Jimmy is the true definition of a low-carb success story. In 2004, he went from his all-time highest weight of 410 pounds to an incredible 230 pounds eating copious amounts of yummy, thick-sliced bacon, baby! That's an eye-popping 180-pound weight loss--but more importantly Jimmy gained a fresh new perspective and appreciation for the robust health he had been given thanks to high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb living. That's what drives him to blog, record podcasts, make YouTube videos, write books about this healthy way of eating and whatever else he can do to spread the word to as many people as possible. We've been reading Jimmy's blog columns at his popular Livin' La Vida Low-Carb blog for many years and we're proud to include his over-the-top style at CarbSmart.
Eggs are highly regarded as one of the perfect breakfast foods on the ketogenic diet. They are versatile and can be incorporated into many different dishes in many different forms. Beyond being low-carb and high-fat, eggs have powerful nutritional value. Eating eggs can increase your levels of high-density lipoprotein (or HDL) cholesterol, which is known to many as the "good" kind, which can result in a lowered risk of heart disease and stroke. We recommend that you scramble over to the egg aisle right away.
Jimmy is the true definition of a low-carb success story. In 2004, he went from his all-time highest weight of 410 pounds to an incredible 230 pounds eating copious amounts of yummy, thick-sliced bacon, baby! That's an eye-popping 180-pound weight loss--but more importantly Jimmy gained a fresh new perspective and appreciation for the robust health he had been given thanks to high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb living. That's what drives him to blog, record podcasts, make YouTube videos, write books about this healthy way of eating and whatever else he can do to spread the word to as many people as possible. We've been reading Jimmy's blog columns at his popular Livin' La Vida Low-Carb blog for many years and we're proud to include his over-the-top style at CarbSmart.
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.
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).
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).
So sorry to hear about that Marie! I have found that eliminating grains, especially corn and wheat makes a big difference for me and how my joints feel. If I start indulging, not only do I gain weight and get very bloated, but within a few days my tendonitis returns and my joints (especially my fingers and hips for some reason) start to really ache again. If you haven’t already cut out all grains, you might try experimenting with it for a couple of weeks to see if that gives you further relief!

Thank you so much for all of this great info! My husband started a Keto plan two weeks ago so I have been researching going Keto for a few weeks now. I figured I’d use him as a guinea pig to test buying food, preparing and cooking meals to see how easy or hard it would be to hit his macros for the day. I decided to start it this week (today is my fourth day) so now I am doubling up on the recipes so there’s enough for the both of us. I am still constantly looking for more recipes and trying to get more comfortable with changing up food so we are not eating the same things everyday. I can’t wait to try the meatloaf since it’s one of my favorite dishes! Thank you again for all the work you put in to sharing this info with others!
The end result of the “ketone diet” is staying fueled off of circulating high ketones (which are also sometimes called ketone bodies) — which is what’s responsible for altering your metabolism in a way that some people like to say turns you into a “fat-burning machine.” Both in terms of how it feels physically and mentally, along with the impact it has on the body, being in ketosis is very different than a “glycolytic state,” where blood glucose (sugar) serves as the body’s energy source.
Dirty keto diet: “Dirty” is the apt term, as these version of keto follows the same strict percentages (75/20/5 of fat/protein/carbs) but rather than focusing on healthy versions of fat like coconut oil and wild salmon, you’re free to eat naughty but still keto friendly foods like bacon, sausage, pork rinds, diet sodas and even keto fast food. I do NOT recommend this.
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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.
Implementing this lifestyle is fairly simple but can be overwhelming when you are just starting out. That is why I have created the Navigating the Ketogenic Diet Online course to guide you through the process. This program provides lifetime access to a grocery list, recipes, meal plans, and extensive e-guides filled with information to optimize your health using this dietary strategy. To find out more, click on the banner below.

