Oct 27, 2017


Pre-Plan Ketogenic Meals with KetoCalc

When planning meals according to the instructions below, one needs to determine the total number of macronutrients with another general nutrition/fitness app. One can then easily switch to KetoCalc to enter the macronutrient amounts and see how ketogenic one's meal is.

You can use KetoCalc for meal planning either for each meal or for the whole day. After a few days of playing around with the calculator as described here, you will know what a real ketogenic meal looks like. The example at the end will further clarify this 4 step procedure.

Step 1 - Determine and Enter Your Protein Amount

Before beginning to use KetoCalc, you will need to determine your appropriate protein amount for each meal based on your weight, sex and activity level. General diet/fitness apps such as 'Lose It!' will let you determine this amount as well as yielding macro totals from meals to enter into KetoCalc, but we recommend following the advice of Donald Layman, Ph.D., professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of Illinois and winner of the Shannon Award from the National Institute of Health, who has determined that all adults must have at least 30 grams of protein 3 times a day at separate meals, to maximize muscle synthesis and prevent muscle atrophy. A ketogenic diet that is too high in protein and fat may become excessively high in calories, so, to prevent weight gain or to lose weight, most people would want the lowest amount of protein that is still adequate, which, according to Layman, would be 30 grams per meal 3 times a day for the average-sized adult not exercising heavily. This would look like a 4 oz hamburger patty, a single chicken breast, or 4 - 5 eggs.

Thus when using KetoCalc, most people would determine their ideal protein level one-time as described. It is best to always first enter this fixed protein amount into the calculator when planning any meal, while you may vary the carbohydrate and fat levels.

Step 2 - Determine Your Caloric Requirement

People wanting to lose weight need to be aware that eating too many calories even from low-carb sources while in ketosis can stop weight loss or cause weight gain. Thus, before beginning to use KetoCalc, you also need to determine the calorie level which will let you reach or maintain your desired weight with your general diet/fitness app (e.g. 'Lose It!'). KetoCalc will let you plan ketogenic meals not exceeding your ideal calorie goal per meal by displaying both the total number of calories and the calories separately coming form protein, fats and carbs. This lets you adjust the amount of carbohydrates and fats to both maintain ketosis (Dr. Woodyatt recommends a keto-ratio >=2.00 as explained here) and your desired calorie level at the same time.

Step 3 - Enter Your Carbohydrate Amount 

After having entered your protein amount into KetoCalc, enter an amount for the carbohydrates. If you want to be ketogenic, it is recommended that the carbohydrate amount is low starting with 20-30 grams.

Step 4 - Keep Adjusting the Amount of Fat 

Keep entering different fat levels until your ketogenic ratio becomes preferably 2 or higher. Then check your total calories, and if they are too high, keep adjusting the fat and carbohydrate amounts until you have BOTH the correct number of calories AND a ketogenic ratio >= 2 (ideally).

As you repeatedly use the calculator, you will develop the dietary strategy that will work best for you and yield the best long-term results.

An Example

Let's say that you've decided to have a simple meal of four ounces of fish, a green salad and four tablespoons of olive oil on your salad.

First you would determine the amount of protein in the meal. You can download and use any general nutrition/fitness app to look up and see that four ounces of meat would have about 30 grams of protein (the ideal amount for most people as explained above). You would switch to KetoCalc and enter the 30 grams in the protein field of the calculator.

Next you would look up and determine the amount of carbohydrate in the meal. The only carbohydrate in this meal would be about 5 grams coming from the salad. You would switch to KetoCalc and enter the 5 grams in the calculator's carbohydrate field.

Finally you would enter the four tablespoons of olive oil into the tablespoon to gr converter field of KetoCalc, which would yield 53 grams of fat. You would enter this amount into the fat field of the calculator.

After pressing 'Calculate,' you would see your ketogenic ratio as 2.23 for this meal, which is highly ketogenic. If you had originally entered only 1 tablespoon of oil into the tablespoon to gr converter field of KetoCalc, this would have yielded a keto-ratio of only 1.09, which is almost not ketogenic. So you would have had to go back and keep increasing the number of tablespoons of oil until the calculator gave a ketogenic ratio of ideally 2 or greater.

If you desired your meal to be even more ketogenic, you may further increase the amount of oil in your salad (taking care to not exceed your ideal calorie level) and/or take out high-carb vegetables such as tomatoes or carrots, go back, and re-calculate your ketogenic ratio.

Trying different figures with your calculator will let you quickly get the hang of it.

When using KETOCALC, as you re-adjust the protein, carbohydrate and fat amounts to let the app calculate your ketogenic ratio again, going back with the back arrow on the action bar on top will erase all previously entered macronutrient amounts, but using the back arrow at the bottom of your phone will leave previously entered values intact.

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