How to boost your body with this juicing recipe

charles-kwang

Dr. Kwang’s Best Immune-Boosting Smoothie Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 red peeled grapefruit 
  • 2 cups strawberries 
  • 1 small piece fresh ginger
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 mint leaves (muddle (or squish until you can smell them if using blender instead of juicer)
  • 1 tray of ice cubes

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Blend all ingredients together in a juicer /  blender.

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    What is a Keto Diet?

     

    overview of keto diet

     

    A keto diet is well known for being a low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. It’s referred to as many different names – ketogenic diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF), etc.

     

    When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin.

     

       Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that it will be chosen over any other energy source.

       Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body.

     

    Since the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed and are therefore stored. Typically on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis.

     

    Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.

     

    The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates.

    example frittata recipe

     

    Our bodies are incredibly adaptive to what you put into it – when you overload it with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source. Optimal ketone levels offer many health, weight loss, physical and mental performance benefits.

     

    Make keto simple and easy by checking out our 30 Day Meal Plan. Get meal plans, shopping lists, and much more with our Keto Academy Program.

    Looking for Something Specific?

     

       Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

       What to Eat on a Keto Diet

       Getting Started

       How to Reach Ketosis

       How to Know You’re in Ketosis

       Keto Diet and Macros

       Types of Ketogenic Diets

       Physical Performance

       Dangers of a Keto Diet

       What Happens to my Body?

       Keto Flu

       Common Side Effects on a Keto Diet

       Less Common Side Effects on a Keto Diet

       Troubleshooting Further

       Saving Money and Budgeting

       Takeaways and Advice

     

    Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

     

    There are numerous benefits that come with being on keto: from weight loss and increased energy levels to therapeutic medical applications. Most anyone can safely benefit from eating a low-carb, high-fat diet. Below, you’ll find a short list of the benefits you can receive from a ketogenic diet. For a more comprehensive list, you can also read our in-depth article here >

    Weight Loss

     

    The ketogenic diet essentially uses your body fat as an energy source – so there are obvious weight loss benefits. On keto, your insulin (the fat storing hormone) levels drop greatly which turns your body into a fat burning machine.

     

    Scientifically, the ketogenic diet has shown better results compared to low-fat and high-carb diets; even in the long term.

    weight loss on keto

     

    Many people incorporate MCT Oil into their diet (it increases ketone production and fat loss) by drinking ketoproof coffee in the morning.

    Control Blood Sugar

     

    Keto naturally lowers blood sugar levels due to the type of foods you eat. Studies even show that the ketogenic diet is a more effective way to manage and prevent diabetes compared to low-calorie diets.

     

    If you’re pre-diabetic or have Type II diabetes, you should seriously consider a ketogenic diet. We have many readers that have had success with their blood sugar control on keto.

    control blood sugar with keto

     

    You can read more about how keto can help control blood sugars by clicking here >

    Mental Focus

     

    Many people use the ketogenic diet specifically for the increased mental performance.

     

    Ketones are a great source of fuel for the brain. When you lower carb intake, you avoid big spikes in blood sugar. Together, this can result in improved focus and concentration.

     

    Studies show that an increased intake of fatty acids can have impacting benefits to our brain’s function.

    mental focus and ketones

     

    You can read a few more benefits of keto for the brain by clicking here >

    Increased Energy & Normalized Hunger

     

    By giving your body a better and more reliable energy source, you will feel more energized during the day. Fats are shown to be the most effective molecule to burn as fuel.

     

    On top of that, fat is naturally more satisfying and ends up leaving us in a satiated (“full”) state for longer. If you’re interested in the science behind how ketosis works, read more here >

    low-carb and increased energy

    Epilepsy

     

    The ketogenic diet has been used since the early 1900’s to treat epilepsy successfully. It is still one of the most widely used therapies for children who have uncontrolled epilepsy today. Learn more about how keto can help with epilepsy in our article >

     

    One of the main benefits of the ketogenic diet and epilepsy is that it allows fewer medications to be used while still offering excellent control.

    ketogenic diet and epilepsy

     

    In the last few years, studies have also shown significant results in adults treated with keto as well.

    Cholesterol & Blood Pressure

     

    A keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup. More specifically low-carb, high-fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL and decrease in LDL particle concentration compared to low-fat diets. Read more on keto and cholesterol >

     

    Many studies on low-carb diets also show better improvement in blood pressure over other diets.

    cholesterol benefits

     

    Some blood pressure issues are associated with excess weight, which is a bonus since keto tends to lead to weight loss. If you have high blood pressure or other blood pressure issues, click here to learn how keto can reduce blood pressure >

    Insulin Resistance

     

    Insulin resistance can lead to type II diabetes if left unmanaged. An abundant amount of research shows that a low carb, ketogenic diet can help people lower their insulin levels to healthy ranges. Read more on keto and insulin resistance >

     

    Even if you’re athletic, you can benefit from insulin optimization on keto through eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.

    insulin resistance

    Acne

     

    It’s common to experience improvements in your skin when you switch to a ketogenic diet.

     

    Here’s one study that shows drops in lesions and skin inflammation when switching to a low-carb diet. Another study that shows a probable connection between high-carb eating and increased acne, so it’s likely that keto can help.

    acne low carb

     

    For acne, it may be beneficial to reduce dairy intake and follow a strict skin cleaning regimen. If you’re interested in starting a ketogenic diet for your skin, consider reading our article on keto and acne >

    What Do I Eat on a Keto Diet?

     

    what to eat on keto

     

    To start a keto diet, you will want to plan ahead. That means having a viable diet plan ready and waiting. What you eat depends on how fast you want to get into a ketogenic state. The more restrictive you are on your carbohydrates (less than 15g per day), the faster you will enter ketosis.

     

    You want to keep your carbohydrates limited, coming mostly from vegetables, nuts, and dairy. Don’t eat any refined carbohydrates such as wheat (bread, pasta, cereals), starch (potatoes, beans, legumes) or fruit. The small exceptions to this are avocado, star fruit, and berries which can be consumed in moderation.

     

    Do Not Eat

     

       Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.

       Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.

       Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.

       Tubers – potato, yams, etc.

     

    Do Eat

     

       Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc.

       Leafy Greens – spinach, kale, etc.

       Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

       High Fat Dairy – hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter, etc.

       Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.

       Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries

       Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners >

       Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.

     

    To see more specific advice on what (and what not) to eat, click here >

     

    Try to remember that keto is high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbs. Your nutrient intake should be something around 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate.

     

    Typically, anywhere between 20-30g of net carbs is recommended for everyday dieting – but the lower you keep your carbohydrate intake and glucose levels, the better the overall results will be. If you’re doing keto for weight loss, it’s a good idea to keep track of both your total carbs and net carbs.

     

    Protein should always be consumed as needed with fat filling in the remainder of the calories in your day.

     

    You might be asking, “What’s a net carb?” It’s simple really! The net carbs are your total dietary carbohydrates, minus the total fiber. I recommend keeping total carbs below 35g and net carbs below 25g (ideally, below 20g).

    keto macros

     

    If you’re finding yourself hungry throughout the day, you can snack on nuts, seeds, cheeses, or peanut butter to curb your appetite (though snacking can slow weight loss in the long term). Sometimes we can confuse the want to snack with the need of a meal. If you’re in a rush and need a keto fast food option, there are some available.

    Vegetables on a Ketogenic Diet

     

    Dark green and leafy is always the best choice for vegetables. Most of your meals should be a protein with vegetables, and an extra side of fat. Chicken breast basted in olive oil, with broccoli and cheese. Steak topped with a knob of butter, and a side of spinach sauteed in olive oil.

     

    If you’re still confused about what a net carb is, don’t worry – I’ll explain further. Let’s say for example you want to eat some broccoli (1 cup) – seriously my favorite and most delicious vegetable out there.

     

       There are a total of 6g carbohydrates in 1 cup.

       There’s also 2g of fiber in 1 cup.

       So, we take the 6g (total carbs) and subtract the 2g (dietary fiber).

       This will give us our net carbs of 4g.

     

    Here’s a list of the most common low carb vegetables. Though if you want a complete list, check out our guide on the best vegetables for a ketogenic diet >

    Vegetable Amount Net Carbs

    Spinach (Raw) 1/2 Cup 0.1

    Bok Choi (Raw) 1/2 Cup 0.2

    Lettuce (Romaine) 1/2 Cup 0.2

    Cauliflower (Steamed) 1/2 Cup 0.9

    Cabbage (Green Raw) 1/2 Cup 1.1

    Cauliflower (Raw) 1/2 Cup 1.4

    Broccoli (Florets) 1/2 Cup 2

    Collard Greens 1/2 Cup 2

    Kale (Steamed) 1/2 Cup 2.1

    Green Beans (Steamed) 1/2 Cup 2.9

     

    Note: Are you a vegetarian or vegan and want to go on a ketogenic diet? It’s still possible! Just keep in mind that the dietary restrictions can sometimes be a little bit intense. Make sure to plan ahead and prepare to aid your success. To help out, we’ve published articles (with 7 day meal plans included) for both the vegetarian ketogenic diet and the vegan ketogenic diet.

    Example Recipes

     

    Here are some examples of our newest ketogenic recipes. Click on the recipe to see a full detailed version with step by step photos and full nutrition breakdown:

     

       Keto Flan Keto Flan

     

       Five Minute Marinated Feta & Sun-dried Tomato Salad Five Minute Marinated Feta & Sun-dried Tomato Salad

     

       Blue Cheese and Bacon Salad Blue Cheese and Bacon Salad

     

       Caprese Egg Casserole Caprese Egg Casserole

     

       Keto Sansrival Keto Sansrival

     

       Roasted Red Pepper Soup Roasted Red Pepper Soup

     

    We update the website multiple times a week with new and exciting recipes, so make sure you come back for inspiration on our keto recipes page here >

     

    If you have trouble cooking, feel free to follow along with us on our YouTube channel to see exactly how we create our recipes!

    Sample Diet Plans

     

    If you want a sample plan that has a few different ways people approach keto (light breakfast, fasting) with various recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner check out our 30 Day Ketogenic Diet Plan.

     

    Your life doesn’t have to revolve around the planning aspect. You can go the easy route and get detailed shopping lists and months of meal plans made for you with The Keto Academy >

     

    Keto Academy

    Getting Started

     

    Getting started is simple: just dive in! It’s always good to spend some time cleaning out your kitchen pantry and adding in new staples. Check out our recommendations to start if you’re new and not sure what to get.

     

    We also have a free newsletter that gives some extra goodies when you sign up. Subscribe for tools to help you succeed and inspiration to keep your meals fun!

    Start getting healthy and stay on track with our bi-monthly newsletter

     

       New awesome recipes

       Motivational success stories

       Exclusive expert guidance

     

    Spend some time on the site, go through different sections, and even read some personal success stories from our readers. For more tips and meal ideas, make sure to follow us:

    How to Reach Ketosis

     

    Reaching Ketosis

     

    Achieving ketosis is a pretty straightforward, but it can seem complicated and confusing with all of the information out there. Here’s the bottom line on what you need to do, ordered in levels of importance:

     

       Restrict your carbohydrates. Most people tend to only focus only on net carbs. If you want great results, limit both. Try to stay below 20g net carbs and below 35g total carbs per day. If you need extra help, we also have a small guide on finding your keto carb limit >

       Restrict your protein intake. Many people come over to keto from an Atkins diet and don’t limit their protein. Too much protein can lead to lower levels of ketosis. Ideally for weight loss, you want to eat between 0.6g and 0.8g protein per pound lean body mass. To help with this, consider using the keto calculator >

       Stop worrying about fat. Fat is the primary source of energy on keto – so make sure you’re feeding your body enough of it. You do not lose weight on keto through starvation.

       Drink water. Try to drink a gallon of water a day. Make sure that you’re hydrating and staying consistent with the amount of water you drink. It not only helps regulate many vital bodily functions, but it also helps control hunger levels.

       Stop snacking. Weight loss tends to do better when you have fewer insulin spikes during the day. Unnecessary snacking may lead to stalls or slow in weight loss.

       Start fasting. Fasting can be a great tool to boost ketone levels consistently throughout the day. There are many different ways to go about it, so if you’re interested I suggest reading more here >

       Add exercise in. It’s a known fact that exercise is healthy. If you want to get the most out of your ketogenic diet, consider adding in 20-30 minutes of exercise a day. Even just a small walk can help regulate weight loss and blood sugar levels.

       Start supplementing. Although not usually needed, supplementing can help with a ketogenic diet. Learn more about optimizing with supplements >

     

    Interested in the process of ketosis and how it affects our bodies? Feel free to read more on what ketosis is >

     

    Note: Always remember to be vigilant and make sure you’re checking ingredients on labels. It’s too often that you will find hidden carbs in products that seem keto friendly.

    Optimal Ketosis and Macros

     

    There are so many tricks, shortcuts, and gimmicks out there on achieving optimal ketosis – I’d suggest you don’t bother with any of that. Optimal ketosis can be accomplished through dietary nutrition alone (aka just eating food). You shouldn’t need a magic pill to do it. Just stay strict, remain vigilant, and be focused on recording what you eat (to make sure your carb and protein intake are correct).

