The keto diet changes the way your body converts food into energy. Eating a lot of fat and very few carbs puts you in ketosis, a metabolic state where your body burns fat instead of carbs for fuel. When your body is unable to get glucose from carbs, your liver converts fatty acids from your diet into ketones, an alternative source of energy. Burning ketones in place of glucose reduces inflammation and spurs weight loss.[1]
Achieving ketosis is a pretty straightforward, but it can seem complicated and confusing with all of the information out there.4If you want to learn more about ketosis and the scientific process around it, you can visit a very in-depth discussion about on Dr. Peter Attia’s website. Here’s the bottom line on what you need to do, ordered in levels of importance:
I'm giving this ebook 5 stars and not 4 because it is written in a very easy and understandable manner, with lots of interesting facts about ketosis and ketogenic diet for losing weight. I like the way the author has provided weekly grocery lists and keto meal plans. The only drawback is that the book could have used more pages and images to make for a more fun and complete reading experience.
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.
Hi Julie, thank you for stopping by. As someone who has been on this diet for over three years, I can tell you that eventually, you will be able to add more fruits into your diet. Remember that once you reach your goal weight you will be in maintenance mode and will have more food options. You may find that bananas cause you to crave sweets and may never eat them again, but I loved adding fruits back in my diet!
Take a multivitamin. “Because you are removing grains, the majority of fruit, some vegetables, and a significant amount of dairy from your menu, a multivitamin is good insurance against any micronutrient deficiencies,” says Jadin. Depending on what your individual overall diet looks like, Jadin says you might also need to add a calcium, vitamin D, and potassium supplement.

Secondly, nuts seem to me to be a likely part of a paleo/evolutionary diet. They don’t fight back, nor do they run, qualities I suspect our hunter-gatherer ancestors appreciated. So long as they are in the shell, they keep well with no preparation — you don’t have dry them, smoke them, whatever. And they offer substantial calories for the work involved.


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.
I am SO THANKFUL for you and this blog!! I am staring the Keto Diet today but have been researching for a week. So many sites, so many recipes but no PLANS. I like structure and I like following a set plan, so when I found that you have 3 day, 7 day, and 14 day plans along with an egg fast and a soup fast, I was SO EXCITED!!! I also just purchased your book today so I’m looking forward to reading it when it comes tomorrow.
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.
I heard about ketogenic diet from a friend and how it had helped her weight issues, so I got curious and got this. Upon reading this book, I am now more informed on how ketogenic diet operates, its benefits, and considerations. I liked that Young is upfront with the risks in undergoing this diet as well as presenting the benefits. This diet is not for all and the faint hearted. It will take commitment and a great deal of planning to pull it off. Sadly, I’m not up for the challenge. I don’t think I can keep up the diet with the experimentation, measuring and whatnots. Anyway, this is just my opinion based from my own observation of my body, family commitments, and capabilities. Feel free to try it, who knows, it might just work out for you!
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.

A lot of people on the keto diet tend to go absolutely overboard with the unhealthy food that they pack into their plan. Sure a bunch of cheese, mayonnaise and bacon will fit into a seventy-five percent fat allowance, however, for your health these foods are not always the best option. Your day to day seventy-five percent fat allowance is meant to be used for healthy sources of fat such as such avocados, coconut oil, whole eggs, nuts and fats found in unprocessed meats such as beef, salmon, chicken thighs, ground pork or turkey.
There is one gotcha with eggs that needs to be stated. Despite the high fat content, you can actually get an insulin spike from consuming too many eggs at once. The yolks are high in Leucine, and the protein of egg whites is rapidly utilized. That combo (Leucine + highly bioavailable amino acids) is one that bodybuilders use to create a sizeable insulin spike in the absence of carbohydrates.
Certain studies suggest that keto diets may “starve” cancer cells. A highly processed, pro-inflammatory, low-nutrient foods can feed cancer cells causing them to proliferate. What’s the connection between high-sugar consumption and cancer? The regular cells found in our bodies are able to use fat for energy, but it’s believed that cancer cells cannot metabolically shift to use fat rather than glucose. (11)
Following a ketogenic diet puts your body into a state of “ketosis,” which is a metabolic state that occurs when most of the body’s energy comes from ketone bodies in the blood, rather than from glucose from carbohydrate foods (like grains, all sources of sugar or fruit, for example). This is in contrast to a glycolytic state, where blood glucose (sugar) provides most of the body’s fuel (or energy).
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!

