Macros On Keto

Counting macros on the keto diet is crucial for success, and many people use different types of online keto macro calculators to stay on track. These apps assist in tracking the percentage of macros—fats, proteins, and carbs—you need to consume daily while following keto.

When counting macros on the keto diet, ensuring you get enough fats is essential. Healthy Omega-3 fats, in particular, serve as your primary fuel source. Incorporate foods like avocado into your diet for this reason. Protein is also important, but be cautious not to overeat it, as it can interfere with ketosis.

In the UK, numerous macro calculators are available online and through apps to help with the ketogenic lifestyle. Some are free, while others require a purchase. Beginners on the keto diet might not use a macro calculator initially. Instead, they might focus on keeping their net carbs below 25 grams and following keto diet plans from websites and Facebook groups. This approach can help them enter and maintain ketosis, leading to improved health and well-being.

Choosing the best macro calculator depends on personal preference. Look for one that is user-friendly and offers comprehensive tracking features. Popular options include MyFitnessPal, Carb Manager, and KetoDiet App. All these can help you manage your macros effectively and stay on track with your keto goals.

How to calculate keto macros?

Calculate Your Daily Caloric Needs: Use an online calculator to find out how many calories you need daily based on your age, gender, weight, height, and activity level.

Determine Your Macro Ratios: Based on your calorie needs, calculate how many grams of each macro to eat:

    • Fats: 1 gram of fat = 9 calories.
    • Proteins and Carbs: 1 gram of each = 4 calories.
counting macros uk pie chart protein fats and carbs

Get the right balance for you

Carbs provide around four calories per gram. For those on a lower calorie intake, such as less than 2,000 calories a day, consuming up to 20 grams of carbs helps you reach about 5% of your calories from carbs. If you need more calories, you might require slightly more carbs.

Here are some guidelines to estimate your starting carb needs on keto:

  1. Less than 2,000 calories/day: 20 grams of carbs or less
  2. 2,000 to 2,500 calories/day: 25 to 30 grams of carbs or less
  3. 2,500 to 3,000 calories/day: 30 to 35 grams of carbs or less
  4. More than 3,000 calories/day: 35 to 50 grams of carbs or less

On a typical keto diet, aim for a macro balance of 70-80% fats, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbs. A good ratio to start with is 75% fats, 15% protein, and 10% carbs. Maintaining a proper balance of carbs, fats, and protein is crucial, especially once you are well-established on keto. This balance helps you understand and adjust your intake if your weight plateaus.

Most people enter ketosis by consuming fewer than 20 grams of net carbs per day. Calculate net carbs by subtracting fiber from total carbs. Depending on your size and weight, you might stay in ketosis by eating 30-40 grams of net carbs, but aiming for under 25 grams a day ensures weight loss.

By following these keto macro guidelines, you can effectively manage your carb intake and achieve your keto goals.

Carbs, Fats, Proteins on Keto

knife and fork with human head full of keto foods avacado broccoli eggs and coconut

Everyone has a different tolerance level for carbs on the keto diet, so you might need to experiment a bit at the start to find the right level for you. Generally, aim to eat no more than 50 grams of total carbohydrates a day, with 20-30 of those being net carbs.

Understanding Total Carbs and Net Carbs

Total carbs include all the carbohydrates in a food item. Net carbs are the total carbs minus the fibre content. There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fibre has no calories and passes through your body undigested. Soluble fibre has a few calories but doesn’t raise your glucose levels, so it doesn’t kick you out of ketosis.

Important Nutrients on Keto

Not all carbs are bad. The glycaemic index (GI) measures how quickly a carbohydrate breaks down into the bloodstream. On keto, avoid high-GI foods like potatoes, rice, sugar, and cereals. Instead, get your carbs from low-GI sources like vegetables, salad, and small amounts of certain fruits.

Eating Carbs on Keto

Vegetables On Keto

Vegetables are crucial on a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet because they provide essential vitamins and minerals. Some of the best low-carb vegetables include cabbage, green salad, spinach, cucumber, asparagus, broccoli, courgettes, peppers, aubergines, cauliflower, onions (spring and leeks are preferred), and mushrooms. Avoid root vegetables like carrots and beets since they are higher in carbs. Avocados, rich in healthy fats, are particularly beneficial. Enjoy them hot, cold, or blended into a juice or cold coffee. Frozen vegetables are also a great option for those on a budget and are just as nutritious.

