The ketogenic diet has a natural diuretic effect, so dehydration is common for most people starting out. If you’re prone to urinary tract infections or bladder pain, you have to be especially prepared.
Our bodies do not have the ability to cope with the toxic amounts of sugar we consume. The body reacts very badly to excess sugar. Just look at what happens to a diabetic: artery damage, vision damage, nerve and kidney damage.
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.
People sometimes get keto confused with high fat, high carb diets which are terrible for the body. Of course, when you eat a lot of fatty foods that are high in sugar, you’ll be getting yourself into trouble.
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).
The less frequent the meals, the more protein you will need per meal. What happens as you eat fewer meals is that your body will compensate. That is, you’ll lose less protein and become more efficient at using it. If you consume two meals per day, the average protein per meal could be 7 to 8 ounces. If you have  one meal per day, the total daily protein amount could be 9 ounces.
The downside to a ketogenic diet for weight loss is the difficulty maintaining it. “Studies show that weight loss results from being on a low-carb diet for more than 12 months tend to be the same as being on a normal, healthy diet,” says Mattinson. While you may be eating more satiating fats (like peanut butter, regular butter, or avocado), you’re also way more limited in what’s allowed on the diet, which can make everyday situations, like eating dinner with family or going out with friends, far more difficult. Because people often find it tough to sustain, it’s easy to rely on it as a short-term diet rather than a long-term lifestyle.
Anticonvulsants suppress epileptic seizures, but they neither cure nor prevent the development of seizure susceptibility. The development of epilepsy (epileptogenesis) is a process that is poorly understood. A few anticonvulsants (valproate, levetiracetam and benzodiazepines) have shown antiepileptogenic properties in animal models of epileptogenesis. However, no anticonvulsant has ever achieved this in a clinical trial in humans. The ketogenic diet has been found to have antiepileptogenic properties in rats.[55]
Overall, eating a high amount of fat, moderate protein, and low amount of carbs can have a massive impact on your health – lowering your cholesterol, body weight, blood sugar, and raising your energy and mood levels.
Below you’ll find a nutritional list of the most commonly consumed dairy items on keto. By far the most common dairy items used are heavy cream (for tea/coffee) and cheese (for added fats in meals). Note that the nutrition values in the table are based on 1 oz. servings while the visual guide is based on 100g servings (~1/2 cup).
As you can see, keeping your body in ketosis for prolonged periods of time teaches your body to burn fat for energy more efficiently, which is how the keto diet can reduce your overall fat mass. This is how following a high-fat, low-carb can help you lose weight without starvation, especially since high-fat foods are satiating and keep you full for longer periods of time.
Note: Many people experience the Keto Flu when transitioning to keto due to dehydration and lack of electrolytes. Make sure that you replenish your electrolytes and drink plenty of fluids. An easy way to do this is by drinking bone broth or sports drinks sweetened with sucralose or stevia.
In the colder months, you might feel like eating higher starch carbs. You can still eat these. Just do so in moderation. Sweet potatoes, yams, peas, carrots, GMO-free corn, and other tubers contain lots of nutrition. But due to their relative high carb content, exercise prudent portion control.
It’s important to also drink lots of water. Getting enough water helps keep you from feeling fatigued, is important for digestion and aids in hunger suppression. It’s also needed for detoxification. Aim to drink 10–12 eight-ounce glasses a day.
Going on a ketogenic diet can be very difficult in the very beginning. Knowing what to eat and what not to eat takes some time to get used to, so if you make some mistakes in the beginning don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s better to make a mistake and learn from it than to make a mistake and not realize it was in error.
Another important caveat for keto dieters is that having too much meat or seafood at any given meal can decrease your ketone levels. For this reason, it is best to split up your protein consumption equally between meals if you want to maintain or increase your ketone levels.
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.
^ 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
Possible therapeutic uses for the ketogenic diet have being studied for various neurological disorders in addition to epilepsy: Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), autism, brain cancer, headache, neurotrauma, pain, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and sleep disorders.[6]
Keeping insulin at a normal level between meals and during sleep will allow your pancreas to chill and recover. However, some people will have a heck of a time going from one meal to the next because they get blood sugar crashes and severe hunger.
Tomato-based products. Lots of people use tomato sauces and canned diced tomatoes. Make sure to read the nutrition labels – food companies are infamous for messing with serving sizes to make their foods seem “healthier.” Make sure that there are no added sugars.
Dinner, again, will be pretty simplistic. Meats, vegetables, high fat dressings are the center of our life. Maybe even a slathering of butter on our vegetables since we’re getting friskier. Don’t over think things in the first 2 weeks; simple is success.