When it comes to starting the keto diet (or any diet for that matter), there's one thing all experts agree on. You *must* have a plan. "Never try to wing a keto diet," says Julie Stefanski, R.D.N., C.S.S.D., L.D.N., a dietitian based in York, PA, who specializes in the ketogenic diet. "Set a start date and get prepared by reorganizing your pantry, planning out meal and snack options, and purchasing appropriate foods and dietary supplements," she says. "The biggest reason people have a hard time sticking with keto is that people don't have enough interesting foods to turn to, and high-carb favorites win out over good intention. If you didn't buy foods at the grocery store that fit the guidelines, there won't be an easy option in the fridge when you really need it." (A great place to start is this List of High-Fat Keto Foods Anyone Can Add to Their Diet.)
because the recipes don’t mention quantities it’s hard to know how much it’s okay to eat of the carb foods. How much carbs is in those foods like kale, cauliflower, lettuce a.s.o. What about mushrooms ? Love to use them as a ‘filler’ instead of bread. Also hard to know how much is too much protein? Cheese, meat, bacon, yoghurt, tuna…. they all are full of protein.
I’ve never really thought of myself as a coach Monica but thank you! (note to self: buy an obnoxious whistle to wear around my neck at all times) I’m so happy to hear that you are excited and optimistic about losing weight with the plans! I am looking forward to hearing about your progress as you move through the weeks! I’m with you on the avoiding bad decisions – if I get too hungry and don’t have on plan stuff available, that’s always a recipe (no pun intended) for disaster!
Join our community of “losers” today and subscribe free to IBIH newsletters to get notified when I post new keto recipes and updated keto diet menu plans! Also head over to the IBIH Facebook page where the cool kids hang out – and you’ll get access to my daily Amazon freebies, health and fitness tips, and other fun content I only post on Facebook! Finally, be sure to register for our new IBIH Community Forum where you can get daily support for the 5 Day Keto Soup Diet, 5 Day Keto Egg Fast Diet, Weekly Keto Diet Menu Plans, or just gab with fellow IBIH fans who are following a low carb or gluten free lifestyle!

Hello Myriam, I am a dual certified personal trainer and Sports Nutrition Specialist. I really love how concisely you have put this article together. I did notice that on your macro breakdown for a 1500 calorie diet you actually listed the protein intake at around 31% of the daily calories (117*4=468..468/1500=.31). I was wondering if you did this to bring the protein amount closer to 1 gram per pound of body-weight to preserve lean mass?

Hi, I’m still a bit skeptical, I have seen some of my friends do the keto diet, and have had good results. Though I am still not sure about the idea of the fats being eaten. They say they eat meat with the fat and must do so, is this correct? Also isn’t this not good for the body especially for the kidneys? Second, can a diabetic do this diet? There are many questions running through my head.
Jimmy, your newsletters are terrific, very helpful & informative. I am Type 2 diabetic & for 6 mos have been on an eating lifestyle of low carb/mod protein/hi fat. In 6 mos I lost 48 # and bg went from 340 to a daily average of between 80 and 99. I don’t understand ketones very well. How do you measure ketones so accurately? Is it a special meter? What is the goal with measuring ketones? What do you “feel” that is so special or what happens when your ketones are optimal?
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.
The common misconception about the keto diet is that it contains no fibre, and instead the dieter is left eating mountains of bacon rashers, bulletproof coffees, butter and steak. In reality, a well-formulated keto diet will consist of an array of wholefoods including leafy greens, healthy fats from nuts, seeds and coconut, and a small amount of fruit. When keto is done properly, quality fibre is provided in abundance.

I don’t want to sound — or be — judgemental or sanctimonious. I know that each person’s keto journey is their own to travel. We all have to figure out which way of keto or low carb eating makes us feel our best, what gives us the best health and weight results, what makes this big change to one’s old way of eating the easiest to navigate and sustain. Those choices do have align, of course, with one’s values, needs, taste buds, desires — and pocket book.
However, if you are a beginner, it is not always easy knowing the right kind of keto foods to eat in order to ensure you get the right nutrition. This includes meals that are free of sweeteners and dairy. With this article, you will be able to better understand what you should eat on a keto diet and what you should not eat. Just as already stated above, you need to eat real foods, including nuts, vegetables, meat, yogurt, eggs, and occasionally, some fruits. As much as possible, avoid foods that contain colourings, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. It is worthy of note that keto diet is not mainly about shedding excess weight, it is more about embracing a healthier lifestyle that helps you to eat right, always. Listed below are some of the low-carb foods that should be on your menu when on keto diet. They include but not limited to the following:

“It’s difficult to the get many nutrients your body needs, particularly fiber and potassium, on the keto diet," says Karen Ansel, R.D., author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging: Stay Younger, Live Longer. "At the same time, it’s loaded with saturated fat, which is unhealthy for your heart, and it deprives you of the carbohydrates your body craves for energy,” she adds.
Coconut oil contains a combination of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and long-chain fatty acids that make it one of the ideal ketogenic foods. Lauric acid is the dominating fatty acid most concentrated in unrefined coconut oil.  Coconut oil provides many benefits including the ability to regulate blood sugar and hormone levels, boost thyroid function, fuel the human body’s metabolic demands and provide healing support to cells, tissue and organs. (11, 12)
Oils can be a great source of healthy fats—if you choose the right ones. Certain oils, like olive oil and coconut oil, have been shown to lower blood pressure, aid in weight loss, and even lessen symptoms of Alzheimer's (translation: Oils are good for your brain!). Whether you're cooking with them, adding them to salad dressing, or occasionally downing a spoonful, you can't really go wrong. Listed in order of highest to lowest fat content per tablespoon, the best oils for the keto diet include:
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.
So sorry to hear about that Marie! I have found that eliminating grains, especially corn and wheat makes a big difference for me and how my joints feel. If I start indulging, not only do I gain weight and get very bloated, but within a few days my tendonitis returns and my joints (especially my fingers and hips for some reason) start to really ache again. If you haven’t already cut out all grains, you might try experimenting with it for a couple of weeks to see if that gives you further relief!

