Track Your Calorie Intake
If youre trying to lose weight, your calorie intake will still matter.
Just because youre following a low-carb high-fat diet, doesnt mean you wont pay attention to calories. To create a calorie deficit and lose weight, you need to reduce the number of calories in every keto diet meal or increase your physical activity. Make sure that you dont eat more calories than you burn.
Dont know how many calories you need per day? A keto macro calculator should help you figure this out.
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What About Ketosis A Quick Note On Tracking Your Ketones
One of the primary goals of the keto diet is to reap the benefits of sustained ketosis. So, besides tracking your fat, protein, and carb intake, you may want to track your ketone levels as well.
The best indicator of ketosis on the ketogenic diet is your blood ketone levels. Even if youre eating lots of fat, very low carb, and moderate protein, you cant know for sure if youre on the right track unless you monitor your ketone levels. To learn about the best ketone tracking methods, check out our guide to measuring ketosis.
Fat Sources You Should Avoid And Limit On The Ketogenic Diet
Please dont include these familiar sources of unhealthy fats:
- Most processed oils are high in Omega-Six fatty acids, which are inflammatory. In contrast, unprocessed fats like olive oil and avocado have a higher fat content than beneficial omega-three fatty acids.
You also should limit your consumption of foods high in saturated fat, such as:
- Meats like beef, lamb.
- Dairy such as whole milk cheese, butter, and coconut oil.
Because high intake of those could have an adverse effect on LDL cholesterol levels for some people.
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Question 1 Of 1: How Much Fat Can I Have On The Keto Diet
Fat Vs Protein On Keto
Fat vs protein on Keto whats more important? Some people claim fat is the key macro to watch. Their mantra is You must eat fat to burn fat.
Others will bite your head off if you suggest this . They will tell you firmly that Fat is not a goal and you should only watch carbs and protein.
So whats the deal? Lets look into this.
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How Much Fat For Ketosis
Is there a minimum fat intake for getting into ketosis? No
In fact, you can establish ketosis by consuming no calories at all.
While fasting, your body will begin to produce ketone bodies from stored body fat, taking food out of the equation entirely. After 3 days of zero caloric intake, youll be most likely in ketosis. Even more, 4 days in beta-hydroxybutyrate levels may rise up to 70-fold .
It means you dont need to eat any fat at all to be in ketosis and burn fat for fuel.
But whats with all that fat intake? Is too much fat bad for you? No.
The proportion of energy from fat is not linked to risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol, which is the most robust lipid indicator of risk of coronary heart disease , is lowered by unsaturated fatty acids, increased by trans fatty acids and not affected by saturated fatty acids compared with carbohydrates .
The high quantities of fat eaten on keto are supposed to give the body more energy in the absence of glucose and blunt the insulin response of eating protein and carbs.
If you were to eat only egg whites with no other food, youd elevate your blood sugar and block ketosis. The same applies to lean meats and fish, fruit, sugar, starch without fiber.
So, eating more fat on the ketogenic diet is justified and necessary for it to work. However, theres still a point of diminishing returns, which is not suiting for everyones goals.
Eat An Adequate Amount Of Protein
The most helpful trick to minimizing hunger is making sure you eat the right amount of protein. If you are eating very low-carb but stalled in weight loss, or find yourself hungry between meals, take a look at how much protein you are eating.
How much is enough? Individual needs vary, but about 1.2-2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of reference bodyweight may be optimal for weight loss. You may need more if you are active though, especially if lifting weights and building muscle.
Just because you can eat more fat for fuel, doesnt automatically mean that you will. In studies when people are eating low-carb, moderate protein diets and are allowed to eat as much fat as needed to feel full, they often end up consuming less overall due to feeling fuller and more satisfied:
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What Is Lazy Keto
The most common definition of lazy keto is to eat no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day without counting calories or tracking the other macronutrients, protein and fat, said Allison Knott, MS, RDN, CSSD, a registered dietitian based in New York City.
In theory, this sounds great for those who dont enjoy tracking every bite of food going into their mouth, but its unlikely to result in the metabolic state known as ketosis, she said.
Ketosis is the process that occurs when the body stops using glycogen stores for energy and starts burning fat instead. In ketosis, the body burns the fat you eat plus the fat you have stored. Ketosis is vital to the keto diet and its highly touted weight loss benefits.
