Got your macros? Great! Want a customized meal plan and supplement stack that fits them exactly? Check out Keto Kickstart! Read on to learn more about how the keto calculator works, how to track your macros, and what foods to eat to hit your macros: How a Keto Calculator Helps You How the Keto Calculator Works Your Keto Macros Explained Tracking Your Keto Macros How to Know if You’re in Ketosis Foods and Meals to Hit Your Keto Macros Using the Ketogenic Diet for Optimal Health How a Keto Calculator Helps You A keto macro calculator helps you discover your unique needs, so you can: Reach your weight loss or weight gain goals Easily enter and stay in ketosis Accurately track your macros throughout the day Stop guessing what and how much you should be eating Enjoy optimal health. All you have to do is enter a few key details: How To Use The Keto Macro Calculator Wonder how the keto calculator finds your daily macros? Here’s exactly how it works and why it’s accurate: Step #1: Enter Your Details: Gender, Age, Height, and Weight The keto calculator uses your gender, age, height, and weight to find something called your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the amount of energy you spend per unit of time while resting. Basically, how much energy you burn while doing absolutely nothing. This calculator uses the Mifflin-St.Jeor Formula to find your BMR, which is among the most accurate formulas. One study found it shows a strong correlation between the predicted BMRs and the actual BMRs[*]. This is why your details affect your BMR: Gender: Body composition is different between men and women. Age: Your RMR decreases with age as your muscle mass declines, especially after age 30. Height & weight: Needed to know your unique body composition. Next, the keto calculator determines your energy consumption when you’re not resting: Step #2: Enter Your Activity Level Your physical activity level (PAL) measures how much energy you spend daily when you’re active. The calculator combines your BMR and your activity level to find your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), which is the number of calories your body burns in 24 hours. Your TDEE tells the calculator how many calories you need to eat daily to cover your expenditure. Step #3: Calorie Intake Goal Here you can tell the calculator if you want to maintain, lose, or gain weight by picking a calorie deficit or surplus. For example, if you choose a 10% calorie deficit, your total daily calories will be 10% lower than you actually need. This will help you lose a moderate amount of weight. If you put a 10% calorie surplus, your daily calories will be 10% higher than you need, which helps you gain weight. Here’s how the calorie bar works: To maintain weight: Keep the bar at 0%. To lose weight: Move the bar between 0 and -50 (calorie deficit). Stay within 10-20% for moderate weight loss. To gain weight: Move the bar between 0 and +50 (calorie surplus). Stay within 10-20% for moderate weight gain. If you chose the keto calculator at the beginning, the journey ends here and it will give your macro targets. If you’re using the specialized calculator, you have a few more details to fill in: Step #4: Advanced Fields (In the Specialized Calculator Only): Body fat %, Protein Ratio, and Total Carb Intake Body Fat % Your body fat percentage is used to determine your lean body mass and contributes to a more accurate estimation of your TDEE. This helps the keto calculator figure out how many calories from protein you need per day to lose weight without reducing your muscle mass. If you don’t know your body fat percentage, you can measure it at home, the gym, or in a health facility. These are the two most accurate methods: Skinfold Calipers: Skin calipers are affordable and easy to get on Amazon. Your local gym most likely has them too. A skinfold caliper works by pinching one area of your skin that folds easily (like your belly and back), in three to ten different areas of your body to measure your subcutaneous fat. That measurement is then used in a formula to calculate your body fat percentage. If you’ve never done this before, let a physician or coach do it first and teach you how to read the measurements accurately so you can do it at home next times. DEXA (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry): If you can afford it, a DEXA scan will give you the most accurate results. A DEXA is an X-ray treatment that measures body composition and can detect bone mineral density, lean body mass, and fat mass with great accuracy. However, they can only be done on a health facility and a comprehensive session can cost up to $160. Other methods at home like online calculators and bioelectrical scales can be wildly inaccurate, so avoid these. There are other techniques done in health facilities like air-displacement plethysmography and hydrostatic weighing, but these are pricey as well and not as thorough as a DEXA scan. It’s recommended you measure your body fat percentage every six to eight weeks. Protein Ratio Now that you know your body fat %, you can measure your lean body mass (LBM) and then pick your protein intake accordingly. Your LBM is simply the remaining percentage that isn’t body fat. Here’s an example: If you weigh 150 pounds (68 kg) and your body fat percentage is 20%, then your lean body mass is 80%, which in pounds would be: Body fat %= 20%*150 lb= 30 lb (13kg) Lean body mass=150 lb-30 lb= 120 lb (54.4kg) To maintain your muscle mass while losing weight, input 0.60 -0.80 grams per lb of