If you’re looking to get a jump start on your health and fitness goals this year, you may be thinking about trying the ketogenic diet. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase before — it’s a huge diet buzzword — but aren’t sure what it means. Here’s a primer: The ketogenic diet is an eating plan that drives your body into ketosis, a state where the body uses fat as a primary fuel source (instead of carbohydrates), says Stacey Mattinson, RDN, who is based in Austin, Texas.
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.

The only way you can know how you respond to dairy is by slowly adding it to your meals. If you eat dairy and don’t notice any issues, you will probably be okay using dairy as a great source of fat. If however, you find that after eating yogurt or cheese you feel bloated, have cramps, get diarrhea or start vomiting, you will want to eliminate dairy until you figure out the cause. In some cases, people who were previously lactose intolerant have been able to add dairy into their diets after eliminating carbs, so you just never know. Food allergies are a tricky thing.
When you eat a ketogenic diet, you switch your body’s fuel source to fat rather than the body’s usual source, glucose (1). From this fuel source switch, the hunger hormone, Ghrelin, is reduced which causes your appetite to decrease (1). Because of the reduction in appetite, it is easier to adopt an intermittent fasting approach or an approach that lessons unwanted eating behavior outside your desired hours (AKA curbs the late night munchies). Therefore, I recommend eating 4 bigger meals rather than 6 small meals on a Ketogenic Meal Plan.
I have the same calories limit and macro. I easily stay within the limit but I completely stopped eating any type of bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and starchy food. I started using butter or coconut oil to cook and put mayo EVERYWHERE. It’s my new favourite topping for lettuce even XD. Then I eat plenty of eggs/meat/fatty fish and cheese. Olives are great as a snack. I cut out completely milk and use whipping cream instead. If you get into this completely counter intuitive way of thinking of food it’s super easy to get enough fat within the calorie limit.

First off I just want to say thank you for the 3 day meal plan to get started. I stumbled across Keto about a week ago and I have been reading and reading and reading and then essentially got super confused and though that this was not for me! But then I came across your website and my my you break it down for people like me who are just looking for guidance to get started. I am hoping to start soon as I do go on a business trip begging of next week and I am afraid to start and then boom off the band wagon. My goal is to start next Thursday…..(fingers crossed this works) everything else has failed and dieting has been a struggle since I had a hysterectomy due to cancer. Now my weight is out of control and I am the biggest I have ever been! 251 pounds and I am 5′ 2″ and none of my clothes fit!! Makes it hard to get excited in the morning when getting ready to endure the day! 

When consumed in moderation, the high fiber content of nuts and seeds can curb your appetite helping you to avoid excess calorie intake. The healthy fats and antioxidants in nuts is credited with providing the anti-inflammatory activities responsible for regulating lipid concentrations, preventing against depression, Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders (59).

Everyone wants to save money right? Well, this blog post will lay out a comprehensive plan for saving money while eating a healthy keto diet. Low carb on a budget is simple, it just takes some planning and flexibility to use whatever is on sale. Before we get too far into it I’d like to lay out the whole suite we have put together for anyone looking for more info on the specifics of this plan:
How often you eat is also up to your personal preference. "For most people, I recommend three to four meals per day with a few healthy keto snacks in between," says Dr. Axe. "This ensures that you're getting a good mix of protein and fat all day long to keep you feeling energized and satisfied." That being said, he encourages people to listen to their bodies and tune in to when they're truly hungry. "If you find that you feel better eating five to six smaller meals spread throughout the day, do what works best for you."
I said earlier that sour cream was amazing with virtually any food you could consume? Well, the same could be said about cream cheese! This stuff has an amazing fat profile that will give your meals the kind of boost they need to help you reach nutritional ketosis. If you’ve never put cream cheese in your eggs before, lemme tell you that’s an experience you won’t soon forget. It totally changes the texture of eggs; you may never eat them any other way again. I know of no better brand than Philadelphia cream cheese. Again – it bears repeating – beware of the lower-fat version. Read your label to make sure fat is the predominant ingredient and you’ll be good to go.

