Coconut oil coffee probably sounds tasty, especially if you’re a coconut fan. But, you may be nervous to add things like butter, collagen and gelatin to your morning joe. Please don’t be scared. Collagen powder and gelatin are actually very neutral in their flavor profiles. Meanwhile, grass-fed butter adds a creamy richness that makes additional dairy like milk or cream unnecessary.
The main trigger of insulin is carbohydrates. You eat carbs, and they turn into sugar—raising glucose in the blood. That triggers insulin to whisk in and do its job of lowering blood sugar, as seen in the next diagram.
Historically, ketogenic diets have consisted of limiting carbohydrate intake to just 20–30 net grams per day. “Net carbs” is the amount of carbs remaining once dietary fiber is taken into account. Because fiber is indigestible once eaten, most people don’t count grams of fiber toward their daily carb allotment. In other words, total carbs – grams of fiber = net carbs. That’s the carb counts that matter most.
Careful with snacking: One thing you have to keep in mind is that even while eating keto you can suffer from small insulin spikes. Less snacking means less of those giving you a better chance of losing weight.
During HPA axis dysregulation, cortisol can become abnormally high. If it remains high, the body will develop cortisol resistance. To compensate the body begins to secrete higher amounts of adrenaline which can then cause irregular heart rhythms.
Exogenous ketones provide the body with extra ketones for energy. They help you get back into ketosis at any time, instead of having to wait at least a couple days. Exogenous ketones can also be taken in between meals to provide a quick punch of ketones or before a workout for additional energy.
In fact, you want to eat lots of green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables and Brussels sprouts. Create big kale salads with bacon bits and a full-fat dressing. Or sauté beet greens in coconut oil with some bacon, garlic and onion stirred in. These will be dishes packed with potassium, which will quiet food cravings like fat.
Option 3: Spicy guacamole with raw zucchini slices. The foods you choose between meals should still be keto-friendly and may even mimic an upcoming dinner, just in a smaller portion size, says Stefanski. “Since carbs are minimal, it’s important to spend your carbs on high-nutrient foods like vegetables.”
Within the first two weeks of starting keto, some individuals experience adverse effects known as “keto flu.” This is the result of the sudden removal of carbohydrates from the brain and body. These are minor but uncomfortable symptoms that might include:
If you experience frequent muscle cramps while becoming keto-adapted this is likely due to mineral imbalances. As I mentioned before, minerals are crucial for proper nerve impulse conductivity. A muscle cramp is essentially a misconducted impulse brought on by poor hydration and mineral balance.
During this time, you will likely feel dizzy and drowsy due to a general lack of energy. You may feel especially dizzy upon standing due to blood pressure dysregulation and inappropriate cortisol response (HPA axis dysregulation which we’ll talk about shortly).
This is perhaps one of the most well-known ketogenic diet side effects. Keto flu is exactly what it sounds like, the onset of flu-like symptoms that arises shortly after beginning a ketogenic diet. This includes symptoms like fatigue, runny nose, nausea, and headache.
If you come across other recipes you’d like to use, follow the keto diet cheat sheet at the end of this guide or visit the Ultimate Keto Diet Foods List to plan your ketogenic diet meals. Before you go grocery shopping, consider downloading the Perfect Keto Grocery List.
Soft drinks, fruit juices, sweet wines, craft beers, and flavored liquor are filled with way too much sugar and/or carbs to be allowed if you’re serious about keto. Some people will drink diet, or “zero,” soft drinks, but avoid them if you can because the citric acid and aspartame often found in them may derail your trip to ketosis.
Fat With Every Meal: Every meal should have at least one source of healthy fats. Ideally, you want to shoot for 70-80% of calories from fats for any given meal. My top sources are coconut (oil/butter/flakes/milk), grass-fed butter or ghee, olives/olive oil, and avocados.
Increase Meal Frequency: Eating every 3-4 hours will ease the hypoglycemic stress on the body. This will equate to 4-5 small meals throughout the day. As you become adapted, fasting for longer periods of time will become much easier.
