How we Decide What to Eat For a Snack on Our Weight Release Plan

The whole goal of this plan is to keep our bodies in ketosis. While in ketosis, our bodies create energy from the fat in our fat cells instead of from the foods we eat. Too many calories, protein grams, carbs or fat may kick us out of ketosis.

Too few calories and our bodies may go into starvation mode and quit losing weight. It’s a fine balance.

The best thing we can do is keep a close watch on the macros in the food. So, we pay attention to the amount of fat in relation to calories, protein grams, carbs, fiber and a couple of other factors.

I will break down the numbers for those of you who want to know, but don’t get too bogged down in those. I have created a calculator that will let you know whether the snacks fit our plan or not. If you aren’t interested in the numbers and why we use those numbers, you can skip down to the section about ‘Our Protein Calculator’.
We get 3 snacks per day. Those 3 snacks should be less than 501 calories total. If all three snacks are 150 calories or less per serving, we can keep our total below 500 calories per day with 50 calories left over. But, who wants to leave extra calories out there? So, for one snack per day we allow ourselves a 200 calorie snack (assuming all the other macros fit within our ranges – we’ll get to that later); but ONLY one. More calories than that and we may get too many calories in a day which would kick us out of ketosis.

We need snacks with more than 12g of protein per serving. This keeps enough protein in our diet so that we don’t lose muscle mass. But, too much protein per serving (over 23g) will possibly slow the weight loss down and could potentially damage the kidneys and liver. More than 23g of protein is more than our bodies can usually use at one time so we may end up storing it somewhere inside for later – not good.

Too much fat in our snacks will cause the body to use the fat in the diet for energy instead of the fat in our fat cells. We do need some fat in our bodies, so we MUST have 2 tsp of Olive Oil which can include any spray used for cooking, oil in salad dressing, etc. But, the 2 tsp is ALL we need, so we require that our snack calories have less than 30% of the calories from fat. This keeps us from getting too much fat in our diet.

Of course, any carbohydrates we eat are used fairly quickly by our bodies for energy. Too many carbs and the body will never need to get energy from our fat cells, so we have to monitor the carbs very closely.

We try to keep the net carbs (total carbs minus fiber grams) per day to under 32. Since carbs are in most of the foods we enjoy, we allow ourselves to have one snack per day that has 16 or less net carbs (assuming all the other macros fit). The other two snacks should have 8 or fewer carbs per serving.

This means that if a snack has between 9 and 16 carbs we can have it only once a day and must find snacks with less than 9 carbs for the other two snacks that day. If the snack has exactly 17 net carbs we allow ourselves to have one or two per week as a replacement for one of our other allowed snacks per day.

If the food has 18 or more net carbs, it may throw us out of ketosis which is just too risky. It’s easier to keep up with carbs per snack than it is to keep up with total carbs. our goal is two lower carb snacks and one higher carb snack (9 – 16 carbs) per day. If we find something with 17 carbs and we REALLY want it, we usually save it for our treat on Sundays.

The snack ingredients are not as important to us since they all break down into the macro counts. However, we do not eat anything that contains Aspartame since that stuff will kill you. And it’s bad for dieting because it increases your appetite.

We stick to sucralose(Spenda) or stevia as a sweetener. If there are sugars or other sweeteners (besides Aspartame) in the products, we don’t care as long as the carbs work out in the calculation.

Before you give us too much credit, we did not come up with this plan on our own. We found it in a Facebook group here that we HIGHLY recommend. They have been extremely helpful and we’ve learned a LOT.

Before that, we were paying through our nose for an Ideal Protein plan which included a coach who was somewhat helpful, but not nearly as helpful as the Facebook group. Ideal Protein required us to buy their foods, which are mega expensive, and did not give us much help with macro guidelines. In looking for alternatives, we found the Facebook group. Ideal Protein does work if you can afford to buy their foods.


Our Protein Calculator

Since this can be so confusing, especially when shopping, I created a calculator that we can use on our phones to help us decide whether the snack can be eaten on our plan, and how often.

We put in the protein, fat, calories, carbs and aspartame and it tells us how often we can eat it and in what amounts, if at all.

It gives us a green box of information if the food qualifies as a snack that we can eat up to 3 times per day. It gives a yellow box of information if the food qualifies as a snack we can have only occasionally, whether once per day or once to twice per week. It shows a red box of information if the food won’t work on our plan in any size portion. Each colored box tells us exactly how much and how often we can eat the snack.

If the food is too high in protein or calories for example, the calculator will check to see if we could eat half a serving and satisfy the requirements. If that doesn’t work, it will check for 3/4 a serving. It then lets us know if we can eat any portion of the snack on this plan.

If we tell it that the food has Aspartame, it immediately throws us a red box. Aspartame is just not allowed.

Fat is a little more tricky. Some foods show how many calories are from fat in the food. The law allows them to round down that number, so using the numbers for ‘Calories from Fat’ and the numbers for ‘Fat grams’ will sometimes have discrepancies as to whether it’s 30% or less.

I was taught in the Facebook group to look for calories from fat before I look at the fat grams on the label. As a matter of fact, I was ignoring the fat grams unless the calories from fat number wasn’t present on the label. I have added both numbers on the calculator for you to fill in, but you only have to fill in one. If both are present it will use the calories from fat number to make the calculation.

Personally, if there is a discrepancy in the two numbers, it’s so small I don’t worry about it. I rarely eat the same food for a snack more than once per day anyway. A fat gram here or there shouldn’t hurt me if I don’t make a habit of it on all 3 snacks per day. But, if you are concerned, just stick to only entering fat grams and you should be good.

In the near future I also want to add in a way for you to save your favorites so that you don’t have to calculate them each time you are at the store. You’ll be able to just look at your list and remember which ones work and which don’t.

This little calculator has certainly taken a lot of the hard work out of figuring out what we can and can’t eat for a snack. There are a lot of protein bars, chips, mixes and drinks out there today. It can get pretty overwhelming when trying to figure out what’a going to taste good, much less whether it will fit on my plan. The calculator has speeded up that process tremendously.

I have saved it to my home screen on my phone so that it’s easy to find at the store. I can now just click on the icon and the calculator pops up. To save it on your iPhone, open up safari and put in the calculator address: Then click on your ‘share’ icon for the page and choose ‘Add to Home Screen’.

I don’t know much about android phones, but if you want to add the calculator to your android as an icon, I found this article that might help.

I hope the calculator helps you as much as it does us. If you use it, I’d love to hear your feedback. Let me know if you think of things that would make it work better for you. I can’t guarantee I’ll add it in, but I will guarantee to give it some thought.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below please!


  1. Kimberly Talley says

    Could you add a upc scanner to speed up shopping? Would that find the nutritional info and calculate? I am sure it has been brought up but just curious if it’s a possibility.

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