What Should I Focus On?
Do calories matter on keto? What exactly should you eat? What are macros and why are they important?
All good questions, and it really depends on who you ask. With so much information about keto and contradicting beliefs it’s hard to know what is actually right.
Calories: The great thing about keto is that you naturally eat fewer calories without even noticing. Win! That means no more starving yourself to get into those jeans!
This lifestyle allows you to eat fewer calories than before without having to combat cravings and hunger. Without even realising or counting calories.
Eating less calories than your body needs to maintain its weight (not carb restriction) is the key to weight loss.
What should you eat?: We want to be concentrating on foods that are lower in carbs. This will differ between individuals and will depend on your daily carb limit (more info on this with macros). Ideally keeping your ‘net carbs’ below 25g so you can reap the benefits of eating highly satisfying foods and getting and staying in ketosis.
Carbs are sneaky wee things and hide where you least suspect them, even your favourite fruits may put you near your total carb limit for the day. But don’t get discouraged, there are so many yummy foods you can it.
- Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, seafood, eggs, etc.
- Low carb vegetables – spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and other keto-friendly vegetables
- High fat dairy – hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter, Greek yoghurt etc.
- Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycaemic fruit
- Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners
- Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, avocado, olive oil etc.
- Tubers – potato, kumara, yams, etc. or anything ‘below the ground’
- Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
- Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
- Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
Macros: What is all the fuss about macros? The term is short for macronutrients. These are the energy components of food or your ‘big’ nutrients. They include fat, protein and carbs. This makes up your calories. We want to understand our macros on Keto because you need to find the right balance of carbs, protein and fat to get into ketosis and turn your body into a lean, mean fat burning machine.
- 70-80% of calories from fats.
- 20-25% of calories from protein.
- 5-10% of calories from net carbs (Net carbs are the grams of carbohydrates in a food minus the grams of fibre in it)
Carbs are made up of sugars and starches. In order to successfully get into ketosis, you will need to limit your carb intake. Fibre is considered a carb, but it doesn’t count towards your total carb tally. The reason for this is that we can’t really digest fibre so it has a minimal impact on your blood sugars. Only 5% of us get enough quality fibre to meet the recommended 25-30g per day, New Image FibreMax is a high-quality supplement that provides both soluble and insoluble fibre. Examples of carbs are sugar, honey, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, kumara.
Protein is important for growth and repair, immune function, and making essential hormones and enzymes. Protein provides energy when there are no carbs and helps preserve lean muscle. Protein is called the building blocks for our body. But don’t want to overeat it as it can cause distress on your kidneys and can affect ketosis. Protein will vary and it will depend on your health and fitness goals of what you require. Examples of protein are meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, tofu and Alpha Lipid™ UDII.
It’s a common myth that we need to avoid fat.But in fact, we need fat to burn fat. It is essential in our diet for energy, growth and development and absorbing fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. Fat is also highly satisfying, so this helps curb your hunger pangs and keeps you fuller for longer. Examples of fats are oils, butter, avocado, cream, nuts and seeds.
So when someone tells you to ‘track your macros’ they actually mean identify your health goals eg are you wanting to lose fat, build muscle or get into ketosis for the health benefits. Make sure you know the amount of protein, fat and carbs you require to get into ketosis and then you can track your macronutrient profile of foods each day.