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All You Need to Know About Carbs on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

When it comes to ideal carbs intake, I've discussed it in my post here: How Many Carbs per Day on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? However, daily carbs intake is not the only aspect you should focus on.

Does our body need carbs?

It's a common misconception that our body, especially our brain needs carbs. In fact, the brain can either use glucose or ketones. When you restrict the intake of carbohydrates, your body will switch to using ketone bodies instead of using glucose. Not only that, ketones are a better fuel for our body and brain than glucose, even for highly active individuals. Once you get keto-adapted (3-4 weeks), you will experience improved energy levels. Although a small amount of glucose is still needed, our body can produce glucose on demand via gluconeogenesis.

Dr Volek and Dr Phinney, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance (2012):
"Ketone bodies are an important lipid-based fuel, especially for the brain, when dietary carbohydrates are restricted."

It has been estimated that about 200 grams of glucose can be generated daily just from protein (Dr Briffa, Escape the Diet Trap, 2012). Our body needs some glucose (e.g. for the thyroid health) but according to Dr Volek, it's a very small amount. As I said in my post here, there is no need for everybody to follow a very low-carb / "zero-carb" diet and you may need to adjust the level of carbs to fit your needs.

Types of carbs in ketogenic diets

Generally, you should avoid any sugary or starchy foods. The best measure to represent "good" and "bad" carbohydrates is their Glycemic Load (GL), which measures how much insulin will be released by your body for a given food measured in standard portions. This is different to Glycemic Index (GI), which doesn't take the serving size into account. As a result, some foods with high GI could have low GL. Therefore, Glycemic Load is recommended as the best measure for carbs. Most of your carbs should come from non-starchy vegetables (leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, etc.) and nuts.

One of the exceptions where high GI/GL food is recommended is on Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD).

According to Lyle McDonald in his book "The Ketogenic Diet":

"Although experimentation is encouraged, most individuals find that 25-50 grams of carbohydrates taken thirty minutes before a workout enhance performance. The type of carbohydrate consumed pre-workout is not critical and individuals are encouraged to experiment with different types of carbs. Most seem to prefer easily digestible carbohydrates, either liquids or high Glycemic Index (GI) candies to avoid problems with stomach upset during training. A wide variety of foods have been used prior to workouts: glucose polymers, Sweet Tarts, bagels, and food bars; all result in improved performance."

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Total carbs vs Net carbs

A frequent question amongst low-carb dieters is: Should fiber be included when counting carbs?

Let's look at the evidence: Although some soluble fiber may be absorbed, humans don't have the enzymes that could digest most fiber and derive any calories from it. As a result, fiber does not significantly affect blood sugar and ketosis. In general, you can either aim for 20-25 grams of net carbs or ~ 50 grams of total carbs as recommended by Dr. Steve Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek.

When fiber is not taken into account, the derived carbohydrate values are known as net carbs. Using net carbs reduces the impact of high-fiber foods (vegetables, nuts, etc.) and you can include them in your diet. This turns out to be an argument against those that criticize low-carb diets for the lack of fiber. It's important to stress that fiber doesn't negate carbs - it's simply not counted; so mixing flax meal into a bowl of pasta won't work! You can read more about total vs net carbs in my post here.

Here is the catch: When it comes to food labeling, in countries like US and Canada, carbohydrate values also include fiber (i.e. total carbs). These countries use the indirect method of calculating carbs which means that carbs are calculated "by difference" after they measure protein, fat, water and ash per 100 grams. To get the value for net carbs, you will need to subtract fiber from total carbs. However, this food labeling doesn't apply universally. In other places like Europe, Australia and Oceania, it's common to exclude fiber. They use the direct method of calculating carbs, and therefore "carbs" on food labels refer to net carbs. Keep in mind it doesn't matter where a certain product is sold but where it's imported from.

How can you be absolutely certain about the number of net carbs? Here are 3 simple rules to follow:

  • total carbs can never be lower than fiber
  • total carbs minus fiber can never be less than sugar (net carbs = sugar + lactose + other sugars)
  • total kcal = calories from fat + calories from protein + calories from carbs (without fiber)

Thankfully, you don't need to do the math yourself. You can use this Hidden Carbs Calculator to find out.

How many carbs per meal to avoid insulin spikes?

