Trying to lose some weight? Feeling low and craving more energy? Trying to get those sugar levels in check? All these are perfect reasons to try out a ketogenic diet. This free keto calculator works as a personalized keto diet companion that allows you to plan out your calorie intake on a weekly basis. Pick your optimal keto macros ratio, choose your goals, and stock up on those fat bombs!
Before embarking on your keto weight loss journey, please remember to consult a professional dietitian to pick the optimal diet plan! This ketogenic calculator should be used as a guideline only.
What is a ketogenic diet?
Once the structure of your macros changes, your body will enter a state called ketosis. Since you're not providing enough carbohydrates to allow it to generate energy from glucose, your body will start burning fats. When the fat stored in your cells is broken down to produce energy, ketones (a particular type of acid) will be produced as a side effect of this process.
Am I in ketosis?
Once you start a keto diet, you might wonder whether you have already entered ketosis. You can quickly check it using keto sticks. They can be typically purchased over-the-counter in your local pharmacy, and are used like urine testing strips.
We recommend checking the level of ketosis in the morning, just after waking up. If you drink a lot of water over the course of the day, the keto sticks will understate the amount of ketones in your urine.
If you want a more reliable way to check the ketone levels (without the risk of diluting ketones in urine), you should conduct a blood test. You can use a dedicated ketone meter that analyzes a drop of your blood for the presence of BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate), the main ketone produced by your body. An optimal concentration ranges from 1.5 to 3 mmol/L (millimoles per liter).
How to use this free keto calculator?
You can use this keto macro calculator to plan your diet and achieve your ideal weight. The process of finding your personalized keto macros ratio is divided into four steps.
Step 1: provide information about yourself.
Your diet should be adjusted to your body's needs. A teenager who plays in his school football team will have a different nutritional intake than his mother who has a 9-to-5 sedentary job. Our keto calculator takes into consideration the following factors:
- Your sex - women typically have a lower calorie intake than men;
- Your height and weight - if you're petite, you'll need fewer calories than a tall, well-built sportsman;
- Your age - younger people need more energy from food;
- Your activity level - intuitively, the more physically active you are, the more energy you need.
Step 2: calculate the calorie intake required for sustaining your current weight.
Our keto macronutrients calculator is based on the Mifflin - St Jeor equation. It allows you to find your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) - the amount of energy needed for your body to support its vital functions. This value is calculated according to two formulas - one for men and one for women:
BMR(men) = (10 * weight / 1kg + 6.25 * height / 1cm - 5 * age / 1 year + 5) kcal / day
BMR(women) = (10 * weight / 1kg + 6.25 * height / 1cm - 5 * age / 1 year - 161) kcal / day
After you calculate your BMR, you need to multiply it by a factor corresponding to your physical activity level:
- Sedentary lifestyle (little or no exercise): 1.2
- Slightly active lifestyle (light exercise or sports 1-2 days/week): 1.4
- Moderately active lifestyle (moderate exercise or sports 2-3 days/week): 1.6
- Very active lifestyle (hard exercise or sports 4-5 days/week): 1.75
- Extra active lifestyle (very hard exercise, physical job or sports 6-7 days/week): 2.0
- Professional athlete: 2.3
In case of doubt, pick the lower number from the list above; most people tend to overestimate their exercise level or forget about the cheat days that happen from time to time.
Step 3: pick your target weight and an optimal keto diet plan.
Once you know what is the recommended calorie intake for maintaining your current weight, you can modify it to achieve the results you want. As a first step, decide on your target weight - it can be lower or higher than your current one. Then, choose how fast you want to lose or gain weight.
A typical diet plan allows you to lose 0.5-1 kg (1-2 lbs) per week. Faster weight loss might be dangerous for your health, while a slower pace requires a lot of patience. Naturally, you don't have to be losing weight on the ketogenic diet; a lot of people decide to start this diet because of other health benefits (you can find them in the section health benefits of the keto diet).
It is typically assumed that each pound of body fat stores approximately 3500 kcal of energy. It means that if you want to lose one pound a week, you need to cut 500 calories per day from your daily calorie expenditure.
As a rule of thumb, you should never go below 1200 calories a day if you're a woman, and 1800 a day if you're a man. Also, make sure to check your BMI to ensure you won't be underweight once you're done with your keto diet!
Step 4: check out the keto macros ratio chart.
Was that a lot of work? We hope you had a blast filling out our free keto calculator! Now, you can enjoy the results, displayed as a helpful keto macronutrient chart.
