Wondering what fits into a keto diet — and what doesn’t? “It’s so important to know what foods you’ll be eating before you start, and how to incorporate more fats into your diet,” says Kristen Mancinelli, RD, author of The Ketogenic Diet: A Scientifically Proven Approach to Fast, Healthy Weight Loss, who is based in New York City. We asked her for some guidelines.
When a person goes off the ketogenic diet and regains much of their original weight, it’s often not in the same proportions, says Kizer: Instead of regaining lean muscle, you’re likely to regain fat. “Now you’re back to your starting weight, but you no longer have the muscle mass to burn the calories that you did before,” she says. “That can have lasting effects on your resting metabolic rate, and on your weight long-term.”
Achieving optimal ketosis hinges on finding the right balance of macronutrients (or “macros” in keto-speak); these are the elements in your diet that account for the majority of your calories, a.k.a. energy—namely, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. By the way, it’s often “net grams” of carbohydrates that are counted toward your daily intake; “net” deducts the amount of fiber in a food from its carbohydrate total.
Made this for the first time tonight, excellent! I read the comments before I started so I knew to beat the eggs well and drain the beef. Thank you to everyone who commented! I didn’t use pickles, instead I put a few dots of sweet relish on top of the beef/bacon layer then spread them out a bit. Not so keto friendly but there isn’t much in a portion and it’s much quicker than dealing with pickles. Hubby asked me what I thought of it as he went for seconds. I quite enjoyed this and he did too! I had much more beef than called for, I used all 3 eggs and beat them well before the whipping cream and yellow mustard went in.There was no eggy taste. I will definitely make this again!
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.
Hi Kimberly – sorry I have no experience with menopause yet! Just follow the plan and you should see results, even if they are a bit slower than when you were younger! If you aren’t seeing good results, it could be the artificial sweeteners in your tea that are the culprit – some people find that to be the case and others don’t have a problem with it. Just be aware of it and try kicking the habit if your weight loss is super slow and see if it helps! But yes, it can stand in for part of your water throughout the day.
It’s important to remember that the goal of any dietary change is to promote a healthy lifestyle, so make sure to select a meal plan you can envision yourself following long term. If you know you will not be able to comply with such stringent carbohydrate restrictions for years to come, the ketogenic diet is most likely not the right choice for you.

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.
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Started the kickstart yesterday and stuck to it all day. Was so easy and the dishes were good! I did bacon and eggs, tuna with Romaine, buffalo chicken…even made the mousse! I dont want to use bottled dressings so I made this one…. the BEST! https://lowcarbyum.com/creamy-blue-cheese-dressing/ I already hit ketosis this morning! I have been trying to cut down on carbs for the last month or more so maybe that’s why I hit it so quickly. Im excited to stick with this! Thank you for the recipes and the humor!
During the 1920s and 1930s, when the only anticonvulsant drugs were the sedative bromides (discovered 1857) and phenobarbital (1912), the ketogenic diet was widely used and studied. This changed in 1938 when H. Houston Merritt, Jr. and Tracy Putnam discovered phenytoin (Dilantin), and the focus of research shifted to discovering new drugs. With the introduction of sodium valproate in the 1970s, drugs were available to neurologists that were effective across a broad range of epileptic syndromes and seizure types. The use of the ketogenic diet, by this time restricted to difficult cases such as Lennox–Gastaut syndrome, declined further.[10]
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.”

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.


So I’m late to the party, but I just found your blog last week. I can’t thank you enough for these simple, easy to follow recipes, meal plans, and shopping lists! They are so helpful and I appreciate the time you put into this. I did the 3 day kickstart for 5 days, mostly because I still had leftover food, and I’ve lost 5 lbs. so far! I’ve never done low carb before, and usually eat a mainly vegetarian diet, so this is very different for me, I think I purchased more meat in the past week then I have in the past year! I am strictly following the plan, but do you think after I’ve lost the weight I’ve wanted to, transitioning back to a vegetarian diet (with eggs and dairy) is possible or just a recipe for disaster?
When your body burns its stores of fat, it can be hard on your kidneys. And starting a ketogenic diet -- or going back to a normal diet afterward -- can be tricky if you’re obese because of other health issues you’re likely to have, like diabetes, a heart condition, or high blood pressure. If you have any of these conditions, make diet changes slowly and only with the guidance of your doctor.
Hi Patricia, you can replace the avocado with any of the other snack options. I would omit the dessert rather than trying to sub for the avocado in it – or you can have 2 squares of Lindt 90% chocolate in place of it. Just be aware that there are a few grams of carbs in them so don’t overindulge and keep your carbs under 20g per day and you should be good to go!

