Category: Ketogenic Blog

Carbs for Ketosis

Carbs for ketosis

To maintain ketosis, we need to substantially limit the carbs we eat. Ideally we should eat less than 20 grams of net carbs. Exactly how much depends on each individual person and many people will maintain ketosis even when they eat up to 50 grams of carbs.

When you start out, go as low as possible and work out over time what works for you and how many carbs you can consume and still remain in ketosis.

In this article we want to take a closer look at carbs to understand the different types and what they do in our bodies. With a better understanding, we can make better decisions.

First we look at carbs as per their traditional classification of simple and complex. Then the more recent classification based on the glycemic index​ and load. Lastly we look at what carbs to eat and what not to eat.

Types of Carbs

Carbohydrates are biomolecules or saccharides. In simple terms, carbohydrates are sugars.

There are two types of carbohydrates. Traditionally they were classified as simple and complex.

Simple Carbohydrates

Simple carbs are made from only one or two sugar (saccharide) chains. All simple sugars and starches convert to glucose in the body. The only exceptions are sugar alcohols and insoluble fiber.

Types of Simple Sugars

  • Sucrose is cane or table sugar and all items made from it.
  • Glucose is found in starchy vegetables.
  • Fructose is the sugar found in fruits and honey. It is very sweet and therefore it is commonly used in many processed foods.
  • Galactose is the natural sugar found in dairy products.

Natural and Added Sugars

Naturally occurring sugars are those sugars that are naturally found in food like fruit, vegetables and milk.

Added sugars refer to those sugars added during manufacturing and cooking. These include corn syrup, table sugar and honey. Sugar has many names, so carefully study all labels.

Simple Carbohydrates Include:

Non-starchy vegetables and processed flours as well as all foods made with processed flour. It also includes table sugar and everything made with it, candy, sweets, soda, juices, fruit, milk, honey and syrup. This is not an inclusive list, but you get the point.

Simple carbs, with the exception of non-starchy vegetable, require no break down as they enter the body. They digest quickly and are instantly absorbed to flood the bloodstream with glucose. This then cause a spike in insulin.

This then triggers the release of insulin from the pancreas. Sugar is used where needed and the rest is stored as fat.

The continuous production of insulin may eventually lead to weight gain, insulin resistance and ultimately to type 2 diabetes.

TAKE AWAY

Simple sugars are insulin triggers​

that can promote weight gain

and increase risk factors for type 2 diabetes

Complex Carbs

A complex carb consists of sugar molecules that are threaded together in a complex chain.

Foods like peas, beans, corn, potatoes, rice, grains and bread are Complex Carbohydrates.

The insulin response with some carbs may be less severe than with sugars and simple carbs.

However, both provide the body with a fuel source that can turn to stored fat and therefore on a strict ketogenic diet, they are both limited or eliminated altogether.

TAKE AWAY

Complex carbs, just like simple sugars, are insulin triggers​

that provide the body with a fuel source

that can and does turn to stored fat


GI and GL Classification

The classification of carbohydrates as simple and complex does not tell the whole story. This is why we also want to look at the glycemic index and glycemic load of carbohydrates.

The Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale of 1 to 100 that measures how any food will impact blood sugar. A score of 100 represents pure glucose. So the higher the GI of a food, the more it will raise blood glucose levels.

More often than not, complex carbs have a higher GI than simple sugars. But the GI is also influenced by how much the food has been processed and the cooking process.

As an example a baked potato that is a complex carb has a much higher GI than an apple which is a simple carb.

Foods with a high GI tends to release more insulin than low GI foods.

Generally a food with a GI of less than 55 is seen to be low and higher than 70 to be high.

Glycemic Load

What is Glycemic Load?

Glycemic load (GL) estimates the impact of a specific serving of carbohydrate consumed on blood sugar.

It is calculated by taking the grams of actual carbohydrates (minus water for instance) times its GI score divided by 100.

For example watermelon has a high GI, but because it contains a lot of water its GL is much lower.

Generally a food with a GL of less than 10 is seen to be low, 11 to 19 medium and higher than 20 to be high.

Why does it matter?

The GI or GL of a carbohydrate is a more valuable indication of its impact on blood sugar and insulin than purely whether it is a simple or a complex carb.

The Nurses Study

The Nurses study is a famous long term study that commenced in 1976.

It is the largest epidemiological study conducted in the US into the risk factors for major chronic diseases in women.

75,521 women aged 38 to 63 who had no previous diagnosis of diabetes, angina, myocardial infarction, stroke, or any other cardiovascular conditions were followed for ten years (Liu, S., Willett, W.C., Stampfer, M.J., et al).

​After the 10 year follow up 761 nurses had heart disease. Dietary glycemic load was found to be directly associated with risk of cardiovascular heart disease even after risk factors for heart disease were accounted for.

TAKE AWAY

Carbs classified in terms of GI​

rather than simple or complex

were better predictors of cardiovascular disease risks


​Sugar Alcohols

Generally, sugar alcohols are not insulin triggers. Therefor they are not counted as impact carbs (net carbs) in a keto plan.

Some however have a higher GI and they should be carefully monitored for their impact on your individual results.

The reason why they can cause a different impact for different people is because how they are consumed as well as the gut enzymes available to break them down.

Here are the most sugar alcohols and their respective GI:

Alcohol Sugar

Maltitol

Xylitol

Sorbitol

Glycerol

Isomalt

Mannitol

Erythritol​

Glycemic Index

36

13

9

3

2

0

0​

Effect of Carbs on Ketosis​

Conclusion

The conclusion is that all carbs, both simple and complex, no matter the GI load ultimately convert to glucose in the body.

This glucose is used as fuel and energy for cells and other organs inside the body. If there is too much glucose it gets stored as​ fat.

TAKE AWAY

Any glucose not used for energy, will be stored by the body as fat. Conversely, once those sources of glucose are eliminated, the body can turn to fat stores for energy and enter ketosis, which burns fat for energy instead.

Reducing Carbs to Induce Ketosis

Normally, the body uses carbohydrates as fuel. With a ketogenic diet the objective is to change the source of energy from carbs to fat. This is achieved by substantially reducing the amount and type of carbohydrates that we eat. And off course to eat more good quality fat. But for now, let’s focus on lowering carbohydrates.

When we adopt a ketogenic lifestyle we limit carbs to non-starchy vegetables that grows above the ground.

We are particularly strict with how little carbs we eat when we start out as the aim is to exhaust the glycogen supplies and start burning fat and thereby trigger ketosis.

Now you may tell me that vegetables are simple carbs and you were always told to eat more complex carbs.

Yeah I know, but non-starchy vegetables:

  • Are low in carbs
  • Are nutrient dense
  • Do not trigger insulin
  • Have a low Glycemic load

… and therefore support the aim to trigger ketosis.

Carbs Allowed

  • Most vegetables that grow above ground.
  • Fruits with very low sugar content like berries.

For a comprehensive shopping list of all foods allowed on the ketogenic eating plan check out our list here.

Carbs to Avoid

  • Sugar
  • All products made from sugar or with added sugar
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • All products made from high fructose corn syrup or with added high fructose corn syrup
  • Processed foods
  • Grains and starches like rice, pasta, oatmeal, couscous and quinoa
  • All products made with grains and starches like bread and pizza
  • Legumes
  • White and sweet potatoes
  • Starchy vegetables like peas, corn and root vegetables
  • Any other starches
  • Fruit
  • Milk
  • Sugary and artificially sweetened drinks

Vegetables

You want to lower your carb intake, but you do not want to cut out vegetables all together. You need vegetables for many reasons, but in part they help to keep cholesterol under control and provides many vitamins and minerals.

For more on why you should make sure that you eat enough vegetables, watch Dr Eric Berg explain why...

So yes, you have to eat vegetables, but a Keto diet proposes to eat no more than 20 gram of net carbs each day. To eat this little carbs you need to limit your carbs to non-starchy vegetables.

Also remember that some protein and fat sources also contains some carbs. So that should also be considered when calculating net carbs.

Carbs for Ketosis


Initially limit carbs to 20 grams of net carbs.

Stick to non-starchy vegetables.

Cut out fruit and all added sugars.

Once adapted experiment and increase carbs to up to 50 grams.

Does the Keto Diet Work

Does the Keto Diet Work

Does the Keto diet work? ​The short answer, in my opinion, is yes it does work.

To consider how and why, we first have to have a look at how we use food as fuel. We will look at the effect of carbs as fuel for our bodies and the effect of fat as fuel on the operation of our bodies. This will effectively show us the simplicity of why and how the ketogenic diet works.

The most surprising thing about the keto diet for most people is the fact that they are not constantly hungry. We look at what it is about the keto diet that manage and repress hunger.​

We will then look at what the science shows to see whether it supports a ketogenic low carb high fat diet or not.

This is a somewhat technical discussion of the processes within our body. If like me, you are interested in this type of detail, then carry on reading.

If however you are not interested in the why, but just want to get into it. Then check out the Keto Diet Rules or our Keto Diet Checklist. Just want to know what you should be eating? Then you want to check out our Keto Shopping List.

Still reading, then enjoy...

Food as Fuel - Fuel Utilization

The main reason to ingest food is for survival and energy. Yeah I know, most of us may have forgotten this, because now a days we eat for many other reasons – companionship, feeding the hole inside of us and just because we feel like it.

But ultimately the body needs fuel and it has three storage depots to use as fuel:

  • Carbohydrates from the food we eat
  • Stored body fat and ketones
  • Protein that is converted to glucose in the liver and used for energy

The crux to a healthy weight and life is how our bodies utilize our food.

Carbs as Main Fuel Source

We have all been told that our bodies need carbohydrates for fuel and we should preferably fuel our body with small high carb meals five times per day. Three big meals and two snacks.

With the regular standard American diet (SAD), which is really a high carb diet, the main source of fuel for the body is carbohydrates.

Let’s have a look at what happens when the body uses mostly carbohydrates as fuel.

1

Carbohydrates, specifically sugars and starches are easily broken down into glucose in the bloodstream providing the body with its primary energy source.

2

At this time, if there are too much glucose in the bloodstream, the hormone insulin steps in to convert it, as too much sugar can lead to a dangerous condition known as glycosylation.

3

Insulin converts glucose into glycogen. Some glycogen is stored inside the liver as a fuel reserve for the brain. What remains are stored in the muscles as fuel reserves for the body.

4

When the glycogen stored in the muscles are not used through exercise or daily activities, it stays in the muscles.

5

The human body’s storage ability to store glycogen is limited. It can only store approximately 1800 calories worth of glycogen. When the reserve becomes full, both the muscles and the liver send a signal and excess glucose from dietary carbs begins to build up in the bloodstream. This result in the release of more insulin to remove it.

6

Insulin levels surge, and eventually this leads to insulin resistance.

7

At this point, the liver then sends any excess glucose to be stored as body fat.

Now this is just what we don’t want, but this starts a vicious cycle. 🙁

A VICIOUS CYCLE


High Carb Intake ⇒ High Glucose in the Blood ⇒ High Insulin
=

Body Fat Stores

Eventually this leads to metabolic syndrome, a set of conditions caused by insulin resistance. These conditions may include a fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, obesity and other metabolic issues.

This cycle does not occur in all people, but is common in people who are obese, people who are sensitive to carbohydrates and those who do not manage to use up their stored energy.

It may very well be the main culprit behind the obesity epidemic we face today.

Fat as Fuel Source in the Absence of Carbs

​It is obvious that people who are overweight or obese have too much fat stores and need to get to a point where they can burn the fat. 

So how do we do this?

When there are no carbs available, the body will convert fat into energy and ketones will become the main source of fuel.

When ketones become the main fuel source, the body’s fat burning switch is magically flipped on.

When we manage to limit the intake of carbohydrates by eliminating sugars and starches, the body goes into a process called lipolysis. This is by far the more efficient biochemical path to losing weight and a scientifically proven alternative to using glucose for our daily energy needs.

Considering that the fuel we obtain daily from glucose may be exactly what causes us to become overweight and obese. What do we do now?

We adopt the only practical alternative fuel – lipolysis.

What

We want Lipolysis to occur, as this happens when the body starts burning our own fat stores for energy rather than the carbs we eat every day.

Then

Lipolysis leads to ketosis when the body generates ketones as a by-product of burning fat.

How

The way to create ketones is therefore to severely limit the intake of carbs thereby forcing the body to use its own fat stores for energy. When carbs are available the body will always use it for energy first. However when none are available and the body start burning fat it is as though the fat is literally melting off the body. This is referred to as ketosis.

So the objective is to lower carbohydrate intake to a point where there is not enough carbs to create glucose and ketones becomes the natural fuel for the body.

Glucose

X

Ketones

Okay get it. I need ketones as fuel not glucose, but isn't ketosis dangerous?

Ketosis versus Ketoacidosis

No, ketosis and ketoacidosis are often confused. They are however two completely different processes.

  • As we have seen now, ketosis is the process whereby body fat is used as fuel for the body. This is a completely normal process.
  • Ketoacidosis is a medical condition and only occurs in uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Ketoacidosis is dangerous and should be treated immediately. Ketosis, however is perfectly normal, healthy and essential to lose weight and to maintain normal metabolic processes.

But does my brain not need glucose?

Fuel Utilization by the Brain

Even though the brain normally operates on glucose, most parts of the brains will use ketones when they are available. To understand this better, read this article in Psychology Today.

It is however true that some parts of the brain has to have glucose as energy.

Fortunately this is not a problem in a ketogenic diet as protein will be converted into glucose in the liver through a process called gluconeogenesis when it is absolutely needed.


How to fuel the brain on keto diet

TAKE AWAY


To lose weight we should be burning ketones as primary source of energy NOT glucose.

Ketone production only occurs when insulin in the bloodstream is low.

The lower the insulin level, the higher the ketone production and vice versa.

Ketosis can only occur while following a low carbohydrate diet and when the carbs being consumed do not trigger insulin production.

Manage Appetite

When we tend to eat food high in carbs, we tend to often be hungry. So finding a way to manage appetite, is half the battle won against being over weight.

How Does Eating Fewer Carbs Affect Appetite?

One of the biggest complaints on most diets, is the bland food and the constant hunger. How would you feel about a diet that is not leaving you constantly hungry?

The most valuable result of keto must be how it changes appetite. This comes as a major surprise initially. You will find that:

  • You are less hungry.
  • The uncontrolled cravings for sugar, sweets, bread and potato chips are either gone or hardly there.
  • No more need for midnight snacking.
  • No need to count calories as you will simply require much less food.

