Of the many benefits of a keto diet, weight loss is often considered No. 1., as it can often be substantial and happen quickly (especially for those who start out very overweight or obese). The 2013 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that those following a keto diet “achieved better long-term body weight and cardiovascular risk factor management when compared with individuals assigned to a conventional low-fat diet (i.e. a restricted-energy diet with less than 30 percent of energy from fat).” (2)

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.
Nina- I like to make different olive oil dips….I’ll roast a head of garlic and mix the roasted cloves w/a lot of olive oil- which I like to pour on my chicken, steak, salad- basically anything I’m eating b/c it is so so good. I will also mix olive oil w/parsley, crushed garlic, and salt- also really good. I do find that although I eat the same foods everyday- I don’t suffer from boredom, I think b/c the food is so delish.
As your body breaks through the carb cycle and enters ketosis (where you rely on ketones, instead of carbs, for energy), you may experience fatigue, mental fogginess, even irritability. My "keto flu" only lasted a day, and once I passed it, I never experienced the symptoms again. I even ate a cookie one day during the diet to celebrate my birthday. I certainly came out of ketosis when I ate that treat, but I didn't experience any repercussions for it. 
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 second part of this equation is alcohol – which can play a big role in your diet. Alcohol will slow down your fat burning process and can kick you out of ketosis. Also, many alcoholic drinks have often hidden carbs, so try to ignore beers, cocktails, flavored syrups, sodas, sweet wines and flavored liquors. Addition to alcohol, avoid sweetened teas and coffee drinks and most coffee creamers. If you need one then prefer keto friendly coffee creamers.

“We know that when we have fats in our diet like MUFAs, they not only fill us up but keep cholesterol levels lower,” says Keatley. Olive oil is great for light sauteing, using in dressings, or drizzling over cooked meats or vegetables as a finishing oil. One tablespoon (tbsp) offers 119 calories and 13.5 g of fat, only 2 g of which are saturated fat, according to the USDA.
May help slow tumor growth for certain types of cancer: Early research shows that a calorically-restricted ketogenic diet is an effective alternative therapy for malignant brain cancer (13). Since high levels of circulating glucose in the blood are needed for tumor growth, the glucose-reducing effects of the keto diet help to slow tumor growth (14).
I am SO very thankful that I found your post because it answered so many questions, especially the whole uterus part. I was a little freaked! lol … I am new to Keto and I must say that I have been a little frustrated because I started this new keto lifestyle since the second week of February and I’ve been loosing and gaining the same freakin 5 lbs! I now realize that I have been overthinking the whole change and overwhelming myself. Thank you for all the great information and meal plans :)
I have the same problem with a missing gallbladder. I use coconut oil topically- I slather it on my skin. Usually, I add olive oil, mineral salts and some nice smelling essential oils. One caution- you do have to give it time to absorb through the skin before you get dressed. I haven’t tried the blood ketone meter yet (just ordered one through Amazon), but it did help me increase ketone levels based on the ketostick.

"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.

The good news is there are things you can do to help alleviate those symptoms. Firstly, you should see your doctor before going on the diet to get the thumbs up. Then, if you're experiencing such symptoms and they're not the result of something else (like the actual flu), start by drinking plenty of fluid, while avoiding activities that can dehydrate you such as an intense workout. Dr Evelyn Lewin also suggest increasing your salt intake by adding half a teaspoon to two teaspoons of salt into your food. if you're able to persist through these symptoms, you’ll quickly transition through this stage and come out the other side bursting with energy.
On the label it will tell you the serving size and how many carbs are in that serving size. You then use your scale to measure the serving size. Based on the serving size you will then know how many grams of carbs are in that portion. So if 1 oz has 5g of carbs, then you will know that in order to get 50g of carbs, you would need 10 oz. You do not weigh 50g of the food. The weight of the food is not the same as the amount of macros (g) it contains. The same applies for protein and fat. 50g of chicken does not have 50g of protein. You would have to look at the nutrition label and see what how much protein is in each oz of chicken.
You can have a completely smooth transition into ketosis, or…not. While your body is adapting to using ketones as your new fuel source, you may experience a range of uncomfortable short-term symptoms. These symptoms are referred to as “the keto flu.” Low-sodium levels are often to blame for symptoms keto flu, since the kidneys secrete more sodium when you’re in ketosis, says Volek. A few side effects:
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.

