Most people will want to know how many carbs per day on the Keto diet they should be consuming.
I’m sure many of us are aware that the Keto diet involves lowering your carb intake, eating a moderate amount of protein, and increasing the amount of fat that you consume.
However, without precise guidelines it may be difficult to know whether you’re following a Keto diet or not.
The aim of this article is to guide you through the number of carbs you should be consuming, as well as various other factors about the Keto diet that you should be aware of.
I think it’s only fair to mention that I’m not a huge fan of the Keto diet, simply because I don’t believe that we should restrict or completely cut out certain food groups.
Nevertheless, as the owner of a health-related website, it’s only fair that I discuss popular topics, and that I do so as objectively as possible.
The Keto diet has certainly taken the world by storm over the past few years.
Therefore I’d like to discuss the important questions that many of you may have about keto.
How Many Carbs Per Day on the Keto Diet
What is the Keto Diet?
So, we are already aware that the Keto diet involves very low carbs, moderate protein, and high-fat.
By consuming fewer carbs the body takes on a metabolic state known as ketosis.
Ketosis is when the body will use fat, both from your diet and your body, to burn for energy.
The usual energy source for our body is carbohydrates, but when these are lacking in your diet, the body will automatically turn to another source for energy, namely fat in the case of the Keto diet.
The diet assumes its name because it will cause the body to produce “ketones”, which are basically tiny molecules of fuel.
This typically happens when blood sugar (glucose) levels are in short supply.
It’s actually the liver which produces ketones from fat. This will happen when there is either a short supply of carbs or calories being supplied to the body.
Ketones will then fuel your body, especially the brain, so you can function completely normally.
It’s interesting to note that the brain can only run on energy from two sources, glucose or ketones.
The reason the Keto diet has become so popular is that the body switches from carbs to fat as its primary energy source, thus meaning that the body is literally burning fat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This is obviously seen as an ideal way for many people to burn fat and lose weight.
The Keto Diet For Beginners
Who Shouldn’t Try the Keto Diet?
The Keto diet in general has caused much controversy, and opinion is certainly divided.
For me personally, I’m not entirely sold because I’ve never read anything solid about the long-term effects of keto.
It’s all well-and-good if you lose weight, and even feel much healthier and energetic, but I want to know more about what will happen to the body (and the brain) with such a low carb intake over 20, 30, 40 years, or even more.
With that said, there are certain people who should avoid the Keto diet.
Firstly, you would think that a lower carb intake, plus low blood sugar levels, would be ideal for people with diabetes.
However, if you are taking diabetes medication, such as insulin, then it is advisable to speak to your healthcare team before trying the Keto diet.
There may be special considerations, and you may even have to modify your intake of carbs, so keto definitely isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of diet.
The same can be said for anyone who takes medication for high blood pressure
And once again, there are specific considerations for someone who breastfeeds.
If any of the above criteria fits your current circumstances then it is highly recommended that you speak to your Doctor, or other healthcare professional, before trying the Keto diet.
Often in terms of medication, you may find that your dose needs to be changed, as well as making certain lifestyle changes, if you are going to undertake the Keto diet.
This is why it is so important to speak with the correct medical professional first.
So How Many Carbs Should You Be Eating?
As a general rule of thumb only 5-10% of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates when following the Keto diet.
This is typically stated to be 15-30 grams of carbs.
With that said, if your carb intake is below 50g then you will be adhering to the Ketogenic diet.
How many carbs you can/should consume will also depend on your current body composition and activity levels.
So, if you’re generally in pretty good shape and you exercise more often than not, then you’ll be able to consume a higher level of carbs without suffering any “repercussions”.
However, if you’re overweight and lead a sedentary lifestyle, then you will need to consume as few carbs as possible.
This is one point where I have a slight issue with Keto (sorry my personal opinion is about to unfold).
I’ve always said that carbs aren’t the enemy, but there is such a thing as the “wrong types of carbs”.
And unfortunately, most of us who are overweight have usually been indulging in far too many of these “wrong carbs”.
So, by immediately reducing your carb intake to almost nil, you’re a prime target for the dreaded Keto Flu.
Keto flu is basically when a person experiences symptoms, similar to flu, as their body adapts to so few carbs.
For many people this may only last a day or two, and up to a week at most.
However, there are those who have experienced keto flu for up to a month – these are typically people who are converting from their usual diet which was very high in carbs.
So, most keto diets will see your carb intake range from 15-30 grams, although there are modifications based on your current health and fitness.
The split of macronutrients when following keto is usually:
- 70-80% Fat
- 10-20% Protein
- 5-10% Carbs
What Type of Carbs Should You Be Eating?
There are clearly many carbs that you should be avoiding when following a Keto diet.
Just as an example, a medium-sized bagel would take you over your daily carb allowance.
Two bananas would also take you over the allowance.
So, firstly the foods you should avoid when following a Keto diet include:
- Candy Bars
- Most Fruits
- Milk Chocolate
Just one serving of any of the above will usually take you over your carb limit.
It’s also important to remember that as well as soda and juice, many alcoholic drinks may have a high carb content.
Your main source of carbs on keto will generally come from non-starchy vegetables.
There are certain vegetables you can eat until your heart’s content, and these include:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Courgettes (Zucchini)
You can literally pile your plate high with these vegetables.
Another consideration if these vegetables aren’t your favourites, is to use your much higher allowance of fat to your advantage.
If you’ve never tried mashing up boiled broccoli and cauliflower smothered with lots of butter or cream (which is allowed on keto), you haven’t lived.
