“I really believe that the more informed you are about the benefits of a healthy bite versus the chain reaction that you’re going to put into effect in your body when you take that bite — you just suddenly don’t want to make that choice for yourself anymore. It’s beyond willpower at that point; it’s become a desire to do something good for yourself.” — Christie Brinkley

One of the major keys to my success with nutritional ketosis has been a very deliberate increase in fat consumption. I haven’t been afraid to eat fat on my low carb diet; in the absence of carbs it is the body’s fuel source. But pushing fat levels even higher while restricting carbohydrate and protein has made all the difference in the world. I remember when I first began this experiment, I got a lot of e-mails from readers who asked how I got my fat consumption up to 85% of my calories. Some joked, “What are you doing, drinking butter?” I can’t help but laugh at this notion, but it does allow me to make this a teachable moment for people who may be unfamiliar with the differences in the macronutrients.


Maya, I think what you are doing is brilliant. I am a 70-year old professional woman, educator and coach. I’ve grown our family vegetables every summer since I can remember. However, health conscious 20 or 30 years ago is a far different scenario today. Until I started having digestive issues about 5 years ago, I figured I was in the “above average” category of healthy eating.
It works similarly to how a low-carb diet would for people with diabetes. Optimizing blood sugar levels (which is what this has done for me) is vitally important for diabetics. Make sure you are seeing a medical professional who knows the importance of shifting doses of insulin/medications as your diabetes improves on a low-carb/NK plan. Check ’em out here: http://lowcarbdoctors.blogspot.com

The Keto diet emphasizes weight loss through fat-burning. The goal is to quickly lose weight and ultimately feel fuller with fewer cravings, while boosting your mood, mental focus and energy. According to Keto proponents, by slashing the carbs you consume and instead filling up on fats, you safely enter a state of ketosis. That’s when the body breaks down both dietary and stored body fat into substances called ketones. Your fat-burning system now relies mainly on fat – instead of sugar – for energy. While similar in some ways to familiar low-carb diets, the Keto diet’s extreme carb restrictions – about 20 net carbs a day or less, depending on the version – and the deliberate shift into ketosis are what set this increasingly popular diet apart.


I also asked a friend to join me as an accountability partner. She had tried the keto diet before with good success, so having a guide for my myriad questions was a big help. It was also nice to have someone to message at 10 p.m. when I really wanted a cookie so she could commiserate with me. (We agreed the cookie would be delicious, and then ate a cheese stick.)

Seasonings and sauces are a tricky part of ketogenic diet foods, but people use them on a regular basis to add flavor to their meals. The easiest way to remain strict here is to avoid processed foods. There are many low carb condiments and products on the market, and there’s no way to list them all. A handful of them are great, but the majority use high glycemic index sweeteners – which you want to avoid.
You need a new doctor!!! He certainly has no clue about how critical it is to move away from insulin resistance to insulin sensitivity. 45 g carbs each meal is insane. That is exactly why you were in the diabetic condition. Sounds like you follow your own healthy path, and you are living proof it works. Sometimes it’s hard to stand up to doctors (we all need to start), but you really need to drop him if he cannot understand what you are doing. His knowledge of nutrition is based on the 1970’s food pyramid. Bet ya he told you to reduce or eliminate all fat too. My advice is to RUN!
Avoid meat with condiments. Because, even if you’re enjoying a 4th of July barbecue with grass-fed burgers, a dollop of ketchup might be all it takes to kick you out of ketosis. (Depending on many factors, you may need to limit your total net carbs to 25-50 grams per day to stay in ketosis.) So, enhance your meats with natural spices and herbs instead.
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:
I am trying to get back into keto. I did it before and I was so happy when I lost 10lbs (I did the keto for a month). I am ready to go back to this lifestyle. All this information is very helpful, I have written it all down so it can be easier for me to remember what is allowed and what is not. Looking forward to get back on this keto journey. Thank you for all the great info.
Use fat as a lever.  We’ve been taught to fear fat, but don’t! Both keto and low carb are high fat diets. Fat is our source of energy as well as satiety. The key to understand, though, is that fat is a lever on a low carb or keto diet. Carbs and protein stay constant, and fat is the one you increase or decrease (push the lever up or down) to gain or lose weight, respectively. So if your goal is weight loss, eat enough fat to be satisfied, but there’s no need to “get your fats in” once you’re satisfied.
The ketogenic diet is the go-to diet for people who are looking to lose weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, lower their risk of metabolic disorders like type-2 diabetes, and even boost brain health (1, 2, 3, 4). But, if you are a beginner, the thought of completely turning your kitchen upside down and training your body to eat in a completely different way may seem overwhelming.  

