1. Eat less than 20g net carbs per day if you want to get into ketosis. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting the fiber grams (or sugar alcohols in some cases) from the total carb grams. Don’t guess – you’d be surprised how many grams of carbs there are in things you might have considered “free” like onions, garlic, tomatoes, and kale, just to name a few.
One thing many people love about keto diet meal plans is that tracking your food is optional. "One of the biggest benefits of the ketogenic diet is that there's no need to meticulously track your calories like you may in other diets," notes Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of DrAxe.com, best-selling author of Eat Dirt, and cofounder of Ancient Nutrition. "Because you're filling up on fat and protein, you're more likely to feel satisfied and energized all day long, which causes you to naturally eat less." This isn't to say that food tracking on keto is discouraged. "Some people may find calorie counting a useful tool to be more mindful and aware of what they're eating, but it's not necessary on the ketogenic diet," says Dr. Axe, but there's no need to get too stressed about hitting a certain caloric goal, especially if you're not trying to lose weight. (Related: The #1 Reason to Stop Counting Calories)
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]
The ketogenic diet is a medical nutrition therapy that involves participants from various disciplines. Team members include a registered paediatric dietitian who coordinates the diet programme; a paediatric neurologist who is experienced in offering the ketogenic diet; and a registered nurse who is familiar with childhood epilepsy. Additional help may come from a medical social worker who works with the family and a pharmacist who can advise on the carbohydrate content of medicines. Lastly, the parents and other caregivers must be educated in many aspects of the diet for it to be safely implemented.[5]
The original therapeutic diet for paediatric epilepsy provides just enough protein for body growth and repair, and sufficient calories[Note 1] to maintain the correct weight for age and height. The classic therapeutic ketogenic diet was developed for treatment of paediatric epilepsy in the 1920s and was widely used into the next decade, but its popularity waned with the introduction of effective anticonvulsant medications. This classic ketogenic diet contains a 4:1 ratio by weight of fat to combined protein and carbohydrate. This is achieved by excluding high-carbohydrate foods such as starchy fruits and vegetables, bread, pasta, grains and sugar, while increasing the consumption of foods high in fat such as nuts, cream, and butter.[1] Most dietary fat is made of molecules called long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). However, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)—made from fatty acids with shorter carbon chains than LCTs—are more ketogenic. A variant of the classic diet known as the MCT ketogenic diet uses a form of coconut oil, which is rich in MCTs, to provide around half the calories. As less overall fat is needed in this variant of the diet, a greater proportion of carbohydrate and protein can be consumed, allowing a greater variety of food choices.[4][5]
In terms of weight loss, you may be interested in trying the ketogenic diet because you’ve heard that it can make a big impact right away. And that’s true. “Ketogenic diets will cause you to lose weight within the first week,” says Mattinson. She explains that your body will first use up all of its glycogen stores (the storage form of carbohydrate). With depleted glycogen, you’ll drop water weight. While it can be motivating to see the number on the scale go down (often dramatically), do keep in mind that most of this is water loss initially.
Achieving ketosis is a pretty straightforward, but it can seem complicated and confusing with all of the information out there.4If you want to learn more about ketosis and the scientific process around it, you can visit a very in-depth discussion about on Dr. Peter Attia’s website. Here’s the bottom line on what you need to do, ordered in levels of importance:
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.

