When it comes to weight loss — a big possible draw of the plan for many individuals — the benefits of the ketogenic diet may not be much different from any other diet plan. “There is no magical weight loss benefit that can be achieved from this diet,” says Spano. “The ketogenic diet may help weight loss in the same way other diets help — by restricting food choices so you eat fewer calories.”
Drink lots of water. This is especially crucial on a low carb or keto diet. Why? When you eat carbohydrates, your body stores the extra as glycogen in the liver, where they are bound to water molecules. Eating low carb depletes this glycogen, which allows you to burn fat – but it also means you are storing less water, making it easier to get dehydrated. Instead of the traditional recommendation of 8 cups of water per day, aim for 16 cups when following a low carb lifestyle.
In Asia, the normal diet includes rice and noodles as the main energy source, making their elimination difficult. Therefore, the MCT-oil form of the diet, which allows more carbohydrate, has proved useful. In India, religious beliefs commonly affect the diet: some patients are vegetarians, will not eat root vegetables or avoid beef. The Indian ketogenic diet is started without a fast due to cultural opposition towards fasting in children. The low-fat, high-carbohydrate nature of the normal Indian and Asian diet means that their ketogenic diets typically have a lower ketogenic ratio (1:1) than in America and Europe. However, they appear to be just as effective.[53]
If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin.
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 .

Not everyone has a problem with keto breath Dor – according to my husband I didn’t have any issues, and I know lots of other people who haven’t either. I guess whether it’s worth it for you to try or not depends on how much weight you have to lose and how desperate you are to lose it! If keto is the only thing that works for you then you’ll risk the breath, otherwise you can try a different kind of weight loss plan. I vote try it and see what happens!
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]

The easiest macro to calculate in the ketogenic diet is fat. Once you've got your carbs and protein set, simply fill the rest of your daily calorie needs with fat sources. If you find yourself wanting to gain a bit of weight, add approximately 500 calories, or 55 grams. If you want to lose weight, cut down on your fat intake by 200-500 calories, or 22-55 grams.
Question 1: Sugar substitutes – I like Stevia and want to use it if that is the best choice. If another is better, please let me know. I have tried Erythritol & Xylitol and one or both affected us like a laxative. I have heard that can be the case and I’m not sure if that side effect subsides but Stevia does not have that affect so that is another reason I would like to stay with Stevia. Just wondering your thoughts….. And if you have already addressed this topic, please just point me in the right direction and I will educate myself.
Beyond just fat loss, ketosis has an additional benefit in that it spares muscle when you’re eating at a deficit. On a normal diet, when you eat fewer calories than you need for the day, your body breaks down muscle and fat in nearly equal amounts to make up for the difference. With keto, your body is primed to burn mostly fat, particularly if you’re meeting your protein goal for the day. This results in a better metabolism and more total fat lost. Low carb recipes offer:
But even if you’re not trying to lose weight, the keto meal plans might appeal to you. By limiting sugars and processed grains, you lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Eating an array of heart-healthy fats, like nuts, olive oil and fish, can decrease your risk of heart disease. And while some people stick to a super strict keto diet, with 75 percent of their diet coming from fat, 20 percent from protein and just five from carbs, even a less intense, modified version can help you reap the keto diet’s benefits.
Lunch: pat dry chicken and cut into cubes. Lightly (!) salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium heat, once hot add coconut oil and fry chicken cubes until brown from all sides. Remove chicken, and add crushed garlic, curry paste and fish sauce to pan. Stir until fragrant and remaining oil in pan and curry paste are well combined. Then add coconut milk and whisk until well combined. Simmer and reduce sauce until desired consistency (1-3 minutes). Pour sauce over chicken and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with baby spinach.
When you eat foods high in carbohydrates and fat, your body naturally produces glucose. Carbohydrates are the easiest thing for the body to process, and therefore it will use them first – resulting in the excess fats to be stored immediately. In turn, this causes weight gain and health problems that are associated with high fat, high carbohydrate diets (NOT keto).
