Lunch is often leftovers from the night before. Dinner used to be, often, one of the fantastic casseroles from Diet Doctor (yum crack slaw!) These days it is just as apt to be a simple, small piece of grilled or baked meat, poultry or fish with a tasty fat adornment — chive butter, cream sauce, homemade aioli — some roasted or steamed veggies (also with fat) and a big salad with homemade vinaigrette. Some nights it might be spiralized zucchini with meatballs and a homemade tomato sauce.
1. Eat less than 20g net carbs per day if you want to get into ketosis. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting the fiber grams (or sugar alcohols in some cases) from the total carb grams. Don’t guess – you’d be surprised how many grams of carbs there are in things you might have considered “free” like onions, garlic, tomatoes, and kale, just to name a few.

On your keto food list, stick to low-glycemic sweeteners to avoid spikes in blood sugar, and avoid fillers and binders such as maltodextrin and dextrose, which can spike blood sugar and contain sneaky carbs. Sugar alcohols such as maltitol or xylitol may read as no sugar on a label, but be aware that they will still cause moderate glycemic response when digested.

Avoid wheat, oats, all rice (white, brown, jasmine), quinoa, couscous, pilaf, etc. Corn and all products containing corn, including popcorn, tortillas, grits, polenta, and cornmeal. All types of products made with flour, including bread, bagels, rolls, muffins, pasta, crackers, chips, pretzels, Oatmeal and cereals, granola bars, most protein bars or meal replacements, etc.
Grocery shopping on a budget can be a fun and thrilling adventure(I’ve reached this point in my life…). The first thing you’re going to want to do is take a good long look at the sales paper. For this grocery haul we just walked to our local grocery store and shopped the deals they had at the time, which happened to be really good. If you want to really maximize your savings you can look through all of the local grocery store papers before deciding which one has the best deals for your meal plan. You can also give this online coupon database a try! You’ll be able to find some good deals at just about every local grocery store that will make this meal plan achievable. Don’t go walking into Whole Foods expecting to pull this off though! Check out our video to see our trip to the grocery store:
Reduced Risk of High Cholesterol and Triglycerides. (8) Many doctors originally thought that a diet high in fat might increase cholesterol and triglycerides. However, the opposite has turned out to be the case. Most people see a significant drop in their LDL and triglycerides when on a keto diet, although a small percentage of people do see the opposite effect.
Keto diets, like most low carb diets, work through the elimination of glucose. Because most folks live on a high carb diet, our bodies normally run on glucose (or sugar) for energy. We cannot make glucose and only have about 24 hours’ worth stored in our muscle tissue and liver. Once glucose is no longer available from food sources, we begin to burn stored fat instead, or fat from our food.
In my two previous CarbSmart columns, I explained what the difference is between the relatively new concept of nutritional ketosis and the traditional Atkins diet and the 5 low-carb mistakes I feel I was making that nutritional ketosis has helped fix. As many of you know, I’ve been doing my own experiment of this concept for over five months and counting (read my updates for Day 1-30, Day 31-60, Day 61-90, Day 91-120 and Day 121-150) and it’s produced some pretty remarkable weight loss and health improvement results so far as I’ve lost over 50 pounds while enjoying robust energy, mental clarity, stable d blood sugars, complete satiety, zero cravings and counterintuitive results in the gym.
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
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 guess these products may indeed help some on their journey to keto success. They are certainly helping some keto entrepreneurs on their journey to financial success. I’ll admit, I even thought at one time that I, too, would try to cash in and bring keto replacement bread products and cauliflower pizza crusts to market — picture them in freezer cases across North America! (No doubt someone is already doing this.) I did buy up a bunch of creative keto domain names just in case.
Hi Jeannie, the only supplement I'd always recommend is magnesium because it's not easy to get enough of it no matter what diet you follow. Other than that you don't need to take any supplements (this of course also depends individual diets, lifestyle and potential deficiencies - for me that's vitamin D). Here's a list of recommended magnesium supplements:  Complete Guide to Magnesium Supplementation I hope this helps.
Hi Cyn, The numbers are general guidelines but will vary depending on many factors, such as activity level, insulin resistance, weight and more. There is no single magic number, just conventional recommendations that are a good starting point. I will have a macro calculator coming soon that will help determine what is best for each person, but even then it’s an approximation. The only way to know for sure is to test. If keto is your goal, it’s usually best to start lower and then see if you can stay in ketosis when increasing.
Bear in mind that those macronutrient ratios refer to calories from fat, protein, and carbohydrate, not actual grams of each. Protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram, so it’s actually a relatively easy task to let your fat calories pile up to keto-appropriate proportions if you consume fattier proteins and embellish your food with an extra bit of pure fat. To illustrate, if a portion of a particular food has 10 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, and 0 grams of carbohydrate, that portion contains 130 calories, 90 from fat and 40 from protein, and is about 69.2% fat and 30.7% protein (allowing for rounding).
"You can find a lot of "fat bomb" recipes on the Internet," Wittrock says. "These are very good at satisfying your sweet tooth, and are a great way to increase fat consumption without going over on protein. Also, I'm a huge fan of salted pumpkin seeds and salted sunflower seed kernels. Believe it or not, pork rinds are also a very good keto snack."
How about plain Greek yogurt? Cabot is 63% calories from fat (23g fat, 12g carb, 18g protein), and Voskos is 69% (20g fat, 8g carb, 12g protein). I wasn’t sure I could like plain yogurt, but the Cabot is quite tasty. I guess when you don’t take all the fat out of something, you don’t need to add sugar to make it taste good. I have to see if I can find the Voskos locally.
Ketosis takes some time to get into – about two weeks of low carb eating is required for the initial adaptation. During this time there will be bouts of sluggishness, fatigue, headaches, and some gastrointestinal issues as you adapt, often referred to as “keto flu“. Proper electrolyte intake will correct most of these issues. In addition, the “diet” aspect of this ketogenic diet plan – that is, the caloric restriction – shouldn’t be worried about. Weight loss will come as your body regulates appetite as it the addiction to sugar and processed food lessens, so restricting calories during the initial two weeks isn’t recommended.
Avoid wheat, oats, all rice (white, brown, jasmine), quinoa, couscous, pilaf, etc. Corn and all products containing corn, including popcorn, tortillas, grits, polenta, and cornmeal. All types of products made with flour, including bread, bagels, rolls, muffins, pasta, crackers, chips, pretzels, Oatmeal and cereals, granola bars, most protein bars or meal replacements, etc.

