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Ketogenic Diet FAQ

ketodietFAQ

With all the new people finding, switching, and transitioning into a low carb diet, I figured it was about time I put together an FAQ on all the common questions that are asked when someone is starting out. I don’t go too in depth in the answers, but I tried to give a direct answer and then link to a more in depth article on the topic to help you fully understand it.

If you have any other questions you’d like to be added, changed, or are unsure about – please feel free to leave a comment below so I can fully explain, or make changes to the answers on this page.

Best wishes, and to all the new people out there – good luck and happy dieting!

Frequently Asked Questions

Click any of the questions below and it will take you to the answer.

  1. How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis?
  2. Where Can I Find Low Carb Recipes?
  3. How Should I Track My Carb Intake?
  4. Do I Need To Count Calories?
  5. Can I Eat Too Much Fat?
  6. How Much Weight Will I Lose?
  7. How Can I Tell if I Am In Ketosis?
  8. How Does Ketosis Work?
  9. What About Heart Attacks From All This Fat?
  10. What Are Macros and Should I Count Them?
  11. What Foods Can I Eat?
  12. Do You Have a Sample Menu I Can Look At?
  13. I Just Started and Feel Like Crap. What Should I Do?
  14. Constipation, What To Do?
  15. Can I Drink Alcohol On This Diet?
  16. I Stopped Losing Weight. What Can I Do?
  17. I Work Out, Should I Be Worried?
  18. What Supplements Should I Take?
  19. Common Terms and What They Mean

How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis?

A ketogenic diet is not a diet that you can whimfully choose to go on and off of at any point. It takes time for your body to adjust and go into a state known as ketosis. This process? Anywhere from 2 – 7 days, depending on your body type, activity levels, and what you’re eating. The fastest way to get into ketosis is to exercise on an empty stomach, restrict your carbohydrate intake to 20g or less per day, and be vigilant with your water intake.

To improve the rate at which you enter ketosis, there is a method called Fat Fasting. I’ve written an article on Fat Fasting on a Ketogenic Diet and everything involved with it. Make sure that if you use this method, it is only for a few days, otherwise it can bring harm to you.

Where Can I Find Low Carb Recipes?

Everywhere on the internet! There’s recipes on almost every health website nowadays, and a quick Google of what you want will definitely help you out. You can even convert high carb recipes that use sugar or fruits in them to low carb recipes with artificial sweeteners or by getting rid of the fruit.

This website even has tons of recipes you can check out and get ideas from, ranging from breakfast to dinner and even dessert. Check out the Keto Recipes section to get inspired in the kitchen!

How Should I Track My Carb Intake?

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, simply subtract your total fiber intake from your total carb intake. I have written an article on How to Track Carbs on MyFitnessPal.

Others choose to use FatSecret. This is an app I am unfamiliar with, although I do know that you can track your net carbs. The choice is totally up to you and up to your own free will to decide.

Do I Need To Count Calories?

At the end of the day, calories matter. Calories in/calories out is such a simple equation that it will never stand true to any one person. Metabolic disorders, endocrine disorders, and food sensitivities will also play a part in all of this. Your job? Well, to eat properly. Never go too far into a deficit, and never snack on foods that are considered “bad”.

With a ketogenic diet you rarely have to worry about calories because the fats and proteins will fill you up and keep you full for a long period of time. But, if you exercise, you sometimes have to be vigilant. With exercise comes a greater calorie deficit, and you must eat to make up for it.

I’ve written an article on calories and why they should still be considered.

Can I Eat Too Much Fat?

In short, yes, you can eat too much fat. In the above question, I talked about calories and how they’re still important for us. In the end, we still need to be at a caloric deficit for us to lose weight. Eating too much fat will push you over that calorie deficit, and turn it into a calorie surplus. While most people will find it hard to actually overeat on a low carb high fat diet, it is still possible.

You can use the keto calculator to calculate your macros and see how much fats, proteins, and carbs you should be eating a day. Keep in mind when you fill this out, you can edit the values of your protein and carbs (and should, depending on your activity levels). If you have any questions on this, please let me know in the comments.

How Much Weight Will I Lose?

The amount of weight you lose is totally dependent on you. Obviously adding exercise to your regimen will speed up your weight loss. Cutting out things that are common “stall” causers is also a good thing. Artificial sweeteners, dairy, wheat products and by products (wheat gluten, wheat flours, and anything with an identifiable wheat product in it).

Water weight loss is common when you first start a low carb diet. Ketosis has a diuretic effect to it that can cause many pounds of weight loss in only a few days. While I hate being the bearer of bad news, this isn’t fat. But on a side (and more positive) note, that shows that your body is starting to adjust itself into a fat burning machine!

There’s a huge list of keto-friendly recipes for you to choose from, go check them out!

How Can I Tell if I Am In Ketosis?

The most common way is to use Ketostix. They can be picked up at your local pharmacy usually. Keep in mind, though, that they’re incredibly inaccurate. Normally, they will give you an idea as to if you’re in ketosis or not. Any pink or purple on the stick shows that ketones are being produced in your body. Darker colors usually mean that you’re dehydrated and the ketone levels are more concentrated in your urine.

