Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Guide to Ketosis

Here is the guide to ketosis. The contents of this article can be located here. If you're currently wondering what on earth ketosis even is, then you're in luck for I plan not only to befuddle but also to enlighten. All you have to do is read on.

I've personally had fantastic results on keto, and I really believe in the validity of this diet - not only in terms of fat-loss, but also in terms of health-gain. There is a lot of understandable skepticism and tons of misconceptions about keto; I want to let newcomers know, however surprising it may be, that keto (or at least a diet low in grains/sugars and high in fats) is a very healthy diet with numerous benefits.

This guide is very long so I've partitioned this post into subsections. The links contained within the contents are 'clickable' and will transport you directly to that section. You can also right click and select "copy link address" of a particular section/section title, and you can either bookmark it so that you can return to a specific section easily or you can give the link to a friend if you want them to read a particular section. If you want to return to the contents of the page simply click on the 'upwards' arrows that are next to each of the section titles within the main article.


I. Why You Should Care About Ketosis: The Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
1A. Ketosis Increases Neuronal Stabilization and Mental Focus
1B. Ketosis Promotes the Loss of Body-Fat and LDL Cholesterol
1C. Ketosis Eliminates Various Ailments such as Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension
1D. Ketosis Treats Several Diseases such as Alzheimer's and Various Cancers
1E. Ketosis Promotes Cardiovascular Health
1F. Ketosis Preserves Lean-Body Mass
1G. One Will Lose Body-fat More Quickly on Keto Than Not
1H. Ketosis Blunts Appetite and Increases Meal Satiety

II. Understanding Ketosis; An Overview of Metabolism
2A. Metabolism Defined
2B. The Krebs Cycle
2C. Glycolysis
2D. Fat Lipolysis and Fatty Acid Beta-Oxidation
2E. Citrate Synthase Inhibition and Beta-ketothiolase Activation
2F. Ketogenesis and Ketosis

III. The Basics of the Ketogenic Diet
3A. Entering Ketosis: A Macro Ratio for Keto
3B. Saturated vs. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
3C. Sample Ketogenic Meal Plan
3D. The Wonders of Fiber
3E. How to Enter Ketosis Quickly, Easily, and Reliably
3F. How to Know You're Under Ketosis
3G. The Gloom of Induction
3H. Losing Body-Fat
3I. Building Muscle-Mass
3J. Aerobic Exercise
3K. Glycogen Refeeding
3L. Reentering Glycolysis Correctly
3M. A list of Ketogenic Foods
3N. Step by Step Guide to the SKD, TKD, and CKD

IV. Keto Testimonials
4A. ladysixstring
4B. Dominaterisk
4C. sepatown
4D. vgisverbose

V. Useful Resources and Websites for the Keto-Minded
5A. The Cook's Thesaurus
5B. Restaurant Nutrition Facts
5C. Keto Macro-Nutrient Calculator
5D. Keto Goods Online
5E. Keto Recipes Galore
5F. Further Information

VI. Keto FAQ
6A. What is the ketogenic diet in simple terms?
6B. Is ketosis unhealthy?
6C. Is ketosis unnatural?
6D. How can you lose fat if you eat fat?
6E. Is it best to bulk on keto or on a normal diet?
6F. Are ketostix reliable?
6G. Please leave any questions in the comments.

 I. Why You Should Care About Ketosis: The Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

1A. Ketosis Increases Neuronal Stabilization and Mental Focus 

Ketogenic diets have long been a known and established treatment for epilepsy. Ketosis somehow stabilizes the brain in a way that a normal glycolytic metabolism does not.  It turns out based on Devivo’s “Chronic Ketosis and Cerebral Metabolism” that ketosis actually increases the ATP/ADP ratio in the brain; in other words, under a ketogenic metabolism there is actually more energy available for your brain to utilize, so the brain is able to function more efficiently, quickly, and effectively than it would otherwise be able to.

Many people cite anecdotal experiences of "brain fog" as proof that ketosis actually hinders mental thinking, but this is false. This misconception arises from the fact that one must undergo a period of induction into ketosis (approximately 10-30 days) in which the body adjusts itself fully to a ketogenic metabolism. It is during this induction period that people experience the physical and mental sluggishness that is often associated with ketosis; unfortunately, these people often employ "glycogen refeeds" prematurely so that they suspend themselves in a perpetual state of ketogenic adaptation.

The article Your Brain on Ketones goes into further detail on the mechanisms behind the stability of the brain under ketosis.

  1. Chronic Ketosis and Cerebral Metabolism  
  2. Ketogenic Diets in the Treatment of Epilepsy: Short-Term Clinical Effects

1B. Ketosis Promotes the Loss of Body-Fat and LDL Cholesterol and the Retention of HDL Cholesterol 

If your goal is to rid yourself of body-fat and LDL cholesterol, then it simply does not make a single bit of sense not to be on a ketogenic diet. Under a normal glycolytic metabolism, fat exists only as a backup or reserve fuel. Your body does not like to use it. When your body requires energy under a glycolytic metabolism, it first scans your blood-stream for glucose. If not much blood-glucose is found, then your body will command the liver to convert its stored glycogen into glucose. If not much glycogen is found, then your body will breakdown muscle and fat. Fat is the very last option. Under ketosis, fat is the very first option for energy ahead of anything else.

Quoted from Long term effects ...
The body weight and body mass index of both groups [under ketogenic metabolisms] decreased significantly (P < 0.0001). The level of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose level decreased significantly (P < 0.0001), whereas HDL cholesterol increased significantly (P < 0.0001) after the treatment in both groups.

  1. Long Term Effects of Ketogenic Diet in Obese Subjects with High Cholesterol Level  
  2. A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet versus a Low-Fat Diet to Treat Obesity and Hyperlipidemia 

1C. Ketosis Eliminates Various Ailments such as Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension 

Ketosis has been shown to eliminate ailments such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension. This makes sense since insulin levels are scrupulously controlled under ketosis, and large portions of fat and LDL cholesterol are lost.

Quoted from Effects of high ...
In the high-carbohydrate group, hemoglobin A1c decreased (from 8.2% to 6.9%, P<.03), fasting plasma glucose decreased (from 8.8 to 7.2 mmol/L, P<.02), and insulin sensitivity increased (from 12.8 to 17.2 μmol/kg/min, P<.03). No significant changes in these parameters occurred in the high-protein group, instead systolic and diastolic blood pressures decreased (−10.5±2.3 mm Hg, P=.003 and −18±9.0 mm Hg, P<.05, respectively).

Quoted from A low carbohydrate ...
The LCKD [Low Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet] improved glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes such that diabetes medications were discontinued or reduced in most participants. Because the LCKD can be very effective at lowering blood glucose, patients on diabetes medication who use this diet should be under close medical supervision or capable of adjusting their medication.

  1. A Low Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet to Treat Type 2 Diabetes 
  2. Effects of high protein vs high carbohydrate intake on insulin sensitivity, body weight, hemoglobin A1, and blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes melitus 
  3. Comparison of a Low-Fat Diet to a Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Weight Loss, Body Composition, and Risk Factors for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in Free-Living, Overweight Men and Women

1D. Ketosis Treats Several Diseases such as Alzheimer's and Various Cancers 

Alzheimer's disease most likely arises, among other factors, from abnormally low levels of beta amyloid due to a dysfunction of the glycolysis pathway in certain areas of the brain. Ketosis has been shown to raise the levels of beta amyloid, and is seen as a possible treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

Ketosis is also seen as a treatment to various cancers. Cancers are simply malignant tumors which possess a glycolytic rate that is up to 200 times that of surrounding non-cancerous cells - that is, cancer cells indirectly consume vast amounts of glucose. Without glucose, these cancer cells should not survive, and this does seem to be the case.

  1. The ketogenic diet; fatty acids, fatty acid-activated receptors, and neurological disorders
  2. Study of the ketogenic agent AC-1202 in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial
  3. Implementing A Ketogenic Diet Based on Medium-chain Triglyceride Oil in Pediatric Patients with Cancer
  4. Carbohydrate restriction in patients with advanced cancer: a protocol to assess safety and feasibility with an accompanying hypothesis

1E. Ketosis Promotes Cardiovascular Health 

Quote by Joaquín Pérez-Guisado
Contrary to past opinions, KDs also lead to improvements in cardiovascular health. When analyzing the nutritional habits of American society, carbohydrate consumption has risen, resulting in an increase in obesity and atherogenic markers such as triglycerides and VLD]. For Dasthi et al., the use of a KD with obese patients over a period of 12 weeks, in addition to being effective and safe for weight loss, also modified cardiovascular risk factors favorably in these patients. Specifically, there is a significant decrease in fasting and postprandial (in response to high-fat meals) blood triglyceride levels] and both blood levels are considered independently as risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, the phenomenon of carbohydrate-induced hypertriglyceridemia is long established. The serum triglyceride levels decreased more and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level increased more with the low-carbohydrate diet than with the low-fat diet: at 6 months and at 12 months]. Bearing in mind that the atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype is characterized by an increase in liver production of VLDL, low levels of HDL and a predominance of small LDL particles, it is surprising that low-fat and high-carbohydrate diets favor this atherogenic profile in patients who previously did not have this problem.

Low-carbohydrate high-fat diets, on the other hand, improve all aspects of atherogenic dyslipidemia, decreasing fasting and postprandial triglyceride levels and increasing HDL and LDL particle size. These diets prompt an increase in larger LDL particles, a drop in smaller LDL particles and a decrease in the cholesterol/HDL ratio, which lowers glucose levels and favors weight loss. KDs based around proteins also have cardiovascular benefits, such as decreasing total cholesterol, LDL and triglyceride levels and increasing HDL levels. When comparing low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets and low-carbohydrate/high-fat diets, it seems that the difference between both diets in relation to blood lipid levels lies in the LDL, which are significantly lower in high-protein diets. Low-carbohydrate diets clearly have short-term cardiovascular benefits, but such benefits can also be observed over longer periods of time: 6 months, since improvements in blood pressure and blood levels of total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides are noted in the 6 month period; 12 months, since the low-carbohydrate diet was associated with a greater improvement in certain risk factors for coronary heart disease (higher HDL and lower triglyceride levels).

