The Ketogenic Diet: An Ultimate Guide to Keto


Picture of a ketogenic diet food plan triangle.Over recent years, ketogenic diets have become increasingly popular.

The diet is otherwise known as ‘keto,’ and it’s high in fat and extremely low in carbs.

Generally speaking, low carb diets can have numerous benefits can have numerous benefits.

But there are a few things to be aware of, such as the benefits, best foods to eat, foods to avoid, possible dangers and side effects.

This guide will show you all of these things.

Also, the guide provides sample keto meal plans, snack ideas, and guidance on how to implement the diet in a healthy way.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

Delicious Meal of Steak With a Side Salad In a Bowl.

Ketogenic diets are a way of eating that focus on strictly limiting carbohydrate.

And if implemented well, they can be incredibly beneficial.

By and large, those following a keto plan eat higher amounts of fat, moderate protein, and a very small amount of carbs.


As long as you keep carbs very low, then keto is possible on a range of macronutrient ratios.

However, in my case I’d aim for macros similar to this:

  • Carbohydrate: 5-10%
  • Fat: 60-75%
  • Protein: 20-30%

How do keto diets work?

When you keep carbs very low for an extended period, the body enters nutritional ketosis.

Ketosis refers to a state in which the body starts burning fat for energy rather than carbohydrate.

On a typical high carb diet, the body burns glucose. In contrast, the ketogenic diet encourages the body to start using ketones for fuel.

Ketones are a type of molecule that our liver produces during times of carbohydrate restriction (or overall low food intake).

The human body can use both glucose and ketones for fuel.

How many carbohydrates should I eat?

Respected low carb researchers Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney advise aiming for an upper limit of 50 grams total carbs. Below this number is also widely accepted as a ketogenic diet (1).

Generally speaking, you can eat this amount of carbohydrate and still be in ketosis.

However, everybody is different, and the exact number will depend on the individual – it might be 35g, or it might be 70g.

There are even some people who adopt a zero carb diet; however, for the majority of people, this is far too restrictive.

How can I tell I’m in ketosis?

There are many signs which suggest you might be in ketosis:

  • Rapid weight loss, usually due to a drop in water weight
  • Better feelings of satiety and reduced food cravings
  • Possible short-term side effects such as bad breath and fatigue

If you want to be 100% sure, then you can use a ketone breath analyzer or a urine strip to measure for ketones.

Key Point: A ketogenic diet is a way of eating that restricts carbohydrate, has a moderate amount of protein, and a high-fat content.

Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

Keto wouldn’t be so popular if it didn’t have benefits—and there are many of them.

  • Picture of a Girl Taking Blood Sugar Test With a Glucometer.Blood sugar and insulin levels improve: 

    As ketogenic diets cut out sugar and carbohydrates, blood sugar levels tend to fall. In recent times, many people with diabetes are successfully managing their condition using a keto plan (2).

  • Effortless dieting:

    Have you ever tried a low-fat diet before? If you have, you may remember how difficult it can be to control food cravings.

    However, keto diets encourage satiety due to their higher fat and protein content (3).

  • Massive reductions in triglycerides:

    Triglycerides are one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Carbohydrate restriction leads to lower triglyceride levels (4).

  • Keto helps manage brain-related diseases and illnesses:

    Ketogenic diets can be therapeutic for a variety of brain conditions, whether severe chronic diseases or mild problems.

    Research shows that being in ketosis has potential benefits for brain tumor cases, depression, epilepsy, and migraines (5, 6).

  • A significant increase in HDL levels:

    Lower intake of carbohydrate combined with higher fat consumption tends to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.

    Cardiovascular researchers accept that higher HDL levels are protective against heart disease (7, 8).

  • Picture of a Happy Slim Man Holding a Weight Scale and Smiling.Leads to greater weight loss than other diets:

    In several studies directly comparing low-carb and low-fat diets, diets low in carbohydrate promote more significant weight loss.

    This weight loss is likely due to greater satiety from foods higher in fat and protein (9, 10, 11).

  • May protect against some cancers:

    Some studies suggest that ketogenic diets may help prevent/fight certain cancers.

    At present, clinical trials are ongoing (12, 13, 14).

    Note: This is still very early science and no diet should be considered as an alternative to conventional treatment.

  • Possible benefits for Alzheimer’s disease:

    Further research is necessary, but ketogenic diets may help by supplying the brain with ketones, which it can use for energy.

    Alzheimer’s patients have impaired glucose metabolism, and studies show ketone levels positively correlate with memory performance and cognition (15, 16).

  • Reduction in blood pressure:

    High blood pressure (hypertension) is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

    Conventional advice may over-estimate the impact of salt, and excessive refined carbohydrate intake has a larger effect on blood pressure than sodium.

    Ketogenic diets naturally reduce refined carb consumption, and many following such diets experience a decrease in blood pressure (17, 18).

  • It’s enjoyable, and it’s sustainable:

    And this last one’s pretty obvious. What sounds more appealing to you: low-fat crackers, skim milk, and a fat-trimmed chicken breast? Or steak, cheese, and some dark chocolate?

Key Point: Ketogenic diets have a lot of potential health benefits, but we shouldn’t claim them to be a cure-all solution. Keto is also very sustainable because most of the food tastes delicious.

What Foods Can I Eat on Keto?

The first thing to remember is that despite having a ‘restrictive’ reputation, there are many things that you can eat on keto.

For extra guidance, see this keto shopping list.

Here are some tables showing a list of suitable foods.

Dairy Foods

Milk contains too many sugars in the form of lactose, but aside from that most dairy foods are ideal.

Clotted CreamCottage cheese
CreamCreme cheese
Creme fraicheGhee
QuarkSour cream
Whipped creamYogurt

Eggs, Meat, and Poultry

You can include all meat and poultry in a keto plan– preferably a wide variety of cuts, including bone-in meats.

BaconBeef – all cuts
EggsFermented Meats (prosciutto, salami)
TurkeyVenison and wild game

Fats and Oils

Picture of a Golden Yellow Swirl of Butter.

While any fat is technically suitable for a ketogenic diet, it’s better to avoid industrial vegetable oils.

Here are some healthy fat sources:

Avocado OilButter
Coconut OilExtra Virgin Olive Oil
GheeGoose Fat
LardMacadamia Nut Oil
Red Palm OilTallow


There are countless edible fish and here are some of the commonly available ones.


*Best sources of omega-3  **High in both omega-3 and mercury

Fruit (low sugar)

Picture of Low Sugar Berries: Blackberries, Blueberries, Raspberries and Strawberries.

Since ketogenic diets require carbohydrate intake to be very low, most fruits are unsuitable.

However, there are plenty of low sugar fruits that are perfectly fine in moderation.


There are also many different types of berries which are okay in moderation.


Picture of Various Nuts Including Macadamia, Almonds, Pecans and Walnuts.

Most nuts are great for a ketogenic diet, but cashews, chestnuts, and pistachios are too high in carbohydrate.

Nuts are very energy-dense, so a handful should be enough (1 ounce/28grams)

Here are the best low-carb choices:

AlmondsBrazil Nuts
Pine NutsWalnuts


Personally, I’m not a fan, but seeds are also a reasonably nutritious option.

Aim for about a handful / 1 ounce / 28 grams.

Chia SeedsFlaxseeds
Hemp SeedsPumpkin Seeds
Sesame SeedsSunflower Seeds

Shellfish and Seafood

Picture of an oyster With Half a Lime.

Sea SquirtSquid


Generally speaking, lower carb veggies should be the focus: cruciferous veg and leafy greens.

