Achieving ketosis is a pretty straightforward, but it can seem complicated and confusing with all of the information out there. Here’s the bottom line on what you need to do, ordered in levels of importance:
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, which have shown to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. They’re also a great source of vitamin C and potassium so they can typically help with electrolyte issues.
Jump up ^ Allen BG, Bhatia SK, Anderson CM, et al. Ketogenic diets as an adjuvant cancer therapy: History and potential mechanism. Redox Biol. 2014 Aug 7;2C:963–70. doi:10.1016/j.redox.2014.08.002. PMID 25460731
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Kossoff EH, Zupec-Kania BA, Rho JM. Ketogenic diets: an update for child neurologists. J Child Neurol. 2009 Aug;24(8):979–88. doi:10.1177/0883073809337162. PMID 19535814
XCT oil (also available in the UK) is a product developed by Bulletproof and it’s a blend of two MCTs: C8 and C10. Compared to Brain Octane Oil, which costs twice as much as XCT oil, it’s an affordable product and it’s good to start with if you are planning to use MCTs as a supplement.
Typically, anywhere between 20-30g of net carbs is recommended for everyday dieting – but the lower you keep your carbohydrate intake and glucose levels, the better the overall results will be. If you’re doing keto for weight loss, it’s a good idea to keep track of both your total carbs and net carbs.
Water, water, and then some more water. You don’t get to eat lunch and you don’t get to eat breakfast. So make sure you keep yourself VERY hydrated. It’s imperative here that you do a good job with your hydration. Remember – I recommend 4 liters a day.
A ketogenic diet lowers your carb intake. In turn, your glucose levels lower, so your body can’t convert it to energy. This sends your body into a state known as ketosis, the basis of a ketogenic diet.
Jump up ^ Bergqvist AGC. Indications and Contraindications of the Ketogenic diet. In: Stafstrom CE, Rho JM, editors. Epilepsy and the ketogenic diet. Totowa: Humana Press; 2004. p. 53–61. ISBN 1-58829-295-9.
This standard ketogenic diet is one of the most researched versions of the keto diet and is what we’re referring to throughout this article (although, the same principles we’ve discussed apply to most of the other forms).
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.
Last, but certainly not least, is sticking to the diet! Ketosis is a process that happens in your body. You can’t just have “that one” cheat meal. If you do, it can hamper progress for up to a week before your body is back in ketosis and normally functioning again.
I’m not here to sell you on nutritional ketosis or explain what it is or the big-picture benefits it can provide. That’s the domain of other articles. With the help of Myoplex athlete and longtime keto-adapted athlete Jason Wittrock, I’m here to provide you with your best induction experience.
^ Jump up to: a b Martinez CC, Pyzik PL, Kossoff EH. Discontinuing the ketogenic diet in seizure-free children: recurrence and risk factors. Epilepsia. 2007 Jan;48(1):187–90. doi:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2006.00911.x. PMID 17241227
Are you unhappy with a few things (or maybe several) and feel like you are just surviving? It’s also because of your daily routine. This is the great news though because it means while we may be the problem, we are also the solution.
Jump up ^ Muzykewicz DA, Lyczkowski DA, Memon N, Conant KD, Pfeifer HH, Thiele EA. Efficacy, safety, and tolerability of the low glycemic index treatment in pediatric epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2009 May;50(5):1118–26. doi:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01959.x. PMID 19220406
Like I said already, during the initial adaptation phase of a ketogenic diet, there is potential for the HPA axis to become dysregulated. During this time, it would be advantageous to take precautions to support the HPA axis as best as you can.
Note: If the vegetable you’re looking for is not listed, it’s most likely too high carb and shouldn’t be consumed on a ketogenic diet. Double check by comparing the vegetable with a credited nutritional database to see if it fits in with your daily macros >
I’ve gained 20 lbs since my boyfriend and I have been together. I’m accountable for my own actions, but when it was just me living alone, I wasn’t making home cooked meals every night, like I do for him (just saying). I’ve been asked to be in 2 weddings so I finally had to do something about my weight because of those lifetime pictures and the embarrassment of dress shopping. I’m now 27 lbs down and still going! I’m still cooking every night, but I’m not adding in tortillas, beans, and rice like I used to with every meal. I feel great and just looking at progress pictures keeps me motivated.
Contrary to popular opinion eating ‘low carb’ does not limit your lifestyle! Get rid of the ideas that all you can eat is broiled chicken and lettuce leaves, that you can’t go out to lunch with your co-workers and that restaurant delivery service is a thing of the past.
There are a lot of misconceptions about low carb dieting which has caused an infamous outlook on keto. There have been tons of studies published over the last 30 years that show how high amounts of fat and few carbs are beneficial.
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.
Although a standard ketogenic diet is even more restrictive in terms of carb intake, a “moderate keto diet” is another option that will very likely still be able to provide substantial weight loss results and other improvements in symptoms. Including slightly more carbs can be very useful for maintenance, allow for more flexibility, provide a higher fiber intake, and overall may feel more sustainable long term socially and psychologically.
Jump up ^ Wang D, Pascual JM, De Vivo D. Glucose Transporter Type 1 Deficiency Syndrome. In: Adam MP, Ardinger HH, Pagon RA, Wallace SE, Bean LJH, Stephens K, Amemiya A, editors. GeneReviews. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2018. 2002 Jul 30 [updated 2018 Mar 1]. PMID 20301603.