Could you please email me, I’m starting this diet for 2 reasons. 1 is to drop weight fast for a beach trip at the end of June, and also I want to change my lifestyle to keep the weight off and be more healthy, so it’s not going to be just a quick fix until June, then go back to the way I ate before. I know how to count the carbs, subtracting the fiber. But I am stuck on how do I know how much protein to eat, and what kind is best. I would really appreciate your help. My email is Karenwsc43@aol.com, I’m afraid I won’t be able to find this site again if you answer me here. I would really appreciate it! Thanks.
I just made this keto bread, and it is amazing! It’s better than most bread I’ve tasted! I made mine with bacon, American cheese, Brie, and Camembert (because I wanted to be extra). If you use bacon, cook it to how you normally like it in a seperate pan, as the bacon doesn’t cook much extra while baking. I think I used a little too much butter, but, oh boy, was it nice and moist!
One 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.
The keto diet isn’t new, and it’s been around for nearly a century. It was originally developed to treat people with epilepsy. In the 1920s, researchers found that raised levels of ketones in the blood led to fewer epileptic seizures in patients. The keto diet is still used today to treat children with epilepsy who don’t respond well to anti-epileptic drugs.[2] 

Keeping your tastebuds entertained while following a keto diet does not have to be a struggle.  Some low-carb, high-fat dieters find that they have the most success with their diet when they eat consistent meals on a regular basis and do not deviate from their plan.  Others find that if their diet has too much repetition it will get boring and difficult to stick to.  Whether you choose to stick to a set of staple meals that you eat every week or you’d rather spice things up, there are plenty of amazing food choices on the ketogenic diet.
This morning I calculated my keto and signed up on my fitness pal food calculator as you suggested on your website. More I read about keto more curious I get…. Last two days I ate without thinking much about portions, but today I used all your delicious recipes and made combination of meals for the day and followed my macro numbers to almost exact numbers and grams. Which meant less snacks in-between meals in my case. I also have been drinking around 120oz of water( including coffee and herbal mint tea) everyday! Can’t wait to see what happens at tomorrow morning weigh in!
I have been a long time viewer but have been drowning in graduate studies, needless to say I fully fell off the wagon! Well May 17th graduation is almost here time to get back on the wagon! I was soooo happy that you have Keto Meal Plans!! Did you have any recipes for a Keto Smoothie that meets the Keto LCHF requirements for the mornings I have to get the kids off to school & run out the door. A lot of great smoothies on the web but they usually include fruit which significantly increases the carbs… Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
After increasing water intake and replacing electrolytes, it should relieve most all symptoms of Keto Flu. For an average person that is starting a ketogenic diet, eating 20-30g of net carbs a day, the entire adaptation process will take about 4-5 days. My advice is to cut your carbs to fewer than 15g to ensure that you are well on your way into ketosis within one week. If you are experiencing any more keto flu symptoms, double check your electrolyte intake and adjust.
I have read all the info on the sight but I am still having trouble understanding how to get the amount of protein, carbs and fats. I get keeping my carbs under 20 grams a day but not trying to determine the rest. Not sure what I am missing or I just don’t get it. If you can give any help it would really be appreciated. Thanks your site is wonderful !!
Hi. Loved the article. I ran across this article when I found your pancake recipe. I am going on a cruise in 18 days. I started eating a high cal low carb diet a couple of days ago and noticed how similar it was to the Keto diet. So I said why not since I’m already kind of doing that. Then, I saw that you mentioned unusual periods and I am extremely worried that if I start the keto diet today, I might have my period while on my cruise and that is not going to be fun. What are your thoughts?

I just made this keto bread, and it is amazing! It’s better than most bread I’ve tasted! I made mine with bacon, American cheese, Brie, and Camembert (because I wanted to be extra). If you use bacon, cook it to how you normally like it in a seperate pan, as the bacon doesn’t cook much extra while baking. I think I used a little too much butter, but, oh boy, was it nice and moist!


