Trying to understand macros


(tracy) #1

Hi, I’ve been on low carb for 2 weeks now and after getting awful keto flu symptoms everything has now settled down. i downloaded Cronometer to help me understand the macros and keep track of what I’m eating but im confused as the daily fat reading is 103 % protein 45% i will try and put a pic of it on here. Maybe im eating too much fat. I had samphire with 3 thin smoked salmon slices for breakfast with coffee and cream. i used a pat of butter in the samphire. late lunch was 2 egg omelette with a chopped bacon slice and small amount of grated cheddar and 2 florets of cauliflower with a teaspoon of mct oil drizzled over it. coffee with small amount of cream.
can someone advise please. thanks in advance!


(The remembrance of bacon past.) #2

First thing to bear in mind is that macros are always calculated as percentages of calories, not as percentages of the weight of our food. Second thing to bear in mind is that the calculations are not all that accurate. We commonly assume that protein and carbohydrate contain 4 calories/gram, but the actual figure is a tad less than 4.0. And fat is commonly reckoned as 9 calories/gram, but depending on the type of fat, the actual number of calories ranges from six-point-something to over 9.0.

So granted that this is only a very rough estimation in the first place, the next thing to remember about these apps is that you need to set them to “Maintenance” rather than to “Deficit” mode, or you won’t get enough food. And when the body doesn’t get enough food, it doesn’t want to part with its fat reserve. (Fasting, interestingly enough, has a completely different effect from a calorie shortage.)

The key to this way of eating is the low carbohydrate intake (we recommend under 20 g/day), which will keep your insulin level low enough to promote metabolic healing and weight loss (insulin is the primary hormone involved in keeping fatty acids inside fat cells). The rest of the diet is a “reasonable” amount of protein (which you are probably already getting), and filling in the remainder of our caloric needs with fat. Fat has such a low effect on insulin secretion that the effect can basically be ignored. This makes it a good source of calories, pardoxically.

BTW, if you find dealing with macros to be more of a complication than a help, you can just ingore the app. As long as you keep your carbohydrate low and stick to satisfying your hunger with real food, you will do fine. Some people really enjoy the macro stuff, while others of us find it an obstacle to ketogenic eating. There are no rules, except to do what works best for you.


(Ilana Rose) #3

Cronometer is not automatically set up for a ketogenic diet. You have to manually set it for it to give you the correct macros. It looks to me like yours is not set up correctly. I’m on a walk right now but if someone hasn’t helped you by the time I get home I can show you how to correct it. My expectation is that you will see your fat and protein macros virtually swap places with protein being around 70 grams and fat over 100. So don’t worry about it. It looks like you’re doing perfectly.


(Marianne) #4

For another several weeks or so, I would be more liberal with your food and the amount you are eating. I’d also eat more fat and not sweat it. Instead of one slice of bacon, eat 3-4 - with your eggs, in a salad, with a slice of tomato and mayo, etc. Instead of two florets of cauliflower (or veggie) I’d eat more and put lots of butter on it or bacon grease. Make sure your meat has enough fat - if not, add some (again, we love bacon grease).

I know it is difficult to grasp when you are just starting out, but what I learned is to lighten up and not worry about it so much. Time passes and you will lose weight; it’s amazing. Just eat well, enjoy your meals, keep the carbs as low as you can, get enough fat and salt, and read as much as you can.

Good luck.


(Ilana Rose) #5

To set up Cronometer for ketogenic macros do the following:

  1. Bottom right of the screen has “settings”
  2. Then to “Targets” then “Macronutrient Targets”
  3. Then you will pick “Keto Calculator” resulting in a screen that looks like this:

After that adjust the level of rigour that you prefer.

You can also pick your own ketogenic macros if for some reason you want different numbers by choosing “Fixed Values” instead of “keto calculator”. That will give you this screen where you can set any macros you like.

The Keto calculator is a fine place to start, however.


(kicking cancer's butt with keto) #6

First, the 103% is simply showing that you ate more fat than what was listed. The same with carbs being low (it was showing that you ate that % of your listed max).

It’s better to adjust the numbers, like how @Ilana_Rose suggested.

Carbs should be set for 20g, with protein and fat making up the rest.


(tracy) #7

Thank you all so much for all your advice, i have adjusted the Cronometer to the above settings so it should all make sense now. I will use it until i am confident enough to come away from it as i am slightly addicted to it!
Thanks again


(Full Metal KETO) #8

@tcyg Did you calculate your own macros for the fixed values or copy @Ilana_Rose’s numbers? If you copied hers I would suggest using an online calculator to get macros calculated for your age, weight, height and activity level as you may be quite different physically from her. I like KetoKarma. Their calculator falls in the middle of about six I tested one day.

Good luck on your journey. :cowboy_hat_face:


(Ilana Rose) #9

@David_Stilley The first option I gave her, the “Keto Calculator” will give her own personal macros. Cronometer has it’s own calculator and it’s actually very good. Here is my own set to “custom” so that I could choose both 1.5 grams of protein/kg and 20 net grams of carbohydrates.

Resulting in these personalized macros:


(Full Metal KETO) #10

The reason I asked was she never posted stats recalculate from. I guess I wasn’t following. I have always done it externally for some reason, I’ll have to check that out. :slightly_smiling_face: