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How Many Carbs per Day on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet?

|How Many Carbs per Day on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet is not only a great weight loss tool, but it has been shown to improve many health conditions. It's any diet that causes ketones to be produced by the liver, shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilisation. The keto diet is an effective weight loss tool, but it doesn't guarantee instant weight loss. It helps you reach your healthy goals in an easier way. There are three main effects of low-carb diets, including keto diets...

Three Main Effects of Low-Carb Diets:

Satiety Effect = No Hunger Issues

Firstly, you eat very sating and nutritious food that makes you less hungry and less likely to experience cravings. It's a fact that people naturally eat less on a low-carb diet. Protein and fat are the most sating macronutrients by far. Achieving satiety and natural appetite control are the most important effects of low-carb eating. Insulin, which is a hormone released when you eat carbs, affects your appetite and with more carbs, you'll experience more cravings. Also see Dr Briffa's article: Contrary to what some may say, fruit and veg not great for filling us up.

Low-Carb Diets Are Better For Fat Loss

Secondly, eating fat helps your body release fat and lose weight, while carbohydrates have the opposite effect. This has to do with how insulin affects your body and as you already know, insulin is mostly produced when you eat carbs. The best results are achieved with coconut oil which is high in MCTs.

Potential Metabolic Advantage

Finally, there are studies that appear to support the idea of a potential "metabolic advantage" of low-carb diets. This means that you could achieve weight loss at a higher level than the calorie intake would suggest. When ketones are made from the breakdown of fat in the liver, urinary ketones are excreted and may contribute to fat loss. However, this effect is not significant and the energy lost as urinary ketones is no more than 100 kcal. For more about metabolic advantage of low-carb diets, check out this article: Is a Calorie Really a Calorie? Metabolic Advantage of Low-Carbohydrate Diets In this study, participants following a low-carb diet experienced increased energy expenditure (by 300 kcal) compared to those following a low-fat diet. Although it didn't result in a larger weight loss, it definitely questions the laws of energy balance.

If you have troubles losing weight on a ketogenic diet, have a look at my post: Not Losing Weight on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up and Read Further

I hope you enjoyed reading my post. To find out more about the ketogenic diet and keto-friendly recipes, check out my apps KetoDiet, KetoDiet Basic and my new cookbook!

Comments (67)

Please don't put "ketostix" as a possible way to detect ketosis.  Read this for details: ketopia.com/.../

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Thank you for your comment. I know what you are saying and I'm fully aware of this issue - I've also read "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living" by Volek and Phinney. However, I've been on a low-carb, ketogenic diet for 2 years, use ketostix every now and then and can't complain about them Smile

I've read the post you linked to and I know ketostix detection strips are not accurate but they are not useless. The only other options you have is to use blood ketone meter (quite expensive and not everybody likes to use it) or nothing. Also, it's not really important how strong the readings on ketostix are (darker colour does not indicate more fat loss). I'm working on a post devoted to measuring ketones and I'll include all the relevant information.

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I started at 50 grams of net carbs and it took ages before I got to ketosis. I finally found that the "limit" for me is at 25-30 grams, so I try to keep it at that level. If I knew how difficult it would be, I'd probably start at 20 and slowly go up. It's hard, I won't lie but you get used to it after a week. Thanks for this post!

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You're welcome Smile It is better to start low, I'd say at 20-25 grams of net carbs and add them slowly until you find your ideal intake.

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i have been reading a lot about keto diet..even tried it on and off for a few days; my main issue is reaaly the carb intake..how do i keep it around 20-25g? is there a menu you can suggest me for 1 week lets say? especially cause in my coutry i can't fine these ketostix.. Thank you!

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Hi Pinkie, have a look at my diet plan here (7-Day Grab & Go Keto/Paleo Diet Plan): ketodietapp.com/.../7-Day-Grab-Go-KetoPaleo-Diet-Plan. You can include dairy (full-fat yogurt, cheese, cream) - this depends on how you tolerate it but I didn't include it. Only count net carbs and eat meat, eggs, avocados, non-starchy vegetables, some nuts, raw dairy and low-carb fruit like berries.

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Question: Should I be counting total carbs or net carbs to factor in ketosis?

