Our keto calculator helps you determine the precise amount of fat, protein, and carbs you should eat each day on the keto diet. The keto calculator takes into account your main goal as well, whether you want to maintain weight, lose weight, or gain weight.
Directions for Using the Keto Calculator
- Choose the Standard Ketogenic Calculator for the typical ketogenic diet macros of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrate (recommended for beginners and keto newcomers)
- Choose the Specialized Macronutrient Calculator if you want to input your own amounts of fat, protein, and carbohydrate (as percentages of total calorie intake)
“Isn’t that too much protein!?”
If you’re coming from a diet similar to what the FDA recommends, chances are you’re eating as little as 10% of your calories from protein. This is far too low for most people, especially active individuals. You can learn more about the benefits of eating a bit more protein by checking out: Optimal Protein Intake for Keto: How Much Is Necessary?
And if you’re worried that eating a higher amount of protein on keto will increase gluconeogenesis and take you out of ketosis, we dispel that myth here: Gluconeogenesis On Keto: Does Too Much Protein Take You Out Of Ketosis
Calculate your keto macros? Awesome! Step 1 on your path to success is complete!
Take a look at the sections below to learn more about how this nifty keto calculator works, how to track your keto macros, and the best foods to help you reach your keto macros:
- How the Keto Calculator Helps You
- How Our Keto Calculator Works
- Understanding Your Keto Macros
- How to Track Your Keto Macros
- What Is Ketosis
- Best Foods and Recipes to Reach Your Keto Macros
- The Health Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
Quite simply, the keto calculator is the ultimate all-in-one tool for helping you quickly (and accurately) determine how much you should eat every day. By entering the appropriate info (e.g. height, weight, age, etc.), the keto calculator will project your precise macronutrient and calorie demands, which is the first step towards your success on the keto diet (or any diet for that matter).
This is much easier than having to make these calculations by hand or use “guesswork” to determine how much you should be eating. Moreover, one of the best “perks” of the keto diet is its simplicity; naturally, our keto calculator is designed with simplicity in mind to help you get off on the right track with as little effort as possible.
Our keto calculator uses one of the most reliable and empirically backed formulas for determining your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This formula is known as the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation, which research has shown can accurately predict BMR within 10% of someone’s measured BMR.
The equation itself is:
- For Men: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x Age + 5
- For Women: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x Age – 161
As you can see, it takes into account your body weight, height, age, and gender. Since we have readers from all over the world, you can choose to enter your measurements in imperial units or metric units; the keto calculator will make all the necessary adjustments for you.
Lifestyle Factor and Goals
But the keto calculator takes it even a step further, by also accounting for your daily activity level (lifestyle factor) as well as your primary goal. Obviously, if you’re a highly active individual, like a construction worker, you’re going to burn more calories every day than someone who works at a desk most of the day and doesn’t exercise much.
As such, it’s imperative to be realistic about your daily activity level if you want to accurately predict your true calorie expenditure. If anything, we recommend erring on the side of caution and entering a lifestyle factor that is one step below what you optimistically feel your actual daily activity is like.
Lastly, by taking your primary goal into consideration, the keto calculator will let you know exactly how much to eat whether you want to lose weight (particularly body fat), maintain weight, or gain weight (particularly muscle). You can also select the how much you want to change your weight by weekly; it stops at the two-pound mark as we don’t recommend going beyond this for health purposes (your body can only change so much in such a short time period).
If your goal is to lose weight on the keto diet, be sure to check out How to Use the Keto Diet for Weight Loss – The Complete Guide.
For gaining muscle on the keto diet, have a look at Complete Guide to Bodybuilding on the Keto Diet.
Ok, so you’ve got your keto macros, but now what? What exactly do the numbers tell you? In short, your keto macros are the amounts (in grams) of protein, fat, and carbohydrate that you should aim to eat every day.
Protein, fat, and carbohydrate are the major macronutrients in the human diet; the term “macros” is simply a colloquialism for “macronutrients”. Hence, keto macros are the macros necessary to help you get into ketosis, meaning you will only eat roughly 5-10% of your total daily calories in the form of carbohydrate. The majority of your calories on the keto diet will come from healthy fat sources, and a good chunk will come from quality protein.
The keto calculator is, by default, set up to give you macros that are keto-friendly. You may, however, adjust the macro percentages if you choose to do so. Just remember, if you want to get into ketosis, you need to keep your carbohydrate intake very low (for most people, less than 30 grams of net carbs per day).