If you’re a fruit lover, then unfortunately you are left with very little choice – berries.
Berries are low in carbs, high in fibre, plus they’re packed-full of antioxidants.
With that said, berries still contain carbs so you will have to moderate your consumption.
Pretty much every other fruit will be too high in carbs for the Keto Diet
With that said, avocados are often lauded as one of the greatest fruits for anybody on a Ketogenic diet.
They are high in monounsaturated fat, which is one of the “good” types of fat that you should be eating, whether you’re following keto or not.
Avocados are also high in essential vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and potassium.
Just in case you weren’t aware, one of the reasons for weight gain or the inability to lose weight in many individuals is due to a slow or blocked lymphatic system.
This is the system in the body that is responsible for eliminating toxins and waste.
One of the major causes of a blocked lymphatic system is a lack of magnesium and potassium in the diet.
RELATED====>14-Day Rapid Soup Diet
Anyway, back to avocados.
Even though avocados are a fantastic fruit for anyone to eat, it’s interesting to note that one serving is the equivalent of 100 grams, whereas a whole avocado is typically around 200 grams.
A serving contains (half an avocado) 9 grams of carbs.
Foods That Will Help You to Overcome Cravings
I’m surely not the only person who’s a bit of a chocoholic.
Unfortunately, if you are following the Keto diet then chocolate bars are a definite no-no.
However, cocoa powder and dark chocolate are a fantastic alternative.
With that said, dark chocolate must contain 85% cocoa or more, as anything less will typically have other ingredients added with a much higher carb content.
Dark chocolate is also known as a “superfood” due to it being high in antioxidants.
In fact, dark chocolate has even been linked to lowering blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
Another great alternative is more of a “savoury thing” – Shirataki noodles.
Shirataki noodles are a great alternative to pasta.
They are mostly water and fibre, and typically contain less than 1g of carbs per serving.
So, if you really want a pasta dish, then simply substitute pasta for Shirataki noodles.
You will generally find them at your local health food store, and they are often made into various shapes, such as linguine, fettuccine, etc.
The Custom Keto Diet
Even though I have said of many occasions that I’m not a fan of the Keto diet, I have reviewed a fair number of Keto diet programs.
And I even came across one that I was fairly impressed with, simply because of what was on offer.
The Custom Keto Diet is a custom meal plan service.
It is aimed at individuals who are looking to lose weight while following the Keto diet.
Basically, it takes into consideration factors including, age, weight, height, activity levels, target weight loss goals, and most importantly, your food preferences.
From these details you will be given the exact number of calories and macronutrient split (carbs, protein, fat) that you will be able to eat on your personalised Keto diet.
So, rather than an “average” figure of 15-30g of carbs, or up to a maximum of 50g, you will receive an exact figure for yourself based on the above factors.
These details are provided completely FREE.
The Custom Keto Diet also provides meals plans and grocery lists based on your food preferences.
There is also ongoing support and a vast array of Keto recipe ideas for just about every occasion you could ever think of.
Check out my full Custom Keto Diet Review.
What Happens If I Eat Too Many Carbs on Keto?
Depending on how strict you are with keto, and which exact Keto diet you choose to follow, you may be allowed to have a cheat day.
Cheat days or simply one cheat meal is something that is often recommended when people are following a diet.
With that said, even if you’re not following a specific diet, and you’re just living a healthy lifestyle by eating a well-balanced and nutritious meal plan, a cheat meal/day may even be something that you do every once in a while.
I know I do.
However, how often you “cheat”, as well as how drastically, may impact on your body composition goals, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
In terms of keto, as soon as you add carbs back into your diet your blood sugar levels will spike.
This will create an abundance of energy available to the body, which will then automatically switch back to using glucose as its primary source of fuel.
Therefore, the production of ketones will cease.
To be completely honest, ketosis probably isn’t the main reason that you’re losing weight on a Keto diet, as it’s actually more likely that you are eating in a calorie-controlled manner.
So, in effect, as long you have some semblance of control over cheat days, and you’re not going overboard and perhaps having one every alternate day, an excess of carbs every-now-and-then shouldn’t be an issue.
It’s much the same if you’re following any other type of diet or a healthy lifestyle, the occasional cheat day will probably do you more good than harm.
The reason I say this is that it helps with the mental aspect, as you know that you’re going to have a “treat”.
I see no issue with having one cheat meal every 5 days, or a complete cheat day once every 10 days.
However, remember that this is just a treat, and if you’re going to gorge on 5,000+ calories of fast food and restaurant takeaways for an entire day, you will probably end up back at square one.
So, we’re now aware that you will typically be restricted to 15-30g of carbs per day on the Keto diet.
Obviously, there is some room for manoeuvre based on your current weight, overall goals, and activity levels.
However, there are so many food items which contain some form of carbs that you will literally be carb-counting every item to ensure that your body remains within ketosis.
You can of course use specific calculators to work out the exact number of carbs you should personally be eating per day on the Keto diet.
For further details on how many calories, carbs, etc. you should be eating, as well as information on specific meals based on your food preferences I suggest you check out my full review of the Custom Keto Diet.
Hi, I’m Partha, the founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I’m someone who’s been passionate about exercise and nutrition for more years than I care to remember. I’ve studied, researched, and honed my skills for a number of decades now. So, I’ve created this website to hopefully share my knowledge with you. Whether your goal is to lose weight, burn fat, get fitter, or build muscle and strength, I’ve got you covered.