If you have searched around the Internet, there’s a good chance you have heard about “counting macros”.
While the whole “count your macros” principle has just recently started trending over the past few years, the idea of counting your calories has been around for quite some time.
The truth is, counting your macros is the fastest way to start seeing results no matter what diet you’re following.
In terms of the ketogenic diet, following the correct keto macros percentage will allow you to get into a state of ketosis much faster than if you were to follow a “lazy keto” way of eating.
Just like anything else in life, the more you track something, the more effective your plan is and the quicker you reach your goals.
The ketogenic diet follows the same life principle and the faster you calculate and follow your own keto macros percentage, the sooner you will start benefiting from the ketogenic diet and the quicker you will reach your weight goals.
Before we dive into the proper keto macros percentage, let’s go over exact what macros are…
What are Macros?
Macros are short for macronutrients.
Any food or drink you consume will be broken down into the three following macros:
- Fats = 9 calories per gram
- Carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram
- Protein = 4 calories per gram
When you’re on the ketogenic diet, the goal is to keep carbohydrates to a minimum, protein at moderate amounts, and high in fats.
- Fats. Essential for optimal hormonal functioning and important for energy, absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and it’s the key macronutrient you should be focusing on to get into a state of ketosis.
- Carbohydrates. Carbs are the only non essential macronutrient meaning you don’t need carbohydrates to survive. When on the ketogenic diet, you should aim to keep your carbohydrates preferably under 25 grams a day.
- Protein. Used by the body to repair and build muscles. Protein is important for the functioning of your immune system, repairing tissue, and crucial for people who exercise often.
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
When you’re on the ketogenic diet, the ratio of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats (macronutrients) change drastically compared to most other diets out there.
By changing into a proper keto macros percentage, you are altering your body to start deriving energy from fats rather than from carbohydrates. This is because our body actually prioritizes using carbohydrates as energy before fats since it’s a quicker source of energy. But when you restrict them from your diet, your body seeks out other forms of energy.
This is when your body starts breaking down fat into fuel by producing ketones.
Many people like to compare it to putting premium gas into your car versus regular gas.
When you start burning ketones for energy rather than using glucose from carbohydrates, most people will begin to feel improvements in mood, mental clarity, faster weight loss, and significantly decreased hunger cravings.
Is Keto Good for You?
With the rise of processed carbohydrates, simple sugars, and excess amounts of beer, following a low carbohydrate diet can do wonders for several different mechanisms in your body, especially your metabolism.
- Improved energy
- Regulated hormonal function
- Improved mood
- Mental clarity (brain fog begone!)
- Fast weight loss
- Stabilized blood sugar
That said, it’s important to consult with your physician if you have type I or type II diabetes or any other metabolic disease that may be affected by your diet.
Keto Macros Percentage: How to Calculate Your Ketogenic Macros
The keto macros percentage is very simple but may be somewhat difficult for beginners who are not yet familiar with counting calories and macronutrients.
Luckily, once you get the hang of it, it becomes very easy and once done correctly, will help you get into ketosis and reach your weight loss goals much faster.
The following recommended keto macros percentage follows the standard ketogenic diet ratio.
This ratio will help you get into ketosis as efficiently as possible:
- 75% fats
- 20% protein
- 5% carbohydrates
How Many Carbs Can You Eat on Keto?
Carb consumption is very simple on the ketogenic diet. As a general rule, you will want to consume less than 25g of net carbohydrates per day.
Net carbohydrates means subtracting any fiber you consume.
So your goal is to have less than 25 grams of net carbs (net carbs = total carbs – fiber)
How Much Protein Should You Consume on Keto?
As a general guide, you should consume 0.8g to 1.2g of protein per pound of lean body mass.
This will be different for everyone depending on your activity level and how much body fat you have.
To find your lean muscle mass:
- Take your total weight in pounds and multiply it by your bodyfat percentage
- Subtract that amount from your total weight
- That number is your lean body mass
Once you have your lean body mass number, simply multiply it by 0.8 and that number is how much protein you should be consuming daily on the ketogenic diet.
How Much Fat Should You Consume on Keto?
The rest of your calories should be made up in fats after calculating the amount of protein and carbohydrates you should be eating.
Remember, protein is 4 calories per gram, carbohydrates are 4 calories per gram and fats are 9 calories per gram.
- Simply multiply your protein by 4 and carbohydrates by 4.
- Then subtract that number from your daily calorie goal.
- Take that number and divide it by 9
- The answer is your daily fat you should be eating daily
Is it Required to Track Macros on Keto?
This completely depends on your goals and how experienced you are with mindful eating. The truth is, if you are looking to lose weight and get into ketosis, tracking your keto macros percentage is the quickest way to do so.
If you find that tracking your macros is too difficult for you, the best thing you can do is keep your carbohydrate intake as low as possible while keeping your fats high.
If you’re a beginner, my Ketogenic Diet Roadmap goes over what and when to eat certain foods to help you get into ketosis without having to track your macros. It’s something I wish I had when I first started out with this way of eating.