The plants that grow above ground have the lowest carb count, while vegetables growing underground tend to have more.

However, a small amount of below-ground vegetables should be okay if you factor them into your total carb count.

Beet GreensBell Peppers
Bok ChoyBrocolli
Brussels SproutsCabbage
EggplantGreen Beans
Green OnionKale
RadishRed Cabbage
Spaghetti SquashSpinach
Swiss ChardTomato


Key Point: As shown above, ketogenic diets might restrict some foods — but there is still a great deal of choice.

Keto Snack Ideas

Low Carb Snacks: Cheese, Prosciutto and Olive Platter.

In addition to the above food groups, there are a number of convenient snacks which are suitable for keto.

Here’s a list to give you a few ideas:

  • Berries and cream: Your choice of berries in a bowl with some heavy cream.
  • Boiled eggs: If you have any feelings of hunger, a few boiled eggs does a great thing for satiety.
  • Celery with cream cheese: Spread some cream cheese on a few stalks of celery for some nutrients and fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Cheese and Prosciutto: If you’re craving some finger-food, then cheese and prosciutto is an excellent option. Add a glass of red wine if you like.
  • Dark chocolate: 85% minimum.
  • Guacamole salad: Mash some guacamole and add in your ingredients of choice.
  • Keto milkshake: blend some coconut milk alongside some cacao and a natural (ish) sweetener such as erythritol. Another good option is to use fresh berries for a fruit milkshake.
  • Mozzarella sticks: The website ‘Healthful Pursuit’ has some delicious looking mozzarella sticks made with almond flour.
  • Pork rinds: Crispy pork goodness that you can easily make at home.
Key Point: A ketogenic diet doesn’t only mean meat and vegetables. There are also dozens of tasty snacks you can make.

Foods to Avoid on Keto

Two Large Chocolate Chip Cookies Next To Each Other.

Due to the nature of the ketogenic diet, carbohydrate content in food should be low — ideally around 5-10% or below.

See this keto diet food list for a listing of all foods with 10% carbohydrate or less.

For a keto-friendly diet, it is better to avoid grains, starches, sugars, and other high-carb plant foods.

Below you can see a list of foods to avoid if you want to achieve ketosis:

  • Beer
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Cereals
  • Dried fruit (a slight amount is OK, but best avoided)
  • Fruits high in carbs (banana, mango, papaya, etc.)
  • Fruit juice
  • Grains (bread, oats, pasta, rice, etc.)
  • Legumes
  • Low-fat processed foods
  • Milk (a very small amount is OK)
  • Sugary foods in general
  • Sweet wines/sugary alcohol in general
  • Tubers such as parsnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes

And these foods are technically ‘ketogenic,’ but it’s better to avoid them for health:

  • Low-carb processed foods: they may be low-carb, but they’re usually full of additives.
  • Margarine
  • Vegetable oils

Not ready to give up alcohol?

If you like drinking from time to time, then that is no problem – there are many low carb alcohol drinks out there.

Spirits and dry red wine are two of the best choices.

Keto versions of high-carb foods

While it’s better to stick with nutrient-dense foods like meat, fish, and vegetables, many people like a treat from time to time.

And if you want to be ‘keto’ yet still have a pizza, some bread, or even a piece of cake – it’s possible.

There are many delicious low-carb recipes available for all of these things, and there are hundreds on Pinterest.

A Basic Ketogenic Meal Plan

Not sure on how you can put some meals together?

Here are some breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas for every day of the week.

Picture of Delicious Looking Bacon and Eggs.Breakfast

  • Bacon and Eggs: Several slices of bacon, some fried eggs, mushrooms, and a grilled tomato.
  • Mackerel: A baked or steamed fillet of mackerel with some leafy greens sauteed in butter.
  • Crustless Quiche: A crustless quiche recipe is an easy breakfast that also tastes delicious. Bacon and cheese make a great flavor combination.
  • Omelet: A cheese and vegetable omelet using your favorite veggies.
  • Boiled Eggs: Several boiled eggs, some cheese, and an avocado.
  • Scrambled Eggs: Scrambled eggs with some meat and veggies of your choice.
  • Ham, egg and cheese melt: A ham, melted cheese, and egg sandwich. While bread isn’t keto-friendly, you can use a low-carb bread recipe such as cloud bread.

For more ideas, see these keto breakfast recipes.

A Thick-Looking Chicken Soup Containing Lots of Gelatin.Lunch

  • Chicken Salad: Diced chicken, salad greens, cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Finger Food: A handful of nuts, slices of cheese, and some berries.
  • Cloud Bread Sandwich: A ham, cheese, and salad cloud bread roll.
  • Chicken Soup: Chicken, stock, some cream, pepper, salt, and mushrooms. And if you want to eat it hot in the office, then it’s possible if you use a mini portable oven.
  • Zoodle Carbonara: First, you need some zoodles, and then add cream, ham, egg, and seasonings. Tastes better warm!
  • Beef and Tomato Soup: Simmer beef, onion, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, and herbs of your choice for about 1 hour. This meal can be reheated later if eating away from home.
  • Low Carb Sushi Roll: Instead of using rice in the nori wraps, use cream cheese instead. Then add some sashimi of your choice (salmon tastes good!).

Steak and Vegetables On a White Plate.Dinner

  • Pork Chops: A pork chop cooked with onion and garlic, and some buttered asparagus.
  • Cream Salmon: A fillet salmon covered in coconut cream cheese sauce, with some broccoli and mushrooms.
  • Steak: A piece of steak with mushrooms, garlic, and green beans.
  • Frittata: A cheese, mushroom and vegetable frittata.
  • Sausages: Some (real meat) sausages, alongside some mashed rutabaga with butter and sauteed garlic and onions.
  • Chicken Curry: Curries are a great meal for ketogenic diets because they are mainly fat and protein. All you have to do is skip the rice.
  • Low Carb Pizza: Make a fathead pizza; it tastes great, and it’s reasonably healthy.

Keto-Friendly Restaurants

For keto on the go, then look for any meat-based restaurants.

A steak or piece of meat/fish along with some vegetables is suitable, and you can find restaurants offering this almost everywhere.

Possible Dangers 

Picture Showing a Woman Suffering From Dizziness and Holding Her Head.

There are two possible things to mention here, and these are ketoacidosis and hypoglycemia.


Firstly, there is a lot of fearmongering about ketoacidosis and ketogenic diets.

Generally, this comes from people who don’t know the difference between ‘ketosis’ and ‘ketoacidosis.’

As previously mentioned, ketosis is a natural state in which the body starts to burn ketones (fats) for energy instead of glucose.

In contrast, ketoacidosis is a potentially life-threatening condition when the body doesn’t make enough insulin and ketone levels become abnormally high.

However, in low carb diets, the production of ketones is “regulated, controlled, and harmless” (19).

The condition is otherwise known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and usually, results from poor management of type 1 diabetes which can lead to dangerous ketone levels (20).

It’s very unlikely for a healthy person who produces sufficient insulin to experience ketoacidosis (19).

However, if you suffer from diabetes then always consult your doctor and conduct thorough research before a dietary change.

Picture of a Man Who Looks Very Dizzy.Hypoglycemia

When first beginning a ketogenic diet, experiencing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is a possibility.

