HOW TO USE THIS KETO CALCULATOR
How intense is your exercise?
- Light: I can hold a conversation while working out and do not break a sweat.
- Moderate: I am breathing hard and challenge myself.
- Difficult: I always break a sweat and have an elevated heart rate. I cannot hold a conversation.
- Intense: Don't talk to to me, don't look at me. I am here for a purpose and i might die today.
Spend most of the day sitting (e.g. bank teller, desk job)LIGHT ACTIVITY
Spend most of the day on your feet (e.g. teacher, salesman)
Do you want to lose, maintain, or gain weight? Depending on your goals, you’ll need to adjust the slider below. The circle on the slider is currently set at 0 so if you don’t change it, we’ll tell you the correct percentage of each macronutrient to consume in order to maintain your body weight. If you want to lose weight, slide the circle to the left. If you want to gain weight, slide it to the right. The higher the percentage (positive or negative) the sooner you’ll see results, but the most important thing is choosing an option that isn’t too difficult and that you feel like you can realistically maintain.
YOUR WEIGHT GOALS+25% SURPLUS
This is a balanced calorie intake.
The numbers above are your personalized keto macros presented in grams per day and per meal. There’s also a formula to help you calculate your daily calories. Fat provides 9 calories per gram, while carbohydrates and protein provide 4 calories per gram. Use this info to calculate the calorie intake for each macro.
HOW DO YOU CREATE A CALORIC SURPLUS OR DEFICIT?
The Keto Calculator looks at each person as unique. Based on the information you provide, it will calculate how many calories you need to consume and what your macronutrient breakdown should be to meet your goals.
Macronutrients (aka: macros) are the largest nutritional components of our foods and include carbohydrates, fat and protein. The proportion of macros in your daily diet can make – or break – a diet plan for many people.
The standard macronutrient recommendation for a typical American diet is approximately 50-55% carbohydrates, 15-20% protein and around 30% fat. This typical diet prompts the body to burn carbohydrates for energy. However, for the keto diet, the standard macro intake is 5-10% carbohydrates, 15-30% protein and 60-75% fat, By minimizing your carbohydrate intake, the keto diet basically flips a switch on your metabolism, instead prompting your body to burn fat for energy (called ketosis), which uses calories at a faster rate and spurs on more rapid weight loss.
However, everybody is different and some people find greater success with slight variations of this breakdown. This is why it’s great to consult with a dietitian or keto calculator to make sure your particular macro-nutrient breakdown will fit your lifestyle and help you reach your goals.
Each of these factors contribute to an algorithm that considers how everyone is biologically different, leads different lifestyles and has different goals. Based on the information you provide,our calculator will tell you what your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) are.
What does Basal Metabolic
Rate (BMR) mean?
Even if you spend the day in bed and don’t move a muscle, your body is using energy and burning calories performing basic functions like breathing and sending blood to your muscles. Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is simply an estimate of how many calories your body needs, at minimum, to stay up-and-running! For this reason, a lot of people will describe your BMR as a measurement of how fast your metabolism is. Everyone’s BMR is different based on their age, weight, gender and activity level.
While regular exercise can speed up your metabolism, it does naturally slow down with age. Therefore, two women with the same height, weight, body fat percentage and exercise routine will still have different BMR’s based on their age.
Additionally, men usually have higher BMR’s than women since their bodies produce more testosterone and have a lower fat percentage per pound.
What does Total Daily Energy
Expenditure (TDEE) mean?
While your BMR is an estimate how many calories your body needs to function at its most basic level, your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is a more comprehensive estimate of how many calories you burn daily. Simply put, your TDEE is a combination of your BMR plus any additional calories your body burns through daily movement and exercise.
The more active you are, the higher your TDEE will be. If you work a job where you’re on your feet all day and walking a lot, your TDEE will be higher than someone who sits at a desk. If you regularly exercise, you’ll also have a higher TDEE.
Once we know your TDEE, our calculator will have a baseline for how many calories it needs to subtract or add from your daily caloric intake to reach your goals. If you want to lose weight, you’ll need to eat less calories than your body burns (a.k.a. caloric deficit). If you want to gain weight, you’ll need to eat more calories than your TDEE (a.k.a. caloric surplus).
HOW DO YOU CREATE A CALORIC SURPLUS OR DEFICIT?
3, 500 calories equals about one pound of fat. That means that in order to gain one pound or lose one pound, you’ll have to create a 3,500-calorie surplus or deficit in your diet and exercise. We calculate that surplus or deficit based on your TDEE and how moderate or aggressive your weight change goals are.
