The ketogenic (or keto) diet focuses on low-carb and high fat. Similar to the Atkins, or other diets that focus on low carbs, the keto diet takes it a little further than the rest. The goal of the keto diet is to reduce carb intake as small as possible. It is about replacing carbs with fat, to help guide your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. Keto calculators can help with that.
Most of the time, your body is in a state of glycolysis. That means your body gets its energy from blood glucose. But when your body is in ketosis, you get energy from the ketones in your blood. Eating and maintaining low carbohydrate levels in your body will cause your sugar levels to drop. Your body will then break down fat to use as its energy instead.
For people who are new to the ketogenic diet and lifestyle, the significant change from the food pyramid diet learned as a child can be hard. There is a wealth of recipes. And keto calculators can help you figure out how many carbs per day is right for you.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet requires low carbs, adequate proteins, and high fats. Your daily food intake is called macronutrients. For a successful diet, you want to stay as close to your daily macronutrients as possible. The purpose of the diet is to get your body into a state of ketosis. If you fluctuate too much on carb intake, or you don’t eat enough fats or proteins, your body will not be able to achieve or maintain ketosis. The daily macronutrient ratio is a variation of these ranges:
- 60-75 percent of calories should come from fat. You can increase the percentage of fats if you want or need to.
- 15-30 percent of your calories should come from protein, and
- 5-10 percent of your calories are from carbohydrates. The goal for most people on a ketogenic diet is to stay as close to 5 percent as possible.
While those are a general idea of what you are trying to achieve, the exact amount of protein and fat you should eat is dependent on your body. Activity levels and your body’s response to the keto diet are what influence the amounts. Most people who have embraced the ketogenic lifestyle don’t allow more than 5 percent of their daily calories to be from carbohydrates.
Keto diets don’t usually require calorie counting unless you are already pretty fit and only want to lose a small amount of fat from your body. Most people who decide to give the ketogenic diet a try are attempting to lose quite a bit of fat. And calorie counting isn’t necessary as long as the carb intake stays low and the fat intake stays high. Protein is needed, so it is essential to pay attention to protein to help you sustain.
What is a Keto Calculator?
The key to success on the ketogenic diet is knowing your macronutrient numbers and also having a general idea of the calories you need every day. Most people who achieve ketosis and want to stay there need to stay below 50 grams of carbohydrates every day. Keto calculators are designed to help you determine macronutrients, calories, protein, and fat. Here is a rundown of the information you need to provide for an accurate macronutrient setup:
- Body Fat Percentage
- Daily activity level: sedentary, light activity, moderate activity, high activity, and athletic.
- Whether or not you exercise, and
- Your goal: Do you want to lose weight, maintain, or gain muscle?
Finding your Body Fat Percentage
Knowing your starting body fat percentage, and being as accurate as possible, is necessary for success. If you don’t know your body fat percentage, there are several ways to figure it out.
- Skinfold Calipers
This is the most accurate way to figure out your body fat percentage. There are a few methods for using skinfold calipers and a body fat calculator. You should use the one that is best suited for your needs. All of them are reasonably accurate.
- Body Measurement
Most people don’t have skinfold calipers and instead, use the body measurement method. It isn’t as accurate as skinfold calipers, but it will give you a rough estimate for starting. The body measurement method uses a calculator that bases its results from measurements of your waist, neck, and hips.
If you aren’t able to measure your body and don’t have access to skinfold calipers, there are comparison illustrations online that can help you visualize an estimation of your body measurement.
While you are living a ketogenic lifestyle, or on a keto diet, protein is imperative. There is a fine balance between too much and too little. And it is important to try to keep in the middle range as much as possible. If you eat too much protein, you can lower ketone levels. If you don’t eat enough protein, you will lose muscle instead of fat.
The amount of protein needed is different for each person, depending on several factors. But the most important one is activity level. Here are some examples of protein amounts dependent on activity level.
- People who are mostly sedentary should consume 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.
- For active people, having between 0.8 and 1.0 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass is a good idea.
All of the numbers and rules may seem complicated, but they are just general ideas to consider. The keto calculators will set your protein level, so you know what range to be in, based on your activity level.
Are My Macro Numbers Correct?
A lot of people feel like their keto diet calculator is not accurate when they see the number of calories they are supposed to eat. It is contra-intuitive because most diets require people to eat fewer calories. On a keto diet, it is common for people to lose weight while eating around 1,600 calories per day.
One of the beautiful things about the keto diet is that you can eat a lot of foods that most diets don’t allow. Your goal each day is just to eat the macros needed, and to spread them out during the day so you don’t find yourself hungry.
The keto diet doesn’t have to be an exact science. If you experience small fluctuations in the number of carbs, protein, or fat you eat, it’s okay. The goal is just to stay as close to your range as possible, but to know that it all balances out in the end.
There isn’t a specific number that is guaranteed to be right for you. Keto calculators are meant to give you an idea of where you need to be. As you get started on your ketogenic diet, you will figure out exactly where you need to be to lose weight and then to maintain the weight you lost.
When doing this diet, there are two different ways to count your carbs: total or net.
If you are utilizing the total carb method, you shouldn’t consume more than 50 grams per day if you want to lose weight. And your goal should be to try and eat less than 20-30 grams per day.
Net carbs are just the total carbs minus fiber. Your net carb numbers will be lower than your overall carb numbers, and you should be focusing on consuming less than 20 net carbs a day.
The keto calculators will figure the amount of protein and carbohydrates you need each day to reach ketosis. Because those are fixed numbers, the macronutrient that you can adjust each day is your fat intake. The more fat you eat, the more calories you consume. To help you meet your goal, but not exceed it, you can adjust your fat intake.
Similar to other diets, the bigger the calorie deficit, the quicker your weight loss. However, it is vital to understand that long-term weight loss results are best if you are not too drastic in your approach. A moderate deficit of calories is what we recommend.
The ketogenic diet and lifestyle are appealing to many people, especially those who want to lose moderate to significant amounts of weight. One of the biggest pros to the ketogenic diet is that people can still eat a lot of the food they enjoy because the diet calls for such a high intake of fat.
- Don’t weigh yourself a lot. It is easy to get drawn into the excitement of weight loss and to want to check it a lot. The fact is that there are a lot of fluctuations from things like water weight and hormones. With the keto diet, you will lose weight. But there may be times when you gain a couple of pounds, or you stay the same weight. That doesn’t mean you aren’t losing fat. Make a goal not to weigh yourself more than once a week. If you want another way to measure progress, follow how many inches you are losing by measuring different parts of your body, and track their shrinking.
- Celebrate your non-scale victories like smaller close or increased energy.
- Check your keto calculators at least once a month to readjust your macronutrients. The number of calories, fat, and protein you need will change as your body weight changes.
The keto diet is advantageous for many people because it is maintainable. Allowing your body to enter ketosis can help change your view on simple sugars and desserts. Once your body stops gaining energy from glucose, you will find yourself feeling a lot better than you ever did before.