The ketogenic diet is now mainstream. Most people are adopting a keto diet in a bid to maintain a healthy weight. A keto diet, unlike other weight-loss diets, does not involve cutting down on healthy fat. Instead, you will take more healthy fats and fewer carbs. This way, the body will trigger ketosis, which is fat metabolism, to release energy. When fats and not glucose from carbs are burned to release energy, you maintain a healthy weight. The body can burn the fat stored under the skin, thereby allowing you to lose weight.
Through the internet, and specifically through nutritional apps, you can track your macros to ensure that you cut carbs and burn fats.
What are Macros, and How Much Do You Need?
Macros are short for macronutrients. These nutrients include carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Most of the calories in your food come from these three nutrients, and each plays an important role in supporting a person’s health.
When you are on a keto diet, your macros should be as follows:
- 5 percent of carbs should be from carbs
- 25 percent calories from proteins
- 70 percent calories from healthy fats
The ratio is supposed to trigger ketosis by tricking your body to burn more fat for energy instead of glucose. You can look at the contents of keto supplements and packed foods online to know more. You can track your macros in four easy steps:
- Understand Your Calorie Needs
What are your fitness goals? Do you need to lose weight, add weight, or maintain your weight?
Once you have set your fitness goals, it will be easier to calculate the calories you need each day. If you need to lose weight, you need fewer calories than your body metabolism needs. If you need to gain weight, you need surplus calories.
- Understand Your Carb Needs
The carbs you take should account for 5 percent of the total daily calorie requirement. A carb intake of between 20 and 50 grams per day should be sufficient to promote ketosis, but the exact amount may vary from one person to the next .
For starters, take between 20 and 25 grams of carbs a day and then increase gradually as long as you do not exceed 5 percent of the total daily calorie requirement. Each gram of carbs provide about four calories – if you need 2000 calories a day, 20 grams of carbs should, therefore, be enough to give you the 5 percent calories you need from carbs.
What are Net Carbs?
Net carbs refer to the amount of sugar from carbs when you exclude the fiber content of the food. You can calculate net carbs by subtracting the amount of fiber from the carbs you consume.
Fiber is a carb but one which is not absorbed by the body. As such, fiber does not have the same effect as sugar from carbs.
- Calculate Your Protein Needs
Proteins are needed to support lean body mass, repair tissues, and other essential functions. Proteins will help you control appetite while on a keto diet and reduce the body fat percentage without interfering with ketosis . Your protein needs should be estimated based on your level of activity and fitness goals.
If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you need about 0.6 grams of protein for every pound of your body weight; if you are moderately active, take 0.9 grams of protein for every pound of body weight, and 1.1 grams for very active people.
- Calculate Your Fats Needs
After calculating your carbs and protein needs, it is easier to calculate your fat needs. If you need 100 calories from carbs and 450 calories from proteins, and your daily calorie requirement is 2000, then:
2000 – (450 + 100) = 1450 calories
Each gram of fat gives about 9 calories. Divide the remaining calories by 9 (1450 ÷ 9 = 161 grams of fat).
Tracking Over the Internet Through an App
Apps such as MyFitnessPal, MyMacros, Lose It, and Carb Manager, among others, will help you track what you eat while on a keto diet. The trick to managing a keto diet is eating less carbs and more fat. With an app, you can track what you eat and ensure you do not go overboard with one nutrient.
However, a keto diet is not an excuse to consume foods with unhealthy fats. You can eat cheese, avocadoes, oily fish, and other healthy fats.