We are all different and what is too much for you, may not be for someone else. The best way to find out is to monitor how you feel. If you feel tired and sleepy after a meal, you likely had too many carbs and are experiencing an insulin spike. The trouble is that with elevated blood sugar, you will soon become hungry and eat more than usual. Unless you eat extra carbs as part of TKD, you should avoid eating too many carbs. Some people can't eat more than 10 grams of net carbs per meal, while others don't experience any significant insulin spikes at a much higher level such as 50 grams of net carbs.

My personal "carbs tolerance" is quite high but I avoid using certain foods such as tropical fruit and even some low-carb sweeteners like Xylitol. Apart from causing terrible digestive issues, Xylitol is NOT zero-carb and affects blood sugar. I prefer to use Erythritol or stevia which have very little carbs. For more about sweeteners, check out my post Complete Guide to Sweeteners on a low-carb Ketogenic Diet. However, not all people have issues with Xylitol. To read more about sugar alcohols and how they affect blood sugar, have a look at this article at Mendosa.com.

"Zero-carb" products and marketing tricks

Some brands of low-carb foods use misleading labels such as, "carbs-free", "low-carb" or "zero-carb". You have to be extra careful when buying products like that. Apart from pure fat and meat, there is nothing truly zero-carb. It's not a secret that Atkins products and many other use effective and deceptive marketing tricks. Their products often contain sorbitol, maltitol and other types of sugar alcohols that are associated with insulin spikes and raised blood sugar levels. The paradox here is that even Dr. Atkins in his 1999 edition of "New Diet Revolution", said that "Sweeteners such as sorbitol, mannitol and other hexitols (sugar alcohols) are not allowed."

According to Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt (also known as Diet Doctor), there are more than just Atkins Fairy Tale Cookies to avoid: Julian's Bakery Bread and Dreamfields Low-carb Pasta can be added to the list.

In summary, make sure you always opt for real unprocessed food and avoid prepared meals full of additives and deceptive labelling.

Carbs before or after exercise?

If you are physically active, you can try TKD (Targeted Ketogenic Diet) and have small snacks before your workouts. If you are doing lower intensity activity such as walking or light cycling, you won’t probably need any pre-workout meal. While carbs (or even coconut oil) before exercise can improve your performance, carbs after exercise have a different effect.

Whether or not you eat carbs after exercise depends on your goals:

  • If you want to lose fat, you should avoid post-workout carbs. You probably have enough fat tissue for energy that can be converted into muscles. Losing fat may be difficult even on a low-carb ketogenic diet. Check out my post here: Not Losing Weight on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up and Read Further

  • If you want to maintain your weight, you won't need any post-workout carbs unless you did a really intense exercise for an extended period of time.

  • If you want to gain weight (muscles) or you are a bodybuilder, you can either follow a standard keto diet or add post-workout carbs. You can try pumpkin, sweet potato, root vegetables, berries, banana, etc. You can find more about CKD (Cyclic Ketogenic Diet) here.

The effect of eating carbs strategically is simple. Any carbs consumed raise your insulin level which normally leads to increased energy levels or storing fat. Here is a short video in which Jennifer Elliott, an Australian dietitian, explains such effects of insulin. However, post-workout carbs may have an anabolic effect and stimulate muscle growth (depending on the workout and intensity). This doesn't mean that you need to eat carbs if you want to gain muscles. Unless you aim for a significant muscle gain, post-workout carbs are not needed.

You can read even more about carbs and exercise nutrition in this post: Ketogenic Nutrition and Exercise: Carbs

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Please, note that I do not offer personalised advice. For personalised advice you can contact one of our experts.

Comments (51)

I'm not trying to lose weight, i'm at a decent weight but I want to use a potentially healthier fuel for my body than glucose. I'm not a small guy in terms of height and frame, i'm also young and physically active. Now with all this count the carbs in your food advice, or count the net carbs in all foods, or Mark's Daily apple advice to consider all non starchy veggies as free of carbs I find it's impossible to hit enough calories without giving up veggies or getting my veggies and calories but too much carbs balance, is there lee way if you're bigger framewise and have a faster metabolism? If so Mark's approach seems better for me, I lose weight if i'm not getting 2400 cal minimum a day not including exercise days. It seems most keto guidelines are for women and small men.

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Hi Dave, you can maintain or even gain weight on a keto diet by adjusting your fat intake. I'm  not sure I understand - do you find it difficult to get enough calories with or without veggies? There are some high fat foods that will help you get enough calories (avocado, coconut butter, any nut or seed butter and whole nuts, fatty meat cuts, full-fat dairy, etc). Here's more about total vs net carbs: ketodietapp.com/.../Total-Carbs-or-Net-Carbs-What-Really-Counts

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I have been cutting out carbs for the last 7 weeks. Have gone from 16'7 down to 14'11. problem I have is for the last week I have stopped losing weight.
I have 2 x Bacon, 2 sausages and 2 fried eggs every morning, Lunch I have 3 boiled eggs and dinner is a mixed grill meat only.
What am i doing wrong, carried out a Keytone test and the colour never changed.
Mark

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Hi Mark, have a look at this post: ketodietapp.com/.../how-to-low-carb-15-common-weight-loss-mistakes

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Hi there
I have just purchased your full app as saw the good comments below but also just noticed that they are from some time ago? Just checking if you keep your apps up  to date with new recipes etc to keep low carb meals interesting and ever changing? I have just started the keto diet and have lost 3 kg but would like to lose another 6-9kg more...
Please can you advise what I could eat during "treat" days as how often one could have a treat day?
Also does this put one out of ketosis and will I feel that "cold turkey" again? If so, will the process of getting back into ketosis be quicker than the beginning?
I am currently trying to eat a total of 25g net carbs per day which seems to work for me, but when I reach my goal weight, how many grams of net carbs do you recommend to maintain that weight if I am now losing weight at 25g net carbs?
Really appreciate your response on this!!
Thank you Smile

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Hi Dee, yes, we still keep working on the App and add new content Smile
We're currently working on the universal KetoDiet App and I frequently add new recipes in the Meals tab + share 2-4 recipes a week on my blog that can be also added to the Planner from the Integrated blog.
When it comes to treats, here's what I'd do... I'd avoid regular sugary treats altogether and only occasionally have low-carb treats (there are so many healthy options to choose from). It's better if you avoid any treats (even low-carb) during the first 3-4 weeks until you get used to the diet. Treats may still cause cravings and you may end up eating more than you would without treats.
After 3-4 weeks, you can can add mini treats like a fat bomb a day: ketodietapp.com/.../tagFatBombs&title=Fat%20Bombs or other treats 1-3 times a week: ketodietapp.com/.../catDessertsTreats&title=Desserts%20Treats
When it comes to carbs, this level is different for everyone. I eat 30-50 grams net carbs (weight maintenance). You need to try and see how carbs affect your appetite. I hope this helps!

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I'm so thankful for your website! I'm totally new to this keto diet (been reading about it for a week now). I've been Paleo for years, but not as low carb as with this diet.
I'm a bit overwhelmed. I'm not sure it's possible to eat below 50 net carbs a day, with all the hidden carbs in almost everything. I need to lose weight (who doesn't), so I would like to not have more then 30 net carbs, but what is left to eat? Especially if you want to eat 2-3 times a day, not even snacking. I have the fridge full of food, and don't even want to cook it now, less eat it.
I drink 1.7l decaf coffee each day, and the 10% half & half alone has 1 carb/tbsp, and I'm using 2 for each mug, which at the end of the day is 10-12 net carbs. Oy!
Now instead of counting calories I'm trying to figure out net carbs, AND try not to eat too many total calories. Boy is that ever complicated.

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Thank you Monika! It is definitely possible - once you get used to the diet. I find it hard to go over 30 g net / 50 g total carbs simply because of the foods I'm eating on most days. The vast majority of my recipes don't go over 8 grams of net carbs so you have a lot to chose from Smile I'm not sure why the cream you are using is so high in carbs because it should be almost zero carb (per tablespoon). You may want to check out other brands or use heavy whipping cream instead.
Check out this food list: ketodietapp.com/.../Keto-Diet-Food-List-What-to-Eat-and-Avoid
and these diet plans: http://ketodietebooks.com/

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Omg- I'm totally in the same boat >Frown This seems so complicated sometimes.. I've been low carb, no sugar for several weeks now and I haven't lost a thing. Super frustrated with myself.

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Do you have a 2 week vegan meal plan for keto? Thank you for the awesome recipes on your blog...

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Thank you Anu! No, I'm afraid I don't. You can use the filtering option in Recipes to see all vegan recipes but no diet plan... To be honest, I don't think it's a good idea to follow a vegan & keto diet because it eliminates most foods and it's very difficult to do it.

