I stick to the rim of the store. If I am in a rush I might pick up a small piece of organic chicken or beef for my husband and me from the butcher counter and make sure they wrap it in paper. These days, however, I generally skip the grocery meat section. We now buy most meat products at a neighborhood butcher who has grass-fed, local selections and who doesn’t use the ubiquitous Styrofoam trays and cling wrap. I can’t stand plastic and I want to do my bit to support local farmers doing holistic husbandry.
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!
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.

Here’s a nutritional list of some of the more commonly consumed vegetables on keto. Keep in mind that the weights are the same of everything listed so that it will impact the skew of the carb counts. For example, in a meal you may have 6 oz. of broccoli in the side, but you would not have 6 oz. worth of berries in the morning. You may mix 6 oz. of berries into a pudding with 4 servings.
When discussing what a very high-fat diet consists of, it’s important to remind people that one gram of dietary fat has 9 calories, while carbohydrate and protein each have only four calories per gram. This means you need less than half of the volume of fat in order to get the same calories you would receive from carbohydrate and protein. So it’s really not as much fat as you would think. To help you figure out what to add into your diet to dramatically increase the amount of fat you are consuming, I’ve compiled a list of 12 healthy high-fat foods that are perfect for your nutritional ketosis plan. If you eat these deliciously healthy fatty (but not fattening) foods while reducing your carbohydrate and protein, there’s no reason why you can’t experience all the tremendous positive benefits that come from being in nutritional ketosis.
While nuts are a healthy option when you need a midafternoon pick-me-up, there are certain nuts to steer clear of on the keto diet. Nuts that are particularly high in carbs include cashews and pistachios. Avoid nuts of any kind that are coated with extra sugars or oils. Stick to the straightforward, low-carb nuts above if you're looking to achieve weight loss.
When discussing what a very high-fat diet consists of, it’s important to remind people that one gram of dietary fat has 9 calories, while carbohydrate and protein each have only four calories per gram. This means you need less than half of the volume of fat in order to get the same calories you would receive from carbohydrate and protein. So it’s really not as much fat as you would think. To help you figure out what to add into your diet to dramatically increase the amount of fat you are consuming, I’ve compiled a list of 12 healthy high-fat foods that are perfect for your nutritional ketosis plan. If you eat these deliciously healthy fatty (but not fattening) foods while reducing your carbohydrate and protein, there’s no reason why you can’t experience all the tremendous positive benefits that come from being in nutritional ketosis.

Beware of added sugars or high-glycemic sweeteners in spice blends or condiments, but other than that, it’s fair game for keto. In spice-heavy dishes, carbs can add up, but don’t drive yourself crazy worrying about your teaspoon of turmeric. Check labels for additives like sugars, milk solids, potato starch, corn starch, or MSG, or make your own blends at home. Table salt often contains undisclosed fillers and anti-caking agents, so it’s best to opt for sea salt or Himalayan pink salt instead.
A simple standby, but one that ketoers adore. 2 or 3 fried eggs and some bacon might not sound like much, but it’s full of protein that will keep you full and energized all morning. Take the opportunity on the weekend to lay your bacon strips on a single cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. The result is the best bacon you’ve ever had, in a big batch, with no sitting over a popping, hissing frying pan.
"Drastically limiting your intake of glucose, the usual energy source for your cells, reduces insulin secretions in your body. Since low levels of glucose are coming in, the body uses what is stored in the liver and then the muscles," says Rania Batayneh, MPH, the author of The One One One Diet: The Simple 1:1:1 Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. After about three or four days, all of the stored glucose is used up.
Wondering how many carb foods you can eat and still be “in ketosis”? The traditional ketogenic diet, created for those with epilepsy consisted of getting about 75 percent of calories from sources of fat (such as oils or fattier cuts of meat), 5 percent from carbohydrates and 20 percent from protein. For most people a less strict version (what I call a “modified keto diet”) can still help promote weight loss in a safe, and often very fast, way.
While this book contains a lot of great (and well organized) info on adopting to the Ketogenic lifestyle ,I was particular impressed by the realistic tone of the author about making the transition from our fat-laden, heavy carb popular culture toward a more healthy group of food choices. There is a good deal of variety in the recipes offered to stave off boredom. The science behind the concepts is solid but Amy Young emphasizes the building of daily habits to support the new eating regimen. The results of improving your eating habits show up in a wide spectrum of body benefits. Fine book
Likely the most informative “health email” that I have EVER received. So informative. Thank you for your generosity Dr. Jockers. You are an amazing doctor. I have been battling Ulcerative Colitis for 10 years and I always say that most doctors lack the most important “doctor quality” of all . . . compassion. However, Dr. Jockers, you are full of compassion. Thank you for the summit and this follow up email. I wish you peace, love and happiness.
Blanket statement: It’s always best to check with your doctor before starting on this regimen. With that said, “the keto diet isn’t recommended for those with liver or kidney disease, or someone with a medical condition, such as a gastrointestinal issue, who can’t metabolize high amounts of dietary fat,” says Sarah Jadin, a Los-Angeles based registered dietitian and founder of Keto Consulting, LLC. If you’ve had your gallbladder removed, the keto diet may be a no-go. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and people with certain rare genetic disorders shouldn’t try this 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!
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.3A study in the long-term effects of a ketogenic diet shows a significant reduction in cholesterol levels, body weight, and blood glucose. Read more on keto and cholesterol >
Wow! What an improvement. Would be interested in hearing what your doctor says about your results. Hopefully he has substantially reduced or eliminated any medication you were on. If not, something is amiss. The best way to accurately measure ketones is to test for hyroxy-butyric acid in the blood. The best meter is the Precision Xtra which you can find online. It measures your glucose levels and ketone levels. The only drawback is the test strips for the ketones are expensive ($5 a piece). I found good deals for these on ebay. You are most likely using ketones as a fuel now with all your weight loss. How do you feel? The main difference people talk about is their energy level. Plus you can exercise longer and recover faster if you are burning fat instead of glucose. Also, your hunger levels are greatly reduced if you are eating a high fat diet. I usually skip a meal or two just because I am not hungry. Hope that helps.
For all you diabetes patients on here, my husband has type 2 and is off all insulin and only takes metformin. His AC1 dropped from 9.1 to 7.1 in 3 months time while in ketosis. His blood sugar levels are always between 80 and 100. I am amazed that do many folks struggle with this disease and don’t know the power of ketosis. Being insulin free is highly possible for you.