    How to Know if You’re in Ketosis

     

    You can measure if you’re in ketosis via urine or blood strips, though it’s not really worth it. The urine strips are considered pretty inaccurate (they more answer the question “Am I in ketosis?”), and the blood strips are expensive (up to $5 per strip). If you’re interested in reading more about measuring ketones, click here >

     

    Instead, you can use this short list of physical “symptoms” that usually let you know if you’re on the right track:

     

       Increased Urination. Keto is a natural diuretic, so you have to go to the bathroom more. Acetoacetate, a ketone body, is also excreted in urination and can lead to increased bathroom visits for beginners.

       Dry Mouth. The increased urination leads to dry mouth and increased thirst. Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water and replenishing your electrolytes (salt, potassium, magnesium).

       Bad Breath. Acetone is a ketone body that partially excretes in our breath. It can smell sharp like over ripe fruit, similar to nail polish remover. It’s usually temporary and goes away long term.

       Reduced Hunger & Increased Energy. Usually, after you get past the “keto flu,” you’ll experience a much lower hunger level and a “clear” or energized mental state.

     

    Most people end up driving themselves crazy measuring and testing. It’s much better to focus on the nutritional aspect, making sure that you’re in taking proper foods and staying within your macro ranges (read below).

    What Are Macros?

     

    figuring out your macros

     

    “Macros” is an abbreviated term of macronutrients. Your macros are your daily intake of “the big 3” nutrients: fats, protein, and carbohydrates. You can use the following calculator to see what your daily needs will be. If you want to learn more about macros and how they work in relation to keto and our bodies, click here to read more >

     

    Starting on a ketogenic diet? Let’s calculate how much you should eat. We use the information you put in to create an accurate keto nutrition profile for you.

     

    NOTE: If you exercise or want to see a more in-depth explanation on how we are calculating the numbers, you should use the full version of the keto calculator >

     

       What unit type do you prefer?

       METRIC

       IMPERIAL

       Your gender

       female

       male

       Height & weight

       Your age

       Body fat percentage

       What is your body fat percentage?

       BMI and body fat are two different measurements. If you don’t have calipers or a DEXA machine, use our guide to visually estimate body fat percentage.

       ACTIVITY LEVEL

       How active are you on a daily basis?

           Sedentary

           Not much activity with little to no exercise. Typically a desk job.

           Lightly Active

           Daytime walking with less than 20 minutes exercise per day. Usually light strolls after meals.

           Moderately Active

           A lightly active day job with physical labor or scheduled exercise (i.e. riding your bike to work or lifting a few times a week).

           Very Active

           A very active day job (i.e. construction or industrial worker) or intense amount of exercise every day.

       DEFICIT / SURPLUS

       What are your end goals of a ketogenic diet?

           Lose Weight

           Maintain

           Gain Muscle

       How much of a deficit do you want?

       %

     

       It’s recommended to never go above a 30% calorie deficit. It’s also recommended that you never go above a 15% calorie surplus. If you do, negative results may happen.

       CARBS & PROTEIN

       How many carbs do you want to consume?

       It is highly recommended that on a ketogenic diet, you keep your carb intake to 5% or less of total calories. This works out to be an average of 20g net carbs a day.

       Net carbs.

       How much protein do you want to consume?

       Protein shouldn’t be over-consumed on a ketogenic diet. If too much is eaten, it could lead to slower weight loss and smaller levels on ketones in the blood.

     

           If you’re sedentary, we suggest between 0.6g and 0.8g protein.

     

           If you’re active, we suggest between 0.8g and 1.0g protein.

     

           If you lift weights, we suggest between 1.0g and 1.2g protein.

       g.

       Calculate

     

    For ideas and inspiration on how to reach your macros, take a look at our ever-growing library of keto recipes. If you don’t want to do all of the planning yourself, consider getting detailed shopping lists and months of meal plans made for you with Our Keto Academy >

    Types of Ketogenic Diets

     

    skd ckd and tkd

     

    NOTE: If your end goal for keto is not to build muscle, you can skip this section.

     

    Many people ask if carbs are needed to build muscle. Of course, they’re not. If you’re asking this question, I will assume you know how you gain mass.

     

    Your glycogen stores can still be refilled while on a ketogenic diet. A keto diet is an excellent way to build muscle, but protein intake is crucial here. It’s suggested that if you are looking to gain mass, you should be taking in about 1.0 – 1.2g protein per lean pound of body mass. Putting muscle on may be slower on a ketogenic diet, but that’s because your total body fat is not increasing as much.

     

    If for some reason you need to put on body fat also, you can achieve your goals through different types of a Ketogenic Diet. These are:

     

       Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): This is the classic keto diet that everyone knows and does. It’s the “bread and butter” of this website.

       Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): This is a variation where you eat SKD, but intake a small amount of fast-digesting carbs before a workout.

       Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): This is a variation of keto for bodybuilders and contest goers, generally giving one day a week to carb up and resupply glycogen stores.

     

    If you work out intensely, then a TKD or CKD may be for you. To learn more about training on keto, check out our comprehensive guide to bodybuilding on a ketogenic diet >

    Physical Performance

     

    People often argue that performance is affected when on a keto diet, but that’s not true. Well, not in the long run. In the short-term, you may notice some small physical performance drops, but this will subside as you continue replenishing fluids, electrolytes, and adapt to the fat intake.

     

    Many studies have been done on exercise. A study was done on trained cyclists who were on a ketogenic diet for four weeks. The results show that aerobic endurance was not compromised at all, and their muscle mass was the same as when they started.

     

    Their bodies adapted through ketosis, limiting both glucose and glycogen stores, and used fats as the predominant energy source.

    initial performance drop

     

    There was another study done on eight professional gymnasts who had the same results. Both groups were fed a strict diet of green vegetables, proteins, and high-quality fats. So, even if you are doing long bouts of cardio – a keto diet has been proven time and time again.

     

    The only real time where ketosis can give performance loss is in exercises that need an explosive action. If you need a little boost in your performance during these, you can “carb-up” by eating 25-50g of carbs about 30 minutes before you train.

     

    If you’re looking to train intensely on a ketogenic diet and want to learn more about the basics, click here >

    Dangers of a Keto Diet

     

    dangers of keto

     

    Can ketone production in the body get too high? Yes, it’s called ketoacidosis. Is it likely under normal circumstances? Not at all. For most people, it’s a challenge just to get into optimal ranges for ketosis. Getting into territory where you need medical intervention is just not likely.

     

    NOTE: The main exception to ketoacidosis is type 1 diabetics – it can happen when insulin levels are severely low which is rare in someone with a normally functioning pancreas. Dangerously high ketone levels result in insulin secretion.

     

    There are a lot of misconceptions about low carb dieting which has caused an infamous outlook on keto. There have been tons of studies published over the last 30 years that show how high amounts of fat and few carbs are beneficial.

     

    People sometimes get keto confused with high fat, high carb diets which are terrible for the body. Of course, when you eat a lot of fatty foods that are high in sugar, you’ll be getting yourself into trouble.

     

    Have you been thinking of going on a low-fat diet? It’s been shown that a ketogenic diet is both healthier and more effective than low-fat dieting.

     

    When you eat foods high in carbohydrates and fat, your body naturally produces glucose. Carbohydrates are the easiest thing for the body to process, and therefore it will use them first – resulting in the excess fats to be stored immediately. In turn, this causes weight gain and health problems that are associated with high fat, high carbohydrate diets (NOT keto).

     

    As a precaution, you should always check with your physician if you have any concerns about starting a keto diet. You should especially be wary if you’re currently taking medications for a pre-existing condition as extra monitoring may be needed. Be careful when breastfeeding as you may need to increase carb intake.

    What Happens To My Body

     

    Your body is used to the simple routine of breaking down carbohydrates and using them as energy. Over time the body has built up an arsenal of enzymes ready for this process and only has a few enzymes for dealing with fats – mostly to store them.

     

    All of a sudden your body has to deal with the lack of glucose and increase in fats, which means building up a new supply of enzymes. As your body becomes induced into a ketogenic state, your body will naturally use what’s left of your glucose.

     

    This means your body will be depleted of glycogen in the muscles – which can cause a lack of energy and general lethargy.

    transition period

     

    In the first week, many people report headaches, mental fogginess, dizziness, and aggravation. Most of the time, this is the result of your electrolytes being flushed out, as ketosis has a diuretic effect. Make sure you drink plenty of water and keep your sodium intake up.

     

    In fact, you should go overboard with the salt – salt everything! Sodium will help with water retention and help replenish the electrolytes. For most, this temporary groggy feeling is the biggest danger you’re going to face. It’s called the “Keto Flu.”

    Keto Flu

     

    what is keto flu

     

    Keto flu is a very common experience for new ketoers, but it often goes away after just a few days – and there are ways to minimize or even eliminate it. When transitioning to keto, you may feel some slight discomfort including fatigue, headache, nausea, cramps, etc.

     

    There are a few reasons for the keto flu, but the two primary ones are:

     

       Keto is a diuretic. You tend to go to the bathroom more to urinate, which attributes to a loss of both electrolytes and water in your body. You can usually help combat this by either drinking bouillon cube or Powerade Zero and by increasing your water intake. Mainly, you want to replenish your depleted electrolytes.

       You’re transitioning. Your body is equipped to process a high intake of carbs and a lower intake of fat. Your body needs to create enzymes to be able to do this. In the transitional period, the brain may run low on energy which can lead to grogginess, nausea, and headaches. If you’re having a large problem with this, you can choose to reduce carb intake gradually.

     

    After increasing water intake and replacing electrolytes, it should relieve most all symptoms of Keto Flu. For an average person that is starting a ketogenic diet, eating 20-30g of net carbs a day, the entire adaptation process will take about 4-5 days. My advice is to cut your carbs to fewer than 15g to ensure that you are well on your way into ketosis within one week. If you are experiencing any more keto flu symptoms, double check your electrolyte intake and adjust.

     

    You may notice that if you’re an avid gym goer, you lost some strength and endurance. A temporary decrease in physical performance is typical. Once your body becomes keto-adapted, your body will be able to fully utilize fat as its primary source of energy.

     

    If you’re new to keto and seem to be having an issue with the common side effects, read our guide on the keto flu and how to remedy it >

    Common Side Effects on a Keto Diet

     

    Here are a few of the most common side effects that I come across when people first start keto. Frequently the issues relate to dehydration or lack of micronutrients (vitamins) in the body. Make sure that you’re drinking enough water (close to a gallon a day) and eating foods with good sources of micronutrients. To read more on micronutrients, click here >

     

    For an overview of this section and a more in-depth guide on how to remedy different side effects of the ketogenic diet, click here >

    Cramps

     

    Cramps (and more specifically leg cramps) are a pretty common thing when starting a ketogenic diet. It’s usually occurring in the morning or at night, but it’s a pretty minor issue overall. It’s a sign that there’s a lack of minerals, specifically magnesium, in the body.

     

    Make sure to drink plenty of fluid and eat salt on your food. Doing so can help reduce the loss of magnesium and get rid of the issue.

    leg cramps

     

    If the problem persists, try supplementing with a magnesium supplement >

    Constipation

     

    The most common cause of constipation is dehydration. A simple solution is to increase water intake and try to get as close to a gallon a day as possible.

     

    Making sure vegetables have some fiber in will also usually help. Getting in some good quality fiber from non-starchy vegetables can solve this problem. Though if that’s not enough, usually psyllium husk powder will work or taking a probiotic.

    constipation problems

    Heart Palpitations

     

    When transitioning to keto, you may notice that your heart is beating both faster and harder. It’s pretty standard, so don’t worry about it.

     

    If the problem persists, make sure that you’re drinking plenty of fluid and eating enough salt. Typically this is sufficient to get rid of the problem right away. Though if the issue persists, it may be worth taking a potassium supplement once a day.

    heart issues

    Reduced Physical Performance

     

    You may see some limitations on your performance when you first begin a keto diet, but it’s usually just from your body adapting to using fat. As your body shifts in using fat for energy, all of your strength and endurance will return to normal.

     

    If you still notice problems with performance, you may see benefits from intaking carbs prior to your workout (or cycling carbs). Click here to read more >

    lowered performance on keto

    Less Common Side Effects on a Keto Diet

     

    These are some of the lesser common problems that I am e-mailed about on a semi-consistent basis. Many of these problems also relate to hydration and micronutrients, so make sure that you are drinking plenty of water and replenishing electrolytes.

    Breastfeeding

     

    There are mixed and matched studies on keto and breastfeeding, though nothing is well researched at the current moment. Right now it’s understood that ketogenic diets are typically healthy to do while breastfeeding.

     

    It’s suggested to add in 30-50g extra carbs from fruit when breastfeeding to help the body produce milk. You may also have to add in extra calories.

    breastfeeding on ketogenic diet

     

    Specifically, 300-500 calories worth of extra fat to help with milk production. You should always contact medical professionals for advice.

    Hair Loss

     

    If you’re experiencing hair loss within five months of starting a ketogenic diet, it’s most likely temporary. You can take a multivitamin and do what you normally do.