For this reason a Keto program is not focused on counting calories, but rather on eating to satisfaction.

You may be surprized, how much less you need to eat on a keto diet compared to when you eat high levels of carbs.

This may sound too good to be true, but give it a go and experience this for yourself.

Once I realized that I was not always hungry anymore, I really had to focus on only eating when I was really hungry.

Over the years I had created bad habits around food. Now I make sure I don’t eat because I am bored and I work on not eating because I am emotionally distressed. It however is much easier to eat better when you are not raving hungry or have out of control cravings for sweets, bread and potato chips.

What creates this change?

Leptin and Insulin. Let’s start with leptin…

Leptin

Leptin is the hormone that regulates hunger.

Repress Appetite Leptin

It sends a signal from the brain when you don’t require more food. It therefore registers that food is no longer required. The metabolic rate is increased and the hunger response is shut off. This ongoing cycle repeats itself over and over.

So as the leptin levels increase and decrease throughout the day, so does the feeling of being hungry. In between meals the leptin level will decrease signaling the brain that it is time to eat. This is good when the process works normally and it is really time to eat again.

However, we have a problem when there is lots of leptin stores, but it has trouble crossing the blood brain barrier. It is crucial for leptin to cross the blood brain barrier, because when it doesn’t, the brain sends the message that you are hungry and needs to eat.

So even if there is plenty of leptin in the blood after eating, the hunger response will not be shut off if leptin can’t cross over.

This is common for people who are obese. Leptin doesn’t reach the brain and therefore they stay hungry as the hunger response cannot be shut down. This results in over eating, which results in people storing more fat. Now more leptin is made, but it can’t reach the brain. This creates a vicious never ending cycle.

And sadly the obese person is told that they have no self-control or will power. 🙁

What Causes This?

Researches from St. Louis and Japan (Banks A, Coon AB, Robinson SM, Moinuddin A, Shultz JM, Nakaoke R, Morley JE, et all, Triglycerides induce leptin resistance at the blood-brain barrier) found that leptin’s ability to cross the blood brain barrier is interrupted by triglycerides (fats found in the blood stream).

Unfortunately most people who are obese or overweight have high triglyceride levels.

How does this relate to a keto diet?

With keto and low-carb diets triglycerides are substantially reduced. Now, leptin can cross the blood brain barrier and get the message to your brain that you are no longer hungry.

This decrease in triglyceride levels occurs quite quickly once carb consumption is substantially limited. This is one of the core reasons why people following a keto diet are less hungry.

Leptin in the brain also supports fat burning or thermogenesis resulting in an increased metabolic rate.

So, low carb diets lowers triglycerides removing an important barrier for leptin crossing over the blood brain barrier.

This is one of the key explanations for why low-carb diets are overall more successful than low fat diet.

When you are less hungry, you naturally tend to eat less.

On the other hand, low fat diets tend to actually increase triglyceride levels, making the dieter hungrier.​

TAKE AWAY


Low Carb Diets reduce Triglyceride levels in the body 

Allowing the hunger hormone leptin to reach the brain

  Registering satiety and alleviating hunger

Thereby allowing for a natural reduction in calories

And a Better Regulated Appetite

Insulin

The second way that reducing carbohydrates controls appetite is through the regulation of insulin.

Carbohydrates stimulate appetite and cause out of control cravings. This is partly as a result of excessive carbohydrates causing blood sugar swings and hiking insulin.

A ketogenic diet has he exact opposite effect, acting as a natural appetite suppressant.

TAKE AWAY


Reducing Carb Intake

Regulates Blood Sugars

  Resulting in Natural Appetite Suppression

Without Out of Control Cravings


What the Science Shows

The body of evidence supporting a low carb diet is continually growing as more and more studies are done to test the effectiveness of low carb diets.

​I list some of the studies here, but it is continually changing and evolving. If you want to know more, check out the links at the bottom of this section.

​It is also worth appreciating that there are NO quality studies that shows a carbohydrate rich diet to be beneficial.

Does Keto Diet Work Science

Is Carbohydrate an Essential Nutrient

The question by Dr Eric Westman: Is dietary carbohydrate essential for human nutrition? 2002 American Society for Clinical Nutrition.

The answer is that carbohydrates is NOT an essential nutrient, like protein and essential fatty acids.

Unlike protein and essential fatty acids, carbohydrates are not an essential nutrient.

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Metabolic Effects of a Very Low Carb Diet​

Findings published on the National Institutes of Health website, Metabolic Effects of the Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood "Villains" of Human Metabolism, (Manninen et al) states that a very low carb diet triggers ketosis. This they state is a harmless physiological state whereby ketones moves from the liver to tissue where they are required for fuel. When ketones are available in the liver, the body has no need for glucose metabolism.

Amazingly, the paper states that there are “no clear requirements for dietary carbohydrates in human adults”. It further remarks that mild ketosis may very well provide therapeutic benefits in the treatment of a number of diseases.

There are no clear requirements for dietary carbohydrates in human adults.

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Contrary to popular believe, the report highlights that insulin is not required for glucose uptake or utilization.

In conclusion, the study shows that in this group of men with normal body weight, a diet very low in carbohydrates can significantly reduce body fat and increase lean body mass.

Stanford University Study

A study conducted at Stanford University (Christopher Gardner, et al) and funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health studied 311 overweight or obese pre-menopausal women. The women were randomly assigned one of four diets:

  • Atkins™ - Lowest in carbs
  • Zone™ - Low in carbs, but higher than Atkins
  • LEARN™ - Regular carb and low fat
  • Ornish™ - Regular carb and low fat

An interesting observation was that women with high insulin levels struggle to maintain a low fat diet. This may be one of the reasons why a low carb high fat diet is more successful.

Women with high insulin levels struggle to maintain a low fat diet. Could this be why a high fat diet is more successful?

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The final results after twelve months showed that the women on Atkins, the lowest of the carb diets lost the most weight. They lost an average of 10 pounds over the year and also improved their metabolic profile.

Glycemic Load Study

There has been much debate about the efficacy of diets that prefer foods with a low glycemic index or low glycemic load.

From a systemic review of 37 low GI and low GL studies (Barclay AW, Petocz P, McMillan-Price J, et al. Glycemic index, glycemic load, and chronic disease risk–a meta-analysis of observational studies) it was concluded that a diet focused on low GI foods is associated with lower triglycerides and higher good HDL cholesterol lipid profiles.

Analysis of Weight Loss Dietary Therapy

In this evaluation of 17 randomized controlled trials of 1797 overweight or obese people, the effects of diet therapy on weight loss (Sackner-Bernstein, Kanter and Kaul published in October of 2015) was studied.

This evaluation showed that the people who followed a low carbohydrate diet lost more weight than the groupings who followed a low fat diet.

The following are the parameters used by the study group:

  • The low carbohydrate diet was based on the consumption of less than 120 grams of carbs per day.
  • The low fat diet was centered on a diet where calories consumed from fat was limited to less than 30% of total calories consumed.

According to, Dr. Sackner-Bernstein, the results shows that low carbohydrate diets have a 99% probability of more weight loss compared to low fat diets.

Even in studies where carbohydrates are restricted, but not nearly as much as a ketogenic diet, health improvements are better than that of a low fat diet.

Saturated Fatty Acids and the Risk of Heart Disease

This study is interesting because it does not support the long term position that we should follow a high carb and low fat diet.