For example, to lose 1 pound per week, you would need to be in a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories for that week. So, the calculator might suggest a 500-calorie per-day deficit to amount to a 3,500 calorie-deficit at the end of a 7-day week. By tracking your food intake and your exercise using a mobile app or fitness tracker, you can make sure you’re on track with your weight loss goals.
Now, if you can burn 250 calories per day with exercise on top of that 500-calorie deficit, this would amount to a total 5,250-calorie deficit for the week. With a 5,250-calorie deficit, you’ll be on track to lose 1.5 pounds per week.
Is your head spinning? Don’t get freaked out by the math. Our calculator can do all of these calculations for you and provide a safe calorie recommendation (generally a minimum of 1,200 calories each day) and macro proportions divided accordingly.
KETO FOOD PYRAMID
THE KETO DIET
The keto diet is one that changes lives, so if you’re ready to try it for yourself, we’re here to help.
You may know that the keto diet involves cutting out carbs and eating healthy fats but how do you do it? You may have heard that calculating your keto macronutrients (macros for short) is the next step, but what the heck are macros and how do you calculate them?
In this guide, we will walk you through the process of learning what a macro is, and how easy it is to calculate them using a keto macro calculator. Armed with that knowledge, you’ll be well prepared to start your keto journey and join all the other people who have successfully calculated their macros allowing them to meet their goals, stick to their keto plan and see incredible results! Let’s dive in.
Keto Macros Explained
A keto calculator provides you with your individual ratios of keto macros for your keto diet, but what exactly are keto macros?
“Macros” is short for macronutrients, these “big” nutrients provide us with energy. The three macronutrients are fat, protein and carbohydrates and they are the building blocks of all the foods we eat. Micronutrients, mostly vitamins and minerals, are just as important, but are required in much smaller or “micro” amounts. On a keto diet you will be consuming specific amounts of each macro, and a wide variety of nutrient rich foods will help you to meet your basic requirement for micronutrients as they “come along for the ride” if you eat a healthy diet. When we talk about “keto macros” we mean the ketogenic macronutrient ratio of the three energy providers. For the standard keto diet this means:
70-80% of calories from fats (1g of fat = 9 calories)
15-20% of calories from protein (1g of protein = 4 calories)
5-10% of calories from carbs (1g of carbs = 4 calories)
If you eat within the boundaries of your keto macros, your body enters ketosis, the state where fat provides most of the fuel for the body, the main objective of a ketogenic diet. Restricting the intake of carbs is important because carbs are the body’s preferred fuel source and if carb intake is too high ketosis simply won’t happen. Fiber is not broken down by the body, so it doesn’t count towards your carbohydrate percentage. Keto diets take this into consideration and have deemed the carbohydrate level minus the fiber as “net carbs”. You can calculate the net carbs of any food by subtracting the fiber from the total carbs.
Protein is restricted to moderate levels but recommended amounts vary with activity levels. Although highly debated, some keto experts suggest that if you have too much protein the body converts it to glucose which spikes insulin, lowers ketone levels and takes you out of ketosis. Protein can be broken down to glycogen (stored glucose) through a process called gluconeogenesis, but current evidence suggests the only macronutrient that will interfere with ketosis is the carbohydrate.
As an illustration, someone needing, say, 2,000 calories a day would need to eat:
166g of fat
100g of protein
25g of net carbs
The number of calories you need depends upon your body and what you are trying to achieve through a keto diet. That’s what a keto macro calculator is for.
How Do I Calculate Macros for Keto?
First of all, you need to determine the number of calories you need to consume in order to achieve your dietary goal: do you want to simply maintain your weight, lose weight or gain weight? To lose weight you need a calorie deficit, gaining weight requires a calorie surplus.
Most people who embark on the keto journey are looking for a calorie deficit calculator, as the point of the diet for most is to burn fat.
What exactly your base caloric intake should be depends on several factors. Age, gender, body size, and lifestyle all have a major influence on your individual calorie recommendation.
As you get older you tend to lose muscle and become less active thus decreasing your calorie requirements, though your need for nutrients remains the same or even increases.
On average, men have more muscle than women and so need more calories to maintain condition because of their higher Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Having said that, a highly trained female athlete will have more muscle than a sedentary man of the same age, height and build, so will need to eat more calories to maintain condition.
