The keto diet is a lifestyle where fats reign supreme, and the majority of carbs are banished from your meals. The go-ahead to eat more fatty foods sounds intriguing, but the mind wonders: do you need to count calories on keto?
If you think Keto is a free pass to eat unlimited fat-laden foods, you are wrong. You must remember that excluding carbs from your diet does not mean saying goodbye to consuming a variety of foods every day.
Even though you’re significantly increasing the ratio of fats in your food, you’re still required to choose healthy options, keeping in mind your energy needs. That being said, are calories important on keto? Let’s find out!
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How Keto Works
The keto diet works by altering the way your body creates energy. Normally our body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is the primary source of energy. However, when the body is starved of carbs, it starts looking for alternate sources.
The scarcity of carbs compels the body to move towards fat reserves and break them down into molecules called ketones. This process is called “ketogenesis”. The ketones that this process yields can be used by our cells to produce energy.
When the concentration of ketones in your bloodstream reaches a certain level, you enter a state called “ketosis.” In this state, your body relies predominantly on fat for fuel instead of glucose. This enables it to burn stored fat, helping you lose weight rapidly.
Now the question is: do you have to watch calories on keto? If you think about it, not necessarily! The key to entering and staying in ketosis is the restriction of carbs to 20-50 grams per day.
Do You Have to Count Calories on Keto?
Should you count calories on keto? The simple answer is “no,” but the ketogenic lifestyle is anything but straightforward, so let’s go with “it depends.”
If losing weight is your main objective, counting calories on keto can be helpful. You may use the keto calculator to distribute your macronutrients appropriately throughout your daily meals.
At the end of the day, it’s all about your body’s needs and the keto foods you choose to eat. Therefore, consuming more fats than your body can burn throughout the day will hinder weight loss.
One way around this is to opt for filling, calorie-dense foods that help reduce your appetite.
Cases Where You Might Consider Counting Calories
Even though counting calories on keto is generally unnecessary, it does make sense under certain circumstances.
1. Over-eating Tendencies
Should you count calories on keto? If you struggle with watching your portions and tend to overeat quite often, counting your calories is probably a good idea.
Consuming excessive amounts of calorie-dense keto foods may lead to health issues, such as high cholesterol and fatty liver disease.
2. Specific Fitness Goals
Since ketosis speeds up the burning of fat, weight loss is expected over the long run. Do you need to count calories on keto if you have a specific goal in mind?
For instance, if you are aiming to shed 40 pounds and you want to make it happen quickly, counting your calories definitely helps. The fewer calories you consume whilst maintaining an adequate keto diet ratio, the faster the results.
3. Weight Loss Plateau
When ample time has passed since your body entered ketosis, you may approach a point where you’re not losing any more weight. In this case, are calories important on keto?
This scenario is called a “weight loss plateau”, and it indicates that you need to reduce your daily food intake. You can escape it by counting calories and adjusting your diet accordingly.
4. Weight Maintenance
Once you have reached your desired weight or body composition goals, do you have to watch calories on keto?
Keeping track of calories is indeed useful for maintenance. You can figure out how many calories are required to stay in shape and then plan your meals around it.
5. Athletic Performance
Many athletes undergo intensive physical training every day, which requires a personalized diet plan. Counting calories on keto would be crucial to meet energy needs and optimize productivity.
6. Hormonal Factors
Individuals dealing with hormonal imbalances or having a history of related medical conditions may require precise calorie monitoring to ensure physical well-being and optimize weight loss.
How Many Calories Should You Eat on Keto?
Do you have to watch calories on keto? The answer varies from person to person, with respect to their unique fitness goals and body needs. To be precise, one size does not fit all; the online keto calculator is a useful tool for estimating your calorific requirements.
The calorie game plays out differently in relation to age, gender, metabolism, and level of physical activity. Males tend to have a higher calorie threshold than their female counterparts, but there are always exceptions.
So, what’s the formula for counting calories on keto? Most keto enthusiasts thrive on a daily intake ranging from 1600-2400 calories, which is quite reasonable. It turns out keto allows you a lot more calories compared to other fad diets.
The secret: To burn more fat, you need to consume more fat. Think high-fat delights like nuts, cheese, avocados, and the juicy fat in meats. Yes, they’re calorie-rich, and that’s exactly the point.
Once you’ve mapped out your goals and nutritional needs, Apps like MyFitnessPal can help you manage your daily intake of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. It’s like having a personal keto coach right in your pocket!
To Sum Up
The million-dollar question: Do you need to count calories on keto? The ultimate conclusion: it’s more or less optional. Then again, do not let your inner foodie run wild because there’s a catch – keto does not work the same way for everybody.
Counting calories may seem old school or like an outdated approach to managing weight, but it’s legit.
When you embrace the ketogenic lifestyle, your limited food choices automatically lower your calorie intake. Why, you ask? Because reducing carbs to a mere 20-50 grams per day makes a huge difference.
So, are calories important on keto? Truth is, it’s not just about calories; what you put on your plate matters more.
Will you opt for a vibrant platter of leafy greens, eggs, avocado, and fish, or limit your diet to red meat and butter? Which one will yield better results? You do the math!
To get the most out of the ketogenic lifestyle, check out our beginner’s guide to keto.