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The ketogenic diet is a great way to lose weight, but it is also a lifestyle change that will stay with you for life. While you won’t be eating the extremely low levels of carbs you eat while you are losing weight once you reach your goals, you will need to restrict carbs in your […]
It’s the same question again and again. Keto is so different than the Standard American Diet, just figuring out what to eat really trips people up. For those first getting started, it can be a little tricky identifying which foods are keto and which ones to avoid. If you’re struggling to figure out what you can and can’t eat, this guide will give you a great starting point to determine which foods are keto friendly! All foods listed here are low in carbohydrates and can easily be incorporated into a ketogenic diet. Think of these as your go-to foods!
I have the same problem, but I have successfully replaced boring water with Perrier Lime (sparkling mineral water). No sweetener and the sparkle and slight hint of lime make it non-boring for me. Sparkling water with your choice of lemon or lime is really
Pass the guac! Avocados are a dream ketogenic food, thanks to their high-fat content and lack of sugar and carbohydrates. Just avoid pairing this fatty fruit with chips or toast in order to adhere to ketogenic principles—instead, enjoy it as a topping to your salad, baked with an egg inside, or as a side to your morning bacon and eggs.
In the first week, many people report headaches, mental fogginess, dizziness, and aggravation. Most of the time, this is the result of your electrolytes being flushed out, as ketosis has a diuretic effect. Make sure you drink plenty of water and keep your sodium intake up.
The adrenal glands make cortisol, which is triggered by stress. Cortisol increases insulin, which will kick you out of ketosis. When you decrease insulin (as with ketosis), you lower stress and lower cortisol. Therefore, the adrenal glands don’t have to work so hard and will function more healthily.
Spinach, kale, chard, parsley and any other green veggie that goes well in a green drink are high in antioxidants. You don’t want to avoid these super healthy veggies just for the sake of staying in ketosis.
^ Muzykewicz DA, Lyczkowski DA, Memon N, Conant KD, Pfeifer HH, Thiele EA. Efficacy, safety, and tolerability of the low glycemic index treatment in pediatric epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2009 May;50(5):1118–26. doi:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01959.x. PMID 19220406
Thanks for all the info! It really helps! I made so many mistakes like too much protein or even too much fat at the beginning, gaining weight instead of losing it! It’s complicated but worth it. The mental clarity and the well being is amazing!
Research shows the keto diet may also enhance a patient’s response to chemotherapy. In fact, one study reported an improvement in sleep and emotional functioning in patients undergoing chemo who were also following a keto diet (23).
If you’re accustomed to a protein intake well over your body weight—let alone lean body mass—you may be skeptical about a diet that demands you reduce protein intake by as much as half. Wittrock can relate.
You’re transitioning. All of the years of carb intake has trained your body to convert carbs into glycogen so when you transition over to keto, your body needs time to make the proper adjustments. You can’t simply make your car go electric by adding another battery.
The report goes on to say that while these various diseases are clearly different from each other, the ketogenic diet appears to be so effective for neurological problems because of its “neuroprotective effect” — as the keto appears to correct abnormalities in cellular energy usage, which is a common characteristic in many neurological disorders.
Here’s one study that shows drops in lesions and skin inflammation when switching to a low-carb diet. Another study that shows a probable connection between high-carb eating and increased acne, so it’s likely that keto can help.
Children who discontinue the diet after achieving seizure freedom have about a 20% risk of seizures returning. The length of time until recurrence is highly variable but averages two years. This risk of recurrence compares with 10% for resective surgery (where part of the brain is removed) and 30–50% for anticonvulsant therapy. Of those that have a recurrence, just over half can regain freedom from seizures either with anticonvulsants or by returning to the ketogenic diet. Recurrence is more likely if, despite seizure freedom, an electroencephalogram (EEG) shows epileptiform spikes, which indicate epileptic activity in the brain but are below the level that will cause a seizure. Recurrence is also likely if an MRI scan shows focal abnormalities (for example, as in children with tuberous sclerosis). Such children may remain on the diet longer than average, and it has been suggested that children with tuberous sclerosis who achieve seizure freedom could remain on the ketogenic diet indefinitely.
Although they tend to be higher in net carbs than other low-carb vegetables, it is difficult to consume too many allium vegetables. Feel free to use them in your cooking to enhance the flavor of your keto meals.
Asparagus is a low-carbohydrate vegetable that you should make an effort to incorporate into your diet, whether you are going keto or not. The stalky green is rich in glutathione, a compound with major cancer-fighting benefits. A study published in the journal Cancers found that glutathione participates in cell protection and regulation.