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Hi Nell, it depends. Some people prefer to stay at or below 20-25g of NET carbs while others at or below 50g of TOTAL carbs. Here is what Franziska Spritzler, who is a registered dietitian, wrote in my post here: ketodietapp.com/.../Experts-Insight-Is-Very-Low-Carb-Ketogenic-Diet-Healthy

"Many people count net carbohydrates by subtracting fiber from total carbohydrates, but there are differences of opinion regarding whether fiber should be counted. Soluble fiber may be absorbed and therefore could affect ketosis and blood glucose levels, while insoluble fiber simply passes through the GI tract unabsorbed... Dr. Steve Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek recommend 50 or fewer grams of total carbohydrates per day on a LCKD and do not mention fiber or net carbs in this regard. However, it stands to reason that consuming 50 grams of total carbohydrate where half or more of the carbs come from fiber will lead to higher ketone levels than if the same person consumes a 50-gram total carbohydrate diet containing only a few grams of fiber."

I personally prefer to use the "net carbs" count, because it works great for me but others may prefer to count total carbs. I eat loads of avocados, at least one a day and still stay in ketosis (avocados are very high in soluble fibre).

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Thanks Martina.

I have another problem. Today is day 5 of being on the ketogenic diet. I have not yet hit ketosis I am so discouraged! My stick shows no change at all!! (regular beige colour). I tested 3 times today.
Every day so far of the 5 days, this has been my diet:
B: coffee with table cream, 2 eggs, 1/2 avocado and I slice hard cheese, 2 slices bacon
L: 1 cup romaine lettuce, goat cheese (wedge), hard cheese (wedge), 1/2 avocado and some sort of meat or fish (tuna, roast pork, steak)
D: same as lunch or sometimes none as I am full from lunch

I drink 1 diet iced tea a day and drink lots of water. I also walk my dog every other day.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Hi Nell,

I'm following a LCKD with Dr. Eric Westman at Duke - he's one of the people you find in the media concerning this diet.

I am only allowed a half an avacado a day per Dr. Westman - I see that you may be eating almost 2 a day?  I'd cut back on the avocado to start.

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Hello, Can you give me some advice on the net carbs I should take in to lose weight. I have hashimotos tyroid disease and carbs just make me feel sick.
Thanks

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Hi Mikki, I eat about 30-50 g net carbs (weight maintenance but should work for weight loss too). I personally found it harder to lose with Hashi's, even on a low-carb diet. I use this way of eating for weight maintenance apart from a few pounds weight loss when I started. I suggest you check your macros here: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy

And here is more about total vs net carbs and weight loss: ketodietapp.com/.../Total-Carbs-or-Net-Carbs-What-Really-Counts

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I think you may want to try blood ketone meter. I noticed you said that you use ketone sticks and drink a lot of water. This may dilute your readings and you may actually be in ketosis: ketodietapp.com/.../Ketosis-Measuring-Ketones.

When it comes to weight loss, give it some time. Not every one experiences instant drop in weight during the first week on keto. Give it 2-3 weeks and see what happens.

Most of the carbs in avocados come from fibre, so this shouldn't be an issue. On the other hand, some health professionals, like Dr Westman, recommend counting total carbs rather than net carbs and going on a very low-carb diet (more about it here: ketodietapp.com/.../Experts-Insight-Is-Very-Low-Carb-Ketogenic-Diet-Healthy). The ideal carbs intake depends on how you can tolerate carbs and everyone has a different level. I can eat up to 40-50 g net carbs and still be in ketosis but I'm quite active.

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So now on day 9 and only once (2 days ago) did I show moderate ketosis. But that's it! I am back to no sign of ketosis and no weight loss.  Still following above diet to the T.

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Hi Nell, there are many factors affecting weight loss on a low-carb diet. You can find more information here: ketodietapp.com/.../Not-Losing-Weight-on-Low-Carb-Ketogenic-Diet-Dont-Give-Up-and-Read-Further

Are you using ketostix or blood ketone meter? What is your carbs limit? You may be eating too much protein if you can't get to ketosis. This may help you to find your ideal macros: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy

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50% of coffee drinkers have huge BG surges from coffee. I accidentally found my BG was 230 after sipping coffee in the AM! Try removing that.

