Starting on a ketogenic diet? Let’s calculate how much you should eat. We use the information you put in to create an accurate keto nutrition profile for you.
If you're sedentary, we suggest between 0.6g and 0.8g protein.
If you're active, we suggest between 0.8g and 1.0g protein.
If you lift weights, we suggest between 1.0g and 1.2g protein.
Your life doesn’t have to revolve around the planning aspect. You can go the easy route and get detailed shopping lists and months of meal plans made for you with The Keto Academy >
Or, if you want a different idea of how to get to these macro calculations, you can also see our 30 Day Keto Diet Plan for ideas. We also have an ever-growing library of keto recipes that you can take a look at for different meal ideas.
Most people aim for a specific goal on a ketogenic diet. We aim to make sure the results of the calculator are accurate and can be used by anyone.
Our keto calculator uses the Mifflin-St.Jeor Formula which was the most accurate (versus the Katch-McCardle Formula or the Harris-Benedict Formula) in a few studies. In this formula, the gender, height, weight, and age are needed to calculate the number of calories to consume.
Our keto calculator uses body fat percentage to calculate your lean body mass. Using this number, we’re able to calculate how much protein you need to sufficiently lose weight without losing excess muscle. Eating too little or too much protein on a ketogenic diet (or any diet) can lead to dangerous or unwanted results.
DEXA scans are proven to be the most accurate measurement of body fat. They’re commonly available at gyms and some doctor offices when requested. If you don’t have access to this, you can always go the old-fashioned route and use a good quality caliper. The last resort is using a guide to visually estimate – this can sometimes be a little bit inaccurate, so try to over estimate your body fat percentage.
This will give us an idea of how much the minimum amount of calories your body will burn in a day. Our keto calculator uses this to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). We use this number, along with your body fat percentage, to estimate how many calories you’ll need for your goals.
The BMR is simply a number of calories we burn while our bodies are at rest and from eating and digesting food. Together they form what’s known as TDEE, or total daily energy expenditure. This is the keto calculator’s estimate for your total calories burned per day. If you use a heart rate monitor or third party software to monitor your calories, you can use the custom input in the activity level section for an even more accurate macro profile.
A deficit or surplus just relates to the number of calories you want to intake. A surplus means you are eating more than your body needs. A deficit means you are eating less than your body needs.
Typically if you are losing weight, you want to have a deficit in calories. 10-20% is standard for people. 20-30% ranges are considered high deficits and are typically difficult to do (you will be fighting hunger). You can go up to a 30% deficit, but going past that can lead to metabolic damage in the long run (study).
Typically if you want to gain muscle, you want to have a surplus in calories. You need extra calories if you want to put on lean mass. Typically, 5-10% is suggested, but going over 10% can lead to excess weight gain.
There are numerous benefits that are scientifically proven on the ketogenic diet. On keto, it’s a general rule of thumb to stay under 30g net carbs a day. We recommend for weight loss to stay at or below 20g net carbs a day.
The end goal of a ketogenic diet is to be in a metabolic state known as ketosis. We do this through starvation of carbohydrates.
Protein intake is imperative when it comes to keto. Too much and you can lower your ketone levels, too little and you can lose excess muscle. You want to be in the sweet spot.
If you’re sedentary, we recommend having between 0.6g and 0.8g protein per pound of lean body mass. If you’re active, we recommend having between 0.8g and 1.0g protein per pound of lean body mass. If you want to gain muscle, we recommend having between 1.0g and 1.2g protein per pound of lean body mass. You should not need to consume more protein than that, according to these studies.
It can seem complicated, but it’s honestly not! It’s just a ratio of protein. If you are 100 lbs. of muscle and want to gain muscle (1.0g protein), you eat 100g protein.
If you’re still confused, don’t worry – the keto calculator automatically sets your protein based on your activity level.
Generally speaking, many people are concerned that the keto calculator results in too many calories to eat. It’s very common for the average person to lose weight on a 1600 calorie a day keto diet. If you’re not 100% sure or confused about anything, you can also read more about macronutrients on a keto diet >
You should try to eat according to the macros given and try to spread your meals out during the day. Don’t worry about getting exact numbers to the tee. You can afford a small fluctuation in your macros, but as long as you are close to your ranges, it will balance itself out.
If you’re just getting started and still want to learn more about keto, consider reading our extensive guide to keto >