Do you want to start losing weight ASAP by using the keto diet? Maybe you’ve been meaning to but haven’t gotten around to learning the basics, like macronutrients. Well, we’re here to guide you with some easy to follow instructions!
In this post we will explain the three main macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. You will also learn to calculate the amounts you need to eat for maximum results that LAST. Learn how to start as soon as tomorrow!
What are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are the chemical compounds in our foods that provide us with most of our energy. They include protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Alcohol also provides energy, so we suggest omitting it from your diet if your goal is to lose weight. It’s important to know that even pure alcohol like vodka or Everclear still provides calories! Now, let’s talk about how to calculate these important nutrients for our diet. The following examples assume you are already overweight(have excess bodyfat to lose) and do not currently workout (In the future, I will address variations of the keto diet for other goals, such as strength training and even getting “ripped”).
For macronutrients, let’s start with protein, since it is pretty simple to calculate. Take your current weight and multiply it by between 0.4 to 0.5 if you are male, and 0.3 to 0.4 if you are female. Go with the lower numbers if you have difficulty eating large amounts of protein, and the higher end if you are a serious carnivore. The higher numbers will also help keep you fuller.
Example1: Joshua weighs 200 lbs, so 200 x 0.4 = 80, so he should aim to eat 80 grams of protein a day.
Example2: If Joshua liked protein and could handle more, then he would do 200 x 0.5 = 100, so 100 grams of protein a day.
Now take the grams of protein you will need to eat per day, and multiply by four to figure out how many of your calories are coming from protein.
JOSHUA’s EXAMPLE RESULTS: Joshua wants to eat 100 g of protein per day, so 100 x 4 = 400. Joshua will eat 400 kcal of protein per day.
You will want to stay between 20 and 50 grams of net carbs. Fiber and sugar alcohols are examples of carbohydrates listed on the nutritional information that are NOT counted. Net carbs are total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols.
To get to these super low numbers, you will have to avoid high carbohydrate foods. We all know the popular ones: bread, pasta, candy or anything with a lot of sugar. Be careful with some of the less well known ones, like most fruits and even some veggies (carrots have a lot of sugar!)
Those few carbs you do eat are going to come from fibrous vegetables. Follow us for recipe ideas that already incorporate good carbs!
Again, having a calorie/macro tracking app like MyMacros is a great way of knowing if a food will fit in your diet that day. Just look it up, plug in how much of it you plan to eat, and look at the carbs. If it is too high, then you should probably avoid it!
Now, we have to work our carbohydrates into our calories. Multiply the grams of carbohydrates you will eat per day to figure out how many of your calories are coming from carbohydrates.
JOSHUA’s EXAMPLE RESULTS: Joshua wants to eat 25 g of carbohydrates per day, so 25 x 4 = 100. Joshua will eat 100 kcal of carbohydrate per day.
The rest of your calories should come from fats. Don’t be afraid. It is awesome! You will be eating fewer calories, but likely will feel fuller than you are used to. This is great, because it won’t feel like you are dieting for the first day or two!
To figure out how much fat you will be eating, you will need the results of all the other items we discussed above: Maintenance calories, calories from protein, and calories from carbohydrates.
Take your maintenance calories, and subtract 500 kcal. Then subtract the calories from protein. Finally, subtract the calories from carbohydrate. Now, you have the calories from fat. Divide this number by 9, and you have the number of GRAMS of fat you will need to eat per day.
JOSHUA’s EXAMPLE RESULTS:
- Maintenance calories: 2,000 kcal (We figured this out in our last post, here)
- Calorie deficit: Subtract 500 kcal = 1,500 kcal
- Protein: Subtract 400 kcal = 1,100 kcal
- Carbohydrates: Subtract 100 kcal = 1,000 kcal
- Fats: 1,000 kcal divided by 9 = ~112 grams of fat
For Joshua to lose 1.3 pounds every week, every day he will need to eat:
- 112 g of fat
- 25 g of carbohydrates
- 100 g of protein
Finally, the secret formula! Now go ahead and calculate these numbers for your own goal. Need help? Email us or DM us on Instagram, for free!
We talk about this here to show that alcohol (even liquor) contains calories. So if you choose to drink during your diet, you will need to count those calories. Beers and certain wines also have additional carbohydrates. Pure alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, so even a one ounce shot of vodka will carry at least 64 calories.
How do I calculate all these numbers?
Need help figuring out calories in foods? I like to use SELF Nutrition Data. It has gotten pretty clunky as far as ads go, but the information there is still so much more useful and accurate than other calorie sites out there.
Once you have the calories and macros, you can track them in an app like MyMacros. But you can use another app if you already have one, or heck, even paper and pencil.
Meal Frequency: How often should I eat?
Do what works for you, as long as you track the calories and macronutrients each day. Want to have just one huge meal a day? You can. Want to have two? Three? Seven? Go for it. Just make sure to spread your calories out among the number of meals you choose.
I suggest you just do what you’ve been doing, as far as number of meals goes. If you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then just keep eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but with keto-friendly meals.
Example: You need 2,000 calories per day. You can either eat two meals of 1,000 calories each, or four meals of 500 calories each. If you don’t think you can eat 1,000 calories in a single meal, breaking your calories up into four meals might work better for you.
In the next few blogs we will cover some of the questions I’m sure you already have:
- How do I figure out my calorie deficit?
- What foods should I eat when starting out?
- How often should I eat?
- Should I go straight into ketosis, or slowly decrease carbs?
- Do I have to work out while I diet?
- What if I don’t want to do keto, but still want to lose weight?
- How do I find my actual lean body mass (LBM)?
- How to read nutrition labels
- Keto Flu
- Net carbs
If you still have questions feel free to email us or DM us on Instagram or Facebook. We would be happy to answer your questions for FREE, and it will help us know what other blogs to create in the future. Help us help you!
Subscribe to our blog to learn the answers to these questions! And make sure to follow us on Instagram for other great ideas. We wish you the best on your journey!