Macros are another name for the nutrients found in food which include carbohydrates, protein, and fat. These are where all of your calories come from and each does play a unique role in supporting your health and fitness goals. Typically, the macro percentage found in keto diet meal plans are:
- 65% – 85% of calories coming from fat
- 10% – 30% of calories coming from protein and
- 5% or less of calories coming from carbs.
This percentage is designed to help the body get rid of sugar and promote the state of ketosis where the body uses ketones for energy in place of glycogen.
How Do You Determine Your Macros
Before we venture into ways that you can employ in determining the macros in your food, you need to know more about the major players here (macros).
Whatever your fitness goals are, whether you aim to lose weight, gain weight, keep weight, or gain muscle, your calories count matters a lot. The number of calories you consume per day is linked to the success of your fitness goals. Losing weight automatically calls for a reduction in calorie intake while you will need to up your calories for the addition of weight. Once you have determined what your calorie intake should be, determining your macros will become easier.
In a Ketogenic diet, carbs, also called carbohydrates are one of the most important features. A rise or fall in the percentage of this macronutrient can determine if you obtain and keep your body in the ketone state or not. Determining and keeping your carbs at the level they should be is very important. It is advisable that you consume less than 20 grams of carbs a day (this can be increased to become less than 50 grams), the exact percentage you need varies according to your body type, body’s need, and weight goal. The calorie needed for your body can also be used in determining the level of this particular nutrient in your keto-friendly diet meal.
As carbs provide 4 calories per gram, depending on what your total calorie count for the day is, you multiply the 4 calories by the 5% dedicated to carbs in the Ketogenic diet. This means that in a keto diet plan of 2000 count, 20 grams of carbs is adequate for your carbs that day. The higher or lower your calorie range, the more your carbs intake varies. Another way to determine your carbs intake is by calculating the carbs you have measured by getting the total carb content minus the fiber minus the sugar alcohol which will result in your net carbs”.
Your protein intake is another major player in the ketogenic diet. You are expected to keep your protein moderate as it is not the man macro needed in the keto diet. It has been said among dieters that protein has the potential of replacing carbs in the production of glycogen for the body’s fuel, however, researchers are yet to find that out. Protein intake also played an important role in supporting your lean body mass and other essential bodily functions.
It has been studied that a higher protein intake may support better appetite control and a lower body fat percentage without messing with ketosis and prevents your muscles from gradually disintegrating. Your keto protein needs should be determined and estimated based on your activity level and fitness goal. Your activities here are exercise-based. You can either be sedentary (for weight maintenance) with little exercise involved or moderately active (for weight loss) where you exercise for a day or two in a week or you can be very active (for muscle building), where you exercise actively for 3 or more days in a week. Based on this activity load, your protein intake is expected to vary. Your protein estimation should fall under one of these classifications based on your goals and activities levels:
- Maintain/Sedentary: 0.6 gram for every pound of body weight per day
- Fat Loss/Moderate Active: 0.9 gram for every pound of body weight per day
- Gain Muscle/Very Active: 1.1 gram for every pound of body weight per day.
This means that if you weigh 120 pounds and are very active, your protein intake should be 1.1 multiplied by 120 which makes it a total of 132 grams per day. To determine your protein intake in calories, multiply the gram by four as protein gives four calories for every gram.
- Healthy Fat: this is the most important macro in the ketogenic diet and it is calculated based on the remaining calories. Fat in the keto diet is essential as it’s the main energy provider for the body. A Ketogenic diet is a diet that breaks down the fat in the body for energy. This means that the body changes from running on glycogen to running on ketones. It is important that the fat you consume in the keto diet be healthier than most as you do not want to sabotage your effort. In determining the level of fat in your meal, a gram of fat equals about nine calories.
Why Do You Track Net Carbs And Not Total Carbs?
We track net carbs and not total carbs content because the dietary fiber does not have a significant metabolic effect on the body, which means that its intake does not lead to an insulin spike. Tracking your net carbs versus total carbs gives room for a higher intake of several nutrient-dense food items like vegetables, nuts and seeds, and dark chocolate.