Ketostix measure the amount of acetone in your urine, which are mostly unused ketones. The ketone that is used by your body and brain for energy is called Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and is not measured by Ketostix.

For a more reliable and accurate way to measure your ketone levels, you must use a blood ketone meter. These will show you the proper amount of ketones in your blood, and aren’t as easily changed through hydration (or lack thereof).

If you have a blood ketone meter, this is what the readings mean:

  • Light Ketosis: 0.5 mmol/L – 0.8 mmol/L
  • Medium Ketosis: 0.9 mmol/L – 1.4 mmol/L
  • Deep Ketosis (best for weight loss): 1.5 mmol/L – 3.0 mmol/L

How Does Ketosis Work?

In a nutshell, ketosis is a state that our body enters when we don’t eat carbohydrates. It’s a way for our body to use fats (body fats included) as the primary energy we need. It’s not only healthy for us, it’s actually more efficient for our brains to use.

How do we get that energy from the fats? Well that “ketosis” state we are in allows our liver to break fats down into molecules called ketones. Those ketones provide the energy we need.

How does that all fall into weight loss? Through calorie deficit, we aren’t actually eating enough energy for our body to live, so we have to dig into our own fat stores to get the energy we need.

I’ve written a much more in depth article about Ketones, Ketosis and How It All Works that you can check out if you’re interested in the science behind it all.

What About Heart Attacks From All This Fat?

The main three fat groups we eat are saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats. The general consensus used to be that saturated fats were terrible for us and there was a clear link between saturated fats and heart disease. In recent years, though, saturated fats have shown to not only NOT cause heart attacks, but improve cholesterol levels. You can eat them without worry.

Polyunsaturated fats are a bit more tricky. There are 2 sides of the story here. Processed polyunsaturated fats (like margarine spreads and vegetable oils) are terrible for us, and usually include trans fats. They DO have a causation effect with heart disease and should be avoided. However, there are naturally occurring polyunsaturated fats in foods like fish, which are great for us and will improve cholesterol. It’s your job to seek out the healthy fats and eliminate the unhealthy fats.

Last but not least, there’s monounsaturated fats. These are pretty known to be “healthy” and are generally accepted as so. Olive oil is a pirmary example of something that is more proportionately a monounsaturated fat – being healthy for us and lowering our cholesterol.

I’ve written a more in depth look at Cholesterol and Fats on Keto that you can read at your own leisure.

What Are Macros and Should I Count Them?

Macros is a condensed term for the word macronutrients. The “big 3″ macronutrients are fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. As mentioned before, calories still matter – and it’s best you track all of them at the beginning. This not only gets you in a good habit, but also allows you to see how you are doing. You’d be surprised at how much we lie to ourselves, and how many unknown carbs can creep into our diet.

Tracking your macros also helps you if you come to a stall in your weight loss. You can pinpoint and nitpick at things in your diet that could well be causing this. When you track your macros, make sure you think in terms of GRAMS. Don’t think in terms of percentages. I see tons of new people thinking “well I did 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fat – perfect” but that isn’t the case. Grams give a much more accurate description of what you’re eating, so use those!

Keep in mind that if you’re off on your macros by a bit, it’s not a huge deal. You have wiggle room to go up or down by 10-15g of fats and proteins, in most cases. If some days you go over, and some days you’re under, don’t freak out. As long as you’re keeping your calories in check and they’re not too far in a deficit, you’re fine!

I’ve written a more in depth article on What Macronutrients Are and why they are important to us.

What Foods Can I Eat?

It’s a very common question to ask what you can eat. The main thing is to stay away from carbs. In a nutshell, that’s sugars, breads, pastas, and rice. It might sound so simple when you look at it that way, but it’s not all that simple. Potato chips, tomato sauce, and even salad dressings can have carbs in them.

Even vegetables have carbs in them, but they are a necessary part of our diet, and that’s why we are allowed up to 30g of carbs a day – wiggle room, if you will, for some small amounts of residual carbohydrates from foods we need.

I’ve put together a small list of keto-friendly foods to get you started on building a shopping list and getting healthier!

Do You Have a Sample Menu I Can Look At?

This is a very hard question to answer. For every single person, their dietary menus will change. The amount of calories, fats, proteins, and carbs change per person and one menu wouldn’t be able to accompany or satisfy them. I have, however, put together a 7 day meal plan that is based off of my own macros.

You can view the 30 Day Keto Diet Plan to get an idea of what I eat on a regular basis, and how it all plays into calculating your macros. What your job here is, is to make it fit into your own macros. That means adjusting the portion sizes to make the calories higher or lower. Adjusting fat content (taking away cheese, adding cheese), adjusting protein values (mine is pretty high, so most of you will need to take away), and only adjusting the carb count slightly.

I think the carb count is quite good in the meal plan, but you could do with adding some vegetables if you don’t take a multivitamin, though.

I Just Started and Feel Like Crap. What Should I Do?

A very common happening when people start a ketogenic diet is getting headaches and “brain fogginess”. Since ketosis has a diuretic effect on our bodies, we end up peeing a lot more than usual. Factor that in with our bodies burning up the lasting glycogen stores, and you have yourself a big disaster on your hands. You’re peeing out electrolytes and you need to replace them.