The chart presents you with your recommended calorie intake, splits into fats, carbs, and protein, on a weekly basis. You can use it as a guideline when you're planning your keto-friendly menu for the week!
Even though the chart shows your recommended calories per day, we saved you the hassle of recalculating it into grams. Therefore, you can also use this free keto diet calculator to check how many grams of fats, carbs, and proteins you need.
What is the recommended keto macros ratio?
We've already mentioned that the most common ratio for macronutrients during a ketogenic diet is 70% fats, 5% carbohydrates, and 25% protein. Some dietitians recommend increasing the proportion of fats even higher, to 75%, and cutting protein down to 20%. You can modify the macro split by manually inputting the desired percentage in our keto weight loss calculator.
You could also try an alternative to the standard ketogenic diet: a cyclical keto diet, favored by those trying to reduce their body fat and build their muscle mass. In this diet, you regulate your nutrition by adhering to the standard keto diet for 5-6 days in a row, followed by 1-2 days of increased carbs intake. The goal of such a diet is to regularly replenish the glucose reserve in your blood.
What foods should I be eating?
You might be worried that reaching 70% or even 75% of fats in your macro intake is short of impossible. Indeed, if you want to enter ketosis, you'll have to change your diet drastically!
The best meals for a keto weight loss consist of foods rich in "good fats":
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, or trout;
- Dairy products - eggs, butter, yogurt, cream, and virtually any kind of cheese;
- Nuts and seeds of all sorts - walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds or chia seeds;
- Oils such as olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil;
- Dark chocolate (with very high cocoa content);
- Meat, especially red meat, sausages, and ham;
- Green and white vegetables - cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, green peppers, salads;
- Fat bombs.
Fat bombs are no-bake snacks with an extremely high fat percentage. You can make them out of chocolate, cream cheese, nut butter, cocoa powder, or coconut oil. Adding nuts and seeds will make them even more delicious!
If you're craving a keto-friendly snack, you can also try nuts, handfuls of berries (such as strawberries or blueberries), or cheese bites. You should avoid typical fast food snacks such as chips or burgers, though - not only do they contain a lot of carbs, but they're a source of unhealthy trans fats.
Eating all that fat will increase your water intake. It's a natural process, so make sure you're drinking a lot of water!
Foods to avoid on the ketogenic diet
Naturally, incorporating the foods listed above into your diet is not enough. You also need to make sure to cut down your carb intake. No more bread or pasta! You should steer clear of the following:
- Bread - that's a big no-no unless you find one based on almond flour or coconut flour;
- Grains and starch, including pasta, rice, and cereal;
- Fruit - all except for little portions of berries;
- Sugary snacks including soda, cakes, candy, and ice cream;
- Beans such as chickpeas or lentils;
- Vegetables - all except the ones listed in the previous section;
- Alcohol, as it usually contains a high percentage of carbs.
While you shouldn't consume any sugar, you can substitute it with stevia or artificial sweeteners. You can also drink no-sugar drinks such as Coke Zero.
What is keto flu?
Once you start your ketogenic diet adventure, you will probably experience an unpleasant phase known as the keto flu. Also known as a carb flu, this is a short-term response of your body to a drastic change in nutritional habits.
Keto flu can be compared to the withdrawal syndrome. When you cut your carbohydrate intake, your body will initially crave carbs and have difficulties adjusting to the new diet. Symptoms resemble a regular flu. You might experience: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, general weakness or dizziness, stomach pains, or difficulty sleeping. These symptoms usually cease after about a week.
Another unpleasant side effect of the keto diet is a keto rash. While not extremely common, it might happen to you at some point. The skin, usually around the neck, back and upper chest becomes red, itchy, and covered with a rash. The rash disappears after reintroducing carbohydrates into your diet.
Health benefits of the keto diet
If there are so many side effects, does it make any sense to start a keto diet? The answer is simple: yes! The ketogenic diet has multiple health benefits that are not necessarily associated with weight loss.
First of all, eating a lot of fats means that it's easier for you to feel full. You don't need to starve yourself to lose weight!
Another benefit of the keto diet is that you'll probably watch closer your fat intake. As a consequence, you're likely to improve your cholesterol levels, as you'll be picking unsaturated fats over trans or saturated fats.
What is more, this diet is recommended if you have type 2 diabetes, as it lowers blood sugar and insulin levels. In this case, though, make sure to consult your dietitian before you start a keto diet!