The Perfect Keto Macro Calculator helps you figure out your best macronutrients — carbohydrates, protein, and fat — so that you can reach any goal on the keto diet, whether that’s fat loss, weight maintenance, or increased muscle mass.
You can also create a keto meal plan that works to your advantage by knowing your optimal macros. This calculator helps anyone at any stage of their journey! It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started or need help with making better progress.
It’s straightforward. Just fill out all the required fields, like your age, gender, activity level, then click Calculate My Goals.
Here’s exactly how it works:
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.
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.
How Accurate Is The Perfect Keto Calculator?
Yes. Unique information about yourself, including your gender, age, height, and weight, is required to determine your basal metabolic rate (BMR) — this refers to the number of calories you burn while at rest.
This calculator uses the Mifflin-St Jeor equation, the most reliable formula (and with the narrowest error range), to predict BMR[*].
Other relevant details like your activity level, weight goal, and body fat percentage are needed to find your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) or daily calorie burn, which includes physical activity.
As long as you enter the best possible information, you should be able to get the correct macro ratio.
What Are Keto Macros?
Ketogenic diet macronutrients or “macros” refer to the amount of protein, carbs, and fat that’s needed for your body to enter nutritional ketosis — a natural metabolic state that results from fat breakdown.
What Should My Macros Be on Keto?
The keto diet follows this standard macro ratio:
- 5% or fewer calories from carbohydrates
- 70-80% of calories from healthy fats
- 20-30% of calories from protein
As an example, let’s say you’re consuming 2,000 calories per day to lose weight. Based on that calorie requirement, your carb, fat, and protein intake would be as follows:
- 25 grams of carbs or less
- 156-178 grams of fat
- 100-150 grams of protein
To get this result, you should multiply your calorie target by each macro percentage and divide the result by the number of calories per macro gram. (Note: 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories, 1 gram of fat = 9 calories, 1 gram of protein = 4 calories)
Do You Have to Count Keto Diet Macros?
Macro counting can be beneficial if you aim for nutritional ketosis, whether for weight loss or other health goals. Because everyone’s macronutrient breakdown looks different, tracking helps to ensure that you’re following a keto meal plan that works to your advantage.
Also, if you’re using keto for body recomposition, knowing exactly how much carbs, protein, and fat is vital for attaining fat loss and increasing muscle mass.
Is Keto Healthy?
Yes. The keto diet may improve various aspects of health, as experienced by many people. Some of its benefits include reduced blood sugar levels (leading to a reversal of Type 2 Diabetes), weight loss, preservation of lean body mass, and better brain and heart health.
However, if you have an existing medical condition, such as hypertension or diabetes, it’s best to talk to your health care provider first and seek close medical supervision. In addition, your current medications may require some adjustment while following the diet.
How Do You Start a Keto Diet?
To start a ketogenic diet, you should reduce carbs to 30-50 grams per day and up your intake of healthy fats. You’ll want to avoid foods that contain lots of carbs, such as rice, bread, pasta, starchy veggies, and most fruits (especially the sweeter ones).
We recommend clearing out all carb-heavy foods in your pantry and stocking up on keto-friendly items like meat, poultry, seafood, non-starchy vegetables, and nuts and seeds. (Tip: Whether you do grocery shopping or buy in bulk online, always check the grams of carbs per serving on the nutrition label.)
How Can I Speed up Ketosis?
Drastically reducing carbohydrates is the fastest way to enter ketosis because it severely depletes your glycogen stores. Additionally, you can leverage other strategies like intermittent fasting, increasing your physical activity, and taking an exogenous ketone supplement.
What Macro Is Most Important on the Keto Diet?
The single most important macro to track on keto is carbohydrates. To achieve ketosis, most people must eat less than 30 grams to 50 grams of carbs daily.
However, the keto diet also requires that most of your daily calories come from healthy fats, and with protein in moderate amounts to boost metabolism and support lean muscle mass.
Do Macros Matter for Fat Loss?
Yes. Anyone pursuing a ketogenic diet should follow a specific macronutrient breakdown to lose fat successfully. Macronutrients have unique functions that enable you to reach your goal when consumed in the right amounts.
For example, protein works for fat loss by increasing satiety and energy expenditure. Fat supplies energy when carbs are low. Carbs, on the other hand, are not essential for a person to thrive. However, they can be increased during refeed days for people who decide to do cyclical keto to prevent stalling.
(Note that the number of macros you need to meet each day for fat loss will depend on your calorie needs and activity level.)
How Many Carbs Can I Eat and Stay in Ketosis?
