Diet soda. You can drink diet soda, but it’s recommended to cut it out completely. Some people report being knocked out of ketosis after a large consumption of artificial sweeteners. Studies also show a link between sugar cravings and artificial sweeteners – cutting the soda out will help curb your cravings.
On the other hand, the types of foods you’ll avoid eating on the keto, low-carb diet are likely the same ones you are, or previously were, accustomed to getting lots of your daily calories from before starting this way of eating. This includes items like fruit, processed foods or drinks high in sugar, those made with any grains or white/wheat flour, conventional dairy products, desserts, and many other high-carb foods (especially those that are sources of “empty calories”).
As far as macros go, I believe the general rule of thumb is roughly 75% of calories from fat, 20% from protein, and no more than 5% from carbs. Personally, my macros are at 65/30/5 and I am still able to achieve ketosis, so it may be worth tweaking some until you find a balance that works for you.
The meal plan is designed to ensure you get three balanced, healthy meals a day that address fiber, satiation, and adequate protein intake. The greatest part of a ketogenic diet is the fact that it spares muscle loss, where a carb-based diet doesn’t. Weight lost in a high carb, calorie-restricted diet will often come both from muscle and fat, whereas with keto, you can burn fat without sacrificing muscle. This is referred to often as “body recomposition” and leaves you with a much more preferred physique after weight loss.
Pretty much all of the side effects you’ll hear about happen in those first four weeks—or even in the first 4-5 days—and experienced ketogenic dieters like Wittrock swear that most of them can be chalked up to a single cause: lack of electrolytes.
Hunger is one way to know if you’re in fat burning, because the longer you do keto, the less hungry you’ll be.39,40 If you’re getting severe hunger with weakness and brain fog, you’re not quite into keto. Back off a bit. Don’t be doing 20-hour fasts. You need more fuel to give your body the energy it needs, and that includes energy to manufacture the enzymes to burn fat instead of glucose. Take it slow, add more fat to your first meal, and eat nutrient-dense foods. If you need more nutrients, try adding some nutritional yeast and electrolytes, and major amounts of potassium. These will help you fix insulin resistance and help you get into fat burning. Bone broth is great for a snack. It’s just nutrients without calories, period.
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.)
For most normal people, the amounts of fats and protein will be enough to naturally keep you satiated and naturally keep you in a calorie deficit. Though, the average American is not always normal. There’s tons of hormone, endocrine, and deficiency problems that we need to take into account.
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.
You can find your own electrolyte powder or use mine. Mine contains 1,000 mg of potassium per serving, as well as all other minerals and trace minerals—but without the maltodextrin (or sugar) that normally comes with most electrolyte powders.
Animal meats have certain readily absorbed forms of these nutrients, which plants do not. Therefore, I recommend that you get these vitamins by consuming animal protein with fat. Just make sure the animal foods are grass-fed and organic.
^ Wang D, Pascual JM, De Vivo D. Glucose Transporter Type 1 Deficiency Syndrome. In: Adam MP, Ardinger HH, Pagon RA, Wallace SE, Bean LJH, Stephens K, Amemiya A, editors. GeneReviews. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2018. 2002 Jul 30 [updated 2018 Mar 1]. PMID 20301603.
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.)
“I recommend only 5 percent of calories coming from carbs, which usually averages out to less than 30 grams,” he says. “So, 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 is 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.”
When in the hospital, glucose levels are checked several times daily and the patient is monitored for signs of symptomatic ketosis (which can be treated with a small quantity of orange juice). Lack of energy and lethargy are common but disappear within two weeks.[17] The parents attend classes over the first three full days, which cover nutrition, managing the diet, preparing meals, avoiding sugar and handling illness.[18] The level of parental education and commitment required is higher than with medication.[43]
Nut and seed flours are great to substitute for regular flour. Commonly consumed on keto, seeds and nuts are frequently seen in baked recipes and dessert recipes. We often see the use of nuts (in almond flour) and seeds (in flaxseed meal) but should be eaten in moderation.
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Keto flu is a very common experience for new ketoers, but it often goes away after just a few days – and there are ways to minimize or even eliminate it. When transitioning to keto, you may feel some slight discomfort including fatigue, headache, nausea, cramps, etc.
