To make things easier for you to get started I’m going to set down a step-by-step list so you can figure out your macros and how to track them. These steps are necessary and should be followed!
Step One: Go to the Active.com Bodyfat Calculator and follow the directions to find your approximate level of body fat. You will need this number to calculate your macro nutrient needs. (Protein and fat in particular.) Men will need to use their waist and weight measurements while women will need weight, waist, hips, wrist and forearm. Write this number down or remember it.
Step Two: Now it’s time to find out how much fat and protein you will need to consume. Go to the Keto Calculator and follow down the page filling in your information as you go. Protein is important because it prevents your body from breaking down your muscles for its protein needs. In this step you will need your height, weight, birthday and activity level. Fill in the boxes shown below. These numbers are my current numbers if you want to follow my example.
Next you tell the calculator your activity level. Most people can choose sedentary unless you work in a job where you are on your feet all day. Once you choose your activity level the calculator will tell you your daily base metabolic needs. That is the minimum amount of calories your body needs to survive. Below you’ll see your daily calorie expenditure based on the activity level you chose. Again below are my selections. I’m a Registered Nurse so I walk quite a bit. I chose lightly active.
Now comes the most important part. Tell the calculator you’re kicking carbs out of your life by putting 20 in the box describing your total net carbs. (Remember, net carbs are total carbohydrates minus fiber.)
The next portion wants to know how much protein you need in your diet. The left and right columns are the minimum and maximum amount of protein suggested based on the information you already filled in above. Again you choose these based on your activity level. Also take into consideration any exercise you might do. I chose the middle ground of 0.8 grams/lb as you can see below because I run 5 days a week.
Lastly you will find out how many fat calories in grams you’ll have to take in to fill out the rest of your caloric needs. Try playing around with the calorie deficit in % to see where you want to be. Below is an example of MY fat macros. Yours will be different.
After all that work you finally have the information you came for! Displayed in a list will be your fat, protein and carbohydrate macros. There is also a handy dandy pie chart if you want to see how those calories look in circular fashion!
Step Three: This is the final step in setting yourself up to eat like a Keto champ! Go on over to myfitnesspal.com (MFP) and sign up for a free account. MFP is a great tool to track your intake to make sure you meet your macro goals! They also have handy Android/iPhone apps which allow you to track on the go. You will need to set your macros manually because MFP doesn’t know you’re going keto! First log in and under the Home tab, select Goals. At the bottom of the page select the green “Change Goals” button.
Here MFP will ask you to let them guide you in selecting your goals. You don’t want to do that. You will want to set your own goals based on the fat, protein and carb results from the Keto Calculator. So let’s choose custom.
Here you will input the calories, fat, protein and carbohydrate goals from the Keto calculator. Keep in mind that MFP only changes the percentages in 5% increments so your numbers might be slightly higher or lower in MFP than the keto calculator. Here are mine.
That’s it! Now you’re set up to start tracking your intake. Using MFP could be a whole lesson unto itself. Continue on the Getting Started (Part Two) to move on.