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What The Heck Are Macros?!

When beginning your Keto journey there can be some confusion at first on what macros are and how to figure out what you need. Let me help clear that up a little.

Food is made up of 3 main energy components or macronutrients (macros) - fat, protein, and carbohydrates. When following a Keto lifestyle 75% of total calories should come from fat, 20 % from protein, and 5% from carbs. Percentages can be different based on your body type. This is where a coach (me!) can assist and determine what percentages are just right for you. Otherwise, there are macro calculators online that can calculate roughly what your macros should be. Here is one to try:

Keeping protein to a moderate level is important (20%). If you overdo it , the protein will convert to sugar in the body therefore preventing you from getting into a state of ketosis. When determining how much protein you should get per day use this formula .36 - .7 multiplied by your weight in pounds. This will give you total protein grams needed for the day. Example: 180 pounds x .36 = 65 grams. If you are extremely active (athlete) use .7 multiplied by your body weight. If you are lightly active use .36, moderately active use around .5.

Carbohydrates should be kept to about 5% of total calories and should come from vegetables, nuts, and berries. There's much debate on whether to count total carbs or net. You get net carbs when you subtract fiber from the total carbs. Since fiber is not digested and has minimal impact on our diet/blood sugar I always recommend to subtract it and go with net carbs. Determining how many carbs you need depends on what your body can handle. For most, its between 20-50 carbs per day. Having a ketone meter on hand is very helpful to determine how many carbs you can have before getting kicked of of ketosis. I like to stay around 20-25 and that is what I usually recommend for my clients.

Now to get to the good stuff - fat! Fat is so important for many different reasons. It protects our organs and cell membranes, its a clean fuel source and provides energy, and will keep you full for a long time. Carbs on the other hand will provide quick energy but will not keep you full like fat does. Contrary to what we've been told our whole life fat will NOT make you fat and it is NOT dangerous for your heart. Consuming healthy fat will not plug up your arteries, sugar will. Go ahead and fill up on red meat, grassfed butter, pasture raised eggs, coconut oil, avocado oil, avocados, fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and nuts - just to name a few!

In conclusion, you may need to play around with macros to figure out where you need to be. Using a ketone meter is a helpful tool that can assist with that. Hiring a coach (me!) to set you on the right track can also be very beneficial. To track macros, I recommend a free app called Senza. I find it to be a user friendly app and I love everything it has to offer. Check it out and let me know what you think.

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