With this in mind, it’s important to know exactly why it occurs and how to avoid it:

  • Hypoglycemia happens when blood sugar levels drop to extremely low concentrations (approx: <70mg/dl) and it can cause fatigue, lightheadedness, and dizziness (21).
  • It can occur when suddenly going from a high-carbohydrate diet to very low carb (22)
  • One reason is that of a huge drop in blood sugar levels in people who are used to having higher blood sugar.
  • Hypoglycemia is a lot more common in people with diabetes or a certain degree of insulin resistance (23).

The Solution

While some suggest the solution is to raise blood sugar by eating some sugary food, I think that is ill-advised.

Here’s why:

  • As hypoglycemia usually occurs from high to low blood sugar swings, then all this does is make your blood sugar high again. And then the cycle continues.
  • The key to getting past this is to reduce high blood sugar permanently, and a ketogenic diet can help in this regard.

In the initial stages of a ketogenic diet, it may be helpful to eat regularly rather than fasting for extended periods of time.

Hypoglycemia can be dangerous, so if you are experiencing it, then it may be worth consulting a low-carb friendly doctor.

And this is especially the case if you have diabetes; for any medical issues, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Key Point: Potentially dangerous conditions such as ketoacidosis and hypoglycemia are possible for diabetics if care isn’t taken. People with diabetes should consult a doctor before making large changes to their diet.

Does Keto Have Any Side Effects?

Firstly, it is worth noting that many of the side effects from keto are due to not researching the diet properly before starting it.

For this reason, it is important to be aware of the typical mistakes people make.

Being in ketosis can also cause several minor side effects, so if you have just started a ketogenic diet then look out for the following;

A Drunk Looking Man Holding an Alcoholic Drink.Alcohol Tolerance

Many people report lower tolerance of alcohol on a ketogenic diet, sometimes dramatically so.

Solution: Firstly, don’t drink too much or on an empty stomach. And if you’re just starting keto, then carefully monitor how you feel when you drink.

Bad Breath

When the body enters ketosis and starts burning fat (ketones), chemicals in the breath such as acetone may cause bad breath (24).

Solution: Waiting; for many people, this bad breath only lasts for the first week or two of a ketogenic diet. While it persists, you can use breath fresheners to hide the scent.


Some people may develop constipation on keto. Many people blame a lack of fiber for this, although, in truth, both too little and too much fiber could be an issue depending on the individual.

Solution: First of all, constipation usually isn’t the result of not eating fiber – the cause is usually something you are eating.

For example, many people have sensitivities regarding certain foods such as dairy, eggs, and nuts. Or maybe you are overdoing it on one of these foods.

Either way, if you have recently increased intake of one of these foods, then experiment to see what may be causing the problem.

If you can’t find any dietary reason, then increasing intake of leafy green vegetables may help.

Picture of a woman feeling ill with stomach or digestion issues.Cramps, Fatigue, Induction Flu, and Low Energy

People new to keto often experience cramps, particularly in the legs and feet. Additionally, many people feel fatigue, tiredness, and low energy.

Solution: These symptoms are usually the result of an electrolyte imbalance, especially concerning magnesium, potassium, and sodium.

Don’t worry because it is common in the early stages of ketosis, due to the body releasing significant amounts of water (and salt) as carbohydrate intake (and insulin) drops.

Make sure you are getting enough of these micronutrients. There are also greater needs for sodium on a ketogenic diet, so increase salt intake by liberally salting your food.

Heart Palpitations

Heart palpitations are another typical side effect in the first few weeks of a ketogenic diet. The palpitations could be due to mild dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance.

Solution: Drinking more water to ensure adequate hydration, and increasing salt, magnesium, and potassium intake usually eases heart palpitations.

However, as the cause can be any number of issues, then see a doctor if you want to make sure. 

Key Point: There are various potential side effects when starting a low-carb diet. Despite this, most are temporary, and you can avoid them through a well-implemented diet with sufficient electrolytes.

Final Thoughts

There’s no perfect way of eating that fits everybody’s lifestyle and personal circumstance.

While some prefer very low carb diets, others feel better suited to paleo, whole foods, or even vegetarian diets.

However, keto is a healthy dietary system that focuses on real, nutrient-dense foods.

But just one caveat:

Due to the potential side effects, make sure you research how to implement the diet successfully before you start.

Also, weight loss very much depends on the formulation of the diet. See these reasons for not losing weight with keto for an overview.

If you follow a well-implemented ketogenic diet, then weight loss, better energy levels, and improved health markers are very common.

If you have any more questions about the ketogenic diet, then see this keto FAQ which covers a wide variety of common queries.

  • This is a very useful information. It explained all the questions and things I have been experiencing, such as constipation, bad breath and no cravings. Thank you

        • Yes and no.

          Because the meals will likely be higher in protein and dietary fat, then you should feel satisfied easier and without hunger cravings that sugar/refined carbs can cause.

          So, if you eat to satiety then generally it should be the right amount of food – and most people lose weight this way.

          However, calories do matter at some point, so it’s not a free license to binge on huge feasts every day.

      • Mike , Keto is horrific, period, I can’t believe people think being in a Ketotic state is good , especially those in the health field, talk show hosts, nutritionist’s etc . The body’s main source of fuel is” complex carbs” a scientific fact not protein or fat . Interestingly the bible backs science Zech 9 : 17 [Niv] bible . Ketosis makes the blood Ph acidic which you do “not” want, this leads to gout , kidney problems ,arthritis .
        We are for the most part meant to live of the land plant based not animal meats .It’s whole grains fruit/ veg , not animal meats as the mainstay to diet . Look at Americans hardly anyone eats [” whole”grains , fruit/ veg] but lots of animal meats red and pork .
        You must eat carbs with protein to keep from going into Ketosis, so going low to no carb is suicidal so to speak . I don’t understand how you can’t understand basic nutritional principles or the benefits of complex carbs it’s mind boggling .
        Your misleading people terrible when you give or lend credence to a high protein fat low carb diet which will and is ruining people’s health . Without the truth or proper understanding people are destroyed Hos 4 : 6 [Niv] bible .

        • Hi Bill,

          Thanks for your input.

          We can hear these kind of thoughts from plant-based/vegan supporters quite a lot, but the truth is that no one diet fits all – and the best quality evidence we have—such as systematic reviews and meta-analyses—show that low carb and ketogenic diets hold benefit.

          The diet composition and macronutrient ratio is important here – and high-fat, high-carb is generally where we are going wrong (in addition to the ultra-processing of industrial foods). I respect the ethical position of vegan/plant-based, but to deny good evidence that all other dietary types are wrong is misleading people also.

          There is also nothing inherently harmful about ketosis (which shouldn’t be confused for the serious medical complication ‘ketoacidosis’ in diabetics).

        • When the bible was written people didn’t have office jobs or fast food. This is a temporary diet, to lose weight, not a way of life.

  • Great resource that covers all the basis. I have successfully lost 40 lbs in 7 months on keto and have helped many others as well. I’ll be using this article as a primary resource to share with those interested in improving their diet and health with keto.

    • I would really love to hear more on how you started your journey and what steps you took for such incredible weight loss. I am just beginning and can really use all the tips and info I can get. I find it’s easier for myself to hear it from other people and their experiences vs reading articles on the internet which vary every time.

  • Thank you for such an in depth explanation of why a low carb diet works. I’ve revised my eating to low carb, sugar free, gluten free, and adding vitamin supplements. One month in and my weight loss is steady, this month at 6 lbs. This is the only thing I have tried where I didn’t feel as if I was starving all the time. I’m cooking with sugar substitutes, almond, and coconut flours. The recipes I have found on Pintrest are absolutely amazing and cauliflower rice is one of my new favorite foods. I really feel this is a new way to look at food and it’s not depriving me of a single thing. Thank you again.

