Keto Macros Explained: A Keto Macros for Beginners Guide

  • Date: August 30, 2021
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Confused by macros on Keto? Not sure what macros are of how to calculate them? Don’t worry! When I started my Keto journey, so was I. This keto macros for beginners guide will answer all of your questions. Then you can thrive on your keto journey. Enjoy!

Keto Macros Starter Beginners Guide, how to calculate

Macros (or macronutrients) are key to mastering and keto diet plan.

Read on to find out why it is important to understand your personal macros

In this keto macros for beginners guide, I will explain how this fits into a keto way of eating to ensure that you get the success you want and deserve.

Macros and Keto

Macros and keto sounds like some dodgy 70’s cop and his dog series doesn’t it? – or is that just me? 

Macros or macronutrients as they are properly called, include carbohydrates (carbs), protein, and fat.

Carbs, protein and fat are where calories come from when food is digested.

The term calorie references a measure of energy. When we say we are ‘burning calories’ what that actually means is that we are converting carbs, protein and fat (and the calories they contain) into energy.

Energy is what our bodies need in order to perform all of its functions, from simply breathing and regulating our body temperature right through to giving us energy in order to complete physical exercise beyond that which is necessary just for survival.

Fat, Protein and Carbs Macros for Keto: Keto Macros Percentages

The typical macro ratio for a keto / ketogenic lifestyle is:

Keto Macros Percentages

PercentageMacronutrient
70%Fat
25%Protein
5%Carbohydrates

For any of you that have undertaken ‘diets’ before such as Weight Watchers, Slimming Works, Slim fast, etc, you will notice that this is dramatically different from what those diets promote.

They try and get the majority of your calories (whether measured as point or synns etc) from low-calorie foods such as vegetables and fruit.

These popular diets normally advocate that you eat low fat (below 5%) foods such as light yoghurts, reduced-fat margarine and skimmed milk. In order to make these food low fat they have often had a lot of sugar added to them to retain the flavour.

Weight Watchers Macros v Keto Macros

The chart below illustrates the difference between the macros that Weight Watchers recommends and the break down of macros that are recommended on a keto diet.

Traditional diets and Keto

As you can see all traditional diets focus on you eating low fat and high sugar foods to hit your macros.

What’s the difference between eating high-fat low carb (i.e keto) to other diets?

This is a really simple question to answer and the science behind this is not difficult. When you eat high sugar foods like fruit or chocolate you get a sugar rush; insulin spikes in your body.

It makes you feel good and it may also make you feel satisfied, for a short period.

The sugars in the food are broken down and the cells in your muscles are provided with energy – you feel great!

That sugar is soon burned through and like any addict you’re looking for your next ‘fix’ of that feel-good sugar.

This is why when you have eaten anything that is high carb/ sugar you feel hungry shortly after.  Your body burns through the ‘good stuff’ and then once it’s gone it wants more.

Changing your macros around to consume more fat and fewer carbs (sugar) reduces the cravings for carb / sugar-laden items as your body adapts to burn fat.

This adaptation of your metabolic status from burning sugar to burning fat is called ketosis.

When your body burns fat instead of sugar ketones are produced in your body; hence the term being in ‘ketosis’.

As your body is burning fat instead of sugar you do not get the spikes of high energy and the lows of no energy and that hollow feeling of ‘being starving’. Instead, your body always has fuel in it.

Keto Macro Percentages

This specific macro range of 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5 % carbs is intended to promote ketosis and trick your body into burning more fat for energy instead of sugars. 

When this happens (normally after 2-3 days of eating 20g of fewer carbs) you should be in ketosis.

Calculating your macros for keto

You can work out your keto macros using a long equation. It’s a lot like being back in school…..

OR

You can use the ruled.me keto calculator, which will provide you with the macros you need in seconds without the headache!

Top Tip – Keeping your Keto Macros up to date

Remember that your macros are based on your current circumstances. On a keto way of eating people often experience rapid weight loss in the beginning.  

Also, you may need to update your details if your life changes; you may go from having an active job to sitting behind a desk all day. If this happens you will need to recalculate your keto macros.

For me, every time I lose half a stone (10lbs or 4.5 kg) I will recalculate. That way I know my keto macros are right for me. It makes sense really – you can’t eat the same as 10 stones that you ate at 15 stones or 20 stones and still expect to lose weight (and inches!).

How to Count Macros on Keto

Living a keto lifestyle requires you to understand your macros—especially carbohydrates. If you have counted calories or points before on any program you will likely be used to counting in some format.

There are ways to make your life easier. I personally use MyFitnessPal to track my macros. If you have never used MyFitnessPal check out their guide to using the app.

Don’t be tempted to sign up for any of the paid plans. If you’re new to your keto journey you really don’t need it at this point.

Do I really Need to Count Macros on keto?

The simple answer is that some people do and some people don’t! You will need to find the balance for you on your keto journey.

Personally, in the beginning, I only counted carbs until I got into the swing of that. I will be honest, I was skeptical when I first started keto, I couldn’t get my head around eating high-fat food and didn’t understand the concept. For the first 6 months-ish, I only counted carbs.

I had calculated my macros but didn’t focus on the fat and the protein elements.

After about 6 weeks on keto, I was sold on it, I was just lazy as I was still losing weight so I didn’t see much need to track anything other than carbs.

I was still inputting the food I was eating into MyFitnessPal.

However, when my weight loss stalled I started to look into my macros more.

I soon realized that I was eating too much protein and not enough fat. By tracking these my weight loss continued.

As above, every time I lost 4.5kg / 10 pounds I will recalculate.

When I change my macros I will track stringently for a couple of weeks until I get used to the new balance and then I will ease off with the tracking once I’m in a routine. 

Ad hoc tracking of macros will not suit some people, they will have to track everything stringently in order to keep them on track. You will soon find what works for you.

Are you a tracker or not? Share what works for you below…

Why not check out the following beginner articles;

Keto for Beginners

Benefits of Keto

Common Side effects of Keto and how to Overcome them

Keto Facts and Keto Myths Busted

Hopefully, this Keto Macros for Beginners guide has given you all of the information that you need. If you have any questions, or if there is some content that you would like to see on this site…

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