Fruits on Keto

While fruit is generally healthy and full of vitamins and minerals, not all fruits are suitable for a keto or LCHF diet. Typically, the sweeter a fruit tastes, the less suitable it is. Avoid fruits like apples, pears, bananas, and oranges. Instead, opt for keto-friendly fruits like berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and small portions of strawberries), quinces, and certain citrus fruits. These are all lower in sugar. Frozen berries make a tasty addition to keto desserts and are a convenient option.


Switching to a keto diet means giving up traditional bread, pasta, and pancakes. But you can still enjoy these foods by using alternative flours. Almond flour and coconut flour will become staples in your pantry. Other nut flours like pumpkin and ground linseed are also excellent options to explore.

By focusing on low-carb vegetables, and fruits, and using alternative flours, you can maintain a balanced keto macro intake.

Check the Carbs per 100g

Many foods and sauces contain unexpected carbohydrates, which can impact your keto diet. Ready-made sauces, dips, gravies, yoghurts, and juice drinks often have hidden carbs. Foods with coatings, like breaded fish, as well as sausages and shop-bought meatballs, can also be high in carbs. The Heck brand in the UK offers some low-carb sausage options.

When following keto recipes, you’ll often see garlic used, which is great for flavour. However, be cautious with garlic and onions, as they contain more carbs. Always count these in your macros to stay on track. When using processed foods, check the labels for their carb content. Remember, net carbs are calculated by subtracting fibre from total carbs. You can maintain your keto diet by keeping an eye on hidden carbs and accurately counting your macros.

Bin those carbs!

Eggs and salad play a big part in keto, and many of us love egg mayonnaise. This is fine, but watch out for shop-bought mayonnaise since some brands have significantly higher carbs. If you have the time, making your mayo helps control carb intake. When buying prepared foods like dressings and sauces, remember that manufacturers often add sugar as a flavour enhancer. More processed foods usually contain more sugar and starch. Always look for foods with fewer ingredients to help with counting macros on keto.

Nuts are a great source of protein and make for quick, easy snacks. However, they are naturally high in calories, so monitor your intake to stay within your macro limits. Good nuts for keto include macadamias, which are high in fat and low in carbs, as well as Brazil nuts and almonds. Eat walnuts in moderation, and avoid cashews and sugar-coated peanuts. By carefully choosing your foods and paying attention to their macro content, you can stay on track with your keto diet.

Eating fats on Keto diet

The types of fats we eat play a crucial role, especially on a keto diet. Fats once seen as harmful are now ideal for low-carb and keto diets. For years, people blamed fat for health issues like heart disease, but recent research shows much of this was misinterpreted. Reducing fat intake to lower cholesterol actually decreases beneficial HDL cholesterol.

It seems logical to think that eating less fat helps with weight loss because 1 gram of fat has more than double the calories of protein and carbs. However, fat helps us feel full, while carbs leave you feeling hungrier sooner. On keto, using fat as a filler helps keep your carb intake between 20-30 grams a day. Counting macros is crucial to balance your diet and maintain ketosis effectively.

Fat is Fat isn't it?

Unsaturated Fats play a vital role in our metabolism and benefit our health, particularly Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, seafood, and grass-fed beef. Other sources include sausages, bacon, and dairy products like butter from pasture-reared cows. It’s essential to strike the right balance between higher Omega-3 fats and lower Omega-6 fats for optimal health.

Omega-6 fatty acids, often present in oils like rapeseed and sunflower, as well as margarines, should be avoided. When heated, they create unhealthy artificial trans fats linked to heart disease and high cholesterol. Grass-fed beef and dairy naturally contain trans fats.

Saturated Fatty Acids, despite their bad reputation, are chemically stable and barely change when heated. While they’re said to negatively affect cholesterol levels, on a Low Carb, High Fat (LCHF) diet like keto, these effects can be mitigated as they’re quickly broken down by the body for energy. Animal products with saturated fats, such as lard, bacon, and butter, can be safely used on keto.

For healthy cooking, opt for oils high in saturated fats like chicken, goose, and duck fat. Clarified butter, Ghee (popular in many keto recipes), and coconut oil are also excellent choices. Counting macros is important on keto to ensure you maintain the right balance of fats, proteins, and carbs for optimal health and weight management.

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