The ketogenic diet has recently become very popular, and many food companies want to cash in by putting a “ketogenic” or “low carb” label on a new product. Be very cautious of special “keto” or “low-carb” products, such as pastas, chocolate bars, energy bars, protein powders, snack foods, cakes, cookies and other “low carb” or “ketogenic” treats. Read all labels carefully for natural low carb ingredients. The fewer ingredients the better.


I hadnt been able , prior to ketosis to even put my feet down..my legs shins and big toes were in agony.. Now My energy level is higher and my feet are great, I walked seven miles the other day ..overall I’ve lost eighteen pounds in just six weeks …I have an extremely low appetite now, and the gaps between meals are variable between sixteen and twenty hours..
Those who are interested to have a powerful and an effective approach for weight loss should consider keto diet plan. It is a very successful weight loss program available for those looking to shed extra weight in a short duration of time. Keto diet plan primarily tricks your body into making use of the body fat as the main source of energy instead of using carbohydrates. This is an ultimate review and a guide that will narrow down on the top five best keto diet plan 2018 reviews that you can adapt to your lifestyle.
Hi Mellissa. Just found your site from a link on FB. I have a query about water. I know every “diet” site says drink lots, but when I do I swell up and put on weight, especially in the summer, which it is here. My best weight-loss days are when I drink only one or two cups of coffee. I also get vertigo with too much water in my system. So I tend to drink only when I’m thirsty and it’s usually 600 mls or less.

To get the most benefit from the Keto diet, you should stay physically active. You might need to take it easier during the early ketosis period, especially if you feel fatigued or lightheaded. Walking, running, doing aerobics, weightlifting, training with kettlebells or whatever workout you prefer will boost your energy further. You can find books and online resources on how to adapt Keto meals or snacks for athletic training.
I just don’t understand why people still need it. I am so elated to be free from its hold! They will say, “Look what I found!” They’ll show a label that says “LOW CARB” or “KETO.” It often has a list of ingredients that is as long as one’s arm. Or it is a low-carb version of some high-carb treat, like candies, syrups, sweets or desserts. Artificial sweeteners abound. High-priced supplements, MCT oils and exogenous ketones are common.
As a cardiologist – this is all very interesting to me. I was reading about the Shangri La Diet as well. I wonder if there is additional benefit in marrying the two. Maybe LTOO (flavorless) first thing in AM, then follow with Coffee with MCT (one hour after LTOO) – there maybe synergy here and this may control apetite better. Maybe they both work on the same principal just explained differently.
Now we do have a full meal plan laid out for you below, but I would encourage you to experiment a bit with some meals that might better suit your tastes. We love all of these meals, that’s why we picked them! We know everyone is different though. If you want to sub something in, just check to make sure the nutrition is comparable. Keto on a budget can be pulled off all types of different ways. This is just one example using a lot of our favorite meals. For example, if you have a bunch of coconut oil sitting around feel free to sub it in for the butter. If you have olive oil, sub it in for the blue cheese dressing. Don’t let this meal plan feel restricting, it is best used as a reference point and not as a hard and fast rule book. We put together this full day of eating video to show you an example of how we ate on $5 a day: 