Stay hydrated and eat salt. Broth, salty foods like bacon and deli meat, or salted nuts. These are good things to eat and drink while you’re transitioning into ketosis, and are good things to help keep you sane and functional.

I’ve written a more in depth article on the beginning symptoms of keto flu.

Constipation, What To Do?

It’s fairy common for people starting out on keto to have irregular bowel movements. Below is a list of common advice given to people for constipation or bowel movement problems.

  • Take a Magnesium Supplement
  • Drink Plenty of Water
  • Eat One Tbsp. of Coconut Oil
  • Stop Eating Nuts (if you do)
  • Eat More Fibrous Vegetables
  • Try Eating Chia Seeds or Flax Seeds
  • Try Coffee or Tea

Can I Drink Alcohol On This Diet?

Alcohol can be consumed while on keto, but you must be wary. Those hidden carbs can creep in again.

The main takeaway point is to go after liquor. Wine, beer, and cocktails all have carbohydrates in them. Clear liquor is your best bet, but make sure you are steering clear of flavored liquors, as they can hold carbs in them.

I’ve written an article on keto and alcohol so you can get a more in depth idea on what’s going on and what you can drink.

I Stopped Losing Weight. What Can I Do?

Weight loss plateaus happen to everyone at least once. There’s a number of things that could be the problem but I will keep this one short. You can try a different number of methods that may help you out – ranging from cutting certain foods out of your diet to changing your eating patterns through intermittent fasting or fat fasting.

Here’s a list of common suggestions that are normally advised to people that aren’t losing weight:

  • Cut Out Dairy
  • Up Your Fat Intake
  • Decrease Your Carb Intake
  • Stop Eating Nuts
  • Stop Eating Gluten
  • Cut Out Artificial Sweeteners
  • Look for Hidden Carbs
  • Begin Cutting Processed Food from Diet
  • Switch to Measuring Instead of Weighing

I’ve written an article, where you can read more about weight loss plateaus and how to break through them.

I Work Out, Should I Be Worried?

There’s 2 types of people that work out. People who run and people who lift weights. If you’re someone who does a lot of cardio – running, biking, marathons, or the like, then you don’t need to worry. Studies show that aerobic training (endurance training) isn’t effected by low carbohydrate diets. There’s a more in depth article on training on a ketogenic diet that I wrote.

Now, the story changes if you lift weights. You have to know your end goal here. As a short answer, carbohydrates do help your performance and also help with recovery of muscles. That means faster gains, and better strength performance in your training sessions. There’s two routes you can take here – TKD and CKD.

TKD is a targeted ketogenic diet, where you’re intaking just enough carbs before your workout to knock you out of ketosis for the duration of your workout. How it works is that you supply a glycogen source to your muscle to use, and then once it is used up after you finish your workout you will resume a ketotic state. You can read more on the targeted ketogenic diet in the article I wrote.

CKD is a cyclical ketogenic diet, and is also known as a more advanced technique. This shouldn’t be used if you’re new to keto, or new to training. It’s more for bodybuilding and competitors that are wanting to stay on a ketogenic diet while still building muscle in their intense workouts. In this method, you stay on a regular ketogenic diet for a period of time (usually 5 days) and then do what is known as a carb-up for a period of time (usually 2 days, or the weekend). In a CKD, you are essentially replenishing all of your glycogen stores for all the training you’ll do for the rest of the week, and your goal is to deplete that glycogen. You can read more on a cyclical ketogenic diet in the article I wrote.

What Supplements Should I Take?

Sometimes it’s common for people to get cramps or just not feel “right” after starting a ketogenic diet. Some supplements that are commonly suggested for people include:

Always check with your doctor before introducing vitamins into your diet.

Common Terms and What They Mean

  • AS: This means Artificial Sweetener. Normally used to sweeten our foods with a reduced or zero carb count.
  • BPC: This is known as Bulletproof Coffee. It’s normally butter, oil, and coffee mixed together with an emulsion blender to help up your fat content and give you a “full” feeling for the morning. Here is a common recipe for bulletproof coffee and the health benefits behind it.
  • Fat Bomb: These are generally packed full of oils and fats to up our fat content for the day. Some people have trouble keeping up with their fat content so they make a fat bomb to help them out. They don’t HAVE to be sweet – you can make them to your own liking and even make a salty version too. Here is a common fat bomb recipe for you to use.
  • HWC: This stands for Heavy Whipping Cream. Just ordinary cream that, for a lot of us, is a daily staple in our coffee and diet.
  • IR: This relates to insulin resistance. This is where the body’s cells cannot properly respond to the insulin hormone.
  • LCHF: Low Carb High Fat, the whole point of this diet!
  • MCT: Medium Chain Triglyceride. These help boost your metabolism and are quite unique. When they are metabolized, they’re turned into ketones straight away.
  • SF: This means Sugar Free. There’s a range of sugar free foods that a lot of people consume, normally containing artificial sweeteners.
  • WOE: Way of Eating. This is just a term used to reference their own diet.

shoppinglowcarb

Cuisinart CSB-75 Smart Stick 2-Speed 200-Watt Immersion Hand Blender
Spectrum Expeller Pressed Organic Coconut Oil
Sunbeam 76893.05 Kitchen Bake 5-Piece Bakeware Set

There are 76 comments

Add yours
  1. lynn cooper

    I am new and went through your FAQs which I found very helpful. I signed on to My Fitness Pal but the version I got only counts calories andnothing else. Is there another site you can recommend?