You can measure if you’re in ketosis via urine or blood strips, though it’s not really worth it. The urine strips are considered pretty inaccurate (they more answer the question “Am I in ketosis?”), and the blood strips are expensive (up to $5 per strip). If you’re interested in reading more about measuring ketones, click here >
However, no land mammal can compete with the amount of anti-inflammatory omega 3s that you’ll get from fish and shellfish. Salmon, sardines, mackerel and other fatty fish are the highest in omega-3 fats, which is why many studies have found frequent fish intake to be associated with improved mental health and decreased risk of disease.
On high carb days, your body will leave a state of ketosis— but these “carb refeeds” may be more effective for muscle growth than the high protein or targeted keto diet, since glycogen is the nutrient that “feeds” muscles (26). Ketogenic carb cycling is also said to be less of a lifestyle stressor for some people, as the 2 high carb days make the CKD feel less restrictive and easier to follow.
An easy way to understand how your hormones work is to picture them as strands of a spider web: you can’t remove one strand without affecting the rest. In other words, when one hormone is out of balance, the rest are negatively impacted— but when the functioning of one hormone is improved, the rest are improved too.
Keto bombs are fat cookies that ketogenic dieters love because they’re healthy, delicious cheat foods that are virtually devoid of carbs. I have plenty of videos on how to make keto bombs, but you have to eat them with a meal, not as a snack. The goal would be to stick to one a day. Go to my YouTube channel under Playlists, then Recipes; or to www.DrBerg.com under Recipes.
The ketogenic diet is not a benign, holistic or natural treatment for epilepsy; as with any serious medical therapy, there may be complications.[27] These are generally less severe and less frequent than with anticonvulsant medication or surgery.[27] Common but easily treatable short-term side effects include constipation, low-grade acidosis and hypoglycaemia if there is an initial fast. Raised levels of lipids in the blood affect up to 60% of children[37] and cholesterol levels may increase by around 30%.[27] This can be treated by changes to the fat content of the diet, such as from saturated fats towards polyunsaturated fats, and, if persistent, by lowering the ketogenic ratio.[37] Supplements are necessary to counter the dietary deficiency of many micronutrients.[3]
Even when followed as a short-term solution, ketosis may help improve other blood sugar conditions, such as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. With the permission (and supervision) of a qualified healthcare practitioner, the keto diet can also be used safely as a long-term protocol for eliminating type 2 diabetes (13).
One of the terrible symptoms of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy. That’s a condition where the nerves in the feet and hands are destroyed, leading to burning pain and numbness. The diabetic may experience a sensation of pins and needles in their hands and feet. This is a B1 and B12 deficiency.23
Many workout programs have you consuming a large number of carbs to fuel your workouts. While on keto you don’t need to bulk up on the carbs but you can fill up your glycogen stores so that you have glucose ready for a workout.
Option 2: Spread some cream cheese between two cucumber slices. “Cucumber is a great low-carb veggie that works well combined with high-fat cream cheese for a satisfying, keto-friendly snack,” says Dr. Axe.
With its combination of unusually high fat plus remarkably low carb content, experts had enough reservations to place the Keto diet way down in this category. Experts expressed particular concern for people with liver or kidney conditions, who should avoid it altogether. The jury is still out whether Keto offers more potential health risks or benefits for people with heart conditions or diabetes. With the variety of Keto versions and food choices, and different methods for cycling in and out of the diet, hormonal and other changes can vary widely.
Once you feel confident you have successfully kicked your carb addiction, subdued your inner fat kid, and have started to see progress… by all means, play around with low carb sweeteners and ketofied foods. Test the waters, see how you do with it, and go from there. But in the words of Ice Cube, you better check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Ketones are triggered by an absence of carbohydrates and sugar. There are specific steps to take to get your body into ketosis, but essentially, when carbohydrates are eliminated, the body will transfer over to using ketones. But I don’t recommend removing carbohydrates completely because I want you to be consuming lots of vegetables. One reason it is so crucial to take in lots of vegetables, and especially lots of vegetables high in potassium, such as kale, beet greens and collard greens, is because it will help you keep all this fat you’re dumping off the body off your liver. You can get a fatty liver when you start dropping lots of weight, as you will once you begin running on ketones instead of glucose. So think VEGETABLE CARBOHYDRATE ONLY.
Yes, because it overloads the gallbladder. In the beginning you are going to need more fat to allow your body to go longer between meals; however, as you adapt to fat burning and burn your own body’s fat, the need for dietary fat will go down. Realize that during a fasting state, your body’s meal is its own fat.
^ Wang S, Fallah A. Optimal management of seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex: current and emerging options. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2014 Oct 23;10:2021-30. doi:10.2147/NDT.S51789. PMID 25364257
“I had no idea what her age was when I met her. I never looked or was interested in that and when I found out I was absolutely shellshocked because she has the discipline and athleticism of a 25-year old,” he told PEOPLE.

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