If you're confused about how to calculate macros for keto and weight, don’t worry. You'll learn EXACTLY how to count macros the EASY way AND you'll learn which calculator to download today.
If you can calculate macros when you first start eating low-carb and keto, you will be far more successful on your weight loss journey as well as weight maintenance for years to come!
What are macros?
Macros (otherwise known as 'macronutrients') simply refers to three main groups of nutrients that our bodies require to perform functions and thrive. These include:
It’s the way in which you adjust your daily macros that can help you lose fat, maintain weight or even gain weight, depending on what your goal is (which can also change throughout your life).
As opposed to a standard diet containing around 20% fats, 30% protein and 50% carbohydrates, the keto diet shifts these macro percentages with carbohydrates being the lowest among the three.
How many carbs should you have each day?
How many carbs you consume each day will be dictated by your health goals and carbohydrate tolerance.
Generally, a low-carb diet is considered to be:
- <100g/day = moderate low-carb
- <50g/day = low-carb
- <20g/day = keto
Many readers like to begin by simply reducing their carbs to a level that is sustainable and weight loss still occurs.
Learn how to count carbs to really highlight where your carbs are coming from AND to stop carb creep. Carb counting keeps you honest and accountable.
To work out your carbs, protein, and fat limits to enjoy each day, use the FREE macro calculator.
What do you eat on keto ?
By reducing carbohydrates, moderating protein and increasing total healthy fat intake, your body transitions into a state of “ketosis”. Nutritional ketosis is a state where you burn fat as energy instead of sugar and glucose.
This is a major game-changer for anyone who has tried standard diets.
Mainstream diets are generally low-fat or require calorie counting. They are based on calorie deficit strategies that focus more on quantity (or the lack thereof) instead of fat burning adaptation. Fat burning is most effective through ketosis without the risk of compromising and slowing the metabolism.
The major factor that low-fat diets and calorie counting diets never address is the factor of HUNGER and HORMONES.
Fat storage is not a calorie imbalance, but a hormone imbalance.
For weight loss to occur, insulin levels must be lowered because insulin is our fat STORING hormone.
Read more: The Keto Food Pyramid
How do you calculate your keto macros for weight loss?
The only macronutrient that you really need to worry about when beginning the keto diet is your carbohydrate intake. That’s because you risk being kicked out of the state of nutritional ketosis if you exceed the recommended maximum of 20 grams carbs per day.
Begin by focussing on your carbs at the start and the other two macronutrients are secondary (within reason, of course), yet still important.
You should not limit your protein intake. It’s best to aim for moderate to high protein levels.
You should also focus on quality proteins from whole food sources.
If your protein intake is too low, you risk losing muscle, not feeling full and not getting all your essential amino acids.
Most people under-eat protein. The dietary recommendations only suggest a protein level that is required to prevent protein deficiency.
Protein requirements also fluctuate depending on activity, muscle building activities, stress, age and periods of healing.
Moving on to healthy fats as our third macronutrient.
Even though the ketogenic diet places a lot of emphasis on fat content, rest assured that your body can utilize stored body fat if you are not ingesting enough dietary fat.
With that said, it’s not a great idea to consistently be under your daily fat intake as this can result in hunger and cravings. Hunger is the number one reason most people fall off any type of diet.
Enjoying healthy fats to keep you full and to provide all your essential fatty acids is key to live a healthier lifestyle to meet your weight loss goals.
Without going into the detail of the mathematical equations required to calculate each individual’s macros, use this macro calculator by inputting certain details which will show you what your specific macro percentages are.
In summary, always remember that carbs are a limit (20g daily), protein is a target and fat is consumed in order to remove hunger.
Should you focus just on carbs?
When following the ketogenic diet, your main focus is limiting your daily carb intake which is why carb counting is so important.
While going slightly above or below your protein and fat macros is not detrimental to your weight loss efforts, going above your carb intake each day will most certainly kick you out of ketosis and slow down any fat loss progress you were working towards.
Generally speaking, it’s not a problem if you come with +/- 5-10g for protein and 2-3g for fat so long as you have not exceeded your carb intake for the day. The last thing you want to do is drive yourself crazy over number perfection which brings me to my next point….
Many people don’t find it sustainable to count their macros on a daily basis, resulting in burnout and ditching their efforts entirely.
