Languished in “Drafts”: The micro/macro levels of a keto diet

When I was discouraged early on because of middling to no weight loss, Mr. Brooks suggested I shift the percentages of my macros to a more strict level: I’m now at 5% carbohydrates, 20% proteins and 75% fats. On a 1,600-calorie diet, that’s 20g of carbohydrates,  80g of protein and 133g of fat.

Probably the most difficult part for me is consuming so much fat in a day. In the morning when I make my protein shake, I’m now adding 3 tablespoons of oil to get the ratio closer to where it needs to be. Even then, some nights I’ll be so short on fats that I end up downing a spoonful or two of oil. (FWIW, Avocado oil is lightweight enough that it doesn’t feel like being punished with castor oil.)

To help stave off the oil toils, the other night I finally broke down and made Fat Bombs, which are essentially spoonfuls of butter rolled in coconut and some baking spices. You have to be careful, though, because each one also has 1g of carbohydrate.

Carbohydrates are lurking everywhere, it seems. An iced espresso — just the coffee, no add-ins — contains 3–4g. You’d think that diet sodas, being calorie-free, would also be carb-free … but some aren’t. (Curse you, Fresca, with your 1 random gram!) Sure, 1g doesn’t sound like a lot … until you’re supposed to consume 20g or fewer a day and you notice that your scoop of protein powder comes with 3.5g of carbs, and your healthy, please-give-me-some-fiber option like a half-cup of mashed cauliflower has 2.2g. (And boosting your fiber with something like Citrucel comes with its its own carb costs: 17g per spoonful.) They add up, little by little.

Paying attention to macros helps you pay attention to how much and what you’re eating, though —and that’s a good thing! Everyone should be familiar with what’s considered “one serving size” of their most standard foods — example: a deck of cards for most meats — but that’s especially true if you’re trying to lose weight.

Let’s use peanut butter as an example. The recommended serving size is 2 tablespoons, but I used to slather on way more than that—with a new jar, I could pull out at least twice that with a single pull with the knife. “It’s just peanut butter, right?” Well … every 2Tbsp. portion contains 190 calories—nearly as many as a bag of Sour Patch Kids, or four slices of bacon—and 25% of the recommended fat intake for an entire day. If people overshoot their estimates on even a few foods like that every day, it can easily add up to extra pounds.

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