When transitioning from a diet that is abundant in carbohydrates to a diet that prefers less than 5% of your daily calories, you find it difficult to stick to such a diet, especially tracking your carbs intake.
In a ketogenic diet, you must keep track of your carbohydrate intake as this is the key. The primary aim of a ketogenic diet is to free your body of your previous energy source (glucose) and change to ketones for body fuel.
Jumping into the diet suddenly will make it difficult for you, but it is achievable. It is essential to know the percentage of the macronutrients (macro) that are present in your food.
How Do You Start Tracking Of Your Macros
In tracking your macros, there are some basic steps that you need to adhere to:
Calculate Your Macros:
there are general macronutrient rules in a ketogenic diet that must be followed every day: you need high fat, moderate protein, and low carbs to ensure you get to that stage of ketosis. The fatty macronutrients in your daily total calories must be between 60-80% while the protein must fall between 15-35% and your carbohydrates should be 5% or lesser. Macro intake for individuals depends on individual’s body type and goals. This is why you need to have the ability to calculate and design your macros in ways that will best serve you according to your goals and body type.
The process of limiting and tracking your carbs intake will make your body deplete its supply of glycogen, therefore turning your energy source from glycogen to ketosis. The more you get used to a ketogenic diet, know what food items are allowed and what items are prohibited; tailoring your recipes to reflect this change and macronutrient rules will become easier.
Usually, it is advised that the best is to keep your net carbs intake below 20 grams but if that seems too extreme, you could raise the quantity a little bit while ensuring it is still below 50 grams per day. The formula for calculating your carb is “total carb content minus fiber minus sugar alcohol equals your net carbs”.
Invest In A Food Scale:
if you are to track your macronutrient intake accurately, you will need a food scale (a visual estimation of your food weight also works if you are not really into accurate measurement). While it is advisable that for the first six months of your transitioning into a ketogenic diet, you employ the use of a food scale in weighing your food as this enables you to have an understanding of food weighing before moving away from the scale.
Apps For Tracking:
another way to track your macros on a ketogenic diet is through the use of apps out there for macronutrient tracking. While calculating and food scale would go a long way in helping you out, the use of the right technology will make it easier for you with little stress involved. If you are interested in using one of the apps available to track your macros, you must consult your nutritionist and check the app out first. Below are some apps that you can use in tracking your macros, they are selected based on their excellent content, overall reliability, and their high user ratings:
- Carb Manager Keto Diet App: this app is free of usage but comes with optional in-app purchases. It is a comprehensive app that counts the net and total carbs, it also j33pw q daily log for your nutrition and fitness. You can use the app’s calculator to set your net macros, set weight loss goals, and obtain detailed nutritional information about your logged data whenever you need it. Using this app will basically visualize your daily macros and help you stay on track. The app has a 4.7 stars rating from its Android users and a 4.8 stars rating from its iPhone users.
- 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.
- Total Keto Diet: this app comes free but with in-app purchases. This app aims to give you a tool to track everything that pertains to your diet (your macronutrients, your calories, and your favorite recipes) and a ketogenic calculator designed to keep you on your track to a state of ketosis just like its name indicates. It is for free but has in-app purchases. It features a beginner’s guide to the keto diet for new dieters that are eager to learn more on how to best utilize their ketogenic journey. It has ratings of 4.7 stars and 4.3 stars from its iPhone and Android users.
- Lifesum: 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.
- Stupid Simple Keto: it is rated 4.6 and 4.5 stars respectively by its various iPhone and Android users. Comes free but has optional in-app purchases. This macro tracking app desires to make it easier for you to track your keto diet and your progress through it. It employs visual tracking imagery to make it easy for you to log your foods and see how you are doing along your keto journey. The Stupid Simple Keto app helps simplify the process of adjusting your diet to get the most out of keto to your desired lifestyle and health goals.
- Lazy Keto: 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.
Why Track Net 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.
Protein On A Keto Diet
The other main macronutrient that you want to monitor the most after carbs is protein, as it will replace your intake of carbs. The protein converts to glucose, meaning that eating a lot of protein is not conducive to a ketogenic diet. Keeping on track with how much protein you consume is key to staying in your state of ketosis otherwise you might have trouble consistently staying in that state. The exact grams of protein on a ketogenic diet fall between 0.6 -1.2 per pound of lean body mass, but if you are less active, you are expected to consume less than 0.6 grams per pound of lean body mass.
What Are You To Limit Or Avoid On A Keto Diet
As explained above, your primary aim for tracking your macros in the keto diet is to avoid food items that have a larger quantity of starch and sugar. For every food item rejected by a ketogenic diet, numerous items can be used as alternatives. While white bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes may taste good, they are heavy, starch-filled, and not keto-friendly. There are numerous alternatives for them like spaghetti squash, wheat bread, and others. Drinks that are sugar-based like juices, energy drinks, and soft drinks should be eliminated from your ketogenic diet as their sugar levels have taken them out of ketosis.
What To Eat On A Keto Diet
As a low-carb, high-fat meal is the basis of the ketogenic diet, most people usually zone into the “low-carb” part while they completely forget about high-fat rule. The high-fat is expected to take up to a whopping 70% of your meal planning. Some of the ways to get easy fats:
- Pork belly
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- You can also try the Medium-Chain Triglycerides Oil (MCTs)
- Heavy cream
- Hard cheese
- Cream cheese
- Nuts and seeds
You might want to use food items that are similar to but butter if you are on a nut-free ketogenic diet like:
- Sunflower butter
- Mayonnaise and Avocado
Ideal Protein Recipes To Try On Keto
- Avocado Tuna Salad
- Spicy Tuna Roll
- Keto BLT Dip
- Cheesy Chicken Fritters
- Low-Carb Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Chicken Wings
- Keto Meatballs
- Italian Beef
- Warm Bacon and Egg Salad
- Buffalo Deviled Eggs
You must keep track of your macronutrients while on the keto diet. As it is easy to fall off your ketosis states by slight mistakes.