Most people end up driving themselves crazy measuring and testing. It’s much better to focus on the nutritional aspect, making sure that you’re in taking proper foods and staying within your macro ranges (read below).
If you’d like to receive different weekly meal plans like this with complete and organized shopping lists, delicious and nutritious breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks recipes as well as tips guaranteed to keep you on track with your keto diet journey, make sure to check the Balanced Keto Weekly Meal Plans program. It will take the guesswork and stress out of your diet and help you create the dream body and great health you’ve always desired and deserved.
Be flexible. We don’t know your personal goal, your budget, your cooking skills, what your favorite foods are or what foods you don’t like to eat so we cannot personalize the meal plan just for you. This plan is just to give you ideas of what to cook for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. So please feel free to adjust and personalize it to make it work for you.
My first week on the keto diet went remarkably well—as in, I wasn’t swearing like a sailor or drooling over every whole-wheat roll my friends popped into the toaster. However, the influx of cravings and insatiable hunger I experienced toward the end of my experiment made me realize that this diet isn’t very sustainable.
Tea and coffee, including Bulletproof Coffee, are completely ketogenic, with bonus points for jump-starting weight loss and focusing your mental clarity. Watch out for sweeteners, fillers, or artificial flavors. While you can drink unsweetened, plant-based milk alternatives in moderation without going out of ketosis, they are not Bulletproof, and are usually loaded with toxic molds — the exception being full-fat coconut milk.[4] If you plan to include them in your diet, beware of carrageenan and BPA-lined containers.
Elevated levels of ketones (the acetoacetate group, to be specific) can be instantly detected in your urine using strips, such as KetoStrips (only one of many brands). After dipping one of these strips into your urine stream, you’ll be able to find out which stage of ketosis you’re in, based on the color guide provided.
When you calculate 70 percent of your total calories per day, the fat may initially seem like a lot. However, because fat is more concentrated, a certain volume of fat has more than double the calories of the same volume of protein or carbs. 
Normal dietary fat contains mostly long-chain triglycerides (LCT). Medium-chain triglycerides are more ketogenic than LCTs because they generate more ketones per unit of energy when metabolised. Their use allows for a diet with a lower proportion of fat and a greater proportion of protein and carbohydrate,[3] leading to more food choices and larger portion sizes.[4] The original MCT diet developed by Peter Huttenlocher in the 1970s derived 60% of its calories from MCT oil.[15] Consuming that quantity of MCT oil caused abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting in some children. A figure of 45% is regarded as a balance between achieving good ketosis and minimising gastrointestinal complaints. The classical and modified MCT ketogenic diets are equally effective and differences in tolerability are not statistically significant.[9] The MCT diet is less popular in the United States; MCT oil is more expensive than other dietary fats and is not covered by insurance companies.[3]
The modified Atkins diet reduces seizure frequency by more than 50% in 43% of patients who try it and by more than 90% in 27% of patients.[3] Few adverse effects have been reported, though cholesterol is increased and the diet has not been studied long term.[47] Although based on a smaller data set (126 adults and children from 11 studies over five centres), these results from 2009 compare favourably with the traditional ketogenic diet.[3]
Getting started is simple: just dive in! It’s always good to spend some time cleaning out your kitchen pantry and adding in new staples. Check out our recommendations to start if you’re new and not sure what to get.
So this means you don’t need to go around drizzling bacon fat on everything you eat. You definitely can if you have a burning desire to do so and it fits into your macros… but it’s not at all necessary. It’s actually pretty easy to get adequate amounts of fat in your diet without going out of your way to do so. Contrary to popular belief, fat bombs, bulletproof coffee and the like are not fundamental for a ketogenic diet. They can be nice treats or occasional meal replacements if you like them, but they are often calorie bombs you don’t need in addition to balanced keto meals. While you certainly want to eat fat on the keto diet, calories still matter.
Making sure vegetables have some fiber in will also usually help. Getting in some good quality fiber from non-starchy vegetables can solve this problem. Though if that’s not enough, usually psyllium husk powder will work or taking a probiotic.