If you have excess weight it is likely that your BMR will be lower than optimum and burning calories will be more difficult. You can estimate your body fat percentage by using a dressmaker’s tape measure, a skinfold caliper, a body fat scale, take a Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scan or use a body fat calculator. Know that almost no test is entirely accurate, though the DEXA scan is one of the most accurate and costs around $200.
Lifestyle has a massive impact on caloric needs. If you go to the gym four times a week, play sports, hike or cycle regularly and have an active job then you will need a more fuel than someone who prefers to come home and chill out with a movie every night of the week.
Once you know your estimated daily calorie requirements, you can begin to work out how much of each of the three macros, fat, protein and carbs, you should consume to achieve your goals. The easiest way to do this is by using a keto macro calculator, like the one at the top of this page.
Alternatively, use a calorie calculator and divide the calories up for the recommended percentages we outlined above and use the calories to calculate how many grams of each you need. For example, 2000 calories a day, at 10% carb intake, will equal 100 calories. At 4 calories per gram for carbs, you’ll have a macro of around 25g a day.
How Do I Meet My Macros with a Ketogenic Diet?
The easiest way to meet your macros is by becoming familiar with which foods are keto-friendly and which foods are best to limit or avoid. Simply put, you want to shoot for low-carb, high-fat foods with protein and avoid those that are high-carb and low-fat.
It’s also a good idea to use a food tracker, such as MyFitnessPal to track your macros, so you don’t consume too many carbs.
Some Keto-Friendly Foods Are:
Seafood, particularly fatty fish like wild salmon, tuna and sardines plus shrimp, crab and octopus.
Meat, poultry and eggs, especially organic and grass-fed – the fats may be easier for the body to absorb.
Low-carb veggies like spinach, kale, mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower plus avocado and tomato though officially they are fruits.
Low-sugar fruits, for instance, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
Nuts and seeds are packed with protein and healthy fats – almonds, macadamia nuts, chia seed and pumpkin seeds are particularly good.
High-fat dairy like cheese, cream and butter.
Oils like olive oil, coconut oil, nut oils and MCT oil.
Some Non-Keto Friendly Foods Are:
Starchy root vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes, are too high in carbs to be part of a keto diet.
Most fruit also contains too many carbs so avoid apples, pears, bananas, grapes and fruit juices.
Pulses like beans, peas and lentils are loaded with carbs.
Grains such as oatmeal, wheat, and rice.
Anything made with grains, so no bread or pasta.
Milk, though healthful in so many ways, is essentially too high in carbs for someone on a keto diet to drink. You can use heavy cream in your coffee, but if you want a glass switch to unsweetened plant-based milk instead, sugar!
Keto Macros for Athletes Explained
Many athletes are as serious about their diets as they are about their exercise regime. They have to be if they want to perform at their best. More and more athletes are giving the keto diet a try. Research has suggested that most athletes won’t have a problem going keto, though it may not be the optimum diet for those doing endurance sports. Keto has become popular for good reasons and you may find its benefits suit you and your fitness goals.
Athletes who follow a more traditional diet use carbs as their primary energy source, but when your body is in ketosis the emphasis shifts to fats. The longer you have been on a keto diet the better you will be at using fat for energy. Don’t be surprised if your performance dips at first when you change to a keto diet, as you have to give your body time to adapt. This could take up to 12 weeks, so don’t dismiss keto as not for you too quickly. The better your body adapts to the keto diet the more it will use fat for fuel.
So, what are the potential benefits of changing to a low-carb keto diet for athletes?
Fat provides a more stable degree of energy than the more volatile glucose. This allows the ketogenic athlete to exercise for longer periods without the roller coaster of glucose-fueled energy levels, particularly during low and medium strength workouts.
Glycogen is how glucose is stored in the body, mostly in your muscles and liver. For an athlete that has prepared his or her body to burn fat, the glycogen is kept in reserve for when it is really needed – for high-intensity exercise.
Studies have suggested that a well thought out keto diet can encourage recovery from exercise which may be attributed to anti-inflammatory properties.
Ketogenic diets are known for stabilizing appetite, reducing the need to snack between meals, and helping reduce intake of ultra-processed junk food. Ideally if you choose a wide variety of healthy clean keto-friendly foods you can have an optimal diet which is needed for optimum performance.
Some athletes wonder if you can increase muscle mass on a high-fat, low-carb diet. It’s perfectly possible, you just need to follow your macro guide and consume your recommended protein intake daily.
Assuring your diet provides the building blocks needed to make muscle by consuming the proteins found in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy is essential for anyone following the keto diet, particularly athletes.
Are There Downsides to a Keto Diet for an Athlete?
