Understanding your macros in your Keto diet is really important. Since restriction of carbohydrates in Keto dieting is a must, then you have to first understand your macro intake on a daily basis.
One way to keep track of the food that you consume is to trace all the tiny elements – your micronutrients. It’s not even that hard to calculate your daily keto macros since there are a lot of existing online keto macro calculator that you may use for this.
Macros are the fuel that you consume in your body. In order to do this effectively, you need to follow the macro ratios that your body needs in order to be in full Ketosis.
Numerically speaking, a Keto diet is consist of 5-10% carbohydrates, 15-25% protein, and 65-75% fat.
Having said, staying in Ketosis will allow your body to produce ketones. Ketones on the other hand will help convert fat in your body to energy that you will use for your daily dose of workout. Most especially if you are in an active lifestyle. Failure to do so, will give you negative performance which will make it hard for you to achieve a successful weight loss.
Just like what most fitness enthusiasts would always say, “Weight loss is 80% done in the kitchen”. Which in Keto’s case, is the macro calculation that you need to follow.
To fully understand what keto macros is all about, you may refer to the more detailed discussion below.
Step 1: Identify your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Your BMR equates to the number of calories that your body will be needing to provide you with the energy that you need. If your mass number is high, you will also need to feed your body with an equal amount of calories. The easiest way to calculate your BMR is by using the Mifflin – St Jeor Formula. We have provided you an access to the link for a more detailed information about Mifflin – St Jeor as well as a sample computation is given below.
Men: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) + 5
Women: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) – 161
In calculating your BMR, it is important to know and understand the following:
- Age – Once we get past 30, our muscle mass decreases which results to the decrease of our BMR as well.
- Height and body weight – As mentioned above, the higher your body mass is, the higher is the amount of calories that you will also need.
- Gender – Men and women are not the same when it comes to body composition so there is a slight difference in the computation.
Step 2: Identify your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)
In order to know the amount of calories you will need to burn in a day, you will have to multiply your TDEE with your BMR.
1.2 – Little to no exercise
1.375 – Light exercises (1-3x a week)
1.55 – Average exercise (3-5x a week)
1.725 – Hard exercise (6-7x a week)
1.9 – Extremely hard exercise
Once you’ve identified your TDEE, you will then have to multiply it with your BMR. Let’s say your BMR is 1200 and your TDEE is 1.375, multiplying both will give you 1650. That figure will be the amount of calories that you will need to burn in a day.
Step 3: Know your body fat percentage and lean mass
In order to know your lean mass, you will have to know your body fat percentage first. Knowing both will then make you understand the amount of protein that you will be needing in order to maintain your muscles.
There are several ways to measure your body fat percentage:
Body measurements – This won’t give you an accurate composition but measuring the width of your neck, hips, and waist can give you an idea.
Visual estimates – In order to estimate your body fat visually, you will need to follow a guideline. Check out the link that you can use to do so:
DEXA scan – Among the measurements, this can give you the most accurate results. However, it will have to cost you a lot of money. DEXA scan is a type of x-ray that can measure your body fat percentage, as well as your bone mineral density.
Skinfold calipers – You may find this at gyms and even hospitals. Most fitness enthusiasts and doctors use this in order to assess their clients. You may also purchase this item on your own.
After you’ve calculated your body fat percentage, you can then identify your lean mass as well. Here’s how:
Hypothetically you weigh 110 pounds and your body fat is at 20%.
110 pounds x 0.20 = 22 pounds of body fat
To know your lean mass, you will have to do:
110 pounds – 22 pounds of body fat = 88 pounds of lean mass
Step 4: Know your goal (Weight Loss or Gain Weight)
In order to adjust your calorie intake, you will first have to identify your goal – is it to lose weight or to gain weight?
If you want to lose weight, you will have to limit your calorie intake per day. What you can do is to reduce 10-20% of calories from your usual calorie intake. To do this, you will have to multiply your total TDEE with 0.10, the answer will then be subtracted from your original calorie count. If you wish to lose weight fast, you can have your calorie reduction increased. However, it is not highly recommended to exceed your calorie deficit at 30% a day.
