Everything we eat fits into three nutrient categories that provide us with the calories that keep functioning: Fat, Protein, Carbohydrates.
(Technically water and alcohol are macronutrients too, but while water is absolutely necessary, it provides no calories, and alcohol is a non-sustainable calorie source).
But is it?
Not really, because not all three macros are created equally:
FAT: 9 calories per gram.
Fat is necessary for hormone production, skin and hair health and recovery, and the protection of the nervous system.
PROTEIN: 4 calories per gram.
Protein is important in maintaining, repairing, and gaining muscle.
CARBOHYDRATES: 4 calories per gram.
Carbohydrates only purpose is a source of quickly accessible energy. It’s also the only one of the 3 major macros your body can live without.
The first thing most people notice is that fat carries 5 more calories per gram than either protein or carbs and they starting thinking, “there it is, proof that fat makes you fat.” But fat isn’t providing you with more calories per gram because it’s an evil little macro.
We have to remember that a long time ago when dinner meant tying on the loincloth and chasing animals through tall grass with a sharp stick, calories were much harder to come by. So in truth, fat has been helping us survive since the dawn of time by giving us more caloric energy than protein or carbs. It’s not fat’s fault that we no longer have to chase our food and we instead decided to try deep-frying twinkies and covering them with frosting.
How do the 3 macros work when it comes to ketosis and the keto diet?
Fat is the champion of keto and is responsible for delivering the fatty acids that our bodies turn into ketones, the new fuel of keto.
Fats are considered 90% ketogenic. That remaining 10% is glucose that’s created during the ketone and triglyceride conversion process
Protein is necessary for many of the body’s important processes. The keto diet relies on eating moderate protein to maintain muscle mass while you lose weight.
Protein is roughly 45% ketogenic. Meaning 55% of protein is not friendly to the ketogenic process because too much protein can raise insulin levels in the blood and excess protein is metabolized into glucose through a process known as gluconeogenesis, sabotaging the entire basis for keto.
Carbohydrates are not necessary. This is not hyperbole nor fat aggrandizing, it’s a fact, you can live without carbs just fine.
Carbs, as you’ve probably guessed, are 0% keto friendly. Carbs make glucose and glucose prevents the production of ketones, the better bodily fuel.
That’s all well and good but how do you do all this math to figure out the correct ratios to do keto the right way?
The ideal daily caloric intake to maintain a ketogenic diet is 70% healthy fats, 25% from protein, and 5% from carbs – greener veggies being the best option for this 5% But stress to much about this, we’ve got you covered:
Thank you technology for doing the math for us. OUR KETO CALCULATOR asks a few questions to get your body composition right and spits out the correct ratios for you to follow.
Following the numbers from the keto calculator will ensure that you get enough fat to produce ketones for energy while keeping protein in just the right range to keep you from losing muscle but make sure you don’t get too much and fall into gluconeogenesis which kicks you out of keto.