Keto Macros: How to count “macros” for weight loss? Should you count your macros?
First, what are “keto macros”? The term “macro” is simply short for “macro nutrient.” This is the portion of the food label — carbohydrates, fat, protein, and calories, as distinguished from “micro nutrients” — e.g. vitamins and minerals.
Here at the Eat Like A Bear! site, I do advocate a ketogenic diet for your most aggressive approach to natural weight loss. Any keto diet requires that you be highly mindful of your carbohydrate intake. Minimally, that requires at least becoming familiar with the carbohydrate content of food and keeping your intake low enough to get into and stay in ketosis.
Do you need to count your carbs to get there? Maybe.
(How will you know if you’re there? I’d just get one of those urine test strips and monitor it in the beginning.)
If you struggle to get into ketosis, you might want to double-back and count your carbs carefully and then lower them.
But when people typically ask me about keto macros, they are not typically asking about carbohydrates but rather they other macros: How much protein should we be eating? Should we have some sort of percentage of your intake dedicated to fat? A percent dedicated protein? We know we need to be low in carbohydrates, but what about these other macros?
There are people following a keto diet for very specific health reasons and they count their carbs like their lives depend on it (because it very well may). I do not do that and haven’t needed to. Dollars-to-donuts, you don’t need to either.
And soooo: Should you be a “macro accountant” and count your keto macros carefully? Not if you don’t want to be!
With all respect to the “macro accountants” out there, I know you guys are the part of the human race who keep the trains running on time and my hat goes off to you. Keep on counting.
For the rest of us who couldn’t steer a train or get it to the station on time, just reduce your carbs until you’re in ketosis and then stay there. Eat food that sprouted from the earth or got cut off a bone. Keep your brain and energy focused on being awesome and losing your bear fat.
For a very quick way of thinking about how you’re going to get into this fat-burning nirvana called ketosis, I put together a cheat sheet for you. I describe it in the video above but it’s really so simple.
Look at the graphic:
The red part. Stop eating and drinking that.
The green part. Live there.
The orange/yellow part. Chip away at that and move into the green zone.
It’s really that simple.
I have a more specific list of foods as well that you may find useful: Amanda’s Food List in PDF format.
On top of this, I want you to make one change that sounds big but, in application, is extremely simple: Eat in a specified number of hours each day and eat nothing for the rest of the hours. This is called “intermittent fasting” wherein you are giving your body a break from spiking your blood sugar for some large portion of the day. Explore the resources on this site about this topic. However, in a nutshell, I lost weight so dramatically because I limited my eating to one hour each day. I ate for no more than 1 hour and “fasted” for 23 hours every single day for 9 months. You may not need to be that radical: my husband eats two meals in 6 hours and lost 15 pounds in his first month doing so.
“Intermittent fasting” may sound difficult to you or it may sound stupid and ineffective. You owe it to yourself to read more about it here and elsewhere because it completely blew the lid off dieting for me. I urge you to try it.
Search the site for keto recipes as well, keto macros included. I’m here for you!
Amanda Rose, Ph.D. lives in the Giant Sequoia National Monument with her husband and two sons. She founded the Eat Like A Bear website to support the awesomely inspiring community on Facebook, Eat Like A Bear!