— Lynn Terry (@lowcarbtraveler) July 30, 2014
If you don’t actively keep track of calories, protein, fat, and carbs (net) then you may not be experiencing the success you’d like to see on the low carb diet! I’ve been eating low carb for more than 3 years and used to just “eyeball it” – except in the beginning when I tracked it on paper until I figured out my “safety zones”.
I decided to set up MyFitnessPal.com, specifically with the Keto Configuration (see below), as I’m working hard on switching my carb/protien/fat percentages. What an eye opener! I lost 6.4 pounds the first week I dramatically increased my healthy fats! My goals are: Net Carbs 5%, Protein 25%, Fat 70% (I don’t track calories).
If you’re looking for good Atkins apps, or an app to track carbs on a chart easily, this is the IDEAL setup!
HOW TO SET UP MYFITNESSPAL FOR THE LOW CARB DIET
1. Create an account at: http://www.myfitnesspal.com
Next you’ll want to set up your “macros”:
Go to: Home -> Goals -> Change Goals
Select “Custom” and click continue
I have mine set up as 70% Fat, 25% Protein and 5% Carbs.
You can set your calories to whatever you please – I ignore calories anyway.
You also need to add Fiber as a column to track so the script can calculate Net Carbs for you:
Go to: Food -> Settings
Add Fiber to your list of nutrients to track. Make sure you at least have carbs, fiber, fat and protein selected. These are what you need to track for a low carb or ketogenic diet.
3. After installing the plugin, click here to install it.
It only takes a few minutes to set it all up, and then you’ll get a nice graphic pie chart like the one you see above! Note: the script only works online, not on your mobile app, but you can use the app to log foods on the go.
To see examples of my results, and the foods I ate, see this Two Day LCHF Food Journal.
“Carb creep” can really get you if you’re not tracking! I found this to be very eye-opening. I do love the layout. It inspired me to make a few healthy changes. My coffee is the main culprit so I’m going to wean myself down to black. I also never knew coffee had SO much potassium… Wow.
TIP: Put in your foods BEFORE you prepare or eat them to make sure of the carb count, and to stay on track with your ratios.
IMPORTANT NOTE: MyFitnessPal is set up for low fat / low calorie diets, which is why we use the “keto hack” above to be able to track net carbs. Even if you put in all your measurements, you still want to eat only 20 net carbs a day (max) instead of whatever MFP suggests. I ignore calories and other factors, and use it to track my exercise, water, net carbs, and fat/protein ratios. It’s great for accountability to all those things AND for tweaking to make sure you’re on track to burn fat and enjoy the health benefits of ketosis.
Questions, personal experiences? Share by leaving a comment below!
Are you tracking all of your foods??
Which app/tool are you using, and what percentages are YOU shooting for?