Early studies reported high success rates: in one study in 1925, 60% of patients became seizure-free, and another 35% of patients had a 50% reduction in seizure frequency. These studies generally examined a cohort of patients recently treated by the physician (what is known as a retrospective study) and selected patients who had successfully maintained the dietary restrictions. However, these studies are difficult to compare to modern trials. One reason is that these older trials suffered from selection bias, as they excluded patients who were unable to start or maintain the diet and thereby selected from patients who would generate better results. In an attempt to control for this bias, modern study design prefers a prospective cohort (the patients in the study are chosen before therapy begins) in which the results are presented for all patients regardless of whether they started or completed the treatment (known as intent-to-treat analysis).
This week we’re introducing a slight fast. We’re going to get full on fats in the morning and fast all the way until dinner time. Not only are there a myriad of health benefits to this, it’s also easier on our eating schedule (and cooking schedule). I suggest eating (rather, drinking) your breakfast at 7am and then eating dinner at 7pm. Keeping 12 hours between your 2 meals. This will help put your body into a fasted state.
Having high ketone levels (0.5-5.0mmol/L) is not dangerous. Ketosis is a perfectly safe and natural metabolic state, but it is often confused with a highly dangerous metabolic state called ketoacidosis.
The adrenal glands make cortisol, which is triggered by stress. Cortisol increases insulin, which will kick you out of ketosis. When you decrease insulin (as with ketosis), you lower stress and lower cortisol. Therefore, the adrenal glands don’t have to work so hard and will function more healthily.
While getting rid of this extra water is helpful in releasing toxins from the body, you want to make sure you are taking in additional fluids, electrolytes, and minerals to avoid other related side effects.
New to low carb or Keto dieting Dieting? Start with my 3 Day Keto Diet Kickstart, which answers a lot of Keto FAQ Newbie questions! Trying to bust through a plateau or lose those last few stubborn pounds? Try the 5 Day Keto Egg Fast Diet plan for even faster weight loss results!
An individual who wants to stay within 5-10% carbs from total calories would consume between 100 and 200 calories from carbs, which is 25 to 50 grams of carbs per day. Most people consume roughly 30 grams of carbohydrates on the keto diet. Depending upon your activity level, you might be able to consume 80 grams of carbs and remain in ketosis.
Pretty much all of the side effects you’ll hear about happen in those first four weeks—or even in the first 4-5 days—and experienced ketogenic dieters like Wittrock swear that most of them can be chalked up to a single cause: lack of electrolytes.
The Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): Used by athletes seeking a performance boost who are not as interested in fat loss. This is where you eat 20 to 50 grams of net carbs per day. Carb intake usually happens prior to exercise.
A low carb, high fat diet can be intimidating at first, but it is a truly empowering way of life once you get used to it. If there is anything not covered in this post that you still have questions about, feel free to comment below and we will do our best to answer you. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for keto recipes delivered to your inbox on a weekly basis. What could be better?
The biggest shifts in your daily habits will be how you food shop and how you cook, and recipes that are ketogenic need to be followed rather than just low-carb. You will require the healthy fats in order to get into ketosis and have enough energy without the carbs. And you will be considerably more energetic and healthier when cooking your own keto-friendly food rather than buying supposedly keto foods off the shelf. So visit my page on keto recipes as well as keto snacks (including fat bombs!), and get started on a ketogenic meal plan!
Factory-farmed animal products and seafoods, which are lower in nutrients and often worse for the environment than their healthier counterparts; and processed sausages and hot dogs, which, more often than not, have preservatives called nitrates that have been linked to cancer.
Ketosis has been shown to help reduce seizures in people with epilepsy, especially kids. It may also have benefits for people with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, or other degenerative cognitive diseases due to the neuroprotective effects of ketones and, likely, the rich nutrition of a ketogenic diet.
“If you’re using the keto diet for medical nutrition therapy, you definitely need medical oversight to be successful,” says Jadin. “Though anyone considering the keto diet would benefit from partnering with a medical professional, such as a dietitian, who is well-versed in this diet.”
Stop worrying about fat: To lose fat on keto you need to consume healthy fats so you have to get rid of the mental block you have regarding it. You don’t lose weight on keto by feeling hungry all of the time.
If you experience symptoms like fatigue, intense hunger and cravings, light-headedness, or heart palpitations, this may be a sign your blood sugar has dropped too low. Use a blood glucose monitor to track your body’s response to the diet change and make sure your body is adapting properly. If necessary consult your physician for necessary medication changes.