In relation to cardiovascular health, these diets have also proven to be effective for hypertension.

Low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets are more effective than high-carbohydrate diets for decreasing blood pressure (both diastolic and systolic).

Taken from: Arguments in Favor of the Ketogenic Diet

  1. A ketogenic diet favorably affects serum biomarkers for cardiovascular disease in normal-weight men
  2. Fasting lipoprotein and postprandial triacylglycerol responses to a low-carbohydrate diet supplemented with n-3 fatty acids

1F. Ketosis Preserves Lean-Body Mass 

Under glycolysis, you must first deplete blood-glucose and glycogen stores in order to begin utilizing fats as energy, but the breakdown of fat must then compete with the breakdown of muscle-mass. The result of this competition or duel catabolism is about as much muscle-mass lost as fat. This can of course be largely avoided thru ketosis since under ketosis body-fat is the first and primary source of energy. Ketosis is muscle-sparing for the simple reason that proteins no longer compete with fatty acids for energy utilization. Under ketosis, protein is a secondary energy source and thus muscle-mass is largely spared.

Taken from Comparison of energy ...
Young et al. compared the effects of three isoenergetic (7.5 MJ/day), isoprotein (115g/day) diets containing varying carbohydrate contents (30, 60, and 104 g/day) on weight loss and body composition in obese men. After 9 weeks, weight loss was 16.2, 12.8, and 11.9 kg and fat accounted for 95%, 84%, and 75% of the weight lost, respectively.

A secondary explanation for muscle-preservation under ketosis might be the stimulation of chaperone-mediated autophagy.

  1. Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets on weight loss and body composition in overweight men and women 
  2. Effect of body composition and other parameters in obese young men of carbohydrate level of reduction diet
  3. Ketone Bodies Stimulate Chaperone-mediated Autophagy

1G. One Will Lose Body-fat More Quickly on Keto Than Not 

The brain requires or uses rather roughly 20% of daily maintenance energy. Under glycolytic conditions the predominate form in which the brain accepts energy is glucose or glucose derivatives. In other words at least 20% of energy expended daily under a glyclytic metabolism must be taken from dietary or stored glucose. Under fat-adapted ketogenic conditions at least 80% of the energy used by the brain is in the form of (fat-derived) ketone-bodies.

As well under ketogenic conditions one will sweat, excrete, and exhale fat-derived ketone-bodies which can account for up to 100 kcal of energy lost per day.

Say that a hypothetical person requires 3,000 kcal in order to maintain his weight. Each day this person if under a ketogenic metabolism would lose an additional 580 kcal of fat than he would have lost if he had not been under a ketogenic metabolism.

1H. Ketosis Blunts Appetite and Increases Meal Satiety 

Protein and fat are known to cause greater satiety than sugars do which lends to a decrease in the tendency to over-eat; as well as this, the metabolism of ketosis has certain appetite-suppressing qualities.

II. Understanding Ketosis;  An Overview of Metabolism

2A. Metabolism Defined 

Metabolism can be defined as those particular processes by which a creature derives energy. There are several different possible metabolic processes that humans are capable of, but perhaps the most prevalent and important of them all, and the one that plays a central role in understanding ketosis is the krebs cycle.

2B. The Krebs Cycle 

The krebs cycle is the primary mechanism by which the human body extracts energy yielding molecules from food.

This is the krebs cycle:

All that we care about though is the initiation of the cycle:

As you can see, all that is required for the initiation of the krebs cycle are the molecules acetyl-CoA and oxaloacetate. Oxaloacetate is naturally regenerated from the cycle, but Acetyl-CoA must be fed into the cycle continuously. Both of these molecules can be produced from the molecule pyruvate as shown in the diagram. Pyruvate itself is produced thru glycolysis.

2C. Glycolysis 

Glycolysis begins with a glucose molecule that is phosphorylated and reduced down to 2 molecules of pyruvate.


Pyruvate is the molecule from which acetyl-CoA originates if you remember from the previous section. This is what happens to all carbohydrates; they are all converted into a form that can be fed into this pathway for the eventual production of acetyl-CoA.

So what happens when you do not ingest carbohydrates for a while? Well it turns out that there is a store of carbohydrates in your liver in the form of glycogen that will get broken down into glucose when none is ingested. If you do not ingest glucose for such a long period of time that liver-glycogen stores become depleted then you will take all of your energy from fatty acids.

2D. Fat Lipolysis and Fatty Acid Beta-Oxidation 

When the body is glucose-starved and glycogen-depleted then one will obtain almost all energy from fatty-acid beta-oxidation. This begins with the activation of the enzyme lipase which cleaves fats into a glycerol molecule and 3 fatty acid chains effectively freeing the fatty acids from their cell.

These fatty acid chains then undergo a series of beta-oxidations in which acetyl-CoA is produced (and free CoA is used up when it attaches to the acetate ion) after each beta-cleavage. This acetyl-CoA molecule can then enter the krebs cycle as normal.

If this is allowed to continue for a period of time then eventually the acetyl-CoA/CoA ratio will increase since now we will be producing 7,8,9+ acetyl-CoA molecules for every 1 fatty acid. When this occurs the krebs cycle will be temporarily shut down so that the acetyl-CoA molecules can no longer enter.

2E. Citrate Synthase Inhibition and Beta-ketothiolase Activation 

Citrate synthase is the enzyme that accepts acetyl-CoA for entry into the krebs cycle. When acetyl-CoA concentrations increase citrate synthase is inhibited because there exists an allosteric site of inhibition on citrate synthase for acetyl-CoA; so acetyl-CoA can bind to this site and change the conformational shape of the protein rendering it ineffective.

At the same time that citrate synthase is inhibited there exists another enzyme in liver mitochondria that is activated named beta-ketothiolase. Beta-ketothiolase is activated because free CoA is an allosteric inhibitor of it and as concentrations of free-CoA decrease the enzyme is allowed to function as normal.

At this point when citrate synthase is inhibited and beta-ketothiolase is activated all of the acetyl-CoA molecules are shunted to the liver where they bind to this enzyme beta-ketothiolase and enter the 3 enzyme long pathway known as ketogenesis.

2F. Ketogenesis and Ketosis 

At this point you have acetyl-CoA binding to beta-ketothiolase and entering the pathway ketogenesis.

The end-product of ketogenesis is the 'ketone-body' acetoacetate. Acetoacetate can undergo spontaneous decarboxylation with the loss of CO2 to form acetone which is itself lost through the breath, sweat, and urine; or it can be reduced to hydroxybutyrate.

When concentrations of these ketone-bodies increase one is said to be in the metabolic condition of ketosis. Ketosis is important for one because most fatty acids cannot pass the blood-brain barrier; only ketone bodies and specific short-medium chained fatty acids are able to pass this barrier.

Acetone is released from the breath and urine. Acetone is said to have a "fruity" smell. It is acetone that you smell in your breath and urine when under ketosis, and it may be acetone (but also largely acetoacetate) that interacts with the dried nitroprusside on ketostix to indicate ketosis. So, under a ketogenic metabolism, by simply urinating and breathing you are indirectly ridding yourself of fat.

III. The Basics of the Ketogenic Diet

3A. Entering Ketosis: A Macro Ratio for Keto 

Ketosis occurs when the body has no dietary source of glucose/sugar and its store of glycogen has been depleted. When this occurs, the body primarily begins cleaving fats into fatty acids and glycerol, and transforms the fatty acids into acetyl CoA molecules which are then in turn eventually transformed into ketone bodies in the liver. In other words, under a ketogenic metabolism, the body uses dietary and bodily fats as its primary energy source.

It is possible to induce the initiation of this metabolism thru a careful diet; this diet must contain limited amounts of carbohydrates, sugars, and proteins, and should be comprised primarily of fats.

The ideal macro-nutrient ketogenic ratio is this: 65% of your calories should come from fats 30% of your calories should come from proteins 5% of your calories should come from fibrous carbohydrates

This is your new food pyramid:

This ratio was created by assuming a man whose daily Caloric goals being 2,000 kcal possesses 150 pounds of LBM and thus requires at least 150 grams of protein for muscle-preservation making his protein requirements 30% of his energy intake. As you can see the ratio will certainly be a non-personal estimate for everyone else. Though the percentages are good enough for weight-loss it might be beneficial to calculate yourself exactly what you require. The steps to do so are contained in the last subsection of this section.

The protein/fat balance is important to a degree. If one does not consume enough protein then muscle-mass will be lost since the body requires a certain amount of glucose per day, and if one consumes too much protein then ketosis may be halted since protein is converted to glucose via gluconeogenesis. The dangers of a disruption of ketosis by protein consumption are highly unlikely as one would have to consume an unnatural amount of protein with the help of supplementation to cause this, so the more probable danger is a loss of muscle-mass. So eat enough protein if you care at all for aesthetics.

It is also vital to understand that the driving force for weight-loss even under a ketogenic metabolism is in fact an energy deficit. Ketosis works so wonderfully for everyone because it blunts appetite and increases satiety and in so doing causes a natural energy deficit. Because of these qualities it may not be necessary for very obese individuals to keep track of energy intake but as you near lower body-fat percentages it might be helpful to keep track of energy intake and ensure that you are at a deficit in order to continue to lose weight.

If you are lazy you can enter your information into the Ketogenic Macro-Nutrient Calculator in order to find out exactly how many calories of each macro-nutrient you should eat per day. A more highly recommended procedure would be to calculate energy intake and macronutrient layout yourself. You can calculate energy intake by referring to this guide, and you can calculate your macronutrient goals by referring to section 3F of this guide.

Skip down to the ultimate list of ketogenic foods to find out exactly what foods you are allowed to eat.

