Probably the most important part of the ketogenic diet revolves around the macronutrients, with the decision to eat ketogenic, we decide to cut sugar and carbohydrates for the most part from our everyday life. So, to successfully lose weight and become healthier, we need to convert our body from a sugar junkie to a fat-burning machine.
But how does it work? In order to achieve the state of ketosis and the health benefits that come with it, we need to change our diet. Carbohydrates are greatly reduced, the intake of protein and fat is increased. As mentioned at the beginning, macros are the most important part of the ketogenic diet. If you understand what macronutrients are, you will be able to use keto more successfully.
Knowing how much of each nutrient to consume is important because if you dose them correctly, you will get your body to burn fat 24/7 and reach a whole new level of energy
What are Macronutrients?
Macros are molecules that our body uses to produce energy, such as carbohydrates, fat, or proteins. Macronutrients occur in different distributions in all foods. Macronutrients are calculated in grams and provide you with varying amounts of energy in the form of calories:
Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram
Protein provides 4 calories per gram
Fat provides you with 9 calories per gram
When it comes to low carb, there is no fixed limit to how few carbohydrates it should be, even reducing it is an important step towards a healthier lifestyle. With keto, you should start with 20g of carbohydrates. Yes, that's tough, but basically just a bit of getting used to it.
As soon as the body has adapted, the amount of carbohydrates can be adjusted upwards, but should not go higher than 30g. Some people can incorporate up to 50g of carbohydrates into their diet without getting out of ketosis, but each person has to experiment for himself how much he needs and can tolerate without affecting ketosis.
Carbohydrates are not an essential nutrient for our body, we do not need carbohydrates to survive. It is true that this nutrient provides quick energy, but it is simply not necessary. A balanced, ketogenic diet gives you all the nutrients you need to keep your body healthy and able to run at full capacity.
You shouldn't overdo it with proteins, as excess protein, which is not used by the body, is converted into glucose and thus the blood sugar level rises and ketosis is endangered because the body receives another source of energy.
It wasn't long ago that a rumor persisted in the keto scene, namely that excess protein that the body does not need turns into glucose and thus endangers ketosis. In the meantime, however, it has been confirmed from various sources that the body only extracts as much glucose from protein as it needs.
No more and no less.
Protein is very important and you should aim for an amount of 1.3g to 2.2g per kilogram of body weight to avoid muscle breakdown and to give the heart, lungs, muscles, and red blood cells their most important building block.
Basically, the more active you are physically, the more protein you should be consuming.
If you want to read more about the myth of gluconeogenesis, I recommend the article “How much protein is too much protein in keto?”, Here you will also find out why gluconeogenesis is completely normal and why keto is possible in the first place.
Incorporate healthy fats into your everyday life and diet. Fat represents the largest part of the required macronutrients. Here you will often encounter incredulous faces, as we have been taught all our lives that fat is unhealthy. Fortunately, the medical profession's point of view has changed and we can see that fat does not make you fat. On the contrary, fat is an essential building block and one should urgently reduce the fear of it.
Another benefit of fat is that it is filling far longer than carbohydrates. So if you eat enough good fats, you will lose the constant cravings, even in a calorie deficit. If you eat a high-fat diet, you will support your body in getting into ketosis and burning fat. As contradicting as it sounds, eat fat to burn fat.
The most important point is and remains: Eat when you are hungry and not out of boredom.
What does the optimal distribution look like?
Depending on the goal of your diet, your macro distribution will be different. A good rule of thumb, however, is a distribution of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
With our keto calculator, you can calculate the right amount of calories and nutrient distribution for you and your needs. If you stick to the calculated amounts, you will achieve ketosis and your goals with ease.
Can I also eat less fat?
What I observe very often is that many people report in forums that they do not lose weight despite keto. Again and again, the answer of the group members is that they should increase the fat intake and lower the carbohydrates and proteins even further. It is simply wrong that you can eat as much fat as you want. The bottom line is that it always depends on the total amount of calories.
Don't let yourself be persuaded otherwise! It is not necessary to strictly achieve your fat goal. The amount of fat is not a goal, but a guideline, more fat does not mean deeper in ketosis, nor does it mean you lose more weight.
So it is not important that you have to "grease" in the evening. Obese people in particular do not have to constantly consume fat in order to recharge their batteries. Once you are keto-adapted, your body can get the energy from its own fat reserves, which is our goal after all.
What are Healthy Fat Sources?
In the ketogenic diet, you take fat than in other diets. Of course, there are good and less good fats here too, good sources of fat include:
Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, or sardines.
Fatty meat like pork belly, duck, or lamb.
Oils such as MCT oil, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, butter, or ghee.
Nuts like macadamias or pili nuts.
Other good sources are egg yolks, avocados, or olives.
Wouldn't less carbohydrates be better?
Here, too, we find another rumor that is simply not true. There is no reason to completely avoid carbohydrates, zero carb does not bring you any greater benefits than if you stick to your normal limit. You will not lose weight faster, nor will you achieve better ketone values.
How far you reduce your carbohydrates is entirely up to you, the only important thing is that you stay under 20g a day so that your body cannot replenish its glycogen stores and you use fat for energy.
It is best to try to use your carbohydrate limit, eat healthy vegetables and get more nutrients from them, there is no reason to give them up completely.
Calorie Counting Or Macronutrients?
If your goal is to lose weight, you will not succeed without a calorie deficit. It doesn't matter how you eat, if you want to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you eat.
Macronutrients play a deeper role here, if you consume the wrong nutrients, you may not get into ketosis, be thrown out, or lose muscles. It is important that you stay below your carbohydrate limit, consume enough protein and fill up the rest with healthy fats.
2 tips to help you achieve your nutritional goals
Especially at the beginning of the switch to keto, it can be quite a bit at once. In order to still achieve your daily macro goal, I recommend planning your meal in advance. You don't necessarily have to plan the entire week, but at least plan your current or upcoming day. Track your meals and think about what you would like to eat in the evening, for example. So you can see in advance whether you might be consuming too many carbohydrates at the end of the day or whether you should incorporate more fat or more protein.
Prefer unprocessed foods, as highly processed foods, are usually full of hidden and unnecessary carbohydrates that can sabotage your diet and goals. Of course, it is not mandatory to buy only the highest quality steak from the local butcher at Keto, but of course, high-quality foods are better and healthier for your body. Even if this will not affect ketosis, you should still try to pay attention to the quality and rather invest a little more in organic products.