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.
You should note that cutting the amount of sugar that you consume can help you to answer questions like how to lose five pounds of extra weight in a week. The key thing here is that low carb weekly diet plans are efficient and effective when you learn not only to consume fewer carbs but also how to control the portions and select snacks which are healthier to take when you get hungry in the day. Taking a snack that is rich in fat and protein will definitely last you longer than going for one that is full of carbs and sugar. This, in turn, means that you will be going to get hungry again after a short period of time and there is a possibility that you will take another snack repeating the very same vicious cycle.
Doing a 1:1 substitution would probably change the macros too much but that doesn’t mean that you have to eat dairy to eat a ketogenic diet. If you want to use the meal plan you’d have to adjust it with other sources of fat so that you match the macros. It will require a little work (I recommend using an online diary like MyFitnessPal for support) but you’ll end up with a plan that works for you and your needs
Although the exact role of the keto diet in mental and brain disorders is unclear, there has been proof of its efficacy in patients with schizophrenia. And, to boot, it works to reverse many conditions that develop as a side effect of conventional medications for brain disorders, like weight gain, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular risks. More research is needed to understand the role of the ketogenic diet in treating or improving schizophrenia, as the current available studies are either animal studies or case studies, but the benefits of a low carbohydrate, high-fat diet in neurology is promising.
Being healthy is all about getting the right nutrients and vitamins from your food so always include variety in your diet. Have plenty of meat (or fish), dairy and veggies on a daily basis based on this low carb food list. Use coconut oil and olive oil when you cook and in your salads (respectively) and have a handful of nuts or berries from time to time.
The cost of this cookbook is $25 for the paperback, and the amount of information in the cookbook justifies the cost in our opinion.  The pictures beautifully illustrate the recipes so you have an idea of what your finished product should look like.  We would have liked to see a few “in progress” pictures for the recipes, but the instructions were concise and thorough enough that a beginner should be able to manage these recipes on the instructions alone.  Overall, we suggest Keto Made Easy as a great cookbook to have on hand for those following the ketogenic lifestyle.

Ready to head out the door and start buying groceries? Slow down there, chief. Go through the pantry, fridge, freezer, and secret stashes under the bed, and get rid of foods with any significant carb content. In the first few days, you could end up craving them—badly. This means fruit, too. Even carrots and onions are too high-glycemic to work with keto, Wittrock says.
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.
The ketogenic book is ok, nothing special. It has a nice introduction where the diet is explained and all the benefits and cautions are clearly stated. Actually, that part is kind of a main part of the book because there are not so many recipes in it as I expected. That is good for a beginner who doesn't want to feel overwhelmed with a few dozens of recipes like in some other cookbooks, but more variety would be nice.
Hi James, One of the best things about a low carb or keto diet is you probably won’t be hungry. It’s a very satiating lifestyle. As for calories, they still matter, but whether you need to count or not varies from person to person. Some people succeed by just eating low carb or keto foods, others need to be more strict and count. If you want to find out the right amounts for you, check the macro calculator.
Through a process called ketogenesis, the liver can convert fats into something called ketone bodies, that the brain and other cells in the body can use for energy. This is what is commonly referred to as going into a state of ketosis. And ketosis is what the keto diet is built on - restricting carbs to a drastic level that forces your body to rely primarily on fat for energy. 
When we constantly consume sugar, we release dopamine in our brain – creating an addiction and an increased tolerance. Over time you will have to eat larger and larger amounts of sugar to continue the dopamine secretion. Once our body is dependent on a chemical reaction in the brain, we can find that we’re craving things even when we’re not hungry.
This is so incredibly helpful! My doctor told me I’m at high risk for Diabetes and that he would bring me back in 3 months for repeat labs. He told me to go on a low carb diet and without realizing it, I ended up doing the keto diet. I was determined to lower my carb intake even more and I haven’t had over 20g net carbs since I started. This is a lifesaver. Thank you!
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.
Thanks for the reply, Jimmy, but I’m not sure you understood what I was asking. What I’m trying to understand is how you keep your total protein level for the day at moderate when many of the high fat foods you eat daily are also high in protein? Doesn’t that mean you’re eating high protein too? This is where I’m confused — how to eat high fat without over eating protein since many of the fats mentioned are also proteins.
Stir frys are incredibly easy meals to prepare, require very few net carbs and typically only require one skillet. Plus, frozen vegetables (and frozen seafood, for that matter) work great in stir fry recipes. Purchase a bag of frozen mixed veggies and keep on hand — you’ll be able to prepare a delicious dinner, even when you forgot to grocery shop.

