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!
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.
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.)
The first signs of ketosis are known as the “keto flu” where headaches, brain fogginess, fatigue, and the like can really rile your body up. Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of waterand eating plenty of salt. The ketogenic diet is a natural diuretic and you’ll be peeing more than normal. Take into account that you’re peeing out electrolytes, and you can guess that you’ll be having a thumping headache in no time. Keeping your salt intake and water intake high enough is very important, allowing your body to re-hydrate and re-supply your electrolytes. Doing this will help with the headaches, if not get rid of them completely.
The gist of the eating plan? Taking in so few carbs sends your body into ketosis—a state of burning fat for energy, instead of carbohydrates or sugars, explains Beth Warren, RDN, founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl: A 21-Day Nourishing Plan to Lose Weight and Feel Great (Even If You're Not Jewish). In order to stay in ketosis, you only consume 5% to 10% of your calories from carbohydrates—which for most followers is fewer than 20 grams total per day—and instead eat moderate amounts of protein and high amounts of fat.
As I understand intermittent fasting, the long period between my early dinner at 6 pm and breakfast at about 8:30 am qualifies. As a past yoga instructor, fasting was something that we were encouraged to do regularly as well as cleansing. I feel so frustrated and helpless at not being able to make any difference no matter what I’ve tried. I am very disciplined and cheating is not an option.
It seems strange that a diet that calls for more fat can raise “good” cholesterol and lower “bad” cholesterol, but ketogenic diets are linked to just that. It may be because the lower levels of insulin that result from these diets can stop your body from making more cholesterol. That means you’re less likely to have high blood pressure, hardened arteries, heart failure, and other heart conditions.
Long-term use of the ketogenic diet in children increases the risk of slowed or stunted growth, bone fractures and kidney stones. The diet reduces levels of insulin-like growth factor 1, which is important for childhood growth. Like many anticonvulsant drugs, the ketogenic diet has an adverse effect on bone health. Many factors may be involved such as acidosis and suppressed growth hormone. About 1 in 20 children on the ketogenic diet will develop kidney stones (compared with one in several thousand for the general population). A class of anticonvulsants known as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (topiramate, zonisamide) are known to increase the risk of kidney stones, but the combination of these anticonvulsants and the ketogenic diet does not appear to elevate the risk above that of the diet alone. The stones are treatable and do not justify discontinuation of the diet. Johns Hopkins Hospital now gives oral potassium citrate supplements to all ketogenic diet patients, resulting in a sevenfold decrease in the incidence of kidney stones. However, this empiric usage has not been tested in a prospective controlled trial. Kidney stone formation (nephrolithiasis) is associated with the diet for four reasons:
I am a type 1 diabetic of 57 years. I am my doctor’s only patient that has had this disease this long with no diabetic problems. My A1C average is 7.0. My experience with eating a Keto diet is my blood glucose goes very high when eating more fat. I got no help from doctor, so I learned by trial and error to take more insulin for the among of fat I eat. I have it down to a percentage. If eating 6 carbs for breakfast and 18g of fat, I divide 30% into the 18g of fat, which will be 6. I add the 6 with the 6 carbs and I take 12 units of insulin for my breakfast. Not only do we need to take insulin for the carbs we eat, but also for the fat when eating the amount you should consume on a Keto diet. I have been using My Fitness Pal for 9 years to document everything I eat, keeping up with the total calories, carbs, fat, sodium, protein and sugar.
While it may be new to you, the keto diet has actually been around since the 1920’s, when the Mayo Clinic reported its effectiveness for helping epilepsy (that is still the case). Since then, there’s strong evidence that the keto diet helps with weight loss as well as type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome, says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., RD, professor in the department of Human Sciences at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and co-author of The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living.