What Are Net Carbs?
Your keto macros tell you the number of net carbs you should eat every day, which is the number of total carbs you eat (in grams) minus the amount of dietary fiber you eat (in grams).
So, to calculate your net carb intake, you simply subtract the total grams of dietary fiber you ate for the day from the total grams of carbs you ate. Here’s an example:
- Total carb intake = 35 grams – 15 grams dietary fiber = 20 grams net carb count
Basically, you want to keep track of your net carb intake because this is the number of carbs that have an impact on your blood sugar. Dietary fibers comprise a special subset of carbohydrates that are resistant to digestion in the small intestine; they are mostly fermented to short-chain fatty acids by gut microbes in the large intestine, where they help fuel the growth of “friendly” bacteria. As such, certain dietary fibers are said to have “prebiotic” actions in the body, meaning they stimulate the growth of beneficial gut microbes.
Since the keto diet emphasizes the intake of fibrous veggies, such as broccoli, leafy greens, and spinach, it is a great gut-enhancing eating regimen. You can read more about the gut health benefits of the keto diet here.
For tracking your keto macros, a variety of options are available. If you’re “old school” like some of us here at BioKeto, you can simply keep a journal handy and write down how much protein, fat, and carbs you eat throughout the day.
Nevertheless, it’s the 21st century and technology makes it easier than ever to track your keto macros without having to carry a journal and pen around all day. One of the most intuitive and user-friendly smartphone apps for tracking your keto macros is MyFitnessPal.
The process of tracking your keto macros is pretty straightforward. For beginners and those new to the keto diet, we strongly recommend that you plan out your macros for each meal/snack ahead of time. From there, you can basically reverse engineer your daily diet by selecting food choices and serving sizes that fit those macros.
Planning Your Keto Macros
For example, let’s say your daily keto macros are 140 grams protein, 130 grams fat, and 25 grams net carbs. You could plan your day out as follows:
- Breakfast – 40 grams protein/30 grams fat/5 grams net carb (The Ultimate Keto Breakfast! A Macro-Friendly, Low-Carb Meal)
- Lunch – 40 grams protein/30 grams fat/10 grams net carb
- Midday Snack – 25 grams protein/20 grams fat/5 grams net carb
- Dinner – 35 grams protein/50 grams fat/5 grams net carb
From there you can determine the foods and amounts to eat at each meal/snack to fit the macros. So, your keto breakfast might look like this:
- 6 whole eggs – 36 grams protein, 30 grams fat, 3 grams net carb
- 100 grams spinach – 4 grams protein, 0 grams fat, 1.5 grams net carb
As you can see, this is just about exactly equal with the keto macros that were planned for breakfast.
What Not to Worry About When Tracking Your Keto Macros
Naturally, you might be wondering “Do I need to be picky about hitting my keto macros spot on down to the last gram?”
Frankly, no. If you’re slightly above or below your keto macros on any given day it isn’t going to make or break your results. After all, you’re human and not a robot. Just because you happen to eat 144 grams of protein one day when your keto macros say to eat 140 grams of protein, you won’t hinder your progress.
The key is to get as close as possible to hitting your keto macros and being consistent. If you miss the mark by a few grams here or there, it’s no big deal. In reality, the unnecessary stress you put on yourself by scrutinizing over every morsel of food you eat will do more damage than missing your macros by a bit.
What Should I Do if I Cheat on My Diet?
Assuming you’re not perfect (hint: none of us are), you will inevitably face a time where you fall off the keto wagon and cheat. Before you panic, realize that A) It’s definitely not the end of the world, and B) You won’t lose much progress at all if you get back on your diet as soon as possible after cheating.
We all have those odd occasions when friends and family are celebrating and you are tempted to indulge in the festivities (which usually include copious amounts of sugary goodies that are not keto-friendly). While it’s always best to stick to your diet, you should not beat yourself up or feel guilty if you happen to cheat once in a while.
However, don’t make cheating a habit, as it can create disordered psychological associations with food in general. In other words, you should not feel deprived while you’re on the keto diet. Most people cheat on their diet (regardless if they follow keto or not) because they feel like they are overly restricting themselves. Naturally, they have high cravings for junk foods and eventually give into temptation.
The keto diet, however, is not meant to restrict you in terms of eating foods that are satisfying and providing your body with everything it needs. Most people actually find that keto helps curb their cravings for sweets/sugar and promotes a better sense of fullness throughout the day.