    • Thanks for your comments, Deborah.

      Glad to hear you are experiencing steady weight loss – 6lbs a month is great going and soon adds up! Cauliflower rice is great – and enoki mushrooms are another great replacement for noodles too, and arguably a lot tastier. I recommend having a look for them if you haven’t tried yet! Hope that you continue enjoying your diet and keep making such excellent progress.

  • Diagnosed with diabetes last september, and the Dr wanted me on meds asap.. I refused, and started paleo, and lost a little weight, but my blood sugars were all over the place, for the past month ive tried keto… no bad side effects, loss of appetite is awesome!, my daily blood sugar eating and fasting is 90-115, and I had my A1C checked last week and its down to 6.7 from 8.7 in just 4 months, last 3 weeks on keto.
    I believe in a few more months on the keto, I wont be diabetic… and of course I wont go back to what I was eating. This is my new way of life

    • That’s great to hear, Doug.

      Glad you seem to be taking back your health and getting diabetes under control. You’ve made huge progress in just 4 months, so hopefully that will continue.

      Sounds like you’re enjoying the diet too, which is probably the most important thing – no way of eating works if it causes misery!

  • I am two weeks in and down 8 lbs. I love Keto because I FEEL SO much better. 🙂 However, I am often not hungry. Im not sure if the gassy vegetables are the cause or my morning Keto coffee. Is it ok if you don’t eat the full amount of grams of macros you are supposed to eat daily. I can’t make myself eat, the thoughts of it makes me nauseous. But sometimes I am hungry and will eat.

    • Providing you’re eating a sensible amount, then there’s no need to worry about precisely how many grams of each macro you’re eating.

      It sounds like you are free of any food cravings, so let hunger be your cue. Basically, you said you feel great and that you’re often not hungry & only eat when you need to – that’s all great!

  • I just started the keto diet this week. I am diabetic and even after research I still had many questions and concerns. In just 4 days my blood sugar levels have decreased from being high to being in the normal range. Thank you for this detailed explanation on a low carb/keto diet. You took away the concerns I was having and enlightened me on other wonderful facts. I realize now the importance of taking in high levels of fat which is the one thing I haven’t been doing as I should. I now feel both confident and comfortable with proceeding with my new keto lifestyle.

    • Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad that the article has helped you gain a bit more comfort and confidence.
      Good luck with your new lifestyle, and it’s great that you’ve managed to reduce blood sugar levels so quickly!

      Keep it up 🙂

  • Hi there, could i kindly ask that all this great info be emailed to me thus allowing me to save it? Thank you once again for such an informative article. It has made it that much easier helping me decide to follow this healthy lifestyle.

  • Thanks for the load of information. It is life saving and enlightening. I started keto diet a week ago and some times when ignorant on what to eat one tends to pack on the carbs ignorantly. Your in depth information would help a long way.

  • Great info, thank you. I’ve been following the keto for 11 weeks with 20lb loss so far. Easiest lifestyle change ever. If I could make a suggestion though for people just starting…find a good carb counting app, it has truly saved me from all of those hidden carbs and takes the guess work out of preparing meals. I’ve turned into the ‘carb police’ in my house. Easter eggs and treats are being rationed for the kids right now. Absolutely shocked by the mindless carbing in my home up until now!! If manufactures were force to put ‘teaspoon’ measures instead of grams on their nutrition labels people would be horrified!

    • Thanks, Ann!
      Glad it is going well for you – 20lb loss in 11 weeks is great work. Well done! And a dietary app can definitely be useful to begin with, but with time you’ll get to know the nutrient details of most food without needing to check.

      And yes… there’s lots of sugary snack occasions, especially from halloween onwards! As for Easter, I used to love easter eggs when I was young, but just stick to the real thing now!

  • Hi Michael

    Love this, could you please send it to me as well in my email as I want to keep it and share it with my husband who is also trying to eat this way for health.

    Kind regards
    Karon Kell

  • All the people I know that have done Keto diets gain the weight+ back as soon as they quit doing it and fast. Is this typical once carb consumption increases and resumes?

    • The reason for fast weight gain would be water weight. When carbohydrate intake is high, the body stores more water in the muscles. This is also true in reverse – you lose lots of (water) weight in the first few days of a low carb diet.

      Other than that, there is no specific reason why people should continue gaining weight back.

      But logically, if they go back to the poor diet that was responsible for them gaining weight in the first place, then it’s not a surprise if the same thing happens again. This is the key – people doing short-term diets to lose weight will always gain weight back if they go back to their unhealthy eating plan.

      The key is a diet that is sustainable for life, whatever that may be.

  • Thank you for this very comprehensive article. I’m just now looking into beginning the Keto diet and I have to say, I’m scared to death that I’ll gain weight! Would you recommend I start “cold turkey” or ease into it? Also, have you heard of any positive results for menopausal hot flashes by eating this way?

    • Hi Suzanne,

      With a sensible plan, there is no reason why you would gain weight!
      I think it is better to go all in rather than slowly but be aware of the potential symptoms of going from high carb (if applicable) to low carb – you can see more on this here:
      I have heard of both positive and negative things for menopausal hot flushes – but only anecdotal accounts. I don’t really know much about that, to be honest.

      Good luck with it and hope it goes well for you.

  • Thank you for the great information. I am 56 and have been on keto 3 weeks and have lost 11 pounds. I have had somewhat of a cold the last several days, but before that, and still now, I have been wiped out. Don’t sleep well, not much energy and feel “meh”. Is this normal? For how long? I ate a lot of sugar before starting this. Thank you.

    • Mary,

      This is quite common actually and many people call it the “keto flu” or “low carb flu”.

      The feeling of being run-down and not having energy is usually down to electrolytes and/or not drinking enough water/eating enough food.

      Check this article out and see if anything sounds familiar:

      If you have any queries, just let me know!

  • This is a brilliant guide and has been my bible for the last 3 weeks, thank you

    I’m now 14 lbs lighter with another 80lbs to go .. Can you give any advice on calorie intake whilst eating ‘ketogenically’ I’m using an app to keep a count of my carbs and I’m naturally trying to keep my calories under 1800 per day (with my current BMI that’s a 400 calorie deficit) clearly it’s working at the moment but wondered if I should keep monitoring ? )

    Thanks again, this is a fantastic tool .. Life changing after so many failed attempts at dieting this feels like a way of life I can adopt

    • Wow! That is great progress, Angela!
      I’m pleased that it has helped you.

      Hmm, about calories I generally feel that counting calories over-complicates things and that we should eat to satiety (much easier when we’re avoiding sugars and flours!)

      However, what you are doing now seems to be working and it’s working very well.
      So. I’d stick with it given the success you’re having.

      Hope that you continue making great progress and if you have any more questions, just ask away!

    • If you are solely trying to limit carbs, then diet drinks can fit into that, but they’re not the healthiest things in the world.

      For me, the two you mentioned are too artificial. For health, it’s always better sticking to water, tea, coffee, whole milk.

  • I have started the low carb plan have lost 7 pounds in 8 weeks not losing fast is this good this is the only diet that I have been able to stick to will not give up matter how long it takes would you please email the plan also.thanks

    • Sure, I’ll send that to you now Darlene.

      7 pounds in 8 weeks is great. And while it may not seem fast, if you imagine 26 pounds in half a year – that is very impressive!

      The term ‘slow and steady wins the race’ comes to mind.