     

    Though hair loss is very uncommon on keto, you can minimize it by making sure you’re not restricting calories too far and making sure you get 8 hours of sleep a night.

    low-carb hair loss

    Increased Cholesterol

     

    Usually, it’s a good thing! Many studies point toward cholesterol elevation when doing a low-carb, ketogenic diet.

     

    Higher cholesterol is generally due to HDL (the good cholesterol) increasing – lowering your chance of heart disease. You may see increased triglyceride counts, but that’s very common in people losing weight. These increases will subside as weight loss normalizes.

    increased cholesterol on keto

     

    There’s a small percent of people that experience raised LDL cholesterol as well. These elevated levels are usually fine – though harder to test. The dangers of LDL cholesterol come from the size and density, which are shown to be very healthy on keto. Read more on keto and cholesterol >

    Gallstones

     

    Of the few studies done on keto and gallstones, most people have either improved or cured gallstone problems. The only downside is that many reported an increase in discomfort when starting out on low-carb. If you stick with it, you should notice a vast improvement.

     

    Another common question relating to gallstones is “Can I start keto if I have had my gallbladder removed?” The answer is yes.

    gallstones

     

    You may want to increase your fat gradually to allow your system some time to get used to it.

    Indigestion

     

    Generally speaking, switching to keto gets rid of indigestion and heartburn. Keep in mind that some people see increased attacks when they’re first starting out.

     

    If you’re experiencing problems, it may be best to limit the amount of fat you intake; gradually increasing the amount you have per day over a two-week period.

    indigestion problems

    Keto Rash

     

    There’s no real scientific reasoning/explanation behind why some people start to itch when they start keto. There’s just a handful of experiences that people have written about, and so I’m basing my answer on what I’ve read.

     

    From anecdotes, it’s most likely irritation from the acetone that is excreted in sweat (it’s why you may experience bad breath).

    keto rash

     

    It’s worth looking into better clothing options for absorbing or wicking sweat from your body. It’s also worth showering right after activity that causes you to sweat.

     

    If it’s a lasting issue that is causing problems, you may want to consider upping your carbs or changing exercise plans.

    Troubleshooting Further

     

    Sometimes there’s issues or problems that aren’t covered in this guide. There are many other articles on the site, so make sure to search. If you’re having trouble with a specific question, we have a very helpful community on the website too!

     

    You’ll find some common questions that we come across when people start out below. At the bottom of the section, there’s a link to an in-depth FAQ as well.

    Q: How much weight will I lose?

     

    A: The amount of weight you lose is entirely dependent on you. Obviously adding exercise to your regimen will speed up your weight loss. Cutting out things that are common “stall” causes is also a good thing. Artificial sweeteners, dairy, wheat products and by-products (wheat gluten, wheat flours, and anything with an identifiable wheat product in it).

     

    Water weight loss is common when you first start a low carb diet. Ketosis has a diuretic effect to it that can cause many pounds of weight loss in only a few days. While I hate being the bearer of bad news, this isn’t fat. But on a side (and more positive) note, that shows that your body is starting to adjust itself into a fat burning machine!

     

    There’s a huge list of keto-friendly recipes for you to choose from, go check them out! See keto recipes >

    Q: How should I track my carb intake?

     

    A: The most common ways to track your carbs is through MyFitnessPal and their mobile app. You cannot track net carbs on the app, although you can track your total carb intake and your total fiber intake. To get your net carbs, just subtract your total fiber intake from your total carb intake. I have written an article on How to Track Carbs on MyFitnessPal.

     

    Others choose to use FatSecret, which is an app I am unfamiliar with, although I do know that you can track your net carbs. The choice is entirely up to you and up to your free will to decide.

    Q: I cheated and want to get back on keto. How do I do that?

     

    A: First take a breath, it’s not the end of the world. You may find that your weight goes up temporarily as your body retains water. You may also find that the scale goes down pretty quickly when you lose that water. If you see the scale fluctuating, please keep in mind that there’s a biological reason for it.

     

    Pick yourself up, get back on track, and stay strict to keep cravings down. If you’re having trouble with the planning aspect, you may want to consider looking into our Keto Academy Program.

    Q: I’m not losing any more weight. Now what?

     

    A: Many things can cause a slow down in weight loss: stress, lack of sleep, exercise, hormonal changes, and alcohol use among other things are factors. Weight loss will not always be a linear process, either. We have fluctuations in water that happens every day.

     

    On average people will lose 1-2 lbs. a week, but that doesn’t mean the scale will drop consistently. Take measurements as well as tracking your weight via scale, as often there can be changes in size but no change on the scale. If you’re still experiencing problems after 4-5 weeks, start looking into your dietary choices.

     

    The first thing people typically recommend is re-tracking your macros to make sure you’ve been on track, making sure you’re drinking enough water and supplementing electrolytes, and finally reducing the amount of dairy being used. You can also read more about weight loss plateau’s here >

    Q: I don’t like meat/eggs/dairy/[insert disliked food], can I still do a ketogenic diet?

     

    A: The short answer is yes. Aside from the broad guidelines stated above, there are no real “rules” so long as you’re low carb, moderate protein and getting the rest of your calories from fat. If it fits within your macros, then you’re fine.

     

    Some drink coffee with butter (recipe here) and eat plenty of meat; some do vegetarian recipes, some are dairy and nut free. There are lots of options out there to suit any dietary restriction.

    Q: What happens after you reach your goal weight on keto?

     

    A: Some people want to go off keto once they’ve reached their goal weight, others choose to stay on keto or take up a clean-eating diet. I’ve been on keto for almost a decade now. One thing to always remember – if you go back to your old habits you will put the weight back on.

     

    If you keep your intake in check, you may still notice an increase in weight because of glycogen stores refilling. Many people find they stick to keto or a low-carb diet simply because it makes them feel better.

     

    You can read more common keto questions on our frequently asked keto questions >

    Saving Money and Budgeting

     

    saving money on low-carb

     

    A common misconception is that the ketogenic diet is more expensive than other diets out there. And, while it may be a little bit more expensive than buying grain-stuffed foods, it’s much cheaper than many people think. To get an idea, I’ve broken down the costs of some of our most favorite recipes that you can read here >

     

    A ketogenic diet may be more expensive than a standard American diet, but it’s no different than other clean eating lifestyles. That said, there’s still numerous ways to save money while cooking keto. The best ways to save money is the same as with any other budgeting:

     

       Search for deals. There’s always a sale or a coupon to be found for keto-friendly items out there. Typically you can find significant savings in magazines and newspapers that are sent to your house, but they can also be combined with in-store specials and manager cuts. When combined, you can save a significant amount of your keto groceries.

       Bulk buy and cook. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, this is the best of both worlds. Buying your food at bulk (specifically from wholesalers) can reduce the cost per pound tremendously. Plus, you can make ahead food (bulk cook chicken thighs for pre-made meat, or cook entire meals) that are used as leftovers, so you spend less time cooking.

       Make things yourself. While it’s extremely convenient to buy most things pre-made or pre-cooked, it always adds to the price per pound on items. Try prepping veggies ahead of time instead of buying pre-cut ones. Try making your stew meat from a chuck roast. Or, simply try to make your mayo and salad dressings at home. The simplest of things can work to cut down on your overall grocery shopping.

     

    You can read more advice on how to save money on eating keto on a budget >

    Takeaways and Advice

     

    Overall, eating a high amount of fat, moderate protein, and low amount of carbs can have a massive impact on your health – lowering your cholesterol, body weight, blood sugar, and raising your energy and mood levels.

     

    A ketogenic diet can be hard to fathom in the beginning but isn’t as hard as it’s made out to be. The transition can be a little bit tough, but the growing popularity of the clean eating movement makes it easier and easier to find available low-carb foods.

     

    After reading this page in its entirety, my best cut and dry advice for someone starting off and wanting to lose weight are listed below:

     

       Keep it straightforward and strict. You usually see better results in people who restrict their carb intake further. Try to keep your carbs as low as possible for the first month of keto. Keep it strict by cutting out excess sweets and artificial sweeteners altogether (like diet soda). Cutting these out dramatically decreases sugar cravings.

       Drink water and supplement electrolytes. Most common problems come from dehydration or lack of electrolytes. When you start keto (and even in the long run), make sure that you drink plenty of water, salt your foods, and take a multivitamin. If you’re still experiencing issues, you can order electrolyte supplements individually.

       Track what you eat. It’s so easy to over-consume on carbs when they’re hidden in just about everything you pick up. Keeping track of what you eat helps control your carb intake and keep yourself accountable.

     

    If you’re still not sure where to start or you want to learn a little bit more about me and the website, I’d highly recommend reading through my “Start Here” page.

     

    P.S. Have a look at the Keto Academy, our foolproof 30-day keto meal plan. It has all the tools, information, and recipes needed for you to succeed.

     

    + The food has been tested and optimized so you can lose weight and start feeling great!

    The ketogenic diet is a low carb, moderate protein, and high fat diet which puts the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis.

     

    When you’re body is in a state of ketosis, the liver produced ketones which become the main energy source for the body.

     

    The ketogenic diet is also referred to as keto (key-toe) diet, low carb diet, and low carb high fat (LCHF).

     

    So why is it so awesome and why is it taking the world by storm?

     

    Because it completely reverses how your body functions (in a good way) along with changing how you view nutrition.

     

    It’s based around the premise that your body was designed to run more efficiently as a fat burner than a sugar burner.

    Fat Burner vs Sugar Burner

     

    When you eat something that is high in carbs (that yummy donut), your body will produce glucose and insulin.

     

       Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that is why it’s the preferred energy source for your body.

       Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by transporting it around your body.

     

    This sounds pretty efficient, right? The problem with this is that when glucose is used as a primary energy source, fats are not needed for energy and therefore are stored.

     

    With the average person’s diet, glucose is the main energy source.

     

    This initially doesn’t seem like a problem until you realize that the body can’t store that much glucose. This becomes an issue for you because the extra glucose gets converted into fat which is then stored.

     

    Because your body uses glucose as it’s main energy source the glucose that is converted into fat doesn’t get used.

     

    When your body runs out of glucose it tells your brain you need more so you end up reaching for a quick snack like a candy bar or some chips.

     

    You can begin to see how this cycle leads to building up a body that you don’t really want.

     

    So what’s the alternative?

     

    Become a fat burner instead of a sugar burner.

    eat butter on keto

     

    When you lower your intake of carbs, the body begins to look for an alternative energy source and your body enters a metabolic state known as ketosis.

     

    Ketosis is a natural process and makes perfect sense when you think about the human body.

     

    You’ve probably heard of the fact that you can go weeks without food but only a couple of days without water.

     

    The reason for this is ketosis. Most people, for better or for worse, have enough fat stored on them to fuel their body for a while.

     

    When your body is in a state of ketosis, it produces ketones. Ketones occur from the breakdown of fat in the liver.

     

    You might be thinking why isn’t the body constantly breakdown fats in the liver? Well, when your body is producing insulin, the insulin prevents the fat cells from entering the bloodstream so they stay stored in the body.

     

    When you lower your carb intake, glucose levels, along with blood sugar levels, drop which in turn lowers insulin levels.

     

    This allows the fat cells to release the water they are storing (it’s why you first see a drop in water weight) and then the fat cells are able to enter the bloodstream and head to the liver.

     

    This is the end goal of the keto diet. You don’t enter ketosis by starving your body. You enter ketosis by starving your body of carbohydrates.

     

    When your body is producing optimal ketone levels you begin to notice many healh, weight loss, physical and mental performance benefits.

     

    All of these benefits are why we help people with the ketogenic diet in our Keto Dash program.

    Contents

     

       Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

       What Do I Eat on a Keto Diet?

       Keto Macros

       Getting Started With Keto

       How to Reach Ketosis

       Types of Ketogenic Diets

       Exercise on Keto

       Dangers of a Keto Diet

       What Happens to My Body?

       Keto Flu

       Common Side Effects on a Keto Diet

       Saving Money and Budgeting on Keto

     

    Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

     

    When people say that the keto diet changed their life they are not exaggerating.

     

    When you decide to switch over to the ketogenic diet, you quickly realize that it is more than just a diet.

     

    It’s a completely new lifestyle that offers numerous benefits.

    Weight Loss

     

    Most people look into a specific diet to lose weight and the keto diet is one of the most effective ways to lose weight in a healthy manner.

     

    Because the ketogenic diet is using body fat as an energy source, your body will begin to burn the unwanted fat causing obvious weight loss benefits.

     

    On keto, your insulin (the fat storing hormone) levels drop which allows your fat cells to travel to the liver and get converted into ketones.

     

    Your body effectively becomes a fat burning machine.

    Control Blood Sugar

     

    Unfortunately, many people suffer from diabetes which is caused by your body’s inability to handle insulin.

     

    Keto naturally lowers blood sugar levels due to not eating as many carbs so your body can’t produce glucose.

     

    Keto has been shown to have huge benefits for people that are pre-diabetic or have Type II diabetes.

     

    Because the ketogenic diet helps you to maintain more consistent blood sugar levels you find that you have more control of your everyday life while on keto.

    Mental Focus

    Get better mental focus on Keto

     

    This is one of those benefits that has to be experienced.

     

    You can’t understand how cloudy carbs make your thinking until you can ween yourself off of them.

     

    When on the ketogenic diet you experience increased mental performance.

     

    In fact, many people partake in keto simply for this reason.

     

    The reason why you experience an increase in mental performance is that ketones are a great fuel source for your brain.

     

    The increase in fatty acids has a huge impact in brain function.

    Increase in Energy

    increased energy on keto

     

    You’ve already learned that keto helps your body turn fat into an energy source.

     

    But, did you know that this helps to increase your energy levels?

     

    Because your body can only store so much glucose, when it runs out it means your body has run out of fuel (energy) and it needs more.

     

    Carbs also cause spikes in blood sugar levels and when those levels drop you experience a crash.

     

    Keto helps to provide your body with a more reliable energy source allowing you to feel more energized throughout the day.

    Better Appetite Control

     

    When eating a diet that is heavy in carbs you can often find yourself hungry a lot sooner than you expected after eating a meal.

     

    Because fats are more naturally satisfying they end up leaving our bodies in a satiated state for much longer.

     

    That means no more random cravings along with feeling like you’re going to collapse if you don’t get something in you immediately.

    Epilepsy

     

    Keto has been used to treat epilepsy since the early 1900s. It’s still one of the most widely used treatments for children suffering from uncontrolled epilepsy today.

     

    A big benefit of the ketogenic diet for people that suffer from epilepsy is that it allows them to take fewer medications which is always a good thing.

    Cholesterol & Blood Pressure

     

    The ketogenic diet has been shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels.

     

    The benefit?

     

    Less toxic buildup in the arteries allowing blood to flow throughout your body as it should.

     

    Low carb, high fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL (good cholesterol) and a decrease in LDL (bad cholesterol).

     

    Studies have shown that low-carb diets show better improvement in blood pressure over other diets.

     

    Because some blood pressure issues are associated with excess weight, the keto diet is an obvious warrior against these issues due to its natural weight loss.

    Insulin Resistance

     

    Insulin resistance is the reason why people suffer from Type II diabetes. The ketogenic diet helps people lower their insulin levels to healthy ranges so that they are no longer in the group of people that are on the cusp of acquiring diabetes.

    Acne

     

    One of the more common improvements that people on the keto diet experience is better skin.

    What Do I Eat on a Keto Diet?

     

    Unfortunately, on the ketogenic diet you can’t eat whatever you want. However, unlike many other diets, once you find yourself in ketosis your cravings for the things you can’t eat usually disappear and if they don’t?

     

    Well, there are plenty of alternatives for the things you are used to eating.

     

    Remember, that the goal of the ketogenic diet is to get your body into a state of ketosis and to do that you need to reduce your carb intake.

     

    It’s important to understand that carbohydrates are not only in the junk foods that you love, but also some of the healthier foods that you enoy.

     

    For example, on keto you nee to avoid wheat (bread, pasta, cereals), starch (potatoes, beans, legumes) and fruit.

     

    There are small exceptions like avocado, star fruit, and berries as long as they are consumed in moderation.

    Foods to Avoid

     

       Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal

       Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup

       Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges

       Tubers – potato, yams

       Legumes

     

    Foods to Eat

     

       Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, egg

       Leafy Greens – spinach, kale

       Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower

       High fat dairy – hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter

       Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds

       Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries

       Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners

       Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.

     

    To get the complete list of foods you can eat while on keto check out our keto shopping list.

    Sample Recipes

     

    Here are just some of the amazing keto recipes that you can cook yourself and enjoy.

    Keto Macros

     

    Understanding macros is a key component to being successful on the ketogenic diet.

     

    What are macros?

     

    They are the main sources of calories in your daily diet.

     

    The macros that you need to keep an eye on are:

     

       Fats

       Protein

       Carbs

     

    Because the ketogenic diet is a high fat diet, the majority of your daily calories will come from fats.

     

    The general ratio of macros to follow is 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.

     

    This means that 70% of your calories will come from fats, 25% from protein, and 5% from carbs.

     

    When starting off on keto your daily, net carbs shouldn’t exceed 20g. That means even if your recommended daily macro carb count is 27g, you still want to stay below 20g.

    Totals Carbs vs Net Carbs

     

    It’s important to understand that not all carbs are treated equal when looking at a nutrtion label.

     

    On nutrition labels you’ll Total Carbohyrates along with a further breakdown of Fiber and Sugars.

     

    On keto, you care about net carbs which are Total Carbohydrates – Fiber = Net Carbs.

     

    Because fiber doesn’t have an affect on your blood sugar levels it is considered a net zero carbohydrate.

    Vegetables on a Ketogenic Diet

     

    Vegetables are tricky on a ketogenic diet because we’ve been raised under the idea that vegetables are healthy and they are. However, almost all of the vegetables that you consume today contain carbs.

     

    Some more than others so it’s important to understand the ones that have a safer number of Net Carbs.

    Vegetable Amount Net Carbs

    Spinach (Raw) 1/2 Cup 0.1

    Bok Choi 1/2 Cup 0.2

    Lettuce (Romaine) 1/2 Cup 0.2

    Cauliflower (Steamed) 1/2 Cup 0.9

    Cabbage (Green Raw) 1/2 Cup 1.1

    Cauliflower (Raw) 1/2 Cup 1.4

    Broccoli (Florets) 1/2 Cup 2

    Collard Greens 1/2 Cup 2

    Kale (Steamed) 1/2 Cup 2.1

    Green Beans (Steamed) 1/2 Cup 2.9

     

    If you’re looking for more details on Keto and vegetables then check out 11 Low Carb Vegetables That You Can Safely Eat on the Ketogenic Diet.

    Getting Started With Keto

     

    So how do you get started with keto?

     

    That’s a great question and it’s something we detail in our Keto Dash program.

     

    However, if you want to run wild on your own then here is what you need to do:

     

       Understand meal planning and plan your meals so you don’t have missteps

       Calculate your daily macro goals

       Drink enough water

       Get enough sleep

     

    When getting started on the keto diet you don’t want your daily macros to exceed 20g of carbs. You want to cut out all sugar and have most of your carbs come from vegetables.

     

    The reality of it is, if you want to get started you can dive right in after you’ve caclulated your macros and planned some meals.

     

    If you aren’t in the mood to plan meals right now then you can just go off of what your body tells you and eat what when you feel hungry although this usually means you fall short of your macro goals.

     

    It’s important that you make food that you enjoy. Being on keto isn’t about missing out on food you love. It’s about finding the food you love that is great for your body.

    How to Reach Ketosis

     

    In our book, The 3-Day Weight Loss Manual, we show you a strategy that will help you to achieve ketosis as quick as possible.

     

    While you don’t need to reach ketosis as quickly as possible, many people consider ketosis as their first successful milestone on the keto journey.

     

    The following steps will help you great in achieving that:

     

       Restrict your carbohydrates: Because you can’t reach ketosis when your body still has a supply of glucose to burn you need to restrict your net carb intake to 20g or less than a day.

       Restrict your protein: Protein is a sneaky one in this diet because if you eat too much it ends up being converted into glucose which will keep you out of ketosis.

       Stop worrying about fat: To lose fat on keto you need to consume healthy fats so you have to get rid of the mental block you have regarding it. You don’t lose weight on keto by feeling hungry all of the time.

       Drink water: Water is a huge deal on keto. You need to consume a lot of it. You need to stay hydrated and be consistent with the amount of water you drink. To make it easier, consider drinking water with fresh lemon in it or grab some MiO with Electrolytes.

       Careful with snacking: One thing you have to keep in mind is that even while eating keto you can suffer from small insulin spikes. Less snacking means less of those giving you a better chance of losing weight.

       Consider fasting: Fasting in this case means intermittent fasting. Instead of eating throughout the day, you block off an 8-hour window and in that window you eat all of your meals.

       Add exercise: A simple 20-30 minute walk everyday can help regulate weight loss and your blood sugar levels. An increased workout routine usually means an adjustment in macros so just because keto gives you more energy don’t assume that things can stay the same when you run a marathon.

       Look at supplements: Supplements can help you reach ketosis quicker but they aren’t necessary.

     

    Always check food labels to see the ingredients being added. If sugar is at the top of the list then runaway.

    How to Know if You’re in Ketosis

     

    There are a couple of different ways to see if you’re in ketosis.

     

    One common way is by using ketone test strips but these aren’t meant to determine if you’re body is in ketosis. They just let you know the level of ketones that your body is getting rid of.

     

    Another method is by using a blood glucose monitor. The issue with this is that the blood strips can be expensive over time and once you’re in ketosis you start to understand your body a bit more so you won’t keep running back to the monitor.

     

    You can also check for ketosis by keeping an eye on these symptoms:

     

       Increased Urination: Keto is a natural diuretic, so you’ll find yourself going to the bathroom more than usual. Especially with how much water you are consuming. Acetoacetate (say that 3x fast), a ketone body, is excreted through the urine so this is another cause for more frequent bathroom breaks.

       Dry Mouth: The more fluids your body is releasing, the more you may experience dry mouth. This is your body telling you that you need more electrolytes. This is why we add MiO with Electrolytes to our water. Also keeping salty things around helps like pickles.

       Bad Breath: Acetone is a ketone that is partially excreted through your breath. It doesn’t have the most pleasant smell but thankfully it disappears in the long run.

       Reduced Hunger and Increased Energy: This is the most telltale sign of ketosis. You find that you don’t get hungry as often and you can go much longer without food because you have more energy.

     

    The last thing you want to do is drive yourself crazy measuring and testing your ketone levels. Once you get a handle on things, you’ll learn to see the signs that your body is giving you.

     

    To learn more about ketosis check out 7 Signs You Might Be in Ketosis When Doing the Ketogenic Diet

    .

    Types of Ketogenic Diets

     

    A common question, especially from people that workout, is whether or not you can build muscle while on keto and the answer is yes.

     

    Many workout programs have you consuming a large number of carbs to fuel your workouts. While on keto you don’t need to bulk up on the carbs but you can fill up your glycogen stores so that you have glucose ready for a workout.

     

    If you wish to add mass to your body while on keto it is suggested that you consume 1.0 – 1.2g of protein per lean pound of body mass.

     

    This is also why there are different types of keto diets because some people have different needs.

     

       Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): This is the classic keto diet that everyone knows and most people stick with as they are aiming for weight loss.

       Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): This is a small variation where you follow SKD but intake a small amount of fast-digesting carbs before your workout.

       Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): This is the more complication variation that is usually used by bodybuilders. In this variation you give yourself one day a week to carb up to resupply glycogen stores.

     

    Which one is for you? If you work out pretty hard then you might want to do TKD or CKD.

    Exercise on Keto

     

    The concern of people that exercise is that keto will affect their physical performance and while this isn’t true in the long run, in the short term you might experience a small drop.

     

    Your body needs a small amount of time to adjust.

     

    The good news is that studies (on trained cyclists) have shown that the ones on the ketogenic diet didn’t find a compromise in their aerobic endurance or a loss of muscle mass.

     

    If you want to learn more about exercising on a ketogenic diet then read Ketogenic Diet 101: Exercising on a Keto Diet.

    Dangers of a Keto Diet

     

    Are there dangers to the ketogenic diet?

     

    If your body is producing too many ketones then it enters ketoacidosis.

     

    This is highly unlikely to occur in normal circumstances because for most people it’s a challenge to get into optimal ranges for ketosis so getting into the range where you need medical intervention isn’t likely.

    What Happens to My Body?

     

    Because you’re completely rewiring how your body works, your body isn’t going to be ready right away to handle the breakdown of fats for energy.

     

    While switching over to keto you’ll have a transition period where your body uses up all of its glycogen stores and doesn’t have enough enzymes to breakdown fat to produce ketones.

     

    This means your body doesn’t have an immediate fuel source which causes a lack of energy and general lethargy.

     

    In the first week of keto, many people will report headaches, mental fogginess, dizziness, and aggravation. Sounds terrible, right?

     

    This is caused by the loss of electrolytes so it’s important that you continue to replace them throughout the day. Keeping your sodium (don’t hesitate to salt things up) intake up throughout the day can prevent all of these side effects.

     

    Sodium helps with water retention in the body along with replenishing the much needed electrolytes.

     

    The groggy feeling and fatigue actually has a term and it’s keto flu.

    Keto Flu

     

    Keto flu is a very common experience that some people go through when transitioning over to keto. It usually goes away in just a few days but if you don’t take active measures to find against it, it can stay around for much longer.

     

    When transitioning to keto, you may feel some slight discomfort along with fatigue, headaches, nausea and cramps. It doesn’t sound fun but it’s important to understand why it is happening.

     

       Keto is a diuretic. Everytime you urinate you’re losing electrolytes and water. To combat this you can make a nice drink from a bouillion cube (makes a great broth) or by using MiO with Electrolytes and increasing your water intake. The goal is to replace the electrolytes that you’re using.

