On average it takes most people about three days to get into ketosis.The sticks will confirm that ketones are being excreted through your urine. That’s all. They won’t change color at all for no ketones, then there is trace (light pink) and it goes up from there to dark purple. The darkness of the stick doesn’t matter. As long as you are showing even trace amounts, then you are in ketosis and good to go. In fact, if you are showing really dark on the stick, you may be dehydrated and need to drink more water (see #4.)
Jimmy — I’d love to hear you do a podcast with an expert on diabetes who could advise those of us on insulin. I have been VLC on WB (Wheat Belly) for two months (and on-again-off-again kinda sorta LC for twenty years!) and I still can’t get my blood sugars down where they should be. I hate taking so much insulin because it is a fat-storage hormone. I feel so sad and discouraged and stuck between a rock and a hard place …. do I decrease the insulin which will result in higher blood sugar, or do I increase the insulin (no! not MORE!) and get my blood sugars down to where Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, the LC diabetes expert, would like them to be? I am not losing on VLC and I have been totally honest and faithful for two months.
Thank you for posting usable lists but how does one know what the limits are for the dietary requirements? Back in the day, you would have a number set for calorie, carbs, fat grams, etc limits that you would strive to follow each day. I see all kind of recipes that lists content for following the Keto method but I don’t know how to apply the information in a usable way. Am I missing something?
Polyunsaturated Fats. Naturally occurring polyunsaturated fats are good (like found in meat and fish).  But, processed polyunsaturated fats are bad for you. In general, polyunsaturated fats are unstable and not suitable for high-heat cooking. Polyunsaturated fats include omega 3 and omega 6 fats which are essential fatty acids that your body needs for brain function and cell growth.

Avocado’s are a huge staple food for most keto dieters and we’re no different. You might be able to find a good deal on premade guacamole though. If that’s the case, feel free to go for that and sub out the avocado. If you don’t like broccoli or cauliflower you can try mushrooms or zucchini. If you don’t like any of those you should probably learn to like vegetables!!! But you could also just double down on the salad.
Your body is going to be like an angry child having a tantrum – IT WANTS SUGAR AND CARBS NOW, but you aren’t going to give it any are you? ARE YOU??? Just like with children, the key is to distract, distract, distract (oooh shiny!). Give it something else desirable, (bacon, cheese, etc.) even if it isn’t what it really wants. Don’t give in thinking you’ll feel better if you just eat a little bit of carbs – there is no compromising!

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:
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.

I’ve been Type 2 since I was 26, so 20 years now. I also have had a 20 year career in medicine. My A1C was in the 14 range, took insulin, and every other pill on the market. It wasn’t until I started Atkins back in the day and now Keto with intermittent fasting that I have been able to get my A1C to 6 and almost off all meds. I stay around the 20g of carb mark per day. My one piece of advice is to read and educate yourself as much as possible then make a solid plan from there. Good luck!!
Everyone has to find their nutritional sweet spot for producing enough ketones and staying in ketosis, but “the core principle of the diet is to keep carbohydrate intake low enough, so your body continues producing ketones at elevated levels,” says Volek. “Your body adapts to this alternative fuel and becomes very efficient at breaking down and burning fat.”
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.
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:
Nutritionists, including the Good Housekeeping Institute's own Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, remain more skeptical. The diet's aim of inducing ketosis — a metabolic process where the body uses fat instead of carbs for energy — can backfire because this plan takes a lot of willpower. Plus, any weight you may lose while on it can return when you stop. RDs and other experts like U.S. News and World Report agree that Mediterranean-style eating plans have more research behind them and produce better, more long-lasting results.
You work out for a few months and get in shape and fall back to the old habits because you were not conditioned mentally, only physically. Physical fitness is only a part of journey, fitness is over 75% percent mental. Gyms, nutritionists, and personal trainers give most people a temporary Band-Aid but never address the actual issue. The 3-Week Ketogenic Diet includes secret mindset strategies to make your journey so much easier.
Meat – Unprocessed meats are low carb and keto-friendly, and organic and grass-fed meat might be even healthier. But remember that keto is a high-fat diet, not high protein, so you don’t need huge amounts of meat. Excess protein (more than your body needs) is converted to glucose, making it harder to get into ketosis. A normal amount of meat is enough.
In this guide the only form of pure fat we use is butter. If possible, coconut oil would really be a nice upgrade. We couldn’t fit coconut oil into our $5 a day keto on a budget meal plan, but it’s cheap if you buy in bulk. Another good substitution would be olive oil or coconut oil and vinegar instead of the premade salad dressing. Most cheap premade dressings will use oils that are frowned upon on keto like canola or vegetable oil.
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.
However, it is important to know that these aren’t the only health-promoting keto foods. There are plenty of other keto-friendly ingredients that can take your keto diet results to the next level. In my diet, for example, I’ve been experimenting a lot more with shirataki noodles and avocado lately. They have been providing a much-needed change of pace for my palate and my health.
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!

