When you are ready to jump into your Mediterranean-keto lifestyle, there are a few steps that you need to take first. If you have been on a healthy keto diet, this will probably be second nature for you.
Also, if you are coming to the Mediterranean-keto lifestyle after being on a healthy keto diet, then adding more carbs (in the form of beans, peas, lentils, hummus, sweet potatoes, low-sugar fruits, and other healthy carbs) will most likely be a welcome change.
Any journey starts by first knowing where you are and where you are going. With the Mediterranean-keto lifestyle, that means knowing what types of foods and how much of these healthy foods you should be eating every day. That is simple enough.
Here are the three steps that everyone starting the Mediterranean-keto lifestyle needs to take:
Step 1: Estimate Your Calories
Begin by calculating your calories based on the Mediterranean-keto lifestyle macro levels: 50-55 percent fats, 20-25 percent proteins, and 20-25 percent carbs.
How that looks will vary between men and women, but it can also vary from person to person. Each of our bodies is different, so the following breakdown is an average fits-most-people set of numbers. If your body requires more or less of something, you will probably know as you grow more accustomed to your body's needs and your ever-improving health.
Step 2: Estimate Your Grams
Once you know your calories per macronutrient level, you can convert that to grams. According to the USDA, the calories-to-grams ratio for fats is 9 calories per 1 gram of fat, 4 calories per 1 gram of protein, and 4 calories per 1 gram of carbs.
For women at 1,600 calories per day, that would be about:
- 89 grams fats (6.6 tablespoons fats per day)
- 100 grams proteins (14.3 ounces proteins per day)
- 100 grams of carbs
For men at 2,400 calories per day, that would be about:
- 133 grams fats (10 tablespoons fats per day)
- 150 grams proteins (21.4 ounces proteins per day)
- 150 grams carbs.
For both men and women who are trying to lose weight or want to hold their weight where it is, they will probably want to lower the carbs a little. I suggest 75 grams for women and 100 grams for men. That is usually sufficient for gradual weight loss for most people.
Also, the lower the carb level is, the longer your body will stay in ketosis, and that is where fat burning takes place.
If you are jumping into the Mediterranean-keto lifestyle directly, you will want to track your daily caloric intake as you get started so you know you are right on target while you are getting used to eating a set number of calories/grams per day. It also helps as you plan, consider recipes, and choose your meals, and that is probably going to feel like the most important part of your journey.
Step 3: Estimate Your Grams Per Meal
For women at 1,600 calories over three meals per day, the macronutrient breakdown is approximately:
- 30 grams fats per meal (2.2 tablespoons per meal)
- 33 grams proteins per meal (4.8 ounces per meal)
- 33 grams carbs per meal (I recommend 25 grams per meal initially to lose weight and then slightly more carbs to maintain weight.)
For men at 2,400 calories over three meals per day, the macronutrient breakdown is approximately:
- 44 grams fats per meal (3.3 tablespoons per meal)
- 50 grams proteins per meal (7.1 ounces per meal)
- 50 grams carbs per meal (I recommend 33 grams or less per meal initially to lose weight and then slightly more carbs to maintain weight.)
Now that you know the macronutrient amounts required for the necessary fats, proteins, and carbs of your Mediterranean-keto lifestyle, you are ready to begin.
Don Colbert, MD, has been a board-certified family practice doctor for over twenty-five years in Orlando, Florida, and most recently in Dallas, Texas. He is also board certified in antiaging medicine through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and has received extensive training in nutritional and preventive medicine. He is the author of three New York Times best-selling books: Dr. Colbert's Keto Zone Diet, The Seven Pillars of Health, and Dr. Colbert's "I Can Do This" Diet, along with best-sellers Toxic Relief, the Bible Cure series, Living in Divine Health, and Stress Less. He has sold more than ten million books and treated over fifty thousand patients in his years of practicing medicine.
The preceding is an excerpt from Dr. Don Colbert's book, Beyond Keto (Charisma House, 2022). To order the book and for more information, please visit mycharismashop.com.
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