You can never go wrong with the water, whether it is still water or sparkling water. However, if you decide to be adventurous and need something stronger, like tea or coffee, make sure you make use of raw milk or cream instead of pasteurized milk. If you are opting for alcoholic beverages, then you should go for dry white or red wine, champagne, or very light beers.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder, and it affects women of reproductive age. Symptoms include obesity, hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. A pilot study took 11 women through 24 weeks of a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (20 grams or less per day). Among the five who completed the study, they lost 12 percent of their weight on average and reduced fasting insulin by 54 percent. Additionally, two women who previously experienced infertility problems became pregnant. (6) 

Chelsea is the site editor and nutritionist for Ultimate Paleo Guide and Paleo Meal Plans. In 2016, Chelsea graduated from the National University of Natural Medicine with a Master’s degree in Nutrition. When she’s not working for Ultimate Paleo Guide or coaching CrossFit, Chelsea enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, and eating. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @chelsbrinegar and LinkedIn.

I’m just starting this today. My intent is to be keto, but at the very least low carb. The biggest obstacle is that I’m vegetarian, so I have to eliminate the meat section. I plan on continuing with limited cheese and will look at tofu options. But my question is actually about olives! I understand they are low carb, but I buy in bulk and so there is no label to refer to. Is there a standard of net carbs you can advise for large green olives (stuffed with pimento) and Kalamata olives (for greek salads). thanks! Lois
"Plenty of people jump right in, thinking all they have to do is cut carbs and increase fat. All of a sudden, they hit a wall and get 'keto flu.' They feel tired, lethargic, and experience headaches," Wittrock says. "The primary reason they get these symptoms is lack of the three primary electrolytes: sodium, potassium, and magnesium. If you're deficient in any of these, you'll suffer mentally and physically. This is the single biggest reason people fail on the keto diet."
I just want to say THANK YOU for putting together such an informative, encouraging, and realistic introduction to what it means to follow a Keto plan. I have finally decided that I can no longer put off giving myself a food makeover. Started following the Keto guidelines today, and I’m determined to stick with it. Your site gives me the confidence to be able to do it. Thank you!
At the core of the classic keto diet is severely restricting intake of all or most foods with sugar and starch (carbohydrates). These foods are broken down into sugar (insulin and glucose) in our blood once we eat them, and if these levels become too high, extra calories are much more easily stored as body fat and results in unwanted weight gain. However, when glucose levels are cut off due to low-carb intake, the body starts to burn fat instead and produces ketones that can be measured in the blood (using urine strips, for example).
I wanted to put it out there that I made this meal plan specifically with women in mind. I took an average of about 150 women and what their macros were. The end result was 1600 calories – broken down into 136g of fat, 74g of protein, and 20g net carbs a day. This is all built around a sedentary lifestyle, like most of us live. If you need to increase or decrease calories, you will need to do that on your own terms.
I have a question on sugar since I see it’s not allowed. Is splenda or any other sugar subsitute ok? What if one of the ingredients that is required for a keto recipe contains sugar, does it matter? I haven’t really seen any discussion on how some things may already contain sugar (even if in low doses) may affect the keto diet. Should they be avoided altogether?
For those who love their potatoes, pasta, and even fruit, this is a diet that will change your lifestyle completely. You’ve probably already guessed that the pasta and other wheat foods are not allowed. Potatoes and other starchy foods, like legumes and beans, are also on the banned list and that makes sense to many. But fruit? Is fruit not allowed?
I’m Keto with no gallbladder, I take 3 papaya enzymes after eating anything. I mean anything. I take 9 to 15 a day. I went keto after losing my gallbladder because carbs of any kind caused gas and pain so I practically quit eating. The doc kept telling me to eat more fruits and veggies. The more I ate the sicker I got. Got down to 158 lbs and I’m 5’11”. This was a decade ago, I usually weigh about 185. I’m 54 yrs old. My blood pressure at sam’s the other day was 98/64. Flip that food pyramid upside down or throw it away. I was keto before keto was cool.
Hello. I’m a kept newbie. Started 6 days ago today. By day 4 I was down 10lbs. I’m following the 20 or less carbs a day, altho I more like less than 10 on most days. I have only wanted to harm someone for a cookie twice, and my bf for his fried potatoes once. I’m honestly shocked at how much food I really can eat with no carbs. And then on some days, shocked at how many carbs are in other things. Headaches and lack of energy are the only thing that I find bothersome, but i am pushing thru it. Thank u for a very detailed site. It’s helped me, and a coworker.
In one week my husband lost 1.5 kg because of Keto diet and recipes. Thank you for the insights and tips. I would like to have a complete recipe for meals everyday and hoping by subscribing I will receive try my mail. I will keep u posted. It takes 2 to tango. The one who wants to diet must be cooperative with the plan and execution while the other person who is preparing the food must be patient to the dieting person. Its not easy to change meals so patience is required
So sorry to hear that! Be sure to read up on ketoacidosis also, it’s something that Diabetics in particular need to be aware of when on a ketogenic diet — get keto strips online or at your local CVS and make sure you’re only in the light purple stage – keep out of the deep purple. This may mean increasing carbs and definitely water. Side note: I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on the internet. 🙂
Oils can be a great source of healthy fats—if you choose the right ones. Certain oils, like olive oil and coconut oil, have been shown to lower blood pressure, aid in weight loss, and even lessen symptoms of Alzheimer's (translation: Oils are good for your brain!). Whether you're cooking with them, adding them to salad dressing, or occasionally downing a spoonful, you can't really go wrong. Listed in order of highest to lowest fat content per tablespoon, the best oils for the keto diet include:
What she said…I, too, get overwhelmed when I think of trying to put a keto diet together. The basic concepts are clear, but the stumbling block is what to make, and how to combine recipes to get the magic numbers for the day. I would appreciate menu plans very much…and thank you for this post which has me determined to get started on a keto way of eating.
Referencing this list makes it easy to mix and match foods and create a keto meal plan that suits your personal tastes. Everything on this keto food list is very low in carbohydrates and often higher in fat. While you'll still have to do a little math to keep track of your total carb count for the day (making sure you stay below a healthy threshold for your personal goals), these foods can all be a worthy addition to a keto diet when consumed in appropriate quantities.