    • Craig

      Lynn,

      Thanks for the positive feedback! If you check the question on counting your macros, there is a link to an article I wrote on how to setup your macros in MFP. You have to set it up on your desktop computer first, then it will transition over to your mobile app. You should have no problem with the mobile app, but if you do think it’s too hard to use – you can try FatSecret. I personally haven’t tried it, but I see it being used as the second choice to keto-ers. Best of luck and let me know if you have any more questions!

  2. Lauren

    Craig, this website is fantastic. I wouldn’t have made any attempt to do keto without your information. It’s very thorough, thank you. However, I don’t understand the math part of it. By that I mean, I used the keto calculator and my macros came out to: Calories: 1498. Carbs : 20 g, 5%, Proteins: 83 g, 22%, Fats: 120 g, 72%
    So I have been using your Seven Day Meal Plan and trying to adapt it (thank you again) but I don’t understand how to figure how to portion out my calories into 5%, 22%, and 72%. Another thing, with each meal that I eat do I need to stay at those percentages to keep it balanced at every meal? Or at the end of the day does it just need to jive with my keto calculator numbers? I’m so confused by the math. How do I figure what percentage of fat I’ve eaten if the lunch or portion had 75 g of fat in it? Sorry for all my confusion, but I want to understand it and move forward. Thanks

    • Craig

      Lauren,

      Thanks for visiting, love hearing feedback from people! First let me say that the “end of day” macros should be like that. Keep in mind you have a bit of wiggle room either way – towards proteins, fats, and a few extra carbs. You should just have -about- an average of those macros.

      So, each meal doesn’t need to be exactly those percentages. One meal can be almost all fat, while another higher in protein. If you’re following the 7 Day Plan (I need to write another soon, with more updated recipes!), then you can just portion out servings that come close to what you need. If you need more fats, add some butter/ranch/sauce that’s high in fat. If you need more protein, add some kind of meat that will bring you up to level. As for carbs, well you shouldn’t “need” to add any carbs.

      Hope that answers your questions, but if not feel free to leave another comment :) All the best!

  3. Tameka Foster

    Do we eat 20g or 30g of carbs. You stated 20, but then said 30 when talking about veggies. Thank you so much in advance! ! This was very useful information.

    • Craig

      Tameka,

      Generally it’s recommended to eat 20g in the beginning to get yourself into ketosis faster. But once you’re in ketosis, you have a tad more leeway. The “rule of thumb” is to eat around 20-30g of carbs per day, so it’s really up to you. Personally, I eat around 20g a day :) Thanks for reading!

  4. Simon

    Hi Craig and thanks for all of your guidance. It’s very much appreciated. My question is, When in a state of ketosis, do energy levels rise back up to normal (normal being that which your muscles are full of glycogen) or will the lethargic feeling that I’m experiencing now, continue? I’m 5 days in. Thanks

    • Craig

      Simon,

      Are you talking about in general or in exercise? Both, in general and in exercise, will improve. Make sure you’re replenishing your electrolytes by eating salt and drinking it if you need it. Are you doing strength training? It so, then you might notice a slight decrease in performance once your body becomes keto adapted.

  5. Ebony

    Awesome info and site. Very informative for us newbies just starting out by far the best put together keto site so far I come across in my research.

  6. Ss

    I also find the calculation of things an absolute nightmare.
    So I have to have 20 g of carb – I don’t even know what that looks like. It seems next to nothing – then 94g of protein – does that mean any protein which weighs 94g? Like cheese or chicken or egg? Then 142g of fat – how on earth do you count that in butter on your veg or olive oil frying your egg or coconut oil over your broccoli? Some good photos of what these abstract measurements actually look like would be truly useful.

    I’m really inspired to try this as I have a lot of weight to lose BUT I’m too confused by it all!!!!

    • Craig

      Stella,
      Normally what I suggest to people on this calculator is to do 20% calorie deficit and 0.6g protein per lean body pound ratio.

      The fats just come with the job – coconut oil, butter, olive oil, salad dressings, etc. Trust me, it adds up quickly (and easily). You can measure tablespoons or oils and butter easily (markings on packages, tablespoon measurement spoons, etc).

      Try reading a couple of other articles around the site – should help out a lot.

      All the best!

  7. Katie

    This information is so helpful! I have epilepsy and have been on medication for a few years. My meds have stopped working and I don’t want to put up with the nasty side effects of medication anymore. I have heard this diet works wonders for seizures. I can’t wait to give it a try and see if there is a difference!