In fact, if you can find a quality study showing that high carb is better than higher fat, please share it with us.

This study shows that replacing saturated fat with sugars and refined carbohydrates does not reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. It could even increase the risks of dyslipidemia.

Replacing saturated fat with sugars and refined carbohydrates does not reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease.

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The researchers go as far as suggesting that given the endemic levels of insulin resistance prevalent in type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes patients, limiting the intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates in conjunction with healthy weight management should be the number 1 dietary goal for most people.

More Resources

Search any of the well regarded nutritional journals and you will find study after study supporting low carb diets.

As summaries, I found these two resources especially helpful.

The Diet Doctor comes to the conclusion that according to all high-quality studies people on average lose more weight on low carbohydrates. This is the case even when they are not counting calories or trying to restrict food intake.

Conclusion

I hope this answers your question - Does the Keto Diet Work? What is next? Have more questions, you need answers check out our Most Frequently Asked Questions here. Or if you want to get started, then check out the resources we shared at the beginning of this guide.

Keto Diet Rules

Keto Diet Rules

The ketogenic diet is based on eating little carbs, adequate but not too much protein and lots of fat. These are the keto diet rules, but the ketogenic diet is really a lifestyle and a little different for each person. So, work on finding what works best for YOU!

What to Eat

Carbohydrates, protein and fat are macro nutrients and generally a keto diet consist of about 5% carbs, 20 to 25% protein and 70 to 75% fat. This may seem tough, but these keto diet rules are easier to follow than you may imagine.

These three macronutrients have different effects on ketosis. Their effect on ketosis depends on how they are digested and how they affect glucose levels in the blood.

  • Carbohydrates raise both glucose and insulin and are therefore 100% anti-ketogenic.
  • Protein is both ketogenic and anti-ketogenic. More than 50% of all protein from food is converted to glucose that raises insulin.
  • Fat is 90% ketogenic and 10% anti-ketogenic. It is this anti-ketogenic element that can convert triglycerides to glucose should the brain require it.

The effect of fats on ketosis is minimal. Its main effect is really on how much weight you can lose. Your body can either burn body fat or dietary fat as fuel.

So the more weight you want to lose the more body weight you want to burn. However, don’t go overboard with limiting your fat intake too much because this will leave you hungry and is counter productive.

Knowing this, still remember that ketogenic diets are very individual and has to be adopted to what works for each person.

Now, let’s look at the quantities we need and what we should be eating.

Limited Carbohydrates

To start, no more than 20 gram of net carbs each day. Over time this could be increased to up to 50 grams as most people should be able to remain in ketosis on a diet that contains up to 50 grams of net carbs.

Get your carbs from non-starchy vegetables, but focus on green vegetables. To know exactly what you should be eating check out our detailed low carb foods list.

Combine your carb with protein and or fat.

Don’t cut out vegetables all together. That is not sustainable and not a good idea at all.

​Net carbs may be a concept that you are not familiar with. So, let's have a look at it...

Net Carbs

We count only net carbs​. The objective here is to determine the actual impact any carb has on the blood sugar and insulin.

Carbs that are loaded with fiber has a much lower impact on blood sugars, which is why fibers are removed from the net carb calculation.

In fact fiber does not convert into glucose like other carbs resulting in a lower glycemic load.

How to calculate net carbs

Carbs to Avoid

Many of the foods to avoid, are carbs. Not sure exactly what foods to avoid? Then check out our list of Ketogenic diet foods to avoid.

Adequate Protein

Protein supports ketosis, but eat too much and it will be converted into glucose. And that off course is something we don’t want.

This is why I am always surprised when people refer to a keto diet as a high protein diet. It definitely is not.

Be sure to eat enough, so as to protect muscle mass, but not so much that you may disrupt ketosis.

Now the question is how much is enough and how much is too much?

How Much Protein?

This very much depends on how active you are.

Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle? Then you need between 0.7 to 0.8 grams per pound of lean body mass.

This will increase to 0.8 to 1 gram per pound of lean body mass if you are somewhat active.

And if you are into strength training or very active then this level increases to between 1 and 1.2 grams.

This leads us to the next question.

What is Lean Body Mass?

In simple terms it is calculated as total body weight minus body fat.

How do I Calculate Lean Body Mass?

The easiest is to use one of the online calculators. This one here uses three different methodologies to propose a lean body mass.

Keep in mind that these are only general guidelines and a better result will be obtained with a fat caliper that can measure exact body fat.

As a general rule women have a lower lean body mass than men. This is one of the assumptions built into the online calculator.

In general the average lean body mass is as follows:

  • A healthy lean body mass for women are between 69 and 75 percent.
  • A healthy lean body mass for men are between 76 and 84 percent.
  • For over weigh and obese people this percentage will obviously be lower.

When you look at these numbers it is obvious that we need way less protein than we think.

So a sedentary person with lean body mass of 150 pounds should eat 105 and 120 grams of protein per day. For that same person who is moderately active the daily protein requirement will be between 120 and 150 gram and for a very active person 150 to 180 gram.

Keto Diet Rules - Adequate Protein

The next question then is…

How Much Protein is in my Food?

I know the 105 to 120 grams of protein sounds low, but remember that a high protein food will include protein, fat, water and so on.

So a 200 gram of sirloin beef steak, depending on the fat content may contain 60 odd grams of protein, around 10 grams of fat and most of the rest will be water.

An egg contains 13 grams of protein and 11 grams of good fat.

The following are good sources of protein:

Protein Choices

  • Fatty red meats, chicken with its skin, turkey and deli meats
  • Fish and seafood
  • Eggs
  • Full fat dairy - heavy cream, sour cream, cheese

Some proteins like meat, poultry and fish has zero net carbs, whilst overs like nuts and diary have higher levels of net carbs and should therefore be consumed in moderation.

Lots of Healthy Fats

I know you were always told that fat is the enemy and you shouldn’t eat fat. You were told that fat makes you fat. In fact it is the other way round, you need to eat fat to get thin.

You were told that fat makes you fat. In fact it is the other way round, you need to eat fat to get thin.

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Counter intuitive I know, but what we were doing weren’t working, so let’s give lots of fat a go.

To achieve and remain in ketosis, the body needs good fats.

Which are the Best Fats?

Monounsaturated fats like olive oil and saturated fats like grass fed butter, red meat, and coconut oil.

Limit polyunsaturated fats like soybean, corn and cottonseed oil.

Butter

How Much Fat?

How much fat depends on your weight loss goals, but err rather on the high side as most of us are “scared” of fats and tend to eat too little not too much.

As stated earlier, we want to eat roughly 5 percent carbs, 20 to 25 percent protein and the balance fat.

Before you can calculate your fat requirement, you need to work out your daily calorie requirement which is based on your weight loss goal.

From the total calories deduct the carb and protein calories and the balance should be calories from fat.

The easiest way to do this is to use one of the online calculators. I have tested many and this is my favorite one.

Other Keto Diet Rules

Eat to Satisfaction

One of the success factors of a ketogenic diet is moving from eating “all day” to eating only when hungry and to eat to satisfaction.

After years of eating for the wrong reasons, this may be a little tough at first. But it is also an amazing feeling when the crazy cravings and hunger pangs, we experience when we live on low fat diets, go away.