If you're unable to start your engine without your daily dose of caffeine, rest easy knowing that you don't have to give up your morning cup of tea or coffee on the keto diet. It's best to sip these beverages unsweetened and black. While adding milk or heavy cream to your drink may seem like a good way to get some extra fat, these additions also pour in an unwanted serving of carbs. The same goes for any sweeteners and flavored creamers.
A one-ounce (28-gram) serving of olives contains 2 grams of total carbs and 1 gram of fiber. This works out to a net carb count of 1 gram for 7–10 olives, depending on their size. If you don’t like olives or don’t want the net carbs they contain, then olive oil is a great option as well. Although you won’t get all of the benefits of olives by consuming olive oil, you will still get plenty of healthy fats and health-promoting compounds.
I would just keep to the same scheme as your breakfast, making sure you stay at around 400 calories pr meal with with 85% of those coming from fat. I am sure you will start seeing benefits. **Make sure to drink a lot of water too** and watch that you are having enough salt – get a good mineral salt, or eat something with enough magnesium. My dad started this diet and he is 85. After about 2 weeks he is a different man – more energy, and better sleeps.
Nice list! But I have to correct one small but important detail. Ketosis is not achieved from eating fatty foods, but rather from depleting the glycogen levels by reducing carbs. The fatty foods are good, but their purpose in ketosis is to fill you up and be the source of energy your body uses. So eating fat will not be the cause of ketosis. The fact that you are not eating much carbs is what will do it.
Sorry, maybe this is a German thing, but here there is no Philadelphia cheese with 74% fat. The highest fat version has 69% of fat in the dry mass, so if you eat the cheese, you eat 24,5 g fat in 100 g cheese. Full fat hard cheeses usually have around 40 to 48% fat in the dry mass, which would also probably come to around 24g fat in 100g cheese. Same with sour cream. And I haven’t found a dark chocolate with 65% fat either yet The kind I have at home, also with 81% chocolate has 42,8g fat per 100g. Although in the chocolate area I would see the best chances of finding a brand with more fat. Or you’ll just have to send me a bar! Are US% different from German %? Or is US Philadelphia different from German Philadelphia? I’ve been wondering about this for a long time.
Herbs are great ketogenic foods that pack some of the most powerful antioxidants.  Bitter herbs like ginger, turmeric, and parsley stimulate digestive function by improving gut health. They support enzyme and bile secretion from the liver as well as the gallbladder. Consequently, food transit time increases, fats are better digested, and detoxification pathways are provided a boost. (2).