On the contrary, trying to gain weight will require you to add up 5-10% calories per day. You will only have to follow the same exact steps in losing weight. The difference is there will be no subtraction in the computation. Your total TDEE will be multiplied with 0.05. The answer you will get will then be added to your original calorie count. The latest figures will be your new calorie count needed.
Step 5: Calculate your Carbs, Protein, and Fat Intake
How much carbs should I eat for a day?
Too much carbohydrates will kick you out of Ketosis. As a result, your body will be using carbohydrates for energy instead of using fats. This is why some are unsuccessful in achieving weight loss because it’s either they eat too much carbs or they lack good carbs.
To stay in Ketosis, you will have to maintain at least 50g of carbohydrates daily. Take note, I’m talking about quality carbohydrates here. You may get your good carb intake from fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. You may have to eat your carbs separately in a day to keep your carb intake low.
You may also check the nutritional facts whenever you purchase an item. Keep an eye on the net carbs and total carbs. All you have to do is to deduct the amount of fiber from the total carbs in order to compute the net carbs that you will be needing.
How much Protein can I eat?
Since protein is considered a building block for muscles then you must also keep track of your protein intake.
A high amount of protein won’t hurt. However, too much protein might also kick you out of Ketosis. Deficit in protein may also not be good for your body since it can result to muscle loss.
In order for you to find out how much protein you are allowed for a day, you need to know your body mass first. The calculation of your protein will solely rely on your body mass. The standard figure for the amount of protein needed is 0.5g per pound of lean muscle mass. However, if you are too active, you can increase it to 0.7g. However, if you’re doing an intensely active lifestyle like athletes, a growing teen, active senior, pregnant, or lactating mother, then 1 gram of protein per pound of lean mass is advised.
Let’s try to make an example:
You’re 100 pounds with 20% body fat:
Find 20% of your overall weight: 110 pounds x 0.20 body fat = 22 pounds
Deduct your body fat from your overall weight: 110 – 22 = 88 pounds
Now, let’s try to find out the amount of protein you need.
If you’re slightly active, you will only need to multiply 88 with 0.5 = 44g of protein
If you’re moderately active, you will need to multiply 88 with 0.7 = 61.6g of protein
If you’re extremely active, you will then need to multiply 88 with 1.0 which will give you 88g of protein needed.
What about fat? How much fat can I eat for a day?
This is where all the fun begins. Since Keto diet is requiring you to eat fat for weight loss then you may consume fat depending on your liking.
Once you’ve calculated your required amount of carbs and protein for the day, then the rest will be for your fat intake. However, you need to make sure the amount of fat you will be consuming will fall within the 65-75% range.
Let’s try to use our example earlier for the fat computation.
You weigh 110 pounds with 20% body fat and are not likely to be active which will require you to consume 88g of protein. In every gram of protein, there are 4 calories. Multiply 88 with 4 and you will get 352 protein calories. Since in a day, you are only required to eat 50g of carbs. In every gram of carbs, there are also 4 calories. Multiply 50 with 4 and you will get 200 carb calories.
Adding up your protein and carb calories will give you 552 of your daily calories. So in order to know you daily fat calories, you will reduce 552 from your original allotted calories. Because there are 9 calories in every gram of fat, you will then divide the answer with 9 and there you have it! You will then know your allowed fat grams per day.
I know dealing with numbers at a daily basis could get tiring too. Luckily, there are apps that can do the calculation for you. To name a few, check out our top three below.
My Fitness Pal
The KetoDiet App
Take note, you will have to eat in kcal and lose weight in lbs. However, for the first month in Ketosis, your body might still adjust with the water weight. A sudden decrease in weight might first be because of water weight loss and muscle loss. You need to recalculate your macros and your weight every now and then.
When you feel like you’re confident with your macros already and you now understand how your keto macros work, you may adjust your macro intake from time to time. You may do so by decreasing your carb intake for a more intense fat burning and increase your fat and protein intake on the other end.
You see, understanding keto macros for weight loss plays a vital role in Ketosis. Your weight loss forecast may still differ from time to time.