Stay Hydrated

When you start burning ketones, rather than carbs you will find that you will become much thirstier. There are good reasons for this.

One reason is that water is need to metabolize fat. It is also a natural appetite suppressant.

Drink lots of water throughout the day and if you are active, you need even more.

Increase Your Salt Intake

I know we are always told that we eat too much salt. However, when we stop eating processed food and turn to natural whole foods, we automatically eat much less harmful salt.

Many people have some side effects when they start a keto diet. These side effects include headaches and muscle cramps. Sometimes people also feel weak. These symptoms are mostly the result of an electrolyte imbalance.

Adding more salt into your diet can limit these symptoms. An excellent way to add more salt into your diet is by adding bone broth to your diet.

Finaly...

When in Doubt, Eat More Fat and Fewer Carbs!

​These keto diet rules are simple, but simple is not always easy. For a summary of all the above see our ketogenic diet checklist and infographic.

Need anything else? Leave us a comment and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Ketogenic Breakfast Ideas

Ketogenic Breakfast Ideas

We have always been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you enjoy breakfast or brunch and are looking for some ketogenic breakfast ideas, skip my rant about why I don’t eat breakfast and check out my breakfast and brunch ideas below.

If however you don’t like to eat breakfast and is tired to hear you should, then enjoy my rant.

​Not for me

​If you don’t like to have breakfast, then don’t be pressured into thinking that you should. Generally we eat too much and if you prefer to have your first meal of the day around lunch time, then go for it.

Personally, I have never been one for breakfast. I like to eat around 12 for the first time. I however do start my day with a Bullet Proof coffee. With good MCT oil, it fuels my body and more importantly my mind for a focused and productive day.

Keto breakfast coffee

I remember when I ate high carb cereals in the morning, because it was pounded into me that I have to eat breakfast. By 10, I was hungry again. I always thought to myself, once I eat, I just can’t stop eating.

Today I understand why that it. When you live on glucose and carbs as fuel, your carb resources need to be regularly refilled.

Let’s briefly consider some of the compelling reasons why we have been told that breakfast is the best meal of the day and that we can’t skip it.

Breakfast kick starts your metabolism

This may be true, when your body is carb fueled. However, this getting my metabolism going, is also what causes me to want eat throughout the day, because I tend to be constantly hungry.

However, when my body is fueled with good fats (butter, MCT oils or normal coconut oil), I feel like my metabolism is really revved up.

I have to acknowledge that on the days that I feel like breakfast and I have a good breakfast with lots of fat, some protein and some veggies, I get the same benefit I get from my high fat coffee.

So maybe this is all about eating the right breakfast and not about not eating.

​You are less likely to snack

​My personal experience is the exact opposite, but then as I realized above, it may all be about what I eat and not whether I eat.

Now when I eat a healthy and filling low carb high fat breakfast​, I hardly snack at all. 🙂

​You are more productive

​This was never my experience, but again, maybe it had more to do with what I was told to eat – cereal and other high carb breakfasts - than actually eating breakfast.

Now a keto style breakfast is definitely leaving me more focused, energized and productive.​

Now, as often happens, my own ranting, got me to the point where I realize it really isn’t about breakfast at all, but rather about eating the right breakfast for you. And this starts with…

​Listen to your body

Personally, as my body becomes more and more keto adapted, I will never take a position that breakfast is good or bad for me.

When I need food, I eat. When I don’t need fuel, I don’t eat. And a ketogenic breakfast is not really comparable with a high carb breakfast.

Now you may wonder why I invite you to an article about ketogenic breakfast ideas and then tell you why I don’t eat breakfast.

Well, just because I don’t want to eat when I get up, I still love breakfast foods, especially the keto versions.

It is one of the easier meals to “go keto”. After all who doesn’t love bacon?

What does make breakfast a little tough for many people is that they don’t have much time in the mornings to prepare breakfast or they need to take it with – so need a breakfast on the go option.

Here are some of my favorite keto breakfast/brunch ideas…

Ketogenic breakfast ideas

​Cheese Muffins

​These are not your classic muffins though. They are made with cheese, eggs and your choice of veggies. I like to use onion, zucchini, peppers, tomato, broccoli, spinach and really any vegetables I have available.

They are great, because not only are they delicious, they are easy and fast to prepare. If you want, you can even make them in the evening before bed, and have breakfast waiting for you when you get up!

What you get with these super muffins is an easy on the go breakfast high in fat, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and very low in carbs.

This is one of my go to meals anytime when I don’t know if I will be able to cook a fresh meal.

I use this recipe as a base. It makes 12 “ready to go” cheese muffins.

Recipe and Instructions
  • Crack 12 eggs into a large bowl
  • Add 1/2 cup of milk or cream
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Whisk until the mixture is evenly combined 
  • Now add your veggies into the mix 
  • Then add 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese 
  • Whisk it all together again 
  • Pour the mixture evenly into a greased muffin tin
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Sometimes I also add ham or bacon.

Keto Breakfast Cheese Muffins

Bacon and baked eggs with wilted spinach

We all think traditional bacon and eggs when we think low carb breakfast. But if you are anything like me, you are always looking for ways to play up this classic breakfast meal.

I like one dish meals because it saves so much time on washing up.

These are really easy to make..

  • Start out by lining a baking pan with spinach.
  • Then add a layer of bacon.
  • Top these with eggs
  • Then add your choice of veggies
  • Add two tablespoons of grated cheese
  • Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes. 

...and voila you have a divine breakfast.This divine meal is not just very filling, but is also colorful and looks great.

Frittatas

Another of my favorite one dish breakfasts.

I love that you can add almost any combination of veggies and you will end up of a tasty meal.

Watch these videos for three of my favorite keto frittata ideas…

Like the idea of pizza for breakfast? Then watch the video now... 

Mushroom frittata - quick and easy to make...

Another recipe, where I use whatever veggies I have available...

Wheat Free Pancakes

Pancakes is a breakfast favorite that you can still enjoy. You only need to change some of the unhealthy ingredients and you will have a delicious and energizing breakfast.

When you drop the wheat from your pancake it is generally replaced with almond flour. Almond flour is low in sugar and carbs and is a decent source of protein.

This is another keto breakfast option that is easy to take with you when you need a breakfast on the go.Here are some of my favorite recipes…

​Paleo Buttermilk Pancakes

These delicious coconut and almond flour pancakes​ are made by Stacy from BeautyAndTheFoodie.com

Keto buttermilk pancakes

​Paleo and Low Carb Blueberry Pancakes

This delicious recipe is high in fat, medium in protein and medium carbs. This recipe is by Vicky from TasteAholics.com

Low carb blueberry pancake

Smoothies

I know when you think of smoothies, you probably think that they are too high in carbs to ever make a good ketogenic breakfast.

However, smoothies can be really high fat, medium protein and low carb when you add seeds, nuts, Greek yogurt or cream, coconut oil, avocado and or nut butters, protein powder and green leafy vegetables like spinach.

For a little sweetness add a handful of berries or a sweetner like stevia.

The smoothie on the right here is my favorite keto smoothie recipe. It is another of Vicky at TasteAholic.com's creations.

To get the recipe click on the picture it will take you through to the recipe... ​

Smoothie Ketogenic Breakfast

What about you?

Do you love breakfast? Has your breakfast habits changed since you stated on a keto journey? Please share your ketogenic breakfast ideas with us in the comments...