  8. Mary Fox

    Hi Craig,
    I soo appreciate your help and support. Thank you! I have been reading thru your recipes and I am wondering about the “Low Carb Pita Bread” on the Mini Pizzas and some of the other things with low carb catsup, etc.. I thought we were suppose to stay away from grains and those kinds of items like bread.
    Also, is Splenda really that good for us> What about Stevia? I heard that was better to use?
    Thanks for your help…I know I feel like I am slow at all of this
    mary

    • Craig

      Mary,

      Thanks! A ketogenic diet doesn’t always avoid grains and gluten, but many choose to do it. Though some of these recipes you’re talking about are my oldest on the site. All of the newer ones (for the most part) are gluten and grain free. Splenda is something you have to decide on yourself. It’s chemically made, rather than natural (like Stevia), but I will still use it sometimes when I must. Most of the recipes nowadays use erythritol and stevia, which both have a glycemic impact of 0 and are both natural.

    • Craig

      Sunny,

      Keto isn’t exactly high protein – it’s moderate protein. But as long as you are drinking adequate amounts of water, then there is nothing to worry about.

  9. Osama

    Hi Craig
    Thank you for the wonderful FB page
    Please see my questions
    How frequent should i measure my blood ketones a day, how many time?

    When is the best time to measure( fasting, before meal, after meal or night time)?
    How would i know if my ketones numbers ( used to be between 1.0 to 2.8) are from body fat burning not from the Fat i consume in the meal, i am asking this cause i discover the mu numbers goes up after 2 hrs of lunch for example ( cooked with butter or coconut oil) and for more than a 2 months with good numbers in the blood meters but not a single pound lost

    Thank you

    • Craig

      Hey,

      You only need to test every so often (once every few days really), because the strips are really expensive. The numbers you want are listed inside the article, so I would suggest going back and reading for them. Best time to take measurement in a little while after eating.

      If you’re not losing weight and you’re in ketosis, it could be a number of things. Are you overeating on calories? Are you eating a lot of dairy? Check out the other articles on the site (weight loss plateaus) and it should help you out!

  10. Marianne Spiegel

    Craig,

    This is such a great resource, thank you!!!

    I am only on my third day, but I believe this to be very do-able and am excited to continue. Have experienced some headaches, so thank you for the forewarning as I would have been concerned otherwise. Now I’ll just wait til they go away.

    Here is my questions: On your webpage it has 1/2 cup Broccoli and 1/2 cup Cauliflower listed about 1.7 g of carbs. On the myfitnesspal site, it states 10 g of carbs for the same amount of Broccoli & Cauliflower. This is a pretty significant difference. I would like to know what is accurate as this will be one of my staples.

    Again, Great site, Thanks

    • Craig

      Marianne, glad to hear! If you keep your salt intake up your headaches should go away. As for the cauliflower and broccoli, this refers to the florets, not the stem included. The florets are mostly the leafy parts of the broccoli and cauliflower, so they have less carbs :)

  11. margaret

    hi craig, im new to this diet, only one week in but seem to be managing it well so far ! i always had what i would call quite a good diet, i kept my carbs low but did eat a lot of fruit and veg ..and sometimes a lot of cookies and chocolate!! which was why i was never losing weight. i feel great on the keto diet but its still early days. there is one thing im missing though and thats eating apples… i really love them ..can i have one on this diet or would that set me back?

    • Craig

      Margaret,

      Sorry to say but apples will set you back. It’s best to avoid fruit on this diet, especially in the early days. Maybe 1 month in, you can eat some berries (they are relatively low in carbs), but apples are not really great. Glad to hear you’re enjoying it so far!

      • margaret

        Thanks Craig, i kinda figured that..no biggy though, Im managing fine on just a small amount of raspberries and a few strawberries each day especially if I have a small amount of thick double cream with them ! mmmmm and this is a diet!!! it doesn,t feel like it and Im not missing the chocolate or cookies at all ! Thanks again Craig. ps your web site is a god send, couldn.t manage this without it x Margaret

        • Craig

          Thanks Margaret! Since it’s early days for you in the diet, I would suggest cutting all fruit out of your intake for at least 3-4 weeks, though. It will help you become fat adapted quicker.

  12. Mollee

    Craig, LOVING what I’m reading as I’m very interested in adopting a keto lifestyle. Thanks for all the helpful (FREE!) info. I will definitely be referring my friends and family to you. Couple of questions:

    1. I haven’t received the seven day keto plan via email, and it did not go to my spam folder. I added your email address like you said to do. Wondering if I just need to wait longer? It’s been about an hour since I confirmed my email and read the response that said the plan would be sent in “about 1-2 minutes.”

    2. I am currently nursing an 11 month old baby and wonder how and/or when I need to begin this plan so baby gets all she needs while at the same time I lose the rest of my weight (Beginning: 219 lbs. Current: 164 lbs @ 37% body fat. Goal: 135-145 lbs). I read the FACTS link and didn’t see anything about breastfeeding moms. Would love any links or helpful info you have on success/safety of keto eating while bfing. I would like to begin right away, but if it will hinder milk supply or my weight loss will not take place until I wean the baby, I can wait. Any tips?

    • Craig

      Mollee,

      First, thanks for the awesome words!

      1. Check your “promotions tab” in gmail. If you still haven’t received it, try signing up again. If not, send me an e-mail and I’ll send it to you personally.

