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You started the keto diet high in fats and carbohydrates and are looking forward to seeing the results (fast weight loss and more energy? Yes, please!). You know that you are entitled to about 20 grams of net carbs a day, depending on your needs. But what does this amount of carbohydrate look like on your plate? Is it a sweet potato? a cup of blueberries; two bunches of spinach? Sometimes it is useful to see things visually. Here is a chart of carbohydrates on hand to guide you. But first, a quick introduction to the keto diet, macronutrients and total carbohydrates compared to net carbs.
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What is the keto diet?
When on a keto diet, you eat a lot of fat (75% of your daily calories), a good amount of protein (20%) and very little carbohydrate (less than 5%). By limiting carbohydrates, you change the way your body burns energy. Instead of using glucose, your body starts burning fat to make it fuel. It puts you in ketosis – when your liver converts fatty acids into molecules called ketones to use as energy. Burning fat as fuel has huge benefits – it speeds up weight loss, reduces inflammation and boosts energy. Learn more about the keto diet with this keto beginner's guide.
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Understand your macros
When you are on keto, you eat a certain amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Together, these substances are called macronutrients (or macros). Counting your macros is an important part of the puzzle when you have a goal, whether it is to lose weight or develop your muscles.
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To reach and stay in case of ketosis, you need to keep your total carbohydrate intake around the 30g mark and your net carbohydrate intake around 20g. Net carbs are the carbohydrate foods that your body can digest and use as fuel. To calculate net carbs, you take the total amount of carbohydrate in a food and subtract the fiber and sugars alcohol. Learn more about net carbs and how to calculate them here.
You may need a little over 20g of net carbs, depending on your body. Experiment and see what suits you best. Learn more here about finding your ideal carbohydrate intake. In the Bulletproof diet, some strategies, such as drinking Bulletproof coffee and brain octane oil and intermittent fasting allow you to bring that number to 35 g of net carbs a day, while staying in ketosis.
This table of ketone carbohydrates presents the 20 g of net carbs corresponding to your favorite keto vegetables, starch, fruits and fats (also Bulletproof approved).
These quantities are for foods in their raw form, so be careful if you cook them. You can check the Bulletproof Diet Cooking Roadmap for tips on how to best cook various foods to ensure they retain their nutritional value.
Note: In some cases, the numbers you see are rounded to the nearest ten.