If you want to maintain ketosis, sticking to 30-50 grams of carbs per day (or lower than that) will prevent an increase in your blood sugar levels, deplete your stored glycogen, and then force your body to burn fat to create ketones.
Remember that this is just a ballpark figure — it works for nearly everyone. However, it’s also good to keep in mind that your carb intake may be unique depending on your age, activity level, goal, and daily calorie consumption. Also, your carbohydrate tolerance may look different from another person’s.
This is why it’s essential to test your ketone levels to know whether your carb limit per day is sufficient to trigger ketosis.
Should I Count Net Carbs or Total Carbs?
If you want the best possible chance of maintaining ketosis and reaching your weight loss goals, we recommend counting total carbs. Here’s why: Some foods, mainly processed ones, tend to be low in net carbs but can easily exceed your overall carb limit at the end of the day.
Sugar alcohols in some processed keto-friendly foods may also raise blood glucose if consumed in large amounts. Even though sugar alcohols are subtracted from the total carbs on the food label to get net carbs, they’re still carbohydrates.
Another concern with focusing on grams of net carbs is that it may lead you to consume an excessive amount of calories. Of course, calories are not everything on keto, but they still matter if you’re looking to lose weight.
How Many Net Carbs Can You Have on Low-Carb Keto?
If you opt to count net carbs instead of total carbs, consume 30-50 grams of net carbs daily. Counting net carbs is an option for those whose bodies can tolerate more carbohydrates without gaining unwanted weight quickly, including those who want more fiber in their diet.
How Do You Calculate Net Carbs for Keto?
Subtract the amount of dietary fiber and the amount of sugar alcohol (if sugar alcohol is present) in a food item from the total carbs. For example, let’s say you want to know the net carbs of a keto chocolate bar with:
- 20 grams of total carbs
- 10 grams of dietary fiber
- 6 grams of erythritol, a sugar alcohol
Using the formula, 20 grams – (10 grams + 6 grams), you get 4 grams dietary fiber. However, if it doesn’t contain any sugar alcohol, you get 10 grams of dietary fiber instead.
Is 100 Grams of Carbs Too Much for Keto?
Yes. 100 grams of carbs per day is already considered a moderate carb intake, and it certainly won’t result in ketosis. When following a very low-carb diet, you should limit yourself to only 30-50 grams of total or net carbs daily.
The fewer the number of carbs, the sooner your body burns its stored fat and goes into ketosis.
Will One Cheat Day Ruin Ketosis?
In a nutshell, yes. A cheat day with over 50 grams of carbs will surely knock you out of ketosis. Furthermore, eating high glycemic index foods like white rice, chips, and pastries on cheat days will cause blood sugar spikes.
It’s a good idea to plan your meals to maintain some degree of control while still enjoying the experience. Here’s how to do a cheat day on keto the right way.
How Much Protein Is Too Much on Keto?
The keto diet requires a moderate protein intake, which means that protein accounts for 20-30% of your total daily calories. Protein needs vary per individual, ranging from 0.8-1 gram per pound of body weight, depending on your goals and activity level.
Consuming more protein than your calculated amount should not negatively affect the body, except in people with impaired kidney function. Protein helps you maintain a healthy weight and supports essential metabolic processes in your body. On the contrary, too little protein causes impaired immune function and poor skin, hair, and nail health problems.
Will Protein Kick You out of Ketosis?
Eating protein won’t kick you out of ketosis, contrary to what some may think. Gluconeogenesis is a demand-driven process. Meaning, glucose is created from amino acids only when necessary to support your body.
The belief that more protein automatically decreases ketones is based on the idea that protein stimulates insulin production. However, research shows that only people who have difficulty controlling their blood glucose, such as Type 2 Diabetes, are more likely to experience this insulinogenic effect than healthy individuals[*].
Can Eating Too Much Protein on Keto Lead to Weight Gain?
No. Increasing protein intake supports weight loss by increasing satiety and thermogenesis (the energy required to process that nutrient) so that you end up burning more calories.
If you want to follow a high-protein keto diet, that means protein should replace fat as your primary source of calories. However, increasing your dietary fat and protein at the same time will increase your total calorie intake (since fat has more calories per gram), putting you at risk for weight gain.
Should You Eat More Protein than Carbs to Lose Weight?
Consuming more protein while limiting carbohydrates helps you lose weight. This is because protein takes more energy to be digested due to its high thermic effect — you end up burning 20-30% of the calories you consume. With carbohydrates, it’s only 5-10%[*].
