Keto Macros are essentially the building blocks of the Ketogenic Diet aka the nutrients your body requires in large quantities, which include fat, protein, and carbs. This ratio is important, because if you fail to match it, it could seriously hinder your chances of reaching ketosis.
Don't worry, though, because this guide will tell you everything you need to know about Keto Macros and how to ensure that you meet them.
The term "Keto Macros" refers to the balance of macronutrients in a keto diet. This balance can be seen in the diagram above where the percentages refer to calories from each macronutrient. For example, you would want to be getting around 70% of your daily caloric intake from fats. This may certainly come as a shock, considering active people are recommended to have a macronutrient balance of around 45-65% carbs, 10-35% protein, and 20-35% fat.
The reason why those ratios are so drastically different is because the objectives of a keto diet are simply different from those of a regular diet. The ketogenic diet is all about altering the way your body uses nutrients to produce energy, allowing you to reach ketosis, a modified metabolic state. Alternatively, a regular diet is designed to optimize how your body normally produces and utilizes energy.
Taking a little trip down memory lane, Dr. Russell M. Wilder first developed the original ketogenic diet and the standard ratio of keto macros in 1923 at the Mayo Clinic as a way to treat epilepsy. He was clearly on to something, as this ratio is now used to achieve various goals such as weight loss and increased energy.
Break it Down
Lets go ahead and break down each macro to allow you to better understand it's function in the ketogenic diet.
Your body naturally prefers carbs over any other fuel source. They're easy to break down and convert to energy, so it makes sense. Here is a little secret though; your body doesn't need carbs. In fact, you can survive perfectly fine without them, which we'll get into next.
Protein is a vital macro that your body requires to repair and build tissue. On a ketogenic diet, it is important to alter your protein intake based on how active you are. A more active lifestyle will require more protein, while a less active lifestyle will require less protein. You must be careful not to consume too much protein though, as too much protein will take you out of ketosis as your body can turn protein into glucose.
Protein has many benefits in the keto diet. Since it takes longer to digest, it allows you to feel full longer. Protein also aids in weight loss since your body burns calories digesting it. Lastly, it builds muscle tissue which additionally increases energy output.
The key player in the keto macro ratio, fat probably has a bad connotation in your mind. Contrary to popular belief though, fat is a key nutrient that your body can't live without. By taking out fat from your diet it can actually cause some damage.
Here are some benefits that fat can provide:
- increased energy
- maintained body temperature, healthy hair and skin
- cell health
- important hormone production
- toxin accumulation to allow your internal organs to stay healthy
Fat is also crucial to the keto diet, because without it, your body can't utilize it to replace glucose with ketones for energy to the brain and body.
The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
Now knowing how important fats are, it is equally important to understand the difference between good fats and bad fats.
Bad fats are trans fats that are most abundant in fried and highly processed foods like junk food and fast food.
Good fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated which can be found in plant oils. Keto specialists will also say that saturated fats are considered good fats.
Additionally, fats contain essential and non essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids refer to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which your body must obtain through diet as it cannot produce them on its own. These fatty acids are present in a large spectrum of foods. Fish, seafood, nuts, plant oils, and seeds are the most evident sources and easiest way to reach your daily requirements for omega fatty acids.
Crunching the Numbers
Calculating and keeping track of your keto macros isn't very complicated and requires just three main steps.
1. Net Carbs:
Total Carbs - Fiber = Net Carbs
Calculating net carbs is crucial on the keto diet, because your body only produces glucose from net carbs, not fiber, so you can consume as much fiber as you want.
Looking at nutrition facts or online (https://nutritiondata.self.com/ is one of our favorites) can provide you with the proper information to calculate net carbs accurately.
It is important that your daily net carb intake does not go above 30 grams or you body will exit ketosis. Around 20 grams a day in net carbs is a pretty standard amount, while athletes and people with a more active lifestyle will require more to maintain proper energy levels.
The amount of protein to incorporate in the keto diet depends on muscle mass and body fat percentage. The general guidelines are 1.5-2 grams of protein per kg of muscle mass in order to maintain or gain muscle. This equates to 1-1.2g per pound of muscle mass.
-In order to calculate body fat use this formula:
pounds x body fat percentage = pounds of body fat
*Note: there are several online calculators to obtain body fat percentage, we really like this one:https://www.calculator.net/body-fat-calculator.html
So if someone weighed 200 pounds and had 10% body fat their calculations would be 200lbs x .10 = 20lbs of body fat
-Next subtract body fat from total weight to get muscle mass
200lbs - 20lbs = 180lbs muscle mass
-Finally, multiply your muscle mass by gram of protein to see your daily protein allotment
180lbs x 1.2g protein per pound of muscle mass = 216g protein
After determining daily carb and protein intakes for the keto diet, you must figure out how much fat to consume. This ultimately depends on whether you are looking to lose weight or maintain current weight. If maintaining weight is your goal, you would need to consume more fat than if you are looking to lose weight.
Generally with the keto diet, you want to be getting around 70% of your calories from fat. Fat contains 9 calories per gram, so if you are consuming 2500 calories per day (average standard for men vs. 2,000 for women) you would need to be getting around 1,750 calories from fat, which equates to 194.4g of fat per day. However, based on your goals, your daily caloric intakes will be different so make sure to adjust for that.
Meeting these ratios may seem tricky and intimidating at first so we thought we'd share with you some of our favorite tips to meet your macros!
Only Eat Whole Foods: No that doesn't mean you can't shop at other grocery stores, but the key here is to avoid highly processed foods that may contain hidden ingredients that could throw you out of ketosis. Stick to clean eating as it's not only healthier but also will help you keep your keto macros on point.
Plan Ahead: If you want to track your keto macros accurately and consistently, you absolutely need to plan your meals. This may seem time consuming and inconvenient, but once you create that first list, all the hard work is taken care of. Look out for our next blog where we'll show you how to plan your meals for whatever life throws at you, whether it's cooking, eating out, or even fast food.
Find Your Support Group: Facebook and Reddit among others provide an influx of keto communities that are super helpful if you are starting the diet for the first time. It allows you to get advice, gain support, and even share recipes!
Find a Pre Made Meal Plan: You're not the first person ever to try the keto diet. Thousands of people have faced the same problems you've faced regarding meal prepping, so part of the work has already been done for you, you just need to find the right plan. It's vital to pick a meal plan that has positive ratings and is reputable. Be on the lookout for a future blog where we highlight our top online ready made keto meal plans.
Take TruBrain Ketones:
A lot of this stuff may seem hard to follow to a T, and we get it, nobody's perfect. That's why we designed this product to be there for you in the case of any keto slip up. Get right back into ketosis one scoop at a time. Shop Ketones Here
After reading this, hopefully you have a much better understanding of keto macros and where they stand in the ketogenic diet. It may seem tough to get the correct calculations and accuracy, but once you figure out your macros and meal plan, it should be smooth sailing from there. And a couple scoops of TruBrain Ketones per day certainly doesn't hurt as well ;)
It's okay if you can't hit your exact macros, eating fewer than 30 grams of carbs and a high amount of fat per day should keep you in check.
We want you to enjoy your keto lifestyle, so we'll be hitting you with tons of content, tips, and recipes throughout your journey to give you one of the most exciting and delicious endeavors of your life.
Death to Carbsingly,
The TruBrain Team