Starting a new way of eating can be daunting. There are terms to learn, rules to follow and sometimes entirely new methods of cooking! It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and lost in the chaos of starting out. I have found that this is especially true if you are embracing Keto. When my husband and I started eating Keto we found it best to stick to the basics at first and learn as we went. Some people, however, prefer to have all the information right from the start! Whether you ‘re new to Keto or just looking to learn more then this article is for you! Keto macros can be as confusing as the different types of keto or figuring out what your plan is once you reach your goal weight. But! This article should help cut through some of the confusion!
Keto Macros, What are they and How do they Work?
What are Keto Macros?
The terms ‘Macro’ is shorthand for macro-nutrients. Macro-nutrients are basically the fuel for our bodies. This includes Fats, Proteins and Carbohydrates. While fats and proteins are an essential part of our diets, providing essential macro-nutrients such as fatty and amino acids there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are sugars and starches. Our bodies find these easy to burn for quick energy but they are not essential to living. Our bodies are fully capable of manufacturing glucose and energy from fats and proteins provided you are eating enough calories.
Proteins and fats, on the other hand, are necessary for tissue repair, immune system health, preserving lean muscle mass, energy and the absorption of essential vitamins. Fats have the added bonus of adding flavor to our foods and helping us feel full too! Not feeling like your hungry all the time while trying to lose weight is a big plus to those who typically struggle with diets.
With all of this knowledge then, we can answer the question of what are Keto macros? Keto macros are the percentage of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that should be included in your diet in order to keep you in ketosis and remain healthy!
Why are Macros better than just counting calories?
Many people who follow diets or who want to lose weight feel like they can just watch their calories and be fine. At the very basic level, this is somewhat true. Losing weight is essentially a calorie in vs calories burned formula. If you eat less then your body burns you will lose weight. This is true for every diet, including Keto. Even on Keto its important to watch your calories – but Keto macros will help tell you where those calories should be coming from.
However, if our not consuming the proper calories then some of the weight you lose will be muscle rather then fat. You don’t want to lose muscle! Muscle mass keeps our metabolisms going (thus burning more fat even while resting) and our bodies strong!
Following Keto macros, while undertaking this way of eating will help make sure that the majority of the weight you lose will be fat. This will keep you feeling strong and healthy.
How do I Figure out my Macros?
Alright, so maybe you’re sold on following this macro idea, or you might just be curious. Either way the next step if to figure out your own unique and personal macros! Much like the Keto diet in general macros are not a one size fits all type of calculation. Everybody will have slightly different macros just as everybody, in general, has slightly different dietary needs.
The trick is finding out what works for you personally and that can take a bit of experimenting. The general rule of thumb for a Keto diet is that you should be eating approximately 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs to make up your suggested calories. If you follow those guidelines then there is a pretty good chance you will be just fine on your Keto journey.
However, if you want to get more personal, or you’re having trouble making the basic guidelines work then it’s time to tweak things a bit. Your personal macros should take into account your age, gender and activity level at the very least. While its possible to look up the exact calculations and figure all this out by hand – it’s much easier to just use macro calculator.
Once you have decided to start following macros and figured out which guidelines you want to follow (basic or personalized) then its time to start incorporating them into your diet. It might seem difficult at first but it doesn’t have to be! Phone applications such as my fitness pal make it fairly easy to input your meals and have huge databases with all the required information.
If you just want to keep track in a notebook or planner then that works just fine too! All the information you need should be available on your foods nutrition labels. If you’re eating out it does get a bit trickier but most of the time a quick google search will give you what you need.
While following macros is a good way to reach your eventual goal weight and remain healthy while doing so I also want to remind everyone that flexibility is a part of life. Someday’s hitting those goals exactly is just not possible and that’s okay! The key is to do the best you can as often as you can and try not to stress about the rest! Eating healthy is a lifestyle change that should be enjoyable, not stressful and overwhelming! Be kind as kind to yourselves as you are to others and everything will fall into place. Keep calm and Keto on my friends!