Conversely, overeating carbs (such as bread, rice, and pasta) blunts fat loss by filling up your glycogen stores and raising your blood sugar and insulin levels. You gain weight eating carbs if you live a sedentary lifestyle and don’t burn off those calories.
What Keeps You Full Longer, Protein or Carbs?
Protein is the most satiating of all macronutrients. So, eating a high-protein meal does make you feel fuller longer than a high-carbohydrate meal. According to a review article, protein prolongs the suppression of ghrelin, your hunger hormone. It also increases hormones responsible for slowing gastric emptying[*].
What Happens If You Don’t Eat Enough Fat on Keto?
Limiting your fat intake on the keto diet has consequences such as increased hunger, low energy, and poor absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. In addition, a low-fat diet can mess with a woman’s hormones (estrogen and progesterone) since fat helps with hormone production.
How Do I Make Sure I Am Getting Enough Fat on Keto?
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to add fat, especially healthy ones, into your diet. You’ll want to consume fatty cuts of meat, eggs, fatty fish, whole raw milk, avocados, nuts, and MCT oil. You can also cook with fats like lard, tallow, butter, coconut oil, and olive oil.
Keep in mind that on a low-carb keto diet, most of your daily calories (70-80%) should come from fat. So, it would be best to eat more fat, especially when you’re trying to get fat adapted at the start of your keto journey.
If you want to know what fats to avoid on keto, we also have a guide for that.
What Is the Best Macro Ratio for Weight Loss?
Since you’re following a keto diet, your macro ratio will still be 5% or fewer carbohydrates, 70-80% fat, and 20-30% protein. However, your specific grams per macro will depend on the calorie deficit you’re targeting. You’ll lose weight by aiming for a calorie deficit (consuming fewer calories than your body burns).
So, for example, if your daily maintenance calories are 2,000 and now you’re aiming for a 500 calorie deficit per day to lose 1 pound per week, your new keto macros would be 19 g carbs, 117-133 g fat, and 75-113 g protein.
You get this result by multiplying 1,500 calories (your new calorie target for weight loss) by each macro percentage and dividing the result by the number of calories per macro gram.
Also, remember that even if you’re using macros for weight loss, food quality still matters. So be sure to prioritize keto foods that are whole or less processed, satiating, and don’t trigger unnecessary cravings.
How Can I Speed up Weight Loss in Ketosis?
Increasing your body’s fat-burning potential while on keto can be done by increasing your activity level through exercise, eating more high-protein foods, fasting, and getting consistent quality sleep. You may also find the need to recalculate your macros to avoid weight loss plateaus and keep on progressing.
Another strategy that helps significantly with weight loss is food journaling. You track what you eat, how much you eat, who you’re eating with, and how you feel. By doing this, you’re able to identify patterns that may be slowing down your weight loss.
Does Counting Macros Work for Muscle Gain?
Yes, it does. Bulking up requires getting keen on macros. To gain muscle, you’ll be doing a high-protein version of keto. Additionally, you’ll benefit from increasing your carb intake (through the targeted keto or cyclical keto diet) to support your performance at the gym.
Aside from tracking macros, you should be in a calorie surplus as this contributes to muscle growth, particularly calories from protein and carbs.
Will I Lose Muscle on a Low Carb Diet?
Muscle loss doesn’t happen on a low-carb diet as long as you eat enough protein, about 0.8-1 gram per pound of body weight. This amount allows for recovery and muscle preservation during illness, stress, calorie restriction, and the normal aging process.
Good protein sources include lean meats, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy, and nuts and seeds. You can also incorporate keto-friendly whey protein into your diet to help reach your protein requirement, especially if you’re also working out to gain muscle.
Do Calories Matter on a Keto Diet?
If your reason for following the keto diet is to lose weight, then at the end of the day, calories still do matter. A calorie surplus (eating more calories than you burn) will cause your body to store fat, even when you’re eating keto-friendly foods.
However, it’s also important to know that not all calories are created equal. Protein, for instance, burns more calories due to its thermic effect. Additionally, protein is highly satiating, which leads to fewer calories consumed.
Your food quality matters as well. Whole foods are the best source of calories since they’re full of vitamins and minerals that boost your health, unlike processed foods which often contain harmful ingredients.
Is It Better to Count Macros or Calories?
It depends on what you want to accomplish. If your goal is to reach ketosis, counting macros, especially tracking carbs, would be most appropriate. On the other hand, calorie counting would be the better approach if you’re looking to reduce your current weight on a diet that’s not necessarily keto.
Either approach works for numbers-oriented people who want to increase their food awareness and improve their body composition.
What Is the Best Way to Meet My Ketogenic Diet Macronutrients?
