Keto Macros: Ratios, Calculators, Meal Plans, & FAQs
A guide to what keto macros are, what keto macro ratio & percentages to follow, & how to calculate your macros. Perfect for beginners to the keto diet!
Table of Contents
What Makes the Keto Diet So Great?
When I started following a clean keto diet, I lost 50 pounds in 6 months! It has completely changed my life. Not only did I lose weight and body fat, but most importantly I just felt better. I had more energy for my kids, was more productive and clear-minded, and I slept so well for the first time in a while.
My increased activity level led me to start moving my body more through jogging, walking, and playing with my boys!
If you’re thinking keto might be the perfect lifestyle for you, one of the most important concepts to understand when starting a keto diet is keto macros.
What are Keto Macros?
Macros (short for macronutrients) are the ratios of fat, protein, and carbs in everything you eat. When you say you are “calculating macros”, it’s shorthand for saying you are calculating the amount of fat, protein, and carbs in your food.
While it seems simple enough, you will not believe how much of an impact these three macro categories have on your weight loss journey.
Do I Need to Track Macros?
The goal of Keto (and why it works so well!) is to eat high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet to get your body into ketosis. Eating a standard diet that is high in carbs (bread, pasta, fruit, sugar, soda, & processed foods), your body burns carbs and sugar for energy and stores fat.
Once you limit the number of carbs you eat and instead eat a diet that is high in fat, your body begins to burn fat for energy. It burns both the fat you are eating and the fat you have stored in your body. This is called ketosis, which is where keto gets its name.
So yes, it’s important to track your macros so you know what you’re taking in, so you can make sure your macro ratios are on the right track for keto.
Calculating Keto Macros
Keto Macro Ratios & Percentages
I personally aim for 70% of my calories to come from fat (155 grams a day), 25% to come from protein (124 grams a day), and 5% to come from carbs (25 grams net carbs per day). While I don’t stress too much about hitting these numbers exactly, I make sure I am in this general ballpark of macro ratios.
These are the generally accepted keto diet macros ratios and percentages for women who have a moderately active lifestyle. The actual macros you decide to follow can vary slightly. If you want to calculate the best ratios for you to use, the Carb Manager app calculates them once you sign up for a free account.
Note: My experience with the keto diet is my own. I highly recommend consulting your family physician who knows your individual health to make sure this is the right journey for you.
My Favorite Keto Macro Calculator & Tools
There are tons of ways to track your macros. I’ve found the easiest, most straightforward way to calculate keto macros is using the app Carb Manager. It’s absolutely free to use, with some premium upgrades if you want more in-depth information.
However, I use the free version and I love it! You can use the app on your smartphone, or on your desktop. It’s very user-friendly, and the graphics for the daily goals make it super easy to keep track of your macros.
Before discovering Carb Manager (thanks to so many of you wonderful followers who shared it with me!), I used My Fitness Pal. My Fitness Pal works also, especially if you’ve used it before and have a catalog of your favorite foods and recipes and don’t want to switch.
You can use the app on your smartphone or on your desktop, but you do have to pay to be able to track your keto macros in an easy-to-read way. Watch this video tutorial where I show you how to track your macros on My Fitness Pal (4:15 minutes)
Keto Meal Plans & Recipes
I have a library of What I Ate Wednesday posts every week, where I share exactly what I ate that day with the total macro counts for the day, as well as the breakdown of the macro counts for each meal.
I also have a ton of keto meal plans, guides, and grocery hauls that will come in handy as you begin this journey!
These tools are extremely helpful to give you an idea of what to be eating to reach these goals! And also give you tons of meal and snack inspiration!
-Net carbs are also referred to as digestible carbs. It means the number of carbohydrates that are absorbed by your body. Fiber isn’t absorbed into the small intestine, so it has a neutral effect on blood sugar.
-For keto, you only need to worry about the net carbs, not the total carbs.
-Net carbs are calculated by taking the total grams of carbohydrates and subtracting the total grams of fiber, and sometimes sugar alcohol (you’ll see this with low-carb baked goods).
-For instance, half an avocado has 12g carbohydrates and 10g fiber. To calculate the net carbs: 12-10=2. So half of an avocado has 2g net carbs.
-I personally don’t calculate calories at all. I only focus on my macros.
-My calories are usually around 1800-2000 calories a day.
-At this time, you’ll have to enter the amount of each ingredient that you used, line by line. I wish there was a way to plug in all of my recipes automatically into Carb Manager or My Fitness Pal! But I would have to add them all line by line, which would take me…forever.
-This is one of the downsides of tracking macros. It’s very time-consuming to enter all the ingredients and quantities.
-I do have the nutrition information calculated on every recipe post on my site! It’s in the recipe box. So you can refer to that to get an idea of the macros.
-The good news is, once you enter all the ingredients into a meal, you can “save” it as a recipe, so the next time you make it you can quickly add it from your recipe box!
-I tracked really closely using an app for the first 3 weeks. It was so time-consuming, but great practice at getting an idea of all macro counts. Now I can do my best guess, and mentally calculate all my macros pretty accurately.
-It’s hard to explain how I can calculate it all in my head. You’ll get the hang of it soon enough. It’s like learning how to type on the computer without looking. Felt so hard at first, but now you can just type away! Calculating macros becomes second nature.
-I do accurately track for all my What I Ate Wednesday posts. It’s fun seeing how close my guesses are to hitting my macro goals!
-I’ve never tracked my ketones. As long as I’m losing weight I know I’m in ketosis.
-If you do want to track your ketones, I have heard that this blood test is much more reliable and accurate than the urine test strips or breath tests.