  • Hi and thank you so much for a great site to learn more about keto. I am in week 2 of starting the diet and honestly I’ve floundered a bit with so much conflicting information on the internet. I have found this site to be the best by far. I struggle with these things: How much protein should I have each day? I am afraid if I have too much it will throw me out of ketosis (getting strips today to see if I’m even there yet, 🙂 ) I am 5’2″ /180/41 and want to desperately lose weight. I have never felt so great as I have since I started this diet. I have the energy and feel good feelings I had when I was in my 20’s ! It’s amazing what a diet change can do. I have tried every fad out there, shakeology, weight watchers, etc. and this by far is exactly what my system is reacting the best to. Thank you again for taking your time to provide such great information.

    • Hi Madonna,

      Thank you for the kind comments.

      It’s difficult to say how much protein is right for you, because the necessary amount can vary a lot from person to person. Especially those who do intense exercise can get away with a much higher protein intake. Personally, I think about 0.75g protein per pound of bodyweight is a good aim but everyone is a little different.

      How much protein are you having at the moment, and are you seeing good progress? If you’re doing well, then I’d keep it where it is.

      Listening to your body can often be helpful too, and as you said you’re feeling great – so that’s a good sign that you’re doing something right!

  • Hi Michael will that be okay if a cholesterol and uric acid high follow this diet also please sent pdf to my email thank

    • Hi Danny,

      Regarding cholesterol, many people see HDL increase and LDL and triglycerides fall. Others see both LDL and HDL rise and triglycerides fall.

      The bulk of recent research suggests that the triglycerides to HDL ratio is what matters and should be as low as possible.

      For me; my LDL goes up slightly, HDL goes up a lot, and triglycerides plummet. I’m happy with that!

      You can read a medical study on ketogenic diets and their effect on cholesterol here:

      If you have any personal medical concerns then, as always, it is better to discuss them with your doctor.

      I’ll get the PDF to you shortly!

  • Hi Michael
    I’m going try this!!! It was the best explanation I could find of the Keto in the net!!
    Can you please email me 🙂
    Thank you

  • Michael, Thanks for this succinct and comprehensive info. I too would appreciate an email of the PDF.
    I am used to counting calories, and avoiding fats so this is a big change. I feel great, but getting in enough fat is a challenge!
    I read a keto diet book and it said that calories in, calories out still applies, so I am sticking with 1200 cal a day for my 5’6″ 163lb middle aged frame . I lost an initial 5-6 lbs, in the first 2 wks, and feel next to no hunger, but I am stuck at this weight the last two weeks. I’m using my fitness pal, which doesn’t track net carbs, just regular carbs, and I am averaging 30-50 g of carbs, 75-100g fat (accomplished with coconut oil melted into heavy cream and drinking warm) and 75-100g protein. Is this enough? Too much? Can I focus on low carb and high protein ( much easier) and still lose weight?
    Anything you can suggest would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Catherine,

      Well done on the progress you have made so far.

      Everyone is different and has their own individual circumstances, but your reason for stalling could be the way you’re getting your fat (oil + cream). I think it’s better to opt for more nutrient-dense foods, and eat whole foods that contain natural fats.

      For example, instead of drinking 600 calories of fat, eat some fatty beef (or salmon) with some veggies. You’d still be getting a similar amount of energy, but also protein and many vitamins and minerals which all play a supportive role in overall health – as well as in metabolism and satiety.

      It’s not uncommon to see people stalling when consuming larger amounts of isolated fat, so that’s what I’d look at first of all.

      A couple of high-fat meals per day like this, perhaps with a snack thrown in (e.g. dark chocolate, avocado, nuts) might make the difference.

  • Great article! I have been exploring the idea of the Keto eating plan and this info is so helpful. I have a question, how do you get back into ketosis if you do have a glass of wine or something else that throws you off plan? Thanks!

    • Glad it helps, Peggy!
      To be honest, there’s no need to worry about one glass of wine – that only has a few grams of carbohydrate.
      But if you overdo it on the carbs and want to get back into ketosis, there’s no real complex process. Just by restricting carbs again will do the job.
      The amount of time it takes will depend on how much you overdid it by and individual biology!

  • Michael, my husband is type 2 diabetic, he currently takes 2 metformin in am with 1 glimipride and at night 2 more metformin, in beginning this ketogenic diet, I worry about going to low with the meds. We will speak to his Dr, but wanted to run this all by you first, should I be very vigilant on his B’s testing? Up to now, he averages readings of about 180 and a1c at 8.4, could you send me a PDF of this as well? We plan to both start on this. I’m 63 and 235#, sedentary, hubby is 189# and mildly active so we are excited to start. Hope it helps, nothing has helped me 🙁

    • Hi Sherrie,

      Yes – definitely speak to your doctor! Please make sure to do that because the dosages of diabetes meds will likely need to change.
      If it were me then I’d be vigilant with taking blood sugar readings.
      You should try to give the doctor a good idea of what you’ll be eating too.

      I’ll send you the PDF version now – I hope that it goes well for you!
      And if you ever need any (non-medical) help, then feel free to ask 🙂

  • Hi! Great article! I’m going to try this, since nothing else has been working for me. Could you please email me, as well?

  • Thanks so much for this article – it’s very well written!
    Would you mind sending me the PDF as well?
    Thanks again!!

  • Thank you for putting all this info in one spot. When I started keto I was reading everything available to gather as much info as possible. It was nice to go back over it without having to jump all over the web. Keto is awesome and I feel like I’ve had great success. Just under 3 months lost 40 lbs. I was on the last hole on my belt now the belt won’t hold my pants up because there’s not enough holes.
    I eat clean just meat, eggs, butter, mayo, olives, avocado, celery, broccoli, cabbage, leafy greens. I feel if there’s more than 3 ingredients some human screwed it up. Mayo is the only one with 3.
    I would like to give my macros. My targets are 150 g fat, 70 protein, 20 carbs and I don’t count cals. Some days I hit 1500 some days 2400. (Forced to see them on the app) I’ve seen that if I get to much protein it gives me an insulin spike. Also seen if I stall I can hit 200g fat and it pushes me back into weight loss.
    Thanks again hope my info helps someone. Could you email me the info too I would like to print a copy and show the people that say I’m not getting my needed nutrients lol

    • Hi Wade,

      I made a PDF download part of the post now because so many people have been asking for it!

      It should come up, but if not there is a link at the bottom with a link to download it.

      Your diet sounds great overall! Mine is similar and it’s basically meat, fish, olives, avocado, veggies, berries, nuts and dark choc/cacao. I like a glass of red wine once or twice a week too!

      The 3-ingredients rule is pretty good and almost everything fits into that, with the only possible exceptions being an omelet and also guacamole – depending on what you put in them!

      • I will add nuts and berries once I get to the point where I want a permanent stall (goal). They tend to slow progress now. I started at 281 lbs and I’m 6’1 so I need to lose over 100 lbs to get to “ideal” weight so I need another 60ish. My workouts have been inconsistent so far and last week i started working out regularly so maybe that will help get me there by the end of summer. Lol

        • Sounds like you’re making good progress – keep going!!

          Good luck with the working out – don’t know if you’re doing them or not, but heavy squats are great for metabolism (and overall health).

  • Have you come across anyone that has done keto but lost very little weight in the beginning? I keep thinking I’m doing something wrong but have reevaluated several times in the past 2+ months since starting Keto Diet and have lost only 3 lbs in that time. I do feel better which I knew I would by giving up the carbs and I’m OK with losing the weight slowly as I’m in this for the long haul but this seems a little too slow. Thanks in advance for any insight you may have.