The Keto diet emphasizes weight loss through fat-burning. The goal is to quickly lose weight and ultimately feel fuller with fewer cravings, while boosting your mood, mental focus and energy. According to Keto proponents, by slashing the carbs you consume and instead filling up on fats, you safely enter a state of ketosis. That’s when the body breaks down both dietary and stored body fat into substances called ketones. Your fat-burning system now relies mainly on fat – instead of sugar – for energy. While similar in some ways to familiar low-carb diets, the Keto diet’s extreme carb restrictions – about 20 net carbs a day or less, depending on the version – and the deliberate shift into ketosis are what set this increasingly popular diet apart.
Beverages: It’s common to become dehydrated on the keto diet. Your insulin levels drop when you restrict carbs, and low insulin makes it harder for your body to retain sodium and water. Drink plenty of plain water, and sip on bone broth to replenish electrolytes, especially during the first couple of weeks when your body is adjusting to the new diet.
I’m thinking about trying Keto for the very first time in order to help my hormone levels and lose some weight. As I scrolled through your menu plan, I clicked on some recipes. I noticed that they included fruits/veggies that weren’t included in the menu. For example, there are strawberries with your cream cheese pancakes and chocolate mousse. There is also red pepper with the chilli and lettuce with another item (maybe the chilli or the tuna?) Are these items calculated in the carb count for the plan? I have NO CLUE how to calculate net carbs or even calculate carbs using fresh fruits/veggies. Are there any fresh fruits/veggies that are freebies like lettuce or cucumbers? I really don’t want to botch this and feel even worse or lengthen the keto flu. Finally, do I need to factor in vitamins that I’m taking (Magnesium, B complex, and D3? Do they have any carbs that I wouldn’t expect? TIA for any insight you can provide.
I’ve only one question. I work in shifts and at 4.30 in the morning I can not eat my breakfast (lazy – I manage to get out of bed and into my car in 30 minutes ;-). Not even if I make it the day before…I just can’t swallow the stuff. But I have to eat something because I’m in my car for more than a hour. Can I have a liquid breakfast at those times?
^ Freeman JM, Vining EP, Pillas DJ, Pyzik PL, Casey JC, Kelly LM. The efficacy of the ketogenic diet—1998: a prospective evaluation of intervention in 150 children. Pediatrics. 1998 Dec;102(6):1358–63. doi:10.1542/peds.102.6.1358. PMID 9832569. https://web.archive.org/web/20040629224858/http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/press/1998/DECEMBER/981207.HTM Lay summary]—JHMI Office of Communications and Public Affairs. Updated 7 December 1998. Cited 6 March 2008.
Just a followup to my earlier post with some quick numbers – I have been keeping carbs under 15 per day and the fat around 75-85%, with protein about 25% or less. I have not lost one pound while on the Keto diet, but I do feel that it is a much more natural way to eat. I don’t snack, I only eat 3 meals daily, I just cannot get into the habit of snacking and I’m not hungry enough to be bothered with additional food.
Funny story, I didn’t mean to start the keto diet. My best friend has been doing it for a few months, and I was not really paying close attention to her journey. I assumed it was too restrictive for me, and I love food, so conversely hate “restrictive”. I’ve been lowering calories, eating more protein/vegetables, fewer carbs and working out. I feel great, but I’m not really losing weight, which is frustrating. But, being 44, i was beginning to accept it as part of my metabolic process. The funny thing is, one day I felt like total, deep-fried dog crap. It was right before going on vacation: body aches, dizziness, irritability, I was sure I caught the flu. IN SUMMER!! Awful. However, the next day I woke up, feeling mildly better, and a conversation with my bestie came back to me. Could this be keto flu???? I loaded up on electrolytes that day, WHAM it was gone. I went on vacation and just limited my carbs because I wanted to eat all the good stuff (fatty, hot cheesy, meaty scrumptiousness), but not get gluten bloat. I LOST WEIGHT. YEAAHHHH!!!!!! So I did some research and realized that keto was definitely for me because it really is all my favorite foods. I love to cook, so I had been creating clean, gluten free recipes for quite some time. So now I’m here with you because I loved the name of your blog, just about every recipe appeals to me, as does your writing style. So relatable. I just wanted to share how excited I am to be here, at ground zero of what is to me, a life changing experience. Starting a diet is usually done with grim determination, but today, I’ve never been more excited to start a diet! Looking forward to exploring this gem of a site!