6. Don’t obsessively plan everything and overwhelm yourself so it feels harder than it has to. This may be controversial for some, but I’m here to tell you not to worry about calories, or nitrates, or Omega 3 vs Omega 6, or if the meat you’re eating skipped about on acres of lush pastureland, while being hand fed organic vegan feed by the tiny perfect hands of 1000 virgin milkmaids.
Kale, mushrooms, onions, etc all have a surprising amount of carbs, but aren’t included in this three day kickstart. The weekly menu plans have specific serving sizes but it’s not necessary in this three day kickstart if you eat on plan and don’t deviate – as proven by the hundreds if not thousands of people who have had success with it. If you follow the three day kickstart as written you will get into ketosis.

No matter what your diet has been before now, keto will be a big change. If you're coming from a standard American diet (SAD), your carbs will go way down, your protein may either go up or down, and your fat will go way up. If you're coming from a bodybuilding-style diet, your fat intake will jump to alarming levels, and your protein will likely drop significantly.
The first month or two on keto you may experience some strange periods (aka. Shark Week.) Don’t be alarmed. When you lose weight and your body detoxes from sugar and excess carbs, all kinds of hormonal changes (for the better) occur. Initially though, you may experience heavier periods than normal, more extreme PMS symptoms, etc. This is normal, and while it’s inconvenient it shouldn’t last more than a few months at the most.If your weight loss is rapid on keto (let’s hope), you may also lose more hair than normal for a month or two. It can be disconcerting, but it’s not permanent and will stop when your hormones regulate.
I have made some awesome cream cheese spreads with sardines packed in olive oil and Mrs dash garlic powder.Thanks for this info on HF foods,I have been waiting for this so long,in fact,I was just about to go shopping.I would also ask about certain gourmet cheeses like brie,roquefort etc which are high in fat.Personally heavy whipping cream stalls me,so I don’t use them anymore.I would also like to see some articles on amount of protein at each meal,usage of AS like splenda on your ketones level,type of proteins having any effect on ketones like oily fish vs chicken vs beef. And did you stick with salads only or did you use other veggies and how much.Also do you drink wine and how did it affect your ketones.I don’t drink,but just curious.After following your advice on NK,I have lost 5 lbs in less than a week after months of stalling on VLC.Thankyou so much,and especially for the idea of cheese slices with cream cheese,I would have never thought of that!
I don’t see how this will be within the allowed protein retirements. I found this blog through the Senza app and have found most “meal plans” have a lot of protein and not enough fat. I should be eating 80g of protein a day. One string cheese is 6g and 2 eggs are 12g, plus the 25g protein per 6oz serving most meat contains. If I ate this 3 day start up plan, is be WAY over my protein and under on my fat. She even addressed that this isn’t a high protein diet but I don’t see how it’s not when almost every meal and stack contains at least 20g protein.
Hello Myriam, I am a dual certified personal trainer and Sports Nutrition Specialist. I really love how concisely you have put this article together. I did notice that on your macro breakdown for a 1500 calorie diet you actually listed the protein intake at around 31% of the daily calories (117*4=468..468/1500=.31). I was wondering if you did this to bring the protein amount closer to 1 gram per pound of body-weight to preserve lean mass?
Take a 2 – 3 cups of lettuce, crumble in some bacon and dice a medium tomato. Mix that with two or three tablespoons of mayo, and toss after adding some splashes of hot sauce. Delicious, filling, full of fiber and healthy fats, and absolutely easy. I know the mayo sounds weird as a dressing, but trust us; it’s amazing! Add in some avocado chunks to boost potassium too!
Net carbs is simply total carbs minus fiber and non-digestible sugar alcohols, like erythritol. (This doesn’t apply to high glycemic sugar alcohols, like maltitol.) We don’t have to count fiber and certain sugar alcohols in net carbs, because they either don’t get broken down by our bodies, are not absorbed, or are absorbed but not metabolized. (Read more about sugar alcohols here.)
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