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


You've likely heard horror stories of what competitors feel like when they cut carbs low, or when the average bro talks about going keto. However, the odds are that those people were not actually in nutritional ketosis, or more importantly, following a well-formulated ketogenic diet. Yes, you may experience some fogginess and discomfort, but it doesn't have to be intense if you handle it right.
“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
This is a great list of Keto foods. I also try to choose higher quality food sources when they are available and my budget permits, such as grass fed meats and Kerry Gold butter, wild caught seafood, cage free eggs, and organic produce and oils as much as possible. When I travel and eat out, these higher quality options are generally less accessible, if at all. So I don't sweat it. I just go with the flow. We just have to do what we can when we can. :-) Best wishes to all on your personal wellness journey!
You’re so welcome Jessica – you and me both! I’m looking forward to feeling good again and having my clothes fit right will be nice too! ha ha! Thanks to all of your feedback I’ll be posting 7 day menu plans every Saturday, and we’ll all hopefully be reporting our pounds lost so far progress in the comments. I’m so looking forward to it – hope you’ll join us!!!
I love this! I am an amateur powerlifter and I have recently started using the keto diet as there is only so much gained by being a fat powerlifter but working out my macros was driving me nuts as I also work as a disability support worker and need to take meals and so on to work with me. Thanks to this I can now have better control of the macros to bring my weight down without doing to much harm to my lifts! Thank you for this!
Tea and coffee, including Bulletproof Coffee, are completely ketogenic, with bonus points for jump-starting weight loss and focusing your mental clarity. Watch out for sweeteners, fillers, or artificial flavors. While you can drink unsweetened, plant-based milk alternatives in moderation without going out of ketosis, they are not Bulletproof, and are usually loaded with toxic molds — the exception being full-fat coconut milk.[4] If you plan to include them in your diet, beware of carrageenan and BPA-lined containers.
Great job, Jimmy! Do you eat Macadamia nuts or did you just forget to put them on the list? I think they are about 95% fat so they make a very good meal item on a LCHF menu plan. I need to lose some weight and I hate to be cold so CT is out! That leaves keto-adaptation. I’m about 5 chapters into “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance” and I’ve already identified a major mistake I was making in my LCHF strategy to lose weight! I have a lot of travel coming up in the next couple of months, not to mention the Christmas season, but I’m looking forward to slamming my body into major ketosis and staying there for awhile in January. I’ll keep you posted.
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.