      2. For babies, there’s not so many studies I’ve come across that haven’t been for “normal” developing children (without some type of disorder/disease) that I’ve come across. But, if you think back to the time of hunter gatherers, you’ll know that they were on a very similar diet and had no problems (obviously). But, my best suggestion would be to keep away from processed foods as you’re nursing. Stay with real food could be quite important with developing children. I’ve read many cases of people raising their kids from conception to years in without problems, but they are only 1 person and not a true scientific study. So I can’t truly give you advice on this matter, it’s more of a personal decision.

  13. Lynda

    Hi Craig – DJ Foodie was right – you are an awesome resource! I love having so many low carb recipes available and I am really enjoying your recipes. Sometimes life intervenes and I don’t get to take my lunch to work or cook dinner. I try to avoid most carbs in these occasions by ordering salads or an omelet with meat and cheese. My first week I felt awful and was quite dizzy. This is my second week and I have had a few dizzy spells but not like last week. I am finding that my arms and shoulders hurt and are weak – I don’t work out, so it isn’t related to that healthy habit. Washing my hair is a challange in the shower because it hurts to raise my arms and keep them up – is that a normal side effect? Should I be concerned? I have been in ketosis since the 3rd day if that matters.

    • Craig

      Hey Lynda, thank you! What I suggest is taking a magnesium supplement and also upping the amount of salt you have. This should help with the dizzy spells and such, and should help with the arm pain. I’ve never heard much about arm pain like that, but it may be from magnesium. You can also drink low/no carb sports drinks instead of upping the salt as these have sodium added to replenish your electrolytes.

      Let me know if you have more questions and I’ll try to help out! Thanks for coming to the site :)

      • Lynda

        Yep, here is another one for you Craig – I have trouble with the bp coffee – makes me sick to my stomach. I foresee this as a problem next week when that is supposed to sustain me thru the day. Suggestions that won’t mess things up? I currently take a magnesium supplement as well as 3000 mg Vit C, 2000 D, B12 and DHEA. I’m a bit of a mess and am trying to get my body and mind in better shape.
        Thanks!
        Lynda

        • Craig

          Lynda, some people just have problems with coconut or MCT oils. Usually I’d suggest to try to work your way up, so I still suggest that. Try to work your way up (smaller portions of fat between 2 hours window in the morning).

  14. Joseph

    Just a quick question, I’m an endomorph 5’9″ 175 getting into keto and I lift heavy weights an average of 5 days a week, though I’m not a competitor. I’m going after a fitness model/bodybuilding physique so I’m not sure whether I should do CKD or TKD. Any thoughts? Also, is it essential to eat 5-6 meals a day like I see most keto people doing? That seems very tedious and stressful. Could I do maybe 2-3 meals a day or intermittent fasting? Thanks a lot for your site, it’s so helpful!!

    • Craig

      Joseph,

      You could easily try to do a standard ketogenic diet to begin with. You’re going to be pretty tired in the gym until you become fully fat adapted (which can take 4-6 weeks in total) but afterward you may not even need CKD or TKD. As for eating 5 meals a day, you don’t need to. You can do 2 large meals a day, 1 large meal a day, or 10 small meals a day. Whichever works best for you :) Thanks!

  15. margaret

    Craig I dont know if you can help me with this but I’ve got that rash that some people get when they have gone into deep ketosis :( .The itching is terrible on my chest and arm pits. Have you ever experienced this and what advice have you got please. I dont want to give up on this diet as I feel great on it and I dont crave the demon sugar anymore, if I go back to my old diet I know I’ll start binging again :( Help !

    • Craig

      Margaret,

      I suggest visiting a doctor to see if you have some allergies to something that you’re eating. I have seen a few other cases of rashes but I don’t think it’s primarily associated with high fat, rather some of the foods you may be consuming.

      • margaret

        Thanks Craig, It may have something to do with lack of vitamins. I went a bit mad lately with my diet, I wasnt eating any carbs hardly at all !, basically just fat and protein. Since then I’ve up’ed my green leafy veg and started on a multi vitamin. Also I think I need to read over all info about keto again and understand the diet and the science behind it a bit better… I realise now this is not something you just throw yourself into willy nilly :/

  16. AndyWear

    Hi craig
    So i know coconut oil is great for keto but what about cocnut milk coconut juice? Or even coconut meat? I love drinking coconut juice and there are tecipes i used in the past that requires coconut juice. Is this ok? Of is there too much sugar? Stupid question…..coconut milk and juice are the same?

    • Craig

      Hey Andy, coconut juice (coconut water) is usually pretty high in carbs. As for the meat, you can normally eat some, but if it’s fresh from the coconut it might also be a bit high in carbs – I go for unsweetened coconut flakes for this purpose.

      As for coconut milk and coconut juice, they aren’t the same. Normally it’s a mixture of the water and meat. You can also get coconut cream which has some carbs but a lot of fat (if you buy the coconut milk in a can, the cream sits at the top).

      Hope that helps!

  17. Kamala

    Hi Craig, thanks for your prolific website on this topic. My concern is congestion / toxicity in the internal organs due to lack of fruit which is naturally cleansing.

    What do you think about a “high carb day” in which mostly fruits are consumed? This will help to activate elimination countering the constipation / congestion that can accompany the ketogenic diet.