You can do three things to hit your keto macro targets: One, plan your meals ahead. Two, do meal prep (including your snacks and packed office lunches). Three, track your macros (you can do this using a simple journal or app like MyFitnessPal).
Do I Have to Meet All My Macros on Keto?
Not necessarily. Hitting your daily targets is ideal; however, it can also be unrealistic on some days. But, you can get as close to your keto macros as possible by experimenting with and crafting keto recipes in the right quantities — then eating the same meals repeatedly.
Familiarizing yourself with ketogenic diet foods and amounts that work for you takes trial and error. With regular practice, this should get easier.
Will Sugar Kick You out of Ketosis?
Yes, it will. Sugar is a carbohydrate and it raises your blood sugar levels, causing you to go out of ketosis. Furthermore, sugar gets stored as body fat, leading to more sugar cravings and increasing your risk of chronic disease.
For this reason, sugar should be avoided on a keto diet, including glucose, fructose, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, and corn syrup. The good news is, you can turn to sweetener alternatives that are low-carb and low-glycemic such as stevia, erythritol, and monk fruit.
What Is the Clean Keto Diet?
The clean keto diet focuses on meeting macronutrients by consuming whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods such as various meats, fish, eggs, poultry, and non-starchy vegetables and fruits.
Taking a clean keto approach will not only keep you in ketosis but also improve your health. On the contrary, processed foods that are also low-carb may help keep you in ketosis, but they’re not always the best choice for your health.
What Is the Dirty Lazy Keto Diet?
The dirty lazy keto diet or “dirty keto,” as commonly called, is a keto version that allows for processed foods like cured meats, pork rinds, refined vegetable oils, diet soda, and restaurant foods. It doesn’t matter where food comes from, as long as it fits your keto macros.
Some people do dirty keto for convenience and to satisfy their craving for pre-packaged foods (since they are often highly palatable). Dirty keto may benefit you in these ways, but it can lack nutrients and contain added sugars.
Those who choose dirty keto over clean keto should strive to eat processed foods free of sugars and harmful additives. Good options would be keto bars sweetened with stevia and nut butters without vegetable oils.
Can You Do Keto 5 Days a Week?
It’s possible to go in and out of ketosis every week. This more liberal version of the keto diet is called cyclical keto, and it involves following a standard keto diet 5-6 days a week followed by 1-2 days of increasing your carb intake.
The cyclical keto approach replenishes your glycogen stores, helping increase your performance at the gym and build muscle. Bodybuilders and athletes on a keto diet will benefit the most by doing carb cycling.
How Do You Know If Keto Is Working?
The best way to tell is to test for the presence of ketones in your urine, blood, or breath. Additionally, you can watch out for other signs and symptoms of ketosis, such as weight loss, decreased hunger, increased energy levels, and mental clarity.
How Do You Get Through the First Few Days of Keto?
The first few days of keto are usually the hardest. Still, you can ease your transition by stocking up on keto-friendly foods, meal planning, avoiding strenuous activities, getting enough rest, staying hydrated, and replenishing your electrolytes.
These strategies are vital, especially if you’re also trying to fight or reduce keto flu symptoms.
Can You Overeat on Keto?
While the keto diet is satiating, overeating can still happen. There are different reasons for overeating, such as intense carb or sugar cravings, feeling stressed, external distractions during meal times, old habits, and a lack of portion control.
Overeating on keto can lead to a caloric surplus (from excess carbs, fat, or protein). Unfortunately, this interferes with your ability to lose weight successfully.
Why Am I Getting Fatter on Keto?
A few reasons for gaining weight on keto instead of losing it include consuming too many carbs and calories, processed keto foods, not getting enough physical activity, frequent snacking, poor sleep, high stress levels, and an undiagnosed medical condition.
If you’re experiencing this, the first thing you should do is figure out why you’ve plateaued. Then, try strategies like recalculating your macros and adding more exercise into your routine. More importantly, consult with a doctor if you suspect a health condition.
What Foods Have No Carbs?
Zero carb options include most animal foods like beef, fish and seafood, pork, chicken and poultry, and wild game — except for organ meats, eggs, and dairy, which contain a minimal amount of carbs. Fats like ghee, lard, tallow, coconut oil, and MCT oil are also carb-free.
Where Can I Find a Sample Meal Plan to Start Eating Keto?
After figuring out your keto macros, you can start planning your meals using Perfect Keto’s resource that comes with 25 easy recipes and meal planning app recommendations. Also, feel free to check out our 7-day meal plan that’s specific for weight loss.
We hope our keto macro calculator helps kickstart your journey or makes it even better!