I love your sense of humour and vigour when explaining the ketone thingy. I started it last year and lost 23 kgs/50 pounds in just under a year. Never looked back but I too have a sweet tooth when it comes to fruit and this took me out of ketones and my motivation took a downer. Back on track and its my day 3 and already in ketones. Put on 2 pounds since my cheating but I had never lost all my weight. Had 10 kgs still to go. My entire family and their spouses are ketone believers. I often found that if I increased my fat with bulletproofcoffee it helped me with my sugar cravings. Also I have found that keeping boiled eggs and chicken in the fridge helps with my nibbling. Use a lot of mayo. Eggs full you up. Thank you. Take are and happy Low Carb eating.
When you said the following my inhibitions dropped to zero. Probably because I just could not stop laughing, and the reality at the base of your putting it this way -“Don’t obsessively plan everything and overwhelm yourself so it feels harder than it has to. This may be controversial for some, but I’m here to tell you not to worry about calories, or nitrates, or Omega 3 vs Omega 6, or if the meat you’re eating skipped about on acres of lush pastureland, while being hand fed organic vegan feed by the tiny perfect hands of 1000 virgin milkmaids.”
The original therapeutic diet for paediatric epilepsy provides just enough protein for body growth and repair, and sufficient calories[Note 1] to maintain the correct weight for age and height. The classic therapeutic ketogenic diet was developed for treatment of paediatric epilepsy in the 1920s and was widely used into the next decade, but its popularity waned with the introduction of effective anticonvulsant medications. This classic ketogenic diet contains a 4:1 ratio by weight of fat to combined protein and carbohydrate. This is achieved by excluding high-carbohydrate foods such as starchy fruits and vegetables, bread, pasta, grains and sugar, while increasing the consumption of foods high in fat such as nuts, cream, and butter.[1] Most dietary fat is made of molecules called long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). However, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)—made from fatty acids with shorter carbon chains than LCTs—are more ketogenic. A variant of the classic diet known as the MCT ketogenic diet uses a form of coconut oil, which is rich in MCTs, to provide around half the calories. As less overall fat is needed in this variant of the diet, a greater proportion of carbohydrate and protein can be consumed, allowing a greater variety of food choices.[4][5]

Hi Stacey, I can’t give medical advice and definitely recommend following your doctor’s recommendations. You can ask him/her if low carb would be better suited for you. Also, you may want to double check with him/her if the kidney concern was related to high protein, because that is a common misconception about keto – it is not a high protein diet/lifestyle.


I love your sense of humour and vigour when explaining the ketone thingy. I started it last year and lost 23 kgs/50 pounds in just under a year. Never looked back but I too have a sweet tooth when it comes to fruit and this took me out of ketones and my motivation took a downer. Back on track and its my day 3 and already in ketones. Put on 2 pounds since my cheating but I had never lost all my weight. Had 10 kgs still to go. My entire family and their spouses are ketone believers. I often found that if I increased my fat with bulletproofcoffee it helped me with my sugar cravings. Also I have found that keeping boiled eggs and chicken in the fridge helps with my nibbling. Use a lot of mayo. Eggs full you up. Thank you. Take are and happy Low Carb eating.
Children who discontinue the diet after achieving seizure freedom have about a 20% risk of seizures returning. The length of time until recurrence is highly variable but averages two years. This risk of recurrence compares with 10% for resective surgery (where part of the brain is removed) and 30–50% for anticonvulsant therapy. Of those that have a recurrence, just over half can regain freedom from seizures either with anticonvulsants or by returning to the ketogenic diet. Recurrence is more likely if, despite seizure freedom, an electroencephalogram (EEG) shows epileptiform spikes, which indicate epileptic activity in the brain but are below the level that will cause a seizure. Recurrence is also likely if an MRI scan shows focal abnormalities (for example, as in children with tuberous sclerosis). Such children may remain on the diet longer than average, and it has been suggested that children with tuberous sclerosis who achieve seizure freedom could remain on the ketogenic diet indefinitely.[45]