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Hi, So I just wanted to clarify a few things.
Should I still aim for between 25-50g carbs even if I were having say 30g fibre but then still having say 50g of actual carbs is that okay or too much?
As for carbs pre and post workout what is a recommended amount to keep in ketosis. My ultimate goal is fat burning whilst maintaining as much muscle as possible, would carbs pre or post workout be more effective for me to achieve my goal?

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Hi Craig, carb intake is different for individuals and I think that it's ok to have up to 50 grams of total carbs - I actually sometimes eat slightly more than that and I'm still mildly ketogenic. 25-30 g net carbs + fiber is fine for most people - It's a myth that everyone is better off on a zero-carb diet and/ or show high ketone readings. Here is more: ketodietapp.com/.../do-ketones-matter
Here is more about post/ pre workout carbs: ketodietapp.com/.../keto-diet-nutrition-and-exercise-carbs I'd avoid pre-workout carbs. Whether or you need post-workout carbs depends on the exercise and your goal. I do sometimes have post-workout carbs (usually a sweet potato or root vegetables) after an intense workout to help muscle recovery but not always. These carb-ups may put you temporarily out of ketosis and also ketone levels naturally fluctuate during the day - that's fine.

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I have been living keto for the past month or so, and have come to love my quest bars as the occasional treat. When calculating your nets carbs, do you also subtract sugar alcohols in that case? Or is it simply the carbs - fiber? I have heard conflicting thoughts. Thanks!!

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Hi Amelia, it depends on the sugar alcohols. I don't count some - erythritol has no effect on blood sugar and is very low in calories but other sugar alcohols may affect blood sugar and contain more calories. Here is how I calculate carbs from sugar alcohols: ketodietapp.com/.../Top-10-Natural-Low-carb-Sweeteners

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Hello Martina and thanks for the the great blog. Quick question if you don't mind. I read somewhere that some of the 'net' carbs in probiotics e.g kefir and yoghurt are consumed by the bacteria in these products. Can you explain how much so I can make the relative adjustments to my daily limit as I am trying to stay under the 30 net carbs. Thanks

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Yes that is true. When it comes to numbers, it varies a lot depending on the product and fermentation. For more information on how much lactose is "eaten up", have a look at this post: ketodietapp.com/.../Ketogenic-Diet-FAQ-All-You-Need-to-Know I personally don't subtract anything from fermented foods like yogurt and easily stay at about 30 g net carbs, sometimes more if I eat berries.

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I love this post! It's very informative. I think many people are unaware of the effects some hidden sugar replacements can have so I like that you've pointed out some that do not effect blood sugars vs ones that do. Thank you! I'm looking into the cookbook on amazon now and can't wait to order it.

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Thank you Rachel!!

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Hey I have a question I hope you can help. I recently started a keto diet and ive been consuming around 70 grams of fat 110 grams of protein and 20-30 grams of net carbs a day. Is this a good macro ratio and should I cut back on protein I heatd it converts into glucose. By the way I am an active indicidual and do a weightlifting and cardio session once a day but im having trouble what my post workout meal should look like in terms of macros. I want to loose as much fat as possible while still gaining a little muscle. My post workout meal is about 50 rams of protein 10 carbs and about 5 grams of fat is this good? Thanks

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Hi Dalton, I think that it doesn't have to be too much but you can verify that here: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy
Don't worry if you eat slightly more protein (10-15 grams). It is actually better for those who are trying to lose weight as it keeps hunger at bay (not sure what your goal is). Not all excess protein converts to glucose. Your post-workout meal sounds good (more protein and less fat). For more about post-workout nutrition, check out this post: ketodietapp.com/.../ketogenic-nutrition-and-exercise-protein Hope this helps!

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Hay im a vegetarian, but struggle to get into ketosis? Am i eating too many seeds?yogurt?

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Hi Kat, you might want to check this diet plan - it's keto vegetarian and doesn't include that many nuts (only used in the low-carb buns): ketodietapp.com/.../2-week-vegetarian-keto-diet-plan

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When I use your keto calc it says for fast weight loss 9 carb 51 prot and 40 fat...i must not understsnd because i thought the purpose was more fat in diet.i am very new to this woe ..i have been doing 5%carb 25 prot and 70 fat. I am in ketosis but try and read as much as I can to learn more about lchf..my Dr suggested for chronic migraines as well as weight loss  ..I use keto strips and it shows lowest color in ketosis. Am I just not understanding..I us mfp to track and stay in my range .. just not losing. . Tia ..Carri

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Hi Carri, I would avoid options with very low calorie intake. The way it calculated your ideal macros is explained in the post (KetoDiet Buddy). Your protein intake is determined by your body weight / lean mass and activity level and your fat intake makes the remaining calories. The minimum fat intake is based on the studies mentioned below the calculator. In case of low-calorie intake, I included a note that you can find above the calculations (avoid very low-calorie options). I think you should stick with the "moderate" or "slow" options.