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.
Burns fat: You can drop a lot of weight — and quickly — on the keto diet.[3] Ketones suppress ghrelin — your hunger hormone — and increase cholecystokinin (CCK), which makes you feel full.[4] Reduced appetite means it’s easier to go for longer periods without eating, which encourages your body to dip into its fat stores for energy. Learn more here about the keto diet and weight loss. 
The transition process can be hard, especially when moving away from a diet that is normally carbohydrate heavy. This can sometimes bring on flu-like symptoms for a couple of days – ‘keto flu’ is a thing! Symptoms of the 'keto flu' include brain fog and fatigue, moodiness, migraines, and muscle cramping or tightness, which usually occur as a result of electrolyte changes or dehydration.

My cousin and his family have been eating this way for a few months and are quite inspiring. I would love to start this, but I am breastfeeding my six month old and plan to continue breastfeeding for at least another six months. Is this way of eating healthy for a breastfeeding mama? If it is, should I expect the same withdrawal symptoms to happen to my baby?


You’re very welcome, Judy! I’m glad it’s helpful. If you are keto (as opposed to low carb), unfortunately peaches would not allow you to stay in ketosis. You can check my keto food list to help determine what is keto friendly. Of course, there are worse things than fresh fruit 🙂 but in the end our bodies still see the sugar. That being said, it doesn’t mean you sabotaged the whole day. Just pick up again – you got this!! (And for next time, try some fresh berries in moderation when you’re craving fruit.)

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.

Often caused by lymph node removal or damage due to cancer treatment, lymphedema occurs because there’s a blockage in the lymphatic system and results in the swelling in leg or arm. A 2017 study involved patients who suffered from obesity and lymphedema and who embarked on a 18-week ketogenic diet. Weight and limb volume was significantly reduced. (5)

Many people start diets with goals like losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks and think that the faster they shed weight, the healthier they are. The truth is that a biological organism like a human is not designed to drop weight rapidly. Our bodies are remarkable survival machines. I often wish people a slow weight loss journey, perhaps 0.5 lbs of fat per week. While people claim they want to drop 20 by next Tuesday, really the goal is to have that 20lb off, and live a much more healthful lifestyle for the rest of their life. The more effective approach is to lose that weight over a longer period of time, and get comfortable with the new habits you will form on a ketogenic diet.