       You’re transitioning. All of the years of carb intake has trained your body to convert carbs into glycogen so when you transition over to keto, your body needs time to make the proper adjustments. You can’t simply make your car go electric by adding another battery.

     

    For most people, eating less than 20g of net carbs a day will get them on track for ketosis within a matter of days. To ensure the process is sped up some you should aim for less than 15g of net carbs daily.

     

    Continue to monitor your electrolyte intake along with how much water you are drinking.

     

    To learn how to beat the Keto Flu go on and read Keto Flu: What It Is and How to Beat It the Healthy Way.

    Common Side Effects on a Keto Diet

     

    As with any drastic change you make to your body’s chemistry there are going to be side effects. Of course, if you think about it, your current way of eating has side effects as well.

     

    On keto there are known ways to combat each of these side effects so you’re in good hands.

    Cramps

     

    Do to keto being a diuretic, when your body is losing out on fluids it can cause cramps.

     

    To prevent these you do the same thing that you’re already doing to prevent keto flu and that is upping your water and sodium intake. If you find that cramps still persist then you might look into taking a magnesium supplement.

    Constipation

     

    Because the most common cause of constipation is dehydration, you can help prevent it by increasing the amount of water you drink everyday.

     

    You also want to ensure that the vegetables you eat contain quality fiber.

     

    If you find that these aren’t enough then you can add psyllium husk powder to your drinks and meals.

    Heart Palpitations

     

    This sounds scarier than it really is. Your heart may begin to beat faster and harder when transitioning over to keto, it’s pretty standard.

     

    If you the problem persists over a long period of time then you need to make sure you’re drinking enough water and eating enough salt.

     

    If the problem continues to persist then you may need to add a potassium supplement to the mix.

    Reduced Physical Performance

     

    Since your body hasn’t fully transitioned to burning fat yet, it loses out on its energy source pretty quickly if you are exercising hard.

     

    As your body shifts to using fat for energy, you’ll find that all of your strength and endurance will return to normal.

    Saving Money and Budgeting on Keto

     

    Some people believe that eating keto is more expensive but this isn’t true. Initially, you might find yourself needing to restock the pantry with keto-friendly items but beyond that, eating keto isn’t more expensive than eating normally.

     

    You’ll find that you can buy meat in bulk and you can store the unused portion in the freezer.

     

    Because you’re on keto, you’ll find that you are cooking more for yourself instead of going out. This shows significant savings along with helping you build your budget.

     

    Cooking on Keto also doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Love your instant pot? Then here are instant pot keto recipes just for you.

     

    Ketogenic Diet Food List, Including Best vs. Worst Keto Foods

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    Ketogenic diet food list – Dr. Axe

     

    Unlike many fad diets that come and go with very limited rates of long-term success, the ketogenic diet or keto diet has been practiced for more than nine decades (since the 1920s) and is based upon a solid understanding of physiology and nutrition science.

     

    The keto diet works for such a high percentage of people because it targets several key, underlying causes of weight gain — including hormonal imbalances, especially insulin resistance coupled with high blood sugar levels, and the cycle of restricting and “binging” on empty calories due to hunger that so many dieters struggle with. Yet that’s not a problem with what’s on the keto diet food list.

     

    Rather than relying on counting calories, limiting portion sizes, resorting to extreme exercise or requiring lots of willpower (even in the face of drastically low energy levels), the ketogenic, low-carb diet takes an entirely different approach to weight loss and health improvements. It works because it changes the very “fuel source” that the body uses to stay energized: Namely, from burning glucose (or sugar) to dietary fat, courtesy of keto recipes and the ketogenic diet food list items, including high-fat, low-carb foods.

     

    Want to go keto? Download the keto food guide here.

     

    Making that switch will place your body in a state of “ketosis,” when your body becomes a fat burner rather than a sugar burner. The steps are surprising simple:

     

       Cut down on carbs.

       Increase your consumption of healthy fats.

       Without glucose coursing through your body, it’s now forced to burn fat and produce ketones instead.

       Once the blood levels of ketones rise to a certain point, you officially enter into ketosis.

       This state results in consistent, fairly quick weight loss until your body reaches a healthy and stable weight.

     

    So, What Can You Eat On a Ketogenic Diet?

     

    What is a keto food? What does a keto meal look like? Here are some examples of high-fat low-carb foods on the ketogenic diet food list you can expect to eat lots of if you’re following the ketogenic diet:

     

       Your keto meals should contain high amounts of healthy fats (up to 80 percent of your total calories!), such as olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, palm oil, and some nuts and seeds. Fats are a critical part of every ketogenic recipe because fat is what provides energy and prevents hunger, weakness and fatigue.

       Keto meals also need all sorts of non-starchy vegetables. What vegetables can you eat on a ketogenic diet without worrying about increasing your carb intake too much? Some of the most popular choices include broccoli and other cruciferous veggies, all types of leafy greens, asparagus, cucumber, and zucchini.

       In more moderate amounts, foods that are high in protein but low- or no-carb, including grass-fed meat, pasture-raised poultry, cage-free eggs, bone broth, wild-caught fish, organ meats and some full-fat (ideally raw) dairy products.

     

    On the other hand, the types of foods you’ll avoid eating on the keto, low-carb diet are likely the same ones you are, or previously were, accustomed to getting lots of your daily calories from before starting this way of eating. This includes items like fruit, processed foods or drinks high in sugar, those made with any grains or white/wheat flour, conventional dairy products, desserts, and many other high-carb foods (especially those that are sources of “empty calories”).

    The Ketogenic Diet Food List

     

    If you’re new to the keto diet or just still learning the ropes, your biggest questions probably revolve around figuring out just what high-fat low-carb foods you can eat on such a low-carb, ketogenic diet. Overall, remember that the bulk of calories on the keto diet are from foods that are high in natural fats along with a moderate amount of foods with protein. Those that are severely restricted are all foods that provide lots of carbs, even kinds that are normally thought of as “healthy,” like whole grains, for example.

     

    The biggest shifts in your daily habits will be how you food shop and how you cook, and recipes that are ketogenic need to be followed rather than just low-carb. You will require the healthy fats in order to get into ketosis and have enough energy without the carbs. And you will be considerably more energetic and healthier when cooking your own keto-friendly food rather than buying supposedly keto foods off the shelf. So visit my page on keto recipes as well as keto snacks (including fat bombs!), and get started on a ketogenic meal plan!

    Overview of the Keto Diet Plan:

     

       The exact ratio of recommended macronutrients in your diet (grams of carbs vs. fat vs. protein) will differ depending on your specific goals and current state of health. Your age, gender, level of activity and current body composition can also play a role in determining your carb versus fat intake.

       Historically, ketogenic diets have consisted of limiting carbohydrate intake to just 20–30 net grams per day. “Net carbs” is the amount of carbs remaining once dietary fiber is taken into account. Because fiber is indigestible once eaten, most people don’t count grams of fiber toward their daily carb allotment. In other words, total carbs – grams of fiber = net carbs. That’s the carb counts that matter most.

       On a “strict” (standard) keto diet, fats typically provides about 70 percent to 80 percent of total daily calories, protein about 15 percent to 20 percent, and carbohydrates just around 5 percent. However, a more “moderate” approach to the keto diet is also a good option for many people that can allow for an easier transition into very low-carb eating and more flexibility (more on this type of plan below).

       Something that makes the keto diet different from other low-carb diets is that it does not “protein-load.” Protein is not as big a part of the diet as fat is. Reason being: In small amounts, the body can change protein to glucose, which means if you eat too much of it, especially while in the beginning stages of the keto diet, it will slow down your body’s transition into ketosis.

       Protein intake should be between one and 1.5 grams per kilogram of your ideal body weight. To convert pounds to kilograms, divide your ideal weight by 2.2. For example, a woman who weighs 150 pounds (68 kilograms) should get about 68–102 grams of protein daily.

       It’s important to also drink lots of water. Getting enough water helps keep you from feeling fatigued, is important for digestion and aids in hunger suppression. It’s also needed for detoxification. Aim to drink 10–12 eight-ounce glasses a day.

     

    Best Keto Foods — Eat These High-Fat Low-Carb Foods Whenever:

    Healthy Fats  Ketogenic diet food list foods to eat anytime – Dr. Axe

     

    Most healthy fats contain zero net carbs, especially the kinds listed below, which also have other health advantages. (13) Fats should be included in high amounts with every meal throughout the day.

     

       Healthy fats include saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and certain types of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), especially omega-3 fatty acids. It’s best to include all types in your diet, with an emphasis on saturated fats, especially compared to PUFAs.

       MCT oil, cold-pressed coconut, palm fruit, olive oil, flaxseed, macadamia and avocado oil — 0 net carbs per tablespoon

       Butter and ghee — 0 net carbs per tablespoon

       Lard, chicken fat or duck fat — 0 net carbs per tablespoon

     

    Proteins

     

    Animal proteins (meat, fish, etc.) have very little, if any, carbs. You can consume them in moderate amounts as needed to control hunger. Overall, choose fattier cuts of meat rather than leaner ones. For example, chicken thighs and legs are preferable to chicken breasts because they contain much more fat.

     

       Grass-fed beef and other types of fatty cuts of meat, including lamb, goat, veal, venison and other game. Grass-fed, fatty meat is preferable because it’s higher in quality omega-3 fats — 0 grams net carbs per 5 ounces

       Organ meats including liver — around 3 grams net carbs per 5 ounces

       Poultry, including turkey, chicken, quail, pheasant, hen, goose, duck — 0 grams net carbs per 5 ounces

       Cage-free eggs and egg yolks — 1 gram net carb each

       Fish, including tuna, trout, anchovies, bass, flounder, mackerel, salmon, sardines, etc. — 0 grams net carbs per 5 ounces

     

    Non-Starchy Vegetables

     

       All leafy greens, including dandelion or beet greens, collards, mustard, turnip, arugula, chicory, endive, escarole, fennel, radicchio, romaine, sorrel, spinach, kale, chard, etc. — range from 0.5–5 net carbs per 1 cup

       Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower — 3–6 grams net carbs per 1 cup

       Celery, cucumber, zucchini, chives and leeks — 2–4 grams net carbs per 1 cup

       Fresh herbs — close to 0 grams net carbs per 1–2 tablespoons

       Veggies that are slightly higher in carbs (but still low all things considered) include asparagus, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, bell pepper, sugar snap peas, water chestnuts, radishes, jicama, green beans, wax beans, tomatoes — 3–7 grams net carbs per 1 cup raw

     

    Fat-Based Fruit

     

       Avocado — 3.7 grams net carbs per half

     

    Snacks

     

       Bone broth (homemade or protein powder) — 0 grams net carbs per serving

       Beef or turkey jerky — 0 grams net carbs

       Hard-boiled eggs — 1 gram net carb

       Extra veggies (raw or cooked) with homemade dressing — 0–5 grams net carbs

       1/2 avocado with sliced lox (salmon) — 3–4 grams net carbs

       Minced meat wrapped in lettuce — 0-1 grams net carbs

     

    Condiments

     

       Spices and herbs — 0 grams net carbs

       Hot sauce (no sweetener) — 0 grams net carbs

       Apple cider vinegar — 0–1 grams net carbs

       Unsweetened mustards — 0–1 grams net carbs

     

    Drinks

     

       Water — 0 grams net carbs

       Unsweetened coffee (black) and tea; drink in moderation since high amounts can impact blood sugar — 0 grams net carbs

       Bone broth — 0 grams net carbs

     

    Keto Foods to Limit — Eat Only Occasionally:

    Full-Fat Dairy

     

    Dairy products should be limited to only “now and then” due to containing natural sugars. Higher fat, hard cheeses have the least carbs, while low-fat milk and soft cheeses have much more.

     

       Full-fat cow’s and goat milk (ideally organic and raw) — 11–12 net grams per one cup serving

       Full-fat cheeses — 0.5–1.5 net grams per one ounce or about 1/4 cup

     

    Medium-Starchy Vegetables

     

       Sweet peas, artichokes, okra, carrots, beets and parsnips — about 7–14 net grams per 1/2 cup cooked

       Yams and potatoes (white, red, sweet, etc.) — sweet potatoes have the least carbs, about 10 net grams per 1/2 potato; Yams and white potatoes can have much more, about 13–25 net grams per 1/2 potato/yam cooked

     

    Ketogenic diet food list foods to eat occasionally – Dr. AxeLegumes and Beans

     

       Chickpeas, kidney, lima, black, brown, lentils, hummus, etc. — about 12–13 net grams per 1/2 cup serving cooked

       Soy products, including tofu, edamame, tempeh — these foods can vary in carbohydrates substantially, so read labels carefully; soybeans are fewer in carbs than most other beans, with only about 1–3 net carbs per 1/2 cup serving cooked

     

    Nuts and Seeds

     

       Almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pistachios, chestnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc. — 1.5–4 grams net carbs per 1 ounce; cashews are the highest in carbs, around 7 net grams per ounce

       Nut butters and seed butters — 4 net carbs per 2 tablespoons

       Chia seeds and flaxseeds — around 1–2 grams net carbs per 2 tablespoons

     

    Fruits

     

       Berries, including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries — 3–9 grams net carbs per 1/2 cup

     

    Snacks

     

       Protein smoothie (stirred into almond milk or water)

       7–10 olives

       1 tablespoon nut butter or handful of nuts

       Veggies with melted cheese

     

    Condiments

     

    Most condiments below range from 0.5–2 net grams per 1–2 tablespoon serving. Check ingredient labels to make sure added sugar is not included, which will increase net carbs. (Stevia and erythritol will become your go-to sweeteners because neither raise your blood sugar — combine for a more natural sweet taste and, remember, a little goes a long way!)