By default, your body generates energy from carbohydrates (glucose), which are stored as glycogen in your muscle tissue and liver (5). You store enough carbs for approximately 24 hours worth of energy (5). Now, most of us easily replenish our carb stores by eating fruit, vegetables, grains, and legumes, so our carb “fuel tanks” rarely get low and we continue burning glucose for energy.
If you check labels, you will find sugar in most mayonnaise. Dukes Mayonnaise is sugar free and good but usually available only in the South. If I wasn’t able to get Dukes, I would go the home made route.
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.
In yet another study, the ketogenic group lost 24.4 lbs (11.1 kg), compared to 15.2 lbs (6.9 kg) in the higher-carb group. This is an important benefit when considering the link between weight and type 2 diabetes (2, 31).
The ketogenic diet is a popular and effective way to lose weight and improve your overall health and well-being. However, due to making sudden and dramatic (though positive) changes to your daily diet, you may experience some mild, temporary side effects. These are usually limited to: Headaches and Dizziness Because sugar and caffeine both have […]
Sucralose. A very easy, but very sweet substitution to sugar that has a lot of misinformation around it. Many people confuse this with Splenda, but sucralose is the pure sweetener. Liquid versions are preferred.
A keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup. More specifically low-carb, high-fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL and decrease in LDL particle concentration compared to low-fat diets. Read more on keto and cholesterol >
A lot of traditional seasonings and sauces aren’t ketogenic diet-friendly because they contain added sugars and carbs, so herbs and spices really become your best friends. Just make sure they don’t contain any sugars and are purely the herb or spice itself. Examples include:
5. Pour the sautéed veggies into the baking dish and top with chopped tomato. Pour the egg mixture over the veggies and place in the oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the eggs puff up and are cooked-through
As mentioned above, the keto diet has also been used effectively for preventing seizures in epileptic patients, especially those who don’t respond well to medication. While it’s not entirely clear how this process works, research suggests removing carbs and mimicking the effect of starvation may block the neuron channels that lead to the ‘electrical storm in the brain’ that results in a seizure (15).
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.
This form rotates ketogenic days with high carb days, usually 5 ketogenic days, followed by 2 high carb days. Sometimes referred to as ketogenic carb cycling, this version of the keto diet can help maximize fat loss and build muscle.
Your body will turn your excess body fat into ketones and using ketones as the main energy source. And when your body starts burning more ketones, we call that being in a state of ketosis. That’s why a ketogenic (or keto) diet is also sometimes called the ketosis diet.
As for branched-chain amino acids, you’ll find smart people who swear that they’re keto-friendly, and others who won’t. One of the BCAAs, valine, can be glucogenic, meaning that it can lead to glucose production and potentially contribute to leaving ketosis behind.1 But does that mean it will happen? Not necessarily, particularly if you’re just an occasional supplement user.
For both keto and Bulletproof diets, opt for full-fat, grass-fed, organic dairy to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3s and CLA. Dairy is a great source of fat on a ketogenic diet, but be mindful not over-do the protein. Although milk (yep, even raw, full-fat, or goat milk) is too high in lactose sugars, you can stay in ketosis with foods like butter, ghee, cheeses or greek yogurt. For those with lactose sensitivities, hard, long-aged ferments are easiest to digest. Avoid sweetened or low-fat dairy, evaporated or condensed milk, and buttermilk to keep your blood sugar low, and your fat intake high.
Yams and potatoes (white, red, sweet, etc.) — sweet potatoes have the least carbs, about 10 net grams per 1/2 potato; Yams and white potatoes can have much more, about 13–25 net grams per 1/2 potato/yam cooked
High-fat dairy also contains high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and conjugated linoleic acid (the fatty acid that has been found to promote fat loss). The combination of these nutrients is essential for maintaining strength and function as we age. By adding just 7 ounces of ricotta cheese to their daily diet, for example, the older participants of a recent study were able to increase their muscle mass and muscle strength. In other words, ask for extra cheese, please.
Ketosis is a natural survival function of the body. It helps your body function on fat when food is not readily available. Similarly, the keto diet focuses on “starving” the body of carbohydrates, transforming the body into a fat-burning state and supplementing with optimal nutrition.
There is a third piece of the puzzle. Part of getting healthy is getting the required nutrients. Fixing insulin resistance allows you to absorb your nutrients even better, but you still need to eat well to get all the necessary nutrients.