3B. Saturated vs. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids 

The case for PUFAs:

There is some evidence that a ketogenic diet which utilizes a majority of polyunsaturated fatty acids versus saturated fatty acids induces a deeper state of ketosis than a diet high in saturated fatty acids. A diet high in PUFAs induces a deeper ketosis in which levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate are significantly higher, and insulin sensitivity is increased. Since beta-hydroxybutyrate levels increase when a majority of dietary fats are polyunsaturated, it stands to reason that fat lipolysis and beta oxidation activity increase as well; so, in other words, you will rid yourself of fat more quickly and easily if a majority of your fat percentage comes from things like seeds, nuts, oils, and fatty fish.

The study that this section is based on performed its experiment with a dietary ratio of 70/15/15 fats/proteins/carbohydrates, so it may not necessarily translate to the 60/35/5 ketogenic diet as advocated by Lyle Mcdonald.

The ratio that was used in the study though is a 60/20/20 polyunsaturated/monounsaturated/saturated fatty acids. It may not be necessary to replicate this ratio exactly, but instead to aim for a ratio which holds PUFAs as the major fatty acid.

You can determine which keto-friendly foods contain polyunsaturated fats by checking the ultimate ketogenic food list in section 3 M of this guide; all of the foods that contain mostly polyunsaturated fats will be colored green and purple.

  1. Differential Metabolic Effects of Saturated Versus Polyunsaturated Fats in Ketogenic Diets

The case for SFAs: (the following is a repost of El_Dangeroso's post which can be found here.

Structure:  These group of fats are referred to as 'saturated' as every carbon molecule in the 'chain' of fatty acids has an attached hydrogen molecule. This makes for the most 'stable' chemical structure as in the least likely to react with any other chemicals.

This non-reactivity is a good thing as most of the threats that our body uses its resources fighting is created by oxidisation, as in oxygen reacting to another substance. This is why anti-oxidants have such a good reputation. Though it must be said some oxidation is appropriate and contributes to a healthy metabolism, as it promotes an adaptive response such as after exercise. But generally speaking we want to keep oxidisation intermittent and brief.

Cholesterol: But, doesn't saturated fat raise LDL or cholesterol, the 'bad' cholesterol? Well that's not actually established, most of the trials are short-term (<12 weeks), low-quality and the results are all over the place, some show slight reductions from reducing saturated fat but they are usually poorly controlled, as in they don't take into account what they are replacing the saturated fat with and how that effected cholesterol level. In the longer term trials the association pretty much disappears when other factors are controlled for (like smoking and obesity.).

Saturated fat does consistently and reliably raise HDL cholesterol however, and unless you're crazily out of range, indicative of a serious infection, the higher the better.

Risk of Heart Disease But even if saturated fat doesn't adversely affect cholesterol, it's still really associated with getting a heart attack though right? I mean arterycloggingsaturatedfat is almost one word it's been drilled into us so often.

Well, again the science just doesn't back this up. If you look at observational studies you'll find some studies showing that people who go heavy on the butter and bacon tend to die of more heart attacks. But the problem with these kinds of studies is that you cannot infer a causal relationship from an retrospective observational study because the 'experiment' has been tainted.

An example: Lets pretend 20 years ago we decide that people that wear more yellow clothes have less heart disease. All the health-conscious people listen to their doctors and start wearing yellow shirts, along with doing thousands of other things that health-conscious people tend to do either unconsciously or consciously (exercise, no smoking, less fast food) that can't be fully accounted for by mathematically controlling the statistics. Lo and behold a few decades later it's as clear as day that people who wear yellow clothes have less heart attacks!

If you think the above example is completely silly then think how silly it is that even the observational evidence from the last few decades is not consistent the theory. The totality of the studies of this nature don't even support an association with an increase in heart disease even though we've been told to lay off the cream and butter for decades now.

The best version of an observational study is a prospective cohort study, this is where rather than asking people to remember what they were eating ten years ago, you ask them what they eat now and at regular intervals and follow their progress for a number of years. Although still far from perfect, these kind of studies minimise 'recall' bias or the bias we all have in remembering what we eat.

There have been 25 prospective studies done examining the relationship between heart-disease and saturated fat and only four of them managed to find any relationship whatsoever. If there was a real danger from eating saturated fat, we would see a far more consistent relationship, especially considering how healthy people in general tend to avoid it based on public health recommendations.

This recent meta-analysis by Krauss et al. is the most comprehensive review of it's nature:


Background: A reduction in dietary saturated fat has generally been thought to improve cardiovascular health.

Objective: The objective of this meta-analysis was to summarize the evidence related to the association of dietary saturated fat with risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD; CHD inclusive of stroke) in prospective epidemiologic studies.

Design: Twenty-one studies identified by searching MEDLINE and EMBASE databases and secondary referencing qualified for inclusion in this study. A random-effects model was used to derive composite relative risk estimates for CHD, stroke, and CVD.

Results: During 5–23 y of follow-up of 347,747 subjects, 11,006 developed CHD or stroke. Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD. The pooled relative risk estimates that compared extreme quantiles of saturated fat intake were 1.07 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.19; P = 0.22) for CHD, 0.81 (95% CI: 0.62, 1.05; P = 0.11) for stroke, and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.11; P = 0.95) for CVD. Consideration of age, sex, and study quality did not change the results.

Conclusions: A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace saturated fat.

So according to the balance of evidence saturated fat is at worst benign, but could it actually be beneficial? Well yes, there are trials showing that it: -Increases HDL -Increases testosterone in men -Reduces Lp(a) (this stuff correlates with heart disease and stroke like no other biomarker out there, it's the most potent risk factor by a mile.) -Aids the clearance of excess fat from the liver (this is why a lot of people find their cholesterol jumps up on a weight loss diet, that's your body ridding itself of visceral liver fat and it is only temporary) -Sat fat will also protect your liver from the damage inflicted by alcohol and certain medications.

3C. Sample Ketogenic Meal Plan 

This is an example of an ideal ketogenic daily meal plan. Be creative and make your own meal plans.

Meal 1: Hemp seed, asparagus, and cheddar-cheese omelet with 2 slices bacon.
  • 508 calories, 43.9 g fat (77%), 23.7 g protein (19%), 4.5 g carb (4%)
  • 46% polyunsaturated, 27% monounsaturated, 27% saturated
  1. Fry 2 slices bacon in a pan. Remove bacon when cooked.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon hemp oil to the pan and mix with the bacon drippings.
  3. Combine 1 ounce chopped asparagus, 1/2 tbsp heavy cream, 2 eggs, 1 tbsp hemp seed into a bowl and stir.
  4. Once the pan is nice and hot pour the contents of the bowl in.
  5. Flip the omelet once and add 1/2 ounce chopped cheddar cheese. fold omelet.
  6. Serve the omelet and bacon with the oil and grease poured on top.

Meal 2 Avocado and Sardine Spinach Salad with Ranch Dressing
  • 547 calories, 47 g fat (77%), 25.5 g protein (19%), 5.5 g carb (4%)
  • 51% polyunsaturated, 32% monounsaturated, 17% saturated
  1. Chop 1/4 large avocado, 1 ounce provolone cheese, 7 sardines, 1 cup lettuce, 1 cup raw spinach
  2. Mix 2 tbsp ranch dressing with 1 tbsp grape seed oil
  3. Combine ingredients in a bowl and serve with the dressing.

 Meal 3 Ground-Beef Taco with Sour Cream and Sesame Seeds
  • 518 calories, 32 g fat (55%), 53 g protein (41%), 4.5 g carb (4%)
  • 15% polyunsaturated, 37% monounsaturated, 48% saturated
  1. Fry 1/2 pound 90% lean ground-beef until brown
  2. Add a bit of water and 1 portion of taco seasoning. Mix and simmer
  3. Add 1 ounce blended Mexican cheese (reduced fat) on top
  4. Mix 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds with 1 ounce sour cream
  5. Serve ground-beef with sour cream on the side.

 Meal 4 Salmon Fillet with Sunflower Butter and Broccoli
  • 491 calories, 31 g fat (57%), 44 g protein (37%), 6 g carb (6%)
  • 48% polyunsaturated, 33% monounsaturated, 19% saturated
  1. Grill 1/2 fillet salmon until tender
  2. Boil 1 cup broccoli until tender
  3. Heat up 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter
  4. Plate the salmon and broccoli and pour the sunflower seed butter and some lemon juice on top

 Meal 5 Protein Shake with Water
  • 102 calories, 2 g fat (18%), 18 g protein (70%), 3 g carb (12%)
  • 25% polyunsaturated, 25% monounsaturated, 50% saturated 

 Daily Totals
  • 2156 calories, 156 g fat (65%), 164 g protein (30%), 24 g carb (5%)
  • 40% polyunsaturated, 32% monounsaturated, 28% saturated

3D. The Wonders of Fiber 

Fiber is mostly a form of sugar called cellulose. Humans do not possess the necessary enzymes to metabolize cellulose, so it does not activate glycolysis and it has no effect whatsoever on insulin levels. High-fiber foods are safe to eat on keto, and in fact you should eat lots of them. Green-leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and broccoli should be eaten with every meal.

3E. How to Enter Ketosis Quickly, Easily, and Reliably 

What initiates ketosis is an empty store of liver-glycogen, so this method will attempt to eliminate liver-glycogen stores in the quickest manner possible.

Here is the full-proof method to enter ketosis:

Day 1:

  • Do not eat anything after 6 p.m.

Day 2:

  • Wake up and perform HIIT (high intensity interval training) or intense conditioning/weight training on an empty stomach
  • Begin a strict ketogenic diet with 0-2% of calories attributed to carbohydrates.

Day 3:

  • Wake up and perform MISS (medium intensity steady state) or light-medium intensity conditioning/weight training on an empty stomach
  • Begin a normal ketogenic diet with 5% of calories attributed to carbohydrates

If not already, you will soon be in ketosis in a short matter of time.

