Since posting more about my journey from Lazy Keto to Macro tracking, I’ve received a number of questions about how to track net carbs. As a new keto’er, I can understand that this can be kind of confusing. This post is going to walk you through the basics of calculating net carbs and how you can apply that to tracking in My Fitness Pal.
Currently there is no way to have My Fitness Pal calculate Net carbs for you, so a little bit of math will go a long way!
Calculating net carbs is a pretty simple concept, yet can be daunting if you have never done it before. The calculation for net carbs is simple as taking the total carbs and subtracting any fiber or sugar alcohol. Sugar Alcohol’s are a type of sweetener found in some sweet treats like Atkin’s Bar’s, Sweet Treats, and items labeled “Sugar Free”. Since there is not a way to track this in My Fitness Pal, on the rare occasion I do have them, I just make a mental note of how many sugar alcohol’s I’ve had for the day and subtract it, outside of My Fitness Pal. (I’ll post more on sugar alcohol’s later).
An example of this can be determined from the image below. In this image I have logged 1 cup of fresh/frozen broccoli.
You can see in the “Totals” row, 1 cup of broccoli has 34 calories, 7 carbs, 0 Fat, 3 protein, and 3 fiber. Based off of the calculation above, we take the total carbs (7 grams) and subtract the fiber (3).
The next logical Question:
Unfortunately in My Fitness Pal, Fiber is not a nutrient that is within the default nutrients to track. However, we can simply add it in with a few simple clicks!
Step 1: Log into My Fitness Pal and navigate to “My Home” tab. This should be the default view when you log in. Click the Settings box.
Step 2: Once in the settings tab, select Diary Settings.
Step 3: Keep Carbohydrates, Fat, and protein drop downs as is. Take the sodium drop down and select Fiber instead. Make sure you scroll to the bottom and click save
CONGRATS! Your My Fitness Pal should now display Fiber. You can now use the calculation discussed above to simply calculate net carbs for the day!
I track my carbs by total gram, and not net grams because I use macros to help my weight loss. My limit for the day is 18 grams of total carbs or less. This means, while I am concerned with fiber, I’m more concerned with my total carbs. This is just a more strict way of tracking carbs and to ensure I’m following my percentages according to my prescribed macos. I also don’t typically like to eat sugar alcohols because of their affect on the GI tract. Too many sugar alcohols can cause diarrhea, upset stomach and cramping, so I typically try to avoid them.
Did this tutorial help you understand net carbs better? Do you have other questions? Let me know in the comments below!!