For an example, I’ll share what I’m eating for a few days. Note that I’m eating less calories at the beginning of this week because we were a bit loosey goosey at the beach last week. Trying to cut carbs or fats not protein.
Here I’m eating at about a 25% calorie deficit, which is a temporary measure. I’m planning on moving up to about a 10% deficit every 4-5 days for awhile before I settle into around a 20% deficit. My goal is weight loss and I have somewhere around 30 more pounds I’d like to lose. I’ll address goals and fat loss/muscle gain in a future post.
The times of eating below are not always accurate. I practice intermittent fasting, which means I try to eat almost all my calories in an 8-10 hour window. I have heavy cream in my coffee most days, as I drink it slowly over many hours and fats don’t seem to affect the fasted state. I generally have 2 feedings, eating lunch and other foods in a 2 hour window or so then dinner and snacks in a 2 hour window later. Sometimes I put all the snacks in Snack 3 just for convenience.
- You need to estimate your body fat. You can get a caliper measurement or get measured in a BodPod or with a DEXA scan. If not, you can try to estimate it using the formula on this page:
Determining Lean Body Mass
- Once you know your body fat percentage, you can go here to calculate your macros:
- From Ketogains:
Why is macro breakdown so important?
From a ketogenic point of view:
- You need adequate Protein as to maintain /repair /create muscle tissue;
- You need to “adjust” your Fat intake according to your goals: reduce it for fat loss, increase it for muscle gain;
- You need to limit carbohydrates as to maintain a ketogenic state.
Macro breakdown is super important here on ketogains:
A ketogains macro breakdown may look like 30% Protein, 60% Fat, 10% Carbs when eating at a deficit, or 20% Protein, 75% Fat, 5% Carbs when eating at a surplus.
Note that this is an example, and that there are no “Ketogenic Ratios” – as macros should be counted by weight, in grams.
To learn how to set up your macros, refer to the “How To Set Up Your Macros” section from this FAQ.
Once your body is keto-adapted, it will use ketones for energy rather than glucose. Though we believe that ketones are a more efficient way for the body to use as energy (using fat), many find that they are not able to meet their athletic peak performance without carbohydrates (which transforms into glycogen).
- In the calculator, enter your weight and your body fat percentage – this will give you your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (shown here as BMR + TEF).
- This tells you how many calories you burn each day. Ketogains recommends you leave it on Sedentary unless you work in a very active job each day. You can also do testing that will tell you what your TDEE is more accurately – I’ll talk more about this another time.
- Then under Daily Calories, choose whether you want to Lose Fat, Maintain, or Gain Muscle. If you want to Lose Fat, you then pick a Calorie Deficit. I’ve chosen 20%, which I’ve found to be manageable.
- The calculator will then give you Macro grams based on your calorie goal. Remember, protein is a goal, carbs are a limit, and fat is the lever to get you to your daily calorie number. The initial numbers are based on .8g protein per pound of lean mass. If you’re lifting seriously, you may want to increase it to 1.0, as in the 2nd picture – keep in mind that the calories will then increase and you’ll have to adjust your fats back down to get to the right # of calories.
- With this info, I know that I need to eat 212g of protein a day, no more than 25g of net carbs, and up to 134g of fats per day.
- Net carbs = Total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols. Be careful with sugar alcohols – too many will “grease the skids” and you’ll end up really gassy etc.
- Artificial sweeteners – It can vary – for some people, they can cause problems. I’ve found erythritol and stevia to be the best. Maltitol and maltodextrin are no good – avoid them.
- Now that you have your numbers, you can set up your preferred App. For me, I have to track everything I eat. I weigh and enter almost everything I eat. The only exception is when we eat out – then I estimate the best I can and try to be liberal with calories and carbs so I don’t go over. I use Carb Manager, although many like My Fitness Pal.
- Keto Flu —–FROM KETOGAINS FAQ
- Keto flu can be treated by replenishing your electrolytes: Sodium, Potassium and Mabgensium.The flu-like symptoms should dissipate in a few days or weeks. But be warned: For as long as you eat low-carb, if you don’t take care to get enough sodium, potassium and magnesium (a.k.a. electrolytes) in your diet, you may experience fatigue, muscle twitching, headaches, muscle cramping, and in severe cases, arrhythmia. Leg cramps may be the most common sign that your electrolytes are out of balance.Even if you go out of your way to eat lots of table salt and foods containing potassium and magnesium, you may find you need to take supplements. The minimum daily intake for the three electrolytes suggested by Lyle McDonald as:
- 5000 mg of sodium (not just salt)
- 1000 mg of potassium, in the form of potassium chloride or potassium sulfate
- 300 mg of magnesium, preferably in the form of magnesium citrate
All these electrolytes should be preferably consumed in addition from what you get from your food; so then it would read:
- 5000 – 7000 mg of sodium (not just salt)
- 1000 – 3,500 mg of potassium
- 300 – 500 mg of magnesium
Here are some good ways to reach your electrolyte requirements:
- Sodium: Broth or bouillon, Pickle juice, Sodium pills.
- Potassium: Raw spinach, Avocado, Mushrooms, Salmon, Steak, Pork loin, Lite Salt.
- Magnesium: Raw spinach, Avocado, Magnesium Citrate or slow release Magnesium for optimum absorption.
Most of us will not reach these suggested totals with food alone, but there are several ways to ingest extra electrolytes:
- Drink 1 or 2 cups of bouillon or broth daily
- Add salt and/or salt substitute to your food
- Take a multivitamin containing magnesium and/or potassium
- Add a teaspoon of salt and/or salt substitute to a large glass of water and drink it
- Take magnesium and /or potassium supplement pills
Additionally, read “More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Potassium Supplements” by /u/yaterspen