3F. How to Know You're Under Ketosis 

When the body is under a ketogenic metabolism, you will exhale gaseous acetone and excrete acetone thru the urine.

Acetone is said to have a "fruity" smell, so if your breath or urine smells somewhat like fruit then you're under ketosis. Many people also report a metallic taste in their mouths when under ketosis.

There are also ketostix available at any pharmacy with which to test yourself for ketosis.

3G. The Gloom of Induction 

If this is your first time ever on a ketogenic metabolism, or if you haven't been under ketosis for a long time, then you will experience a period of induction in which your body adjusts itself to a ketogenic metabolism. The length of this induction varies, but can last anywhere from 10 to 30 days.

During this period, you will most likely experience headaches, brain fog, cramps, moodiness, and fatigue.

This is normal and temporary. After this induction period, your body will be fully adjusted to a ketogenic metabolism and your energy will be restored.

It is important to stay under ketosis until your body is fully adjusted. Do not undergo any "carb-ups" until this induction is complete. You will know because all of your symptoms and sluggishness will disappear completely and you will suddenly feel fine.

3H. Losing Body-Fat 

Sorry it's taken so long for me to update this section. My article on fat-loss can be found at

3I. Building Muscle-Mass 

My article on building muscle-mass can be found at

3J. Aerobic Exercise 

The body burns primarily glycogen when the heart rate is above 70% of its max. Therefore, aerobic exercises such as HIIT are good for burning liver-glycogen stores during induction, but such high-intensity exercise is not recommended once under ketosis as once muscle-glycogen stores are depleted, the body will begin catabolizing mainly muscle-mass under any high-intensity activity.

The ideal aerobic exercises to perform when under ketosis are MISS (medium intensity steady state) and LISS (low intensity steady state).

HIIT = Periods of high-intensity activity followed by an abrupt switch to low-intensity activity.

MISS = Maintained medium-intensity activity (lightly jogging).

LISS = Maintained low-intensity activity (walking).

3K. Glycogen Refeeding 

A glycogen refeed is simply the ingestion of carbohydrates for a set period of time with the main intention of replenishing the muscle-glycogen stores. If you weight-train then it would be a good idea to implement some type of refeed (either a cyclical refeed or a targeted refeed).

Here is an in-depth article on everything you need to know about cyclical glycogen refeeding written by Lyle Mcdonald himself: Training on the Ketogenic Diet.

3L. Reentering Glycolysis Correctly 

If you would like to reenter a normal glycolytic metabolism then slowly begin incorporating more and more carbohydrates into your diet. As long as you do not over-exceed your B.M.R. then you should not have any fat gain whatsoever (though you may gain a bit of water-weight).

3M. A List of Ketogenic Foods 

Cheeses | Dairy | Dressings | Fats & Oils | Fish | Flours/Meals/Powders | Fowl | Fruits, low sugar | Fruits, moderate sugar | Meats | Nuts/Legumes | Seeds | Shell Fish | Vegetables, low sugar | Vegetables, moderate sugar |

Each entry is linked to nutritional data and colored according to a code (shown below).

♥ Green = Excellent: Low Carbohydrates, High Polyunsaturated Fats
♣ Blue = Excellent: Low Carbohydrates, High Saturated Fats
♦ Orange = Good: Low Carbohydrates, Low-Moderate Fats
◌ Purple = Acceptable: Moderate Carbohydrates, High Polyunsaturated Fats
∗ Grey = Acceptable: Moderate Carbohydrates, High Saturated Fats
⊗ Red = Barely Acceptable: Moderate Carbohydrates, Low-Moderate Fats

The numbers on the side represent the macronutrient content per 100 grams in the following order:

grams of fat, grams of protein, grams of total carbohydrate / grams of fiber

Don't worry if the numbers don't add up to 100 grams because there are other things such as water composing the mass of the food. Also, these numbers are just a rough guideline and may be slightly different depending on the brand. A perfect ketogenic ratio occurs when the grams of protein are slightly more or the same as the grams of fat.




Fats & Oils 




Fruits, low sugar/glycemic 

Fruits, moderate sugar/glycemic 




Shell Fish 

Vegetables, low sugar/glycemic 

Vegetables, moderate sugar/glycemic 

3N. Step by Step Guide to the SKD, TKD, and CKD 

All of the figures and ratios found in the step by step guide below are taken directly from Lyle Mcdonald's The ketogenic diet: a complete guide for the dieter and practitioner.

Standard Ketogenic Diet

  1. First multiply your total weight by (15 if you're a female) or (16 if you're a male). (for a more precise calculation follow this guide:
    • Example: Tod is a male who weighs 200 pounds.
      • 200 x 16 = 3200 Calories
  2. Decrease this number by 20% to lose weight or increase it by 20% to gain weight.
    • Example 1: Tod wants to lose weight.
      • 3200 x (1.00 - 0.20) = 2560 Calories
    • Example 2: Tod wants to gain weight.
      • 3200 x (1.00 + 0.20) = 3840 Calories
  3. Next figure out how much lean body mass you possess.
  4. Once you know what your LBM (lean body mass) is, then either multiply your LBM by (0.8 if you are non-active) or (0.9 or 1.0 if you are active) in order to find the amount of protein you should consume daily; that is, whether or not you perform any supplemental exercising.
    • Example: Tod measured his body-fat and it turns out that he's around 20% body-fat. Tod should multiply his total weight by (1 - 20%) to find his LBM.
      • 200 lbs x (1 - 0.20) = 160 lbs LBM.
    • Now that Tod knows his LBM, he will multiply this by 1.0 since he exercises 5 days a week.
      • 160 x 1 = 160. This is the number of grams of protein that Tod should consume per day (160 grams/day protein).
  5. Now determine the amount of carbohydrates to consume per day.
    • Example: Tod decided that he wants to lose weight. His Caloric needs per day are 2560.
      • 2560 Calories x 0.05 = 128 Calories of carbohydrates; 128/4 = 32 grams carbohydrates.
  6. Subtract the Calories attributed to protein and carbohydrate in order to determine the amount of fat to be consumed.
    • Example: 2560 - [(32 + 160) x 4)] = 1792 Calories of fat should be consumed by Tod; 1792 / 9 = 199 grams of fat should be consumed by Tod.
    • In Tod's particular case, he should consume 199 grams fat, 160 grams protein, 32 grams carbohydrate per day
  7. Divide the grams of each macro-nutrient by the amount of meals you will eat per day to find the grams of each macro-nutrient needed per meal.
    • Ex. Tod wants to eat 3 meals per day.
      • 199 grams fat / 3 = 66 grams fat per meal.
      • 160 grams protein / 3 = 53 grams protein per meal.
      • 32 grams carbohydrate / 3 = 10 grams carbohydrate per meal.
  8. Now use this the list of ketogenic foods and devise several meals which fit your macro-nutrient goals per meal and only eat those meals.
  9. Here is an entire daily sample meal plan (Here). For even more ideas check the keto logs section at (Here).

Targeted Ketogenic Diet

  • Before weight-training consume 25-50 grams carbohydrate, and after weight-training consume another 25-50 grams carbohydrate with some whey protein. Dextrose (which can be bought at's store) is good for this purpose.
  • You can begin this diet on day 1 of a standard ketogenic diet

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

Before beginning

  1. Follow the steps in the standard ketogenic diet outlined above and begin the diet. After about 3-5 days of dieting in this manner you will feel tired, sluggish, moody, irritable, light-headed. This is good because it means that you are following the diet correctly.
  2. Once the negative symptoms begin, that means that you've entered ketosis. Now maintain ketosis without any refeeds until the symptoms disappear and you feel better. This may take 2-3 weeks.
  3. If you are performing any type of weight-training then employ a TKD (targeted ketogenic diet) until the symptoms disappear.
  4. Once the symptoms disappear you are fat-adapted and can begin a CKD (cyclical ketogenic diet) if you'd like.

Steps to a CKD

  1. Begin on Monday (for example) and weight-train with intensity every day until Thursday.
  2. On Friday perform a depletion workout. This should be a full body workout. Interval-training is superior to weight-training for maximal glycogen synthesis, but either is fine.
    • An example of interval training for full-body depletion might be sets of burpees. An example depletion workout utilizing weight-training can be found (Here).
  3. Approximately 5 hours before your depletion workout, consume 25-50 gram carbohydrates with a small amount of protein and fat. Dextrose would be a good bet for this.
  4. Approximately 1-2 hours before the depletion workout, consume 25 grams glucose and 25 grams fructose. (honey with some fruit would be good for this).
  5. Perform the depletion workout.
  6. For the first 24 hours of your carb-load after completion of the depletion workout, 4.5 g/lb LBM of carbohydrate should be consumed. A ratio of 70/15/15 carbohydrate/protein/fat should be employed.
    • Example: Tod has a LBM of 160.
      • 160 x 4.5 = 720 g carbohydrate; 720 x 4 = 2880 Calories carbohydrate.
      • 2880 / 70 x 100 = 4114 total Calories.
      • 4114 x 0.15 / 4 = 154 g protein.
      • 4114 x 0.15 / 9 = 68 g fat.
    • For the first 24 hours Tod should consume 720 g carbohydrate, 154 g protein, 68 g fat.
    • For the first 24 hours Tod should consume high GI carbohydrates. Here is a glycemic index list of foods: GI food list.
  7. For the second 24 hours of your carb-load, 2.3 g/lb LBM of carbohydrate should be consumed. A ratio of 60/25/15 carbohydrate/protein/fat should be employed.
    • Example: Tod has a LBM of 160.
      • 160 x 2.3 = 368 g carbohydrate; 368 x 4 = 1472 Calories carbohydrate.
      • 1472 / 60 x 100 = 2453 total Calories.
      • 2453 x 0.25 / 4 = 153 g protein.
      • 2453 x 0.15 / 9 = 41 g fat.
    • For the second 24 hours Tod should consume 368 g carbohydrate, 153 g protein, 41 g fat.
    • For the second 24 hours Tod should consume low GI carbohydrates. Here is a glycemic index list of foods: GI food list
  8. After the second 24 hour carb-load period, begin again your standard ketogenic Caloric level and macro-nutrient ratio.
  9. Employ intense weight-training to deplete muscle and liver glycogen in order to return to ketosis.