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Hi, I would just like to say I've read millions of things on the internet about keto and this is one of the best, thank you it has been so helpful.
I have been doing keto for three months and lost 6lbs in the first few weeks, but nothing since (I've been in ketosis the whole time) and I find I have no energy at all since starting and I can't exercise because I have very intense muscle fatigue even walking up the stairs. I take multivitamins, iron and magnesium and I eat loads of salt and high potassium foods. I used to exercise all the time before this diet. Have you got any advice please? X

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Thank you so much Katy! Please, make sure your macros are right: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy. High ketones are actually not needed for weight loss but you may not be getting enough / too much of protein or fat). Also, make sure you avoid options with very low calorie intake.

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HI I am still struggling to work out carbs on food labelling and how much I should be eating. I am female and now 12 stone, 5 foot 10, I ant to loose a stone what should I be counting to get into ketosis?

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Hi V, if you are trying to lose weight, count net carbs (total carbs without fibre).
I have more about it here: ketodietapp.com/.../Total-Carbs-or-Net-Carbs-What-Really-Counts
And here is how to find your "ideal" macros (protein, carbs and fat): http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy
Hope this helps!

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Love the amount of quality info on this site.  Would love to get the app but I have no Apple products.  Any chance there will be an android version any time soon?

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Hi Christine, thank you so much! We are planning to make KetoDiet available on other platforms including Android in the near future. I'll keep you updated on my FB page and my blog Smile

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Hi Martina,
Thanks for the information.
I have been on the diet for at least 6 weeks.
My present ratios are Carbs(15%), Protein (20%), and Fats (65%). I have found this diet very difficult. I continue to suffer keto flu and I have being experiencing a fluctuating heart rate, fatigue, dizziness as well as the heart skipping beats at times.
I have tried to adjust the ratios for a lower carbs to no avail.
I presently eat various meats, cheese, avocados, leafy greens, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, broth, macadamia, olive, coconut oils, butter, whipping cream in addition to extra salt, potassium, enzymes, and multivitamins.
For the last four days I have allowed myself bananas, apples, and mandarins to increase the carbs and sugar.
Though the flu has subsided somewhat I still experience the effects and my heart has quietened.
I like the energy of the diet, however with the above effects I'm not sure about continuing. Eating the fruits I've noticed I fatigue more easily. Obviously, I must be out of keto genesis now.
I lost approximately 5 kilos in the first three weeks, but now have settled, and I still have fat my stomach.
I am at a loss as to what I'm doing wrong with this diet - it seems that maybe some people are not suited?
Would you please advise as to what you think I should add or take from the diet?
Maybe enzymes are not a good idea?
Does one add the sugars together with the carbs for total carbs?
Would this diet be okay for people suffering from adrenal fatigue?
Thank You.

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Hi John, please, keep in mind I'm not a health professional and I cannot give you a personalised diet plan.
It sound to me like you may need more magnesium. How many carbs a day do you eat? How many calories a day do you eat on average? Have you tried using my keto calculator? http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy
If you eat bananas and fruit high in sugar, you are likely eating too many carbohydrates and that's why you may still be experiencing symptoms of keto flu (I have more about keto flu here: ketodietapp.com/.../Keto-flu-and-Sufficient-Intake-of-Electrolytes) Although I won't recommend a very low-carb diet to everyone (I myself eat 30-50 g net carbs), you may be eating too many carbs.
It's very common for people to reach a plateau. I have covered this in my post here: ketodietapp.com/.../Not-Losing-Weight-on-Low-Carb-Ketogenic-Diet-Dont-Give-Up-and-Read-Further You may need to find a dietitian who understands low-carb diets (Franziska Spritzler is a "low-carb dietitian": www.lowcarbdietitian.com/nutrition-services.html)
When you count carbohydrates in foods, sugars are always included and are always part of net carbs / effective carbs. Just be careful when looking at packages. "Total carbs" in the US refer to carbohydrates including fibre, while "total carbs" in the UK refer to carbohydrates without fibre. Since most people count "net carbs", they do not include fibre in their daily carbohydrate intake.
Low-carb diets have shown to have many health benefits, also for those with hormone issues. However, you have to find "your" level of daily carbs. As mentioned above, I eat slightly more carbs because I have hypothyroidism and I find this level to be optimal.
Hope this helps!