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.[18] 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.[3]
Hi Tammy, I still have to try the muffin tin method to ive you a better response. Why don’t you make the recipe using exact ingredients for one bread multiplied x 9-10 and divide between 12 muffin tin slots? I think this will work better. This way we are not changing the amount of eggs. If you use less eggs, the bread will be more dry, since it is gluten-free.
Forget the heavy casserole recipes and try this low-carb pot pie tonight! Nothing says comfort food like a chicken pot pie. This low-carb pot pie recipe skips the traditional gluten-filled dough of chicken pot pies and replaces it with cauliflower for a more low-carb option. I simply suggest switching out the cornstarch with arrowroot or tapioca starch.
I am in ketosis!!!! I got the keto test strips and did the test this morning!! I am so excited!!! I have been on/off of the diet since my birthday on Aug. 11th when the kids took me out to eat! But I got back on the ball, did the soup diet again, and the 3 day kickstart and by golly it worked. I am now going to skip to week 2 of the meal plans coz there are so many fresh veggies at the food pantry and out in my garden. I can’t wait to taste the jalapeno popper soup! I am a little leery about the jalapeno and cheese muffins. I’ll post my thoughts after I try them. A little rest and then I will get to doing the prep. I really wanted to do that on Sunday after shopping but it just didn’t work out that way.
Miss Mellissa…. I was doing *so well* with keto eating last summer and dropped some weight, but all the old (bad, bad) habits started sneaking in and I’m in one heck of a pickle. Just wanted to say “thanks” for this jump-start… Hopefully this will help me remember what I’m SUPPOSED to be doing. Got a long slog ahead of me, but I have hope I can make it. Your site is so, so helpful, and I really appreciate all you do. Thank you.
If you’re not sure after your initial test, explore other healthy diets such as clean eating and always have in mind that your number 1 goal should be to avoid overly processed foods (keeping this definition fairly broad of course, as we live in the 21st century and have to adapt to modern age as well, where hardly any of us have time to spend 12 hours a day evolving around food production, gathering and cooking).
Magnesium citrate is an osmotic laxative, which relaxes your bowels and draws water into your intestines. It's an important mineral to help your organs function. Magnesium is obtained from green vegetables, nuts and whole-grain products. It's important to eat as many green vegetables and nuts as you are allowed to as your intake of whole-grain foods on the ketogenic diet will be severely limited.
0.2 loss today and I was not hungry yesterday. So I think this is better to eat a bit more for my satiety , slower loss but more sustainable. I was able to talk my husband into eating bacon and egg this morning! Slowly easing him into converting. I want to be able to make a meal that whole family can enjoy instead of making many separate meals for each individual( way too much work!).
By the way, I love your blog. I started following you on Pinterest probably about 2 years ago when I started in on the Paleo WOE. I only survived about 3 months of that before I fell off the wagon but I am back now and more ready than ever to finish losing this weight and be truly healthy! Anyway, I saw the name of your site on Pinterest and it made me giggle because that is so me. Your Jalapeno Chicken Wings are on my menu for tonight.
Avoid “low fat” foods. Because you aren’t eating many carbs, you need to ensure you are eating enough fat so that you have plenty of energy and to prevent your metabolism slowing down as your body thinks it is starving due to a low caloric intake (this inhibits weight loss and makes you feel off color). This means leaving the skin on chicken, and not cooking your meat on a fat reducing grill or similar. Feel free to use butter and oil in cooking, and ensure you buy full fat cheese and mayonnaise. In the low fat alternatives, the fat is often replaced by carbs.
What a great find! Over the years I have been on Atkins, FatBellyDiet, and Livin’LaVida menu (all great resources).. and a random exerciser with success. I’m a little late for my new year’s resolution, but summer is right around the corner. In motivation to jump back into what I know works so well for me, I’ve found IBIH! I put my scale away a long time ago, as it only causes me angst (I’ve always been high in the BMI scale, even at my lowest weight, highest fitness level). So, I use a tape measure, love to see the inches melt off in two weeks. Which in itself, motivates me back into fitness activities.
Our bodies are incredibly adaptive to what you put into it – when you overload it with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source. Optimal ketone levels offer many health, weight loss, physical and mental performance benefits.1There are scientifically-backed studies that show the advantage of a low-carb, ketogenic diet over a low-fat diet. One meta-analysis of low-carbohydrate diets showed a large advantage in weight loss. The New England Journal of Medicine study resulted in almost double the weight loss in a long-term study on ketone inducing diets.