IV. Keto Testimonials

If you'd like to showcase your keto transformation in this section then please go here.

4A. ladysixstring 

Quoted from ladysixstring

found out about low carb because my boyfriend is a member of something awful. from jan-april i did about 30g of carbs a day and lost most of my weight. i literally only monitored carbs and everything else was fair game. in may i went to 60g of carbs a day for various reasons, i only really retained some water weight, but didn't lose any. then starting in june i found that this subreddit existed and i switched over to keto. now i am still at 30g of carbs a day, but i monitor my ratios of fat and protein more closely and i am eating more fat in general than i had before.

i started at 165lbs at the beginning of january, i actually believe i am around 135lbs now

4B. Dominaterisk 

More photos here.

Quoted from Dominaterisk

I'd actually eaten a ketogenic diet since 2000 for medical reasons and for weight maintenance. I went off the diet in 2009/2010 at the urging of my ex-boyfriend and again later after I met my fiance and didn't want to seem like a picky eater. Ballooned up to 185 (after years of being 125-130) and finally in early December said 'enough is enough.' I'm on my way down to 120, where I'll be staying on a ketogenic diet for life.

- November/December: 185 lbs, BMI ~30 - March 27: 165.4 lbs, BMI 26.6 - June 19: 144 lbs, BMI 23.2

4C. sepatown 

Quoted from sepatown

I started eating low-carb after my type II diabetic father had great success with it, not only stabilizing his blood sugar, but getting to a healthy weight. We work together and eat lunch together almost everyday, so it was easier for me than most to figure out what to eat. I've lost over 90lbs, and I'm not done yet.

Before I put this pic together I was feeling a bit discouraged because I still have a gut. As soon as I got the pics done, my first though was "Holy shit I used to be a total fat ass." I'm 31 years old. I'm 5'11", started eating low carb on Sept. 21, 2010 at 264lbs. I'm currently 171lbs. I went from wearing size 44 jeans to size 32 and a 3xl shirt to a medium.

4D. vgisverbose 

Weight Change: 538lbs -> 269lbs

Story: here.

V. Useful Resources and  Websites for the Keto-Minded

5A. The Cook's Thesaurus 

The Cook's Thesaurus Enter in any specific food or food type and this website will give you back "synonyms" or substitutes of that food/food type. This might be very helpful when devising your own recipes.

5B. Restaurant Nutrition Facts 

Fast-food and Restaurant Nutrition Facts Nutrition data on all major restaurants and fast-food chains.

5C. Keto Macro-Nutrient Calculator 

Macro-Nutrient Calculator Easily figure your B.M.R., daily caloric allotment, and calorie breakdown in terms of the ketogenic diet. Alternatively, you can use Man2kx'scalculator download which can be found here: CKD Calculator for Dummies, by Man2kx.

5D. Keto Goods Online 

All Bulk Foods Bulk Foods Nutty Guys These sites are great for buying nuts, seeds, flours, and oils in bulk.

Netrition This site is great for any type of keto snack or food. They have loads of keto-friendly pasta, breads, chips, cookies, flours, etc.

Low Carb Shop and Cafe I haven't actually bought anything from this site so I can't vouch for the validity of it, but it has a nice database of various keto foods and companies.

Julian Bakery Pepperidge Farm's Carb-Style Bread Great keto-friendly bread.

Dreamfield's Pasta Tasty keto-friendly pasta.

Tova Industries Carbsmart Penzeys Sweetzfree These sites are great for keto-friendly sweets, sugars, syrups, powders, and baking goods.

5E. Recipes Galore  

Linda's Low Carb Menus & Recipes One of the best keto recipe sites out there. It is very organized and she rates each recipe honestly.'s Archive of Keto Recipes An organized archive of the keto recipes that have been posted at

The Low Carb Cafe Loads of recipes.

Dyan's Low Carb Recipes Very good organization and recipes.

Low Carb Eating Recipes Keto recipes.

Cooking on Keto! Cooking on Keto! (Part II) Creative and fresh recipes for keto.

Keto Recipes Forum A forum dedicated to posting keto recipes.

5F. Further Information 

The ketogenic diet: a complete guide for the dieter and practitioner The original book written by Lyle Mcdonald which popularized keto.

The Big Fat Fiasco Speech Tom Naughton explains some of the politics and science of fat.

Low Carb Megathread 3: We go against the grain A keto thread at the somethingawful forums

Sugar: The Bitter Truth Robert Lustig explores the damage caused by sugary foods.

Sugar Free Sheila Great site with good information. Her printout grocery list is great.

Fathead Movie Watch Fathead Online for Free This is a documentary about the ketogenic diet and fats. I haven't watched it, but I've heard good things.

Fatty Acid Metabolism Goes into greater detail than I did about fat metabolism.

Arguments in Favor of Ketogenic Diet Awesome article on ketosis.

VI. Keto FAQ

6A. What is the ketogenic diet in simple terms? 

A ketogenic diet can be thought of as training your body only to use fats as energy by reducing your consumption of carbohydrates. If your body is trained only to use fats as an energy source, then when there is no dietary fat floating in your blood-stream your body will extract your body-fat and use that as energy.

6B. Is the ketogenic diet unhealthy? 

No. The ketogenic diet is actually so extraordinarily conducive to real human health that it quickly and readily reverses the diseases and malformities that a diet high in grains/sugars and low in fats will inevitably bring about. The idea that fat is bad for you is a complete and utter myth that never had any scientific backing whatsoever, and it is frankly a laughable notion considering how prevalent and important fats and cholesterol are in our bodies. Most vital hormones and steroids stem from cholesterol. Every single one of your cells are covered with and contain lipid membranes that are incredibly important to the functionality of the cells. Do not fear for your health when entering a ketogenic diet, because not only will you quickly rid yourself of body-fat, but you will experience numerous health benefits.

6C. Is the ketogenic diet unnatural? 

No. The ketogenic diet is far more natural for human beings than a diet high in grains and refined sugars. The current diet based on grains and sugars is completely foreign to the human body, and may be responsible for most of the diseases and ailments that we face today (diabetes, heart disease, depression, ADD, obesity, alzheimer's, cancers, etc etc etc).

Quoted from Joaquín Pérez-Guisado

Humanity has existed as a genus for about 2 million years, and our prehuman hominid ancestors, the australopithecines, appeared at least 4 million years ago. This phase of evolutionary history made definitive contributions to our current genetic composition, partly in response to dietary influences at that time. The development of agriculture 10000 years ago has apparently had a minimal influence on our genes and markedly altered human nutritional patterns. In the hunting society of our ancestors protein contributed twice to nearly five times the proportion of total calories that it does for nowadays Americans.

Since then, the human diet has changed drastically: protein intake has been reduced to 10-15%; glucid intake has increased to 45-60% through eating more grain and starch products instead of vegetables and fruits available according to the seasonal conditions; polyunsaturated fat has been reduced and saturated fat has increased (lower polyunsaturated-to-saturated fat radio). So we can affirm that healthier fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (MUFA and PUFA) have been replaced by more pernicious fat like saturated and, above all, the artificial trans fats. Furthermore, carbohydrates consumed nowadays tend to have a higher glycemic index and glycemic load since they are based on grains, starch and refined sugars instead of vegetables and fruits. In such a short evolutionary period of time, human beings have been unable to adapt to this abrupt change in eating habits, and this has been a significant source of stress for our insulin metabolism.

The fact that the nutritional change from a hunter-gatherer diet to a carbohydrate-based diet has affected populations negatively has been revealed by archaeological findings in ancient Egyptian mummies, since tooth decay, cardiovascular disease and obesity were very frequent in those times. More recently, this problem has also been reflected historically by the change in eating habits of Inuit peoples in Alaska. Traditionally, their diet contained 3-5% carbohydrates (since it was based on fish, marine mammals, moose and caribou), obesity was virtually nonexistent and type II diabetes was rare. Since 1961, a growing tendency in type II diabetes and obesity problems has been observed due to a progressive substitution of the traditional protein and fat-based diet by a diet with higher carbohydrate content. This increase has been so dramatic that in 1978, carbohydrates represented 50% of the total calorie contribution in their diet. Another historical fact worth considering when analyzing the nutritional habits of American society is their increased consumption of carbohydrates, either through eating more food in general or by replacing fats with carbohydrates. This leads to an increase in obesity and atherogenic markers such as triglycerides and VLDL].

Most hunter–gatherers, for example, are not obese when they live their traditional lifestyle based on a low carbohydrate diet. Many hunter-gatherers consumed a predominantly plant-based diet, which was supplemented with meat when available, and others such as the Inuits consumed a high fat-protein diet. When such people are exposed to high, refined carbohydrate intake, however, they develop truncal obesity and a much higher risk of diabetes, up to 50% in some populations. This high waist-hip ratio and carbohydrate intolerance is shared by all hunter–gatherer populations throughout the world: Canadian Inuits, Native Americans, Mexican Indians, Pima Indians, South American Indians, Middle-Eastern Nomads, African Pygmies, Australian Aborigines, Maoris, South Sea Islanders, etc.

Nevertheless, many factors are responsible for the health and metabolic disturbances currently experienced by modern hunter–gatherers like the Inuits. It is important to remember that millions of people worldwide from different countries have predominantly carbohydrate-based diets and the prevalence of obesity is very low in these countries. Hence other risk factor factors, such as sedentarism and high calorie intake, are clearly relevant in addition to the macronutrient composition of the diet.

Thus, all these data might suggest that it could be wrong to consider carbohydrates as the basis of the human diet.

Taken from Arguments in Favor of the Ketogenic Diet

6D. How can you lose fat if you eat fat? 