    • Hi Tillie,

      Yes, that does sound a little slow – but it’s hard to know where you are right now.

      Are you mainly concentrating on whole foods? Or are you eating a lot of isolated fats like butter and coconut oil?

      Also, some people sometimes underestimate the amount they’re eating?

      • Thanks for your response.

        I’m mainly eating whole foods but making sure that I cook with olive oil, ghee and/or butter when cooking. I typically roast my veggies with a healthy dose of EVOO. I’m including avocado in my eggs and salad when I have salad. I include cheese and have started adding some nuts. I was keeping track in MyFitness pal but have been remiss that past couple of weeks.

        When you say underestimate, are you referring meaning underestimating the fats?

        • Yes, and also maybe the total amount of food in general.

          Some people just do better with less of the isolated fats (oils and butters can be overdone – as can dairy and nuts – all are very energy-dense).

          But if you are generally heading in the right direction, then maybe that is OK? Slow and steady often does very well in the long-term!

  • Hi.. that’s the best article I’ve read for keto explanation.. it has it all. Thank you so much.
    The download link is not working for me so would you please email it to me?
    I’m planning to start keto diet soon after doing my research to lose stubborn 20 lbs to reach my goal, how long should I expect to wait till I start seeing results?
    Also should I just follow the 75-20-5% rule or use a keto macro calculator for custom macros according to my weight and height and age?

    • Thanks Hagar.

      You should start seeing results after a few days if you formulate the diet correctly.

      However, the first several days are the hardest (this somewhat depends on what you were eating prior to making the change).

      70-20-5 rule is a good place to start but that’s something that is up to you – everyone is a little different, so just go for whatever feels most comfortable – tracking or not tracking are both fine.

  • Hi Michael Joseph, please email me the information. I didn’t try this diet yet. My concern is heart disease with the high fat contents. Please advise. It sounds great and so does all the replies about the diet. Thanks

  • Hi Michael,
    I am on Coumadin (Warfarin) for a heart problem. How would this affect my INR levels?

    • Hi Glennyce,

      From seeing various anecdotes, they seem to go down… but to be honest I don’t really know much about this.

      As a medical issue, this is definitely something to speak with your doctor about rather than getting info from online though.

      Be safe! And I hope you overcome the problem well.

  • I have been doing a detox using xyngular, now they are telling me to do the keogenic diet. I just need to lose 20lbs more pounds. I lost 11 with the detox. I do better with a laid out plan. Eat this at this time etc, can you help me with how to eat and when,and how much should I eat. Thanks Toni

  • Brilliant article I am on this way of eating and doing research. Please may you email me a PDF FILE. I don’t know how to save it where it asks “do you want this as a pdf file” Thank you

    • Possibly.

      You have to look at it like this: if someone is eating in a way that isn’t right for their body, and they make a healthy change…then they will lose weight.

      If they then go back to the prior unhealthy eating habits, then the weight will come back.

      It really depends on what the new diet would be – if it is different to the initial diet that caused weight gain, then maybe the weight wouldn’t come back.

      • I mean if I want to maintain weight by a regular/normal diet with moderate carbs and occasional sugar after keto diet, will that cause weight regain as the body may store all the catbs as a compensation? And if that would be fine should I increase the carbs gradually like 10% more every week or 2?

        • Again, it really depends on the whole composition of the diet.

          You WILL regain some water weight from adding carbs back in as glycogen (energy stores) holds a certain amount of water with it.

          This is different to fat though, so nothing to worry about if you notice a weight gain in the first few days.

          If you go back to a diet including carbs after a keto diet, there’s no reason why it should cause weight gain providing you’re eating healthy foods and in sensible portions. Gradually re-adding the carbs in is probably a good idea too.

          However, if you go back to the diet that caused the weight gain in the first place, there’s also no reason why you wouldn’t regain the weight.

          Hope that makes sense!

    • Hi Barb,

      There are two ways to start it and you can either;

      1) Buy all the foods you need and switch your diet “cold turkey”.
      2) Gradually reduce carbohydrate intake over a period of several weeks.

      Like any diet, the ketogenic diet won’t be suitable for everyone, but if you formulate it well (lots of healthy foods) it can be one of the best.

      One thing to watch out for is the side effects keto diets can have if you’re not careful – known as “keto flu” (

      It’s always best to research well before you start!

  • Hi, great article!
    I have a question though, I have fibromialgia and sarcoidosis (although I am in remission of the sarcoidosis ). Is It safe to go keto? I was doing it for two weeks and one day I woke up with half of my face swollen, I got scared and I stopped
    I was ok, no cravings and lots of energy but I must confess I was scared with my heart and kidneys being affected by so much fat. Can I still go keto but not eating so much fat? I know fat is the key but I am 50 years old and with previous menopause symptoms too and I am lost. Thank you for this great article!

  • Did you get my message Michael that I would like you to e-mail me the PDF file. Great info by the way. I would like to get started ASAP. Thanks

  • Hello I work out a lot, about 4-6 days a week. I do a lot of high intensity interval training (hiit). Is the ketogenic diet good for someone who works out a lot. Should I just eat more cards, maybe like 60-70g a posed to 40-50g? Thank you.

    • Hi Catherine,

      It might be difficult at first – possibly for the first few weeks. This is simply because the body is searching for glucose and has to learn to use fat (ketones) for energy. But once people adapt to burning fat for energy instead of carbs, then it should be a breeze.

      There’s no need to eat more carbs – but you can if you want. Experiment and see what suits you best – everyone is a little different.

  • Hi Micheal it is amazing how you respond to everyone on here. Quite impressive. Can you workout while doing this? I have heard in the past you should not. Can you also send me the info? I did not see the link at the bottom. Thank you

    • Hi Alice,

      Thanks! I always try respond to everyone no matter what they write. You can workout, sure – but over the first few weeks it might be a little difficult. The reason is simply that most people are used to burning carbs for energy. Therefore, if you make a big dietary change your body will be looking for glucose when it needs fuel, which leads to fatigue and lack of energy. It takes a few weeks for the body to get used to burning fat for energy, and after that time working out is no problem.

  • Hi there! I am going into my 4th week on keto and so far so good! I’ve lost about 10 pounds so far and I feel pretty good. I did gain back a couple of pounds going into this week, so I’m doubling down and upgrading my meal plan. TBH, I’m getting really tired of eggs for breakfast–I’ve never been a big egg eater. I usually do coffee with heavy cream which some days works well as a meal replacement, but do you have any other breakfast suggestions? Like small things I could eat with my coffee to help me make it to lunch?

    • Hi Jen!

      Wow, that is impressive for only 4 weeks – well done!

      Nice to see someone else who prefers cream in their coffee too – recently everyone seems to put butter in it!

      Maybe you can find some ideas for some small snacks here: There are 38 ideas on there, so hopefully something should appeal to you. Breakfast can be anything really… sometimes I just have some meat and olives or berries for breakfast, it might sound unusual but it’s pretty good.

      Getting enough protein is important for satiety too (if you’re having trouble “making it to lunch”!)

  • My weight loss seems to be very slow – 10 #’s in 8 weeks. I’m not great about drinking lots of water – how many ounces do you recommend daily? Also, had my lipids done before beginning the eating change and then again at 2 months – my overall cholesterol went up, but triglycerides, HDL and LDL were better. Should I see a decrease in cholesterol if I stick with the me to lifestyle. I’ve read the article you referenced, but couldn’t find information on how long an improvement of overall cholesterol might take.