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Martina, your posts are well written and simple to understand. In the morning I have spent reading your blog, you have answered some of my fundimental keto questions (other sites can be a little hard core - bodybuilding sites are a bit on the scary side). My only problem is that I dont have kindle, iPhone or iPad (Yes, Im in the stone age - which is perfect for "caveman eating"). How do i get to see your recipes and use your tools - I am more than happy to pay for your knowledge! Keep up the excellent work!

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Thank you Mabs, I really appreciate that! If I could, I'd have the app on all platforms but this takes time (but we are working on it!) Smile
As you mentioned, now it's just iPhone (basic), iPad (full with the planner) and Kindle ebook. We are now working on the existing apps but have plans for more platforms too. So the tools for other platforms such as planner and monitoring features will take some time.
The good news is that I'll have a printed book and also a PDF book with all the recipes that are now in the apps. The printed book will take some time but the PDF should be out quite soon. Once it's done, I'll add it on my blog. Although you can still download a kindle reading app and get my Kindle book now, I suggest you wait until we have the PDF. The truth is that the Kindle format doesn't look that great (too many pages) and the PDF will be more compact.

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Hi There,
Thank you for all of the helpful information.  I follow an autoimmune paleo protocol (paleo without eggs, nuts, seeds, or nightshades), as I have MS.  I would like to make the move towards a more ketogenic diet, but I am struggling a little bit with fats, as I cannot tolerate coconut, avocados, or ghee.  I do eat grass fed meat, pork, wild fish, bacon, and I use tallow for cooking.  I also eat a lot of olive oil in my salads, but without coconut oil and nuts, I tend to start feeling too deprived, especially when I exercise.  Do you have any advice?
Thank you,
Cheri

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Hi Cheri, thank you for your kind words! I have to admit it must be a very challenging diet plan. I am planning to try AIP combined with keto myself, as I would like to see if any further improvements will be achieved with this diet plan (I have Hashimoto's). I am going to rely on foods like meat, non-starchy vegetables, avocados and coconut oil - that's why I think it must be quite hard for you to get enough food. I think that AIP combined with paleo may result in slightly more carbs but I may be wrong, I have to try it first.
When you say you you feel deprived, this should be better once you start following the ketogenic diet. It takes a few weeks before your body gets keto-adapted and by that time, you may feel tired and it may be quite difficult to do any exercise. I'm not sure what exactly you can't tolerate in coconuts and ghee - is it the MCTs? Although I don't use it myself, some people use MCT oil for energy boost, just in case you could tolerate it.
Apart from olive oil and tallow, you can try duck and goose fat for cooking. Can you use any nut oils or is it not allowed on AIP? I also use macadamia and avocado oils (you may be able to tolerate it). I think that if you find it hard to get your daily fat intake, you may need to avoid lean meat and eat more "fatty" meat. I hope this helps!

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Hi, great article, I have already started carb back loading which is a low carb diet. On very basic terms you keep carbs low during non-training days, you only take 30 grams during non training days, however you don't include carbs from vegetables. During training days you take 30 grams of carbs during the day before training and after training you have a 2-3 hour window to take lots of high GI carbs and try spike your insulin during this cructial time period. However its hard to find meals all the time that are very low carb, ive been mostly eating chicken, fish and vegetables with meat. Have you an app for Android so i can get some food suggestions for low carb meals from your app

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Hi Patrick, thank you! What you describe is known as cyclic ketogenic diet / carb cycling / carb loading. I don't have personal experience with this but I know some bodybuilders use it to build muscles (anabolic effect of insulin if you eat carbs round your workouts). I have recently been working on a "Practical Guide to Keto / Paleo" which is a simplified version of the guide I have in my apps and book. I will post it sometime next week. It will include more meal / ingredient suggestions suitable for a low-carb diet. How about foods like avocado? It's very low in carbs and contains high levels of healthy fats.
We will eventually make KetoDiet available for more platforms and have big plans for this year but it will take some time. Once it's done, I'll announce it on my blog Smile

