Are you on a ketogenic diet?
The keto diet is a low carb, high fat diet that has never been more popular! The gist of this diet is the state of ketosis, hence its name – the ketogenic diet. When a person reaches this state, the body stops using glucose for the fuel (energy) and starts utilizing on the ketones. That’s why it is so good for people who want to lose weight.
However, it’s also great since it has benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. One thing that is absolutely crucial if you’re starting your keto journey is the keto calculator.
Why? Well, the keto calculator helps with finding the exact amount of carbs, fat and protein needed to reach your goal weight. You’ve realized that using keto calculator is essential if you want to know your accurate keto nutrient profile. It’s like a map towards your better self.
Let’s take a look!
- Standard Keto Calculator – this is to be used for a classic ketogenic deit (75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbohydrate)
- Specialized Keto Macro calculator – if you decide to put in your specific amount of fat, protein and carbohydrate
Now that you’ve selected your preferred Keto Diet Calculator it’s time to share some important information about yourself.
Why do we need this info about you?
Many wonder why we need information about your gender, age, height, weight, etc. for a keto diet calculator. And that’s a perfectly fine question. No one discloses personal info without a good reason? Right? Well, take a look below.
- Gender/age/height/weight – this piece of information is needed since the keto calculator uses it to calculate the number of calories to consume.
- Body fat percentage – keto calculator needs to know your body fat percentage in order to come up with you lean body mass. With this important piece of information, you allow the calculator to figure out how much protein you need to lose weight but still don’t lose excess muscle at the same time. No one wants to undereat or overeat on a keto diet. That doesn’t lead to great results.
- Activity level – this is purely to give the calculator an idea of how much calories your body burns on a daily basis. The number of calories needed for your goals is of the essential importance and we need the activity level to figure it out.
What is the purpose of the keto calculator exactly?
It’s fair to ask this, there is no doubt about it. And it is only fair to expand on the definition of a keto calculator we’ve already mentioned. Yes, it’s an essential tool but let’s try and discern how it really works and why it is so important.
First of all, let’s see what keto macro calculator enables us to do.
- It enables a person to reach their weight loss/gain goals.
- Helps with tracking macros.
- Helps with reaching the state of ketosis.
- Maintenance of good health.
- Know exactly what and how much you should eat.
Now that you have at least basic knowledge about the keto diet, keto calculator and their purposes, let’s see how exactly you can take it into your advantage.
Without knowing how to use keto calculator e.g. keto macro calculator, carb calculator and many other features, there can be no success with the diet. So, let’s guide you through a mini guide.
- First you have to choose between the standard keto diet calculator and the specialized one that deals with exact macronutrients. The first option is simpler, if you opt for it, the calculator will presume that you aim at the standard percentage of carbs, fats and protein when it comes to consumption. Standard for keto diets, that is.
- The latter option allows you to lay down your own specific targets. To be more precise, you can put in your own carb goals, protein goals, etc. People usually opt for this when they want a different macro ratio.
What you should go for and when
Considering that you now have two options when it comes to calculators, you can go for the standard keto calculator or for the special keto macro calculator it is only fair to give out a piece of advice, this piece of advice will come in handy for the beginners.
- The standard keto diet calculator
You should go for the standard keto calculator when you are new to the whole dietary strategy. If your goal is to simply lose weight or gain it, this is the option for you. Also, with these simple goals, you don’t have to bother yourself with macro ratios and more sophisticated things. However, bear in mind that no one can stay a beginner forever.
All in all, the first, standard, option makes it all easy for you and prepares the standard keto macro ratio. Do know that this isn’t the best option for all keto diet followers. But, for a beginner, it is a good one.
- The more sophisticated one, specialized, macronutrient calculator
This option should be used if you know just exactly how much carbs and proteins you need. This, more sophisticated, option is often used by athletes since they have specific macro needs that they always have to meet. Also, people who are doing high-protein keto diets prefer the specialized calculator.
Last but not least, if you have condition of some kind and you physician has recommended different macros, you have to follow this kind of calculator. To be more precise, since you cannot use the standard one, you have to tailor keto diet for yourself. Your own, special, macros and everything that goes along with it.
The gist is that the specialized keto macro calculator is simply better for those who need precise amounts of carbs, proteins, etc. due to unorthodox circumstances like different lifestyle, pregnancy and medical conditions. Also, this type requires you to measure your body fat percentage. This option cannot be used (completed) without that figure.
