Macros For Keto Diet 2023: What Are They & How To Calculate
Ketogenic (keto) diets were originally designed to prevent epileptic seizures in children. More recently, they have been for weight loss. The diet causes the body to burn fat, rather than sugar, for energy. Therefore, keto diets are very high in fat, high in protein, and very low in carbohydrates.
One challenge of keto is finding the right ratios of macronutrients (macros) fat, protein, and carbohydrates. These percentages depend on your individual goals and any health conditions you have. For instance, you’ll want to know the specific macros for weight loss if that’s your goal. Additionally, you should know which foods to eat to meet the percentages of each macro.
Macros For The Keto Diet: What Are They?
The typical distributions of macros for keto are as follows:
- Fats, 55-60% – including nuts, seeds, eggs, avocados, oily fish, and red meat
- Protein, 30-35% – including milk, yogurt, shellfish, and lean meats like chicken
- Carbohydrates, 5-10% – including fruits, particularly berries, citrus fruits, and melon, and green leafy vegetables
The daily calorie intake depends on multiple factors.
How To Calculate Macros For Keto
Calculate Daily Calories
- Multiply your weight (lbs) by 15. The product is the calories eaten daily to maintain your current weight at a moderate level of activity. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, 2,250 calories daily are necessary for you to maintain your current weight. Fewer calories will be necessary to lose weight.
- Choose a goal weight and goal date. Be sensible when setting goals and don’t try to lose more than 1-2 pounds weekly unless directed by a doctor. The decrease in calories eaten weekly to lose 1-2 pounds is 3,500 to 7,000 calories, or 500-1,000 calories daily. Therefore, a moderately active, 150-pound person will need to eat between 1,250-1,750 calories daily.
Multiply Total Calories By Macro Percentages
- Multiply the allowed daily calories by 55% to 60% for fat intake. Continuing with the above example, if you weigh 1,500 and want to lose 1 pound weekly, you’ll eat 500 fewer calories, or 1,750 calories, daily. If you multiply 1,750 by 60%, the product is 1,050 calories in fats daily.
- Multiply the total allowed number of daily calories by 30% to 35% for protein intake. Given a daily allowance of 1,750 calories daily, multiplying by 30% yields 525 calories of protein.
- Multiply the total allowed number of daily calories by 5% to 10% for carbs intake. A daily allowance of 1,750 calories daily multiplied by 10% means you can eat 175 calories.
Know How To Calculate Calories For Each Macro
- Look at labels. Packaged food comes with the information facts on the label. Using this information, you can calculate how many calories you eat and into which macros to distribute them. For example, 1 cup of low-fat Greek yogurt has 8 grams of carbohydrates, 24 grams of protein, and 4.5 grams of fat.
- Multiply by 4 for proteins and carbohydrates. Each gram of protein or carbohydrates equals 4 calories. Therefore, our cup of yogurt has 96 calories of protein and 32 calories from carbohydrates.
- Multiply by 9 for fats. Each gram of fat equals 9 calories, so our cup of yogurt has 40.5 calories from fat.
- Use a food scale and/or diet app. If you eat unpackaged food, it’s helpful to purchase a food scale to calculate the calories in your food. You can also find this information on most diet apps that can be downloaded to your smartphone. Much of this information is crowd-sourced, however, so be sure to find information from more than one source before relying on it for your macro calculations.
What Should The Keto Macro Ratio Be?
The above-listed macro percentages are ranges, and our example assumed a moderately active 150-pound person. However, not everyone meets those specifications. Additionally, some versions of keto recommend macro percentages different from those reported above. For instance, in the original keto diet for epilepsy, 90% of the diet came from fats.
There are thousands of keto macro calculators with which you can set your macro ratios; most use the same inputs and formula to determine them. A free calculator that doesn’t require email registration is available here: https://calculo.io/keto-calculator.
Beginner’s Guide To Keto Macros
Carbohydrates can be a little confusing. There are both the total carbohydrates in any given food and the net carbs, or the total carbs minus any fiber and sugar alcohols (e.g., xylitol, erythritol, etc.). It’s important to know the difference between total carbs and net carbs because counting net carbs can allow you to eat slightly more carbohydrates while still adhering to keto.
Vitamins And Minerals
A potential danger with keto is not consuming adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. You can compensate for this shortcoming by taking a multivitamin every day. The best vitamins for the keto diet are often ones that have been specifically formulated as supplements for people on keto.
Keto Macros For Losing Weight
The calorie deficit is the number of fewer calories daily eaten to meet a goal weight. Generally, 1 pound of weight requires 3,500 of calorie intake to be maintained, so cutting that many calories should result in 1 pound of weight loss. Divided over 7 days, 1 pound of weight loss requires a calorie deficit of 500 calories daily.
Body Fat Percentage
The percentage of one’s weight made up of fat in proportion to the organs, water, and lean body mass – is a metric some keto macro calculators use to determine the macro percentages to be eaten. Like keto calculators, numerous websites offer calculators that will calculate body fat percentage. In addition to your height, weight, age, and sex, these calculators also ask for certain body measurements, for example, neck and waist circumference. Average body fat percentages are 25-31% for women and 18-24% for men.
What Foods Should I Be Consuming?
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- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are among the best sources of fats available. Plus, they are good for you. The benefits of almonds cannot be overstated, nor can the benefits of walnuts.
- Dairy products: Plain yogurt and eggs are excellent sources of protein and fat, and plain milk can also complement your keto diet, with whole milk adding a source of fat.
- Meat and fish: Red meats, like beef and lamb, are great sources of both protein and fat. Leaner meats like chicken are excellent sources of protein, and oily fish, like tuna and salmon, can form the basis of your fat intake.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: These foods are great sources of carbohydrates that stay on the low side. Avocados provide loads of healthy fats.
Foods You Shouldn’t Eat On The Ketogenic Diet
- Sugary snacks: Sugar is never good for your health, but on keto, it should be banished entirely.
- Bread: Many of us have bread at every meal, but it is almost pure carbohydrates and very high in calories. Get your carbs from fruits and vegetables.
- Sweetened yogurt: Is yogurt good for weight loss? Yes, but many yogurt brands sweeten their products with high-fructose corn syrup. If you don’t want to max out your carb intake on yogurt, go for plain yogurt instead.
- Fruit juices: Many fruit juices, despite being made from the same fruits recommended above, are extremely high in carbs and calories. If you’ve ever made your own juice and have seen how many oranges go into a glass of orange juice, you’ll understand why.
Keto diets can be quite effective in helping people lose weight, but they can also be very demanding. Knowing the percentages of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates you can eat given your health and goals is extremely important. Knowing the best foods to keep these macro ratios in proportion will help you get to the finish line.
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- Wells, J., Swaminathan, A., Paseka, J. and Hanson, C. (2020). Efficacy and Safety of a Ketogenic Diet in Children and Adolescents with Refractory Epilepsy—A Review. [online] 12(6), pp.1809–1809. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061809.
- Hall, K.D., Chen, K.Y., Guo, J., Lam, Y.Y., Leibel, R.L., Laurel E.S. Mayer, Reitman, M.L., Rosenbaum, M., Smith, S.M., B. Timothy Walsh and Ravussin, E. (2016). Energy expenditure and body composition changes after an isocaloric ketogenic diet in overweight and obese men. [online] 104(2), pp.324–333. doi:https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.116.133561.
- Calculo.io. (2023). Calculo. [online] Available at: https://calculo.io/keto-calculator.