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Ooo fab, so pleased to hear about the app!
Ok, I'll have to see how it goes I think. I have been very naughty and so far weighed myself every day, mostly because on the first night I lost 2 pounds, then 1 the next, then gained it back...I know, I have to not weigh myslef every day.
My mother has thyroid issues so I am aware they could be hereditary, but my energy is pretty boundless even for a sedentary job (although I follow Zuzana Light's workouts and do around HIITs 4 per week, plus yoga and run around 5 miles once a week)so hopefully that's not an issue.
So at the moment, according to my fitness pal app, I am averaging around 10 net carbs per day, 86g of protein and 150 +- of fat, working out at about 5% carbs, 20% protein and 75% fat. Does that sound about right to you? I am hoping to lose 18lbs over the next few months, I'm 5'7 and currently 142 lbs, so hopefully that's achievable. I think I'm about 25% body fat and I'd like to get to at least 18% (I'm getting married, don't try and dissuade me!!) ;)
Thank you for taking the time to answer, I really appreciate it! I too am paleo, have been for ages, but I do have double cream in my coffee. Can't help it!

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Congratulations on your wedding! Oh no, I'm not planning to dissuade you, I completely understand that Smile 18% body fat is an achievable healthy level, especially if you give it a few months. Your macros sound right to me, just be careful about MFP and double check (especially the carbs level) or use your own food entries. As far as I know, they use a large database but it is basically created by their users and they don't have any "error checks" in place and I often found entries that didn't make sense (e.g. a large avocado had 17 g net carbs while it's no more than 4 grams). To get a better idea of your macros, try this tool here: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy. Good luck!!

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Hello, thanks so much for this blog, it's so helpful! I have the app too but only the basic as I don't have an ipad, boo.
However, is it a problem to have too few carbs? I hadn't realised that net carbs were the point until now, so for the last few days I haev probably been having only around 10 net carbs per day. Is that a problem do you think?
Thanks, Janey

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Thank you Janey! I have good news for you - we have been working on a universal app and making it available on the iPhone too. It will take some time but it should be done in a few months. For technical reasons, we cannot modify / transfer the existing Basic iPhone app but there will soon be KetoDiet for the iPhone which will be fully featured. I'll be giving away many promo codes, especially to those who have the Basic version, so they won't have to pay for the full version again. Once it's done, please, send me an e-mail and I'll give you one, too.
When it comes to carbs intake, it really depends. There are people who simply don't do well on a very low-carb diet while others have no issues with that. I personally don't go below 30 g net carbs but that's because I'm not sure about the effects of very low-carb diets in people with hypothyroidism. There are no studies specifically on this and some experts advice against going very low-carb while others see no harm. We simply need more studies focusing on this issue. I would probably struggle with so little carbs but if for you this is a sustainable way of eating and you have no health issues, I don't see a reason why it should be a problem.

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Love your blog Martina! The best keto resource on the Internet!

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Thank you Missy! I really appreciate that! Smile

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This is the best source not just for keto but for low-carb, paleo and healthy living. I've read all your articles and I'm just amazed. Keep up the good work!

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Thank you Sally!

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I have just purchased your book with such delicious recipes.  I have registered with this online tool but cant find a chart showing the carb, protein and fat contents of individual food items to make my own recipes.  Its probably my technophe coming to the fore!  Help please.  I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks Ann

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Thank you Ann! I'm sorry but which on-line tool are you referring to? The kindle book has just the total values for each recipe - not each one separately I'm afraid. If you want to create your own recipes, you can use our iPad app. All the best, Martina

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Great post and great looking blog, I can't thank you enough. Oh... and I got your iPad app,,, it's totally worth the money, especially with your free blog meals! You've done the best app not just for keto but for anything low-carb! I'm also a big fan of paleo eating and I really like that your recipes are paleo or offer alternatives. A request for future would be to include more about vegetarian eating & keto and more very low-carb recipes. Thank you! S.

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Thank you Stephanie! I'm glad you like my app and blog. It's been a lot of work and there is still so much more I want to add! I'm working on including more information into the KetoDiet Guide and more very low-carb recipes. For now, you can add any of my recipes posted here directly from the app (blog integration) Smile If you have more suggestions or would like to see any specific features in the next updates, feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail. Thanks again!

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