So you've decided you want to try out the high-fat, low-carb diet, better-known as the fat-burning ketogenic diet. Whether it's to lose weight, have more energy, or fuel workouts differently, going keto is a popular choice right now. But figuring out a keto meal plan on your own is no easy feat, especially since eating a diet super high in fats doesn't come naturally to many people who are accustomed to the traditionally carb-heavy American diet. (It's especially hard if you're vegan and want to try keto.) But this should help: Keto experts explain how to set yourself up for success, plus provide ideas for exactly what keto foods to eat when you're first getting started. (While you're at it, check out these Low-Carb Keto drinks That Will Keep You in Ketosis.)

You’re transitioning. Your body is equipped to process a high intake of carbs and a lower intake of fat. Your body needs to create enzymes to be able to do this. In the transitional period, the brain may run low on energy which can lead to grogginess, nausea, and headaches. If you’re having a large problem with this, you can choose to reduce carb intake gradually.

Lastly, if you're active, you might need to make some adjustments to take that into account. "For the first one to two weeks, temporarily reducing your exercise load can be helpful as your body adjusts to being in ketosis," he says. "Additionally, for those who have an intense workout schedule, carb cycling may be a good option." Carb cycling essentially means you'll increase your carb intake on the days you're doing exercise, ideally just two to three days per week. "While low-carb days may be around 20 to 30 grams of net carbs daily, high-carb days can range all the way up to 100 grams, although it can vary based on your size and activity level," says Dr. Axe. (Related: 8 Things You Need to Know About Exercising on the Keto Diet.) 


The Metabolic Cooking is a fantastic, well organised meal plan that comes with more than 250 quick & easy fat torching recipes, structured guidelines, grocery lists, food logs and additional tips and tricks to drop off that stubborn fat and get into the best shape of your life. If you want better tasting recipes for your diet, made with spices and ingredients that will boost your metabolism and torch the fat, I really recommend grabbing a copy of “The Metabolic Cooking” created by my Canadian friends Dave Ruel and Karine Losier! Metabolic Cooking recipes have all been designed with high Metabolic Thermo Charge ingredients to boost your metabolism and burn more calories everyday.
Long-term use of the ketogenic diet in children increases the risk of slowed or stunted growth, bone fractures and kidney stones.[3] 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.[37] 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.[38] The stones are treatable and do not justify discontinuation of the diet.[38] 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.[39] However, this empiric usage has not been tested in a prospective controlled trial.[9] Kidney stone formation (nephrolithiasis) is associated with the diet for four reasons:[38]
My daughter and I started low carb dieting/no flour,no sugar 6weeks ago. During that time I lost a total of 4 lbs. It was so frustrating because it felt like I should be losing more. So, in our search to figure out what we were doing wrong we found this site. We started with the 3 day plan!!! It has been wonderful. Every single recipe you provide has been absolutely Delicious. I have felt the most satisfied on your plan and as of day #2 I have already lost 6 lbs. 6!!! I worked 6 weeks just to lose 4!!!
Hi Maya. I LOVE your site!! Interesting, informative with fab recipes and ideas. Hubby and I have just started eating low carb and I have to say, we are not finding it too difficult and I already feel sooo much better!! I find the hardest part is choosing low carb veg, I feel as if we are not eating enough. Any suggestions on how to get more veggies into our diet?
Thank you! Yea, no bread/pasta for me, by all accounts I was eating a (what I thought and what everyone would tell me, even a dietician I went to!) ‘healthy’ diet of whole grains, rice, fruit, vegetables, low fat, etc. and couldn’t understand why I was steadily gaining weight. That’s what led me here, as I was getting so frustrated and the more I read up on low carb/ketosis and how the body processes even conventionally healthy foods, it made sense to me, but I don’t think I can give up oatmeal and fruit forever! So I will definitely just make sure I only eat those in small amounts, but that is much farther down the road anyway.. I’m on to Week 1 and I’ll post an update at the end of the week. Thanks again!

