So, on keto for a month now, been exercising hard too, approx 30 miles per week on a bike off road, and 10 miles per week extra walking (on top of daily stuff etc) finally starting to feel “me” again, every time I see friends a few weeks/months apart they comment on me looking different each time and many have said my face looks a lot better, so thought I’d share!
So for your first month or so, be restrained but not necessarily strict. If BCAAs help you train and recover, drink them during your training, but don’t guzzle them all day. And if you have any doubts about whether they’re affecting your ketone levels, your test sticks should tell you.
Meanwhile, military researchers are focused on keto diets as well, believing soldiers could operate optimally on fewer, denser meals. Currently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Defense, and NASA are all running ketogenic experiments. NASA believes the diet will be important in manned missions to Mars because it protects against higher levels of radiation in space by increasing the brain’s resilience to stress. Plus, “the energy density of a ketogenic diet is higher, so you have to carry less weight,” says D’Agostino.
Secondly, saturated fat is not shown to be harmful within the context of a low carb diet. It helps improve cholesterol levels, including increasing the amount of HDL (good) cholesterol while decreasing total triglyceride levels. These two factors help lower your risk of heart disease.
First off, you’re in good company. More people—and more athletes—than ever are embracing a very low-carb, high-fat diet and sticking with it for months, or even years, on end. Once they successfully make the switch from using carbohydrates to using fat and ketones for fuel, they find they’re leaner, healthier, and more mentally focused than ever.
Hey Linda, you would still derive benefit from consuming a lower carb/ higher fat diet, but going fully ketogenic before your thyroid issue has been addressed may not be helpful. Here are some great articles that may help:
Mistakes, refinements, pivots, corrections, whatever your want to call them… These changes are the vehicle that takes us from stage to stage of the Ketogenic Hierarchy of Needs. The good news is they are also the vehicle to break through plateaus and reach new performance levels. Changing habits is tough, no doubt about it, but have fun and go for it!
“Keto is not easy to maintain, it’s not a palatable diet,” says Andrea Giancoli, a dietician and nutrition consultant in California. Getting 80-90 percent of your calories from fat—which is what’s generally required for keto—is actually difficult. It involves eating a lot of rich, heavy foods with little variety—think fatty meats and gravy on cauliflower. You’re only allowed 10 to 15 grams of carbohydrates per day, and though many dieters stretch that to more like 20 or 30 grams that’s still only about one banana. A single apple could also get you past that limit depending on its size (though the fiber in an apple means that many dieters don’t count those carbs towards their daily limit) and a couple slices of bread likely fulfill the requirement as well.
Increased Urination: Keto is a natural diuretic, so you’ll find yourself going to the bathroom more than usual. Especially with how much water you are consuming. Acetoacetate (say that 3x fast), a ketone body, is excreted through the urine so this is another cause for more frequent bathroom breaks.
For most normal people, the amounts of fats and protein will be enough to naturally keep you satiated and naturally keep you in a calorie deficit. Though, the average American is not always normal. There’s tons of hormone, endocrine, and deficiency problems that we need to take into account.

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NOTE: The main exception to ketoacidosis is type 1 diabetics – it can happen when insulin levels are severely low which is rare in someone with a normally functioning pancreas. Dangerously high ketone levels result in insulin secretion.
The ketogenic diet essentially uses your body fat as an energy source – so there are obvious weight loss benefits. On keto, your insulin (the fat storing hormone) levels drop greatly which turns your body into a fat burning machine.
Hi Dr. Jockers. Your article is very thorough, thank you. I’ve been moving slowly into the keto diet and so far everything is good except for my stools now float. Is the higher increase in fats to blame? I’m taking digestive enzymes before each meal and I still have my gallbladder.
