Step 1: Determining Metabolic Rate and Caloric Requirements
Many dieters make the mistake of starving themselves in an attempt to lose fat through extreme calorie deficits. Even though this method may produce results in the short run, it causes a drop in metabolic rate, which is counterproductive. This results in quickly diminishing returns and rapid regain of weight after ending the diet. Therefore, one of the most important components of a keto diet plan is knowing your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and assuring that your caloric intake remains in the optimal fat and weight loss zone.
The body constantly burns energy and generates heat through a process known as thermogenesis. Your BMR is the amount of energy (calories) you would through this process in a given day if at rest. Your total calorie expenditure is the sum of your BMR and the additional calories you burn through physical activity throughout the day. Simply put, if you injest more calories than this total you will gain weight while if you injest less calories you will lose weight.
Any number of online calculators can be used to calculate BMR, but you have to multiply by your activity level to find true maintenance calories. The maintenance calculator (http://www.muscleandstrength.
Step 2: Determine Target Calories
There are 3500 calories in one pound, which means that in order to lose one pound a week, you must eat 500 calories less than your maintenance number from Step 1. Although you can use a greater calorie deficit to lose weight more quickly, I suggest starting with this number. So, if you found that your BMR is 2500 calories per day, I would target 2000 calories per day to start.
Step 3: Determine Macronutrient Ratio
The macronutrient ratio for a keto diet plan should be
- 65% calories from fat
- 30% calories from protein
- 5% calories from carbs.
Protein and carbohydrates have four calories per gram while fat has nine calories per gram.
So, for a 2000 calorie diet, your macros should look like this:
- 65% Fat = 1300 calories (144 grams)
- 30% Protein = 600 calories (150 grams)
- 5% Carbs = 100 calories (25 grams)
Read over the list of Allowed Keto Diet Foods to get a good idea of what you will be eating to achieve these macros.
Step 4: Track Yourself for Success
Studies have shown that dieters that document and track their daily food intake are considerably more successful in achieving their goals. Therefore, I recommend using an online food tracker like my personal favorite, MyFitnessPal (www.myfitnesspal.com), which makes it easy to keep track of your caloric intake and macronutrients. I suggest installing the Net Carb script (http://userscripts.org/
Additionally, keep track of your weight at the beginning of each day and, more importantly, your body fat percentage. Many scales nowadays have a bodyfat measurement included. Though body fat is notoriously hard to measure accurately and different scales will have wildly variable numbers, if you use the same method each day all that matters is a downward trend.