The Ketogenic Diet for Beginners

The Ketogenic Diet for Beginners

The ketogenic diet is a kind of low-carb eating plan, and this diet encourages the body to enter into a state called ketosis. Ketosis is a normal and healthy metabolic condition in which the body burns its reserves of fat, rather than making use of glucose as fuel. The burning of those stored fats then produces ketones, which eventually act as the main energy source of the dieter.

The ketogenic diet has been counted on by many individuals who want to lose weight. However, this can be a challenging diet, but followed to the tee, you can reap the rewards that the diet promises. Once your body adapts, it also becomes pretty easy and can become a lifestyle as apposed to a diet.

Benefits of a keto diet

A keto lifestyle has so many benefits. Most people start this diet because they want to lose weight and are then pleasantly surprised with the general health benefits. If you want to lose weight, then this definitely is the diet to give a go. And here is why…

Get rid of excessive fat

The body produces ketones by changing existing fat, thus it will get rid of those ketones as a kind of excess product, which translates to peeing out unneeded body fats.

Minimize appetite

By controlling those strong metabolic hormones in the body, the keto diet is capable of suppressing your appetite. Lowering the insulin resistance of the body and maximizing ketone production will eventually make dieters feel less famished.

Maintain muscle mass

Including the appropriate fats in the diet means it will still present the body with the energy it requires to transform current fat reserves into beneficial sugars and ketones, which are important fuel resources for the heart, brain, and muscles. This has the advantage of maintaining muscle mass integrity, since the healthy fat in the diet provides the body with the energy it needs without having to use muscle protein in order to generate extra sugars.

Want to know more about the advantages and benefits of the keto diet, then read more here.

Keto diet rules

When it comes to keto diet rules, observing the kind of food you consume is probably the most important thing you have to do.

One of the good things about this diet is it does not eliminate the majority of the best-tasting foods found on this planet, like all meats, fish, seafood, certain dairies, olive oil, butter and avocados. You have to avoid vegetables with starches like potatoes and white squash, but you can have your fill of broccoli, kale, cauliflower, chard, spinach, cabbage and cucumber.

Foods can be combined with most seeds and nuts, as long as these items have low levels of carbs. It is also advised that you take in high-fat foods that are not processed. Organic and free-range are something that a number of keto followers are into.

Keto diet rules, especially in the beginning, are quite strict and if you want to have a successful run at it, you have to absolutely put the rules into practice.

Want to know exactly what foods you can eat, then check out our detailed shopping list of must have foods.

For everything you need to know, about exactly how much you should eat. How to calculate net carbs, what you should eat and how much of the different foods you should be eating, check out our

Ketogenic Diet Infographic

Foods to avoid

There are foods that have to be avoided on a ketogenic diet. Obviously, these are foods that are rich in sugar, carbs, and the wrong kinds of fat. These foods can be detrimental to the body and produce an abundance of glucose that the body will convert into fat reserves.

These foods will also maximize insulin rates and blood sugar levels in the body, and it will curb fat loss even if the dieter is on a strict exercise regimen.

To steer clear of these foods, control your consumption of processed foods, grains, noodles, pasta, rice, vegetable oils, milk, margarine and other high-carb, sugary food items.

Do yourself a favor, work out what foods are really good for you and that you should eat and place all your focus on them.

Making the keto diet more effective

To make your ketogenic regimen more effective, make sure that your carb intake is mostly from non starchy vegetables and as low as possible.

Your consumption of proteins should be adequate, but that is probably lower than you may think.

Your fat intake should be high in a proportion to carbs and protein and should be as much as 75% of your total calories.

While the ketogenic diet allows you to eat when hunger strikes, you  will find that you feel hungry less often. If you do get hungry, you may not be eating enough fat.

Ketogenic meals

For breakfast, you can have at least 2 boiled eggs taken with 100 grams of cheese, and washed down with a cup of coffee, no creamer. In case you feel a bit hungry before lunch, you can make do with 30 to 50 grams of nuts as long as these nuts contain little to no carbs.

For lunch, you can have any kind of meat paired with your choice of vegetables that are allowed on the diet. Eggs and cheeses are also great options. For dessert or snacks, you can have berries with cream or cream cheese.

Dinner might mean a choice of meat or fish with preferred vegetables.

To make life easy get a good cookbook and follow the recipes. Especially when you start out it may be much simpler to just follow a set program with set recipes. As you get more comfortable with what you are doing, then it is time to experiment. But when you start out, get the program, use the recipes and take small steps to better health.

Ketogenic Diet for Beginners – More Questions?

Do you have more questions? Then watch the frequently asked questions video..

 

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Carbohydrates and the Ketogenic Program

Carbohydrates and the Ketogenic Program

A low-carb diet will lead the body to break down fats in order to produce ketones, which will be used as fuel. The boost in ketone production is called ketosis, and this is a state wherein the body adapts as the dieter finally eliminates the carbs in his or her system. The transition to ketosis is the main reason why a ketogenic or low-carb diet works.

Although traditionally we have been advised to consume sufficient carbohydrates to avoid ketosis, the growing body of scientific evidence is showing that that may not be the healthiest diet choice.

So, let’s be really clear, there is nothing detrimental about ketosis. Forget about this misrepresentation so that you can make sound weight-loss decisions.

Ketosis vs Ketoacidosis

Ketosis is sometimes confused with an unrelated condition called ketoacidosis, which can be dangerous to your health. Ketosis is a normal state where the body uses fat as energy, while ketoacidosis is a condition that is linked to type 1 diabetes.

A majority of individuals on low-carb diets can endure ketosis without any issues. Following weight loss, carbohydrate intake may increased a little. So the decision to remain in ketosis or not is dependent on your weight loss and health goals. In many instances the health benefits of a keto diet really out ways the benefit of weight loss. Although they obviously go hand in hand.

Ketosis Flu

You also might be cautious of ketosis due to a condition called “ketosis flu,” but this is not actually flu. In the first few days of the diet, some may have headaches, fatigue, nausea and constipation. You do not have to worry though, as it is only temporary—ketosis flu will only last for a few days. This happens because the body begins to adjust to the reduction of carbs.

Ketosis flu is brought about by the loss of water and salt, and this can be prevented if the dieter drinks 8 glasses of water every day, or by consuming a cup of bone broth.

What is a Low Carb Diet?

Even though there is no common definition of a low-carb diet, eating less than 130 grams of carbohydrates every day places you in a low-carb program. For example, if you eat 50-130 grams of carbohydrates every day, theoretically you are following a low carb diet. At this level however, you will avoid ketosis and will not benefit from the results anticipated from a low-carb diet.

The initial stage of a ketogenic eating program suggests 20 net grams of carbs per day. Net grams of carbs are calculated by deducting the grams of fiber from the total grams of carbs.

As discussed, the objective of the ketogenic diet is to encourage the body to get into ketosis and prevent the burning of carbohydrates as an energy source, and instead switch to the burning of ketones. This should happen as soon as you bring your carb levels to roughly 20 grams or less each day.

Many keto diet practitioners suggest up to 30 grams of carbs and some people can remain in ketosis while eating up to 50 grams per day. This upper level of 50 grams permits for a bit more flexibility in the diet as you can then boost the consumption of vegetables, nuts and dairy that may have a little more carbs.

The Beginning

When it comes to carbs for ketosis, one of the easiest methods to restrict carbs at the start of your diet is to go for foods that are very low in carbs.