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Hey all I started a keto diet about 3-4 weeks ago and in that time I only have had a reading of 0.7mmol on the ketone metre. Im doing a bodybuilding comp in 10 weeks so I'm trying to get ripped.my carbs are 20g total my fats are 200g and protein 170g. My lean muscle mass is 89kg so I'm unsure when articles say moderate protein how much should I eat. As I have cut it down from 230g to 170g to see if I get a better reading. So any advice is helpful thanks.

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Hi Paul, with the details provided, I can't tell you whether your protein intake is adequate. Here is a keto calculator you can use to check your macros: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy

I suspect you are VERY active, so I won't be surprised if 170 g of protein is fine but it does sound quite high. Have you seen any results yet? The readings don't necessarily need to be high, it's actually enough if you see trace ketones. I have more about it here: ketodietapp.com/.../Ketosis-Measuring-Ketones

Hope this helps - good luck!

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Hi Martina, I'm new to keto and was wondering if it's important for the "average" person (not a body builder) to strictly count ALL macros and calories daily or just keep carb count low. I was doing regular low-carb for a while and hit a plateau, so moved onto high-fat/low-carb and still don't seem to be losing...any advice would be much appreciated!

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Hi Michelle, not necessarily. You can start by counting your carbs and just get an idea of your protein and fat intake. You don't need to match them precisely but you shouldn't go too much over or under your goal. If you are not losing weight, start monitoring your overall macronutrients. For instance, you may not be eating enough protein (which may cause increased appetite) or too much fat (and therefore calories). Have a look at my tool here: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy

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The important thing is not just the carb level but the ratio of fat, carb and protein. There is a calculator on the above website. For example if one went over on their number of carbs they can still maintain ketosis if the add enough fat (although at a higher caloric amount) how much fat can be determined on the calculator which used the Woodyatt formula originally designed for epilepsy.

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Based on Volek's and Phinney's book, there is a limit of carbohydrates that you need to maintain to stay in ketosis. Yes, the macronutrient ratio is important too, but so is the carb intake.

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I'm still a bit confused as to how to do this if I start off low. Lets say I start off taking in about 20g carbs and then I slowly increase. When I use the Ketonstix will I be looking for the presence or the absence of Ketones?

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Hi, you will always be looking for the presence of ketones, otherwise you won't be in ketosis. Ketostix may not be accurate, especially after you get keto-adapted but they're still useful. I have more about ketosis & measuring ketones here: ketodietapp.com/.../Ketosis-Measuring-Ketones Hope this helps!

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   my system is shoot for zero carbs.
      i love this diet so much, great energy after i came out of the low-carb flu.(which hindered me from achieving ketosis earlier)  dropping pounds and the main thing is i am convinced that inflammation from sugar is doing damage from heart disease arthritis ,cancer and diabetes.  so i do love the energy and the weight loss but i care more about the health aspects.    
   i hope someone will read this and derive some benefit from these words, i have studied this for 18 yrs and i have massive proof that these statements are correct.

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Thanks for your insights Shawn!

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I'm not sure what adjustments should be made for Body Weight?  I did a low-carb diet last summer, aiming for 10% carbs 25% Protein and 65% Fat Calories - and lost 35 lbs.  For several reasons I relaxed my diet for a while, but am now back on it & set to go for at least the next 9 mos, with a goal of losing another 100 lbs.  I am an athletic 290 lbs, am eating 50g net per day, have lost 5 lbs in the first 4 days so I assume that's mostly water loss...  Keto-stix show only trace ketosis, but I figure I'm doing ok.  Some advice I can pass on - I noticed last summer that my weight would sometimes stabilize for a week, but I was still losing girth (was losing a notch in my belt every 3 weeks or so.)  Also, I found I can't tolerate a lot of raw veggies in my diet - there is a type of fiber that most people don't tolerate well that breaks down when heated.  I do absolutely eat salads, but I try to eat cooked veggies for two of my three meals (e.g. sauteed spinach with eggs, cheese, and salsa for breakfast), and I tend to snack on nuts, meat or cheese.  My vice is diet coke, but am limiting that as well, trying to stay natural/organic.

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Thank you so much for your insights! You may want to check out my challenge - it starts soon Smile ketodietapp.com/.../30-Day-Keto-Weight-Loss-Challenge-Giveaway

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Is it dangerous to be in ketosis when pregnant?

