Keto is all about avoiding carbs and focusing on fat. However, you still need carbs if you want to stay healthy. In fact, even on keto, you are allowed to eat a certain amount of carbohydrates.
But what is the maximum amount to not get kicked out of ketosis? How does one keep track of it?
Calculating Carbs per Day
It may seem simple but if you’ve ever tried calculating the exact grams of carbs that you need to take each day, you know that it’s really tough. Partly because the focus of a healthy diet, as advocated by the USDA and the majority of dietitians, is lots of carbs and little fat – the exact opposite of the keto diet.
As you know, the point of the keto diet is to force your body into ketosis – where it burns fat instead of glucose (the simplest form of carbohydrates) to provide you with energy. In order to enter and stay in ketosis, you need to stick to the proper calorie distribution daily, generally recommended as follows:
- 5-10% in carbs
- 20-25% in protein
- 70-75% in fat
Total Carbs vs. Net Carbs
Carbs that do not raise your glucose levels (also known as blood sugar levels) are called dietary fiber and shouldn’t count towards your daily carb allowance. So, net carbs are the total carbs that you ingest minus the portion that’s made up of dietary fiber.
This means yet another calculation that you need to take into account. Nutritional labels list the total carbs in grams per serving and the amount of dietary fiber somewhere below it. With that out of the way, you still need to know how many grams of carbs you’re allowed to eat on keto, which leads to…
Calculating by Hand
As a rule of thumb, one gram of carbs is about 4 calories – that’s the figure used by most calorie calculation methods. One gram of protein is also 4 calories and one gram of fat 8 or 9 calories (depending on the method used).
If your target daily calorie intake is 2,000 and you want to consume 5% carbs for your keto diet, you’d multiply 2,000 by .05, which is 100 calories of carbs per day. To further convert this into grams, divide it by four, which gives 25g per day of carbs.
Calculating through the Keto Macro Calculator
Instead of calculating everything by hand, you can find a free keto calculator online to help you determine how many grams of carbs you are allowed to consume daily on keto. This will definitely make things easier for you.
How Many Grams of Carbs per Day?
As you can see, there’s no one answer to this question. It depends on multiple factors: your BMI (body mass index), your metabolism, your goal, etc. Most people start with 5% carbs when they first go keto. The most important thing is to get your body into ketosis. You’ll then be able to adjust the carbs slightly upward, if you so desire.