    • Hi Joyce,

      Those are both difficult questions because all of us are a little different.

      As for water intake, I think it’s best to follow thirst as a guide rather than trying to meet some random figure which may or may not be right for you.

      Personally I have about 3-4 liters per day, but that’s just me.

      Cholesterol can be all over the place – some people experience a fall in overall cholesterol, others see it rise a little. I view the HDL and triglycerides as being the most important, so if they are improving most studies suggest that is a very good thing.

  • Hi Michael,

    Thank you so much for the info. I recently started with the keto but in my 3rd week I got a rash. Could this also be a side effect?

    Ps. would also like to receive the pdf per email. Thnx

    • Hi Ayfer,

      There is a rare skin condition known as Prurigo pigmentosa – if you search that term maybe you can see if it looks the same. I’ve never heard or seen it personally, but apparently, it can (only rarely) happen after the body enters ketosis.

      Increasing carbs a little resolves the issue. You can then try cut them down again once it resolves, as it seems unlikely to happen again.

      If it is something different to that picture, it is probably unrelated.

      There is a link to the PDF at the very bottom of the article.

  • This is the most concise, understandable explanation of what keto is and how to do it. I really appreciate it!

  • Wonderful article! I will definitely be starting a keto diet soon, but I’m a little wary about a few things: (1) I’m a lacto-ovo vegetarian; (2) I have fructose malabsorption; and, (3) have a lot of problems already with constipation. Any suggestions? Thanks so much.

    • Hi Karen,

      Thanks for your comments!

      Re: points 1 and 2 – that is fine – a ketogenic diet doesn’t have to include fructose/meat/fish.

      Re: point 3 – May I ask how much fiber you are consuming? Fiber seemingly can be beneficial or detrimental depending on the individual. Interestingly, some people find their digestion improves when they cut it out (others are the opposite) More info on that here:

      Also dairy can sometimes be an issue there, depending on how much you’re consuming. Cheese is a big culprit for many unfortunately!

  • I have been on this keto diet for a couple of months now and really feel so much better. I’m lucky enough to have reached my goal weight. Now how do I keep my weight down and is there a maintenance plan?

    • Hi Becky,

      The way to keep weight down is to basically keep doing what you’ve been doing.

      If someone goes back to the diet that caused the initial weight gain, then there’s no reason why it wouldn’t cause weight gain again.

      So, if you keep on how you have been and you’re still losing weight, just eat a little bit more until you find the maintenance spot. That’s all you really need to do!

  • Hi Michael – I’m a vegetarian, and other than salmon as you’ve suggested, I’m not sure what to eat for so much protein daily. Is there some more options that cater more to vegetarians? No eggs, minimal dairy. Thank you, Great information!

    • Hi Tracy,

      If you eat fish, then there are many oily fish which are a good choice…these include mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, anchovies, and trout – all of these are high in omega-3 and low in mercury.

      Some good dairy sources: cottage cheese, quark, cheese.

      Otherwise, for a good vegetarian source of protein then fermented soy is a pretty good choice. Stuff like natto, miso, cheonggukjang can be found in Asian/Chinese/K marts for a reasonable price.

  • Looking forward to getting started and giving it a try. I have an auto immune disease called Epstein Barr and because of the inflammation in my body, I struggle with constant pain. Hoping this adjustment in diet can help with that, as I don’t want to live on pain pills.
    Thank you!

  • HI, I started this diet 7 days ago & have lost 6 pounds. I’m doing the best I can while eating out because im living in a hotel room right now while traveling for work with my husband. Thank you

  • Great article. I have suffered from reactive hypoglycemia for nearly 50 years, undiagnosed until a few years ago. Earlier this year i read about low carb high fat diets and started eating very low carb in early March. Within a very short period of time my blood sugar levels became much more stable and the hypos stopped, completely. I still have nightly leg cramps and lack of energy at time but small price to pay.
    Six months on all all was good, then I had 2 hypos last week. I was shocked and surprised but then realized, I was on holiday, eating out more, having the odd piece of French bread with the delicious cheese and having the odd small beer. My carb intake had crept up and here was the result.
    Now I am back to very low carb and hopefully back on track.
    Low carb high fat is definitely the way forward for me, people with type 3 diabetes and anyone wanting to loose weight. My problem is I need to gain weight so I still have a few hurdles to jump.

    • Thanks David.

      Yes, low carb/ketogenic diets can have great results.

      Glad to hear that you’ve made such improvements to your health!

      Delicious cheese and beer on holiday sounds nice… I’m fond of beer too but try not to have it too often – usually stick to wine and cheese which is also delicious (and low carb too!)

  • I have heard alot about this and i am starting the keto diet tomorrow ( Monday 9/4 ) I am really excited. Are you able to work out on this? Im pretty sure for the 1st 1 or 2 weeks i probably shouldn’t. Also what kind of Dressings can you have?

  • Great article!! Thanks 🙂
    Fairly new to this life style (one month in) and have lost 8 pounds. I am 45 (female) and 5 ft 10 in. Weigh 192, so long way to go!
    I have trouble with my ‘sugar dropping’. HAD to start eating a handful of nuts mid-morning. I was fasting from 6 pm until noon next day ( so had a 6 hour window where I would eat) The butter in black coffee helps also, or just a string cheese snack.
    I have found that local restaurants are willing to sub other vegetables for the rice/potatoes in dishes. Denny’s for example is happy to omit potato and give me a side of avocado in their popular ‘beef skillet’. It is plenty for lunch, with leftovers for dinner! And places will always give a side salad instead of fries if you ask. I usually cook, but hope folks wont hesitate to ask their server to alter things for them. There are times when we HAVE to eat out.
    Thanks again for the info. This is a very “do-able” diet, a lifestyle that is comfortable . I encourage more folks to give it a try, and not give up if ‘Keto Flu’ hits! You can all do this!! And you will be happy that you did 🙂

    • Thanks Dawn!

      Glad it’s going well for you. And even if it’s a long way to go, “slow and steady” wins the race 🙂

      It’s good that your local restaurants are offering healthier alternatives too – particularly avocado instead of potato sounds like a good deal!

  • This sounds like something I’d like to try. Any suggestions for people with lactose intolerance? Is soy milk keto-friendly?

    • I’d stay away from soy milk since it’s ultra-processed and full of additives, sugar, etc!

      There are actually some lactose-free dairy milks you can buy these days, so it might be worth looking into those?

      Otherwise; coconut milk is OK and so are some almond milks (look for 100% versions).

      Another possible option is cream? Some lactose intolerant people can do OK on cream since it’s very low in milk sugars compared to milk and also the serving size for cream is a lot smaller.

  • I was on a similar diet many years ago, and it worked very well. Time to jump back on the wagon, and this excellent article will give me the boost I need.
    Thank you!

  • My husband and I have just started on the Keto diet for almost 2 weeks. Still learning. I have not noticed any weight loss at all yet. Thanks for your article. I hope this will work for us. I am pre-diabetic and Dr wants to put me on Metformin but I just don’t want to start taking that. A1C’s have been high 5’s -6. I am just going to have to start a walking regimen again too. Need this weight to come off. I’m 4’11” and 143 lbs. Hubby is 5’8″ and 228lbs with a family history of heart disease and HBP. We have 7 grandchildren to get healthy for too.

    • Hi Sharon,

      I hope you have some success with it too. If you haven’t lost any weight yet, make sure not to overdo it on the fat. A well-implemented diet should focus on whole food sources as the priority.

      I’m also a big fan of EMA in regard to portion sizes – eat, monitor, and adjust.