It is also important for you to note that sugar alcohols are treated like fibers in the calculation of net carbs. The grams of sugar alcohol are not included in your total after the calculation. This enables dessert lovers on a low carbohydrates diet to enjoy some of their deserts without feeling guilty about breaking the ketogenic diet rule.
How Do You Determine Macronutrients?
To determine macronutrients also refers to counting its quantity and how many percent of your meal it takes. You can either do this through the use of a food scale, manual calculating, or an app for tracking your ketogenic journey. You need to do this in your quest to stay true to a ketogenic diet.
Determining your macronutrients manually involves the following steps:
- First, you need to know the total calories you would be needed in a day, let’s say you need 2,000 calories every day
- You then multiply your carbs gram by 4 to get the calories from your carbs intake. For example, if you are to consume 20 grams of carbs daily, you multiply this by 4 and it will equal your total calories from carbs (20 grams × 4 calories = 80 calories from carbs)
- Then you determine the level of your protein by also calculating it by multiplying your daily protein intake by 4 (132 grams × 4 calories = 528 calories from protein)
- The next step is to add the total carbs and total protein calories together (80 calories + 528 calories =608 calories), then subtract its total from your total daily calories need (2,000 calories – 608 calories = 1,392 calories)
- The last step is to divide the remaining calories by 9 (1,392 calories ÷ 9 calories = 154 grams)
If you follow the steps above, it will assist you to determine what percentage of your calories is dedicated to carbohydrates intake, protein intake, and health at intake through the use of the calculator and a scale.
Apps for Tracking:
Another way to determine your macros on a ketogenic diet is through the use of apps out there for macronutrient tracking. While calculating with the aid of a food scale would go a long way in helping you out, the use of the right technology will make it easier for you to determine your macros levels with little stress involved. Some of the apps for keeping track of your ketogenic diet lifestyle are:
A successful keto diet will initially sound difficult to achieve but you just have to research and decide on the keto plan that works for you and your goals. Lazy Keto desires to make this possible for you whether you have the time to plan out every detail of your diet or you just have a few minutes a day to check-in and track your progress so far. You can customize your diet plan and include recipes or you can just use the app to help yourself get a leg up before you move into the more advanced stage of the ketogenic diet. It is rated 4.8 and 4.6 stars respectively by its iPhones and Android users and also has optional in-app purchases.
This is a free app that has optional purchases in-app. It helps dieters out with their type of diet, especially the ketogenic diet. Lifesum allows you to set your goals while you track your calories and nutrients intake. It calculates how balanced your diet is based on the rules or your diets through the use of an algorithm. It also shows you how well you are sticking to your diet goals in colorful ways. It is rated as 4.6 and 4.5 stars by its iPhone and Android users respectively.
Keto Diet Tracker:
This app personalizes your macro goals and offers you suggestions that may help you hight your daily target with the app. You can track your meals with the barcode scanner, create grocery lists, and sort your logged macro count data to help you know where exactly you stand. The app is free but comes with optional in-app purchases. It is rated 4.6 stars and 4.3 stars by its iPhone and Android users respectively.
How To Determine Your Keto Macros Percentage
To calculate your macros as a percentage, you just need to divide the calories from each macro into your daily calorie needs and multiply by 100%.
- For carbs, you divide the carbs calories from the total calories and multiply by 100% (80 calories ÷ 2,000 calories × 100% =4%)
- For protein, you also divide the protein calories from the total calories and multiply by 100% (528 calories ÷ 2,000 calories × 100% = 26.4%) and
- For the fat, you divide the fat calories from the total calories and multiply by 100% (1,392 ÷ 2,000 × 100% = 69.6%).
Determining your macronutrients has been made easier with the introduction of apps that can help calculate down to the lowest milligram. It is important to always get the gram of your food items right as this goes a long way in determining if you are still on the right track or not.