Achieving optimal ketosis hinges on finding the right balance of macronutrients (or “macros” in keto-speak); these are the elements in your diet that account for the majority of your calories, a.k.a. energy—namely, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. By the way, it’s often “net grams” of carbohydrates that are counted toward your daily intake; “net” deducts the amount of fiber in a food from its carbohydrate total.
Well, I am going to give this another try. I have great difficulty in eating greens , or drinking them, also I am not fond of fats, years and years of low fat diets have totally screwed my metabolism,and taste buds. I will read this page every day to keep my mind focused. Start tomorrow when I get up …… I work nights which can cause me problems as well. When I tried this diet before, I got terrible cramp, now I realise I wasn’t drinking enough water. Anyway.here goes.

“The cleaner, the better when it comes to the keto diet,” says Jadin. Focus on “whole” and “unprocessed.” Also, strive for a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats for balance. Note: Tipping the scale toward too much protein is a common pitfall many people make on the keto diet. Mind your protein intake, since too much can kick you out of ketosis, says Jadin.
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!
Remember to follow your macronutrient ratios for each meal. Meal planning tools such as food diaries or MyFitnessPal can help you track your carb/protein/fat consumption throughout the day and keep you in ketosis. Be sure to weigh your food to ensure you are getting accurate measurements of your carbohydrate intake. You may be surprised to find out what an actual single serving of cheese is once you've measured it out. (Spoiler alert- it's probably less than you think!) 
Hey, Jimmy – Want to be famous? As soon as you are done with the NK N=1, try the “Potato Diet”. It is the exact opposite of what you are doing, but the results are the same. Peter at Hyperlipid, Richard Nickoley at freetheanimal, Paul Jaminet, and hundreds of Mark Sisson’s readers are doing it and losing weight, stabilizing blood sugars, and loving life.
“These past 60 days have changed my life. I found out about it from a friend on Facebook and never looked back…. It has quickly become my lifestyle and it’s definitely one of those fad diets you find everywhere. Aside from weight loss, I’ve gained a confidence that I never knew I had inside. My relationship with my husband and family has improved exponentially. When my body reached ketosis, my life changed along with my pant size!!! Keto Fit Diet for the win!”
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.
2 years ago I cut suger out of my diet and lowered my carbs. went from 230 down to 192, then I wasn’t so good about being careful and creeped back upto 207 and wasn’t a happy camper about it, but was having problems being good with a bunch of personal & work chaos going on. so a few days ago I really started looking at keto once again, now I’m back at 199 and looking forward to working through the keto flu, god I hate headaches but the scale is telling me to keep going
This one should be a “well duh,” as butter is a staple of any good low carb lifestyle change. But when you are attempting to achieve nutritional ketosis, it’s even more important that you deliberately add butter to foods, for both the flavor and the fat content. My favorite brand of butter is Kerrygold grass-fed unsalted (in the silver packaging). Once you get a taste of this bright gold goodness you’ll never go back to anything else! I usually fry up 2-3 eggs in 2-3 tablespoons of butter – it’s an incredibly tasty way to start the day. Why anyone would continue to eat a man-made product like margarine thinking it’s a “healthy” food, when they could be eating butter, is beyond my comprehension.

