MACROS - What They Are and How to Track Them
If you are interested in following a ketogenic diet, you need to understand one term above all others - MACROS.
The term “macros” is actually short for “macronutrients,” which Google Dictionary defines as:
A substance required in relatively large amounts by living organisms, in particular, a type of food (e.g. fat, protein, carbohydrate) required in he human diet.
Basically, macronutrients (“macros”) are the different components of food that fuel our bodies. The three main macros that are relatable to the keto diet are:
Net carbohydrates (total carbs - fiber)
There is a ton of scientific information on the Internet about macros and their effects on digestion and blood glucose levels. But as I have said before, I am not a doctor, so I am not even going to try to repeat the clinical details. If you would like to read some of this scientific information, I recommend the following sources:
To keep things simple, I like to refer to ketogenic macros as low carb, high fat (lchf) sources for dietary calories. You need to find the right balance of carbs, protein, and fats to get into - and stay in - ketosis.
As I mentioned in my What Is Ketosis blog, Dr. Eric Berg, DC recommends the following breakdown for daily macros:
0-5% Net Carbohydrates (total carbs - fiber); these should only come from vegetables
So how do you track your macros? You could certainly do things the old fashioned way and write down your calories, fat, carbs, fiber, and protein for every meal, snack, and beverage. But, it’s 2018, and there are a ton of smartphone apps that take the guesswork out of tracking.
My personal recommendation is the Keto Diet Tracker app.
You can personalize your macro goals to your specific body type and activity level.
The free version only allows you to save a few food items and track for one day, so you need to purchase the “Pro” version to get all the cool features. The app costs $10.99 per year, but trust me when I say it is a worthwhile investment.
Remember, you need to track your fat, protein, NET carbs (total carbs - fiber), and calories.
Calories don’t play as important of a role when tracking macros, but you need to keep an eye on them to keep your portion sizes in check. Bryan and I both hit some serious stalls/plateaus at the end of 2017, and they were simply (and frustratingly) the result of sneaky carbs and inaccurate tracking.