On the “How to Prepare Keto Chow” page there is a big blue button that loads the calorie calculator. Here’s a video tutorial that will help you navigate that. We’ve also included the calculator here on this page along with the Keto FAQ about Macronutrients below that.
From the Reddit Keto FAQ
What are macronutrients?
Macronutrients (“macros”) are what you use for fuel: fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Every weight-loss diet works by limiting the total amount of calories you eat. The macronutrient makeup of a ketogenic diet make it very easy to stay in a caloric deficit and lose weight. Most people do not need to count calories on that diet, because they naturally start consuming a healthy amount of calories.
The three macronutrients are carbohydrate, protein and fat.
All three nutrients have differing effects on ketosis due to their digestion and subsequent effects on blood glucose and hormone levels.
- Carbohydrate is 100% anti-ketogenic due to its effects on blood glucose and insulin (raising both).
- Protein is approximately 46% ketogenic and 58% anti-ketogenic due to the fact that over half of ingested protein is converted to glucose, raising insulin.
- Fat is 90% ketogenic and ten percent anti-ketogenic, representing the small conversion of the glycerol portion of triglycerides to glucose.
“Both protein and carbohydrate intake will impact the development of ketosis, affecting both the adaptations seen as well as how much of a ‘protein sparing’ effect will occur. Despite the generally ‘high fat’ nature of the ketogenic diet, or at least how it is perceived, dietary fat intake has a rather minimal effect on ketosis per se. Fat intake will primarily affect how much bodyfat is used for fuel.”
Lyle McDonald, “The Ketogenic Diet”, page 52
Compared to the diet recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration, the macros in a ketogenci diet are high fat, moderate (adequate) protein, and extremely low in carbohydrates.
Alcohol is also a macronutrient and it may have applications in explosive exercises, however, due to the small, infrequent levels in which it’s consumed, it is rarely referred to when calculating nutritional goals. That’s not to say that alcohol can’t affect ketosis. Refer to http://www.reddit.com/r/keto/wiki/faq#wiki_can_i_still_drink_alcohol.2Fcoffee.3F.
Protein and the Ketogenic Diet
Although carbohydrate intake is arguably the most important aspect of successfully inducing ketosis, protein intake is extremely important in order to prevent muscle loss. While an easy solution is to simply eat as much protein as possible, this is not recommended.
Therefore, protein intake is recommended to fall within a narrow range:
- Sedentary people: 0.69 – 0.8g per lean pound
- Mildly active or doing endurance / strength training: 0.8 to 1.0g per lean pound
- Heavy strength training / bodybuilders: 1.0 up to 1.2g per lean pound
Protein according to lean pound is recommended for people who are obese or want to achieve low body fat levels.
For the most part, the timing of protein intake is not an issue on a ketogenic diet, except as it pertains to maintaining ketosis. The nature of the ketogenic diet ensures that protein is consumed at most meals with few exceptions.
Do I need to hit my fat macro?
If you are doing keto for weight loss, no. A common misconception about the keto diet is that one must consume a lot of fat. The keto diet is a high fat diet, but if you are doing keto for weight loss a portion of that fat is going to come from your body. You may commonly see it said on this subreddit that fat is a lever/meant to keep keep you full. Your body can’t get all of its energy from stored body fat though, so be sure to consume at least 30g-50g of fat per day.
If you are doing keto and struggling to lose weight, fat is the first thing that should be cut. This article is a good place to start for ways/reasons to reduce your fat intake.
A macros tl;dr:
Carbs are a limit. They are the only macro that meaningfully impact ketosis. There is no minimum carb intake.
Protein is a goal. Protein is vital. Unlike carbs and fat your body cannot store protein. This is why you need to prioritize hitting your protein macro every day.
Fat is to satiate. Fat is what you use for energy on a ketogenic diet, but if you’re trying to burn body fat you don’t need to hit your fat macro. Just eat enough of it so that you feel full.