Foods like red and white meats, fish, eggs, and oils are included on the no-carbs list. A majority of cheeses have low carb levels, with the exception of processed cheeses and the soft kinds.

You can also select from the majority of green and cruciferous vegetables.

However, steer clear of starchy veggies like beans, peas, corn, winter squash and potatoes. You can still have your fruit, though in the form of berries, which contain fewer carbs compared to other fruits in the market. For instance, you can have a half cup of seasonal raspberries for dessert, as it has 5 grams of carbohydrates compared to half an apple, which has around 8 grams of carbs.

For our comprehensive low carb shopping list, go here.

The ketogenic diet might be a bit challenging at first, but with good knowledge about the diet, great recipes, sound advice from your physician and dietitian, you will be able to endure the difficulties and acquire the success you can get from a known diet program.

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Foods for the Ketogenic Diet

Foods for the Ketogenic Diet

The chief aim of the ketogenic diet is for the body to reach a state known as ketosis. This is from where the diet gets its name, and ketosis is a state in which the body makes use of fat rather than glucose for fuel. This can be achieved by adjusting your diet so that a larger number of calories originate from fat.

Looking for a list of keto approved food and want to know exactly what you should be eating on a ketogenic diet, then your first call is to check out our:

⇒ Ketogenic Diet Checklist

This infographic shows exactly what and how much you should be eating.

Having made the decision that keto is for you and need to go shopping for your new way of life? Then you definitely want to have a look at our:

⇒ Shopping List

I know it is tough when you start to think of how to replace your old favorite unhealthy foods with healthy alternatives. If you don’t know where to start, then these swaps will give you many delicious alternatives to your old favorite foods.

⇒ Keto Approved Swaps

When you look for keto approved foods, fat and protein will comprise the majority of your food.

The first thing when you make the change to a low carb high fat diet, is to make sure that you eat enough fat. This may sound easier than it actually is, as we have been told for so long that fat makes you fat.

Foods high in fat for the keto diet

Right now there are so much research being done and so many books that show that we need to eat good fat to lose fat. One of my favorite books is from Dr Hyman. If you want to know more about Dr Hyman or his insights into why we need to eat fat, click on the image…

Now that we know that we have to eat fat to be healthy and to lose weight, the next question is what fats should I eat.

Fat options on the healthier side include grass fed butter, olive oil, coconut oil, fat from meat and heavy cream. Saturated fat is not the enemy, but beware all trans fat. Cheese, nut butters and nuts also include good levels of healthy fats. Enjoy…

I start my day with coffee and either butter or coconut oil or both. When I do this I start my day with good fat and not with traditional high carb breakfasts that make me tired and hungry by ten. This is a really good way to include good MCT (medium chain triglyceride) fats into your diet. Generally I mix my own, but if you are looking for an easy way to kick up you coffee a notch, then try this coffee booster.

Protein

Eat fatty red meats, white meats from chicken and turkey with their skin, fish, seafood and eggs. There is also protein in full fat dairy and nuts. Fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna are excellent sources of protein and omega-3 acids as well.

Some Carbs are Crucial

Please don’t cut out all carbs. It may be necessary for small groups of people and is not a problem for a few days at a time. You however do need fiber and vitamins and minerals that you can mostly get from carbs. You also need to manage the PH level of your foods, which can really only be done by eating enough greens.

So eat greens, spinach, lettuce, kale. Eat cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Enjoy other salad vegetables like cucumber, peppers and a some tomatoes.

Cut out on fruit, except for berries and maybe a little lime. Here is my take on fruit while eating keto and a list of everything you should not eat.

Bread, whole grains and vegetables that grow under ground like potatoes should be completely avoided as should sweets like candies, ice cream, cookies, sugary drinks like sodas and fruit juices, cereals, and pastry/bread products that are made with refined flour.

What You Should Eat

This may sound as though a lot of foods are removed from your diet, but because you add back fat into your life. You will find that the food you eat leaves you satiated. No more hunger. 🙂

You need to change your mind set and make a start. You will find that once you know what to eat and how to cook it, that a ketogenic lifestyle is quite easy to follow.

As a start, you can check out a few more of our ketogenic diet recipes.

Conclusion

Throw out everything you used to know about food and what is good for you. Make a decision that you want to be healthy and slim and just go for it.

You will find lots of resources on our site and we are here if you need help. Just comment and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Still not sure where to start, then go to our page Start Here. You will find it on the top of the page.

Specifically looking for Keto approved food, then checking out our Checklist section is a good start.

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Making the Ketogenic Diet More Effective

Making the Ketogenic Diet More Effective

The easiest way to follow your ketogenic diet to the letter is to eat at home, but to make this a lifestyle you’ll need to incorporate it into your every day life.

Eating Out

The keto diet is one of the most popular lifestyle choices and weight-loss programs today and as it becomes more popular it becomes easier to to find keto friendly dishes in most good restaurants.

True most restaurants don’t necessarily advertise low carb or ketogenic meals, but as long as there are meat, fish, and seafood dishes on the menu, you are good to go. Choose one of these proteins and add a serving of non-starchy vegetables or salad and you should be okay.

Meals that are based on eggs are also great options. Most restaurants provide dishes with eggs and bacon. Another great option is the burger minus the bun. These are meat patties with lettuce or cabbage leaves acting as the bun, or you can leave the bun alone and replace the home fries with non-starch vegetables. You can supplement them with eggs, bacon or avocados.

Meanwhile, there are also good options for desserts. You can opt for berries with a serving of double cream.

To Count Calories or Not

Yes and No!

Learn to eat like a thin person. And how is that? Eat until you are no longer hungry and then only eat your next meal when you are hungry again.

Especially when you start a low carb diet, it is essential that you eat until you are full and to steer clear of limiting calories excessively. Typically, a keto diet brings about weight loss without a deliberate restriction of calories.

How is that possible?

When you stop eating excessive carbs, your body can start listening to itself, just like thin people do. It will tell you when to eat and when to stop. This sounds simplistic, but when we overeat for years we can’t hear the signals that we are full anymore.

This change is probably one of the most significant aspects of a keto diet. Once you experience this, you will stop blaming yourself for overeating all these years.

However, you still need to keep an eye on calories. I you eat too much, you will move out of ketosis and the weight loss will stop.

The good thing though is that when you are not constantly hungry it becomes easy to eat the amount of calories your body really needs and not the amount that the sugar and carb addiction prescribe to you.

Additional supplements for the ketogenic diet

I am a little in two minds about supplementation in general, but these two items did wonders for me and may also support you on your weight loss journey.

Caffeine

The first days of the ketogenic diet can be a challenge and the energy you can get from it especially with added butter or MCT oil can really give your days a kick start.

If you don’t drink coffee, you should definitely not start, but personally I needed my coffee when I started my keto diet. But then I may just be that I am a coffee addict. 🙂 In fact I still start my day with a “bulletproof” coffee.

MCT (medium-chain triglycerides)

MCT can offer 14 grams of fat for every tablespoon. Compared to those long-chain triglycerides, which are fats that are mostly widespread in foods, MCTs are a distinctive resource of fat since they get into the bloodstream in a fast and efficient manner, and lets them provide fuel for the muscle and the brain.