     

       No sugar added ketchup or salsa

       Sour cream

       Mustard, hot sauces, Worcestershire sauce

       Lemon/ lime juice

       Soy sauce

       Salad dressing (ideal to make your own with vinegar, oil and spices)

       Pickles

       Stevia (natural sweetener, zero calorie and no sugar)

       Erythritol

     

    Drinks

     

    Consume the unsweetened drinks below only moderately, having just 1–2 small servings per day. These will typically contain between 1–7 net grams per serving.

     

       Fresh vegetable and fruit juices — homemade is best to limit sugar; use little fruit to reduce sugar and aim for 8 ounces daily at most

       Unsweetened coconut or almond milk (ideal to make your own)

       Bouillon or light broth (this is helpful with electrolyte maintenance)

       Water with lemon and lime juice

     

    Foods to Avoid When on a Keto Diet — NEVER Eat:

    Any Type of Sugar Ketogenic diet food list foods to avoid – Dr. Axe

     

    One teaspoon of sugar has about 4 net grams of carbs, while every tablespoon has about 12 net grams.

     

       White, brown, cane, raw and confectioner’s sugar.

       Syrups like maple, carob, corn, caramel and fruit

       Honey and agave

       Any food made with ingredients such as fructose, glucose, maltose, dextrose and lactose

     

    Any and All Grains

     

    One slice of bread, or small serving of grains, can have anywhere from 10–30 net grams of carbs! Cereals and cooked grains typically have 15–35 grams per 1/4 cup uncooked, depending on the kind.

     

       Wheat, oats, all rice (white, brown, jasmine), quinoa, couscous, pilaf, etc.

       Corn and all products containing corn, including popcorn, tortillas, grits, polenta and corn meal

       All types of products made with flour, including bread, bagels, rolls, muffins, pasta, etc.

     

    Nearly All Processed Foods

     

       Crackers, chips, pretzels, etc.

       All types of candy

       All desserts like cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream

       Pancakes, waffles and other baked breakfast items

       Oatmeal and cereals

       Snack carbs, granola bars, most protein bars or meal replacements, etc.

       Canned soups, boxed foods, any prepackaged meal

       Foods containing artificial ingredients like artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, etc.), dyes and flavors

     

    Sweetened and Caloric Beverages  

     

       Soda

       Alcohol (beer, wine, liquor, etc.)

       Sweetened teas or coffee drinks

       Milk and dairy replacements (cow’s milk, soy, almond, coconut, lactaid, cream, half and half, etc.)

       Fruit juices

     

    Modified Keto Diet and Ketogenic Diet Food List

     

    Although a standard ketogenic diet is even more restrictive in terms of carb intake, a “moderate keto diet” is another option that will very likely still be able to provide substantial weight loss results and other improvements in symptoms. Including slightly more carbs can be very useful for maintenance, allow for more flexibility, provide a higher fiber intake, and overall may feel more sustainable long term socially and psychologically.

     

       In order to transition and remain in ketosis, aiming for about 30–50 net grams is typically the recommended amount of carbs to start with. This is considered a more moderate or flexible approach but can be less overwhelming to begin with.

       Once you’re more accustomed to this way of eating, you can choose to lower carbs even more if you’d like (perhaps only from time to time), down to about 20 grams of net carbs daily. This is considered the standard, “strict” amount that many keto dieters aim to adhere to for best results, but remember that everyone is a bit different.

       Because consuming even up to 30–50 grams of net carbs daily is still dramatically less than what most people eating a “standard Western diet” are used to, many will still experience weight loss eating slightly more carbs.

       You can try reducing carbohydrates to just 15 percent to 25 percent of total calorie intake, while increasing fat and protein to around 40 percent to 60 percent and about 20 percent to 30 percent, respectively, in order to test your own individual response.

     

    Precautions Regarding the Ketogenic Diet Food List

     

    Be aware that it’s not uncommon to experience some negative reactions and side effects when transitioning into this way of eating. Although not everyone, some people will experience the following symptoms, often referred to as the keto flu, but which usually subside within a couple of weeks:

     

       Headaches

       Fatigue/lack of energy

       Muscle weakness or pains

       Poor sleep

       Constipation, nausea or upset stomach

       Brain fog

       Moodiness

     

    To help you overcome these symptoms, here are several steps to try taking:

     

       Most importantly, to combat nausea, fatigue and constipation due to the low-carb keto diet, adopt alkaline diet principles.

       Add bone broth to your diet, which can help restore electrolytes that are lost during ketosis. When you follow a keto diet, even if you’re drinking a lot of water, you will lose a lot of water weight and also flush essential electrolytes out of our system, including magnesium, potassium or sodium. Adding bone broth is a great way to replenish these naturally, in addition to getting other nutrients and amino acids.

       Foods to eat more of than can also help increase electrolyte intake are nuts, avocados, mushrooms, salmon and other fish, spinach, artichokes, and leafy greens.

       Reduce your exercise load temporary.

       Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and also consuming enough salt/sodium.

       Consume even more fat if you’re hungry.

       Avoid eating synthetic ingredients in processed foods. Also try to limit “low-carb foods” that are still unhealthy and difficult to digest, even those that many ketogenic diet programs might recommend or include. These include cold cuts, processed meats (especially pork) or cured meats, bacon, and processed cheeses.

     

    Final Thoughts on the Ketogenic Diet Food List, Plan and Tips

     

       The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. Typical ketogenic diets consist of limiting carbohydrate intake to just 20–30 net grams per day and following the ketogenic diet food list.

       Fats should be consumed in high amounts when following a keto diet. Fats will provide 70–80 percent of all calories, proteins just about 10–20 percent, and carbs only 5–10 percent.

       A “moderate keto diet” is an option that can still encourage substantial weight loss and other improvements in symptoms. A moderate keto diet includes more foods with carbs and, therefore, more fiber too. Carbs are usually increased to about  30–50 net grams per day, which means foods like more high-fiber veggies, some fruit or some starchy veggies can also be included.

     

    Read Next: 50 Keto Recipes — High in Healthy Fats + Low in Carbs

     

    From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut only affects the digestive system, but in reality it can affect more. Because Leaky Gut is so common, and such an enigma, I’m offering a free webinar on all things leaky gut. Click here to learn more about the webinar.

     

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    A ketogenic diet for beginners

    By Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD – Updated May 2018

    A keto or ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many proven benefits for weight loss, health and performance, as millions of people have experienced already.1

     

    Here you’ll learn how to eat a keto diet based on real foods. You’ll find visual guides, recipes, meal plans and a simple 2-week get started program, all you need to succeed on keto.

     

    Get even more, custom meal plans, ask the experts and low-carb TV, with a free trial.

     

    Introduction to the keto diet1. Introduction

    What to eat on a keto diet2. What to eat

    Benefits3. Why eat keto

    How to get into ketosis4. How to get into ketosis

    How to know you’re in ketosis5. How to know you’re in ketosis

    Keto guides and tips6. Tips and guides

    Keto side effects7. Side effects

    Fine-tuning and Troubleshooting a Ketogenic Diet8. Q&A, troubleshooting & resources

     

    1. Introduction: What is keto?

     

    48,358 viewsMake it simple to understand keto and do it right, using our new video course above.

     

    The entire course with all parts is available here. Alternatively, just keep reading below.

     

    What “keto” means

     

    Ketosis

     

    The “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it makes the body produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”.2

    This is an alternative fuel for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply.

     

    Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar).

     

    Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel throughout the body, including the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day, and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose… or ketones.3

     

    On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Insulin levels become very low, and fat burning increases dramatically. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there are also other less obvious benefits, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy, keeping you alert and focused.

     

    When the body produces ketones, it’s said to be in ketosis. The fastest way to get there is by fasting – not eating anything – but nobody can fast forever.

     

    A keto diet, on the other hand, can be eaten indefinitely and also results in ketosis. It has many of the benefits of fasting – including weight loss – without having to fast.

     

    Learn more about ketosis

     

    ChecklistWho should NOT do a ketogenic diet?

     

    A keto diet is normally very safe, but there are three groups that often require special consideration:

     

       Do you take medication for diabetes, e.g. insulin? More

       Do you take medication for high blood pressure? More

       Do you breastfeed? More

     

    Are you a doctor or do you need your doctor to help you with medications on keto? Have a look at our low carb for doctors guide.

    1. What to eat on a keto diet

     

    Here are typical foods to enjoy on a ketogenic diet. The numbers are net carbs per 100 grams.4

    To remain in ketosis, lower is generally better:

     

    Keto diet foods: Natural fats (butter, olive oil); Meat; Fish and seafood; Eggs; Cheese; Vegetables that grow above ground

     

    The most important thing for reaching ketosis is to avoid eating too many carbs. You’ll probably need to keep carb intake under 50 grams per day of net carbs, ideally below 20 grams. The fewer carbs, the more effective.

     

    Counting carbs can be helpful at first. But if you stick to our recommended foods and recipes you can stay keto even without counting.

     

    Detailed list of what to eat on keto

     

    Try to avoid

     

    Here’s what you should avoid on keto – foods containing a lot of sugar and starch. This includes starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. These foods are very high in carbs.

     

    Foods to avoid on a keto diet: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit, beer, soda, juice, candy

     

    The numbers are grams of net carbs per 100 grams, unless otherwise noted.5

     

    This means that on keto you’ll basically need to avoid sugary foods completely, as well as starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. Just follow our keto diet advice.

     

    Furthermore, the food should primarily be high in fat, and only moderately high in protein (as excess protein can be converted to blood sugar in the body). A rough guideline is about 5% energy from carbohydrates (the fewer carbs, the more effective), 15-25% from protein, and around 75% from fat.6

     

    More specific advice on what to eat – and what not to eat

    What to drink

     

    Low-carb drinks

     

    So what do you drink on a keto diet? Water is the perfect drink, and coffee or tea are fine too. Ideally, use no sweeteners, especially not sugar. A small amount of milk or cream in your coffee or tea is OK (but beware of caffe latte!). The occasional glass of wine is fine too.

     

    For more, have a look at our full guides to keto drinks and keto alcohol.

     

    Visual keto guides

     

    For more on specific topics – like what fruits or nuts to eat on a ketogenic diet – check out our popular visual guides:

    Keto VegetablesVegetables

    Keto FruitsFruits

    Keto NutsNuts

    Keto SnacksSnacks

    Keto AlcoholAlcohol

    Keto Fats & SaucesFats & sauces

    Keto drinksDrinks

    20 and 50 grams of carbs in different waysHow many carbs?

    Keto sweetenersSweeteners

     

    Recipes

     

    We have over 300 fantastic keto recipes. Below are a few popular examples:

     

       Keto oven-baked Brie cheeseKeto oven-baked Brie cheese

       1 g

       No-bread keto breakfast sandwichNo-bread keto breakfast sandwich

       2 g

       Keto Naan bread with melted garlic butterKeto Naan bread with melted garlic butter

       1 g

       Keto egg muffinsKeto egg muffins

       2 g

       Classic bacon and eggsClassic bacon and eggs

       1 g

       Scrambled eggs with basil and butterScrambled eggs with basil and butter

       2 g

       Keto chicken Garam masalaKeto chicken Garam masala

       6 g

       Keto mushroom omeletKeto mushroom omelet

       4 g

       Keto blue-cheese dressingKeto blue-cheese dressing

       3 g

       Keto hamburger patties with creamy tomato sauce and fried cabbageKeto hamburger patties with creamy tomato sauce and fried cabbage

       10 g

       Keto Italian cabbage stir-fryKeto Italian cabbage stir-fry

       9 g

       Keto frittata with fresh spinachKeto frittata with fresh spinach

       4 g

       Keto Asian cabbage stir-fryKeto Asian cabbage stir-fry

       10 g

       Keto prosciutto-wrapped asparagus with goat cheeseKeto prosciutto-wrapped asparagus with goat cheese

       1 g

       Boiled eggs with mayonnaiseBoiled eggs with mayonnaise

       1 g

     

    Keto mealsMeals

    Keto breakfastsBreakfasts

    Keto snacksSnacks

    Keto dessertsDesserts

    Keto breadBread

     

    Diet plans

     

    Here are two weeks worth of recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner on a keto diet:

     

    14-day keto diet plan

     

    Get 70+ prepared weekly keto meal plans, complete with all recipes, shopping lists and more, with our premium meal planner tool (free trial). Our prepared meal plans include vegetarian and dairy-free weeks, quick and easy weeks, etc.