Eating fat is actually the most effective way of losing body-fat. Basically you are training your body to only use fat as energy, so when there are no dietary fats floating around in your blood-stream your body will take out some of your body-fat stores and convert that into energy.

6E. Is it best to bulk (build muscle-mass) on keto or on a normal diet? 

If you like the idea of ridding yourself of excess fat while you gain muscle then probably keto is right for you. Ketosis has also been shown to increase testosterone levels which would of course be conducive to a muscle-building regimine. The only drawback is that insulin activity is reduced under ketosis. Insulin controls the synthesis of muscles by regulating the uptake of amino acids. Since insulin spikes in activity after the ingestion of fast-metabolizing substances such as glucose or medium-chain triglycerides, it is these substances that should be ingested in accordance with protein (whey perhaps) after weight-training in order to increase muscle-mass whilst under ketosis. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides.

Originally Posted by Kinetics and thermogenesis ...
There was an eightfold increase in plasma β-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate concentrations and a threefold increase in serum insulin levels during MCT/LCT infusion, but no significant change in ketone bodies and insulin from basal values was observed during and after Sb infusion.
  1. Kinetics and Thermogenesis of Medium-Chain Monocarboxylic and Dicarboxylic Acids in Man: Sebacate and Medium-Chain Triglycerides

6F. Are ketostix reliable? 

Ketostix detect the presence of acetone in the urine. Acetone is a volatile compound with a very low boiling point, so it is readily exhaled from the body as gas and thru the urinary tract. It is possible to be in a low level of ketosis in which acetoacetate primarily synthesizes beta-hydroxybutyrate, and does not fall to forming acetone. It is also possible to use up all of the blood-ketones thru extreme exercise so that there is no excess acetone to escape into the urinary tract. Another possibility is that the urine is so dilute from excess water consumption that acetone doesn't register on the strip even if it is there; if your urine is clear and you aren't registering for ketosis, then this is a very good possibility.

Ketostix are a decent detector of ketosis, but just because your urinalysis doesn't register the presence of acetone doesn't necessarily mean that you aren't actually in ketosis.

6G. Please leave any questions in the comments. 

I've made it so that anyone can post a comment. You don't need an account or anything, so if you have a question, suggestion, or if you found an error in the guide then please let me know.

Thanks for reading.


  1. I found this very informative and helpful, and since I'm looking for a healthy diet I could give this a try. But...I'm not too hopeful as to my ability to stay away from the carbs. I have a minor addiction to them.

    I had to keep checking back on the color code thing for the foods those because I kept thinking the red meant NO! BAD! because red usually means NO! BAD! But in your code it was Blue and Black that meant bad. I find it interesting that Ranch dressing is in the green. How is that possible?

  2. Chanel: haha you have no idea with the color thing. i had so much trouble coloring those darned things because they are hyperlinks. red was originally supposed to be bad and blue was good, but it was just easier to make it the opposite as odd as that sounds.

    and ranch dressing is high in polyunsaturated fats and low in sugars. it's great for keto.

  3. this is a ton of info, but very sounds like it might be just what Ive been looking for...thank u;)

  4. Wow, this is extremely helpful. Good to see you again Arcita

  5. That is a crazy detailed post bro....takes me back to my days in Biochem - following

  6. David: No problem

    Chris: Thanks! Good to be back

    G: Awesome. Thanks

    By the way, I fixed that color problem for the keto food list. Red now = bad like I originally wanted.

  7. This is almost too much to absorb - but has so much interesting information! My hubby is a diabetic...and he's been trying to tell me some of what you've just said here. (If only he'd follow it.)

    P.S. The "toilet" in my profile is because the other day I was in a "shitty" mood. ;)

  8. So much info! I was waiting for another one of your content-rich posts.

    I've never heard of this ketosis diet, but I'm going to look into it. I've realized that the junk food I've eaten since I've started college is not the best brain food at all.

    Up until now, I usually just eat fish when I'm feeling like I need to recuperate my mind. Sounds like this would work a lot better though.

  9. This is really, REALLY least it goes into a lot of scientific detail.

    I can't do the low-carb thing at all though, my mind goes crazy :(

  10. Lots of detail on this post and I will be using this as a reference if I try a diet like that for myself!

  11. Interesting post. I've been on the slow-carb diet myself, and have seen results; but if that stops happening, I'll keep this in mind.

  12. This actually might work! I've done a little research on this in the past, but most of the sites I've found were too damn complex to understand. You actually put it in a way that ANYONE can get! I know for a fact that this post is going to get a hell of a lot of hits!!!

  13. Thank you for the in-depth information! I am currently trying to shift a fair amount of weight, and while I am on a low-carb diet, I'm not quite at the level of putting myself into ketosis :) I'm trying to focus on eating a balanced diet, with exercise as that is what is maintainable to me in the long term! So far it has worked; I'm down 18lbs :)

    A ketogenic diet is something I am keeping in mind for if I plateau and need to shift some stubborn weight, so I'll bookmark this post for the future - it's a fantastic resource. The science is absolutely fascinating too. Thank you.

  14. wow very detailed and it looks very beneficial for health :D

  15. Marlene:
    is he type 2 or type 1? i hope you're feeling better now.

    keto is great for thinking for sure, but don't try it right before a test because your thinking will actually be hindered for a bit as your body gets adjusted to the new metabolism.

    true. induction really sucks


    low-carb is great. i hope you're eating enough fats though and not just proteins.

    thanks. i was hoping all of the information would be easy to digest so that's a relief.

    yeah do what you can maintain long-term for sure. if you do decide to try keto i hope this post helps you out.

    yep. keto is great for health

  16. Wow this is quite a ton of information :O
    I won't be able to read this all in once... so ill come back later :)

  17. looks like I have something to do now :) this looks interesting btw beer + girl is classic +followed

  18. so much info ! thanks for the share!

  19. Wow long. I've got to admit, I didn't read all of it. I probably would have understood it more if I were to have read it all...

    But from the bits and bobs throughout which I did read, just fucked with my mind. I know I'm dumb XD


    you should be able to find what your looking for here. thanks for following. I have returned the favor.

  21. Wow man, great job! I've read some of your other posts, and they're all so informative! I've taken a whole lot of classes in biology, so I appreciate how long it must have taken to make this. Keep up the awesome work!

  22. Wow dude, this is great info, im actually gonna start this diet, im guessing its easy since i can eat al the meats i want so long as i dont ingest the evil sugars, draw back is i love NESTEA you know it? its like a vice of mine so i must bid farewell to my favorite drink second only to Mountain Dew. Gonna report back to let you know if im moody then i will know its actually working.

  23. damn, did you write this guide? very informative

  24. Elexerdelex:
    awesome. it'll be here.

    thanks :D i was gonna draw a cartoon for every one of those 1st sections but i couldn't think of any for the diabetes or cancer ones.

    Mister Sharaf,
    Generally Disgruntled:
    thanks for stopping by and reading!

    haha that's why i included a contents section and corresponding number/letters so people could just read what interests them.

    awesome. thanks for the link. i'm still deciding whether i want to put it up or not. i like a simple page. but it is very cool.

  25. A lot of info to digest! get it? haha

  26. That was the longest post i've ever attempted to read! I failed!

  27. You've put so much effort onto it. And looks really interesting. I've read a big part now. I'll come back to read the rest. Keep it up!

  28. KB:
    thanks! i appreciate it.

    that's awesome. yeah, let me know how you are doing on it and if you're not sure about anything don't be afraid to ask. good luck.

    haha of course. i'm no thief. and thanks!

    lol clever.

  29. I recently have heard about the keto diet as well. It turns out our food pyramid could not be further from the truth. I haven't read your whole post but I listen to a health podcast that advocates the keto diet for the same reasons. People need to know the truth! :) excellent post and one of the longest posts I've ever seen on blogger DAMN

  30. What a huge post, so much information. Thank you!

  31. Holy shit theres no way I can read all of this...

  32. Whew! Smarty! That was an awesome post. I really walked away with something here. I think I just found a new diet. Now if I can get passed the initial headaches, fatigue and moodiness I think I could pull this off. Great Post!!

    Thanks for stopping by/following my site!! I really enjoy yours, I'm following!

  33. Very impressive. I loved the cartoons you drew to help illustrate your points.

  34. lol wow .. just wow. amazing work you did there

  35. Information overload! Good stuff, though.

  36. As interesting as this is it would have been better split up into multiple blog posts.

    At least, that's how I would have done it.

  37. great post. thanks for the info.

  38. Nuker:
    haha i don't expect people to read all of it unless they're actually interested in keto. that's why i put a contents section in there.

    awesome. let me know if you decide to try it

    thanks for stopping by.

    yeah i'm working on something now. you never answered my question by the way

    yeah, i totally agree. people think a diet based on grains/sugars is natural and healthy but this couldn't be further from the truth. the post is so long because i want this to be the definitive guide for keto that people go to for info. i don't know what other medium i could've posted this thru.

    you're welcome.

    no need to read it all. skim the contents and see if anything in the post would interest you.

    that's awesome! i'm glad that you actually took something away from reading this. if you decide to try it then let me know.

  39. havnt finished reading yet but this seems really interesting thanks for the read

  40. This is a very interesting read, I've actually managed to understand the most of it. Thanks a lot for this.

  41. Wow... I have No Idea what your talking about..
    Is this like your report you had to write to get into the school you wanted or something?
    Over my head..
    I like the simple little stick guy drawings though. I can understand those!

  42. Wow lots of info, read a good chunk of it but not all, thanks for it!

  43. Meghan Moran:
    thanks for stopping by and commenting

    Devon Davidson:
    why is that?

    you're welcome. thanks commenting

    yes, tons.

  44. very loooong, but interesting post. nice :]

  45. Hey great stuff! Well seems great anyway, briefly skimmed through it, will definitely give it a read when I get the time though!