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Hi Tarrin, some studies show that it may have adverse effects on the fetus while other studies show no negative effects. The problem is that these studies don't consider other factors: low calorie and micronutrient intake or whether the participants have been eating "real" food or mostly processed foods. Low-calorie diet, lack of micronutrients and processed foods - all these may negatively affect pregnancy. To be safe, it's better if you follow a regular low-carb, not necessarily ketogenic diet (~ 50 g net carbs) while pregnant - in any case, you should not be trying to lose weight during pregnancy. Significant weight loss during pregnancy & breastfeeding may have an adverse effect on the fetus / baby because fat cells may release toxins (if they are there). Make sure you also discuss this with your doctor.

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Thanks so much for getting back to me Martina. appreciate the imput. I only just recently found out that i was pregnant, so stressing out a bit. have increased my carb intake to 100g per day to get my body out of ketosis asap. I have also heard that being in a state of ketosis is not ideal for pregnancy because it makes your blood acidic, which is obviously not great for the baby. there doesn't seem to be any consensus on this. but I prefer to err on the side of caustion. Will start again after baby arrives. Managed to reduce my body fat percentage by 6% in 12 weeks and the weightloss and cm loss have been significant too. Thanks for an awesom blog!

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I don't think you should worry about that - babies thrive in ketosis. As I said, to be perfectly save, don't try to lose weight while pregnant and keep your carbs moderate, 100 g may be too much. And congratulations on your success - 6% is an amazing result and you should be really proud of yourself!

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Tarrin, I would not eat any junkfood, soda, koolaid,, desserts, etc. I would not eat wheat either, it's an opioid and induces addiction to food, preferably wheat. You can eat brown rice, steelcut oats, quinoa and buckwheat still. Lots to eat still lol
I would salt liberally and drink plenty of purified water. Eat lots of fats, like coconut oil especially. Take high-dose codliver oil with butter oil in it, daily. Eat dairy products if you tolerate them, even just cheese daily. Kefir preferably, only from pastured animals, same for eggs, only from pastured hens.
Simple stuff Smile

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If I keep popcorn popped in coconut oil under 20 net carbs is that okay.  I've been allowing myself 3 cups which is around 12 net carbs.

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Hi Lisa, I'd personally avoid popcorn and get the carbs from other sources (vegetables, nuts, raw dairy, etc.). Popcorn is too high in carbs. How about trying some low-carb alternatives like toasted & salted nuts and seeds?

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Hi Martina! So interesting to read your posts and the way you help people. So I have a few comments/questions for you and your readers.
Background: I'm a borderline heavier athlete who competes in triathlons and marathons...etc. I've been about 197-210lbs for the past three years. The more I would run, the more I would eat. This winter I got tired of it and decided to use a program to get "off the sugar." It's been about 10 weeks. I did not do this diet to lose weight per se just to see if I could avoid sugar and starches. The results have been decent: 24lbs and 7% bodyfat in 2 months. I have to admit it has been frustrating for me to figure out at what point my finicky body would stay in ketosis. The more I read the more interested I became in insulin resistance and a LCHF diet which is how I stumbled onto this page. I've read a great deal and here a few observations from my own experience that might help some people:
* Beware overeating protein if you are having trouble getting into ketosis. I just assumed low carb was all I needed. Numerous examples of past posts indicate such a pattern.
* Ketone levels will fluctuate. People told me in the beginning, it's like "a lightswitch" so everytime my levels were .2-.4, I'd get down and frustrated thinking well...another 72hrs before i get back to ketosis. Then I'd be .6 four hours later. My contention would be that if you are hitting above .5 once a day, you are usually in ketosis and stop measuring.
* Today, I had one "bulletproof" type coffee for breakfast at 8am, ate nothing thereafter, then ran 7 miles in 56 minutes around 3pm. I felt no different than when I used to chug gatorade and energy gels. And afterwards I wasn't shattered (though two hours later...)
* Blood pressure--mine is down about 18/10 points in each reading (before I even began losing weight) and with fewer fluctuations.
* Snacking--I know you say no to nuts, but I swear that macadamia nuts are amazing to stop cravings and produce satiety. Peter Attia swears by them and I put you two in a similar category.
* BTW--my BOHB numbers aren't high like others on here. I range from .4 (lowest) to about 1.8 (highest I've hit). Not sure if I care to even go higher nor do I think it matters, as you've said, for fat loss.
Here are my questions:
1. Keto rash? I've got it though it's going away on it's own. Any ideas on what truly causes this? I am SURE it's related to blood sugar or vitamins based on the many things I've read.
2. Liver damage and gut bacteria issues as a result of ketosis. Some things say it helps the liver, some say it requires it to work HARDER. Any decisive stance on that?
3. Bulletproof coffee--do I really need this guys 25$/lb coffee or can I just use the Kerry butter and MCT oil with regular coffee?
4. The heart--working harder or less hard once someone is ketoadapted. I know when I tried to exercise in the first month, it was...difficult. But now it ain't no thing!
5. Here's the weirdest thing and I've read about it but don't quite understand. Before my run today, blood sugar was 83. After run, 150. WTH? Is this a good sign or bad? Of course I would check with a doctor but friends of mine who are keto junkies say that this is a good thing, a result in the lack of insulin response so that my blood sugar could be where it needed to for my energy level to stay high during the run. Ideas?

