How Many Carbs Can You Have On a Keto Diet?


Reviewed by Dr. Drew Sutton, MD
How Many Carbs Can You Have On a Keto Diet?

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Are you tired of trying different diets and seeing no results? Well, have you considered trying the Keto diet? The Keto diet has become a popular weight loss solution for many people around the world. However, the idea of eating a high-fat diet and limiting your carbs may seem daunting. But don’t worry! In this article, we will guide you on how many carbs you can have on a keto diet and provide you with some tips and tricks to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

How Many Carbs You Can Have on Keto

The main goal of the Keto diet is to reach a state of ketosis, where your body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. To achieve this, you need to limit your carb intake to a certain amount. Typically, the recommended daily intake of carbs on a Keto diet is 20-50 grams per day. However, the exact amount of carbs you can consume depends on your body, weight loss goals, and activity level.

What is a Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss?

A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that has been shown to promote weight loss and improve various health conditions. The idea behind the Keto diet is to put your body into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. This is achieved by considerably reducing your carb intake and increasing healthy fats.

Studies have shown that a Ketogenic diet can lead to significant weight loss and improved overall health. In these studies subjects experienced significant reductions in blood pressure, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels.

Note that in any diet, even ketogenic, overall calories play a role in weight loss reduction. 

How to Calculate Carbs

How Many Carbs Can You Have On a Keto Diet?

Calculating your carb intake on a Keto diet is relatively easy. To start, you need to determine your daily calorie needs. This can be done using an online calculator or by consulting with a nutritionist. Once you know your daily calorie needs, you can then calculate your daily carb limit.

For example, if your daily calorie needs are 1500 calories, and you want to consume 5% of your calories from carbs, you would need to consume no more than 19 grams of carbs per day. This is because there are 4 calories in 1 gram of carbs, and 5% of 1500 calories is 75 calories.

Net Carbs

When following a Keto diet, it’s important to understand the difference between total carbs and net carbs. Total carbs refer to all the carbs in a food, including fiber and sugar alcohols. Net carbs, on the other hand, refer to the carbs that are actually absorbed by the body and can impact blood sugar levels.

To calculate net carbs, simply subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carbs. For example, if a food has 10 grams of total carbs and 5 grams of fiber, it would have 5 grams of net carbs.


Fiber is an important nutrient that is often overlooked on a Keto diet. It helps to keep you full, promotes healthy digestion, and can even lower your risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. However, not all fiber is created equal.

On a Keto diet, it’s important to focus on high-fiber, low-carb foods, such as:

  • leafy greens
  • bell peppers
  • tomatoes
  • zucchini
  • eggplant 
  • cruciferous vegetables
  • berries
  • avocado

These foods are not only rich in fiber but also low in net carbs, making them a great addition to your diet.

Carb Goals to Stay in Ketosis

To achieve and maintain ketosis, it is important to limit your carb intake to a certain amount. Generally, the goal is to consume no more than 20-50 grams of carbs per day. However, the exact amount of carbs you can consume depends on your body, weight loss goals, and activity level.

If you’re new to the Keto diet, it’s best to start with a higher carb limit of 75-100 grams per day and gradually reduce it over time. This will allow your body to adjust your hunger signals to the new diet, and avoid any negative side effects, such as headaches, fatigue, and constipation.

Low Carb Diet Foods

When following a Keto diet, it’s important to focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods that are low in carbs. Some of the best low-carb foods include:

  • Meat and poultry: beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, and pork
  • Fish and seafood: salmon, trout, tuna, shrimp, and crab
  • Low-carb vegetables: spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini
  • Healthy fats: avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, and nuts and seeds
  • Dairy: cheese, butter, and heavy cream (in moderation)

It’s important to know that not all low-carbohydrate foods are of the same quality. Some low-carbohydrate foods, such as processed meats and snack foods, may be high in unhealthy fats and sodium and should be consumed in moderation.


The recommended daily intake of carbs on a Keto diet is typically 20-50 grams per day. However, the exact amount of carbs you can consume depends on your body, weight loss goals, and activity level.

To achieve and maintain ketosis, it’s important to focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods that are low in carbs and high in healthy fats. Remember to also consume plenty of fiber to promote healthy digestion and lower your risk of certain diseases.

And as always, consult with a nutritionist or healthcare provider before making any major dietary changes.

So go ahead and give the Keto diet a try! With the right guidance and determination, you can achieve your weight loss goals and improve your overall health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I eat any carbs on a keto diet?

While the goal is to limit your carb intake, you can still enjoy some carbs from low-carb sources such as vegetables, nuts, and berries. It’s important to monitor your overall carb intake to stay within the recommended range.

Can I have cheat days or meals on a keto diet?

Cheat days or meals can disrupt the state of ketosis and hinder your progress. It’s best to avoid cheat days or opt for keto-friendly alternatives to satisfy cravings.

Is it necessary to count calories on a keto diet?

While counting calories is not a requirement on a keto diet, it’s still important to maintain an overall calorie deficit for weight loss. Balancing your macronutrients (fat, protein, carbs) is crucial, but calories still play a role.

Can I have fruits on a keto diet?

Some fruits are higher in carbs and can impact ketosis, so it’s best to choose low-carb fruits like berries in moderation. Be mindful of portion sizes to stay within your daily carb limit.

How long does it take to reach ketosis?

It varies from person to person, but generally, it takes around 2-7 days of restricting carb intake to enter ketosis. Factors like metabolic rate, activity level, and individual physiology can influence the timeline.

Can I do a keto diet if I have certain medical conditions?

It’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new diet, especially if you have underlying medical conditions. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific needs.

Can I drink alcohol on a keto diet?

Alcoholic beverages can contain carbs and impact ketosis. Some low-carb options like dry wine or spirits in moderation can be consumed, but it’s important to be mindful of carb content and monitor your intake.

Is the keto diet suitable for long-term use?

While the keto diet can be effective for short-term weight loss, it may not be sustainable or necessary for everyone in the long term. Transitioning to a balanced, healthy eating plan after reaching your goals is recommended.

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