Yes, too much lean protein—think turkey and chicken—even lean fish—if you’re consuming that and vegetable only, without fat there, you are at risk of throwing yourself out of ketosis. Even eating egg whites without yolks greatly spikes insulin. So look to fatty proteins. Fatty cuts of beef, chicken WITH skin, fattier cuts of beef, lamb, and game. Chuck as opposed to 10% lean sirloin.
That last item may surprise you, but for many people, it makes all the difference. Why? When carbs are cut, we rapidly deplete glycogen, the stored form of carbohydrate. For every gram of glycogen we lose, we lose 3 grams of water. Addition of the bouillon will help prevent dehydration and improve the way you feel on the diet. Water isn’t enough on keto; you need enough sodium, too.
^ a b Martinez CC, Pyzik PL, Kossoff EH. Discontinuing the ketogenic diet in seizure-free children: recurrence and risk factors. Epilepsia. 2007 Jan;48(1):187–90. doi:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2006.00911.x. PMID 17241227
You may think you’ve got what it takes to make the switch to keto without tracking your macronutrients, but you’re probably wrong. Getting your macros correct is the most important aspect of starting down the path of a ketogenic diet.
A: Some people want to go off keto once they’ve reached their goal weight, others choose to stay on keto or take up a clean-eating diet. I’ve been on keto for almost a decade now. One thing to always remember – if you go back to your old habits you will put the weight back on.
Typically, anywhere between 20-30g of net carbs is recommended for everyday dieting – but the lower you keep your carbohydrate intake and glucose levels, the better the overall results will be. If you’re doing keto for weight loss, it’s a good idea to keep track of both your total carbs and net carbs.
One common side effect of a keto diet is dehydration. When your insulin levels drop on a low-carb diet, your body retains less sodium and water, making a keto diet slightly diuretic. Stay hydrated with plenty of water, and reload on electrolytes with bone broths, especially during the “keto flu” in the first few weeks of your diet.
^ McNally MA, Pyzik PL, Rubenstein JE, Hamdy RF, Kossoff EH. Empiric use of potassium citrate reduces kidney-stone incidence with the ketogenic diet. Pediatrics. 2009 Aug;124(2):e300–4. doi:10.1542/peds.2009-0217. PMID 19596731
A ketogenic diet may be more expensive than a standard American diet, but it’s no different than other clean eating lifestyles. That said, there’s still numerous ways to save money while cooking keto. The best ways to save money is the same as with any other budgeting:
Besides sugar, sometimes our bodies crave food because of lack of nutrients. The craving usually goes away if you fulfill your nutrient intake in a different way. Below you’ll see a few ways to get rid of pesky cravings that hit.
As a precaution, you should always check with your physician if you have any concerns about starting a keto diet. You should especially be wary if you’re currently taking medications for a pre-existing condition as extra monitoring may be needed. Be careful when breastfeeding as you may need to increase carb intake.
Your best bet when it comes to protein is choosing pasture-raised and grass-fed. This will minimize your bacteria and steroid hormone intake. Try to choose the darker meat where possible with poultry, as it is much fattier than white meat. Eating fatty fish is a great way to get omega 3’s in as well.
Intermittent fasting is using the same reasoning – instead of using the fats we are eating to gain energy, we are using our stored fat. That being said, you might think it’s great – you can just fast and lose more weight. You have to take into account that later on, you will need to eat extra fat in order to keep out of a starvation mode state.
I tried to scale the recipes as best as I could in this meal plan, but not every recipe will be scaled, and some recipes will give leftovers. Make sure you look a few days ahead in the meal plan, as some leftovers are used. Freeze things if you have too much leftovers. You can always re-use this food later on!
For breakfast, we are going to change it up a bit. Here’s where we introduce ketoproof coffee. Now, don’t get me wrong – I know some of you won’t like it. If you’re not a fan of coffee, then try it with tea. If you’re not a fan of the taste (which is very rare), then try making a mixture of the ingredients by themselves and eating it like that. So, why ketoproof coffee?
Insulin resistance can lead to type II diabetes if left unmanaged. An abundant amount of research shows that a low carb, ketogenic diet can help people lower their insulin levels to healthy ranges. Read more on keto and insulin resistance >
I’ve been doing the keto diet for two months. I’ve lost 18lbs but am stalled for the last two weeks. Is this menu plan a good way to get out of the stall? Or do you have any suggestions? I’ve also added exercising 3 to 5 times a week.