You rock! Thank you for this, and would love a 7 day menu plan, plus a shopping list. I’m no good at that kind of organization – heck, I’m no good at ANY kind of organization – so a shopping list would be a life saver. I’m sure I could get that from a friend who introduced me to your blog and who is going to do this with you, and I with all of you . Thank you so much!
There are vegetables that are high in carbs and others low in carbs. The keto diet recommends sticking to the ones low on carbs but encourages you to eat a lot of them. Best vegetables are all green ones to make it easy. And vegetables that grow above the ground (e.g. lettuce) are always better than the ones that grow below the ground (e.g. potatoes)
This is a wealth of information. My husband and I are starting the keto diet tomorrow and I knew nothing about it. When I sat down to look up information about it, I found this. Thank you! This is everything I need to know in one place. We are not as healthy as we’d like to be and I am optimistic this will help us obtain our goals, along with an exercise plan.
As always, I’m late to the party. Thank you so much for this fantastic resource! I did this 6 years ago, lost 60 lbs. and maintained it for five years. But over the past year or so, my weight has gone up and down the same 18 lbs. To add insult to injury, I’m now borderline pre-diabetic (higher A1C than is healthy), my anxiety attacks have returned and so I’m on medication for that. It’s time to go back to what I know makes me feel better and get off the sugar and garbage once and for all.
The first signs of ketosis are known as the “keto flu” where headaches, brain fogginess, fatigue, and the like can really rile your body up. Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of waterand eating plenty of salt. The ketogenic diet is a natural diuretic and you’ll be peeing more than normal. Take into account that you’re peeing out electrolytes, and you can guess that you’ll be having a thumping headache in no time. Keeping your salt intake and water intake high enough is very important, allowing your body to re-hydrate and re-supply your electrolytes. Doing this will help with the headaches, if not get rid of them completely.
Despite its bad reputation, consuming the egg yolk is a key part of receiving all the great health benefits eggs have to offer.  The egg yolk is concentrated with essential nutrients like folate, B12, zinc and choline.  It is also rich in the fat burning compound conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and the powerful and hard to get fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2.
Hi Barb, That can definitely be it. Losing when you are close to goal can be more difficult. It could also be that your body’s healthy weight is a little higher than what you’d like – which doesn’t mean you can’t lose, but makes it more difficult. If just eating Keto foods isn’t working, double check the macros for your weight and see if the amount you’re eating needs to be adjusted. You’ll find more help and support in our support group here.
So once you've swapped out your rice and pasta for cauliflower and zoodles, you may start to wonder how to monitor your ketosis. While there are physical indicators like weight loss, reduced appetite and improved energy, the most accurate way to measure ketosis is by monitoring blood ketone levels, which can be easily accomplished through the use of a ketone meter like the Abbott Precision XTRA. This tool measures both blood sugar and ketones which is far more accurate than competing products that measure ketones in urine.
If you have noticed that you rarely feel satisfied when you eat out, it is simply because most restaurant meals are low in fat and as such, you might be tempted to take on more carbs in order to feel full. Don’t give in to this temptation, instead, you should ask for and melt extra butter on your meat or vegetables. If you ordered salads, you can request for and drizzle extra olive oil over the salads.

Individuals with type-2 diabetes have especially found to have major health benefits from the consumption of this compound in foods like shirataki noodles. Although glucose levels elevated following a meal with glucomannan, studies show that insulin levels in type-2 diabetics is not significantly impacted. (36, 37)  I use these shiratki noodles on a regular basis.  This is one of the best foods to eat on a ketogenic diet.

Great info. Tried the dark chocolate with butter – great idea. I do most of these foods everyday in some combination. But one thing I have found in eating so much fat is that some days I feel like I can’t handle much more (like if I eat any more it will start coming out of my ears!) I think it is my body’s way of telling me to change up once in a while. One those days I go back to my best friend – green smoothies with juiced vegetables, some almond milk, and some berries. I do add an egg, avocado and coconut oil to the smoothie but barely notice the fat, which was my goal for that day anyway.
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
Factor into you caloric figures that the human animal can only metabolize fats at about half of the rate of either protein or carbohydrate. If you limit your total gross calorie intake to the same calories as in protein/carb, you have effectively cut your metabolizable carbs by a considerable amount, (depending on the ratios of fat to protein to carb.)
When we devised this keto on a budget meal plan and shopping list we wanted to create something that was truly all-inclusive. Therefor we have things like butter and salad dressing included. Most people will have a lot of the basics already in their kitchen, so you could be pulling this plan off for well under $5 a day. Further down in this post we will talk about possible substitutions you could utilize to make this plan even healthier and cheaper with bulk purchases of a few items you’ll be using frequently on your keto journy!
Fuels and feeds your brain: Ketones provide an immediate hit of energy for your brain, and up to 70% of your brain’s energy needs when you limit carbs.[6] Fat also feeds your brain and keeps it strong. Your brain is at least 60% fat, so it needs loads of good fats to keep it running.[7] Essential fatty acids such as omega-3s help grow and develop the brain, while saturated fat keeps myelin — the layer of insulation around the brain — strong so your neurons can communicate with each other.
You’re so welcome Jessica – you and me both! I’m looking forward to feeling good again and having my clothes fit right will be nice too! ha ha! Thanks to all of your feedback I’ll be posting 7 day menu plans every Saturday, and we’ll all hopefully be reporting our pounds lost so far progress in the comments. I’m so looking forward to it – hope you’ll join us!!!
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.
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