THANKS SO MUCH MARTINA!!!

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Thank you for your kind words! And thank you so much for all the great tips!! What you said about running (the more you run, the more you eat) is typical for this kind of exercise. Unlike strength training, it increases appetite and you'll naturally eat more after your workouts. I actually don't discourage people from eating nuts - I think they are great for many reasons (micronutrients, low in net carbs, high in fibre and healthy fats, etc.) - macadamia nuts are the best option (both low-carb and high in MUFA). The reason I sometimes advice against eating nuts is because some people may be eating too much - nuts are easy to overeat. I'll now try to answer all your questions...

1) I came across this post a while ago and it may help: bjjcaveman.com/.../ The cause can be ketosis but you can slightly up your carb intake and it should go away. I haven't had any experience with this condition myself but that's what seems to be working for the author. Now I'd like to answer your questions...

2) I have something about liver damage & keto in this post: ketodietapp.com/.../Ketogenic-Diet-FAQ-All-You-Need-to-Know No, studies show that the ketogenic diet doesn't cause liver damage.

3) Personally, I don't think you need to buy the BPC brand. Any high quality coffee will work equally well! I use MCT oil (doesn't need to be the BCP brand, I use Now Foods and a few more) and Kerygold too Smile

4) Yes, exercise is difficult during the first 3-4 weeks of keto and you should take it easy. Your body needs to learn how to use ketones effectively during the first few weeks and toy may be too tired for your "regular" workouts.

5) Yes, blood sugar after exercise can increase. Here is an interesting post that explains why: www.diabetesdaily.com/.../

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There has to still be a calorie deficit to lose weight properly. If he's 320 lbs I'd stay at about 1900 calories a day and see how it goes. Many keto calculators are meant for body builders or people doing keto for health reasons like cancer or epilepsy. That 0-5 lbs is likely water and stored glycogen.

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I think that many do that and I've seen very high protein recommendations in some. The keto calculator on our website is for anyone from sedentary to very active so you can select you activity level (http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy).

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Hi!
Need some advice for my husband please? He is 320lbs, 6'2" and moderately active (carpenter and plays hockey 2x week) he eats ~ 30-35g total carbs per day, 120g protein and 217g of fat per day and 2600cal. He's been eating LCHF for 2 weeks now and has only lost about 4-5lbs which fluctuates between 0-5lbs everyday. We realize that 4lbs in two weeks is a good loss but honestly thought the weight would be falling off of him much faster? Are we doing something wrong or just keep doing what he's doing and the weight start to come off more steadily? Could it be because he's not keto adapted yet?Thank you for any advice in advance! Just worried he's going to get discouraged, he seems to be enjoying the food and the diet but I know he wants to lose major weight too.
Thank you so muchSmile

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Hi Jessie, I don't think it's necessarily bad to lose weight slowly. Everyone is different and he has just started - it takes 3-4 weeks to get keto-adapted Smile Fast fat loss is not always desirable and because your husband is quite active, he should be eating to satiety. However, I can't tell for sure whether he is eating too much protein or fat so you mat want to check out my keto calculator: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy Hope this helps!

