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If you want to learn how to calculate macros for a low carb, keto diet this is the best FREE macro calculator for weight loss or to maintain your weight.
This article will explain macros for a keto diet. I’ve also included a calculator for you to determine the right proportions of macros as you determine how to get into and stay in ketosis. Learning to calculate macros is critical to ensuring that you can get into ketosis and stay in ketosis.
WHAT ARE MACROS?
For our purposes, macros or macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein, and fat. All of your food can be thought of as different combinations of C/P/F. Much of keto is maintaining the desirable balance between these macros, and for Keto Diet Plan Week 4 you need to understand this.
On a typical keto diet plan, you want between 20-40 gms of carbs, you want enough protein to maintain muscle mass, and you want enough fat to provide satiety.
Here’s a high-level view of which foods contain a lot of carbs.
- Starches such as pasta, rice, potatoes, bread, oats
- Sugars such as sugar, honey, molasses, high-fructose corn syrup
- Grains such as quinoa, wheat, amaranth, millet
- Beans and legumes such as kidney beans, chickpeas, blackeyed peas (except black soy beans)
- Fruits, especially tropical fruits (berries are lower carb than other fruits)
- Starchy vegetables like peas, corn, sweet potatoes, winter squash etc.
Check out my How to start a Keto diet post here for weekly keto meal plan outlines, for information on how to calculate macros, and other great keto tips.
HOW MANY CALORIES IN C/P/F?
- Carbs and Protein each have 4 calories per gram
- Fat has 9 calories per gram
WHY DO MACROS MATTER ON A KETO DIET PLAN?
There’s a reason you are calculating macros. It’s because they serve as a proxy for things that will keep your insulin and your blood sugar in check. By themselves, they don’t mean that much.
People argue endlessly about whether this ingredient or that “is keto”. It’s not an ingredient per se you should worry about—you should worry about being in ketosis. There are ways to get into, and stay in ketosis.
The ways to do that are:
- control what you eat
- control when and how often you eat.
HOW DO I CALCULATE MACROS ON A KETO DIET?
Here’s a handy-dandy app for you to use! There are so many macro calculators for keto diets out there, it’s hard to know which ones to trust.
This Low Carb & Keto Macro Calculator will help you figure out how much of each macronutrient to eat to reach your goals.
Let me exert a caveat however.
I would start with this macro calculator. I will tell you though, that for many of us who have been overweight for a long time we are not able to eat all the calories these types of calculators tell us we can.
I usually start with these keto calculators, but then I end up adjusting downwards for the most part.
Heightmeters (e.g. 1.76 meters = 176 cm)
Specify the amount of daily net carbs you'd like to consume. Typically, 20-30 grams is recommended to start with.
Maintenance level is the level at which your weight remains stable.
|Your BMR is:||1536||kcal|
|Calories to consume:||2027||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||184||grams|
Sorry, cannot offer any weight loss suggestions. Please use the Custom section for weight loss macro targets.
Your body fat is too low. You should have a minimum of 3% body fat (essential fat you cannot lose). It is not advisable for you to lose any more weight.
Based on the amount of net carbs you specified, it would impossible to lose any weight. Please, reduce the amount of net carbs and try again.
Below is a range of calorie deficits to help you lose weight. For best results, it is recommended that you opt for a moderate calorie deficit of 10-20%.
Small calorie deficit (11%)
|Calories to consume:||1804||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||159||grams|
Moderate calorie deficit (22%)
|Calories to consume:||1581||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||134||grams|
Large calorie deficit (33%)
|Calories to consume:||1358||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||109||grams|
Below is a range of calorie surpluses to help you bulk up and gain muscle size. Keep in mind that you will need to add physical activity (weight training) in order to increase your muscle mass. For best results, it is recommended that you opt for a moderate calorie surplus of 10-20%.
Calorie surplus (10%)
|Calories to consume:||2231||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||206||grams|
Calorie surplus (15%)
|Calories to consume:||2332||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||218||grams|
Calorie surplus (20%)
|Calories to consume:||2434||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||229||grams|
Enter the calorie intake adjustment. For a calorie deficit (weight loss) enter a negative value (e.g. -10) while for a calorie surplus (weight gain) enter a positive value (e.g. 15). It is recommended that you opt for a moderate calorie deficit or surplus.
Custom adjustment (0%)
|Your BMR is:||1536||kcal|
|Calories to consume:||2028||kcal|
|Your fat intake should be:||184||grams|
What Percentages Should I Choose for Keto?
For a low carb diet, here are the recommended macro percentages:
- Fat: 40 to 70%
- Protein: 15 to 30%
- Net carbs: 15 to 30%
For a keto diet, the following percentages are a good starting point.
- Fat: 60-75%
- Protein 15%
- Net Carbs: 10%
Across both diets, here is how I would approach the macros:
- Limit your carbs to 25g net carbs – typically everyone reaches ketosis below 20g. Many are able to reach and stay in ketosis at 50 gms so be sure to test.
- Eat all your protein, which is typically about 0.6 gms per pound of body weight for those who are not super physically active.
- Eat Fat as a lever, and only if you are hungry. You do NOT need to eat all the fat.
Determining Body Fat
I use this Body Fat Scale to help me gauge my body fat. I’ve had it for 8 years and it still works great.
Do I really Need to Count Macros?
Well, a lot of people count nothing but carbs. They limit their carbs, and other than that, they just eat protein and fat as hungry.
This does work for many people. I think that what works best for many of us, is to start stringently by counting everything. Over time though, as you become more familiar with all the hidden sources of carbs, you can stop being super fanatical about tracking if you prefer not to.
At that point, you could track just carbs.
For me, I find I do better when I track everything that goes into my mouth. For others, the tracking makes them crazy.
So you do what works for you.
But in general, if you want to track macros for a low carb, or keto diet, this free calculator is a fantastic starting place.