How often you eat is also up to your personal preference. "For most people, I recommend three to four meals per day with a few healthy keto snacks in between," says Dr. Axe. "This ensures that you're getting a good mix of protein and fat all day long to keep you feeling energized and satisfied." That being said, he encourages people to listen to their bodies and tune in to when they're truly hungry. "If you find that you feel better eating five to six smaller meals spread throughout the day, do what works best for you."


Of course, every-so-often I need to top up on good quality coffee, olive oil, coconut oil, almond flour, chia seeds, sesame seeds and other staples of ketogenic baking, but that is less than once a month and usually done at a chain bulk food store. In the early keto years, I used to constantly bake replacement keto bread products, from the Diet Doctor recipes, but now, three years into keto eating, my need for something bread-like has greatly diminished, too.


I don’t have to convince anyone reading this to start eating more bacon, do I? Back in August, at the 2012 Ancestral Health Symposium, Harvard organic chemist Mat Lalonde extolled the virtues of consuming bacon. He noted that the fatty acid profile of this much-vilified food is actually pretty darn close to ideal. Of course, if you can get bacon from pastured pigs, that’s even better! My wife Christine loves bacon and eats it almost every day. Healthy fats, perfect amount of protein and minimal carbohydrates – what more could someone eating a low-carb diet ask for? If you’re concerned about nitrites and nitrates in bacon, then you definitely need to read this recent column by Chris Kresser to put your mind at ease. Bacon goes great with…well, everything. So eat up!
I’m also going to note that I consider this a diet for your introductory period, as I’ve always added berries and other things in after a couple of weeks with no bad effects. Your stomach shrinks so much that suddenly a couple strawberries are like eating a seven layer chocolate cake. If this is your first time hearing about the keto diet, learn more about it here.
So I’m late to the party, but I just found your blog last week. I can’t thank you enough for these simple, easy to follow recipes, meal plans, and shopping lists! They are so helpful and I appreciate the time you put into this. I did the 3 day kickstart for 5 days, mostly because I still had leftover food, and I’ve lost 5 lbs. so far! I’ve never done low carb before, and usually eat a mainly vegetarian diet, so this is very different for me, I think I purchased more meat in the past week then I have in the past year! I am strictly following the plan, but do you think after I’ve lost the weight I’ve wanted to, transitioning back to a vegetarian diet (with eggs and dairy) is possible or just a recipe for disaster?
“It’s difficult to the get many nutrients your body needs, particularly fiber and potassium, on the keto diet," says Karen Ansel, R.D., author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging: Stay Younger, Live Longer. "At the same time, it’s loaded with saturated fat, which is unhealthy for your heart, and it deprives you of the carbohydrates your body craves for energy,” she adds.

2) Since this is an older blog… I will tell you that Coconut Oil is “the miracle ingredient”! It goes RIGHT to your liver and is metabolized as ketones… it is what’s called an MCT oil (medium chain triglyceride, kinda of a “good” saturated fat) I have been eating 2 – 3 tbls a day since I started back with a vengeance and will tell you not only has it helped me to be more consistent in my weight loss, but it has even improved my complexion… I am 57, and was starting to get sun spots on my cheeks… but they are actually fading after only a month.. I’ve lost 15 lbs in this first month and feel 35 again…


Don’t stick to chicken and steak just because you’re comfortable cooking them. Make dinner time the place where you can try new meats and recipes that increase your keto recipe resources. “At lunch and dinner, you can be creative and experiment,” Weaver says. “Just focus on cooking meat—pork, chicken, lamb, beef, or seafood. Meat is rich in iron and fish contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Use only organic oils, such as avocado oil, coconut oil, and olive oil.” Read up on these things you have to know before starting the keto diet.
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. 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
The keto diet doesn't discriminate against all you cheese lovers. While we're often told to avoid dairy because of its high fat content, this is precisely what makes it an ideal keto food group. As usual, stick to the low-carb options and avoid anything that adds unnecessary calories via flavorings or sugars. Listed in order of lowest to highest carb content per 1-ounce serving, the best dairy products for the keto diet include:
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