First, I want to thank you for all of your dedication and work in providing this site. The difficulty of maintaining a healthy weight is a big problem for so many people. My personal question & issue in staying on Keto is my craving for fresh fruit. This a.m I had a large fresh peach along with my “Bullet Proof” coffee. Have I now sabotaged today’s Keto eating?
We’ve included a printable shopping list and meal plan for your convenience! Again, use these tools as a reference and not as the be all end all. If you see something else on sale that you enjoy eating, go for that! This can be used as a framework for how to eat on keto. This isn’t the most ideal meal plan for optimal health, but it’s a pretty good one for cheap. I would recommend getting some coconut oil in this plan if possible, but we couldn’t fit it into our all-inclusive approach. If you buy in bulk on amazon coconut oil is cheap!
Try Googling “TDEE Calculator”. Once you plug in your stats, the site will calculate your total daily energy expenditure. This is a useful guide in determining how many calories to eat. From there, if you are trying to lose weight, just reduce your caloric intake, increase your expenditure (through exercising more), or use a combination of the two.
This week we’re introducing a slight fast. We’re going to get full on fats in the morning and fast all the way until dinner time. Not only are there a myriad of health benefits to this, it’s also easier on our eating schedule (and cooking schedule). I suggest eating (rather, drinking) your breakfast at 7am and then eating dinner at 7pm. Keeping 12 hours between your 2 meals. This will help put your body into a fasted state.
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.

"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."
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.
Regardless of the reason you switched to a low carb diet, it’s important to be mindful of your daily macros and caloric intake. Watch alcohol intake because it is additional, and empty, calories and will hinder you reaching your goals. Alcohol metabolization stalls fat burning until it’s out of your system. Something we expand on further in our Guide to Keto Alcohol.
Some shellfish like oysters and mussels contain some carbohydrates so take that into consideration when eating out. The easiest thing to do is PLAN. Before you go out, find the restaurant’s menu and nutrition info if possible (if not just read the menu carefully and don’t be afraid to ask questions). This is just another reason to make sure you are using My Fitness Pal to calculate your meals, and if you have the app, you can add them while you wait for your food!
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.
Carbohydrates provide glucose, the preferred source of fuel for your body. Other "macros" or macronutrients – protein and fat – need to be digested and broken down into a usable form of fuel and building blocks, but this takes more time and energy compared to carbs. Because of the lengthier process, it is thought that restricting your intake of carbs will force your body to rely on other sources for fuel, and in theory, this would mean you burn more calories trying to get usable energy from your food and/or you start to burn more fat stores for energy. 
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.
For someone new to the ketogenic diet this is a great starting cookbook.  The explanations and details within the first quarter of the book are important in informing the reader about the different ingredients that will be utilized in the recipes that you may not be familiar with.  Not only do the authors do an excellent job of describing the ingredients and their purpose, but they also offer suggestions of their preferred brands.  Most ingredients and spices used in this book are staples in ketogenic households.  Finally, the kitchen tips provide insight into storing the final products as well as temperature suggestions for preheating and ingredients.
Well, ketogenic comes from the word “ketosis“, which is a state in which your body breaks down fat molecules into ketones to provide energy. This state is achieved through very low carbohydrate intake and higher than normal fat intake. The “normal” state of the body’s metabolism is called “glycolysis”, where carbs are burnt for energy. The long and short is that when your body is in carb-burning mode, it will use all available carbs for energy before it touches stored fat. In ketosis, your body is primed to burn fat, and this is great news for anyone trying to get trim and slim.