If you’re not new to all this keto dietary strategy, you may have your own variation of the diet with your specific macro figures. Well, the specialized calculator can also help you. Let’s see a few examples of that.
The high-protein Keto Diet
This is one of the more prominent variations of the keto diet. It’s basically the same as the standard one but it involves more proteins. Actually, those additional amounts can be quite a lot.
So, the specialized calculator can help you here since you can use it if you want a new, higher target of protein. Some people alter the standard ratio (70% fat, 25%) by 10%. To be precise, the new proportions are 60% of fat and 35% of protein. Of course, the carbohydrates remain the same.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s continue with the guide.
We have already mentioned why you need to put in these details about yourself – the BMR. Keto calculator uses these facts about you in order to determine your basal metabolic rate. The BMR is the amount of energy you, as an individual, spend per unit of time while resting.
If you want to get more technical, here it is. What we are talking about here is the Mifflin-St. Jeor Formula. Fancy word for a keto diet calculator? Not exactly. This formula is used to find your BMR and it is considered to be one of the most accurate formulas. According to numerous studies, the BMR you get when you use this formula is almost the same  as the actual BMR.
Now, let’s go through each of the needed details and explain why you need to reveal those in order to make this all work.
- Age – well, we need this because your RMR decreases as you age. It’s the same with muscles. However, this should not bother you if you’re not over the age of 30.
- Gender – men and women do not have identical bodies. It’s as simple as that. Our body compositions are different.
- Weight/height – in order to determine your body composition, calculator needs this piece of information.
After all of this, the calculator determines the energy consumption when you are active.
PAL – physical activity level is used to denote the amount of energy you spend on a daily basis when you’re not resting. Keto calculator uses your BMR and PAL to determine your complete daily energy expenditure (yes, that’s the famous TDEE). TDEE is the amount of calories our bodies burn in 24 hour period. Of course, you can calculate TDEE with these calculators. When the calculator gets your TDEE, it immediately knows how many calories you need to take in to cover your expenditure.
Now we move on to the intake targets.
Calorie consumption target
This is probably the most loved part of the calculator. Users can’t wait to lay down the ground for their dietary goals. Your calorie consumption target is basically what you want to achieve. You can therefore put in the intake target if you want to maintain weight.
Yes, some people just want that. However, the vast majority aim at losing weight. And of course, you can also use it to gain weight. Just go for deficit or surplus. It all comes down to your personal preferences.
People who want to gradually lose weight usually set a 10% calorie deficit. That translates to the 10% lower intake than needed. In the long run, this means that you’ll lose a hefty amount of weight. On the other hand, if you set a 10% surplus, you can expect a weight gain. That is if you’re persistent. Both for the weight loss and weight gain processes.
As you can probably tell by now, you are the master of your goals. Therefore, if you just want to maintain your weight, you keep the bar at 0%.
If you want to gain weight, you must move the bar between 0 and +50 (that’s the calorie surplus). For quicker results, stay in the 10 to 20% range.
And the favorite option among the keto diet followers – weight loss. To lose weight, simply move the bar between 0 and -50 (deficit of calories). Then stay in the 10 to 20% range. That’s how you lose weight, fast and efficient.
This is it if you are a beginner. These are some usual macro targets. However, for all the experienced keto dieters, there are other things worth noting. So, buckle down and let’s move on.
This concerns only the more sophisticated calculator. We are going to explain each of the features and how that can be used when tailoring your own keto diet.
- Body fat percentage feature
This piece of information is needed in order to determine your body mass and it also makes it easier to calculate your TDEE. To be more precise, the keto calculator will figure out the amount of proteins you need on a daily basis. However, the aim here stays on weight loss but the goal is not to impact the muscle mass. In other words, lose weight and do not lose muscles. That’s the goal. Of course, you can find out what your body fat percentage is at your doctor’s office, probably in the gym and even at your home.
Here are a few popular ways to measure the body fat percentage.
This is a skin fold test that is done with a tool called calipers. You use it to pinch various parts of your body and thus measure the body fat. The most popular variation is a three-site approach. It doesn’t take much time to do it and it’s really a good bang for your buck. And here’s how.
Place the calipers about 1 centimeter to the side of your fingers.
Press on the serrated thumb pad next to the word "press" until the two arrows line up.
Note the measurement on the little scale to the right of the arrows. The hashes are in increments of two. That means one mark lower than 20 is 18.