    I understand this would take one “out of keto.” but could be followed by a one day fat fast.
    What do you think?

    • Craig

      Kamala,

      There is plenty of micronutrients in the food you eat on a ketogenic diet also. You can sub in organ meats to get a plethora of micronutrients into your system without ever needing fruit. I am not that big of a fan of carb up days, but I do know that there’s plenty that do them. My advice: stick with it, without carbing up. But you’re your own person and you can decide what you think it best.

      • Kamala

        Hi Craig, I actually wasn’t referring to micronutrients but to detoxification. The Keto diet causes constipation. Unexcreted feces can cause auto-toxicity, to the liver and on to the blood stream. Fruit is the most cleansing food. I was just wondering about interrupting the ketosis periodically in the name of “house cleaning.” Fruit is light healthy food. Sounds like you don’t think it has a place at all. Any additional thoughts? Many thanks.

        • Craig

          Kamala,

          Micronutrients can come from vegetables, fresh herbs, and organ meats. More-so than fruit offer. Pro-biotics and fermented foods can help with regulation of the GI cycles and decreasing fiber can also help if you find you’re not regular. I don’t think fruits are exactly needed to get the micronutritents and cleansing properties they offer, as you can find them elsewhere. If you want to cleanse the liver, you can also bring in things like milk thistle, green tea, or acidic foods like lemon and lime in moderation.

    • Craig

      Ryan, you can still maintain on a keto diet. But some people transition over to a paleo diet. Personally, I’ve been maintaining for some time now on keto and enjoy it.

  18. Nana

    How long do we have to keep Keto diet? is it just for those witn high level of over weight or forguys with 4-5 kilos over weight will be fine?

    • Craig

      Nana, there’s so many health benefits to this diet that you could stay on it forever. It’s quite easy to maintain weight on this diet (I have been on it for 5 years). You don’t have to need to lose weight to be on this diet, and there’s quite a number of people that stick to it for the rest of their lives.

  19. Krista

    Hi Craig,

    I’ve been doing this since March 1st and for the first time my ketones are finally in the optimal zone, got 1.5 today. My question is once you are deep into ketosis should you lower your fat grams so you burn stored fat or continue with macros as they are set? I don’t understand how you start to use your stored body fat when you are eating so much fat.

    Thanks, Krista

    • Craig

      Krista,

      If you’re in a caloric deficit, then you shouldn’t need to reduce fat grams (in essence, this is already a reduction of your fat grams). Pretty much what you want is this: Your body becomes fat adapted and is effectively burning fat as a source. You’re giving your body enough fats to burn for energy (from dietary fats) but not enough to fully cover your BMR. Giving your body enough good is important because a large caloric deficit can create some metabolic damage – and that is the opposite of what we want. You just want a slight deficit so that your food covers most of your energy expenditure, but your fat stores are still used to cover the rest. Solid and consistent weight loss takes time.

  20. Alli

    Hi Craig. Just want to thank you for all your great info and resources. Ive been following the lchf diet for about a month and seemed to have lost about 8 pounds. I dont seem to have lost any inches. I just fou.d your website a few days ago and will be starting over tomorrow. Since ive been off sugar this long I think it should be quite simple. My question is though is when you mention eating coconut oil daily do you mean spooned out of the jar? Or is there another way? Seems unflavorful. Besides BPC, how do you get additional dose?

    • Craig

      Hey Alli,

      It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Many people use them in the form of fat bombs (coconut oil, cocoa powder, stevia mixed together and refrigerated or frozen). There’s also cooking applications with it where you can saute vegetables in coconut oil – thai dishes where the flavor works very well. There’s a bunch of different ways :)

  21. stoppoppingtheP

    I just wanted to ask if I took a tablespoonful or two of olive oil a while (maybe 10 minutes) before I ate my meal, would it be absorbed first and make my ketogenic diet able to be a little bit more lax. Because I don’t think I will be able to follow such a diet which has such a narrow food variety. All this oily stuff is already making me nauseous :(

    • Craig

      That depends on a lot of factors, so I can’t say for sure (and it most likely wouldn’t be) absorbed within 10 minutes before eating a meal. I personally think keto has a huge food variety, but you have to be willing to experiment. If you’re feeling nauseous, it could be for others reasons – or just that you are not making balanced meals.

  22. jackie

    I love this woe. It is somewhat of a struggle since I choose not to eat meat. But, I am getting thru with results that make me very happy. However, I am beginning to retain water. I am an avid water drinker….60 – 120 oz a day. Any advise to help with this?

    • Craig

      Jackie, keep an eye on your carb counts. Normally vegetarians need to keep a close eye on their carb intake since they’ll be eating a larger amount of vegetables. That may help with the water retention. Also, make sure you’re getting enough salt in your diet.

  23. Kirsten

    Thank you for the information. I was wondering if it would be benificial or detremental to use Muscle Pharm Shred Matrix while on keto?