Also, when you eliminate sugar and high-carb foods from your daily diet, "your body is able to heal itself and detox from the accumulated inflammation that it is constantly fighting," That means less brain fog, improved cognition and brain health. Consequently, the improved mental clarity makes it easier for you to make smart food choices, adds the nutritionist.
What she said…I, too, get overwhelmed when I think of trying to put a keto diet together. The basic concepts are clear, but the stumbling block is what to make, and how to combine recipes to get the magic numbers for the day. I would appreciate menu plans very much…and thank you for this post which has me determined to get started on a keto way of eating.
Someone posted Dr. Wortman’s interview on facebook. Very good, especially b/c I was on the right track without knowledge of Dr. Wortman or of the ketogenic diet. However, I was still eating a small amount of bread. My diabetes has improved since eating healthier, as he recommends. I’ve been at it now for 8 months (diagnosed w/type 2 Dec 8, 2011). For the past 3 days I have had no bread. We will see how much that helps. All I can say is ‘bravo’ to the ketogenic diet!
You’re transitioning. Your body is equipped to process a high intake of carbs and a lower intake of fat. Your body needs to create enzymes to be able to do this. In the transitional period, the brain may run low on energy which can lead to grogginess, nausea, and headaches. If you’re having a large problem with this, you can choose to reduce carb intake gradually.
On the ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are restricted and so cannot provide for all the metabolic needs of the body. Instead, fatty acids are used as the major source of fuel. These are used through fatty-acid oxidation in the cell's mitochondria (the energy-producing parts of the cell). Humans can convert some amino acids into glucose by a process called gluconeogenesis, but cannot do this by using fatty acids.[56] Since amino acids are needed to make proteins, which are essential for growth and repair of body tissues, these cannot be used only to produce glucose. This could pose a problem for the brain, since it is normally fuelled solely by glucose, and most fatty acids do not cross the blood–brain barrier. However, the liver can use long-chain fatty acids to synthesise the three ketone bodies β-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate and acetone. These ketone bodies enter the brain and partially substitute for blood glucose as a source of energy.[55]
In the mid-1990s, Hollywood producer Jim Abrahams, whose son's severe epilepsy was effectively controlled by the diet, created the Charlie Foundation to promote it. Publicity included an appearance on NBC's Dateline programme and ...First Do No Harm (1997), a made-for-television film starring Meryl Streep. The foundation sponsored a multicentre research study, the results of which—announced in 1996—marked the beginning of renewed scientific interest in the diet.[1]
Keep up electrolytes. The major electrolytes in our bodies are sodium, potassium and magnesium. Because a low carb diet (especially a keto diet!) reduces the amount of water you store, this can flush out electrolytes and make you feel sick (called “keto flu”). This is temporary, but you can avoid or eliminate it by salting your food liberally, drinking broth (especially bone broth), and eating pickled vegetables. Some people also choose to take supplements for electrolytes, but it’s best to first consult a doctor that understands and supports keto/low carb lifestyles.
The ketogenic diet tries to bring carbohydrates down to less than 5 percent of a person’s daily caloric intake – which means eliminating most grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, legumes and sweets. Instead, it replaces those calories with fat. That fat is turned into ketone bodies, which are an alternative energy source: besides glucose derived from carbohydrates, ketones from fat are the only fuel the brain can use.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for taking the guesswork out of putting a plan together. Thank you for putting in the time, your dedication and commitment helping people you don’t even know. I get overwhelmed putting a plan together. What I think is healthy is not! I am starting the 3 day kickstart this week. I am putting my shopping list together. While doing so, I find myself asking- are these ingredients enough for 1 person or more? Should I increase the quantity of items to feed the family? I have a family of 5 and we all need to eat healthier. More specifically, my husband and I will be doing Keto. The kids (14, 18 & 20’year olds) will most likely do the dinners and snacks. Thank you for your help with this. Sorry in advance if you already answered these questions. I went through other comments and didn’t notice if it had been addressed. Thanks again!
Hi Cyn, The numbers are general guidelines but will vary depending on many factors, such as activity level, insulin resistance, weight and more. There is no single magic number, just conventional recommendations that are a good starting point. I will have a macro calculator coming soon that will help determine what is best for each person, but even then it’s an approximation. The only way to know for sure is to test. If keto is your goal, it’s usually best to start lower and then see if you can stay in ketosis when increasing.
The classic ketogenic diet is not a balanced diet and only contains tiny portions of fresh fruit and vegetables, fortified cereals and calcium-rich foods. In particular, the B vitamins, calcium and vitamin D must be artificially supplemented. This is achieved by taking two sugar-free supplements designed for the patient's age: a multivitamin with minerals and calcium with vitamin D.[3] A typical day of food for a child on a 4:1 ratio, 1,500 kcal (6,300 kJ) ketogenic diet comprises:[27]
Well, apart from following this diet chat, you need to have some snacks every two hours that will help your system run properly. For the snacks, include nuts and berries, baby carrots, boiled eggs, a fruit, slices of apple fried in almond butter, beef steak made at home, any leftovers of previous night. All these will enhance the positive levels in your Ketogenic diet menu plan.
My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is truly a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and enjoying adequate exercise. By experimenting in the kitchen and openly sharing my meals, I learned that healthy eating is hardly boring and that by making a few adjustments, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my personal fitness goals. Our bodies are built in the kitchen and sculpted in the gym.
Hello wanting to start this Keto diet asap. I have a quick question. I’m addicted to pop. Yes I’ve tried switching to tea and coffee. When I go one day without any pop I take a bad migraine. Its crippling I am in bed throwing up and movement sound lights everything makes it worse. The only way to get over them is by consuming a soda. I have talked to my Doctor she is no help at all. I don’t believe she has ever suffered from a migraine. I know my body will detox and I will get over it. Problem is I am a single mom of 3 young kids. Whom cant take care of them selves. I’m not sure how to kick the soda habit without leaving me begging for death for the next week. Any ideas how I can get threw this. Ive tried most otc meds.
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.
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Do you by chance have a shopping list for this 3 day beginning plan? I am a beginner and am so overwhelmed with information. The best part about your plans is they don’t require a tone of ingredients for 1 recipe. I don’t like when I have to but 15 things for 1 meal. I also love how you have something for breakfast and then can use it again for lunch (day 1 isn’t an example). Thank you so much for taking the time to put these together. Also, for all the information you provided.

