How to Calculate Keto Macros Guide

There are just 4 simple steps to calculate your Keto macros.

Step 1. Daily Caloric Needs

The first thing you need to do is identify your fitness goal whether this is weight loss, maintenance or gain. As this will determine the number of calories you need to consume each day. To put it very simply when you consume less calories then you burn (calorie deficit) you lose weight, and when do do the opposite (calorie surplus) you gain weight. Of course it also matters what kind of calories you are consuming which is what is covered in the next step.

Step 2. Carb Needs

On most Keto diets it’s recommended to consume no more than 5% of your daily calories from carbs. So if we do the math, each gram of carbs contains four calories so you take your daily calorie target *.05 /4

Here’s some examples at 3 different levels of diets

Lose WeightMaintainGain Weight
Daily Calories150020002500
Calories from Carbs (5%)75100125
Grams of Carbs192531
Grams of carbs estimates based on daily caloric needs – TheAsiaExpat

The examples above illustrate how to do the calculations, no you do the calculations for yourself.

Count Net Carbs Not Total Carbs

There are some carbs that are not counted towards your daily carb budget simply because they are not metabolized well by the body which in turn means they won’t impact your BI levels and kick you out of ketosis. Dietary Fiber is really important part of the Keto diet not only because it can keep you full, help you to lose weight, and improve your overall health but also because it helps keep you regular which is much more difficult when your body is in ketosis.

Subtract Fiber carbs from your total intake to calculate how many grams of carbs you consume as part of your daily budget.

Understanding Fiber :: Diabetes Education Online

Step 3. Protein Needs

Protein is an important building block for very diet and the amount you need will depend on how active you are and your own diet goals (loss, maintenance, gains)

To keep things simple we’ll calculate at three different levels of targets and activity levels –

1) Maintain/sedentary (20%),

2) Fat loss/moderate activity (25%), and

3) Gain muscle/active (35%).

Then, to calculate how many grams we can consume per day we do a similar calculations to the carb calculator above we multiply caloric requirement *(.20~0.35) /4 (since protein is also 4 calories per gram)

Here’s some examples at 3 different levels of diets

Sedentary (20%)Moderate (25%)Active (30%)
Daily Calories150020002500
Calories from Protein300500750
Grams of Protein75125188
Grams of protein estimates based on daily caloric needs – TheAsiaExpat

Step 4. Fat Requirements

The last, and arguably most important part of your diet is fat. This makes up the biggest part of your keto diet and will account for ~70% of your calories for the day.

To calculate how much fat you need you’ll subtract your carb (5%) and protein (20-30%) from a 100 which leaves 65-75% of your calories that need to come from fat. That’s a lot, and requires planning and usually some building up to it if you are are not accustomed to it. Multiply your caloric requirement * (.65~.75) / 9 (because fat is 9 calories / gram)

Here’s some examples at 3 different levels of diets

Daily Calories150020002500
Calories from Fat105015001625
Grams of Fat117167181
Grams of fat estimates based on daily caloric needs – TheAsiaExpat


Use the formulas above to calculate your macros and make sure they add up to 100%. I’ve included three caloric values as an example below with the most common 5%/25%/70% below.

If you’d like a more dynamic calculator or if some parts of these formulas above were not clear to you, there are many out there but here’s on Keto macro calculator I like because it doesn’t require you to input your email address to get your results (at least not at the time of this writing.)


3 thoughts on “How to Calculate Keto Macros Guide

Add yours

  1. Hey there, a lot of great info on this post! What are your views/experience on counting calories on Keto? I know some ketoers count them and some claim it’s not needed, and they only count net carbs.

    1. I keep track of them. Although my main focus is on my maximum daily carbs, it’s also important to make sure that the total proteins % is not too high otherwise that can also kick the body out of ketosis. But to be honest, I’m usually well under since I have less of an appetite on keto.

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