The ketogenic diet is indicated as an adjunctive (additional) treatment in children and young people with drug-resistant epilepsy.[25][26] It is approved by national clinical guidelines in Scotland,[26] England and Wales[25] and reimbursed by nearly all US insurance companies.[27] Children with a focal lesion (a single point of brain abnormality causing the epilepsy) who would make suitable candidates for surgery are more likely to become seizure-free with surgery than with the ketogenic diet.[9][28] About a third of epilepsy centres that offer the ketogenic diet also offer a dietary therapy to adults. Some clinicians consider the two less restrictive dietary variants—the low glycaemic index treatment and the modified Atkins diet—to be more appropriate for adolescents and adults.[9] A liquid form of the ketogenic diet is particularly easy to prepare for, and well tolerated by, infants on formula and children who are tube-fed.[5][29]
Because the main tenet of the keto diet is counting and cutting carbs — a commonly used way to control blood sugar — this eating approach has become increasingly popular among people with type 2 diabetes who are looking to lower their A1C, which is the two- to three-month average measurement of blood sugar levels. Indeed, research suggests this diet may lead to fast weight loss and potentially lower blood sugar for people with the disease. (13)
No matter what your diet has been before now, keto will be a big change. If you're coming from a standard American diet (SAD), your carbs will go way down, your protein may either go up or down, and your 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.
You rock! Thank you for this, and would love a 7 day menu plan, plus a shopping list. I’m no good at that kind of organization – heck, I’m no good at ANY kind of organization – so a shopping list would be a life saver. I’m sure I could get that from a friend who introduced me to your blog and who is going to do this with you, and I with all of you . Thank you so much!
Alison Moodie is a health reporter based in Los Angeles. She has written for numerous outlets including Newsweek, Agence France-Presse, The Daily Mail and HuffPost. For years she covered sustainable business for The Guardian. She holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she majored in TV news. When she's not working she's doting on her two kids and whipping up Bulletproof-inspired dishes in her kitchen.

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!!
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain function. However, if there is little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures.[1] Almost half of children and young people with epilepsy who have tried some form of this diet saw the number of seizures drop by at least half, and the effect persists even after discontinuing the diet.[2] There is some evidence that adults with epilepsy may benefit from the diet, and that a less strict regimen, such as a modified Atkins diet, is similarly effective.[1] The most common adverse effect is constipation, affecting about 30% of patients—this was due to fluid restriction, which was once a feature of the diet, but this led to increased risk of kidney stones and is no longer considered beneficial.[2][3]
UPDATE: Hi! It’s been 4 weeks already. I am still cooking keto and enjoying many delicious dessert too! I have finally convinced my husband to totally convert to keto food. It’s only been one week since he stopped using diet package food. He is very happy with the food he get to eat and still losing weight but much slower pace this week. That’s because I have been giving him larger portions as this is the first week for him. Since he was already on low carb diet prior to this, keto flue may be not as bad but still want to keep him happy and better transition experience. Meanwhile, I get to cook keto for the whole family and really enjoying the new way of eating and cooking. I have lost total of 6 lb but that was enough to prove to my husband eating bacon and butter is ok as long as we are on keto diet. I was only doing this to convert my husband since he doesn’t have any interest in nutrition or theory behind it, so what he sees is what he believes. 6 lb may not sounds a lot for 4 weeks but I was already below average weight , so it was a lot of loss for me. I think it’s a science 5-30-65 combination works on everyone. Now I just eat more portions of everything ,so we can still eat same food. Today, he had a once a week appointment with his ideal protein dietitian. Seems like they are not convinced that he can still continue to lose weight unless he eat their packaged food. I plan to continue sending him there for once a week appointment , so he sill have something to be accountable for. Next few weeks, I’m hoping he won’t be as hungry so I can start portion control his food without his knowledge, LOL.