Cauliflower is definitely my favorite low carb veggie Lora – it’s so versatile! But you can also enjoy loads of spinach, broccoli, swiss chard, zucchini, celery, eggplant, cucumbers, and even spaghetti squash! Kale, tomatoes, onions, garlic, mushrooms, even pumpkin in moderation. Potatoes are mostly a no no unless you are in maintenance mode and even then very sparingly!
I too started Atkins years ago- back in the ‘80’s. I did well as long as i stuck to it. But, it’s a tough road and restaurants and snack food companies are not very low carb friendly. It’s all too easy for me to grab something quick & the donuts in the break room do me in everytime!!! I read your post this morning & It inspired me. I also am 57 and have been discouraged lately with my weight and lack of ability to stay away from carbs. But, I am going at it again – and this time with a vengeance. Thanks again for your post – very inspiring & appreciated. By the way – I found that Mellissa’s website the best for keto. Her recipes are simply delicious and not over complicated or time consuming. She also has a great sense of humor. It’s nice to know she goes through the same trials we do – and what it’s like to mess up !! !!. Thank you Mellissa for your articles, recipes, humor and your perseverance!!
I was a vread and sweet person as well. Once you start you will not believe that you don’t crave those things. It was not hard as I thought but what helped with the lack of cravings is starting my day with the coffee, ghee and tablespoon of coconut/mct oil. I don’t do heavey cream . Once you begin youll see thats the least worry you will have. You can do it
There are several medical studies — such as two conducted by the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center for the University of Iowa, and the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, for example — that show the ketogenic diet is an effective treatment for cancer and other serious health problems. (12)
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.
I totally understand how you feel! 😊 But the truth is that most people can't do that... speaking from my own experience. When I started following a low-carb diet my palate was completely different to what it is now and I couldn't imagine skipping sweeteners, bread alternatives and other substitutes. They helped me transition into the way I eat now. These days I don't use any sweeteners - or just a small amount in occasional treats. I keep my diet very simple and often cook with just 5-10 ingredients.
I have never dieted but as I have gotten older my body doesn’t shed weight as it used to. My coworker introduced me to the ketone diet . I lost 10lbs the first month and 2 inches off my waist line . However on the third month we went on vacation and I gave in. It’s been over a month now and I’m really wanting to get back . During the month I was off the diet I had the worse PMS I have ever had. I didn’t even like being around me. Did this have something to do with the diet? If so now that I’m fixing to go back on it , is it going to be harder for me to get back into it? And my 14 year old son whom is a good size boy for his age wants to lose weight and build muscle . Hey is 5’11 and weighs in at 230lbs . Is this safe for him? He is asking for supplements to help him build up . I have read a lot of things about most of those and do not fill comfortable with letting him try those .
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.
1) Fat weighs less than healthy muscle… EVEN IF you are not showing a loss in the scales… check your clothes.. they’ll be fitting better… If you lacked good muscle tissue.. eating the protein will rebuild that. If you were VERY out of shape, your body will feel GREAT with all the new muscle, but it DOES weigh more… that will not stop you from losing, you just need to stick it out… you will lose inches even if you’re not losing lbs…
The keto diet works by eliminating carbohydrates from the your daily intake and keeping the body’s carbohydrate stores almost empty, therefore preventing too much insulin from being released following food consumption and creating normal blood sugar levels. This can help reverse “insulin resistance,” which is the underlying problem contributing to diabetes symptoms. In studies, low-carb diets have shown benefits for improving blood pressure, postprandial glycemia and insulin secretion. (7)
If you’ve decided to move forward in trying the keto diet, you will want to stick to the parameters of the eating plan. Roughly 60 to 80 percent of your calories will come from fats. That means you’ll eat meats, fats, and oils, and a very limited amount of nonstarchy vegetables, she says. (This is different from a traditional low-carb diet, as even fewer carbs are allowed on the keto diet.)
My biggest problem is my missing gallbladder. I find it gives me a severe stomach ache and other gastric problems if I eat more than a little coconut oil at a time. (By little, I mean a tsp) It also seems worse on an empty stomach (if I put it in my coffee and drink it before eating). Would love to know how others who are missing a gallbladder deal with this. (Besides the obvious, don’t eat it on an empty stomach!)
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.
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.
Today we are sharing this extensive Keto Food List and FREE printable Keto Grocery List. If you scroll down to the bottom you will find links to purchase some keto food products that you may have a hard time finding in your local grocery store. When I first started keto I had a hard time figuring out what I could and couldn’t eat, which is why I decided to create this huge list for you!
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.
Our bodies are incredibly adaptive to what you put into it – when you overload it with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source. Optimal ketone levels offer many health, weight loss, physical and mental performance benefits.1There are scientifically-backed studies that show the advantage of a low-carb, ketogenic diet over a low-fat diet. One meta-analysis of low-carbohydrate diets showed a large advantage in weight loss. The New England Journal of Medicine study resulted in almost double the weight loss in a long-term study on ketone inducing diets.
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.
When you’re first getting started, it can be helpful to use a blood or breath ketone meter. What these meters do is measure the amount of ketones (the energy source your body is switching to) in your blood or your breath. Knowing those amounts and seeing how they increase or decrease depending on what you’re eating daily can often be a motivating and helpful indicator of the transition occurring in your body.
Apart from the few fermented soy products that are non-GMO and comes with great health benefits, it is recommended that you stay away from most soy products. Before you make use of any soy-based condiments, be sure of how it was processed. The same thing applies to wheat gluten which is found in most low-carb foods. With all that said, we move down to understanding your Net Carbs. This way, you will find it easier to keep track of your daily calories consumption. They are broken down as follows:

