The Ketogenic diet- A beginner’s guide to macros
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fats for fuel rather than carbohydrates. This increases fat burning, reduces hunger and more. It works great for people of all ages and experience, and that’s why so many people are adopting the Keto Lifestyle.
So you that you know the ‘why’, maybe you want to understand the ‘how’ a little bit better. You can get sample Keto Diets and Recipes all over the place, including those right here on our website, but it will help you to understand Macros so you can build your own and make adjustments that will work for you. Below is a quick primer on macros:
Macros, or macronutrients, are food components that fuel our body. They include carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
Unlike proteins and fats, carbohydrates are not an essential nutrient. In fact, your body may actually benefit from carb restriction. See, carbohydrates are instrumental in numerous metabolic diseases as well as obesity and have also been linked to dangerous conditions like cancer and cardiovascular disease. For that reason, it is important for you to identify what foods are low in carbs and which ones to abstain from.
Protein is an essential macronutrient that your body needs to build and repair tissue. Protein deficiency can result in fatigue, dizziness, weight loss and stunted growth. So, when on a keto diet, you need to consume moderate amounts of protein to stay healthy. Keep in mind that your protein intake is dependent on your activity levels: the more active you are, the more protein your body will need.
We have all heard that fat is unhealthy but is that really the case? As it turns out, it is not! Fat is an essential nutrient your body needs for energy, growth and development, absorbing certain micronutrients like Vitamins A, D, E, K, and carotenoids, providing protective cushioning for the organs and maintaining cell membranes. If you are well limiting your carbs intake and consuming moderate amounts of protein, then the rest of your dietary requirements will naturally be met with fat.
How to calculate your ideal keto macro ratio?
If you fail to hit your macro targets, the chances of your body reaching ketosis will be very slim. Therefore, it is crucial that you correctly calculate your keto macros and maintain an ideal ratio. There are a number of simple and precise online calculators based on a standard keto diet that will definitely help you do just that. All you need to do is input your data, define your goals and view your results.
When following a ketogenic diet, carbs are typically reduced to under 50 grams per day, though stricter and looser versions of the diet exist. Fats should replace the majority of cut carbs and deliver approximately 75% of your total calorie intake. Proteins should account for around 20% of energy needs, while carbs are usually restricted to 5%. This carb reduction forces your body to rely on fats for its main energy source instead of glucose, which gets us to… ketosis. While in ketosis, your body uses ketones — molecules produced in the liver from fats when glucose is limited — as an alternate fuel source. This is the goal. This helps you stay leaner, healthier, have more energy, and even fight off diabetes and other health conditions.