Hi Barb, That can definitely be it. Losing when you are close to goal can be more difficult. It could also be that your body’s healthy weight is a little higher than what you’d like – which doesn’t mean you can’t lose, but makes it more difficult. If just eating Keto foods isn’t working, double check the macros for your weight and see if the amount you’re eating needs to be adjusted. You’ll find more help and support in our support group here.
Thank you Mellissa. I guess I need to set up a Reddit account. Several people have directed me there for Keto forums for one reason or another. I try not to let it get me down but I have been fluctuating really badly since I started this WOE and I have a feeling it has a lot to do with the hormones not being balanced. I came off of a prepackaged, doctor recommended food plan that really knocked me outta whack and helped me discover that I do indeed have an under-active thyroid, which I have known most of my life because I have always felt hormonally off balance and could never lose weight. It is also genetic in my family but doctors never listened to me and at most would run the basic blood test to appease me which always came back normal…which is common…and when they did, they would lecture me about losing weight and hand me a prescription for diet pills or give me info on some fad diet. Now I am trying to fix it with Keto and natural remedies. I feel better than I ever have in my life on the energy front and that was almost an instant feeling after switching to Keto. I hope I balance out soon because I am 35-40 lbs down since mid-May (depending on my fluctuation for the week) and have about 100+ to go. The frustrating part is I have now lost the same 3-5 lbs repeatedly over the past 5-6 weeks and all I can think is that could have been 20-30 lbs closer to my goal weight! I even considered going back on that nasty diet even though I felt terrible because I did lose consistently. I have confirmed my macros with some others who are more experienced and they are just as boggled as I am about the bad fluctuation.
There are so many tricks, shortcuts, and gimmicks out there on achieving optimal ketosis – I’d suggest you don’t bother with any of that. Optimal ketosis can be accomplished through dietary nutrition alone (aka just eating food). You shouldn’t need a magic pill to do it. Just stay strict, remain vigilant, and be focused on recording what you eat (to make sure your carb and protein intake are correct).
Hi Gigi, Low carb and keto is about the balance of macronutrients eaten (fat, protein and carbs), not specifically meat or lack thereof. Most people on keto do eat meat, though some people do vegetarian keto. Fat is actually necessary for many body processes. There is no issue for the kidneys with a high fat diet, but if you eat too much protein that isn’t great for the kidneys. It’s a common misconception that keto is high protein (it isn’t). Keto is great for diabetics as it naturally helps stabilize insulin. All of this being said, please know I’m not a doctor and you should consult your doctor on any medical questions or before starting any diet. If you have more questions that aren’t medical questions, I recommend our low carb & keto support group here.
“One of the best meal planning tips I’ve ever received is to structure breakfast and lunch so that you don’t have to think too much about it,” says Emily Bartlett, co-founder of Real Plans. “If you’re okay with repetition, it’s ideal to have a simple selection of recipes for breakfast—including some that can be taken on the go. For lunch, go ahead and use your leftovers with a fresh green salad, and be sure to include a dressing that you really love.”
Hi Valerie, I was the same way with coffee until I figured a way to wean mysel off of it by slowly adding decaf to my regular coffee. each day I would add more decaf and less regular coffee until eventually I would have a cup of decaf. it tastes the same but the caffeine effect is different Im not sure with soda though, but at least now you can try the half and half with regular soda and diet sodas in a cup. It may taste too sweet at first but you have to allow yourself to get used to it and gradually decrease the regular soda in the cup and add more diet soda. You can also lower your intake of it as well. These days they also have caffeine free soda as well so you have some weaning options instead of cold turkey. Your soda mixture will have just enough caffeine in it to prevent a migraine, but allow you to consume less caffeine eventually until you might try adding some water to your soda to wean yourself completely off of it. It’s worth a try.
Over 8–10 mmol/l: It’s normally impossible to get to this level just by eating a keto diet. It means that something is wrong. The most common cause by far is type 1 diabetes, with severe lack of insulin. Symptoms include feeling very sick with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and confusion. The possible end result, ketoacidosis, may be fatal and requires immediate medical care. Learn more
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