  24. Joke

    I just want to ask a question that’s been making me feel I might not be able to sustain this woe. My question is : when I become fully fat adapted ( maybe in 4weeks, as I’m currently on day 14of eating. 15g net carb), can I up my net carb to 30g and can these carb include some veggies and fruits that are discouraged or not allowed on this diet like sweet potatoes and low GI fruits occasionally? I hope you understand my question. I have been on low carb before but not as low as this and I’m used to cheat meal on weekends. I also fast for 24hrs after the cheat day. If I don’t do this I get frustrated and feel deprived which causes my body to react in funny ways. My body doesn’t like too much restriction as I’m a lover of fruits. I can do once in a week or two weeks but I’m thinking I might not be able to do forever not taking fruits.

    • Craig

      You can include some fruits, but you don’t want to over-indulge on them. You can have 1/4 cup every so often (2-3 times a month), but I don’t really suggest having fruit on a daily basis. Even low GI fruit is high GI compared to many other foods that we eat on keto. As for potatoes, these should be avoided completely.

      You can increase carbs slightly, but this is generally for more vegetables if you want it, or to get a few extra treats into your diet if you -need- it. I don’t suggest doing cheat days because this can interrupt your fat adaption. But to be honest, a lot of people go on this diet for health reasons and not only to lose weight. If you’re looking to lose weight, you can do this with many different ways (weight loss is not mutually exclusive to keto). You should understand why people go keto, and understand the health benefits of it – and why you wouldn’t want to/need to include fruits and starchy vegetables in your diet.

      Otherwise, you could look into paleo or primal diets, which would include fruits and starchy vegetables. This might be a better thing for you if you can’t see yourself doing this. Being miserable on a certain WOE is just not a proper way to live.

  25. Lori

    There are so many different “macro calculators”. I was following a couple of different ones because the calories were lower. I had about 1lb. of weight loss over the past couple of months. I’m now using the calculator on this site. I’ve gained weight as I expected due to the increase in my calories. How long should it take me now to get into ketosis?

    • Craig

      It should take 3-5 days to get into ketosis (the beginning stages) and 4-6 weeks to become fat adapted (where you’re using that fat efficiently).

  26. April

    I am in my second week. I am not sure if I am in ketosis yet and trying to find the right balance of macros. I actually ordered a blood ketone meter and should have it tomorrow. My question pertains to the long term.

    After 4-6 weeks and you are fat adapted, do you have a higher carb meal or indulgence once a week (like pizza or dessert) and do you go easily back into ketosis the next day?

    Thanks for your help! Great website!!!

    • Craig

      Well, it would be a little counter-productive to carb load. You would get into keto faster, but you’d also not be in keto for a few days at a time, which will really go against your weight loss goals.

      As for eating higher carb meals, your body can normally withstand them, but it’s not recommended.

      Hope that helps :)

      • April

        I didn’t mean for carb loading. Just in terms of maintaining ketosis as a lifestyle for the long term. Like on a Saturday night (in 4 weeks or more) if I have a couple of slices of pizza or dessert. Just trying to plan beyond the 4-6 weeks so I know what is maintainable for the long term. Basically, do you personally stay in ketosis all the time?

        Thanks again!

        • Craig

          Hey April,

          I understood what you meant. Many people carb load (which is pretty much going off of keto once a week), but I don’t agree with it. I’ve been around keto for 6 years, though I’d say 1 1/2 years of that I went off for a while. Now for the last 2 years I’ve been strictly on keto and don’t bother with carb loading, or “treating myself” (I put that in quotes because I do still eat treats, they’re just keto treats).

          In general, after reading all the studies, science, personal anecdotes, etc. that I found, I just don’t see the need for carbs. Personally, I feel a lot better when I eat this way. Being in ketosis isn’t unhealthy, and it’s definitely something you can do long term. When I hear you say pizza and dessert – I just think “Well, I can do almond flour pizza” or “I have cookies, candies, fat bombs, etc. that I can make”. It’s all about your own attitude and what you want to achieve with keto – if it’s just a short term thing for weight loss, then sure you can go back to eating high carb afterward. If your long-term goals are overall health, then you’ll find ways to get what you want without having to eat grains, carbs, and processed foods.

          To answer your question, yes – I do stay in ketosis all the time. Once I set my mind to it and started experimenting with foods, I just don’t find it hard :)

          • April

            Thank you for your detailed response. That’s really helpful information. When I commit to something, I commit for the long term as well and like to be mentally prepared for the long term.

  27. Victoria

    Hi, Love your site and the recipes. I started the Keto diet three weeks ago. Lost ten pounds the first two weeks. My keto stix is in the small range (slightly pink). Now, I’m at a stand still. I’m doing the same thing, eating the same amounts and have increased my exercise.
    What should I do to get things moving again?
    Also, I bought your first cookbook but my ipad was destroyed. Could you send me another copy?
    Thank you. Awesome recipes!

    Victoria

    • Craig

      Victoria, stick with it and continue doing what you’re doing. It’s common to lose a lot of weight in the beginning (as it’s usually water weight). Make sure that your macros are correct using the keto calculator, that you’re drinking enough water, and that you’re supplementing a multivitamin as needed. Not losing weight for a week or two after the first 1-2 weeks is relatively common, known as the “honeymoon” phase.

      Also, can you send me an e-mail about the ebook? I will look into it from there.


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