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Hi, i had a look at your daily meals... I am having issues trying to get enough fat in my diet.
I eat a lot of fish, and a little meat.. but where do you get all your fat from? is it mainly from meat like bacon and pork?
Samir

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hey im a 23 years old woman , im on my day 10 of ketosis ,. I dont use ketostix cause cant never find those in my country ( im dominican ) , I started with 202 pounds and im already down to 194 ( wich is crazy )  I know that most of the pounds I've lost is water loss . but im ok with it . I know is working fine and i know im doing it right , I eat 14 to 19 gr of carbs ( including fibers and that ), 95 to 105 protein a day and 145 to 165 fat a day.  this is what I usually eat

breakfast : deli meat ( 1 carb ) hard cheese (0.5 carbs) cream cheese ( no carbs )eggs ( 1 carb )

lunch : 100-150 grams of veggies ( 6-9 carbs )cream cheese ( 0 carbs) and any meat I like ( chicken , pork ) any dressing ( 1-2 carbs )

snack : deli meat or any meat I like , usually crisps made out of pork ( no carbs )

dinner : I get hungry before going to bed so I save the best for last . bacon ( no carbs ) eggs ( 1 carb ) cream cheese ( 0 carbs ) peanuts (4 carbs per serving ).

I drink 2 or more litters of water ,.Im not working out but Im thinking on doing so .

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That's great Sorgira, keto on! Smile

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Hi, i had a look at your daily meals... I am having issues trying to get enough fat in my diet.
I eat a lot of fish, and a little meat.. but where do you get all your fat from? is it mainly from meat like bacon and pork?
Samir

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Hi Samir, not at all. To add healthy fats to your diet, you can use fatty fish, eggs, coconut oil, macadamia nuts, avocados, etc. Here is a post that might help: ketodietapp.com/.../how-much-fat-on-a-ketogenic-diet

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So great to read and learn from all these questions and answers. I started the low carb diet 5 months ago at 253 lbs. And recently weighed in at 211 and have gone from a 40 waist to 34 and feel great.
I don't miss or crave carbs and am happy to see that it's safe to be at less than 20/day which is my avg. Great stuff!

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Thank you Chris and well done!

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I am 5 10" at 150 pounds and I am looking at doing a Keto diet to lose my belly fat. In a way I am underweight by 10 pounds, but I need to lose body fat to get ripped. Do you recommend me going on a Keto diet?

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Hi Rahul, you can follow a keto diet to gain weight (muscles) and lose body fat, too. You may want to try carb backloading and focus on exercise to build muscle mass. Have a look at this tool - if your aim is to gain weight, you should go over your "maintenance level": http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy

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I also have Hashi's. I take 112 mcg daily of Synthroid. It is definitely difficult to do keto on a vegetarian diet but not impossible. I did it for a week just to test if I could do it, and it wasn't the same for me. Despite the myth that protein gets converted into glycogen, your body still needs adequate protein so I'd invest in a good low carb protein powder like Isopure Zero or Syntrax nectar.

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Yes you are right, not all excess protein converts into glycogen and I'd say that 10-15 gram excess is fine. It definitely helps with weight loss as it keeps hunger at bay.

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Martina, I am 46 and was diagnosed with Hashimotos 15 years ago, but it just started causing me issues 6 months ago. I ended up on steroids for various infections 4 times, gaining 5-10 lbs each time. I was vegan for 3 years and find it difficult to eat the amount of meat it takes to stay full, so I am looking into your vegetarian options. I preordered the cookbook and was wondering if there will be a vegetarian section. Also, any additional advice about managing the Hashimotos? My numbers are not bad so they will only let me take .25 levothyroxine even though I feel terrible. Thanks for this blog!

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Hi Kris, I know how you feel. I've experienced all the symptoms of Hashimoto's even with the right dosage of levothyroxine until I made some dietary changes. I think you might want to read a book called "Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause" by Izabella Wentz.