It’s much simpler using keto macro totals as a guide while adhering strictly to the keto daily carb limit of 20 grams.
Can You Eat Junk Food If It Fits Within Your Macros?
This really depends on what kind of diet you follow. For those that follow dirty keto, no foods are off-limits as long as total daily carbs are controlled, and macronutrients are distributed properly for the end user’s goal, i.e. weight gain, weight loss or weight maintenance.
The ketogenic diet considers both quality of food as well as quantity as equally important factors when it comes to weight loss and overall health. This is why clean keto promotes the consumption of quality carbs that are nutrient-dense and high in fibre.
While enjoying the odd junk food on rare occasions is unlikely to destroy your dietary goals, it’s most definitely not something that should be consumed on a regular basis, even if it does fit your macros!
Which is the best APP?
While there are many macro calculators online to choose between, there are fewer that are specific to the ketogenic diet and its adaption of the three macronutrient percentages in order to achieve and maintain a state of ketosis.
Best Keto Apps - Calculate Macros and Tracking Macors
You need to CALCULATE your macros, and you need to TRACK AND MONITOR your macros.
HOW TO CALCULATE MACROS:
My FREE macro calculator is specifically tailored to low-carb and ketogenic diet protocols, including information such as nutrient density score, keto score and insulin index, making it completely unique. Check it out here!
HOW TO TRACK YOUR MACROS:
If you want a reliable and accurate carb counting and tracking app, you can get the FREE version of cronometer.
Macro Calculators on Paper
Some people prefer good old fashioned pen and paper.
A simple Food & Exercise Tracker allows you to track your food and exercise, while also setting goals. Plus, there's even a measurement tracker for you.
The Bottom Line
Learning how to calculate macros is imperative to your success BUT it doesn't have to be forever.
Understanding how to count macros and learning where your carbs are coming from (especially the hidden sugars and hidden carbs) is important. As time continues, you can intuitively choose meals and keto snacks to stay within your limits and still continue to lose weight.
Setting your own personal carb limits and macros are fundamental to reaching and maintaining ketosis. This leads to optimal weight-loss and overall health.
Struggling and don't know how to calculate and set your own macros? Why not join the next 4-week QUICKSTART programme so you can finally reach your goal.
In it, I'll teach you everything you need to know to live low-carb and keto for life! PLUS, get weekly mini-challenges so you continue to make amazing progress and stop falling back into old habits.
FREE macro calculator
Heightmeters (e.g. 1.76 meters = 176 cm)
Specify the amount of daily net carbs you'd like to consume. Typically, 20-30 grams is recommended to start with.
Maintenance level is the level at which your weight remains stable.
|Your BMR is:||1536||kcal|
|Calories to consume:||2027||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||184||grams|
Sorry, cannot offer any weight loss suggestions. Please use the Custom section for weight loss macro targets.
Your body fat is too low. You should have a minimum of 3% body fat (essential fat you cannot lose). It is not advisable for you to lose any more weight.
Based on the amount of net carbs you specified, it would impossible to lose any weight. Please, reduce the amount of net carbs and try again.
Below is a range of calorie deficits to help you lose weight. For best results, it is recommended that you opt for a moderate calorie deficit of 10-20%.
Small calorie deficit (11%)
|Calories to consume:||1804||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||159||grams|
Moderate calorie deficit (22%)
|Calories to consume:||1581||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||134||grams|
Large calorie deficit (33%)
|Calories to consume:||1358||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||109||grams|
Below is a range of calorie surpluses to help you bulk up and gain muscle size. Keep in mind that you will need to add physical activity (weight training) in order to increase your muscle mass. For best results, it is recommended that you opt for a moderate calorie surplus of 10-20%.
Calorie surplus (10%)
|Calories to consume:||2231||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||206||grams|
Calorie surplus (15%)
|Calories to consume:||2332||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||218||grams|
Calorie surplus (20%)
|Calories to consume:||2434||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||229||grams|
Enter the calorie intake adjustment. For a calorie deficit (weight loss) enter a negative value (e.g. -10) while for a calorie surplus (weight gain) enter a positive value (e.g. 15). It is recommended that you opt for a moderate calorie deficit or surplus.
Custom adjustment (0%)
|Your BMR is:||1536||kcal|
|Calories to consume:||2028||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||184||grams|