There is almost always a reduction in performance levels when you adjust to a keto diet. Your body makes the initial change quite quickly but it takes time to get your physical speed, strength, and endurance back on track. You need to make the switch when you have the time to allow your body to normalize, not when you have an important competition coming up. Some researchers doubt that keto diets can fuel the type of fitness required by high-intensity sports. However, this may be because most studies don’t give enough time for the athletes to adapt. It used to be thought that keto athletes were disadvantaged for endurance sports but that may not be the case at all. Until there has been further research, it really is up to the individual athlete and how they feel they perform at their best.
There are variations on the standard keto diet that are used by some athletes and bodybuilders. The cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) intersperses keto days with days when you up your carb intake, and the targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) allows the addition of carbs around your workouts. These are not meant for the less serious athlete, but may be options for those who compete frequently.
Keto Macros for Weight Loss Explained
The keto diet has become extremely popular for weight management. Many people have achieved life-changing and even life-saving weight loss on keto, and hearing or reading about those positive experiences may be what led you here in the first place.
Keto macros work for weight loss by depriving the body of carbohydrates, and therefore glucose, the main fuel used for energy in all cells. Instead, the body turns to an alternative source – ketones, which it makes from fat.
When carbohydrate intake is restricted, the body first uses the glucose stored in the liver and breaks down muscle to release more glucose. After just a few days, with no more glucose available, the amount of insulin in the blood (the hormone that regulates blood sugar) diminishes and allows the stored fat to be used as an energy source, turned into ketones by the liver. This state is called ketosis. (The goal of keto!)
So, by significantly reducing carbohydrates and inducing a state of ketosis the body actually burns the stored fat to produce energy while allowing enough protein to preserve muscle.
There are several theories that have been suggested why the keto diet is successful in leading to weight loss. These include:
The high-fat content decreases food cravings.
Restricting carbs leads to a decrease in appetite-stimulating hormones.
Converting fat to fuel requires more calories to be used.
How Do You Calculate Keto Ratio?
It is possible to “go it alone” and work out your own specific keto macro ratio based on the approved figures and fine-tune it by experience over time. But why would you want to do that when you can just use a keto calculator?
Our keto macro calculator (and many other macro calculators available online) is simple to use and takes into account:
- Your age
- Your gender
- Your height
- Your weight
- Your body fat
- Your lifestyle (activity level)
Based on your answers - and be honest here! - the calculator will work out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), which is the number of calories you burn in a day.
Then it will ask you to input your goal (is your desire to lose weight, gain muscle, maintain weight?) and then it will calculate the amount and ratio of the macros. In effect it is a calorie deficit calculator and calorie surplus calculator, depending on your needs.
Don’t forget keto calculator recommendations are just a starting point. You want the machine that is your body to be fine-tuned, so it’s best to start with those macros until you’re more experienced and then you can tweak the recommendations if you so choose. Some who have reached their desired keto goals continue to follow the keto diet but adjust their macros a few days a week, similar to the cyclic ketogenic diet described above in which keto days are interspersed with higher carb days.
Carbs On Keto Explained
We call the sugars, starches, and fiber found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk, carbohydrates. As discussed, carbs are one of the three macros along with fats and protein and they are the ones we try to reduce as much as possible on a ketogenic diet. Why? Because most carbohydrates are converted to glucose which is the body’s preferred source of energy. Ona keto diet we need fat to be the provider of energy and to do that we need to achieve ketosis which cannot be done if you eat a lot of carbs.
When looking at the macros you need for a ketogenic diet when it comes to carbs you have to be aware of net carbs. Net carbs are the total amount of carbs you ingest minus the fiber. Fiber is an important dietary component needed for a healthy digestive system, but unlike sugars and starches it is not converted into glucose as it is largely undigested.
Nutrition packed vegetables like kale, cauliflower, and broccoli contain carbohydrates but they are allowed on a keto diet because the carbohydrates exist as fiber and can be subtracted. On the other hand, potatoes and corn are a no-no because they contain huge amounts of starchy carbs and less fiber.
Too many net carbs and say goodbye to ketosis. What this means is that you have to be really careful where your carbs come from – fiber good, sugars bad. So, no bread, pasta or rice, but leafy fiber rich veggies are a healthy addition, plus they are full of vitamins and minerals. (yep, that’s right micronutrients).