lean body mass (1.3 to 1.7 grams per kg LBM). In this example, you would input 72-96 grams of protein (0.60*120 lb or 0.80*120 lb). To gain muscle mass, the protein ratio should be between 0.8 to 1.2 grams per lb of LBM (1.7 to 2.3 grams per kg LBM). In this example, you would input 96-144 grams (0.80*120 lb or 1.2*120 lb) Total Carb Intake Here you simply input the number of carbs you want to eat. It’s recommended you leave it in the standard range of 20-50g of net carbs. Finally, the keto calculator takes all this input and creates the perfect macro targets for your goals. Your Keto Macros Explained Let’s recall that for the classical ketogenic diet, your food intake will be: 70-80% of calories from fats 20-25% of calories from protein 5-10% of calories from net carbs (Net carbs are the grams of carbohydrates in a food minus the grams of fiber in it) With this distribution, a person eating 2,500 calories per day will eat: 208 grams of fat 125 grams of protein 30 grams of carbs However, since your personal calorie intake can be lower or higher than this, the specific grams of each macronutrient will look different for you. Carbohydrate Intake For most people, a range of 20-50 grams of carbohydrate intake per day is ideal for the keto diet. Some people can go as high as 80 grams per day to stay in ketosis, but the majority should stay in the 20-50g range for best results. Each person’s metabolism is different. If you used the standard keto calculator, then your target carbs should be in this optimal range. Carbs are the easiest nutrients to overeat, so it’s important you read labels to avoid hidden sugars and eat only low-glycemic foods that let you stay in the target range, for example: Leafy greens (lettuce, collard greens, spinach) Kale Broccoli Cauliflower Cucumber Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) High-glycemic foods like sweet fruits (banana, dates, watermelon), starchy veggies (potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes), and refined grains like bread, pasta, and cookies are off-limits. Recommended reading: What Does 30g of Carbs Look Like? How Many Carbs Should You Eat on a Ketogenic Diet? What are Net Carbs: The Difference Between Effective and Non-Impact Carbs Protein Intake Protein should be kept to adequate proportions. Eating around 1.5 to 2g of protein per kg of lean body mass (0.68 – 1g of protein per lb. of lean body mass) is ideal. Your protein intake goal will only be higher if you want to build muscle, lift heavy weights almost every day, or follow a high-protein keto diet. Fatty protein sources are preferred, like: Fatty cuts of grass fed beef Pork Lamb Chicken and duck Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel) Seafood Don’t worry about eating too much protein — it won’t kick you out ketosis (yes, really). Your body has a metabolic process named gluconeogenesis (GNG), which has three parts to it: Gluco – coming from the Greek root glukos – meaning “sweet wine.” Neo – “new” Genesis – “creation.” GNG is in charge of making glucose from non-carb sources, including protein, lactate, and glycerol. This is a normal process crucial for: Fueling the few tissues that can’t use ketones, such as part of your brain, red blood cells, and testicles Maintaining proper blood glucose levels Building glycogen Without gluconeogenesis, ketosis wouldn’t be possible. Ketones are an excellent fuel source, but since they can’t fuel 100% of your tissues, GNG steps in to fuel the rest. GNG is also a highly stable mechanism, so even if you eat more protein than the standard keto macros allow, you won’t increase the rate of GNG enough to get kicked out of ketosis. Recommended reading: How Much Protein Can You Eat on a Ketogenic Diet Fat Intake The remaining 70-80% of your calories come from fats. Since fat is the main source of nutrition on a ketogenic diet, it’s important to source high-quality, healthy fats. Part of your dietary fat will come from fatty proteins like the ones mentioned above, and the rest will come from other fat sources such as: Coconut oil MCT oil and powder Avocado Dairy (sour cream, butter, ghee, cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream) Nuts and seeds (macadamia, chia seeds, flaxseed) Nuts and seed butters (almond butter, sunflower butter, peanut butter) Recommended reading: How Much Fat Should You Eat on a Ketogenic Diet Good Fats vs. Bad Fats on the Ketogenic Diet Keto Nuts? The Pros and Cons of Nuts on a Ketogenic Diet Total Calories Your calorie target is measured based on: Your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) Your calorie intake goal (to lose, gain, or maintain weight) For instance, if you need 2000 calories to cover your basic energy expenditure, but you want to lose weight, then your target calories can be 1800 (a deficit of 200 calories per day). Recommended reading: Not Losing Weight on Keto? Here are 10 Reasons Why Keto Diet Weight Loss Plateau: What to Consider and How to Break It Benefits of Fasting on Keto How Fast Will I Lose Weight on Keto? What to Expect Dieting on Keto Tracking Your Macros The best way to hit your keto macros is to measure your daily food intake. You can easily do this through an online app where you log everything you ate during the day. My Fitness Pal is a clear favorite in the fitness space because it has a massive nutrient database. You don’t have to measure your macros every day of your life, but it’s important you do it for the first few months until you’re able to accurately hit your macros without needing to