Release the pinch and repeat all of these steps several times for all three sites. Take the average of your pinches and plug it into the calculator tool.
Of course, there are various parts of your body where you can do this test.
Obviously, you can measure your chest, abdomen but you can also measure your thigh.
To measure your chest you have to find a spot called the midaxillary line. It’s between your nipple and the crease of the armpit. When you find it, just pinch it diagonally.
When it comes to your abdomen, you have to make a vertical fold one inch to the right of your navel. Also, if you find it too difficult to do it, it’s fine to use a horizontal fold instead.
Last but not least, to measure it on your thigh, you have to find the midpoint between the hip and the knee and use a vertical fold. For precise results, use a measuring tape and marker. If that’s not possible, use your hand.
Ladies, you have to use different spots to measure the body fat percentage. To be more precise, we are talking about your triceps, suprailiac and thigh.
For triceps, you have to find the midpoint between the acromion process (the bony point on the upper side of your shoulder) and the top of your elbow. Use a vertical fold here. Of course, you need assistance to do this.
For suprailiac, well, it’s easier just to say that this site is located below the armpit at the top ridge of your hip bone. Just gently press the area and find the ridge of the hip. It’s a bit above the bone. Measure this with a diagonal fold.
When it comes to your thigh, just like we said of men, you have to find the midpoint between the hip and the knee. Measure using a vertical fold.
Body fat percentage ranges
Here is the body fat percentage guideline by sex and age.
If you manage to find yourself within these ranges, great job. It’s considered to be ideal.
Remember, people often end up losing too much weight. That’s awful, you don’t want to do that since you won’t have enough energy to complete your daily tasks let alone work out. And you can seriously harm your health.
Body fat percentage and body mass index
You’ve probably heard of the body mass index e.g. BMI. If you thought that BMI is the same as the body fat percentage, you were completely wrong. BMI tells you if you are overweight, underweight or just normal. Nothing else. BMI won’t tell you how much fat is on your body. It is worth noting that BMI is useful and it’s easy to calculate.
However, it’s not efficient when it comes to determining your overall health. Athletes have a low body fat percentage but have high BMI due to their muscles. BMI is not as good as body fat percentage simply because it doesn’t consider many important factors.
Let’s talk about kato macros a bit. First, take a look at the classic ketogenic diet figures. You get 70 to 80% of calories from fats and 20 to 25% from protein. Five to ten percent of calories come from net carbs. Therefore, a person eating 2500 calories per day eats 208 grams of fat, 125 grams of protein and 30 grams of carbs.
Considering that we are all different, personal calorie intake for you may not be the same for someone else. It can be lower, it can be higher. It all comes down to the body composition and habits.
The vast majority of people take in 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That is ideal for the keto diet. Some individuals can take in as much as 80 grams on a daily basis to stay in ketosis but the majority should remain in the 20 to 50 grams range. Use the calculator to see your optimal target. Also, read labels to avoid hidden sugars and harmful ingredients. You should eat low-glycemic foods such as kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, berries and leafy greens.
Know that high-glycemic foods like sweet fruits (banana, dates, watermelon), starchy veggies (potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes) and refined grains like bread, pasta, and cookies are off-limits.
Keep protein in adequate intake ranges. That’s around 1.5 to 2g protein per one kilo of lean body mass. If you aim to get bigger muscles, your intake goal will be higher. Consider these protein sources – pork, lamb, chicken and duck, fatty fish and seafood.
Eating too much protein won’t get you out of the state of ketosis. That’s not something you should worry about.
And we’ve come to the remainder of your calories, they come from fats (70 to 80%). Here you have to source high-quality, healthy fats. A great part of your dietary fat comes from fatty proteins such as the ones we talked above prior to this paragraph. The rest comes from sources such as coconut oil, avocado, MCT oil, dairy, nuts and seed and nuts and seed butter.
This is the target measure based on your calorie intake goal and total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). That’s the basis of your calorie target. For example, if you need 2000 calories for your basic energy expenditure but your goal is to cut weight, you need to set your target at 1800. If you want to gain weight, set it to 2200. These are examples but you get the idea. Add if you want more weight and subtract if you want to lose weight.
Hopefully this guide will be of service to you and your ketogenic diet. Of course, before you start your keto journey, if you are a total beginner, it’s always good to consult your doctor. Listen to your body and follow the guide and everything will be fine.