much easier. While eating fat on a keto diet is encouraged, be mindful of how many grams of net carbs in your foods and lean towards healthy fats like olive oil.
It is crucial to make sure you’re eating enough protein and amino acids so that your body maintains its muscle mass. Hitting this number should be just as important as keeping your daily net carbs down. Meeting your goal is non-negotiable. Be aware that your body can break too much protein into glucose, so don’t go overboard while hitting your daily targets. Lazy keto is a recipe to gain weight by exceeding your carb intake or daily caloric intake goal on your keto plan. Keeping your total carb count in check will bring success on a keto diet; how much fat you consume is almost as important as your total carbs and avoiding a calorie surplus.
Using a Keto Macros Calculator
Calculate your keto diet macros correctly to lose weight efficiently and stave off stalls along the journey. You may need to use a keto calculator to recalculate your macros to maintain a calorie deficit and healthy fat laden low carb keto diet. Healthy fats are integral to keto diets. Determining your optimal fan intake via the keto calculator will ensure you have the right formula to prevent a situation where you gain weight.
Your body has stored energy in body fat and can draw from this storage when needed for its metabolic purposes. Usually, a carbohydrate-fueled metabolism pulls glucose readily available in the bloodstream from the carbs consumed throughout the day. Any surplus of glucose gets stored in the liver or converted to fatty acids then stored as body fat in the adipose tissue.
How many carbs are allowed on a keto diet?
Low-carb diets are popular because they reduce carbohydrate consumption coming into their system, forcing a metabolic shift to fat burning. Even in ketosis, the metabolism will first burn the most accessible fuel, table fat from the food eaten that day, then move onto the stored fat cells. With all that in mind, this is why we view the macro breakdown for fat as an allowance. Be sure to view the minimum of that gauge at 50g – 60g of fat per day and the maximum at your own personally calculated allotment. If you have remaining calories after hitting your keto macros, you can up your fat intake. Doing so will help avoid hunger and keep you feeling full, which helps to make sticking with the plan much more straightforward.
Should one of your primary goals be to gain muscle, using those remaining calories to increase your protein intake can also benefit you. How many grams of each macronutrient you will need to consume daily depends on your fat intake, current weight, and plan to gain muscle. While you should eat fat on a keto diet, exactly what you consume will be guided by your macros calculation and body fat
Bringing it all together for low carb success
Focusing the majority of your carb consumption on produce will be your best bet. Sure, it’s ok to have a keto dessert every so often. But to make the keto diet sustainable, you have to be conscious of the nutritional value of the food you are consistently eating. Body fat doesn’t happen overnight, and sticking to a low carb diet won’t make it magically disappear. Nobody wants to go through the time and effort of tracking protein intake, a calorie deficit, and count macros to only end up with weight gain. Getting enough protein on a daily basis and maintaining a small calorie deficit is an often missed but all too important part of a healthy low carb diet plan.
To do keto successfully, your keto macros and food intake must align with what kind of activity level and lifestyle goals are best for YOU!