  46. This is impressive, thanks for the tips.

  47. theres some interesting stuf right there

  48. Wow that's really interesting. I think it's worth tryin such a diet, all other ones failed before.

  49. Well I now know where to come from If i have any cwk relating to food/diet/anatomy etc! Thanks :D

  50. Wonderfullyrandom:
    you're welcome. thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    that's great. thanks for reading.

    lol is any of this really that hard to understand? i tried to make it pretty accessible to beginners but i guess i failed

    no need to read it all! thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    thanks for stopping by and commenting. appreciate it!

    yeah, why not. give it a try. let me know how it goes if you do decide to try it.

    Glovey said:
    what does cwk mean? but sure if you have any questions related to biochemistry i will try my best to answer them.

  51. woah i need to read this some time. sounds interesting

  52. I always thought that a diet low in grain and high in fat is what you wanted to avoid. This is definitely interesting and ill have to make sure to finish it later (got about half way through but gotta go to work!). Thanks for the amazing post!

  53. gonna have to read this again when i have the time. :)

  54. it's very helpful for my diet. thanks a lot :)

  55. Not going to pretend I read it all, but it did sound interesting, and seems valid scientifically. Following.

  56. awesome post man!

  57. Sonhos De Deus:
    thanks for the inspiring words and for the follow.

    yeah, i was pretty surprised when i first heard about keto as well. it turns out the low fat thing has literally no scientific backing whatsoever.

    it'll be here.

    inge luciana:
    you're welcome [=

    Elliot MacLeod-Michael:
    great. thanks for the follow.

    awesome. thanks!

    thanks for the comment.

    My name is Maman:
    thanks for stopping by.

  58. First off, this is a great article. One question though. I've been working on this diet for a couple of days now, and I've found that the majority of my carbs are in the form of dietary fibers. Do these count toward the total number of carbs?

  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

  60. Awesome article! Learned more about keto reading this one article than all the other sources I've come across.

    I was just curious: is Cardio OK while on ketosis? Like basketball, swimming, HIIT?

  61. marc:
    yeah, cardio is great on keto. you'll want to keep the cardio to LISS or MISS (low-medium intensity) in order to use primarily fats. if you do any type of high-intensity cardio, then you'll want to employ a CKD or TKD (glycogen refeeding).

  62. I know this is a stupid question but really..I can't figure it out and multiple sites give different answers. I can't even find the answer in the FAQs on the forum. Where can I go to figure out how many calories I need? I need to lose like 80lbs and I'm not sure 1700 is enough for me although it feels about right.

  63. Anonymous:
    these calculators are pretty decent:

  64. Hi, I love your blog and thank you for taking the time to do all this work and share it with us. I have a couple questions though. I went
    she has a list of induction okay food recipes and not okay. I don't know the difference? They all seem okay as long as the carb content is ok. Is this right? The only thing I could think of is that splenda is not ok. Also is soda ok? Lastly, I have been doing ketosis for a while and have not been losing weight, and the keto stix say I am not in it. I have 65% fat or close to that, and 20 or less carbs, Is there something else that could be contributing?

  65. Anonymous:
    it's not that the non-induction meals are not okay, but rather that the induction meals contain very low amounts of carbohydrate and are thus very good choices to eat when entering ketosis. you can eat the non-induction meals when entering ketosis but you'll just have to limit carbohydrate consumption even more in your other meals.

    soda is not okay. diet soda sweetened with sucralose is fine for most people.

    20 or less what of carbs? percentage points of grams? you should be at 5% carbs. 20 grams is great though. ketostix aren't always reliable. check the ketostix section on the faq for why.

  66. Hi Arcita,

    I'm going to start a CKD, but I have this question about "3E.How to enter Ketosis".

    On Day 1, Are you already keto dieting? Or are you eating carbs as usual?

  67. Mario:
    day 1 is the day before you begin your keto diet. the idea behind not eating anything a few hours before sleeping is just to make sure that your levels of blood-glucose are as low as possible so you are only using glycogen for energy when performing the interval/weight-training.

    remember that the steps are just one possible way to (quickly) enter ketosis. feel free to tweak it to suit your needs.

  68. Have you heard of the Belly Fat Diet by Jorge Cruise? It seems strangely familiar to Ket but with a slightly different approach-- "you minimize your intake of sugar and processed carbohydrates" and "fat and protein don’t increase insulin levels, there's no need to limit or track these nutrients...". I was wondering, how similiar these two plans are in your opinion.

  69. anonymous:
    i've not heard of the belly fat diet before, but based on your description i'd say that it can be a ketogenic diet depending on how far you minimize sugars and carbohydrates.

    a ketogenic diet is one that induces ketosis, right? so all that's necessary for that is a reduction in the consumption of carbohydrates and proteins to a degree.

  70. Hey man,

    I started my CKD on april 25 (monday). I have done some HIIT, MISS and a lot of weight training during these days. I suppose I'm in ketosis, the only signs of ketosis I've noticed is that I've felt light-headed sometimes, and for the past 2 days I've been feeling very sleepy by the afternoon, like if I had no energy left whatsoever. Tomorrow is the last day of my weight training for the week, so my question is, Do you think I should start my carb-up tomorrow? or, should I wait until next monday to complete the 2 weeks of ketosis?

  71. Mario:
    you've been on a keto diet for ~10 days now, and probably have only been in ketosis for 4-7 days. you probably aren't fat-adapted yet. a lot of the positives of ketosis only arise once fat-adaptation occurs.

    with that said, you are weight-training so you want to either employ a TKD or a CKD so that you don't waste your muscle-mass.

    it's possible to become fat-adapted under a CKD but this takes the longest amount of time. many people choose this method though and refeed after the first week.

    personally i would go with a TKD (25-50 gram dextrose before and after weight-training) until you are fat-adapted (negative symptoms disappear). this won't disrupt the process of fat-adaptation as long as you train with intensity. then you can start a CKD.

  72. Hey Arcita,

    I guess I'm going to employ a TKD, but is it safe for me to eat carbs at this point? wouldn't they kick me out of ketosis?

    And finally, do you have msn or email account where I can contact you for info?

  73. Is there any kind of lifting you prefer while doing keto? Im doing reverse pyramid training, but have tried 5x5 before, ... I failed on keto once before, but it's only because I really wasn't counting my macros

  74. Mario:
    you might for a short while but you'll re-enter quickly as long as you train with intensity. don't rely on ketostix during this time to test whether you're in ketosis. oh and don't try eating fruit for the TKD as the fructose will go straight to your liver.

    if you have anymore questions just post it on this blog. or you can always sign up to and post in their keto section:

    lift according to your goals.

  75. thanks, and i had read that you said not to refeed if you dont lift intensly, what would you categorize as intense?

    If I go back on keto, I'd like to stay away from refeeds as much as I can afford to... I have a problem with binging and what not

  76. Hey Arcita,

    Well I ate a banana yesterday before my workout, so I guess I fucked up. And I'm already registered on, I just wanted to keep a better contact with you because you seem to have a much proper knowledge about keto dieting. Besides, when I asked questions on the forum I always get mixed answers, and sometimes no answers at all, but I guess I'll post my questions here. Thanks anyways!

  77. Andrew:
    really any kind of half-serious weight-training will use either glycogen or proteins for fuel (above 20% 1RM) at least during the resistance period. if you don't want to refeed yet you want to weight-train, then just do a TKD instead.

    as far as cardio-based exercising is concerned, i believe it's something like above 60-70% MHR when you use entirely glycogen or proteins.

    ah yeah i had a feeling you might do that. get yourself some dextrose if you ever want to do a TKD in the future. it's good stuff. if you don't want to pay for the dextrose then even glucose is far superior to fructose for muscle-glycogen synthesis.

    i check this blog as much as i check anything else online so there really wouldn't be a difference. sorry.

    if you don't think the people at have enough experience then you can always ask Lyle Mcdonald whatever questions himself at his forum:

    make sure you understand the basics of the diet though beforehand. he's infamous for his temper haha.

  78. Thanks for the help, and great guide dude!!!

  79. Andrew:
    no problem! and thanks :)

  80. Hey Arcita,

    I read Lyle McDonald's book about ketosis. Can you explain to me how someone employing a TKD can enter re-enter ketosis if eating carbs almost every day?

    How much fat should I eat the days I'm on TKD? I mean what's the ratio on those days?

  81. Mario:
    the initiator of ketosis is an empty store of liver-glycogen. ketone-bodies are manufactured in the liver after-all. so what will knock you out of ketosis is glycogen synthesis in the liver.

    so for a TKD the carbohydrates you consume before a workout will be metabolized in order to fuel the workout and therefore won't be stored. the carbohydrates (excluding fructose) you consume post-workout will be stored preferentially in your muscles and not the liver.

    you say you read Lyle's book but he explains what to do for a TKD. follow an SKD, but adjust your calories to account for the extra carbohydrates.

    so if you'd normally be eating 1200 calories of fat on an SKD for example and say you just want to consume 30 gram carbs post-workout, then:
    1200 - (30 x 4) = 1080. now you will only consume 1080 calories of fat.

  82. Hey Arcita,

    Thanks! Have you heard about ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid)?, apparently it increases glucose and nutrient absorption of carbohydrates, and also demonstrates
    triglyceride inhibition and—through extrapolation—fat storage.

    Basically it stores carbs in your muscles. I read this on Tim Ferris's book "The 4-Hour Body".