      Good luck with your goals!

  • Thank you for breaking this down. I have PCOS, hyperinsulinism, migraines and trouble losing weight. I’ve ordered a Keto cookbook and am starting today.

  • I am on my 5th day, I noticed I have been going over my calories the past two days I feel the urge to eat sweets specially in the afternoon… I feel like I am not going to make it 🙁 I don’t know if the calories are well calculated, 1420 per day I am 33 years old ,6’3″ , started at, 184 lbs, today I am 180.5 lbs.

    • Hi Eli,

      Are you eating enough protein?

      Protein is the most satiating (controls appetite) of foods so it might be worth increasing meat/fish/eggs if you’re having cravings.

      Also, as you are just starting, it’s okay to keep calories around 2000kcal until you get comfortable with this way of eating.

      Hope this helps!

    • For me, sugar was an addiction and I went through, what I think of as, withdrawals. Hang on, you will get over it. Protein helped with the slumps. Good luck!

  • Hi Michael,

    As so many others have said, your’s is an amazing artical packed with so much information – Thankyou for taking all that time to explain things.

    Many Thanks to you


  • Great article! I am enjoying weight loss of 40+ pounds in 6 months due to keto lifestyle. And I do not feel deprived at all in my food choices. I encourage everyone to keep trying. I experienced the keto flu but pushed on through and never looked back! I’m 65 and have suffered bad knees for years. Happy to say, weight loss has improved joint issues all around. I feel good, look fantastic and am enjoying good food. I appreciate the lists you provided. Nice to have handy reference. Thank you!

  • This article was fantastic – thank you so much! I am going to be starting this diet and this article answered many questions that I had. My last trip to the doc indicated that I am pre-diabetic (she wasn’t too concerned as I had already begun eating better and exercising – she thought that was going to help as well as this diet) and I want to reverse that. I have downloaded some apps on my phone that I think will help keep my on track, especially in the beginning. Thanks again for a great article!

  • Hi Michael,
    I want to start this diet because I feel it will finally help me get over my tummy hurdle but my only fear is that I love my sweets (cakes, chocolates, ice cream) a lot and worry that I might feel deprived if I start the keto diet. If I do start this diet will any craving I have for sweets go away so that I don’t even miss it

    • Hi Ivie,

      It may go away but it won’t be instantly.

      But if you are;

      a) getting enough protein (for satiation) and
      b) drinking enough fluids

      …. then there’s a good chance you’ll feel satisfied and not NEED any more food.

      The longer you go without sugary foods the easier those cravings become to manage.

    • Yes, it should do – if you are eating the right stuff then you shouldn’t get cravings.

      I’d make sure you’re a) eating enough protein (the most satiating nutrient) and b) make sure you’re drinking enough.

      We often crave food when we mistake thirst for hunger.

  • Great name BTW it’s my sons name as well Michael Joseph.
    My husband and I started this going on 4 th week and I lost 9lbs and my husband about 6. However our weight kind of stalled lately and we think it’s the dairy? What is your opinion. Great article by the way

    • Haha thanks!

      Yes, that might be a good idea… aim for more whole foods and less isolated/processed fats in general.

      I.e. you could try cutting back on milk/cheese/coconut oil and eat meat/fish/olives/avocados etc instead.

  • I see and hear people losing weight weekly and I have yet to lose….been strict Keto for over 3 weeks….when will the weight loss start???? No dairy….carbs less than 20, protein between 57-60 and fat around 100…advice?

    • Hi Nancy,

      Weight loss depends on overall diet/lifestyle and it’s surprising if there’s no weight loss at such a small amount of food. Could you be underestimating the amount of food or have you been tracking everything?

      By a rough calculation, 20/60/100 CPF seems to be around 1200 kcals per day, which is a little on the low side.

      If it were me, I’d increase the amount of food a bit more and, since you’re hungry all the time, maybe try increasing protein as it’s the most satiating macronutrient.

      Also, I’d cut back on isolated fats if you’re eating much of them (oils/butter etc) and replace with whole food sources.

      • Two days ago I was out of house and hungry…I had a burger with cheese, no bun on lettuce….desperately wanted to try the new sweet potato fries and did…got home and tracked it and next day lost two pounds…so I upped it to mirror that day….70 protein, 30 carbs and the rest in fats…..You have just confirmed my thoughts….Thank you so very much…guess I am more active than I thought.

  • Excellent compilation of facts narrated in a well understandable systematic manner..Hearty thanks to the team..

    Wish to follow keto style as lifestyle..

  • Great information! I’m in early recovery ( 7 1/2 months ). I’ve gained 35 lbs since leaving treatment. Replaced my addiction with sweets! I am finally making sense of my life and loving myself and life! Time to get my body healthy!! Namaste 🙏

  • Been doing this for almost 2 weeks now. Haven’t lost anything. I can tell I’ve lost in my waist but not on the scale. I feel tired all the time. I’m pushing the water, but do t think I’m eating enough protein. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Jodi,

      If you have lost weight on your waist but not the scale, perhaps you have more lean mass and less body fat than before?

      Feeling tired/fatigue on ketogenic diets is quite common at first, as the body needs time to adapt to burning fat for fuel. However, when people feel tired all the time on a particular diet there is also the possibility that it just might not be the right fit for them – the ketogenic diet can work very well, but it’s not one-size fits all. Some people do better on a slightly higher carb intake. Many people do well on higher protein and low-moderate carb diets too.

  • I’m starting week 5, with NO WEIGHT LOSS. I really am frustrated as to why. I’ve used a Keto app to determine proper amounts of proteins, carbs, and fats. I’ve been tracking diligently and not going over 1200 calories, drinking the water, getting the sleep, using magnesium oil, taking vitamins. I quit using all sugar susbtitutes, as a last resort I may cut down on caffeine. I’m seriously considering giving up. I don’t think this diet is for me. I keep reading everyone’s comments, and it’s upsetting to hear everyone else is losing weight and my scale hasn’t budged.

    • Hi Cindy,

      It’s possible that it isn’t the right way of eating for you – there’s no one-size fits all diet for everyone.

      I can’t see any reason why caffeine would stall weight loss though, if anything it would probably help.
      I’m not sure exactly what you’re eating, but it might be worth upping the protein content and reducing the more concentrated sources of fat (butter/cheese/oils/nuts etc). Some people find that higher protein and moderately low carb works well.

  • hi I have been on a keto diet for 13 weeks for the last 2 weeks I have been having low blodd sugar about 80 what is a steady protein I can eat during the day I should know this I was a nurse I have lost 27 pounds?

    • My fav sources of protein are eggs/fish/meat/dairy… if you’re looking for portable high-protein snacks then things like cheese, nuts, beef-jerky, hard-boiled eggs are all good.

  • Good article that would be even better if you explained the adaptation of cells , including neurones in the brain, to ketones takes time . A transition into ketosis by using intermittent fasting for a month first will lessen or eliminate the “keto flu” symptoms

  • About to try the diet but I’m apprehensive.
    Would it be possible to gain due to the amount of fat that’s consumed and also not tracking the total caloric intake ( few websites say that there is no need to track calories) instead of losing weight?

    • Hi Ellie,

      If you eat too much fat, then yes it would be possible to gain.

      Please see here for more information on that:

      It is true that you don’t have to track calories, but they are still important. The reason why some people say “there is no need” is because people often find ketogenic diets satiating, so naturally consume fewer calories.

      However, if you are unsure about the amount of calories in different foods, then it can be worth tracking if that makes you feel more comfortable.