     

    Our meal planner includes the ability to change meals to any of our hundreds or recipes, skip meals, or even construct your own keto meal plans from scratch, using our recipes, and share them.

     

       Keto western omeletMon

       Keto fried salmon with asparagusTue

       Keto Reuben skilletWed

       Keto tuna casseroleThu

       Keto roast beef and cheddar plateFri

       Chorizo with creamed green cabbageSat

       Keto Cordon Bleu casseroleSun

     

    How low carb is keto?

     

    The fewer carbs you eat, the more effective it is for weight loss, appetite suppression and type 2 diabetes reversal, etc. A keto diet is a very strict low-carb diet, containing less than 20 grams of net carbs per day, and thus it is highly effective.

     

    Here are three possible examples of how low-carb meals can look, based on how many carbs you aim to eat in a day. Note that only the left plate is reliably ketogenic:

    Ketogenic low carbKetogenic 0-20

    moderate low carbModerate 20-50

    Liberal low carbLiberal 50-100

     

    We recommend starting out by following the dietary advice as strictly as you can. When you’re happy with your weight and health, you could carefully try eating a few more carbs (if you want to). Learn more

     

    Get started

     

    For everything you need to get started – meal plans, shopping lists, daily tips and troubleshooting – just sign up for our free 2-week keto low-carb challenge.

     

    Folder

     

    Here’s our folder with basic keto advice. Feel free to print it out, put it on your fridge, or give it to your curious friends:

     

    Low-carb-for-beginners_folder_1803-2

     

    countries3

    Keto advice in 40 languages

     

    Here you’ll find keto diet advice in 40 languages. First of all the entire Diet Doctor site is available in Spanish and Swedish as well. Press the note symbol for all other languages:7

     

    1. Why eat keto – the benefits

     

    The benefits of a keto diet are similar to those of other low-carb diets, but it’s more powerful than liberal low-carb diets. Think of keto as a super-charged low-carb diet, maximizing the benefits.

     

    Keto and weight lossLose weight

     

    Turning your body into a fat-burning machine has obvious benefits for weight loss. Fat burning is vastly increased, while insulin – the fat-storing hormone – levels drop greatly. This creates ideal circumstances in which fat loss can occur, without hunger.

     

    More than 20 high-quality scientific studies8

    show that, compared to other diets, low-carb and keto diets result in more effective weight loss.

     

       600+ success stories

       How to lose weight – the full guide

       Top 10 weight-loss tips for women 40+

     

    Keto and appetite controlAppetite control

     

    On keto you’ll gain a new control over your appetite. When your body burns fat 24-7, it has constant access to weeks or months of stored energy, dramatically reducing feelings of hunger. It’s a very common experience, and studies prove it.9

     

    This makes it easy to eat less and lose excess weight – just don’t eat until you’re hungry. This makes intermittent fasting easy, super-charging efforts to reverse type 2 diabetes and speeding up weight loss. Plus, you’ll save tons of time and money by not having to snack all the time. Many people only feel the need to eat twice a day (often skipping breakfast), and some just once a day.

     

    Not having to fight feelings of hunger can also potentially help with problems like sugar or food addiction, and possibly some eating disorders, like bulimia, as well. At least feeling satisfied can be part of the solution. Food can stop being an enemy and become your friend – or simply fuel, whatever you prefer.

    Keto and constant energy and brain performanceConstant energy and mental performance

     

    Ketosis results in a steady flow of fuel (ketones) to the brain, and you avoid big blood sugar swings. This often results in the experience of improved focus and concentration. Any brain fog will be long gone!

     

    A lot of people use keto diets specifically for increased mental performance. Also, many people experience an increase in energy when in ketosis.

     

    On keto, the brain doesn’t need carbs. It’s fueled 24-7 by ketones, a perfect brain fuel for focus and energy.

    Low carb and diabetes reversalControl blood sugar and reverse type 2 diabetes

     

    A keto diet controls blood sugar levels, and is excellent for reversing type 2 diabetes. This has been proven in studies.10

    It makes perfect sense since keto lowers blood-sugar levels and reduces the negative impact of high insulin levels.

     

    As a keto diet may even reverse existing type 2 diabetes, it’s likely to be even more effective at preventing it, or reversing pre-diabetes.

     

    150+ success stories

     

    How to reverse type 2 diabetes – the quick start guide

    Low carb and diabetes reversalImproved health markers

     

    There are many studies showing that low-carb diets improve important health markers, including the cholesterol profile (HDL, triglycerides), blood sugar levels, insulin levels and blood pressure.11

     

    These commonly improved markers are connected to something called “metabolic syndrome”, and improvements in weight, waist circumference, diabetes type 2 reversal etc.

     

    My health markers after 10 years on a keto diet

    happystomach-800-roundedA calmer stomach

     

    Keto can result in a calmer stomach, less (or no) gas, less cramps and pains, etc.

     

    For quite a few people this is the top benefit, and it usually only takes a day or two to experience it. Learn more

     

    Low carb and weight lossIncreased physical endurance

     

    Keto diets can vastly increase your physical endurance by giving you constant access to all the energy of your fat stores.

     

    The body’s supply of stored carbohydrates (glycogen) only lasts for a couple of hours of intense exercise, or less. But your fat stores carry enough energy to easily last for weeks or even months.

     

    How to maximize endurance on a keto diet

    Keto and epilepsyEpilepsy

     

    The keto diet is a proven and effective medical therapy for epilepsy that has been used since the 1920s. Traditionally it was used primarily for children, but recently adults have benefited from it as well.

     

    Using a ketogenic diet in epilepsy can allow people to take less or no anti-epileptic drugs, while still remaining seizure-free. This reduces drug side effects and thus increases mental performance. More

     

    More possible benefits

     

    The benefits above are the most common ones. But there are others that are potentially even more surprising and – at least for some people – life changing. Did you know that low carb often normalizes blood pressure, results in less acne, controls migraine, might help with certain mental health issues and helps with a lot more?

     

    Follow the links below for more knowledge, stories and science:

    Low carb and blood pressureNormalize blood pressure

    Keto and PCOSReverse PCOS

    Keto and acneLess acne

    Keto and migraineFewer migraine attacks

    Low carb and heartburnLess heartburn

    Beat your sugar cravingsLess sugar cravings

    Keto and brain cancer (GBM)Treating brain cancer

    Low carb and PCOSAlzheimer’s

    Other potential benefits

     

    There’s even science-based speculation that a keto diet could increase longevity and help treat or reduce the risk of cancer.12

    It’s also being used as an experimental treatment for some people with Parkinson’s disease13

    .

     

    Success stories

     

    We’re always happy to receive stories from people who’ve used a keto diet to revolutionize their health. We’ve been sent thousands of such stories, and we publish some of the most amazing ones – over 600 so far – for anyone to read.

     

    Here are a few of them:

     

       Keto and intermittent fasting: “I am completely blown away by the changes”

       Keto and intermittent fasting: “I am completely blown away by the changes”

       How Melissa lost 100 pounds with a keto diet, and kept it off for 15 years

       How Melissa lost 100 pounds with a keto diet, and kept it off for 15 years

       Reversing type 2 diabetes in only 2.5 months with keto and fasting

       Reversing type 2 diabetes in only 2.5 months with keto and fasting

       Minus 125 pounds and no more binge eating on a keto diet

       Minus 125 pounds and no more binge eating on a keto diet

     

    Categories

    W0-39–800Women 0-39

    W40-800Women 40+

    M0-39–800Men 0-39

    M40–800Men 40+

     

    Top success story videos

     

       My success story with Jim Caldwell

       My success story with Jim Caldwell

       02:23

       Jim Caldwell has transformed his health and gone from an all-time high at 352 lbs (160 kg) to 170 lbs (77 kg.

       My success story with Dr. Nathan Wiens

       My success story with Dr. Nathan Wiens

       02:19

       Dr. Nathan Wiens on how he lost 50 lbs (23 kg) with low carb, transformed his health and started recommending the diet to his patients.

     

    More

     

    1. How to get into ketosis

     

    20 grams of carbs in two waysThere are many things that increase your level of ketosis. Here they are, from most to least important:

     

       Restrict carbohydrates to 20 digestible grams per day or less – a strict low-carb diet. Fiber does not have to be restricted, it might even be beneficial.14

        

       How much is 20 grams of carbs? Use our visual guide to find out. Or simply use our keto recipes and meal plans, they are designed to keep you under 20 grams with no counting required.

        

       Note that quite often, just restricting carbs to very low levels results in ketosis. So this may be all you need to do. But the rest of the list below will help make sure that you’re successful.

     

       Restrict protein to moderate levels. On a keto diet you should eat the protein you need, but not much more. This is because excess protein is converted to glucose in the body, reducing ketosis.

        

       If possible, stay at or below 1 gram of protein per day, per kg of body weight – about 70 grams of protein per day if you weigh 70 kilos (154 pounds).15

        

       The most common mistake that stops people from getting into ketosis is too much protein. Our keto recipes are designed with the right amount of protein.

     

       Eat enough fat to feel satisfied.16

       This is the big difference between a keto diet and starvation, that also results in ketosis. A keto diet is sustainable, whereas starvation is not.

        

       When starving you’re likely to feel tired and hungry and give up, but a keto diet is sustainable and can make you feel great. So eat enough to feel satisfied, and if you’re hungry all the time, you should probably add more fat to your meals (like more butter, more olive oil, etc.). Our keto recipes have the needed fat included.

     

       Avoid snacking when not hungry. Eating more often than you need, just eating for fun and because there’s food around, reduces ketosis and slows down weight loss. Though using keto snacks will minimize the damage, and is fine when you’re hungry.

     

       If necessary, add intermittent fasting. For example, skip breakfast and only eat during 8 hours of the day, fasting for 16 hours (i.e. 16:8 fasting) . This is very effective at boosting ketone levels, as well as accelerating weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal. It’s also usually easy to do on keto.

     

       Add exercise – adding any kind of physical activity while on low carb can increase ketone levels moderately. It can also help speed up weight loss and diabetes type 2 reversal slightly. Exercise is not necessary to get into ketosis, but it may be helpful.

     

       Sleep enough – for most people at least seven hours per night on average – and keep stress under control. Sleep deprivation and stress hormones raise blood sugar levels, slowing ketosis and weight loss a bit. Plus they make much it harder to stick to your chosen diet, and resist temptations. So while handling sleep and stress will not get you into ketosis on it’s own, it’s still worth thinking about.

     

    Bottom line: To get into ketosis, restrict carbs to very low levels, preferably below 20 net carbs per day. This is by far the most important thing for ketosis to occur.

     

    Should you need to increase the effect, implement more steps from the list above, starting from the top.

     

    No products required

     

    Note what’s not on the list above: you likely do not need fancy expensive supplements, like MCT oil or ketone supplements. These supplements will in all likelihood not help you lose weight or reverse disease, there’s no evidence for that.

     

    KetoSupplements

     

    Ketone supplements for example, do not lower insulin or blood sugar, and they do not increase fat burning. Thus they hardly help with weight loss or type 2 diabetes reversal.

     

    So people saying that – despite the lack of scientific support – likely have a financial reason to say it. Some of these products are sold under something like a multi-level marketing arrangement, so sales people are entirely paid based on commission.17

    Thus they’ll likely tell you that their product is fantastic and has changed their lives and makes you lose weight etc., just like any other miracle supplement in the world. But that’s hardly true. Take all such stories with a grain of salt.

     

    All these ketone supplements might do is possibly improve mental and physical performance for a short time. They do raise blood levels of ketones, an effect that can last for one up to a few hours.

     

    So… I’m not saying don’t buy these supplements, perhaps you do want to try them for yourself, see how they make you feel. But you don’t need them to be successful on keto. And they are probably, for most people, a waste of money.

     

    1. How to know you’re in ketosis

     

    How do you know if you’re in ketosis? It’s possible to measure it by testing urine, blood or breath samples. But there are also telltale symptoms, that require no testing:

     

    Symptoms of ketosis: dry mouth, thirst, frequent urination

     

       Dry mouth and increased thirst. Unless you drink enough and get enough electrolytes, like salt, you may feel a dry mouth. Try a cup of bouillon or two daily, plus as much water as you need. You may also feel a metallic taste in your mouth.

       Increased urination. A ketone body, acetoacetate, may end up in the urine. This makes it possible to test for ketosis using urine strips. It also – at least when starting out – can result in having to go to the bathroom more often. This is the main cause of the increased thirst (above).

       Keto breath. This is due to a ketone body called acetone escaping via our breath.18

       It can make a person’s breath smell “fruity”, or similar to nail polish remover. This smell can sometimes also be felt from sweat, when working out. It’s often temporary. Learn more

     

    Other, less specific but more positive signs include:

     

       Reduced hunger. Many people experience a marked reduction in hunger.19

       This may be caused by an increased ability of the body to be fueled by its fat stores. Many people feel great when they eat just once or twice a day, automatically ending up doing a form of intermittent fasting. This saves both time and money, while also speeding up weight loss.

       Increased energy. After a few days of feeling tired (the “keto flu“) many people experience a clear increase in energy levels. This can also be experienced as clear thinking, a lack of “brain fog” or even a sense of euphoria.