I love prepping meat days in advance, so I don’t have to cook meat for every meal. Organic processed meats are quick and easy, but they also cost more, so it’s up to you. Also, be sure to save chicken broth for cooking other foods and making soups. Feel free to cook your poultry in bacon grease to add additional fat. Avoid sauces unless you are using low carb poultry sauces or dips. I try to use low carb herbs and seasonings on all of my poultry; it may seem like a lot of work to figure these things out, but trust me, you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
Hi James, One of the best things about a low carb or keto diet is you probably won’t be hungry. It’s a very satiating lifestyle. As for calories, they still matter, but whether you need to count or not varies from person to person. Some people succeed by just eating low carb or keto foods, others need to be more strict and count. If you want to find out the right amounts for you, check the macro calculator.
Grass-fed meat is a must for keto dieters. Compared to grain-fed, grass-fed meats are higher in omega-3 fatty acids, which have a range of health benefits including improving heart health, lowering levels of inflammation, and even easing symptoms of depression. High-quality poultry also packs a nutritional punch, with plenty of iron, selenium, zinc, and B vitamins. Dark meat, which is higher in fat, is particularly good for the keto diet.
Technically this one should be part of the fruits section, but we won't tell if you won't! Avocados are such a top-notch keto food, due to their low-carb, high-fiber, and high-fat content that we thought they deserved to be called out separately. Research has shown that people who eat avocados tend to be healthier in general, and they're practically a must in a balanced keto diet.
“A lot of folks find that batch cooking once or twice a week saves a tremendous amount of time and keeps you from spending every evening in the kitchen,” Weaver says. “When keto meal planning, you want to follow general good meal planning practices, like shopping for the week’s food all at once, which helps to save money, and prepping your vegetables when you get home. These 10 keto recipes are so good you’ll forget you’re on a diet.
Meat – like grass-fed selections – and fresh veggies are more expensive than most processed or fast foods. What you spend on Keto-friendly foods will vary with your choices of protein source and quality. You can select less-expensive, leaner cuts of meat and fatten them up with some oil. Buying less-exotic, in-season veggies will help keep you within budget.
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Essential fatty acids (the omegas) provide core functions to the human body, but they are often times out of balance when on a standard diet. On keto, with a little bit of preparation, your omega fatty acids are easily manageable. If you want to know more about essential fatty acids, omegas, and how they interact with our body on a ketogenic diet, you can read more here >
Thank you! Yea, no bread/pasta for me, by all accounts I was eating a (what I thought and what everyone would tell me, even a dietician I went to!) ‘healthy’ diet of whole grains, rice, fruit, vegetables, low fat, etc. and couldn’t understand why I was steadily gaining weight. That’s what led me here, as I was getting so frustrated and the more I read up on low carb/ketosis and how the body processes even conventionally healthy foods, it made sense to me, but I don’t think I can give up oatmeal and fruit forever! So I will definitely just make sure I only eat those in small amounts, but that is much farther down the road anyway.. I’m on to Week 1 and I’ll post an update at the end of the week. Thanks again!

Keep up electrolytes. The major electrolytes in our bodies are sodium, potassium and magnesium. Because a low carb diet (especially a keto diet!) reduces the amount of water you store, this can flush out electrolytes and make you feel sick (called “keto flu”). This is temporary, but you can avoid or eliminate it by salting your food liberally, drinking broth (especially bone broth), and eating pickled vegetables. Some people also choose to take supplements for electrolytes, but it’s best to first consult a doctor that understands and supports keto/low carb lifestyles.

High-fat dairy also contains high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and conjugated linoleic acid (one of the few fatty acids that have been found to promote fat loss). The combination of these nutrients is essential for maintaining strength and function as we age. By adding just 7 ounces of ricotta cheese to their daily diet, for example, the older participants of a recent study were able to increase their muscle mass and muscle strength. In other words, ask for extra cheese, please.
Still on the list of foods you can occasionally eat, there are varieties of nuts and seeds that are known to be very low in carbs. Some of these nuts include almonds, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, walnuts, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, etc. If you must eat brazil nuts, then eat just a few as they are known to contain high levels of selenium.
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