But ketosis isnt as easy as ditching carbs almost entirely to force fat burning. Yes, carbs are the direct source of glucose for energy. Without them, your body will need another energy source.
Protein, if you arent watchful, can become that source of glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis. It could be the death knell for the lazy keto concept.
Protein has an insulinogenic response, which means that eating too much protein on a ketogenic diet can actually cause the body to use glucose for fuel instead of ketones, thus taking the person out of ketosis, said Michelle Shapiro, MS, RD, a registered dietitian in New York City.
What Happens If You Dont Eat Enough Fat On Keto: Healthy Fats To Eat On A Keto Diet
Experts acknowledge that the healthiest fats to consume while on keto are the polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats. These fats are liquid at room temperature. However, when chilled, they will harden. You can acquire unsaturated fats from foods such as:
- Olives and olive oil
- Oily fish such as tuna and anchovies
- Canola oil
These high-fat keto foods are good for your health for several reasons. They include:
- Lowering your low-density lipoprotein level- this is the bad cholesterol in your body. Too much of it increases your risk of acquiring either strokes or cardiovascular diseases .
- Developing and maintaining your cells.
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How Much Fat Do You Need
Its important to get enough fat whether or not youre on keto. Getting enough fat is key to keeping your energy levels up, maintaining healthy sex hormone levels, good mental health, and more.
Fats are often demonized because of their possible health risks and their so-called ability to make you fat.
The truth is, fat shouldnt be demonized. It does not make you fat. What matters more is the type of fat you consume.
The percentage of calories from fat will depend on how low your carb intake is, but it will generally be between 5075% of your calories. Here are some examples of suggested daily fat ranges on keto.
- 1500 calories: 83-125 grams of fat per day.
- 2000 calories: 111-167 grams of fat per day.
- 2500 calories: 139-208 grams of fat per day.
You can guess how much fat you need based on trial and error, but if you want to find the exact amount of fat you should consume on keto, try using a keto macro calculator.
Fat actually increases satiety, especially the medium-chain triglycerides found in butter and coconut oil. They activate appetite-suppressing hormones and slow stomach emptying. So, dont be afraid to consume as many good fats as you want on keto, as long as you are within your calorie limit.
Fatty Cuts Of Meat Are Sacred
You may not be aware, but there is a pretty big difference between the amount of fat you can find in beef versus chicken.
I’m sure you are used to hearing that chicken breast is the way to go, because it’s a lean cut of meat, meaning lower fat, and is healthy for you.
During keto, we want to do just the opposite. If you can’t live without chicken, then ditch the chicken breast and go for fattier options like chicken thighs and ramp those bad boys up with butter or oil oil.
Opt for poultry legs, wings and duck breasts, and fatty deli meats like prosciutto.To add some variety to your protein intake, eat more fatty fish, like salmon, tuna, and sardines.
It provides high-quality protein and is rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids which will help temper inflammation and reduce the risk for many chronic diseases.
To get the most out of keto and meat, we suggest preferring fatty cuts of:
- Red meat like lamb, beef, bison
- Fatty fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, eel
- Poultry like chicken thighs, duck thighs, and turkey
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Youre Not Eating Enough Fat
The intention of the keto diet is to force the body to run on fat, as opposed to glycogen . When the body reaches this stage, its called ketosis. As a result, you need to be eating a significant amount of fat.
If youre not used to eating a lot of fat, you may find it difficult to hit your required amount. The first 30 days are critical and this step-by-step 28-day keto plan was designed for you to lose weight.
However, general guidelines stipulate 6075 percent of your food should be from fat, 1530 percent from protein, and five to ten percent from carbohydrates. To work out your personalized split, try using an online calculator.
Its a good idea to plan your meals and moderate your fat intake until you can estimate the number of fats in your meals by eyeballing portions.
As you adjust your diet, its a good idea to measure your ketones to ensure youre entering ketosis. Ketosis is a delicate balance, and you can throw yourself out of it unknowingly. If you fall out of ketosis, you could sabotage your entire diet without even knowing it.
Dr. Nick Sudano says that people come to his office daily complaining that keto doesnt work for them. The first question he asks them is whether they measure their ketones, and the answer is almost always no.