     

    Measuring ketosis

     

    ketone meters

    There are three ways to measure for ketones, which all come with pros and cons:

     

       Urine strips

       Breath ketone analyzers

       Blood ketone meter

     

    1. Urine stripsketostix

     

    Urine strips are the simplest and cheapest way to measure ketosis. It is the first option for most beginners.

     

    Dip the strip in your urine, and 15 seconds later the color change will show you the presence of ketones.20

    If you get a high reading (a dark purple color), you’ll know that you’re in ketosis.

     

    Pro: Ketone strips are available in regular pharmacies or via Amazon, and they’re very cheap. A strongly positive test reliably proves that you’re in ketosis.

     

    Con: Results can vary depending on how much fluid you drink.21

    The strips don’t show a precise ketone level. Finally, and most importantly, as you become increasingly keto-adapted and your body reabsorbs ketones from the urine, urine strips may become unreliable, even if you’re in ketosis.22

    Thus, the test may sometimes stop working – always showing a negative result – when you’ve been in ketosis for several weeks.

     

    Order urine strips at Amazon

     

    1. Breath-ketone analyzers

     

    ketonixBreath-ketone analyzers are a simple way to measure ketones23

    in your breath. At $169 and up they are more expensive than urine strips. But they are cheaper than blood-ketone meters in the long run, as they are reusable any number of times.

     

    These analyzers do not give you a precise ketone level when used on their own, but provide a color code for the general level.24

    You can also hook it up to a computer or mobile phone (newer models) and get an exact ketone number via the app. Research shows that the device gives a decent correlation with blood ketones in most situations.

     

    Pro: Reusable, simple test.

     

    Con: Does not always correlate well with blood ketones. Not always accurate, and can in some situations show entirely misleading values.25

    More expensive than urine strips, and higher cost upfront than a blood meter.

     

    Order Ketonix

     

    Video: Using breath-ketone analyzers

     

    1. Blood-ketone metersBlood ketone meters: Precision extra and Keto-Mojo

     

    Blood-ketone meters show an exact and current level of ketones in your blood.26

    They are the gold standard and the most exact way to measure your ketosis level. The major disadvantage, however, is that they are quite expensive, formerly at least $2 per test.27

     

    Now a new startup, called Keto-Mojo, is offering blood ketone testing for as little as $1 per test. Early reviews are positive, and if you’re concerned about the price of testing, we recommend using the Keto-Mojo meter.

     

    GOOD: Exact, reliable.

     

    BAD: Still expensive (at least $1 per test). Requires pricking your finger for a drop of blood.

     

    Order the Keto-Mojo meter

     

    Order the blood-ketone meter Precision Xtra with everything included, at Amazon

     

    How to reach optimal ketosis

     

    Getting into ketosis is not a black or white thing. It’s not like you’re either in ketosis, or out of ketosis. Instead, you can be in different degrees of ketosis, as this chart demonstrates.28

    The numbers below refer to values when testing blood ketone levels.

     

    The Ketone Zone

     

       Below 0.5 mmol/l is not considered “ketosis”, although a value of, say, 0.2 demonstrates that you’re getting close. At this level, you’re still far away from maximum fat-burning.

     

       Between 0.5 – 1.5 mmol/l is light nutritional ketosis. You’ll be getting a good effect on your weight, but perhaps not optimal.

     

       Around 1.5 – 3 mmol/l is called optimal ketosis and is recommended for maximum mental and physical performance gains. It also maximizes fat burning, which can increase weight loss.

     

       Over 3 mmol/l is higher than necessary. It will achieve neither better nor worse results than being at the 1.5–3 level. Higher numbers can also sometimes mean that you’re not getting enough food (“starvation ketosis”). For type 1 diabetics, it can be caused by a severe lack of insulin that requires urgent attention.29

     

       Over 8–10 mmol/l: It’s normally impossible to get to this level just by eating a keto diet. It means that something is wrong. The most common cause by far is type 1 diabetes, with severe lack of insulin.30

       Symptoms include feeling very sick with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and confusion. The possible end result, ketoacidosis, may be fatal and requires immediate medical care. Learn more

     

    Optimal ketosis experimentStories about achieving long-term ketosis

     

    Here are the three reports from a 2-month experiment in reaching optimal ketosis:

     

       Experiment: Optimal ketosis for weight loss and increased performance

       Four weeks of strict LCHF and ketone monitoring

       Final report: Two months of strict LCHF and ketone monitoring

     

    Do I have to reach optimal ketosis to experience the benefits?

     

    In short, no. Many of the benefits, such as weight loss, are experienced at lower levels of ketosis (above 0.5).

     

    However, you might need to reach higher levels of ketosis for high-level physical performance. There’s also a time element involved, it takes weeks or even a few months for the body to adapt completely.31

    Learn keto from the experts

     

       Low-carb living

       Low-carb living

       1:00:21

       How do you successfully eat low carb for life? And what’s the role of ketosis? Dr. Stephen Phinney answers these questions.

       Keto-Adaptation and Performance

       Keto-Adaptation and Performance

       58:58

       Professor Jeff Volek gives a great overview of the benefits of making your body burn fat for fuel.

     

    More

     

    1. Keto guides

     

    Keto can be really simple, but it helps to learn some basic new skills. How do you prepare easy and enjoyable meals, like keto breakfasts? Have you shunned fat for years and don’t know how to get more in your diet? How do you eat out and still stay keto?

     

    These tips and guides will help you get new skills and answer all the common keto questions.

    Keto breakfastBreakfast

     

    How should you start your keto day? If you love bacon and eggs dig in! If you don’t, some great keto breakfasts have no eggs at all.

     

    Have you been told that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? Ignore that! If you are not hungry when you wake up, feel free to skip breakfast or just have a cup of coffee. Reduced hunger is common on keto, so don’t worry about skipping any meal.

     

    If you are hungry when you wake up but are short on time, many keto breakfasts are tasty, filling and fast. All keto breakfasts

    meals-800-roundedMeals

     

    Hmmm, what to eat for lunch or dinner? Daily meal planning can be as simple as meat, fish or chicken mains with a salad, or vegetable side – with melted butter, cheese, or a yummy full-fat sauce. We have hundreds of choices for delicious keto meals

    cheap-800-rounded-1Keto on a budget

     

    Many people believe that keto is expensive, and it can be. After all, good quality food is often more costly than cheaper and unhealthier options. But there are many ways to make keto cheap, and in this guide you’ll learn all about it

    Eating more fat on ketoHow to eat more fat

     

    For decades we have been told, wrongly, to fear fat. Now we know fat is satiating, healthy and makes food taste great.

     

    Do you need tips and tricks for how to add fat back into your food? And just how much fat do you need each day? Tip: if you are constantly feeling hungry on a keto diet, eat more fat.

     

    Here’s how to add fat back

    bread-800-roundedBread

     

    Bread is one of the most common things that people may miss on a keto diet. But fear not, there are plenty of good bread options that are very low in carbs, and that can be eaten even on a keto diet. Learn more

    dining-out-800-rounded-ffDining out

     

    How do you eat keto at buffets, at a friend’s house or at fast­-food restaurants? Avoid the starchy foods (like bread or pasta) and ask for additional natural fat, like butter or olive oil, if you need it. Learn more

    keto cheatingKeto cheating

     

    To cheat or not to cheat? This guide will help you decide, and if you do decide to cheat, it will help you do it smarter

    cheap-800-rounded-1Avoiding special products

     

    Another common mistake on a keto diet is being fooled by the creative marketing of special “low-carb” products. Remember: An effective keto diet for weight loss should be based on real food.

     

    Low-carb products like chocolate, candy, pasta and bread often use all kinds of deceptive marketing, while being just junk food – including carbs – in disguise. Learn more

     

    More guides

     

    Do you want more keto guides? We have more keto guides!

     

       Keto when traveling

       Keto without cooking

       How to gain weight on keto

     

    1. Potential side effects of ketosis

     

    When you suddenly switch your body’s metabolism from burning carbs (glucose) to fat and ketones you may have some side effects as your body gets used to its new fuel.

     

    Symptoms can include headache, tiredness, muscle fatigue, cramping and heart palpitations. These symptoms are mild and short-lived for most people. Many feel fantastic right away, and if not, there are ways to minimize or cure any side effects.

     

    Another option to reduce potential side effects is to gradually decrease your consumption of carbs over a few weeks. But with a slower start you’ll likely not see as dramatic results or feel the positive benefits as strongly.

     

    Therefore we recommend you stop sugar and starches all at once. You will likely lose a number of pounds within days. While some of the initial rapid weight loss is water weight (reduced swelling), it’s still a highly motivating and inspiring way to start your keto journey.

     

    Keep reading for more about common side effects and how to handle them.

     

    cheap-800-rounded-1Keto flu

     

    Almost everyone who starts a keto diet will experience some symptoms of the “keto flu“. This is what you may feel, more or less, a couple of days into a keto diet:

     

       Headache

       Fatigue

       Dizziness

       Light nausea

       Difficulty focusing (“brain fog”)

       Lack of motivation

       Irritability

     

    These initial symptoms – should you experience them – usually disappear within a week, as your body adapts to increased fat burning.

     

    The cause of the keto flu is that carb-rich foods can result in water retention (swelling) in the body. When you start a low-carb diet much of this excess fluid is lost. You may notice increased urination, and with that some extra salt is lost too.

     

    This can result in dehydration and a lack of salt, before your body adapts. That’s the reason behind most of the symptoms of the keto flu.

     

    You can reduce or even eliminate these symptoms by making sure you get enough water and salt. One simple way to do this is to drink a cup of bouillon or broth, 1-2 times per day.

     

    More about keto flu and how to minimize it

     

    Do you need electrolyte supplementation on a keto diet?

    More common keto side effects

     

    Apart from the keto flu, there are five more relatively common side effects. They can also be avoided to a large extent, by making sure you get enough water and salt.

     

    Beyond that, there are more specific treatments for all of these issues:

    Keto leg crampsLeg cramps

    Keto diet constipationConstipation

    Keto bad breathKeto breath

    Keto heart palpitationsHeart palpitations

    Keto exercise – reduced performanceReduced physical performance

    Less common keto side effects

     

    These side effects only affect a small minority of people on a keto diet, and there are ways to handle them:

    Keto and goutGout

    Low carb and gallstonesGallstone problems

    Keto and hair lossTemporary hair loss

    Keto and cholesterolElevated cholesterol

    Keto and alcoholReduced tolerance to alcohol

    Keto RashKeto rash

    Keto and breastfeedingPotential danger when breastfeeding

    Keto myths

     

    Most side effects of keto are minor and temporary. But there are a lot of myths, that scare people. Like the idea that your brain will cease functioning unless you eat lots of carbs. It’s a myth, based on a lack of understanding of the way the body works in ketosis (switching the fuel supply of the brain to ketones. Learn more

     

    Another common mistake is mixing up normal ketosis – resulting from a keto diet – with the dangerous medical emergency ketoacidosis. They are two very different things. Ketoacidosis does not happen just from eating a keto diet.32

     

    There are several more common keto myths. Will keto kill your kidneys or destroy your bones? Will it stop your thyroid from working? Read all about them on our low-carb and keto myths page

     

    1. Keto Q&A, troubleshooting and resources

     

    Keto questions and answersThere are many common questions about keto, and we do our best to answer them all. Feel free to check out our full keto FAQ, or choose one of the questions below:

     

    How much weight will I lose on keto?

     

    Results vary widely. Most people lose 2-4 pounds (1-2 kg) during the first week. This is partially water weight. After this it’s common to lose about 1 pound (0.5 kg) of excess fat weight per week. However, some lose much faster (often younger men), some a bit slower (often women over 40).

     

    You can speed up the process or break a weight loss plateau by following our top tips.

     

    When you approach your normal body weight, the weight loss will slow. As long as you eat when you’re hungry you’ll eventually stabilize your weight even if you stay on a keto diet.

     

    How do I track my carb intake?

     

    If you use our keto recipes and keto meal plans you’ll stay under 20 net grams of carbs per day, with no need to count.

     

    Using our keto foods guidelines and visual guides will make it simple to estimate roughly how many carbs you eat in a day.

     

    If you want to count carbs exactly, the most popular way is with apps like MyFitnessPal or Chronometer.

     

    What happens after I reach my health and weight goals on keto?

     

    Once you reach your goals you can either keep eating keto (to maintain the effect), or you can try adding a bit more carbs. In the latter case the effect of the keto diet will be slightly weaker, and you may or may not regain some weight.

     

    If you completely revert to your old habits, you’ll slowly return to the weight and health situation you had before. It’s like exercising – if you stop doing it, you’ll slowly lose the benefits. As you may expect, keto, like exercise, only works when you do it.

     

    Further questions and answers

     

       Is a keto diet safe?

       How do you know when your body is in ketosis?

       What foods can you eat on a keto diet?

       Is a keto diet safe for the kidneys?

       What can you drink on the keto diet?

       Can I have fruit on a keto diet?

       What is a keto diet?

       What is ketosis?

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