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:


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.
Heavy whipping cream most definitely has carbs. There are 6.64 grams per cup (8 fluid ounces). Just because a small serving (i.e. 1 – 2 tbs.) shows zero carbs, it doesn’t mean it has no carbs. As long as the carbs are under .50 per serving the label can list it as zero. Food producers love to take advantage of that little labeling loophole. And shame on the Calorie King website. I tried increasing the serving size to 1 cup, and it still showed 0 carbs. Even when I increased it to 4 pints, it still showed 0 carbs. That’s very misleading to say the least!
For an extra kick of fat without the carbs, you might try blending your coffee with coconut oil or MCT oil to your coffee. MCT, or medium-chain triglyceride, oil is a fatty acid usually derived from coconut oil. It's colorless, odorless, low in carbs, and high in fats that are thought to boost cognitive performance. It's also a liquid, making it easy to add to any beverage or salad dressing.
The whole point of going keto is to reach ketosis, a cult-y sounding name for the metabolic process that happens when your body uses fat instead of carbs for energy. To get there, you've gotta do the obvious: eat a whole lot of fat and little to no carbs. It's restrictive, but if you hack the the system just right, you can still create surprisingly delicious food—like taquitos and cookie dough bites. (These are our favorite keto recipes, by the way.)
However, grass-fed beef and bison are healthy. So, too, is virtually any animal that lives in its natural setting and feeds on its natural diet. When you eat a slice of grass-fed beef, you’re consuming the beneficial nutrients that the cow ate. This includes omega-3 fatty acids. And CLA, which is another healthy fatty acid. In fact, CLA may help reduce cancer.

For someone new to the ketogenic diet this is a great starting cookbook.  The explanations and details within the first quarter of the book are important in informing the reader about the different ingredients that will be utilized in the recipes that you may not be familiar with.  Not only do the authors do an excellent job of describing the ingredients and their purpose, but they also offer suggestions of their preferred brands.  Most ingredients and spices used in this book are staples in ketogenic households.  Finally, the kitchen tips provide insight into storing the final products as well as temperature suggestions for preheating and ingredients.
bweber If you are using Crystal Light Pure, which is made with Truvia, that might be best since it doesn’t have aspartame. Many keto dieters have told me that they stall in weight loss when they drink artificial sweeteners, so I don’t usually recommend diet drinks and prefer unsweetened iced tea with lemon for a nice treat, or only diet drinks once in a while. It’s up to you though. If you find that you’re not losing, I would try cutting out diet drinks for a week and see if that helps.
For an extra kick of fat without the carbs, you might try blending your coffee with coconut oil or MCT oil to your coffee. MCT, or medium-chain triglyceride, oil is a fatty acid usually derived from coconut oil. It's colorless, odorless, low in carbs, and high in fats that are thought to boost cognitive performance. It's also a liquid, making it easy to add to any beverage or salad dressing.
Did I leave off one of your favorite high-fat foods that you enjoy on your own personal plan? Feel free to share it with us in the comment section below along with the percentage of calories from fat it provides. Perfect keto diet foods should be part of all of your low carb high fat meals. Also, please provide any specific topics you would like for me to address in future CarbSmart columns about nutritional ketosis. THANK YOU for reading and I look forward to continuing to share this amazing journey with you.

That doesn’t mean you’ll go hungry on a diet. It’s quite the opposite! You’re not starving yourself of calories but of carbohydrates. Your body won’t go into what’s known as starvation mode, which is where your metabolic rate drops considerably. You’re adding more fat to the diet and taking out the carbs, so the metabolism can still work, and you get the energy you need. 

"I recommend only 5 percent of calories coming from carbs, which usually averages out to less than 30 grams," he says. "I understand why people get nervous and panic, thinking 'Can I even eat a salad?' This is why I recommend tracking only 'net carbs', which are total carbs minus fiber. For example, an avocado has 12 grams of carbs but 10 grams of fiber, which means it has 2 grams of net carbs. Also, green leafy vegetables are very nutritious and contain a lot of fiber, so you can almost eat them as much as you want and stay below your limit.

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.
So I have always put my bacon in the microwave, but is it better to fry it in its own grease? Just starting low carbing after reading Dr. Davis’s Wheat Belly, ran across Dana Carpender’s website, Jimmy’s website and others. Not everyone agrees with the fat. I’m going to try it–kind of scared though. Need to lose 30 to 40 pounds and get off blood pressure medicine and cholesteral medicine. I’m 65 and was always thin until 50.
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!
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