The Ketogenic Macros
The ketogenic macros are macro-nutrients which refers to the quantity of fat, protein and carbohydrates that you consume each day.
Aim to consume the following macros over the period of a day. *As a percentage of total calories.
Note if you are eating low-carb (not a strict ketogenic diet) the macros would be Fat 65-70%, Protein 20-25%, Carbs 5-15%. This allows for a higher carb intake which is fine when you are maintaining your weight.
In the standard American diet, carbohydrates make up 40-60% of total calories. On the Ketogenic diet, carbs represent around 2-4% of total calories. Anything up to 15% is considered low-carb.
While this gives you a rough guide, ensure that net carbs are in the 20- 50g range for the ketogenic diet or 50-100g for low-carb.
To learn more on the difference between a low-carb and ketogenic diet click here.
Do I Really Need To Track Macros?
Ultimately, you will need to track the macro-nutrients in your diet for a period. This ensures that you are eating the correct ratio of fat, protein and carbs for you to enter ketosis. Note that this ratio will be slightly different for everyone. After you have tracked your macros for a while, you start to get a feel for what you are eating over a day. Over time, you will not need to track them on a daily basis. You will be able to tell if you are in ketosis by how you feel and also by testing for ketones.
When you are starting out, my suggestion is that you spend a few weeks increasing healthy fats in your diet and reducing carbs. Spend time figuring out this new style of eating without worrying about ratios of fats, carbs and protein. Then once you have altered your diet to a reasonable degree, I would then start to track your macros. Testing your ketones is the final step to see if you have started to burn fat for fuel, instead of carbohydrates.
Is There A Simple Way To Track My Macros?
The best (and simplest) way I have found to track your ketogenic macros is by using the FREE version of the MyFitnessPal app. This powerful tool allows you to select and record the food you eat . The app then gives you a simple chart that tells you exactly how many Carbs, Proteins and Fats you have eaten that day. You see this as a % and in grams.
It’s super easy to use and you can save meals that you eat frequently and even scan bar-codes if an item is not in the database. In addition, you can also upload recipes.
Once you set up a few of your regular foods, keeping track of your macros (carb/protein/fat) becomes a matter of a few taps. I’ve been using the free version of this app and find it covers all my needs.
Be aware that MyFitness Pal shows Total Carbs NOT Net Carbs in the carbohydrate numbers and graph. You can either subtract the fiber which is listed under the “nutrients” tab or set a goal for your Total Carbs not net carbs.
To adjust your macro targets for MyFitnessPal (measures Total Carbs) aim for :
This app is a must for anyone who is serious about weight loss using the Ketogenic Diet.
Tip For MyFitness Pal ONLY: Set up your own macro goals within the Goals section of MyFitnessPal to suit the Ketogenic Diet:
(Home/More/Goals/Kilojoule & Macronutrient Goals)