Do You Have To Count Calories On A Keto Diet

Calorie Counting On The Ketogenic Diet

Do You Need To Count Calories on Keto? How to Know if You Need to Count Calories on Keto | KetoGains

Yes, you need to count calories on a keto diet, but it does not necessarily have to be an obsessive practice to the point where you will be counting all of the energy that youre taking in. You can simply use calorie counting as a tool to help you to lose weight.

Using a food scale can help you to easily and properly keep track of your food intake for a few weeks so youll get a rough idea of your baseline. Once you have the rough estimates, you can simply gauge what you should and should not be eating.

You do not necessarily need to be a hundred percent accurate with calorie counting, but you can use this tool as a starting point in your keto diet. Its a great way to measure how much energy youre taking in, which you can simply adjust according to your needs. There are lots of factors that could affect the amount of energy youll be expending, such as your metabolic rate, level of activities, endocrine problems, etc. All these could affect the amount of calories you are taking in every single day.

You Have Specific Weight

This one is a concern for anyone who is losing weight for medical reasons or to compete in a weight-class sport.

It might also be for you if youre going to be aiming for a very specific milestone-based goal.

We dont recommend worrying about a specific number if youre just trying to lose weight for a better life/confidence, but if youre going to do it then calories are a useful tool.

You may lose weight without counting on a ketogenic diet, but if youre trying to make a certain bodyweight on a certain date or just lose weight at a consistent speed youll want to count calories.

A pound of fat is roughly 3,500 calories, so understanding your daily intake, deficit and time-frame can all be useful for making weight.

Setting yourself a daily deficit of 500 calories on any diet can provide you with a semi-reliable 1lb/week weight loss something that would be very hard to achieve without calorie estimates.

Practical Takeaway: How To Use Calorie Counting As A Tool For Keto Success

After seeing the science behind energy balance and macronutrients, you may get tricked into thinking that you must track everything you eat for the rest of your life. In reality, however, this rigid approach to weight loss often increases the likelihood that we gain the weight back.

Instead, a more sustainable tracking strategy is to use it as a short-term tool to recalibrate what you put on your plate. In other words, if you arent getting the results you want, try counting your calories and macros for 2-3 weeks.

This short-term experiment will help you develop a greater awareness of how much fat, protein, and carbs you are eating. By doing so, you can fine-tune your intuition based on what your body needs at each meal.

To get started with your calorie-tracking experiment, youll need the following tools:

  • A food scale This helps take the guesswork out of how much you are eating.
  • Our keto calculator By plugging your info into the calculator, youll get science-based estimates of how much you should eat to get the results you want.
  • A keto-friendly tracking app With the help of the right tracking app, you can use the numbers from the food scale and keto calculator to personalize your keto meals.

Read Also: Keto Diet Plan To Lose 50 Pounds

Youre Eating Too Many Carbs

One of the main reasons people dont lose weight on the ketogenic diet is that theyre consuming too many carbs.

To reach the state of ketosis a metabolic state in which your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose carbohydrate intake must be drastically reduced.

In fact, only around 5% of your total calories should come from carbs .

This is in stark contrast to the standard dietary recommendation that 4565% of calories come from carbs .

Its normal to have a bit of difficulty cutting out carbs when first adjusting to the ketogenic diet.

However, to reach and maintain ketosis, carbs must be decreased to the recommended range.

To help reach your intake goals, consider tracking your macronutrients through an app like MyFitnessPal.

This can help you learn how many servings of carbs youre allowed to have in a day depending on your calorie needs.


To lose weight on a ketogenic diet, carbs must be decreased to reach the state of ketosis and induce fat burning.

No matter what dietary plan follow, the key to healthy weight loss is to consume nutritious, whole foods.

Relying on processed foods can put a dent in your weight loss even if theyre keto-friendly.

Adding in foods like snack bars, keto desserts and other packaged foods between meals can derail your weight loss efforts with the extra calories they provide.

Additionally, eating too many convenience-type foods like hot dogs and fast food when youre on the run can slow weight loss.

An Objective Look At Low

Do I Count Calories On The Ketogenic Diet? Should You?

In 2017, Drs. Kevin Hall and Juen Guo published what may be the first meta-analysis of controlled feeding studies that compared diets of equal calorie and protein content but differing in carbohydrate and fat content . They made sure only to include studies in which all of the food was provided by the researchers. With these criteria, Drs. Kevin Hall and Juen Guo were able to ensure that confounding variables like the thermic effect of protein and subjects self-reporting their calorie intake wouldnt muddle up the findings.

After examining the data, only 8 of the 28 studies in the meta-analysis reported that lower-carbohydrate diets led to a higher energy expenditure than higher-carbohydrate diets, and among those 8, the results were only statistically significant in four.

