May 12, 2022
In the keto community you’ll hear all sorts of terms thrown around and sometimes it's hard to know what they mean. One of the first terms you’ll encounter is macros.
Macros is short for macronutrients. There are three macronutrients and they are fat, protein and carbohydrates. There are also micronutrients that are vitamins, iron, calcium, sodium etc. That’s a whole different animal that we aren’t going to tackle today.
There are two macronutrients that are required and those are fat and protein. Carbohydrates, while they are recommended in large amounts, aren’t necessary at all. In fact, there are a number of people I know who live and thrive on a zero carb diet and have for decades. Typically on a ketogenic diet people are recommended to keep their net or total carbs under 20 grams per day. That number is bio specific, meaning that it varies for each person. It may take 20 grams of carbs or less for me per day to stay in ketosis but you may be able to eat 50 grams of carbs per day. The only way to know is to test your blood or adjust your carb intake each week until you stop losing weight. What that looks like is you start with 20 grams per day for a week and increase by 5 grams for a week and see how weight loss goes. If weight loss continues you can increase another 5 grams and continue this process until weight loss stops. Once weight loss stops back off 5 grams per day and that is your max carb level for weight loss. If you have questions on this process, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll follow up with a more detailed explanation.
With carbs out of the way there are two other macronutrients. Fat and protein. Typically, the breakdown of a ketogenic diet is 55-60% fat, 30-35% protein and 5-10% carbs. The best approach is to eat natural whole foods. There’s no need to go out of your way and eat extra fat, although when starting keto it can help with satiety and help curb cravings. What this means is the majority of the calories are coming from fat each day with the second source being protein. Leave the yolk in your eggs, use good quality olive oil and eat dark meat chicken. These are all great sources of good quality fat as well as high quality proteins.
I went into some extra details here about some other topics related to macros but just remember when you hear macros people are just talking about the big three, protein, fat and carbs.
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