You may notice that fruits and vegetables that grow underground tend to have higher carb counts, so they must be monitored and limited. To see a full list of low carb vegetables, take a look at the best low-carb vegetables list >
Mushrooms, though low-carb, aren’t Bulletproof either; not only do they contain many unstudied or medicinally active compounds, they grow in mold-happy conditions, so mycotoxins are almost certainly present.
Leftovers will be another thing we will take into consideration. Not only is it easier on you, but why put yourself through the hassle to cook the same food more than once? Breakfast is something I normally do leftover style, where I don’t have to worry about it in the morning and I certainly don’t have to stress about it. Grab some food out the fridge, pre-made for me, and head out the door. It doesn’t get much easier than that, does it?
Increased Urination: Keto is a natural diuretic, so you’ll find yourself going to the bathroom more than usual. Especially with how much water you are consuming. Acetoacetate (say that 3x fast), a ketone body, is excreted through the urine so this is another cause for more frequent bathroom breaks.
Physicians of ancient Greece treated diseases, including epilepsy, by altering their patients’ diet. An early treatise in the Hippocratic Corpus, On the Sacred Disease, covers the disease; it dates from c. 400 BC. Its author argued against the prevailing view that epilepsy was supernatural in origin and cure, and proposed that dietary therapy had a rational and physical basis.[Note 3] In the same collection, the author of Epidemics describes the case of a man whose epilepsy is cured as quickly as it had appeared, through complete abstinence of food and drink.[Note 4] The royal physician Erasistratus declared, “One inclining to epilepsy should be made to fast without mercy and be put on short rations.”[Note 5] Galen believed an “attenuating diet”[Note 6] might afford a cure in mild cases and be helpful in others.
All sorts of unsweetened, non-starchy vegetables. What vegetables can you eat on a ketogenic diet without worrying about increasing your carb intake too much? Some of the most popular choices include broccoli and other cruciferous veggies, all types of leafy greens, asparagus, cucumber, and zucchini.
Ketosis is the result of following the standard ketogenic diet, which is why it’s also sometimes called “the ketosis diet.” Ketosis takes place when glucose from carbohydrate foods (like grains, all sources of sugar or fruit, for example) is drastically reduced, which forces the body to find an alternative fuel source: fat. Although dietary fat (especially saturated fat) often gets a bad name, provoking fear of weight gain and heart disease, it’s also your body’s second preferred source of energy when carbohydrates are not easily accessible.
NOTE: The main exception to ketoacidosis is type 1 diabetics – it can happen when insulin levels are severely low which is rare in someone with a normally functioning pancreas. Dangerously high ketone levels result in insulin secretion.
8 Nickols-Richardson, S. M. et. al. (2005). Perceived hunger is lower and weight loss is greater in overweight premenopausal women consuming a low-carbohydrate/high-protein vs high-carbohydrate/low-fat diet. Journal American Diet Association, 105(9): 1433-7.
“For a newbie, this plan is very easy to follow. I was afraid of failing again. I just started this plan and I am not feeling hungry. Raj thank you. I hope to be more comfortable with my keto lifestyle now.*”
I am just starting and would like to get the maximum out of this new lifestyle change ( I hate the word diet haha) the recipes I’ve seen on here look amazing and sound better that the junk I’ve been subjecting my body to I cannot wait to start seeing the results. The only question I have is I cannot stand just drinking regular water can I use crystal lite in my water to give it flavor?
Within the first two weeks of starting keto, some individuals experience adverse effects known as “keto flu.” This is the result of the sudden removal of carbohydrates from the brain and body. These are minor but uncomfortable symptoms that might include:
Hi 😀 yes I have a question, just starting this Keto diet, so we’re very new at this but my boyfriend had a heart attack 8 years ago so we need to be very careful to not get to high on fat with him. Can he still benefit from this diet. His Doctor said he needs to get some of his weight off he is having a hard time breathing. The Doctor said a low carb diet. But I, we would like to try the Keto diet.
So for your first month or so, be restrained but not necessarily strict. If BCAAs help you train and recover, drink them during your training, but don’t guzzle them all day. And if you have any doubts about whether they’re affecting your ketone levels, your test sticks should tell you.
No matter what your diet has been to this point, keto will be a big change. If you’re coming from a standard American diet (SAD) background, your carbs will go way down, protein may either go up or down, and fat will go way up. If you’re coming from a bodybuilding-style diet, your fat intake will jump to alarming levels, and your protein will likely drop significantly.