Amanda C. Hughes has been developing ketogenic and paleo recipes for over a decade. She has developed recipes for top nutrition coaches and subscription meal boxes. She's the author of the best-selling Wicked Good Ketogenic Diet Cookbook, Keto Life, Keto All the Way, and developed recipes for the 21-Day Ketogenic Diet Weight-Loss Challenge. Disclaimer: Please enjoy the recipes and personal anecdotes on WickedStuffed, but please understand this is a recipe blog. I do my best to provide nutritional information based on the tools available to me, but you should seek proper nutritional advice from a dietician. Additionally, many of the links on my blog are affiliate links, which helps to pay down the cost of keeping this blog up and running.
The most science-backed performance-boosting supplements, such as creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, and caffeine, are all A-OK on the ketogenic diet. So, if you take a pre-workout, you should be able to continue without issue. I would also recommend gulping down some bouillon before your session to ensure your sodium and magnesium levels are on point.
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.
You want to keep your cheats to none. Be prepared, make sure you’re eating what you need to be satiated (“full”), and make sure you’re satisfied with what you’re eating. If you have to force yourself to eat something, it will never work out in the end. This is just a guideline on how you can eat on a ketogenic diet, so you’re very welcome to change up what kind of foods you eat!
There are certain times or occasions that require popping of a few bottles. In such situation, you should strictly stick to dry white wine, dry red wine, and unsweetened spirits. If you are on keto diet for weight loss, then you should completely avoid alcohol but if on the diet for weight maintenance, you can take the above mentioned occasionally. Now this brings us to foods that you should COMPLETELY AVOID when you are on keto diet. This includes every food that is rich in carbohydrates, processed foods, and factory-farmed meat and fish sources. Breaking them down as follows:
For those who love their potatoes, pasta, and even fruit, this is a diet that will change your lifestyle completely. You’ve probably already guessed that the pasta and other wheat foods are not allowed. Potatoes and other starchy foods, like legumes and beans, are also on the banned list and that makes sense to many. But fruit? Is fruit not allowed?

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.

The keto diet works for such a high percentage of people because it targets several key, underlying causes of weight gain — including hormonal imbalances, especially insulin resistance coupled with high blood sugar levels, and the cycle of restricting and “binging” on empty calories due to hunger that so many dieters struggle with. In fact, these are some of the direct benefits of the 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!
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.
For those of you that have claimed to gain or plateau… have no fear! (LOL) I’ve been on some type of low carb/high protein diet since the Atkins diet first showed up in the 70’s… Believe me when I tell you it DOES work!! You just need to stick to it!! The heart association and other organizations will still tell you that fat is bad… IT’S NOT! Here’s some things to remember:
You’re transitioning. Your body is equipped to process a high intake of carbs and a lower intake of fat. Your body needs to create enzymes to be able to do this. In the transitional period, the brain may run low on energy which can lead to grogginess, nausea, and headaches. If you’re having a large problem with this, you can choose to reduce carb intake gradually.
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).

Thank you for such a through list. I have been wondering how to count the spices used in cooking and now I know. I do have one question though that I can not find the answer to. When breaking down the macros for a recipe how do you count items that are listed as having fewer than 1 carb? Do you just count it as one? I am in a stall and wondering if I am not accounting for enough carbs.
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’m Keto with no gallbladder, I take 3 papaya enzymes after eating anything. I mean anything. I take 9 to 15 a day. I went keto after losing my gallbladder because carbs of any kind caused gas and pain so I practically quit eating. The doc kept telling me to eat more fruits and veggies. The more I ate the sicker I got. Got down to 158 lbs and I’m 5’11”. This was a decade ago, I usually weigh about 185. I’m 54 yrs old. My blood pressure at sam’s the other day was 98/64. Flip that food pyramid upside down or throw it away. I was keto before keto was cool.
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