How Do I Eat All Of The Fat That The Keto Calculator Recommends
When you are first starting the keto diet, eating so much fat may seem like a daunting task.
How are you supposed to consume all of that fat and enjoy it at the same time? By knowing what keto-friendly options are available to you.
Here are some high-fat keto foods that you can eat to meet your fat needs:
- Fatty Fish
For more high fat and/or high protein keto meal and snack ideas, check out our keto recipes.
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Keto Beginners Stick To The Basics
When you switch to Keto from a standard diet, there is a lot to get used to. The make-up of your food will be completely different.
Adopting new habits is not easy. You need to watch your food very carefully or you might slide back into your old habits.
The best thing to do is to figure out exactly how much of each macro you should be getting, based on your current weight and lifestyle. Use one of these Keto macros calculators to find out:
Once you know what your macronutrient goals should be, track all your food and make sure to stay within those limits. Dont start tweaking anything at this point just stick with the basics.
Eating enough fat is crucial at this point. If you dont get enough, it will be harder for your body to switch to a fat-burning metabolism.
After a few weeks, you will break into ketosis. You will also get used to eating the Keto way. You will know the macro content for your favourite foods.
You can then relax the tracking a bit and rely on your new habits to carry you forward.
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What Is A Deficit/surplus
A deficit or surplus just relates to the number of calories you want to intake. A surplus means you are eating more than your body needs. A deficit means you are eating less than your body needs.
Typically if you are losing weight, you want to have a deficit in calories. 10-20% is standard for people. 20-30% ranges are considered high deficits and are typically difficult to do . You can go up to a 30% deficit, but going past that can lead to metabolic damage in the long run .
Typically if you want to gain muscle, you want to have a surplus in calories. You need extra calories if you want to put on lean mass. Typically, 5-10% is suggested, but going over 10% can lead to excess weight gain.
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Mistake #: Stagnant Macro Ratios
There are three major macronutrients that supply humans with energy from foods: carbohydrate, fat, and protein. On a well-formulated ketogenic diet, your daily energy needs should be satisfied by approximately 5-10% carbs, 70-80% fat, and 15-20% protein.What people frequently overlook is the fact that when you initially begin a ketogenic diet and are losing weight, a significant portion of that 70-80% of energy from fat will actually come from burning your own body fat stores from adipose tissueâso itâs NOT entirely from dietary sources. Later down the road as you approach âweight maintenanceâ and are aiming to remain weight-stable while keeping your energy levels high and metabolic health at optimum, the fat needed to supply your daily energy will have to come from your food. After all, in this scenario you no longer have as much excess fat to lose! The chart below shows food macronutrient intakes plus body fat contributions as one progresses from through the stages of weight loss to eventual weight stability.
Although your intake of dietary fat will need to increase, no matter if itâs Day 1 or Day 500, you will continue consuming approximately the same, moderate amount of protein in addition to non-starchy vegetables . Depending on your personal health goals, and particularly how well your initial diabetes or prediabetes is held in reversal, some people may be able to increase their carbohydrate intake somewhat in maintenance.
âDr. Phinney on macros
Experienced Keto Dieters Tweak Your Keto Macros To Make Them Optimal For You Individually
Once you are fully Keto-adapted, you can get away with tweaking your Keto macros a little bit so that its optimised for your individual needs.
We are all different so you have to work out what works for you. Here are some approximate examples of how this might work:
If you exercise a lot
- You might be able to get away with a few more carbs and still stay in ketosis
- Shift your protein/fat balance more in favour of protein to rebuild muscle especially if you do heavy weights training
- Supplement your Keto diet with electrolytes to make up for minerals lost with sweat during exercise
If you are sedentary
- Be very vigilant with your carbs limit no more than 20g a day
- Focus more on fat rather than protein to maintain ketosis
- Consider adding some exercise even if its just walking
If your metabolic resistance is very high
- You may need to lower your carbs even lower to 10-15g net carbs, or even try zero-carb/carnivore approach
- Consider adding intermittent fasting to stimulate fat burning
- Try supplemnting your diet with Co-Enzyme Q10 and L-Carnitine
These are just some ideas obviously, not everyone in these groups are the same. You may need to experiment a little to find out whats optimal for YOU.
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