Regarding higher-carbohydrate diets, 20 studies reported higher energy expenditure, and this increase in energy expenditure was statistically significant in 14 of those studies. Overall, the evidence suggests that the carbohydrate and fat content of the diet has little impact on energy expenditure. In other words, low-carb diets do not have a significant metabolic advantage like many insulin theory proponents believe.

Also Check: Can You Have Beans On Keto Diet

Can You Lose Weight On Keto Without Counting Calories

Not counting calories A person who eats more calories than their body can burn is unlikely to lose weight . People who consume too many calories may gain weight , even if they are in a state of ketosis . High fat foods tend to contain many more calories than foods that are high in carbohydrates and proteins.

Choose Fat Bombs For Dessert

If you’re going to go for a dessert, choose an option that helps you to get more fat into your diet. Fat bombs are good for this too, giving you plenty of fat but avoiding too many carbs. Of course, desserts shouldn’t make up a big portion of your daily or even weekly calories. But if you do decide to treat yourself, there are some great keto-friendly desserts that you can enjoy. Another easy way to make yourself a high-fat dessert is to add some whipped cream to some berries or other fruit.

Read Also: Dr Oz Pegan Diet Recipes

Youre Having Too Many Cheat Meals

Unfortunately, on a keto diet, you cant really have a cheat meal like you may be able to do on other diets.

This is because a cheat meal will typically be high in carbs. This will take you out of ketosis and then you will have to start all over again to get your body back into it.

However, it is impossible to completely ignore your cravings. This will make you most likely to binge. So if you do want to have a cheat meal, be smart about it.

You can try having low-carb versions of your favorite meal, such as cauliflower crust pizza. Or, if you want to order it from your local pizza store, choose thin crust over thick or deep pan. This way, you can indulge, while still staying as low-carb as possible.

If you do cheat, keep in mind that just a single transgression is likely to throw you out of ketosis, and youll have to begin the process again. It can take a minimum of two to four days to get back on track , so ask yourself if the pizza is worth it before you indulge.

For different ideas, try looking online for some keto recipes. Youd be surprised which foods have keto-friendly recipe adaptations. Theres even a way to make Reeses Peanut Butter Cups compliant with keto!

If youre up for a challenge, see how much weight you can lose on the 28-Day Keto Challenge.

Another way to have a cheat meal on the ketogenic diet is to actually make the meal is worthwhile. Dont just mindlessly snack, but really just eat something that youre craving and enjoy every bite of it.

What Is A Calorie

Do you need to count CALORIES on a KETOGENIC DIET for fat loss?

A calorie is simply a way of measuring energy. The technical definition is that it is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree celsius. For the human body, calories are the energy the body uses to live, think, breath, and make your heart beat.

You need a certain number of calories per day to simply survive. Even without moving, your heart is still beating, you have to breathe, your brain has to function.

This basic number of calories you need is called your basal metabolic rate . It is influenced by your age, gender, genetics, body size, body composition and diet. In addition to your BMR, you need additional calories to support your daily activities, digestion, and exercise.

As we will explain, a high carb diet reduces your BMR while a low carb diet, like the keto diet increases your BMR. By increasing your BMR you increase the basic amount of calories your body will burn on a daily basis.

If you are interested in knowing how many calories you need in total there are many ways to figure this out. Metabolic testing is the most accurate, but does cost money.

If you are calculating it yourself, the Mifflin St. Jeor equation has been found to be the most accurate. It takes into account gender, age, and physical activity. There are many calculators that use this formula available online, you can find one here.

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The Thermic Effect Of Food

The thermic effect of food is the amount of energy needed to consume and digest different macro nutrients. Some nutrients like protein, require much more energy to be digested than others, like carbs and fat. This means that the total calories consumed will result in different amount of effective calories in the body depending on what macro nutrients were consumed.

The TEF for protein is 25%, meaning 25% of the calories you eat from a protein source actually goes into breaking down the food, but for carbohydrates, that number is only 8%.

So if you eat 100 calories of protein, 75 calories are left after digestion. If you eat 100 calories of carbohydrates, 92 calories are left after digestion. It makes sense to prioritize protein when trying to loose weight since your body will use more energy to digest it, therefore consuming 25% less calories.

Making Meal Tracking Easier With Cronometer

Similar to MyFitnessPal, Cronometer has a multi-add option that can cut down the time it takes to enter your meals.

To access this feature, you will need to go to the food search screen and tap the orange icon to the right of the search bar.

Here you can enable the multi-add slider and change how your results are filtered.

With the multi-add enabled, you can now select multiple entries as once, review the servings, and edit each one before adding it to your food diary.