The keto flu can often be shortened or avoided completely by taking one of our ketone supplements, which help switch the body into ketosis instantly. They make the transition period much shorter and easier.
Intermittent fasting is using the same reasoning – instead of using the fats we are eating to gain energy, we are using our stored fat. That being said, you might think it’s great – you can just fast and lose more weight. You have to take into account that later on, you will need to eat extra fat in order to keep out of a starvation mode state.
Usually the star of unique dishes, cauliflower can be used for a variety of things. You can use cauliflower for wraps, pizza, casseroles, or even mashed “potatoes.” It’s no surprise that it’s one of the most used and most versatile ingredients in most low-carb kitchen pantries.
Jump up ^ Wang S, Fallah A. Optimal management of seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex: current and emerging options. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2014 Oct 23;10:2021-30. doi:10.2147/NDT.S51789. PMID 25364257
Since carbs are your body’s first choice for energy, the only way to get your body to burn fat for fuel is by getting your body into ketosis. Without stored glucose, your body has no choice but to dip into your fat stores and begin converting those fatty acids to ketones when you need energy (9).
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Those on a ketogenic diet also report experiencing harsher hangovers compared to when they ate a high carb diet. While there aren’t definitive studies proving why this happens, dehydration and an imbalance of electrolytes seem to play a part. Both dehydration and electrolyte imbalance can occur when you drink alcohol and when you’re in ketosis, creating the perfect storm for intense hangovers.
As a precaution, you should always check with your physician if you have any concerns about starting a keto diet. You should especially be wary if you’re currently taking medications for a pre-existing condition as extra monitoring may be needed. Be careful when breastfeeding as you may need to increase carb intake.
An easy way to understand how your hormones work is to picture them as strands of a spider web: You can’t remove one strand without affecting the rest. In other words, when one hormone is out of balance, the rest are negatively impacted — but when the functioning of one hormone is improved, the rest are improved too.
By default, your body generates energy from carbohydrates (glucose), which are stored as glycogen in your muscle tissue and liver (6). You store enough carbs for approximately 24 hours worth of energy (7). Most of us easily replenish our carb stores by eating fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes, so our carb “fuel tanks” rarely get low and we continue burning glucose for energy.
The day before admission to hospital, the proportion of carbohydrate in the diet may be decreased and the patient begins fasting after his or her evening meal. On admission, only calorie- and caffeine-free fluids are allowed until dinner, which consists of “eggnog”[Note 8] restricted to one-third of the typical calories for a meal. The following breakfast and lunch are similar, and on the second day, the “eggnog” dinner is increased to two-thirds of a typical meal’s caloric content. By the third day, dinner contains the full calorie quota and is a standard ketogenic meal (not “eggnog”). After a ketogenic breakfast on the fourth day, the patient is discharged. Where possible, the patient’s current medicines are changed to carbohydrate-free formulations.
Research shows the keto diet may also enhance a patient’s response to chemotherapy. In fact, one study reported an improvement in sleep and emotional functioning in patients undergoing chemo who were also following a keto diet (25).
The only real time where ketosis can give performance loss is in exercises that need an explosive action. If you need a little boost in your performance during these, you can “carb-up” by eating 25-50g of carbs about 30 minutes before you train.
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.
If you’ve been reading about a ketogenic diet for a while and are still feeling overwhelmed, we’ve created a Ketogenic Diet Quickstart Course just for you! The course was designed with a single goal in mind. To take a person from very little understanding of a ketogenic diet, to having a strong understanding of the diet in no time! The course covers all the basics, frequently asked questions, tips and tricks from our extensive experience, as well as our best recipes. Also included is a 14 day meal plan and an action plan for getting you started.
Since this is my full-time job, donations really help me keep afloat and allow me to post as much to the website as I do. While I do really appreciate any donation you want to give, you can enter $0 in the amount given to download it for free! I’ve added in $5 as the suggested price. I think that’s a very fair price considering other websites are charging in the hundreds of dollars and I’ve seen what they are like on the inside.
Our 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge walks you through how to incorporate the Ketogenic Diet into your lifestyle so you no longer have to worry about giving up on diets and gaining back the weight you keep on trying to lose.
Dai X, Stanilka JM, Rowe CA, et al. Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. May 2014.
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.
Typically, people have plenty of glycogen stored in their bodies thanks to carb-heavy diets, which serve as a cushion for metabolizing alcohol. Without this buffer, your body processes alcohol much faster and you’ll feel the effects sooner.
Brain Octane Oil (also available in the UK) from Bulletproof is made with pure C8. It provides a quick source of energy and maximum cognitive benefits. I could tell the difference when I started adding it in my coffee and smoothies, as I experienced an immediate energy boost which can be really helpful if you just started following the ketogenic diet and feel tired (remember, it take 3-4 weeks to get keto-adapted). I don’t use it every day but it helps having some before going to gym or when I need to work and concentrate.
As for branched-chain amino acids, you’ll find smart people who swear that they’re keto-friendly, and others who won’t. One of the BCAAs, valine, can be glucogenic, meaning that it can lead to glucose production and potentially contribute to leaving ketosis behind.1 But does that mean it will happen? Not necessarily, particularly if you’re just an occasional supplement user.
Viscous fiber forms a gel that slows down food’s movement through your digestive tract. This can help decrease hunger and blood sugar spikes, making it beneficial for weight loss and diabetes management (76, 77, 78).