We know the keto diet restricts carbohydrates, but what can you eat? Actually carbohydrates are allowed, but in very small amounts — less than 30 grams per day (for perspective, a medium apple contains about 25 grams of carbs). The diet focuses on meats, eggs, cheese, fish, nuts, butters, oil, heavy cream, mayonnaise and low-carb vegetables such as kale and broccoli. 
Because people with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, there’s a specific concern that the saturated fat in the diet may drive up LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels, and further increase the odds of heart problems. If you have type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor before attempting a ketogenic diet. They may recommend a different weight-loss diet for you, like a reduced-calorie diet, to manage diabetes. Those with epilepsy should also consult their doctor before using this as part of their treatment plan.
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]
You want to keep your cheats to none. Be prepared, make sure you’re eating what you need to be satiated (“full”), and make sure you’re satisfied with what you’re eating. If you have to force yourself to eat something, it will never work out in the end. This is just a guideline on how you can eat on a ketogenic diet, so you’re very welcome to change up what kind of foods you eat!

One of the most common side effects of starting the ketogenic diet is the “keto flu.” This term describes the often unpleasant, fatigue-inducing symptoms that occur as the body adjusts from a high-carbohydrate to a low-carbohydrate diet. During the keto flu, the body’s stored glucose begins depleting, and the body starts adapting to producing and utilizing ketones as energy. (2)
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!!
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?
Because some cancer cells are inefficient in processing ketone bodies for energy, the ketogenic diet has also been suggested as a treatment for cancer.[58][59] A 2018 review looked at the evidence from preclinical and clinical studies of ketogenic diets in cancer therapy. The clinical studies in humans are typically very small, with some providing weak evidence for anti-tumour effect, particularly for glioblastoma, but in other cancers and studies, no anti-tumour effect was seen. Taken together, results from preclinical studies, albeit sometimes contradictory, tend to support an anti-tumor effect rather than a pro-tumor effect of the KD for most solid cancers.[60]

Thanks for all the good info! I continue to come back and re-read some posts to stay motivated and informed. I have been low carb for about 1.5 months and have lost about 18 pounds. But I continue to have awful night sweats and periods of “flashes” during the day. Would that be considered some of the hormonal changes you referred to? They are very aggravating and interrupt my sleep. BUT they are worth it for the positive effects!

To get the most benefit from the Keto diet, you should stay physically active. You might need to take it easier during the early ketosis period, especially if you feel fatigued or lightheaded. Walking, running, doing aerobics, weightlifting, training with kettlebells or whatever workout you prefer will boost your energy further. You can find books and online resources on how to adapt Keto meals or snacks for athletic training.


Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show specific very-low-carb diets help people with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Researchers are also studying the effects of these diets on acne, cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and nervous system diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Lou Gehrig's disease.
The ketogenic diet is based on the principle that by depleting the body of carbohydrates, which are its primary source of energy, you can force the body to burn fat for fuel, thereby maximizing weight loss. When you consume foods that contain carbohydrates, the body converts those carbohydrates into glucose, or blood sugar, which it then uses for energy. (1)
My husband has been on ” ideal protein ” diet for last 5 weeks and lost weight, he will soon be off the diet( I don’t think their package food is very healthy and he is getting tired of it and started to cheat here and there with carbs). So far he lost 15 lb but he should lose another 10- 15 lb( starting weight 225, today 210). I am trying to find a way to help him sustain weight or lose and also see a need to change our eating style over all when he goes off this diet.He seems to not believe in whats in your blog( he thinks to good to be true), I decided to experiment on myself. If this works for me, it should work for him. Yesterday I started 3 day kick start, wow ALL YOUR RECIPE is DELICIOUS and amazing. I’m getting keto Sticks today, so I will report when keto kicks in.
Please try reading jason fungs book that Melissa recommended, even though you are familiar with IF. I’ve only read the introduction and some from his blog as well as his posts on dietdoctor.com and it looks like sometimes if your insulin sensitivity is very damaged it could require longer fasts to get it back in check. Dr. Fung states that everything in his book is available in his blog, just that the book is a more organized way to access it but he wants everyone to have access to this life changing information. The testimonial from Jimmy Moore was eye opening where he recounted his experiences with IF
About 20% of children on the ketogenic diet achieve freedom from seizures, and many are able to reduce the use of anticonvulsant drugs or eliminate them altogether.[3] Commonly, at around two years on the diet, or after six months of being seizure-free, the diet may be gradually discontinued over two or three months. This is done by lowering the ketogenic ratio until urinary ketosis is no longer detected, and then lifting all calorie restrictions.[45] This timing and method of discontinuation mimics that of anticonvulsant drug therapy in children, where the child has become seizure free. When the diet is required to treat certain metabolic diseases, the duration will be longer. The total diet duration is up to the treating ketogenic diet team and parents; durations up to 12 years have been studied and found beneficial.[9]
Low carb diets focus on keto recipes (also known as ketogenic recipes) like the ones below to keep your blood sugar stable, helping your body regain insulin sensitivity and keeping your mood and energy levels stable. Also, since processed food has so many additives – usually sugar included – low carb diets encourage you to cook for yourself. This leads to eating more whole foods and improving your diet in that way as well.
About 20% of children on the ketogenic diet achieve freedom from seizures, and many are able to reduce the use of anticonvulsant drugs or eliminate them altogether.[3] Commonly, at around two years on the diet, or after six months of being seizure-free, the diet may be gradually discontinued over two or three months. This is done by lowering the ketogenic ratio until urinary ketosis is no longer detected, and then lifting all calorie restrictions.[45] This timing and method of discontinuation mimics that of anticonvulsant drug therapy in children, where the child has become seizure free. When the diet is required to treat certain metabolic diseases, the duration will be longer. The total diet duration is up to the treating ketogenic diet team and parents; durations up to 12 years have been studied and found beneficial.[9]
But if no carbs are available, our bodies start burning fat as a primary fuel source and producing ketones in the liver, which the body can turn into energy. This metabolic state, called ketosis, is what happens when someone is starving. But it's also how Harper's body works every day. His system relies on fats like butter, oil, and lard as a primary energy source instead of packing them on as in-case-of-emergency poundage.
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.