measure every meal. How To Know If You’re In Ketosis Eating according to the macros the keto calculator gives you will help you enter and stay in ketosis, so you can use fat as energy and accelerate your natural weight loss (if that’s your goal). However, you might come out of ketosis without realizing it if you exceed your carb intake. To make sure you’re in ketosis, you’ll have to test the ketone levels in your blood. There are urine and breath tests to detect ketones too, but they’re not nearly as accurate as blood tests. Blood tests are the most reliable way to test ketone levels because ketones can’t get diluted in your blood (like they can in urine) and blood carries the main ketone your body produces: BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate). BHB is the only ketone that gets turned into ATP, the energy molecule. The most accurate tool to measure BHB levels in your blood is the Precision Xtra meter. You’ll have to draw blood from your finger every time you want to measure your ketones, so keep that in mind. The blood level of BHB is measured in millimolar concentration, or “mmol”. Studies have shown the most optimal ranges of BHB levels for benefits of ketosis are between 1.5-3.0 mmol, however, this may vary per person. Taking exogenous ketones can also help you stay in ketosis for longer and boost your BHB levels. Recommended reading: The Ultimate Guide to Ketosis 6 Tips to Get You Into Ketosis Quickly How To Maintain Ketosis Why Supplement with Exogenous Ketones? Foods and Meals to Hit Your Keto Macros As Benjamin Franklin once said, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” The best way to set yourself up for success is to source healthy keto-friendly foods that nourish your body and help put you in ketosis. This means you’ll have to give your grocery list and pantry a makeover. The best keto-friendly foods are: Meats: fatty cuts of grass-fed beef, veal, game meat, chicken, turkey, poultry, pork, lamb, goat, fish(salmon, sardines, catfish, tilapia, tuna, trout), and seafood (shrimp, mollusks, lobster, etc). Oils: olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, walnut oil. Whole Eggs: preferably organic, free-range. Dairy: full-fat cheeses, sour cream, full-fat (unsweetened) yogurt, grass-fed butter, ghee, milk, and heavy cream. Nuts and seeds: macadamia, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and nut butters. Low-carb vegetables and fruits: spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and other leafy greens. Small quantities of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and avocados. Wondering how to use these foods to make actual meals? Get started with these recipes: Breakfast Savory Cheesy Bacon Brussel Sprouts Casserole Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Breakfast Casserole Keto Brunch Spread Turkey Sausage Frittata Keto Power Breakfast With Green Sauce Easy Ketogenic Breakfast Tacos Avocado Breakfast Bowl Sweet Keto Oatmeal Flourless Matcha Latte Pancakes Superfood Pumpkin Waffles Chocolate Pancakes with Blueberry Butter Smoothies Chocolate Sea Salt Smoothie Micronutrient Greens Matcha Smoothie Low-Carb Acai Almond Butter Smoothie Keto Collagen Chocolate Smoothie Lunch & Dinner Red Meat Spring Keto Stew with Venison Low Carb Keto Lasagna Low Carb Keto Chili Slow Cooker Taco Soup Mushroom Bacon Skillet Loaded Cauliflower Bake Portobello Bun Cheeseburgers Cheesy Broccoli Meatza BBQ Pulled Beef Sando Chicken Easy White Turkey Chili Low Carb Crispy Keto “Fried” Chicken Keto Chicken Hemp Heart Tenders Lemon Balsamic Chicken Lemon Chicken Avocado Boats Roasted Chicken Stacks Creamy Mushroom Chicken Easy Keto Chicken Salad Fish Crispy Skin Salmon with Pesto Cauliflower Rice Keto Poke with Ahi Tuna and Citrus Smoked Salmon Pate with Cucumber Seafood Shrimp Stir Fry with Baked Cauliflower Rice Shrimp Stacks Sides Rosemary Cauliflower Mash and Gravy Celeriac Everything Oven Fries 4 Ingredient Low Carb Cloud Bread Creamed Spinach Jalapeno Parmesan Crisps MCT Powder Garlic Dressing Keto Bread Drinks Keto Bulletproof Coffee Recipe Bone Broth to Crush Inflammation Perfect Keto Frappuccino Desserts Keto MCT Matcha Fat Bombs Pumpkin Spice Fat Bombs Perfect Keto Mocha Fat Bombs Macadamia Nut Fat Bomb Anti-Inflammatory MCT Fat Bomb Perfect Keto Collagen Mug Cake Keto Brownies with Peppermint Crunch Healthy Homemade Keto Chocolate Bars Chocolate Sea Salt Peanut Butter Bites Mint Chip Popsicles with Micro Greens Low Carb Gingersnap Cookies Keto Superfood Nice Cream Perfect Keto Chocolate Mousse Recommended reading: Full Ketogenic Diet Food List Ketogenic Diet Foods to Avoid: 108 Foods That’ll Slow Your Fat Loss How to Start the Ketogenic Diet Keto-Approved Recipes 47 Healthy Keto Snacks That Won’t Kick You Out of Ketosis Use The Keto Diet For Optimal Health The ketogenic diet is so much more than a weight-loss approach. It’s a profound lifestyle change that can give you the tools to upgrade your health in many significant ways, including: Balancing your metabolism Improving your exercise and physical performance Boosting your productivity and mental focus Increasing longevity by reducing age-related diseases Improving your body’s wound-healing capabilities Treating and managing several medical conditions such as: Epilepsy Inflammation Alzheimer’s Disease Cancer Depression Migraines Brain trauma Now that you know how to eat to succeed on your ketogenic diet, you’ll be able to crush your health goals, while also optimizing many areas of your physical and mental health by default.