Note: New to keto? Check out the eBooks section for more info on what its all about!
Calorie counting websites are a great tool for the low carb or keto dieter. They are utilized to track the number of calories that you are putting into your food and therefore into your body. There are the obvious benefits such as knowing exactly how many carbs you have eaten or how many calories you have consumed. There are also other side benefits of using these sites like learning more about food, how it affects your body and whether it is beneficial to your health.
A few websites that ketards often use are:
- MyFitnessPal – One of the most popular and the one I personally use. Has the ability to track calories, exercise and measurements such as weight, hips, legs, etc. Also incorporates mobile apps
- The Daily Plate (Livestrong) – Similar to MFP
- Many others on the internet
So, why use a calorie counter? Here are a few things that are common before counting calories:
- Hidden Carbs: Items that you incorrectly believe have 0 carbs because why would they put carbs in them?
- Portion Size: That ice cream really was good! Too bad one pint was actually 4 servings! Manufacturers intentionally list small serving sizes to get the numbers low.
- Lying to yourself: Sure, I only ate 1/4 cup of almonds
MFP is a great tool, but you only get what you put into it. Lets first look at how we should setup MFP for the ideal Ketogenic diet:
- Create an account at www.myfitnesspal.com
- Set your macros properly:
- My Home -> Goals -> Change Goals
- Select Custom and hit continue
- Set the Macros for keto. AKA Carbs to 5%, Protein to 30% and Fat to 65%
- Set the total calories relative to your total burn. Their estimate is decent but you can see below that it lists my BMR at 2620 and I have set my goal to 2000, so this is 620 deficit per day x 7 days = 4340 Calories. A pound is 3500 Calories so I have set myself up to burn 1.24 pounds a week. You can adjust yours up or down according to preference.
- Add Additional Measurements:
- Home -> Check-In
- Click Change Measurements
- Add as many measurements as you would like, I would recommend Neck, Waist, Hips, Thigh, Chest, Arms. You will be grateful later when you have tracked all of these and can see your progress.
- Add fiber as a tracking column:
- Food -> Settings
- Under Nutrients tracked, add Fiber. You should have listed at minimum Carbs, Fiber, Fat and Protein. These are the most important to keto. Personally, I also track Potassium but you can add whatever you want as the last one.
- The last thing you need to create a perfect keto MFP setup is a special script that adds net carbs to the measurement statistics:
- Go to this link: https://github.com/Surye/mfp-keto-userscript
- Install the script. Note, because of the way Firefox and Chrome now work you’ll have to install greasemonkey (firefox) or tampermonkey (chrome) and then the script. This is described in the link above.
- Once the script is installed, and assuming you added the columns added above, you will have three additions to your MFP:
- Net Carbs Column
- Carb / Fat / Protein percentages for each meal / total
- Pie chart showing percentage of calories for Carb / Fat / Protein
So there you have it! Now you have fully configured your MFP for success! Stay tuned for the next installment that will talk about how to use MFP daily and the pitfalls associated with it.
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