Swasti Tiwari, Shahla Riazi, and Carolyn A. Ecelbarger, “Insulin’s Impact on Renal Sodium Transport and Blood Pressure in Health, Obesity, and Diabetes,” American Journal of Physiology vol. 293, no. 4 (October 2, 2007): 974–984, http://ajprenal.physiology.org/content/293/4/F974.full.
This ratio is a good way to gauge if something is “keto friendly” or not. Of course there are exceptions, like most vegetables, but this ratio works for just about anything that comes in a package. If it isn’t delivering a whole lot of vitamins and minerals and it doesn’t fit this ratio, it’s probably not a part of a solid keto diet!
In terms of weight loss, you may be interested in trying the ketogenic diet because you’ve heard that it can make a big impact right away. And that’s true. “Ketogenic diets will cause you to lose weight within the first week,” says Mattinson. She explains that your body will first use up all of its glycogen stores (the storage form of carbohydrate). With depleted glycogen, you’ll drop water weight. While it can be motivating to see the number on the scale go down (often dramatically), do keep in mind that most of this is water loss initially.
Ketones provide a much more efficient and cleaner fuel source than glucose. Think of ketones as sourcing the energy for an electric car: you get smooth, quiet, and clean energy. On the other hand, running your body on glucose is equivalent to using diesel fuel: the process is dirty with lots of exhaust.
Use Magnesium Supplementation: If you follow these strategies and continue to feel many of these symptoms, consider adding a magnesium supplement to your regimen. I would recommend taking the L-threonate form (such as our Brain Calm Magnesium) in a 1 gram dose – 3x per day between meals.
Sweeteners can be tricky on keto, but they do exist. Stick to low glycemic index sweeteners that won’t affect your blood sugar levels, and avoid sugar alcohols (even low or no-sugar ones). These include maltitol, dextrose or maltodextrin.
I really like this made with matcha green tea in the morning. It took me a few months to grow to like it as much as my morning coffee, but now I look forward to it each morning. I think there are lots of nutrient benefits to matcha green tea, but not the same ones as with the coffee. I guess it depends on what you’re going for. I did make buttered tea a couple times with an herbal tea in the afternoon when I wanted to eat everything in sight. The fat in it totally worked to stop my cravings, but it just doesn’t taste that great with herbal tea. I would only do that when I’m desperate.
For most people this figure should be north of 70% of daily calories. A good way to approach things is to start by keeping carbs low, often under 20g per day. Next you want to make sure you’re hitting your protein goal. Once those 2 are covered you can fill in everything else with fat. The approach we like to recommend is to eat fat until you’re full, once the other 2 macros are met. At first you may be overeating calories, but overtime the low carb, high fat way of eating will auto correct that.
The nutritional landscape is changing. Ketogenic diet and low carb diet groups, as well as similar dietary groups like paleo, are growing and a nutritional revolution is beginning. We are starting to realize the detrimental effects of our relationship with excess sugar and carbs.
A keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup. More specifically low-carb, high-fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL and decrease in LDL particle concentration compared to low-fat diets. Read more on keto and cholesterol >
You should continue to try new recipes every week. You’ll get more familiar with ingredients, your own taste buds and will be surprised by just how good some things are! Soon enough, you’ll be trying to convince your friends and family to try what you’re eating because they’re missing out on how delicious your lifestyle has become!
Perfect Keto products help your protein and fat macros without the carbs most other protein powders contain. You also need supplements to make up for magnesium and sodium deficiency in very low carb diets. Magnesium and sodium are essential if you want to skip keto flu, explained below.
Use Adaptogenic Herbs: Although this strategy is not absolutely necessary, using adaptogenic herbs can tremendously benefit the HPA axis and help build your resiliency to stress. By supporting the HPA axis and helping to regulate cortisol levels, adaptogens may prove very helpful in mitigating HPA axis related side effects.
Feel free to add sweetener and spices to this if you’re not the biggest fan of the taste. Cinnamon, stevia, vanilla extract. Whatever you’d like to make it great tasting. You can even switch up the taste each and every day so you don’t get bored!