A Carb Sensitivity Test is the best way to find the right keto macro ratios for you.
When you’re new to keto you might find it difficult to know what ratio your macros should be in, so you download a handy app to calculate your keto macros for you. You stick to it religiously, monitoring every morsel you eat, but somehow you still can’t seem to lose weight…
Every calorie is accounted for and your percentages look perfect on the app. You can’t understand why keto isn’t working for you. Don’t worry, you are not alone! The fact is that while these apps are great for tracking your daily intake, they aren’t so great at working out your specific keto macro needs. They use “algorithms for the masses”, but each of us are unique in our own special way.
So you might not be in true ketosis, which is keeping you from losing weight as quickly as the keto experts promise.
On a keto diet your weight loss and keto macro ratios boil down to your personal carbohydrate (and protein) sensitivity.
An app on your phone cannot tell you how sensitive you are to carbs or protein.
It may be suggesting you eat more carbs or protein than you should to maintain optimal ketosis. Which prevents you from losing any weight. Even if you are losing a bit of weight you may still not be in optimal ketosis, which is making the whole keto diet thing a saga instead of a sinch. But how do you calculate what your carbohydrate (and protein) sensitivity is?
Well, you could go for a series of pricey MRI scans, or you could get our Simple Keto Test Strips and track your progress at home.
You will need:
- Simple Keto Test Strips
- A pen and paper to track your progress.
How to do it:
Start with our baseline ratio, 5% carbs, 20% protein and 75% fats, with the carbs amounting to no more than 20g total carbs. Assuming that your calorie intake is in deficit to lose weight, let’s make your total calories per day 1505. This is an easy deficit to maintain for the average person and you won’t really feel like you’re starving yourself in the process. But if you have different needs, for example you’re reasonably active, or you are slightly taller or shorter than average, feel free to adjust the total calories up or down.
BUT: Remember that you risk losing muscle mass if you go below about 1300 calories per day for an extended period of time. And muscles burn calories, so you’ll be making it even more difficult to lose weight in the long run if you lose any muscle mass. Once you’ve decided what your personal calorie intake requirements are, get the amounts of each macro by dividing your total calories by 100 and multiplying by the percentage for each macro.
For example for 1505 cal per day:
Your daily calories from total carbs will be 80 cal, or about 20g, with no more than 20g net carbs.
VERY IMPORTANT: Remember that fiber amounts to 2 cal per gram and this can actually be what is keeping you from losing weight if you’re highly sensitive to carbs. So if you eat 16g (64 cal) net carbs you can have 8g (16 cal) fiber for a total of 80 cal and 24g total carbs. The total calories are your indicator for carbs, more so than the grams.
From proteins you will get: 300 cal, or 75g
From fats you will get: 1125 cal, or 125g
If your total daily calories is 1400:
5% carbs = 1400 ÷ 100 x 5 = 70 cal total carbs (÷4 = 17,5g maximum net carbs if fiber is 0)
20% protein = 1400 ÷ 100 x 20 = 280 cal (÷4 = 70g)
75% fat = 1400 ÷ 100 x 75 = 1050 cal (÷9 = 117g)
If you want to calculate your own amounts the following may be helpful:
1g of net carbs = 4 cal
1g of fiber = 2 cal
1g of protein = 4 cal
1g of fat = 9 cal
Follow this 5:20:75 ratio for 5-7 days, to give your body time to adjust to the change.
Then it’s time to start testing!