Keto Macros :: What They Are + How To Calculate
Keto Macros :: What They Are + How To Calculate. In this post I share what keto macros are, what keto macro ratio + percentages to follow, and how to easily calculate macros. Perfect for beginners to the keto diet!
I started following a clean keto diet, and I lost 50 pounds in 6 months! It has changed my life.
One of the most important concepts to understand when starting a keto diet is 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 the macros”, it’s shorthand for saying you are “calculating the amount of fat, protein and carbs in the food”.
Why Do You Track Macros on a Keto Diet?
The goal of Keto is to eat a 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 its fat.
Once you limit the amount of carbs you eat and instead eat a diet that is high in fat, your body begins to burn fat for energy. 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.
What Keto Diet Macros Ratios + Percentages Do I Aim For?
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).
I don’t stress too much about hitting these numbers exactly, just to be 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, use the way the Carb Manager app calculates them once you sign up for a free account.
What Are Net Carbs?
Net carbs is also referred to as digestible carbs. It means the amount 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 an avocado has 2g net carbs.
Do You Track Calories on The Keto Diet?
I personally don’t calculate calories at all. I only focus on my macros.
My calories are usually around 1800-2000 calories a day.
What Do You Eat In A Day With These Keto Macros?
I share a What I Ate Wednesday post 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.
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!
How Do I Track Keto Macros?
There are tons of ways to track your macros.
I’ve found the easiest, most straight forward way to calculate macros is using the app Carb Manager. It’s absolutely free to use. 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 as well! You can use the app on your smartphone or on your desktop. But you do have to pay to be able to track the 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)
How Do I Enter In A Tastes Lovely Recipe to Track Macros?
At this time, you’ll have to enter in 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 entering in 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.
Good news is, once you enter in 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!
Do I Track Macros Every Day?
I tracked really closely using an app 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. Like learning how to type on the computer without looking. Felt so hard at first, but now you can just type away! Becomes second nature.
I do accurately track for all my What I Ate Wednesday posts. It’s fun seeing how close my guesses are at hitting my macro goals!
I stopped closely tracking on app every day only because it was so unbelievably time consuming. I found myself wanting to avoid food simply because I didn’t want to go to the effort of tracking the macros for it. Not healthy! Now that I can guess pretty accurately, it’s a lot more fun eating keto. And I have so much more time on my hands!
Do You Track Ketones?
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 one is much more reliable and accurate than the urine test strips or breath tests.
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