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Craig on October 20, 2013

The Easiest Way to Track Carbs on a Keto Diet

Ketogenic Diet Tips > Ketogenic Diet

 

In this day and age, technology is at an all-time high and constantly improving our lives. An example of this is an easy way to count your daily calorie and macronutrient intakes. Calorie counting tools are a fantastic way to see just exactly what you are putting into your body on a daily basis. Counting your calories, carbs, fats, and proteins can be a huge hassle when you’re transitioning into a keto diet, but we’re here to help. There are tons of benefits to knowing exactly how many calories are going into your body, but there’s even more from knowing where the calories come from.

Using a simple tool, we can track our daily intake of calories, carbs, proteins, and fats – and most importantly see how many left we have in the day. Now, you want the secret sauce don’t you? MyFitnessPal easily and effectively does this for you right at the disposal of your fingertips. I’ve been using their website and mobile app for a long time now, and I have to say it’s the best I’ve come across by far. They have a built in database of almost every food, so its cake walk to maintain a daily journal of your diet.

Why Track Your Carbs?

You might be asking me, “What’s the point of using a calorie counter?” Well, there are numerous reasons to, including:

  • Portion Control: As you increasingly read nutrition labels, you’ll realize that serving sizes are tiny. Manufacturers do that on purpose to get their counts low, and to get more people to buy. This app can help you follow proper portion control, resulting in proper diet control.
  • Ninja Carbs: Some labels show that their products have 0 carbs, but you’d be surprised at how many things actually have carbs in them. Remember, 1g of carbs can really add up over a day’s worth of eating! Splenda used to be one of my favorite things to use because it had no carbs in it, but it actually has quite a few carbs if you are using it a lot.
  • Delusional Beliefs: Oh come on, we all do it. You might drink a glass of milk and call it a cup – most of the time we don’t measure our foods out and that can be a big problem.

Configuring MyFitnessPal

I’ll be using the mobile app for this, because I always have my phone with me. I don’t want to run over to my computer every time I eat just to put in my meal. For setting up all the macros for a keto diet, you will have to use the website.

Create an account at MyFitnessPal and login.

Configuring Your Goals

Once you’re at the home screen, click Goals, and then click Change Goals at the bottom.
MyFitnessPal Goals

When done, click Custom: Manually set my own custom fitness goals. Then click Continue.

Change MyFitnessPal Goals
From here, you can change your carbohydrate, protein, and fat intake to:

  • Carbs – 5%
  • Protein – 25%
  • Fats – 70%

If you want to be precise about things (which you should!), you can use the Keto Calculator to find your macros – and follow up by having them match in MyFitnessPal.

MyFitnessPal Keto Diet

Play around with your daily calorie allowance depending on how much weight you want to loser per week. This is up to you, but we recommend no more than 30% of your calories in deficit.

Once finished, finalize this by clicking Change Goals.

Change Goals MyFitnessPal

We highly recommend that you add in your measurements for your neck, waist, hips, thigh, chest, and arms. Sometimes the scale doesn’t tell the whole truth and you are putting muscle on (only if you are exercising), so tracking your measurements can give a greater feeling of overall success.

Track Your Nutrition

For a keto diet we have to calculate net carbs, so we will want to take that into consideration. Now, let’s start tracking fiber so we can get our actual carb counts for the day, our net carbs.

Click Food in the top menu and then go to Settings.

My Food Settings

Under your Nutrients Tracked section, you should list Carbohydrates, Fat, Protein, Fiber, and Sodium. I like to track my sodium intake also, because it can be helpful to your dehydration levels and overall energy levels. A diet with too much salt is unhealthy.

MyFitnessPal Nutrient Tracking

Your Food Diary

You can enter your meals into the food diary and track your daily intake of your calories. I do this on my phone and can see an overall view of my daily intake of nutrients.

You tap the MyFitnessPal Logo at the top left of your screen, and then tap Diary in the list that shows up.

MyFitnessPal Mobile

Once you are at your diary, you can add new meals and snacks in there by tapping the plus [ + ] button on the top right of your screen. You can view charts of your daily intake of nutrients and see how you are doing. The chart will be inaccurate because it does not calculate net carbs!

MyFitnessPal Diary
My Keto Diet Chart

Keep in mind that you are on a keto diet, so you have to calculate your net carbs. Take your total carb intake and subtract out any fiber you have.

Total Food Intake

For the day, my total net carbs = 34g – 12g = 22g – not bad! This isn’t my actual daily diet, but I put together a quick example of what you should be looking at.

I hope you utilize this tool that makes the most out of your efforts on a keto diet, and I hope I didn’t confuse you too much! It’s very beneficial to keep a log of what you are eating, especially in the first 2 months that you start. I’ve been logging my diets daily for years now and it can help me understand what I am lacking or what I need more of in my diet. Since I eat almost the same thing every day, logging what I eat has become simple. You can copy diary entries from day to day and week to week, plus you can edit any entry so that logging your diet is extremely easy.

Let me know if you have any trouble in the comments and I’ll be sure to help you out!

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