Thank you for ordering my cookbook! I don't have a "vegetarian" section there but there are several meat-free recipes. You can find all the vegetarian meals by selecting "vegetarian" in the recipe filter on my blog. Also, have a look at this diet plan (vegetarian): ketodietapp.com/.../2-week-vegetarian-keto-diet-plan

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Hi there, I have successfully been doing the ketogenic program and I have just found out I am pregnant (about 4 weeks) I am consuming 60g protein per day and 30g of carbohydrate per day. My fat intake is around 90g per day, with my total calories are around 1200 per day. As a general rule should I be increasing my protein intake to 80g daily, increasing carbohydrate to 50g and increasing my fat also? I feel the calories are too low for pregnancy. Have you come across a specific amount of carbs, fats, and protein in grams that works well as a ratio during pregnancy, and what would be your advice to increase the daily calories by? Thank you

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Hi Jenel, congratulations!! This is a bit of a great area - some experts recommend increasing carb intake and just keep your diet paleo/primal - you don't need to be in ketosis all the time. I'm not a health professional but I'd think that 1200 kcal is way too low, especially for pregnancy. I'd think that apart form your protein intake and carbs, you should increase your fat intake and calories by at least 30-50% (depending on your physical activity). I'd add up to 50 g carbs (I count net), add some protein and fats. Make sure you also discuss this with your doctor - ideally someone who understands low-carb diets.

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The hair loss is likely a combination of hashi's plus not enough protein. It's a myth that all excess protein gets converted into glycogen. I eat 100-130g of protein and 30-80g dietary fat daily and my blood ketone meter has me at moderate ketosis. Also, rapid weight loss can signal hair loss.

I take hair skin and nail vitamins, magnesium, zinc, spurlina powder, b-12, and a few other supplements to keep my hair on my head Smile

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Hi- have you seen or heard of anyone having major hair shedding on keto? I did keto for 6 months, lost 10 pounds.. Nothing crazy or fast. My antibodies for hashi are greatly improved! Went from 1400 to 130 and other marker in remission. What I noticed tho was loss of hair. I also had itchy scalp during that time.. Higher the ketones, more scalp itched I think. Never had crazy ketones...averaged .6-.9.

I quit keto 2 months ago and right after hair stopped shedding... Coincidence?? I only increased carbs to 75-100.. Still losing weight- slowly. No ketones.

Was thinking of going back and trying again.. But don't want to lose any more hair. Have you experienced this??? Seen or heard. Kept protein between 60-75 and higher....vit D ok, and all other labs done by ND were great. Cant figure it out??

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Hi Tracy, yes, that might happen for several reasons. It could be lack of protein or not enough calories and/ or micronutrients (more about this is here: ketodietapp.com/.../Ketogenic-Diet-FAQ-All-You-Need-to-Know).

Also, based on personal experience, this could be down to too much stress. I've been working on two cookbooks this year and had a stressful few months. Just before the deadlines, I was losing crazy amounts of hair but it improved after a few weeks and I stopped losing hair.

And I also agree on the itchy scalp - if I go "zero-carb", I seem to experience this. It happened when I was below 20 g net carbs - not my intention but I just naturally eat less carbs on most days so I have to make sure to add some carbs every day. It's ok if I do it for a few days not not over a longer period of time.

That's why I'm not convinced that we all need to follow a very low carb diet. I'm doing great with 30-50 g net carbs, sometimes more. My antibodies went almost to "normal" (from 800 to about 100) and I only follow a "mildly ketogenic" diet. As long as it works for you, there is no need to decrease your carb intake - if you're losing weight and your Hashi's is improving, you can eat more carbs.

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Quick question about Ketones.
By the way: your recipes and blog are full of great information, and I thank you.
I have very little little body fat as I work out using weights and have avoided fat carbs for a couple of decades I think.
I started keto because of the health benefits and that these foods allow me to eat with gusto and prepare foods I've always avoided that keto diets reclaim in a healthy way.
Problem: my ketones are in the 5.4 mg/l range at night and 1-2 in the morning.
Is this too high for a beginner? Is it a result of a lean body mass?
Is this range what you'd consider beneficial? What should I make of this? What does this say about my use of carbs, fat and protein?
Before the diet change to keto I would often allow myself tonic water with rum or gin in the evening. Now I have switched to making sugar free daiquiris instead. Do you think I should worry about increasing my carb intake?

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Thank you Christine! Unless you have any health conditions such as diabetes, you won't have to fear ketoacidosis (very high level of ketones and blood sugar at the same time).

Typically, ketones are higher in the evening and lower in the morning. Beginners  may experience higher ketone levels too. This happens because your body doesn't utilise ketones as well before you get keto adapted (3-4 weeks).