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.
Which leads us to your personality. You need to be VERY strong willed to follow this diet. It follows very strict rules and you need to be able to commit to this. It makes it hard to eat out with friends or eat with friends in general. It’s hard to find food that fits this diet in common restaurants, but and this takes us to the next point, your health goals might be more important.
Everyone has to find their nutritional sweet spot for producing enough ketones and staying in ketosis, but “the core principle of the diet is to keep carbohydrate intake low enough, so your body continues producing ketones at elevated levels,” says Volek. “Your body adapts to this alternative fuel and becomes very efficient at breaking down and burning fat.”
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.
The ketogenic diet has recently become very popular, and many food companies want to cash in by putting a “ketogenic” or “low carb” label on a new product. Be very cautious of special “keto” or “low-carb” products, such as pastas, chocolate bars, energy bars, protein powders, snack foods, cakes, cookies and other “low carb” or “ketogenic” treats. Read all labels carefully for natural low carb ingredients. The fewer ingredients the better.
“Eggs have a lot of vitamins like vitamin A, B complex, D, K, E, calcium, and zinc,” says Ryan Weaver, a personal trainer and keto enthusiast. “That’s why eggs are an excellent choice for breakfast when you follow the keto diet. To avoid getting bored, you can try different ways of preparing the eggs—boiled, fried, or baked. Also, you can combine the eggs with different foods like bacon, ham, cheddar cheese, butter, mayonnaise, so you get a different recipe each day although using the same main ingredient.”
Bread probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the ketogenic diet because it’s generally full of carbs. But, if you replace your store-bought bread with a homemade keto bread recipe, it can fit seamlessly into your keto low-carb, high-fat diet. How does bread even become keto-friendly? With almond flour, a lot of eggs, cream of tartar, butter, baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
Thank you soooo much for this. I have been a big fan of your recipes for a few months-delicious! I was floundering on my low carb for a while and this holiday season was the first in years that I just ate everything…whatever I wanted. I was left feeling huge, bloated, uncomfortable in my own skin. I had forgotten what I loved about low carb, that it wasn’t complicated and I did get to eat what I loved. Thank you again for reminding that it can be easy and delicious.
I just found your website through Pinterest and bought every thing for keto kickstart and week one. While I havent made everything on plan to a tee, I have been strick low carb. I am excited to say as of 6 days in I am down 4 lbs!! That is motivation enough for me to keep going. I did low carb back in 2009 and lost 30lbs. Over th past 4 years it has slowly crept back on. I am excited to use youe menus as gude to my future weight loss. Thank you
We’re also going to keep it simple here. Most of the time, it’ll be salad and meat, slathered in high fat dressings and calling it a day. We don’t want to get too rowdy here. You can use leftover meat from previous nights or use easy accessible canned chicken/fish. If you do use canned meats, try to read the labels and get the one that uses the least (or no) additives!
I love this! I am an amateur powerlifter and I have recently started using the keto diet as there is only so much gained by being a fat powerlifter but working out my macros was driving me nuts as I also work as a disability support worker and need to take meals and so on to work with me. Thanks to this I can now have better control of the macros to bring my weight down without doing to much harm to my lifts! Thank you for this!
Another difference between older and newer studies is that the type of patients treated with the ketogenic diet has changed over time. When first developed and used, the ketogenic diet was not a treatment of last resort; in contrast, the children in modern studies have already tried and failed a number of anticonvulsant drugs, so may be assumed to have more difficult-to-treat epilepsy. Early and modern studies also differ because the treatment protocol has changed. In older protocols, the diet was initiated with a prolonged fast, designed to lose 5–10% body weight, and heavily restricted the calorie intake. Concerns over child health and growth led to a relaxation of the diet's restrictions. Fluid restriction was once a feature of the diet, but this led to increased risk of constipation and kidney stones, and is no longer considered beneficial.
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.