Milk is another good example of carbs and keto friendly foods. Although milk is natural and contains fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, there’s also 12g of carbs in every glass and no fiber, so it’s not keto-friendly. 1However, hard cheeses like cheddar or parmesan contain almost no carbs, and the same with butter and cream, so are usually okay to eat – but always check the packaging.
How Do You Calculate How Many Carbs I Can Have on Keto?
If you know the number of calories you need to consume daily, you can work out easily how many net carbs you can have. For a standard keto diet, you should be looking at somewhere between 5-10% of your calorie allowance provided by carbohydrates. If your daily calorie count is 2000, then 5-10% is 100-200 calories.
Carbohydrates are approximately 4 calories for each gram, so you are looking to limit yourself to between 25g and 50g. To keep your system in ketosis you probably want to keep as close to the lower number as possible, especially when starting out.
Calories on Keto Explained
Calories are a unit of energy, energy used by the body as fuel, to function, to live, breathe, think and grow. We get calories from all three macros: fats, carbs, and protein. Fats are the most calorie-rich with 9 calories per gram while carbohydrates and protein both provide 4 calories per gram.
Working out your daily calorie requirements can be quite complex. Age, height, weight, body shape and lifestyle all play a part. You can do it manually – with difficulty – so it’s better to use an online calculator like ours. Simply fill in the details about yourself and we’ll let you know your total daily energy expenditure figure and a detailed keto macro daily amount.
The first figure you are looking for is how many calories you need every day in order to fuel your body and its activities, to maintain your weight and body fat. If you are a petite female office worker you will need far fewer calories than a pro linebacker. So, if you use an online calculator you do need to be honest, it’s not just height and age.
It’s a good idea to calculate your calories including your activity level, so you don’t consume too little. If you are having a busy day, lots of walking, a gym session then you might want to allow yourself more calories. On the other hand, a day chilling in front of the TV and you may want to cut down a little.
Once you know what your baseline daily calorie needs then you can add in your weight loss or gain aims. Don’t try and be too radical here, a 10-20% deficit for weight loss is enough. In fact, if you are new to the keto diet you may want to take a week or three for your body to get used to the idea of low carbs and high fat before you add in a caloric deficit. Above all, you want to remain healthy, and if you are too tired from too little calories you won’t want to stick to your new diet.
In order to achieve all this, you do need to plan your meals accurately especially when you are new to keto. It is also a good idea to grab some keto-friendly snacks so you can eat when you’re hungry, there are a ton of delicious options out there.
Some people may prefer to write out their keto plan manually, but there are also loads of apps out there to help you keep track:
- Carb Manager
- Ketogenic Diet
- Calorie, Carb & Fat Counter
- Fit Men Cook
- My Macros+
- Ketogenic Diet Plan
Protein On Keto Explained
The human body has to have protein. Proteins are a nutritional building block and play a vital part in the structure and workings of cells and act as enzymes, antibodies, carriers, and hormones. They help make muscles, organs, neurotransmitters, even hair! Life would not be possible without them, so it’s important you eat enough.
The amount of protein recommended by a keto macro calculator will depend on variables like your weight and activity level. An athlete, exercising regularly and wishing to build muscle mass will need more protein in their diet than someone looking for weight loss and has more sedentary habits. Also, age-related muscle loss can be reduced in an older person by increasing their protein a little.
Some of the best providers of protein are meat, fish, and eggs together with full fat dairy products, seeds and nuts.
Fat On Keto Explained
The point of ketosis is to make your body use fat as its main energy supply rather than glucose. In order to get into ketosis carbs are severely limited, so extra fat is needed to keep energy levels up. Dietary fats are not just a source of energy. Fat is also needed to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Fats function as structural building blocks to help insulate your body and maintain normal core temperature, and fat is involved in many vital physiological processes such as support of cell growth and production of hormones. How much fat should be in your personal keto ratio depends on your calorie goal and will be indicated by a keto macro calculator. Typically, it will be in that 70-80% band.
Always remember, when choosing sources of any of the three macronutrients, that having a healthy diet is what matters. So, aim for variety in what you eat and don’t limit yourself to just a few keto-friendly foods that you feel happy with. A wide variety of foods will help you get all the micronutrients needed to keep your body functioning at its optimum potential.
While the keto diet might not be the simplest, most easy to stick-to diet out there, it is well-known that many people who have struggled to manage their weight on other diets have achieved incredible results with keto. Yes, keto does require planning and commitment but use of a keto calculator can make it so much easier.
With the ratio worked out and the amounts of fat, carbs, and protein computed you can get started planning your meals and making certain you hit those macros to help you achieve your keto diet goals!