Con: Results can vary depending on how much fluid you drink. By drinking more water, you dilute the concentration of ketones in the urine and thus a lower level of ketones will be detected on the strips. The strips don’t show a precise ketone level. Finally, and most importantly, as you become increasingly keto-adapted and your body reabsorbs ketones from the urine, urine strips may become unreliable, even if you’re in ketosis. 

Along the same vein, some of my recipes on the blog include hemp seeds, coconut flour, almond flour, and other not so easy to find ingredients – IGNORE THOSE RECIPES (for now). The focus here is, again, simplicity. You will likely be irritable, fatigued, and not feeling awesome during the first three days to a week. Trust me on this – the last thing you are going to want to do is make complicated meals.
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.
By now, we have covered the main foods what you should eat during the ketogenic diet. As the list has been comprehensive – everyone should be able to pick something acceptable for them. As during life is not always so black and white as described above, sometimes we encounter in situations where we are not sure if one or another food is suitable for keto or not.
How about plain Greek yogurt? Cabot is 63% calories from fat (23g fat, 12g carb, 18g protein), and Voskos is 69% (20g fat, 8g carb, 12g protein). I wasn’t sure I could like plain yogurt, but the Cabot is quite tasty. I guess when you don’t take all the fat out of something, you don’t need to add sugar to make it taste good. I have to see if I can find the Voskos locally.
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.

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 >


On a “strict” (standard) keto diet, fats typically provides about 70 percent to 80 percent of total daily calories, protein about 15 percent to 20 percent, and carbohydrates just around 5 percent. However, a more “moderate” approach to the keto diet is also a good option for many people that can allow for an easier transition into very low-carb eating and more flexibility (more on these types of plans below).
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.

Though technically a fruit, avocados offer a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). They're also packed with fiber to bolster digestive health. One-half of an avocado contains 161 calories, 2 grams (g) of protein, 15 g of fat, 9 g of total carbs, and 7 g of fiber (bringing it to 2 g of net carbs), notes the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
This month we look at a cookbook by two of the most well-known ketogenic bloggers on YouTube, Megha Barot and Matt Gaedke of KetoConnect. Keto Made Easy is a collection of recipes that cover everything from breakfasts, dinners, snacks, and sides to a few different meal plans that utilize those recipes in the book.  Starting with their personal story, the authors then move into kitchen and ingredients tips, how to start keto in five easy steps, and their keys to success.
My question is – where do you suggest I start? I have never done Keto, but I have done South Beach several years ago and lost 28 lbs on that so I know I’m ok with no carbs. Is it best to start with the 3 day plan? Or best to do one of your fasts first? Should I ease my way in or do your super strict 30 day Keto challenge? I’d love to know the pros & cons of where to start.
A lot of people take their macros as a “set in stone” type of thing. You shouldn’t worry about hitting the mark every single day to the dot. If you’re a few calories over some days, a few calories under on others – it’s fine. Everything will even itself out in the end. It’s all about a long term plan that can work for you, and not the other way around.
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.)
What is the ketogenic diet exactly? The classic ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet plan that was originally designed in the 1920s for patients with epilepsy by researchers working at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Researchers found that fasting — avoiding consumption of all foods for a brief period of time (such as with intermittent fasting), including those that provide carbohydrates — helped reduce the amount of seizures patients suffered, in addition to having other positive effects on body fat, blood sugar, cholesterol and hunger levels. (1)
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).

Cheese is one of my favorite foods. Sadly, most people think Velveeta and American cheese are cheese. Nope! Not even close. They are highly-processed, cheese-like products that you really don’t want to eat, no matter how low the carb counts might be. Hard cheeses like cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Swiss are better choices. Find the ones that you enjoy, and be sure to buy the full-fat versions. Selecting low-fat cheeses defeats the purpose, and won’t help you reach nutritional ketosis. Cheese is so versatile! Put on top of just about anything, or eat us all by itself. I’ve even found that spreading cream cheese (see below) between two slices of cheddar cheese is an excellent high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb snack. I’ve also found cheese adds the perfect extra ration of protein on days that I lift weights at the gym. Can you tell I love my cheese?


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


I also have to tell you that you are HILARIOUS! I laughed so hard reading your lead up to the 3 day plan. Thank you for your guidance, honesty, outstanding sense of humor (we all need it), incredibly delicious recipes and your baffling organization. I truly don’t know how you get it all done. You make it “do-able” and fun. I’m actually excited to start!
Decades of research indicates that high-fat, low-carb keto-friendly foods, the very foods we once thought were destroying our health, may be doing just the opposite. Studies upon studies on the ketogenic diet have been discovering benefits for people with all types of conditions, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease.
High-protein ketogenic diet (HPKD): This version of the keto diet is often followed by folks who want to preserve their muscle mass like bodybuilders and older people. Rather than protein making up 20 percent of the diet, here it’s 30 percent. Meanwhile, fat goes down to 65 percent of the diet and carbs stay at 5 percent. (Caution: folks with kidney issues shouldn’t up their protein too much.)
"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."
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.
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