Including authentic MCTs in your diet every day can assist you in smoothly transitioning to a ketogenic state, and it will also offer a constant flow of energy. Coconut oil is said to be a great source of MCTs

Get a Plan

Are you someone who like to plan your meals and want to know exactly what you are going to eat before hand. Then maybe look at this 12 week plan and recipes to set yourself up to achieve weight loss success.

Share Your Tips

How do you make your keto diet more effective? What techniques and tactics do you use to stay motivated and committed?

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Straight Facts About the Ketogenic Diet

Straight Facts About the Ketogenic Diet

Every dieter who follows any diet system or weight loss program wants sure, quick results. Who doesn’t want that? Of course, we want to see results right away. The ketogenic diet is a diet that focuses on lower carbs and a higher amount of fat, and it assists the body in losing weight by making the body burn fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. This, in turn, leads the body to a condition called ketosis.

There are differences when it comes to the levels of weight loss on this kind of diet. The length of time for results of this diet will also be based on how much weight the dieter intends to lose. According to studies, though, a person who undergoes the diet might be capable of losing over 12 pounds within 4 weeks.

Weight loss initially can be quite fast, but it depends on reaching a state of ketosis.

Reaching ketosis

The preferred energy resource of the body is glucose, which can be acquired through carbohydrates. When a dieter goes on the keto diet, his or her body experiences hormonal shifts that facilitate the discharge of fat coming from the fat cells. The fats are then taken to the liver wherein they are reduced into ketones, which are employed as fuel.

How long does it take

Reaching ketosis is different for everybody. How long it takes will really depend on how low you get your carbs in those first few days. If you reduce carbs to less than 20 gram per day, it is possible to get into ketosis within a few days.

Many people get into ketosis with 3 to 4 days, but some people can take more than a week.

How do I know

Here are some of the signs that you have reached a state of ketosis. You may experience some, but then again you may experience none of them:

  • You appetite is under control. You really are less hungry than you used to be.
  • Less or no fruit cravings.
  • You are really thirsty.
  • Strong smelling urine.
  • A metal kind of taste in your mouth and foul smelling breath.

You will obviously also feel differently. Your mind may be clearer and you could have more energy.

Help I am still not in Ketosis

If you are sure that you are not in a state of ketosis or you have fallen out of ketosis because of a holiday or you have been traveling and eating low carb was tough. Then just start following the basics again. Less than 20 grams of fat per day, protein per your body weight and lots of healthy fat.

If you feel that you still need a little help, then lots of people do an egg fast. Some people do 3 days and others do 5 days. It is not something I have tried, so I can not vouch for it. If you try it, please leave a comment below to let us know how you found it.

The side effects or “Keto Flu”

A ketogenic diet can be really effective, but the first week or so can actually be quite tough.

Symptoms

Most dieters, but not all experience some of these symptoms. If you are lucky you would hardly have any, but the symptoms can also be relatively severe.

  • Fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Being light headed or dizzy
  • Queasiness
  • Mental fog
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea or constipation

Why does this happen

These are really the result of two things. Firstly, these are really carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms. Our bodies really is addicted to the sugar and starches and when they are no longer available, there is this response. The second is due to an electrolyte imbalance.

How long will it last

Again this depends from person to person. For some people the symptoms last only a few days. For most people who were eating a lot of sugar and junk food, the symptoms may persist a little longer.

What can I do about it

Stay hydrated. It is really very important to drink enough water during this period. There is a good reason why people tend to be thirsty when they are in ketosis. Learn to listen to your body and drink enough at least 8 glasses of water per day.

Add a little more salt into your diet. Specifically sea salt.

I know this may scare you, because you were always told to eat less salt. However when you stop eating processed foods, your general salt intake is substantially reduced.

Add a cup or two of bone broth to your daily diet.

Both of these help to replenish electrolytes.

Supplement with magnesium.

Hang in there, once you are through this period, you will be amazed how much more energy you have, how clear your mind is and how fast you can lose weight when your insulin and blood sugar levels are balanced.

Want it straight

Watch Jason Wittrock from BodyBuilding.com explain the 5 main mistakes people make when they are on a keto diet. You want it straight? Then watch him now…

What’s Next

The ketogenic diet is somewhat intense when you start out and the ketogenic diet’s success will vary. It will be most effective if you fully commit and really follow the guidelines to the letter. Do this and you may be amazed at the results. I really am. 🙂

Off course it is always prudent to consult your healthcare professional, before making major changes like this, especially if you are currently on any medications.

 

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A Quick Guide for Ketogenic Meals

A Quick Guide for Ketogenic Meals

The ketogenic diet concentrates on taking in plenty of fat compared to carbohydrates. By radically reducing the consumption of carbs, the body then turns to using fat for fuel rather than acquiring energy resources from carbohydrates. This leads to ketone production, from where the diet system gets its name.

When beginning a ketogenic diet, acquiring an organized meal plan is important to help you remain in ketosis. This is a strict diet; thus, it is advised that you should always talk to your doctor first before embarking on the diet. Here is our:

Quick Keto Diet Guide

For the best summary of exactly what you should be eating check out our:

Ketogenic Diet Checklist and Infographic

Diet Strategy

Prior to making a particular meal plan, it is crucial to comprehend ketogenic diet strategies so you can make well-versed choices when it comes to selecting food items to include in the plan. Usually a keto diet will include a 3 to 1 ratio of fats to carbs and protein. This means for each 3 grams of fat that you consume, you should only consume 1 gram of combined carbs and protein.

What this means is that roughly 75% of your calories should come from fat and 25% from protein and carbs. Generally only 5% should come from carbs.

 

Ketogenic Diet Food Ratio

 

This diet is very specific to individuals and you need to find what works for you. The secret is to keep your carbs down to less than 20 net grams, but do not cut them out all together.

Keep Carbs Low

The simplest method to stick to a ketogenic diet is to select foods that include little to zero carbs, which basically translates to a diet free from sugars, starches, fruits and dairy products that are high in sugar like flavored yogurts and milk.

Ketogenic Meals

Breakfast

For breakfast, food items like cereals, juices, and bread are not included in the ketogenic diet.

Thus, you need to be resourceful in terms of creating your menus.

Scrambled eggs served with cheese like cream cheese and smoked salmon are wise choices, while omelets cooked in butter or olive oil with a bit of cheese and mushrooms are also appropriate. You can also have mackerel, or sardines with spinach sautéed in butter.

Lunch

For lunch, you can have a sandwich by including protein like tuna or chicken wrapped in lettuce leaves. You can supplement the rolled lettuce and chicken sandwich with a few slices of tomatoes and peppers as well, or try having a green salad topped with cooked salmon or beef.

Dinner

A ketogenic dinner then again means no more than 10 grams of net carbs.

Options for meals include steaks with greens like spinach, or pork chops with a side of greens, or roast chicken with sprouts or broccoli.

Make sure that you have lots of non-starchy vegetables in there to maximize your fiber intake.

If you want more fat in the diet, you can supplement your meal by cooking the protein or veggies with additional olive oil or melt butter over your cooked veggies.

Snacks

When it comes to snacks, good options include berries like raspberries and strawberries with heavy clotted cream.

You can also opt for string cheese, hard cheeses, salmon and mackerel, or olives.

Nuts like walnuts and macadamias are also good. Nuts are wise choices, but all nuts are not created equally when it comes to carbs.

In Summary

Watch the video for a quick summary of what you should and shouldn’t be eating and why…

 

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