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Day 2 of my 90 day keto journey – What’s the deal with macros counting?

Our bodies, even though sophisticated mechanisms, are quite unlike machines that we humans build. Unlike machines that are built to be precisely the same and have little intelligence, our bodies are all unique and have tremendous intelligence. Think about it, our bodies know how to create human form from so many diverse food types. Can you feed your car anything but gasoline? Also, our bodies know how to heal and grow… what other machine can do that? No.. your car is not going to grow to be a Hummer! If you are a bit spiritual, you would also know that the creator himself resides within your body! So if the body has that level of complexity, how can we prescribe one-size-fits-all solutions and then be fanatic about it?


Same holds true for ketosis and macro counting. There is no super complicated math involved when recommendations are made for macros you should consider, when getting into ketosis and when sustaining ketosis. These are mostly guidance, and many of them come from personal experience. So if I drive a stick and I tell you that you have been driving your automatic transmission car all wrong, well, that will just cause frustration for you!


These macro guidance have two fundamental thoughts behind them.


First, eat low carbs so that your body eventually needs some other fuel source to sustain itself. Your brain works on glucose and needs about 100-150gms a day to sustain. When you eat low carbs, your body first exhausts the carbs you consume, then works on the storage (yes, your body can store 400-800gms of carbs). Once there are no more carbs available for your body to convert to glucose, it will slowly start looking at the other fuel source, fat, and that is where ketosis starts. The body, when deprived of carbs, will convert fat to fuel source called ketones. Your brain works beautifully with ketones and when that happens, you are in ketosis!


Second, your body has certain need for proteins. There is no exact number on what you need, but roughly 0.5-1.5gms per kg of your body weight is what is recommended. Now, when you deprive your body of carbs, before the ketosis begins, the body is going to go after the protein and convert that to glucose. The process of converting protein to glucose is called Gluconeogenesis, i.e., creating new glucose! So, if you eat excessive protein, well, it is going to get converted to glucose and need for ketones won’t arise.


With the above two thoughts, this is what I suggest you do. Start by setting a goal for macros that you begin with. Then, tweak it over time, slowly, based on how your body is doing. It will take a little bit of getting in sync with your body and also having patience. But over time you will know what works best for you. The starting goals I recommend, try to keep your overall carbs + protein intake to < 100gms. This will ensure that you are creating an overall deficit for what nutrients your body can convert to glucose. Then, keep the carbs intake (Net carbs) below ~40 gms or so. If you can hit 20gms or below, that is the ideal. It will take careful tracking (see yesterday’s blog) for you to be able to do that. But once you figure out how to, it is well worth it. After that, eat enough fats so that you feel satiated. Don’t overdo and force feed fat as well. Try to listen to your body. Once you find your sweet spot, you should be consuming ~70% of your daily calories in fats and the rest coming from carb and proteins. With sum total of carbs and proteins < 100gms and proteins trending at about 40-60gms a day.


So my day 2 I’m giving it a green! It is still not perfect, but I’m trending in the right direction. I think in another day or two, I will be where I want to be, and then, it will be sustaining that level and tweaking slightly. Tomorrow I’ll talk about need to understand cooking! It is vital that you know food and how to cook for yourself if you want to sustain long term well-being.

Stay tuned and very best! Wish you health and happiness!


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