Figuring out your keto macros is the first step you can take when starting on a ketogenic diet meal plan.
But before we jump into keto macros, let’s quickly cover what macros are and their importance on keto.
What Are Macronutrients?
Macros are short for macronutrients.
They are groups of nutrients that provide the body the energy it needs to function on a daily basis.
Some macronutrients provide energy in the form of calories. Others such as water and fiber are mostly required for other reasons.
In this article, we’ll be focusing on the three primary types that produce energy in the form of calories.
They are Proteins, Carbs, and Fats. Let’s take a look at how each of them works.
Your hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body also uses protein to build and repair muscle tissues. It’s also the nutrient that makes enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.
All in all, protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
But that’s not all there is to protein and its bodily functions.
Protein is also instrumental in regulating your metabolism. It’s the reason why it’s highly recommended in many weight loss programs. With a decent consumption of protein, you can boost your metabolism.
Needless to say, it plays an integral part in any healthy diet including the ketogenic diet.
Protein from animal sources is most popular, but you can get protein from other various foods. Protein is found in meat, poultry, fish, dairy, nuts, seeds, beans, and even in leafy vegetables like kale.
Carbohydrates are the food villain modern people love to hate.
But it’s the most popular macro since it’s the primary source of energy for your body.
It’s not an overstatement to say most people’s bodies are run by carbs.
Carbohydrate help fuel your brain, kidneys, heart, muscles and central nervous system. For instance, fiber is a type of carbohydrate that aids in digestion, giving you a sense of fullness.
It also helps keeps blood cholesterol levels in check.
Carbohydrates can be found in grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and dairy products.
Fats and oils are the third types of macronutrient. They are also known as triglycerides and play an essential part of a healthy diet.
Generally, fats make up about 15-25% of your total calories in most diets. But on the keto diet, fats are the most important macronutrient, making up as much as 60-75% of your daily calorie intake.
This is because keto diets use this macro as the primary energy source to build ketone bodies.
Fat is also the most energy dense macro of all providing 9 calories per gram. This is more than double the energy compared to protein and carb that provide 4 calories per gram.
You can find fats in products such as oil, nuts, olives, and avocados.
Unhealthy, artificial fats are often found in highly processed foods like pizza.
What Should Your Macros Be?
On any diet, coming up with your macro needs to take a few other aspects into consideration.
And it starts with your daily calories.
Naturally, this is quite unique to you, and it’s different for everyone.
Things like age, weight, activity level and gender influence your total calorie intake.
Intuitively, if you are active, you need more calories in a day. Conversely, if you are trying to lose weight, you may need to reduce your calorie intake.
Once you have this figure ready, you can calculate how much fat, protein, and carb to eat.
As a rule of thumb, here are the median macro portions of standard diets.
Protein: 20-35% of daily calories. Alternatively, government sources suggest 0.8 grams of protein per bodyweight in kilograms. If you weigh 60kg, your daily protein should be about 48 grams.
Carbs: 50-70% of daily calories. Taking the middle, our macro calculator uses 60%. Regardless of your daily budget for your carbs, limit your sugar intake to 10% of your daily calories at the most. This ensures that you keep your meals balanced, clean, and healthy.
Fats: 10-15% of daily calories. As with carb, fats come in varying degree of health level. Stick to healthy fats like avocado oil, olive oil, and plant-based fats. Avoid artificial, saturated fats like margarine and canola oils. Widely used soybean oil is also to be avoided.
These macro portions should serve as the starting point in planning your diet.
You can also use the macro calculator below to calculate your macronutrients. This way you can have a more accurate figure.
What are Keto Macros?
Macros are the most important part of a ketogenic diet.
It’s because they determine what energy source your body will use to fuel itself.
On the keto diet, the aim is to switch the body’s energy source from glucose to fat.
To do this effectively, your macros must get adjusted to keto macros.
Generally, on the ketogenic diet, your macros fall within the following ranges:
- Fats: 65-75% of calories from fat.
- Protein: 15-30% of calories from protein.
- Carbohydrates: 5-10% of calories from carbs.
By restricting carbohydrates while upping fat, you can successfully induce ketosis.
It’s a reaching point where your body burns fat as its primary energy source instead of glucose.
Eating in accordance with keto macro ratios is what is known as nutritional ketosis.
Reaching and staying in the state of ketosis depends on an intricate balance of the keto macros. Therefore, finding your right keto macros is truly important.
Also sticking to keto foods is where you find keto success.
This is particularly important when planning your keto diet menu or meal plan.
For example, even healthy foods like apple, carrots, oats, bananas are to avoid on a ketogenic diet.
While it’s a huge shift in eating when going keto, but it’s one diet worth following.
Not only it’s known to promote fat burn and weight loss, but it also has many other health benefits.
There are over two dozen studies that attest to the benefits of the ketogenic diet.
Per research, it can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, promote fat and drive weight loss and more.
Macro ratios are the most important part of any diet including the keto diet.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain muscles, you need to figure how much protein, carbs, and fat to eat.
The macro calculator above will help you determine your exact macros for your goal.
For keto macros, use the Keto Calculator to help you calculate your Keto macro ratios.
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