Ok, so let’s get down to the meat and (non) potatoes of this all. Here is what I have learned so far in my journey.
Ketosis is a state you attain when your body is burning the fats stored in your body. I call it your own personal grocery store shelves. This state is achieved when you eat less than 25 grams of net carbs in a day. Net is an important term as it is calculated when you take the gross carbs – fibre – sugar alcohols. You are left with net carbs. It is important however, to also meet your protein goals so as not to lose muscle and waste away into nothing. Fats are the final third piece to the “macro” puzzle. Fat is necessary for your body and brain to be healthy. Most sources can agree on 50gm of fat per day. In the keto world, fat is used as a “lever”. What that means is there are a lot of lean proteins, but it is hard to find a ribeye steak or a strip of bacon that doesn’t have fat in it. You eat the protein, but you also eat the fat. This is fine. However, if you want to eat your 50gms of fat in a day, and then let your body eat the fat from your own “grocery store shelves” it will contribute to weight loss. There is a max amount of fat a person should consume in a day and it varies from person to person. How that, and the other two macronutrients (carbs, fats & proteins) are calculated is in another paragraph. Keep reading.
There appears to be three types of keto people I have found. Extreme ones. There is a magic list of foods and ingredients that fall into the never-must-cross-your-lips-cross-your-heart-until-you-die type people. Among those things are sugar, soy, processed anything, wheats/grains/glutens, many of the fruits and veggies…. I can’t say for sure what they all are, because I’m not an extreme Keto-er.
There are also lazy keto-ers. All they do is make sure their carbs are under 25 net carbs a day. They don’t count anything else, they don’t care what food they put down their necks, as long as the net carbs are in line.
Then there are the me’s of the world. I call my types moderate keto-ers. I do my level best to meet my proteins, curb my fats and keep the carbs in check. I also know that life happens, and sometimes I blow it. Either from poor planning, poor choosing, or deliberate actions. I dust myself off, and get back on track the next day. I try not to wallow in my foibles, but instead recognize this is a journey, not a race. I think my results are excellent and I am happy with my progress. Sure, I could probably be a bit stricter to get the weight off faster, but some days I think slow and steady is a better way to run the race.
Ok, so how do I calculate my numbers.
First, you have to go to google and type in “navy body fat calculator”. The first one that should show up is www.fitness.bizcalcs.com . It does what it is promised to do, and that is to determine your body fat percentage. Jam in your numbers after pulling out the little pink sewing tape you have stuffed in the back part of your junk drawer you thought perhaps you should buy when you moved out and became a real grownup. If you don’t have one, grab a piece of string, do your measurements by wrapping it around your bits and laying it across your metal measuring tape to get a number. Don’t obviously use the metal one around your neck, waist and hips or you will likely cut yourself and have inaccurate numbers as it tries to corner around your skin unsuccessfully.
Once you have that, write down your body fat % somewhere in your journal that has all your other body measurements. Seriously. Do them all. Your neck, your chest/boobs, waist, hips, both thighs, calves and biceps. Date it and put it away for later. PLEASE DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.
Then, move along to the next website you need. Google up ketogains calculator. The first one to show up should be www. www.ketogains.com . Select Macro Calculator. Start entering the numbers for weight and body fat. All sorts of numbers start to autopopulate, scroll down. When you hit activity level choose sedentary, even if you are a gym rat. You don’t want to use up any calories burned that assist you in the weight loss department, so don’t even see what they would be. Put the blinders on, and keep on trucking. Soon you will see Daily Calories. Choose Lose Fat. (Seems obvious to most, but not always.) Keep the calorie deficit at 25%. Boom, you will now see your calories without exercise number. (Mine is 1407 kcal.) Hang in there, almost done. Get to the Daily Macros next. Protein Ratio is filled in at 0.8. Check. Do Not click Ketogains recommended. Scroll right, and you will see your macro numbers. Mine at Protein 109, Net carbs 25, Fat 97. Yours will be whatever yours are. Write down or screen shot these numbers.
It is recommended to recalculate all these steps every ten pounds lost so you can stay on the straight and narrow. I am sure there are lots of good things to read on these sites, but I confess somedays I have the attention span of a lightening bolt, and I have NEVER read them. Ever. So, I am sure now some of you wonder why not? Well, it is because I belong to a Facebook group called Keto for Badass Babes. Sorry men. It is a women’s only group. There are lots of different keto Facebook groups out there, but this is the one my angel friend brought me into the fold with, and as such, I follow their rules (….for the most part, and they are what you see outlined above.) I haven’t questioned it, I have just been the sheep to follow along and here I am.
Final step in the setting yourself up process.
Go to your smartphone or computer and get an account set up with My Fitness Pal (MFP) www.myfitnesspal.com. It is an app for food and activity tracking that I have used since before day one. The icon is blue with a white silhouette person jumping. Back in the doubting Thomas days, I decided to just track what I was eating, regardless of what it was. I was shocked to learn I was averaging 300 carbs a day. YIKES!!! Anyhoo, download this app/program and enter in all your bits.
Once you have that done, you need to make sure your section labeled “Nutrition–Macros (subtab)” is adjusted to reflect your protein goals, then your fat limits, and then adjust the carbs to be whatever the number needs to read to make the totals match 100%. This is not necessarily accurate, however, MFP isn’t a keto tracker…it is a food and exerciser tracker. There is some diddling required.
Then you are off to the races. Preplanning is key, and I like to pre-enter my food so I can see if what I want can be adjusted to fit my macros and my calories allowed. Just having less than 25gms a day of carbs is not enough to lose weight, even if you are in ketosis, if you are over consuming the calories.
That is enough to digest for now. Start there, and I will start typing some more for the next leg of my journey another day…