How many calories on a ketogenic diet?

Some people think that a ketogenic diet (a.k.a high fat diet) equals a high calorie diet. This is wrong, the macronutrient management and energy balance are two completly different topics, and should be treated as such. If you have a little comprehension about calorie counting this will be very easy for you to understand, but if you don’t, don’t worry, I got you.

The first thing ever about calorie counting is KNOWING how many calories does Your body uses daily. After that we need to set a goal, what do you want to do? What benefit are you looking to get from your diet? And finally, how are you going to get those calories?

How many calories does your body use?

There is NO GUIDELINE for this, every single person has different calorie needs. Which are influenced by many factors such as:

  • The lifestyle you have.
  • The Job you perform.
  • The sports you play.
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Weight and Height

And so on,therefore you need to make your own math, or have someone else do it for you, here are a few options:

  1. Reach out for an expert on the matter. (Nutritionist)
  2. Look for an Online Calculator, there are plenty around but I’ve found THIS ONE  to be by far the best, it will even help you with your “Macro ratio”.
  3. Do the Math yourself, how? Well, look up the Basal Metabolic Rate equations, Like Mifflin’s, and Harrison-Benedict’s ones. You can look those up HERE

TIP: Do not stress too much on this number, you don’t need an exact calculation, an estimated number is fine.

Set your goal

The very next thing we want to address is your goal:

  1. Losing weight? Well, you need to eat LESS CALORIES than what you estimated.
  2. Gain Weight? Eat MORE CALORIES than whatever your calculus said.
  3. Maintain your weight/Improve your health? Eat whatever the calculator said, just try not to eat too many, or too few so the effect above won’t happen.

How are you going to get those calories?

Pretty obvious isn’t it? From food! In this case on a ketogenic diet we have our calories coming mainly from Fats, some more from proteins and very little from carbohydrates. Usually the following is the amount of calories every macronutrient gives per gram:

  • Carbohydrates: 4kcals
  • Protein: 4kcals
  • Fat: 9kcals

Why is this important on a ketogenic diet?

Some diets such as the Atkins diet suggest to “eat until satisfied”, and to only eat from a food list of “allowed foods”. That means you don’t really take into account calories, therefore you might eat more or less, and if your goal is to lose weight, you probably won’t lose a single pound.

A ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate and moderate protein, therefore people instantly assume we are eating a lot of calories, and that’s not accurate. Remember, we don’t eat carbs (not much) so it kind of balances itself, and funny enough, since fats have more energy, your plate of food will probably even look smaller! Really crazy isn’t it?

Here’s some information on video!