^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Kossoff EH, Zupec-Kania BA, Amark PE, Ballaban-Gil KR, Bergqvist AG, Blackford R, et al. Optimal clinical management of children receiving the ketogenic diet: recommendations of the International Ketogenic Diet Study Group. Epilepsia. 2009 Feb;50(2):304–17. doi:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01765.x. PMID 18823325
The ketogenic diet is usually initiated in combination with the patient's existing anticonvulsant regimen, though patients may be weaned off anticonvulsants if the diet is successful. There is some evidence of synergistic benefits when the diet is combined with the vagus nerve stimulator or with the drug zonisamide, and that the diet may be less successful in children receiving phenobarbital.[3]
These types of back-and-forth weight fluctuations can contribute to disordered eating, Kizer says, or can worsen an already unhealthy relationship with food. “I think this diet appeals to people who have issues with portion control and with binge eating,” she says. "And in many cases, what they really need is a lifestyle coach or a professional counselor to help them get to the bottom of those issues."

The Johns Hopkins Hospital protocol for initiating the ketogenic diet has been widely adopted.[42] It involves a consultation with the patient and their caregivers and, later, a short hospital admission.[18] Because of the risk of complications during ketogenic diet initiation, most centres begin the diet under close medical supervision in the hospital.[9]
Your glycogen stores can still be refilled while on a ketogenic diet. A keto diet is an excellent way to build muscle, but protein intake is crucial here. It’s suggested that if you are looking to gain mass, you should be taking in about 1.0 – 1.2g protein per lean pound of body mass. Putting muscle on may be slower on a ketogenic diet, but that’s because your total body fat is not increasing as much.5Note that in the beginning of a ketogenic diet, both endurance athletes and obese individuals see a physical performance for the first week of transition.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital protocol for initiating the ketogenic diet has been widely adopted.[42] It involves a consultation with the patient and their caregivers and, later, a short hospital admission.[18] Because of the risk of complications during ketogenic diet initiation, most centres begin the diet under close medical supervision in the hospital.[9]
"I recommend only 5 percent of calories coming from carbs, which usually averages out to less than 30 grams," he says. "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 are 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.
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the biggest challenge most people have is sticking that first week at less than 20 net carbs but this is crucial not only to start losing but to keep losing. Most people don’t really start to notice weight loss till a good week in even then. If you want to jump start you can try a three day fast but then stick to that 20 net carbs and like was stated, know the nutrition facts of what you are eating. Onions for instance have quite a bit of sugar/net carbs. Even if it takes a bit for your body to rev up it definitely will as long as you stick to the carb numbers and fat ratio of 40% total calories
Just this week, a 25,000-person study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich suggested that people on the lowest-carb diets had the highest risk of dying from cancer, cardiovascular conditions, and all other causes. Another study, published this month in the Lancet, also found that people who followed diets that were low in carbs and high in animal proteins had a higher risk of early death compared to those who consumed carbs in moderation. (The opposite was true, however, for low-carb dieters who opted for plant-based proteins over meat and dairy.)

Hi Patricia, you can replace the avocado with any of the other snack options. I would omit the dessert rather than trying to sub for the avocado in it – or you can have 2 squares of Lindt 90% chocolate in place of it. Just be aware that there are a few grams of carbs in them so don’t overindulge and keep your carbs under 20g per day and you should be good to go!
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!

Meat – like grass-fed selections – and fresh veggies are more expensive than most processed or fast foods. What you spend on Keto-friendly foods will vary with your choices of protein source and quality. You can select less-expensive, leaner cuts of meat and fatten them up with some oil. Buying less-exotic, in-season veggies will help keep you within budget.
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