Calculating Your Macros
**First you need to know what your lean body mass is. The most accurate way is to have a DEXA Scan, BodPod, or Hydrostatic Weighing test done. These tests must be scheduled and can cost up to a few hundred dollars.
If that’s not something that’s in your budget, then a moderately accurate way to figure out your lean body mass is through the US Navy’s Body Mass Calculator – all you need is a tape measure and to plug those numbers into their online tool.
There is a third way, which I do not recommend unless you are under 30% body fat, and that is the Caliper Method. The caliper has the greatest room for error as it depends on the skill of the tester. And if you cannot use any of the above, then see the chart below. Please note that this chart is based on an average of adult males and females, it is approximate. You may have more muscle or less muscle than the average person. It’s a good place to start, but again, I recommend doing the testing or the US Navy method.
To demonstrate how vaguely accurate this chart is, I just had a DEXA Scan test and it turns out that my lean body mass is 121.6 lbs and I am 5’7” female. If I used this chart, which again is an average, my protein macros would be way off, almost 18% off. Doing the same with the US Navy Calculator, the calculation came out to 126 lbs of lean body mass. Pretty close.
OK, now that you have your lean body mass, the first thing we need to calculate is your protein. I recommend that everyone start at 0.6g of protein per pound of lean body mass. If you are involved in a heavy lifting gym routine (3 days a week – lifting, not cardio), then you can go as high as 0.8g of protein per pound of lean body mass. But stick with the 0.6g to start.
Lean Body Mass in Pounds x 0.6g Protein = Your daily protein allowance
121.6 pounds lean body mass x 0.6g = 72.96g
I would round up to 73 grams.
The amount of fat grams you should consume should be at least equal to the protein grams, and up to double the protein grams. To make it easy, aim for the middle at 1.5 times the protein, and if you are hungry, eat more fat.
Minimum 1:1 = 73g protein and 73g fat
Average 1:1.5 = 73g protein and 110g fat
Maximum 1:2 = 73g protein and 146g fat
Please note when you are first starting out, and at least for the first two weeks, I recommend the 1:2 ratio of protein to fats. This will help you feel full and help kick start your fat adaptation. Also, never go under 45g of fat per day as fat is essential in so many body functions.
TRACKING YOUR MACROS
It’s not difficult, but you will need to be diligent! Consistency is the key! There are many apps out there that can help you do this. My favorite is MyFitnessPal. You can use it from your smart phone or log in from a regular PC and it’s FREE. They do offer a premium version, but the free version works just fine.
Here’s a video to show you how to set up MyFitnessPal and enter your food. Watch Now >
The only thing it does not automatically do is calculate net carbs, but here’s a video that shows you how to modify the app to track net carbs. Watch Now >
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE IN KETOSIS
There are several ways to know if you are in ketosis.
- Loss of appetite
- Weight Loss
- Increased Energy
- Use Ketone Urine Strips (first 30 days only)
- Use a Ketone Blood Monitor
- Use a Ketone Breath Analyzer
You can go off of your physical symptoms: your appetite is down, you are experiencing weight loss and increased energy.
- Fights Obesity
- Curbs diabetes, and metabolic syndrome while sparing muscle loss
- Focusing the brain (increased memory, cognition, clarity, and seizure control; less migraines)
- Fighting some types of cancer
- Preventing Heart Disease (lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides, better cholesterol profiles)
- Decreasing inflammation (which improves acne, arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, IBS, pain, etc…)
- Improving energy levels and sleep
- Keeping uric acid levels in check (helping kidney function and preventing gout)
- Assisting GI and gallbladder health (less heartburn and acid reflux, less risk for gallstones, improved digestion, less gas and bloating)
- Battling a wide variety of neurologic and metabolic diseases – alzheimers, parkinsons, autism, depression, headaches, narcolepsy
- Assisting Women’s Health (increased fertility, stabilizing hormones, PCOS)
- Helping the eyes (more stable vision; less risk for cataracts)
- Gaining muscle and improving endurance
SO, HOW DO I START?
- Start by cutting the sugars, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, refined oils and junk out of your diet, and removed them from your kitchen.
- Explore recipes to find substitutions for the foods you love.
- Equip your kitchen with the tools you need – see my recommended kitchen tools
- Go grocery shopping to stock your pantry, fridge and freezer.
- Make a meal plan.
- Increase your electrolytes.
- Download a food tracking app or get a journal to write down everything you eat in.
- Write out your “why” – why you want to make this change.
- Join a support group – like my facebook group – Bon Appe Keto
- Take before photos and measurements.
- Check in with your doctor to make sure that there is nothing going on to prevent you from starting this way of eating. Example, type 1 diabetes, cancer or if you are
- Get your carb macros down to 20 Net grams per day.
- Figure out your lean body mass and protein macros.
- Eat until you are satisfied. Not stuffed, but listen to your body, it will tell you.
- Don’t give up.
Life is not meant to be microwaved. There are no short cuts, and there are many people out there trying to sell you some expensive supplement that will “miraculously do this or that”. Don’t fall for it. The only thing you will lose is your money. Most of the things out there are either harmful, or just make very expensive urine.
If I recommend something, a product or supplement, it’s not for my own personal gain, but because I have concrete proof that it will benefit you.
The only way to get the weight off and keep it off is to create a sustainable lifestyle. Keto is that sustainable lifestyle. I know this is a lot of information, but once you put the basics into practice, it will become second nature.