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.


Its day two for me on you kick start and I love it! Pancakes are the bomb I am in love with them! I have a quick question, I am using MFP to track my nutritions and I had them customized according to the calculator that you mentioned. When I checked my nutrition report at the end of the day yesterday it stated I had gone over my saturated fats should I be concerned with that or disregard it?


Wow – that’s a lot of dairy! I’m gluten and dairy free, but I’ll watch your recipes to see what I can use. The thing that concerns me about the dairy is that casein in cheese has a molecular structure similar to gluten, difficult for my system to break that down. I wouldn’t be surprised if others with gluten issues also have the same problem. I, too, had the impression that fat = bad… but boy, am I really enjoying salads more with real vinaigrette, homemade with healthy oils. I’ve been low carb and almost sugar free for about two years because of a gut issue. But, I want to get back to cutting out the sugar… so I’ll be eager to see what you share.


A: The most common ways to track your carbs is through MyFitnessPal and their mobile app. You cannot track net carbs on the app, although you can track your total carb intake and your total fiber intake. To get your net carbs, just subtract your total fiber intake from your total carb intake. I have written an article on How to Track Carbs on MyFitnessPal.

Sharon M. Nickols-Richardson, PhD, RD, , Mary Dean Coleman, PhD, RD, Joanne J. Volpe, Kathy W. Hosig, PhD, MPH, RD, “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,” The Journal of Pediatrics: Vol 105, Issue 9: 1433–1437; September 2005. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S000282230501151X.

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]
This week we’re getting stricter with our fasting. We had a full week of intermittent fasting and now we’re going to skip breakfast and lunch. Water is our BEST friend here! Don’t forget that you can drink coffee, tea, flavored water, and the like to get your liquids in. Keep drinking to make sure you’re not thinking about your stomach. It MIGHT start growling, just ignore it – your body will adjust with time.
"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.
Note: Are you a vegetarian or vegan and want to go on a ketogenic diet? It’s still possible! Just keep in mind that the dietary restrictions can sometimes be a little bit intense. Make sure to plan ahead and prepare to aid your success. To help out, we’ve published articles (with 7 day meal plans included) for both the vegetarian ketogenic diet and the vegan ketogenic diet.
If you need to eat more or fewer calories per day, you can adjust accordingly by simply taking out or adding a bit more of the ingredients already included in a recipe. For example, adding/removing a tablespoon of olive oil or butter will add/remove about 100 calories. If you like or dislike certain recipes, feel free to shift things around. Make sure to keep an eye on the calories so you’re still falling within an acceptable range of your daily goal.
Advocates for the diet recommend that it be seriously considered after two medications have failed, as the chance of other drugs succeeding is only 10%.[9][30][31] The diet can be considered earlier for some epilepsy and genetic syndromes where it has shown particular usefulness. These include Dravet syndrome, infantile spasms, myoclonic-astatic epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis complex.[9][32]
Implementing the diet can present difficulties for caregivers and the patient due to the time commitment involved in measuring and planning meals. Since any unplanned eating can potentially break the nutritional balance required, some people find the discipline needed to maintain the diet challenging and unpleasant. Some people terminate the diet or switch to a less demanding diet, like the modified Atkins diet (MAD) or the low-glycaemic index treatment (LGIT) diet, because they find the difficulties too great.[41]
After about two to seven days of following this eating routine, you go into something called ketosis, or the state your body enters when it doesn't have enough carbs for your cells to use for energy. Then it starts making ketones, or organic compounds that your bod then uses in place of those missing carbs—and oh, it also burns fat for more energy, says Beth Warren, R.D., founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Living A Real Life With Real Food.
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