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!
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.
I love this menu plan! One of the things I find difficult in low carb dieting/eating is that most of the recipes given are so complicated. Yours are not. Another point is that most low carb bloggers and recipe writers? Sometimes forget that people all around the world read your recipes, and a lot of the items listed just can not be bought! Thank you for keeping it nice and simple
Hi Melissa! So I went on ideal protein to lose weight before my daughter’s wedding. It was great! I loved the products and of course I loved losing 64 pounds. HOWEVER, after the wedding I started to enjoy drinking again. And since July 2014, I have gained 34 pounds. I have yo-yo’d with IP but after the taste of real food it is very difficult for me to stay on track. I know it works but after 3 weeks losing 9 pounds I end up eating a whole pizza! Anyway, I love all of your insight to keto. How do you think your suggestions will work if I am throwing in a IP packet for snack instead of say almonds? I just want to feel better again and not spend $100 every week on IP. Thanks for your time and commitment to helping those of us who are weak!

I am going to give the three day plan a try and then hope to move on to Week 1 and 2. I’ve used so many of your recipes in the past and people absolutely RAVE about them. I just made your Cream Cheese Pancakes and they were really, really good! I am pretty good about eating low carb so I haven’t had anything even resembling a pancake that I didn’t feel guilty about. You are AWESOME!!! I get so tired of eggs! THANK YOU!!!!
So happy I found your site, out of all the keto sites I’ve clicked on yours is the best!! You actually give us a plan to get started and I love your humor :) I’ve tried living keto before but it was the diet along with a lot of supplements and nasty shakes…it wasn’t for me! I don’t like drinking my snacks and meals just to get into ketosis! Looking forward to trying this again and trying your recipes!
About 20% of children on the ketogenic diet achieve freedom from seizures, and many are able to reduce the use of anticonvulsant drugs or eliminate them altogether.[3] Commonly, at around two years on the diet, or after six months of being seizure-free, the diet may be gradually discontinued over two or three months. This is done by lowering the ketogenic ratio until urinary ketosis is no longer detected, and then lifting all calorie restrictions.[45] This timing and method of discontinuation mimics that of anticonvulsant drug therapy in children, where the child has become seizure free. When the diet is required to treat certain metabolic diseases, the duration will be longer. The total diet duration is up to the treating ketogenic diet team and parents; durations up to 12 years have been studied and found beneficial.[9]
Now, what should you eat? There are endless combinations of food and it really depends on your personal preference. I put together a simple 3 day keto menu plan to get you started. This is what works for me, and because my body knows the drill, I can actually get back into ketosis in less than 2 days on this plan. If you are new to low carb, it may take you as long as 4 to 5 days. Don’t despair, it will happen.
Please try reading jason fungs book that Melissa recommended, even though you are familiar with IF. I’ve only read the introduction and some from his blog as well as his posts on dietdoctor.com and it looks like sometimes if your insulin sensitivity is very damaged it could require longer fasts to get it back in check. Dr. Fung states that everything in his book is available in his blog, just that the book is a more organized way to access it but he wants everyone to have access to this life changing information. The testimonial from Jimmy Moore was eye opening where he recounted his experiences with IF
Thank you for your reply! I kinda thought that was the case, just wanted to double check. I found a site that may make our lives even easier! You paste the recipe, enter the original recipe serving size, then enter how many servings you need and then convert! Check out this site http://mykitchencalculator.com/recipeconverter.html . Super helpful! Got the groceries, now wish me luck! Eek, I’m so excited. Thanks again so much.
The day before admission to hospital, the proportion of carbohydrate in the diet may be decreased and the patient begins fasting after his or her evening meal.[18] On admission, only calorie- and caffeine-free fluids[36] are allowed until dinner, which consists of "eggnog"[Note 8] restricted to one-third of the typical calories for a meal. The following breakfast and lunch are similar, and on the second day, the "eggnog" dinner is increased to two-thirds of a typical meal's caloric content. By the third day, dinner contains the full calorie quota and is a standard ketogenic meal (not "eggnog"). After a ketogenic breakfast on the fourth day, the patient is discharged. Where possible, the patient's current medicines are changed to carbohydrate-free formulations.[18]

Before starting, ask yourself what is really realistic for you, Mattinson suggests. Then get your doctor’s okay. You may also work with a local registered dietitian nutritionist to limit potential nutrient deficiencies and talk about vitamin supplementation, as you won’t be eating whole grains, dairy, or fruit, and will eliminate many veggies. “A diet that eliminates entire food groups is a red flag to me. This isn’t something to take lightly or dive into headfirst with no medical supervision,” she says.
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