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How Many Calories Should You Have on the Ketogenic Diet?

On a Ketogenic Diet calories DO matter!

Why? Well, you have to run a calorie deficit in order to lose weight!

Yes your calorific requirements can vary for a whole host of reasons from activity level, to lean mass, to hormonal levels, stress and more besides – so it is definitely not just a matter of calories in and calories out. And for this reason, some would assert that calories DON’T matter. But your body burns a certain amount of energy every day derived from ketones or glucose, and a kilo calorie is simply a way of measuring this energy. So, it does not make sense to say that calories don’t matter – else why would we bother to eat fat or carbohydrates at all if not for the vitamins and minerals? (rhetorical question by the way)

So the question presents itself:

How many calories should I be consuming on the Ketogenic Diet?

Definition of a calorie.

In an early post entitles, “Keto Weight Loss Stall: Are You Having Too Many Carbs?”, I presented a table that I had created showing the macro nutrient requirements based on the number of calories consumed on the Ketogenic Diet. This is again shown below:


Ketogenic Macro Nutrient Intake Based On Daily Calorie Allowance

We can use this table to help us establish our total daily calorie target when following Keto using an approach that rightly takes the prescribed macro nutrient percentages of the Ketogenic Diet very literally and is based on the number of grams of protein that you require each day.

You should not be having more or less protein than your body needs to maintain muscle mass and connective tissue. Your particular protein requirement should be based on your goal weight – NOT your current weight – as you don’t need protein to maintain fat!

Once you establish what your protein requirement is then you can use the table above to see what your macros should be on a Ketogenic Diet for weight loss. This will generally put you in a daily calorie deficit of 20-30% giving you a healthy maintainable rate of weight loss over the course of your Keto journey.

The formula for calculating daily protein requirements is 1 gram of protein per kilo of target body weight – though this could vary a little based on your activity level.

So, for example, if you are female and your goal weight is 140lbs (10st) then your protein requirement on the Keto Diet would be worked out as follows: 140lbs(target weight) / 2.2(lbs in a kilo) X 0.8(grams protein per kilo) = 63 grams protein each day.

From the table above, this persons’s daily calorie requirement for weight loss would be between 1200 and 1300 calories. From there you can also usefully read off your fat and carbohydrate goals too!

Similarly, in the example of a male with a target weight of 182lbs (13st), your protein requirement would be 82 grams per day. So from the table we can see that their daily calorie requirement for steady weight loss on a Ketogenic Diet would be between 1600 and 1700 calories per day.

So anyway, that’s all from me for today. I hope that this article has gone some way to helping you establish your macro nutrient requirements during your Keto journey. If you have any questions or comments please don’t necessitate to comment below.


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