You might be thinking to yourself, “Say what? Dark chocolate is a keto snacks? Are you kidding me?” Nope, I’m not kidding. Lean in really close, because I’ve got a secret to share with you: I eat dark chocolate made with sugar EVERY SINGLE DAY on my nutritional ketosis plan. Yep, I sure do! Sometimes I’ll even have it with some of that Kerrygold grass-fed unsalted butter I mentioned – truly incredible. I’m not talking about cheap, fake dark chocolate or even the sugar-free ones you can buy in most stores. I have fallen head over heels for a brand of chocolate that is far superior to anything I’ve ever put in my mouth before – Taza 80% Stone Ground Dark Chocolate. This stuff contains little chunks of real cacao and even has real sugar in it (GASP!). But I eat a half and sometimes a whole bar of this daily with no negative impact on my blood sugar or blood ketone levels. It’s got to be the cocoa butter that make it such a perfect addition to my nutritional ketosis plan.


I used an online keto calculator to set a goal for calories, carbs and fat. I mostly followed the suggestions, with the exception of fat. The calculator suggested over 200 grams of fat each day. That's tough to hit without loading ghee into my coffee or swigging some coconut oil before lunch. Can it be done? Absolutely. I just couldn't get there. For me, the focus was on reducing carbs. I let the other pieces just fall into place.
Now is the time to forget the 1980s strategy of low-fat/reduced-fat/fat-free. When you're assembling your keto diet food stash, go full-fat. And don't stress over the dietary cholesterol content, a factor of how much animal protein you eat, suggests a study published in The Journal of Nutrition. For the healthiest blood cholesterol levels, instead focus on consuming a higher ratio of unsaturated fats (flaxseed, olive oil, nuts) to saturated fats (lard, red meat, palm oil, butter).
Funny story, I didn’t mean to start the keto diet. My best friend has been doing it for a few months, and I was not really paying close attention to her journey. I assumed it was too restrictive for me, and I love food, so conversely hate “restrictive”. I’ve been lowering calories, eating more protein/vegetables, fewer carbs and working out. I feel great, but I’m not really losing weight, which is frustrating. But, being 44, i was beginning to accept it as part of my metabolic process. The funny thing is, one day I felt like total, deep-fried dog crap. It was right before going on vacation: body aches, dizziness, irritability, I was sure I caught the flu. IN SUMMER!! Awful. However, the next day I woke up, feeling mildly better, and a conversation with my bestie came back to me. Could this be keto flu???? I loaded up on electrolytes that day, WHAM it was gone. I went on vacation and just limited my carbs because I wanted to eat all the good stuff (fatty, hot cheesy, meaty scrumptiousness), but not get gluten bloat. I LOST WEIGHT. YEAAHHHH!!!!!! So I did some research and realized that keto was definitely for me because it really is all my favorite foods. I love to cook, so I had been creating clean, gluten free recipes for quite some time. So now I’m here with you because I loved the name of your blog, just about every recipe appeals to me, as does your writing style. So relatable. I just wanted to share how excited I am to be here, at ground zero of what is to me, a life changing experience. Starting a diet is usually done with grim determination, but today, I’ve never been more excited to start a diet! Looking forward to exploring this gem of a site!
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