You’ve committed to the keto lifestyle because you’re ready to lose that stubborn belly fat, have more energy, and improve your health. You’re SO excited to fit into your favorite dress and feel amazing on your vacation this year.
BUT there’s just one problem. You’re not sure how to figure out your macros while on the keto diet. It just seems so complicated!
The good news is, figuring out your macros for the keto diet is super simple. Your macro breakdown is as follows: 75% of your total diet should be fats, 20% should be protein, and 5% should be carbs.
Ready to take out all the guesswork? We’ll walk you through how to find your exact macros on a keto diet and some specific healthy and keto-friendly food options for each macronutrient.
How to Calculate Your Macros on the Keto Diet
1. First, you need to figure out your caloric needs.
The general calorie recommendation for adults is 2,000 calories a day. However, this number can vary depending on your age, gender, and activity level. Using an app like Carb Manager or an online calculator that does the math for you is the easiest way to get an estimation and a great place to start. We’ll use the example of 2,000 calories for our calculations to keep it simple.
2. Next, determine the number of carbohydrates you need.
Most research suggests that you need at least 20g of carbs daily. If you require 2,000 calories each day, 20-25g of net carbs would provide about 5% of your total caloric intake, the sweet spot for carbohydrate intake! Keep in mind that fiber does not count towards your total carbs. When adding up your carbs for the day, subtract fiber from the total carb count to get your total net carbs.
3. Now, calculate your needed protein intake.
Don’t worry, again this is pretty easy! Protein is essential for any diet. What you need will be influenced by your activity level and goals.
If you’re not very active or just want to maintain your weight you’ll need less protein. If you’re moderately active or want to lose weight, you’ll need a bit more. If you’re very active or want to gain muscle, yep you guessed it. You’ll need even more protein.
Here are the recommended amounts of protein needed for these goals. This is what we will use to calculate the accurate amount of protein.
- Maintain: 0.6g protein per lb body weight
- Lose: 0.8g protein per lb body weight
- Gain: 1.1g protein per lb body weight
Let’s say you weigh 140 pounds and want to lose weight and are moderately active. You simply need to multiply your weight in pounds by the grams of protein recommended.
- 140 X 0.8 = 112g of protein each day.
If you need 2,000 calories each day and need 112g of protein, your total protein percentage would be 22%. This puts you close to the recommended 20%.
4. Finally, determine how much fat you should be consuming.
Phew, we made it! This is the easiest part. The remaining calories are what will come from fat. Here’s how to see how many calories are coming from protein, carbs, and fat. Keep in mind that there are 4 calories per gram for protein and carbs, and 9 calories per gram for fat.
Multiply total carbohydrate grams by 4. In our example, we used 20. So, 20g X 4 = 80 calories.
Multiply total protein grams by 4. In our example, we used 112. So, 112g X 4 = 448
- 80+448=528 is your total calories so far. You have 2,000 calories in total.
- 2,000-528=1,472 left over. Now divide this leftover amount by 9 (the calories per gram in fat) to get our total for fat.
- 1,472/9 = 163g of fat
So your grand macro totals for this example are:
Use the steps outlined above to calculate your needed macro intake. You can do it! Also, keep in mind that these numbers can be adjusted when necessary. Just remember, you want to make sure that 75% of your total diet is fats, 20% is protein, and 5% is carbs. Try to keep to these percentages as close as possible.
Carb Manager and MyFitnessPal are great resources for figuring out your macros above.
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Now That You Have Your Numbers, Here are Some Healthy Keto Options
Hopefully, by now, you know that the keto diet isn’t just stuffing your face with endless amounts of bacon, eggs, and butter. You still need vital nutrients and quality sources of proteins, carbs, and fats!
Here are some healthy options for each macro category. Enjoying a wide variety of whole, real foods is the best way to make the keto lifestyle work long term and help you feel your best.
Healthy Keto Carbohydrate Options:
- Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, bok choy)
- Green beans
- Fresh herbs
- Fruit with high water content (melons, berries)
Healthy Keto Protein Options:
- Lean ground beef (grass-fed when possible)
- Chicken (unbreaded)
- Game meat
- Cottage cheese
- Unsweetened Greek yogurt
Healthy Keto Fats:
- Healthy oils: Avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, ghee
- Nuts and seeds
- Nitrate free bacon and sausage
- Unsweetened dark chocolate
- Sugar-free nut butter
Now you're ready to start managing your keto macros!
Figuring out your macros while on a keto diet isn’t as tricky as it might seem. It just takes a little bit of math to get your personalized numbers!
When you stick closely with the recommended percentages, 75% fats, 20% protein, and 5% carbs, you’ll be a keto fat-burning machine and really see results. If a number seems off or you’re not seeing the results you want, adjust the numbers accordingly.
Of course, here at Team Keto, we NEVER leave you on your own to just “figure it out.”
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