I don't think you need to shoot for high ketone levels, unless you use the ketogenic diet for therapeutic purposes (in cases like epilepsy, cancer, etc). You don't need to follow a zero-carb diet - you can add some healthy carbs. So I suggest you avoid sugar (e.g. soda) and get your carbs from vegetables, berries and nuts. So it depends which carb level you feel comfortable at. Hope this helps!

More about carbs is here: ketodietapp.com/.../Total-Carbs-or-Net-Carbs-What-Really-Counts  

and here is more about ketones: ketodietapp.com/.../Ketosis-Measuring-Ketones

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Hello Martina,

First, I would like to thank you for your site. There is so much information; it made it easy for my wife and I to get a jumpstart not he diet. We've been on the Keto Diet for a week and have experience good weight loss. I started at 268, she was 168. Seven days later we were at 258, she was 160. Three days after that we are the same weight - stalled. We use Ketostix to ensure we are in ketosis.

We both consume 30g of net carbs, we try to keep it actual carbs though. We both typically finished between 55-60% fat (goal 70%). Our protein goal is 20% and we tend to finish a little high. My total caloric intake is 1800 (hers is 1200), and we never go over.

Ketostix show minimal in the morning, but as the day goes on, I am usually showing heavy amounts. Any thoughts on the stall?? Thanks again!!

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Hi Mario, I don't think you need to aim for high ketone readings if your aim is to lose weight. If you really want to track ketone levels (more for therapeutic purposes), I suggest you either try using a blood ketone meter or a breathalyzer that are a lot more accurate than Ketostix. If you want to see how certain foods affect your blood sugar, a blood glucose meter is a great and inexpensive way to test it (same device as for blood ketone levels, just a different strip).

In my experience, higher level of ketones make no difference and there is no proof that high readings help people lose more body fat. Instead, I'd focus on macronutrients in general. I'm not sure if you used our keto calculator but just in case, here is a link: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy

I think that 1200 kcal is a bit too low and your wife may need to add some fat (or protein) depending on her ideal macros. Hope this helps!

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Hi, I came upon your site when researching ketogenic diet. Thanks for the food chart. I have so many questions as I have just started a low carb diet ( no sugar as well ) and I lost 4kg in 2 - 3 weeks. Mainly fluid in the gut I suspect. Although weight loss is not the main reason for me to do this - more of a healthy lifestyle.

I am a 41 yr old male, 5 ft 9 and around 72kg - so weight is not a problem but what I found since being on the keto diet is in the last few days feeling lethargic. I am sure this is due that in the first few weeks it was using my fat for energy now I am not eating enough fats.

Does that sound right... the first few weeks I felt great. I saw my stomach musceles for the first time in 15 years Smile

I just wonder how I can get enough fat into my diet?
Also by eating too much fat ( the good fat not the bad ones ) is there an issue with cholesterol?

My ideal program is the below... Carb is easy to do without trying.. and Protein I am getting from Sardines and Tuna, plus greens and eggs... But 157g or similar of Fat I am finding hard to get into my diet... I add butter, eat full cream with blueberries but I need more fat I am sure. Any advice?

Carbohydrates 50 g 10 % ( probably more like 40 grams )
Fat 157 g  70 %
Protein 101 g  20 %

I don't even know if I am in Keto so I bought a keto meter and strips from ebay that should arrive soon.

Thanks in advance.
Samir.

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Hi Samir, yes, it may be due to lack of calories (protein or/and fat) - the macros you mentioned sound reasonable but if you can't eat more fat, don't force yourself, you should be eating to satiety. Make sure you eat enough electrolytes (sodium, magnesium and potassium) and get enough sleep.

Here is more about fat and cholesterol: ketodietapp.com/.../The-Obesity-Epidemic-and-the-Truth-about-Cholesterol

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I have been keto for 10 days now.... when do the carb cravings go away?!?! I alllllllmmmmoooosssst binge every single afternoon. I want to eat the entire kitchen! I eat 1/8 cup of raw almonds and talk myself off the carb ledge. But when does it get easier? When will I "feel great and full all the time"?!?!?!

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Hi Claire, this is different for individuals but it can take 3-4 weeks before your body gets used to the diet. Make sure you eat enough protein to keep hunger at bay and if you need to snack, opt for healthy keto foods. Also, check out this post: ketodietapp.com/.../how-to-low-carb-15-common-weight-loss-mistakes

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