If you are having trouble keeping your appetite under control, we strongly encourage incorporating more fibrous green vegetables in your diet.
A supplemental appetite suppressant, like CORE BHB exogenous ketones, can also help.
You likely noticed that we use the word “ketosis” throughout this article quite a bit. Essentially, ketosis is a metabolic process your body makes use of when energy intake is low (e.g. during fasting) or when carbohydrate intake is very low; the latter is why the keto diet, when done properly, puts you in ketosis.
The ketosis you experience on the keto diet is more properly referred to as “nutritional ketosis”.
This is not to be confused with ketoacidosis, which may occur during starvation, in alcoholics, or in type-1 diabetics when they don’t have sufficient insulin in their blood. Ketoacidosis denotes an extremely high level of ketones in the blood, which makes the blood pH drop significantly (i.e. the blood becomes highly acidic).
As you can see in the image above, ketoacidosis is not the same as the ketosis that healthy individuals experience by reducing their carb intake. Ketoacidosis can be a life-threatening condition, particularly in type-1 diabetics, and usually requires immediate medical attention.
How Nutritional Ketosis Works
When you eat a diet that contains ample amounts of carbohydrates, your body predominantly relies on sugar (glucose) for energy. The process of converting the carbohydrates you consume into cellular energy (ATP) is known as glycolysis.
But what happens when you remove carbohydrates from the equation? Well, your body is smart and its main goal is to survive, so it can use other nutrients (and even its own tissues) as fuel.
When you cut carbs, your body switches its predominant energy metabolism to fats, breaking them down through a process called lipolysis. As fats from the diet (and body fat) are broken down, fatty acids are sent to the liver and oxidized for energy; as a result of this, ketone bodies are produced.
What Are Ketone Bodies?
There are three primary ketone bodies your body naturally synthesizes:
- Acetoacetic acid/Acetoacetate (AcAc)
- Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB)
These molecules are able to fuel various tissues throughout the body and are also what help your body actually reach ketosis.
“How can I tell if I’m in ketosis?”
For practicality purposes, many people on the keto diet don’t bother testing their ketone levels. It’s safe to assume that the vast majority of people will be in a moderate ketosis after 7-10 days on the keto diet. (Be sure to keep your carb intake very low, especially during the initial two weeks on keto!)
If you want to go the extra mile to verify that you’re in ketosis, there are several ways to test your ketone levels.
You can learn more about these testing methods here: How to Test Your Ketone Levels
We know firsthand how overwhelming the process of switching to the keto diet can be, especially if you’ve always eaten things like bread, grains, sugar, etc. If you find yourself apprehensive about starting the keto diet because you have no clue which foods to eat, then you’ve come to the right place!
In reality, the food choices on the keto diet are plentiful, and the tasty recipes you can make are innumerable. Here is a truncated overview of foods and beverages that are keto-friendly:
Meats & Seafood
- Beef (ground, jerky, liver, etc.)
- Canned fish (in oil or in water)
- Chicken (legs, breasts, thighs, wings, etc.)
- Cod fish
- Crab meat
- Ground meats (chicken, beef, turkey, pork, etc.)
- Ham (no sugar added varieties)
- Lamb (chop, rack, etc.)
- Mahi Mahi
- Organ meats
- Pork (chops, loin, etc.)
- Steak (ribeye, round, New York strip, etc.)
*Be careful when selecting cured, smoked, processed meats as they may be high in sugar and other additives
Healthy Fat Sources
- Almonds/almond butter/almond oil
- Avocado/avocado oil
- Brazil nuts
- Butter and clarified butter (ghee)
- Cocoa butter
- Coconut milk and unsweetened coconut flakes
- Coconut oil
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Fish oil
- Flaxseeds/flaxseed oil
- Fresh/canned olives
- Hemp oil
- Macadamia nuts/macadamia nut butter/macadamia nut oil
- MCT oil/MCT powder
- Peanut butter (in low amounts)
- Pumpkin seeds/pumpkin seed oil
- Safflower oil
- Sesame oil
- Sunflower oil
- Walnuts/walnut oil
*Be careful not to consume too many carbohydrates from nuts and nut products (peanut butter may contain upwards of 10 g of carbs in just 2 tbsp!)
Low-Carb Vegetables & Fruits
- Bean sprouts
- Beans (green or string)
- Brussels sprouts
- Cabbage (green, red, Nappa, bok choy, etc.)