Finally, consuming at least moderate carbohydrates also enables you to eat enough plant foods and to get enough fiber. Carbs are the primary type of macronutrient found in most plant foods, although exactly how many carbs a plant food has depends on the specific type. Some of the healthiest foods in the world — such as leafy green veggies, cruciferous veggies, artichokes, asparagus, sea veggies, herbs and spices, for example — are actually pretty low in carbohydrates and, therefore, suitable on the ketogenic diet or even on “low-carb days” if you’re carb cycling. Whole foods that are higher in carbs — such as sweet potatoes and other root veggies, beans/legumes, and fruit — are often encouraged on “higher-carb days” when carb cycling, or if you’re very active. A bonus of eating these foods is that they contain plenty of dietary fiber and antioxidants, helping with things like digestion, heart health and more.
Great article Doc! Question: One of the world top experts in high fat low carb diet, Dr Tim Noakes has stated that top level athletes actually perform better on keto, as himself an extreme marathoner , cured his type 2 diabetes by going keto. In the light of what we know today about keto, would you still assert that athletes shouldn’t adopt ketosis as their desired state?
“It’s not so easy to get an adult body into ketosis,” says Teresa Fung, a professor of nutrition at Simmons College. “That’s why the keto diet is used as a treatment of epilepsy in children or infants—because it’s easier.” Kids are growing rapidly, she explains, so their use of food as fuel is different from the way adults use it. Researchers aren’t exactly sure what those differences are, but Fung says it’s so hard to get adults into deep ketosis (which is likely deeper than a dieter’s target) that often nutritionists don’t even attempt it as a therapy. It’s primarily kids who undergo the treatment today.
Anyways just wanted to share a little progress, and maybe help ease concerns for folks starting out and feeling guilty about daily overages or eating fast food. Just stick to the process and it will work in the end friends!
For example, say someone requires 2,000 calories per day and is eating 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. That would come out to 1,500 calories/167 grams of fat, 400 calories/100 grams of protein, and 100 calories/25 grams of carbs. This person would need to make sure they stay at or below 25 grams of carbs each day.
“Keto diets should only be used under clinical supervision and only for brief periods,” Francine Blinten, R.D., a certified clinical nutritionist and public health consultant in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, told Healthline. “They have worked successfully on some cancer patients in conjunction with chemotherapy to shrink tumors and to reduce seizures among people suffering from epilepsy.”
You might be thinking that the ketogenic diet seems very difficult to get started with or restrictive, but remember that a diet consisting of 75 percent fat and 20 percent protein diet may not be necessary for the majority of adults to reap the benefits of this diet.
Back to the restaurant analogy, this is the stage where you make a plan how you are going to get from your house to the restaurant. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Pull up a spreadsheet, notepad, napkin, anything… and make a plan. The most important questions to ask yourself are,
“Plenty of people jump right in, thinking all they have to do is cut carbs and increase fat. All of a sudden, they hit a wall and get ‘keto flu.’ They feel tired, lethargic, and experience headaches,” Wittrock says. “The primary reason they get these symptoms is lack of the three primary electrolytes: sodium, potassium, and magnesium. If you are deficient in any of these, you will suffer mentally and physically. This is the single biggest reason people fail on the keto diet.”
High amounts of healthy fats (up to 80 percent of your total calories!), such as olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, palm oil, and some nuts and seeds. Fats are a critical part of every ketogenic recipe because fat is what provides energy and prevents hunger, weakness and fatigue.
This is a classic hypoglycemia response as well. The brain in particular requires lots of energy for normal function. When it receives a signal that you are hypoglycemic, a panic response occurs because of an underlying perception that you are starving to death (even if consciously you know you’re not).
For example, clinical improvement was observed in Alzheimer’s patients fed a ketogenic diet, and this was marked by improved mitochondrial function. (10b) In fact, a European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study pointed to emerging data that suggested the therapeutic use of ketogenic diets for multiple neurological disorders beyond epilepsy and Alzheimer’s, including headaches, neurotrauma, Parkinson’s disease, sleep disorders, brain cancer, autism and multiple sclerosis. (11)
If you lift four times or more per week, you might find you require more protein on the ketogenic diet. While the standard ketogenic diet typically limits protein intake to 20% of total calories, the high protein ketogenic diet (HPKD) requires 35% of total calories come from protein.
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