When we are pursuing goals, it’s always nice to have a framework or roadmap to make it easier to stay on track, to see progress and to know how to make adjustments.
The same is true with starting the Ketogenic Diet or the Low Carb- High Fat (LCHF) diet as well.
So what are the numbers you need to know and calculate at the start of your journey? One of the most important set of numbers you’ll need to calculate and understand is your MACROS or daily macronutrient (in grams of carbohydrates, protein and fat) needs.
Science is changing to reflect that maintaining a health body composition is more than calories in, calories out. The SOURCE of calories and the amount of glucose you take in daily have a bigger impact on how your body looks and performs.
While some people live and die by following their EXACT macros every day, some people do better to follow strict macros for a span of time (1 or 2 weeks) until you are able to have a really good idea of what your daily needs look like in real-life meals.
Which ever way you go about it, getting a rough starting number for your macros is helpful.
What you’ll need to know and determine:
- Your current weight
- Your current (exact or estimated) body fat percentage
- Current Daily Activity level (not including exercise)
- Lean body mass or body fat %
- What kind of energy deficit you want to achieve daily (in a percentage)
- Figure in your exercise calories (will allow for additional calories on exercise days)
- Figure your protein ratio based on physical demands (sedentary/active/athlete etc) multiplied by lean body mass
- Determine your maximum desired NET CARBS per day (carb grams minus fiber grams) (under 50 grams a day LCHF or under 30 for Ketogenic)
- Daily Fat grams will be determined by the remainder of the calories divided by 9 which will equal fat grams. (Range =65%-80% of calories)
There are some online calculators that will help you determine your exact macro needs. Having this info ready will expedite that process.
Again, these are a guideline and they are flexible and fluid depending on your personal goals.
Good luck with the numbers!