- Leafy greens (arugula, spinach, mustard, collard, kale, etc.)
- Lettuce (iceberg, butter, red/green leaf, romaine)
- Radishes (daikon, white icicle, etc.)
- Sea plants (kelp, nori, etc.)
- Water chestnuts
Dairy & Eggs
- Aged cheese varieties (cheddar, bleu, mozzarella, etc.)
- Cottage cheese
- Cream cheese
- Fresh cheese varieties (Pepper jack, Monterey jack, swiss, etc.)
- Greek yogurt
- Heavy whipping cream
- Mayonnaise and mayo alternatives that include dairy
- Ricotta cheese
*Watch your carb intake from things like cottage cheese and Greek yogurt, as they may contain 8+ g per serving
- Coffee (unsweetened)
- Exogenous ketones (CORE BHB™)
- Stevia-based diet soda
- Bulletproof keto coffee
- Tea (unsweetened varieties)
- Water (tap, carbonated, mineral, etc.)
If you want more specifics on things like seasonings, sweeteners, sauces, and alcohol, we recommend heading over to: Keto-Friendly Foods and Meal Plans: The Ultimate List
The health and longevity benefits of keto are vast and constantly expanding as research uncovers more about ketones and ketosis. Here’s a quick summary of what the evidence has to show thus far:
Weight loss and appetite control
Research suggests that the keto diet is beneficial for enhancing weight loss, likely by improving appetite regulation and supporting healthy insulin metabolism. Remember though, the keto diet is not magic (no diet is), and you will need to control your calorie intake in order to lose weight.
Cognitive enhancement and Neuroprotection
Research findings suggest that brain tissue uses ketones for creating phospholipids, thereby promoting the growth and myelination of neurons. In layman’s terms, ketones appear to enhance cognition and mood and slow neurodegenerative processes, whereas glucose may do the opposite.[4,5]
Athletic performance enhancement
Data pertaining to the effects of the keto diet on exercise remains limited. However, there is research suggesting that a low-calorie, ketogenic diet results in adaptation where fat becomes the major fuel source during exercise (instead of carbohydrates). This may be beneficial for supporting long bouts of exercise since fatty acids tend to be superior to glucose as a long-lasting energy.
Potential cancer-fighting properties
Research investigating the effects of the keto diet on cancer is quite abundant. We have an article that takes a deep look at the data and what the findings really mean: Does the Keto Diet Cure Cancer?
BHB has been shown to reduce inflammation in tissues throughout the body by inhibiting the actions of proinflammatory proteins called inflammasomes. There are a variety of other anti-inflammatory benefits of the keto diet that we’ve written about here: How The Keto Diet Can Reduce Inflammation
- Frankenfield, D., Roth-Yousey, L., Compher, C., & Evidence Analysis Working Group. (2005). Comparison of predictive equations for resting metabolic rate in healthy nonobese and obese adults: a systematic review. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 105(5), 775-789.
- Johnstone, A. M., Horgan, G. W., Murison, S. D., Bremner, D. M., & Lobley, G. E. (2008). Effects of a high-protein ketogenic diet on hunger, appetite, and weight loss in obese men feeding ad libitum–. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 87(1), 44-55.
- Yeh, Y. Y., & Sheehan, P. M. (1985, April). Preferential utilization of ketone bodies in the brain and lung of newborn rats. In Federation proceedings (Vol. 44, No. 7, pp. 2352-2358).
- Mosconi, L. (2005). Brain glucose metabolism in the early and specific diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, 32(4), 486-510.
- Hashim, S. A., & VanItallie, T. B. (2014). Ketone body therapy: from ketogenic diet to oral administration of ketone ester. Journal of lipid research, jlr-R046599.
- Phinney, S. D., Horton, E. S., Sims, E. A., Hanson, J. S., Danforth, E., & Lagrange, B. M. (1980). Capacity for moderate exercise in obese subjects after adaptation to a hypocaloric, ketogenic diet. The Journal of clinical investigation, 66(5), 1152-1161.
- Youm, Y. H., Nguyen, K. Y., Grant, R. W., Goldberg, E. L., Bodogai, M., Kim, D., … & Kang, S. (2015). The ketone metabolite β-hydroxybutyrate blocks NLRP3 inflammasome–mediated inflammatory disease. Nature medicine, 21(3), 263.