When you begin to follow the Ketogenic Diet, or Keto Diet for short, you might be momentarily overwhelmed with math.

You need to make sure you don’t eat more than 30g of net carbs per day, but then you need to actually calculate what net carbs are. You need to make sure you’re eating a good amount of good fats, avoiding the bad fats, and you need to factor protein into all of that too.

It sounds confusing, but the good news is that once you read up on it, understand it, and really get to the crux of what the Keto Diet is, it all becomes so much easier as a result.

What you will hear about is something call Keto macronutrient ratios.

The phrase alone sounds confusing, but don’t panic!

What Are Keto Macronutrient Ratios?

Macronutrients are basically the types of foods that you should consume as part of your diet. Macronutrients exist in all diets, not just the Keto Diet, and by being more aware of them, you can ensure that you get the right vitamins, minerals, carbs, fats, proteins, sugars, etc, without going too far in one direction. You’ll know that the Keto Diet is about balance, e.g. you need to lower your carbs, increase your fat, keep an eye on your protein, and within all of that you’ll push your body into ketosis, therefore starting to burn fat for fuel, rather than the regular route of burning carbs.

Becuase the Keto Diet hinges on ketosis, when you first start following the diet you might worry that you’re not doing it right, that you’re not quite in ketosis, and that might cause you to start over-counting macronutrients, and therefore stressing yourself out.

The good news is that whilst macronutrient ratios do matter, they don’t have to be followed right down to the strictest number. Provided you are following the diet, e.g. you are eating a good amount of healthy fats, you are drinking plenty of water, you’re getting your protein intake (more on that shortly), and you’re not consuming more than 30g of net carbs every day, your body will be in ketosis, and you will therefore be following the Keto Diet.

Keto macronutrient ratios matter, but they should be used as a guideline, rather than a hard and fast rule to live your life by. The Keto Diet isn’t designed to be confusing; remember, this is a lifestyle change, not a fad, and as a result it needs to be easy to follow and sustainable.

In the first part of the Keto Diet, your macronutrient ratios per day should be around:

60-75% of calories obtained from healthy fat sources – Giving your body enough fat to burn for energy
15-30% of calories obtained from protein – The amount of protein you need varies from person to person and we’ll cover that in more detail shortly
5-10% of calories obtained from carbs - This needs to be ‘net’ carbs

What Are Net Carbs?

Due to the popularity of the Keto Diet and other low carb diets, food labels have now started showing net carbs. If however your particular food doesn’t show this macro, you can work it out yourself from the other information on the label:

Total carbs minus fiber = net carbs

In processed foods you will also need to take sugar alcohols into account, but these types of foods tend to have the net carbs shown on the label these days, and if not, you can usually use an app to make life a little easier and calculate the accurate net carb amount.

How Much Protein Should You be Consuming?

Another important macronutrient that you need to pay attention to is protein. You should eat 1g of protein per 1kg of your body weight, per day. For instance, if you weigh 70kg, you should eat 70g of protein per day.

This can vary and there are a few different methods of working out how much protein you should eat, but if there is any doubt, online calculators will also help you find the appropriate level for you.

It’s important to make sure you get the right amount of protein to ensure normal bodily functions, and also to protect against muscle loss. If you’re not sure how to calculate protein, simply look at the label of the food you’re consuming, or download an app like My Fitness Pal, which will give you the macronutrients of all manner of popular foods.

In Conclusion – Macronutrients Ratios on Keto?

Are they important? Yes, they’re important, but you don’t need to live every second of your day by them. Most people will fall into ketosis if they eat 30g of net carbs per day. All you need to do is ensure you’re getting a larger amount of good and healthy fats into your diet, and getting your protein intake to protect your muscles and for healthy running of your body overall.

If you start to pay attention to every single number of every type of food you’re consuming, the Keto Diet will not be enjoyable for you. This is a lifestyle change and a new way to enjoy food – how can you do that if you’re always counting numbers and doing math?

The best advice is to pay attention to macronutrient ratios and to use them as a general guideline, especially as you first start following the Keto Diet. The more used to the diet you get, the more you won’t need to do any adding up or subtracting, and you’ll simply know first hand how to work the diet for your body’s individual needs.

By cutting down your net carbs to the correct amount and consuming more healthy fats (avoiding the bad fats), then you will force your body into the desired state, e.g. ketosis. From there, your body will do the hard work, provided you stick to the low carb, high fat instructions.

Why make the Keto Diet more complicated than necessary?



Author's Bio: 

Josh is a personal trainer based on Sydney Australia. He is passionate about helping people live healthier lives through better food choices.