Should I Count Calories?
Losing weight on a Keto Diet is a big deal because it’s so effective. People everywhere are jumping on board to get in the best shape of their lives. Unlike other diets however, there is a common misconception that calorie counting is not necessary while you are on a Ketogenic diet. Calorie counting is a great tool for you to get an idea of caloric intakes, and even to pinpoint mistakes when you may have hit a plateau. Calorie count is actually essential to ensure you are putting just about the right amount of carbohydrates and proteins into your body. If you are trying to keep under 50 grams of carbohydrates in a day, you sure would do well to know how many you are eating with each meal!
How to Count Calories
The most common way of counting calories involves measuring calories and percentages of the food you eat. Percentage ratios involve assigning a percentage supply of calories to each macronutrient (Fat, Carbs, Protein). For instance, you can decide that your calories supply should be 60% from fat, 30% from protein and 10% from carbohydrates. A Keto diet involves suppressing your carbohydrate intake and keeping the protein intake moderate, swapping a bit of carbs and protein for good, healthy fats. You use these percentages to calculate how much of the macronutrients you should take every day, depending on your daily calorie requirement.
Since protein, and carbohydrates are both 5 calories each, and fats are 9 calories each, a simple calculation will get you what you need. So if you eat 1,000 calories in a day, and you want 60% to come from fats, then you take 1000 * .60, and divide by 9, which is 600 calories. Fats are 9 calories each, so divide 600 by 9 and you get 67 grams. That’s how many you can have. You do the same thing for protein and carbs using 4 instead of 9.
You should set your macronutrients requirements based on your body weight. Better still if you use lean body mass measurements based upon your bodyfat. That’s the most accurate way to do it. So a 150 lb women with 35% bodyfat has roughly 98 lbs of muscle (and bone and water :>). So, using that as your baseline, you would try and get roughly 15x that, or nearly 1,500 daily calories assuming you are exercising.
It’s Just a Tool
Counting Calories is a tool to help you stay on course and make adjustments in your day to day life. Don’t make it more than it is. Don’t obsess over it. While you don’t have to be 100% accurate, you can use calorie counting as a starting point. Find out what works for you, adjust accordingly, and keep monitoring how you feel, your changes in weight, etc. Do whatever you need to so you can look great, feel great, and be healthier than you have every been!