Recommended Reading: Fish And Brown Rice Diet

Thoughts On Can Eating Too Few Calories Stall Weight Loss #listentothesisson

  • Iz Spsays:
  • I did stall my weight loss. I started eating healthy and did not get enough calories. I gained 1.8. I only ate 500-700 because I am eating a lot of vegetables. I was losing each week before not heating healthy. Frustrating.

  • I tried every single diet on the internet and even if I managed to lose few pounds of fat, they would get back as soon as I’m done with diet. I realised that meal plan from Agoge Diet is the only diet I could follow forever. It’s really sustainable and easy to follow.

  • Should You Count Calories Or Carbs To Lose Weight

    How many calories on keto diet?

    What is the best way to lose weight? People often get confused about whether they should count calories or carbs to slim down. Much of confusion is the result of the calories vs. sugar debate. Does calorie count matter more or should you reduce sugary carbs for weight loss? And what about fat? To get the answer, it’s important to sort through the nutrition facts.

    Also Check: Usain Bolt’s Diet Plan

    Thermic Effect Of Food

    As I mentioned, calories are a unit of energy. It takes the body a certain amount of energy to use calories. This is called the thermic effect of food and it contributes to the total number of calories you burn in a day.

    For example, it takes more energy to breakdown protein compared to carbohydrates. The TEF for protein is 25%. This means that of the total calories in the food, 25% of those will be used to breakdown the protein. For carbohydrates, the number is only 8%.

    Additionally, the body needs to burn calories if it has to use protein for energy. Protein must first be converted into glucose via a process called gluconeogenesis. This conversion costs a lot of calories, about 400 to 600 per day. Therefore, simply bumping up your protein intake while reducing your carbohydrate intake can significantly increase your overall metabolism.

    The thermic effect of food suggests that even if you dont cut your calories, if you eat a high protein diet instead of a high carbohydrate diet, you may increase your metabolism enough to help you lose weight. Simply modifying the macronutrient composition in your diet, without actually restricting calories, may be enough.

    What Happens When You Overeat On Keto

    When you overeat on keto your body will store all the excess calories in the form of fat. One day of overeating on keto wont create a significant difference to notice visible changes. If you overeat for multiple days or even weeks, the changes can add up and create weight gain.

    In other words, nothing is gonna happen after one day of track.

    But if you finding yourself that you overeat day after day.

    And despite having a meal, you constantly reach out for food to your fridge or pantry, stop and ask yourself, are you really hungry, or there is something else going on?

    I like to look at it from a perspective of a car. Imagine you have a car with two engines.

    One engine is fueled by food. Other is fueled by emotions.

    And the only way to feed both engines is by the appropriate fuel. This means it will take a lot of food to mute or silence emotional hunger.

    Relatedarticle: Should I Count Calories On Vacation?

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    Youre Avoiding Fruit And Vegetables

    Too many people focus on restricting carb intake to the point where they dont eat their vegetables. Dont do this. Vegetables are critical to your health, even if youre on the keto diet.

    They also contain micronutrients and fiber, so you dont want to miss out on them. Make sure that youre eating your veggies, especially the non-starchy kinds. Cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, and mushrooms are great options.

    Fruit also becomes the enemy for people following a low-carb diet. But, just like with vegetables, they are an important factor in your health. While some fruits are higher in carbs, there are also alternatives, such as berries, that are delicious and are low in carbs.

    Eating your servings of whole foods, such as fruit and vegetables, is important. Dont just rely on products that are marketed as keto-friendly, because chances are, they are also processed.

    While it is okay to indulge a little, you want to make sure that youre eating as much whole food as possible. That includes your fruits and veggies.

    Dr. Anthony Gustin, Co-Founder of Perfect Keto, says, I would ten times out of ten rather have you eating a diet composed of 90 percent real food carbs and not have a single ketone in your body than eating a heap of processed junk.

    He emphasizes food quality. Whatever food plan or diet you choose to follow, this is an important factor.

    Carbs -Fiber = Net Carbs

    Understanding Your Goals When Starting The Diet:

    Do You Need To Count Calories with Keto? | Ashley Salvatori

    Not everyone takes on the ketogenic diet to lose weight either. There are many people to try out this diet because they are experiencing trouble with a medical condition like diabetes. In these situations it’s important that an individual regulate their caloric intake and take eat based off of their doctor’s recommendations. The ketogenic diet has been shown to be extremely helpful for athletes and for individuals that are suffering from certain medical conditions. If you’re trying to actually gain weight and mitigate the symptoms of a specific disease with the ketogenic diet it could be a better idea to do away with calorie tracking altogether and just follow the set meal plan in the diet for your condition and for what you need to feel great.

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