  83. Hey Arcita,
    I am so excited. In January 2007 I went on a diet of my own creation and somehow came up with something that worked wonders. I lost 60 pounds in about 6 months and it was easy. I wasn't ever hungry and the weight just melted off. Right after that I got pregnant and gained all the weight back. I tried to diet the same way that I had previously but I wasn't doing something right because it just didn't work like it had the first time. Reading through your information, I am sure that I was on a Ketogenic diet. Every morning I had bacon and eggs, hashbrowns soaked in bacon grease, 2 pieces of toast with butter and about 12 oz. of milk. For lunch I had something that would be about 5-6 hunded calories and then again for supper another 5-6 hundred calories. Most of the calories came from meats and fats but I knew I had been eating some carbs. I am not sure what I have been doing wrong this time but I think I have been having too many carbs at the beginning of the diet and not getting into full ketosis like I must have been that first time. I am very happy to have found your site. The information made alot of sense but I am kind of overwhelmed by trying to learn a different way of looking at food. I have always counted calories and I was just lucky the first time because I like fats and proteins so I just ate in a way that that is where I got my calories. I hope to post again in the future saying that I am back in ketosis and losing weight again. Thanks for having a web page that I could access for free and not something to make money off of. I am afraid that I have always thought of most diets as sure ways to fail at losing weight,so I know that if your site was one I had to pay for I wouldn't have looked at it because if you really believe that you know something that can help lots of people then it seems to me that you should make that available for free just as you have done. Good for you and hopefully good for me. Thanks again.

  84. Just wanted to add that if by using your information I can succeed at my weight loss, you can be sure to find a donation to show my appreciation. I didn't know how to post on your site except as anonymous because I don't know what a URL is but I am Martha from Kansas.

  85. Martha:
    thanks for your kind words. i wish you well and i think you'll see good success on the diet.

  86. Arcita, I did have a question. Looking at how many calories I need to eat from the formulas you have on your site, I need around 2700 a day. I have never ate that many calories while dieting and was wondering if there would be a problem with eating only 2000 to 2200 a day. That is still more than the 1800 I used to eat but I want to try to do this the right way. I am trying to do the 2% carb day today but it might be a little closer to 3% because I am on antibiotics and I have to take them with milk. I drink raw milk and was wondering if you think that could make a difference. I have no idea how much fat is in the milk, but it is from a Jersey cow and they typically have about 6% milkfat but I do skim some of the heavy cream off. So if I do consume 3% carbs today, will it slow down my progress into Ketosis and if so, should I try to do another HIIT session and a 2% carb day tomorrow and then move on to the 5% after that. Please let me know what you think if you have time. Thanks, Martha from Kansas

  87. 2200 sounds pretty good. just don't go too low. and it's not really important to follow my suggestions exactly as that was just my idea of how to enter ketosis as quickly as possible. all you really need to do is limit carbohydrate intake at least below 50 grams (and energy below maintenance) and you'll be good. milk is fine to drink as long as you fit the sugars into your carb limit.

  88. First, your blog is amazing and thanks for putting all this info together.

    Second, I have one question. I am doing TKD and I know that I don't count the carbs from pwo shake, but do I also neglect the carbs for pre-workout also? I had about 27g of Dextrose pre (in water) and another 27g with my protein shake.


  89. Manny:

    when i do a TKD i don't count the carbs before or after a workout toward my daily carb limit, though i do count them in my overall calorie count. i think this is also what lyle recommends in his book.

  90. Arcita: Thanks for getting back to me. I have been trying to figure this all out but my information shows that milk has 10 gms of carbs in one cup and if that is the case, my understanding is that I only get about 27 gms of carbs in the first place, so to drink milk, I am using almost all my carbs for that. I love milk and hate to cut it out of my diet but it sure takes a chunk out of my carb allotment for the day. Another thing I can't figure out is the different nuts and seeds on your list that are listed as green but they have a large number of carbs also. Do you just eat one tablespoon at a time so you don't get too many carbs? Seems like a waste of carbs for what little bit you get. One last thing I am struggling with is keeping track of everything I eat. It is hard enough just to keep track of calories, but to keep track of protein, fat and carbs as well as calories is really time consuming. Is there something I can do to make it easier? Thanks for helping me with this. I do have a book coming that might help me some also, and if everything goes well, I won't forget your help. Martha from Kansas

  91. hi Martha,

    yeah milk is probably something you'll want to stay away from. use something from the dairy section in the food list instead.

    the nuts and seeds that i colored green possess high fiber. chia seeds for example only have 4 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.

    if you don't want to count calories or macro-ratios on keto then you don't necessarily have to; many people do not and they lose weight perfectly well. the reason why they can do this is that fat and protein are so satiating that you'll most likely stay in an energy deficit naturally. when dr. Atkins said "you can eat as much fat as you like" he wasn't saying that keto defies thermodynamics but instead referring to the satiety of protein and fat.

    try this: just eat lots of eggs, meats, cheeses, green leafy veggies, and other things on the keto list, and eat as much as you 'like', and i would be willing to bet that you'll see great results without even paying attention to how much you eat at all.

  92. Arcita:
    Thanks for the input. I have been keeping really close track of everything that I have been eating for a week now and so I think I will give what you are saying a try. There was only one day that I would say that I felt hungry so I had some pecans and it sure didn't take many of them to get to the point where I didn't want any more. I would say that I might even be getting a feel for how much I can eat in a day so I shouldn't overeat by too much if I do at all. The only thing that I have noticed is that I tend to get more protein and less fat per day than my numbers say I should. What is the harm in getting say 120g of protein instead of the 80 that my numbers say I should get? I have been trying to be a little active each day so 100g might be more in line with what I should get but will extra protein affect the dieting negatively in your opinion? I also haven't been having great success in the weight loss in my opinion. Maybe I am expecting too much, I am trying to stay between 1800 and 2000 calories and I have only been losing an average of a pound a day, but I am sure that will slow down soon. I know that probably sounds like alot to some but I am used to 2 or 3 lbs a day for the first week at least. Thanks for helping. Martha in Kansas

  93. Arcita: Just wanted to let you know what has been going on with me. So far I have lost 9 lbs. even though I tried the atkins plan for a couple of days and gained 2 lbs. but I am sure it was water weight because it came right back off when i quit drinking the bouillion they had suggested. I feel like I am off to a good start. I am going to try to get you a little something for your help but I don't know how it will show up on your stuff or if it will. Please let me know so I can take action if I need to. Thanks again. Martha from Kansas.

  94. hey Martha,

    that sounds like great progress to me. i think that there are two plateaus that most people must overcome before they can transform themselves: apprehension before beginning and frustration after beginning. the most important thing now is to be patient and not lose faith. in a few months time you'll be a whole new person if you just stick with it.

    120 g protein shouldn't knock you out of ketosis. in my opinion the greater danger is getting too little protein which will cause the breakdown of muscle-mass. if i recall correctly something like 10% of dietary protein is transformed to glucose under ketosis (don't quote me on that) which is necessary for brain functions, so eating too much protein should knock you out, but you should easily be safe with as much as 200 grams at least in regards to staying in ketosis.

    i apologize for any delay in my responses as i currently don't have immediate access to the internet, but i'll get back to you eventually.

  95. Arcita: There is something going on that has happened in the past to me when I diet and that is that my muscles feel like they can't get any energy. The muscles themselves just feel kind of achy or stingy, I don't know how to describe it. I get the impression that your site is more geared toward body building than it is for weight loss but I think you can help me figure this out. When you are on a high fat high protein low carb diet what do you need to do to make your muscles feel like they have plenty of energy to do anything you want to do? This is day 15 of my diet and this has been going on for about 3 days now. I can't see that I have changed anything with the way I have been eating except having given up milk, but I have also quit losing weight since I have given up milk. Please give me your input. Martha from Kansas

  96. i'm guessing that your muscles feel sore because of dehydration. water requirements go up under ketosis. try to drink at least a gallon every day. another likely possibility is that you aren't taking in enough potassium or magnesium (both of which regulate muscle contraction). make sure to eat enough green veggies like broccoli, broccoli rabe, spinach (iirc these are high in both), or you can just take a good multi-vitamin.

    don't pay attention to weight. it's an atrocious measure of fat-loss. pay attention to how your clothes fit and how you look instead.

  97. Arcita: I went back and reviewed some of the information in your post and see that you are a college student. Good job on the post. I was under the impression that you were someone with years of experience with writing and nutrition as well as exercising. You sound like you really like and understand what you are talking about. I know I don't drink a gallon of water a day, I get to the point where I just can't bring myself to drink any more. I try to get about 3c. of vegetables daily, usually lettuce and spinach. I know I shouldn't worry about the scale, but I guess you could call me a scale addict, I weigh myself several times a day just to see what is going on. I also take my blood sugars occasionally to see what is going on there. Those have me more than a little confused, when I first started by ketogenic diet, they were steadily going down. First in the 90's, then 80's and the lowest one was 76, that was probably on the 5th day of my diet. But when I took it today on day 15 it was back up in the 90's. Does that indicate anything in paticular in your opinion? Oh yes, my clothes are fitting a little looser I think but it will probably take a little more weight loss before I notice a big difference. Good luck with your studies and if I am taking too much of your time please let me know. Martha in Kansas. P.S. Just curious, what college are you attending? One of my older daughters went to the University of Missouri at Rolla.

  98. Arcita: Like I said in my last post, I have been looking at your information some more and I had a question about the induction period. You say that the induction period can take between 10 and 30 days. What do you mean by that? I did your 3 day to ketosis plan and have been trying to stay under 50 gms. carbs at first and lately trying to stay between 20 and 30. Should I be in ketosis yet or is it going to take longer? How can I tell if I am in ketosis? If I don't use ketostix, is there any reliabe way to tell if I am in ketosis? If I don't have fruity breath or urine, does that mean I am not in ketosis? Once I can determine if I am in ketosis than is that the end of the induction period or does it have other implications. When you first start going into ketosis, does your body still try to find glucose and only when it no longer tries to find glucose then you are fully into ketosis? I am not very clear on the induction period and what it means to be completely into ketosis. What has to happen so that my body is completely into burning fat for fuel? If I have a weak moment and indulge in a chocolate bar does that take me right back out of ketosis and do I have to start all over again? Martha from Kansas

  99. yes i'm an undergraduate so of course everything i say should be taken with a grain of salt. i don't mean to masquerade as any kind of expert.

    if you think you're taking in enough water, potassium, and magnesium, then maybe the cramps are caused by a deficiency in sodium.

    the 10 - 30 day induction period of maintained ketosis i meant as the time it would take to become fat-adapted which generally means i believe that the brain and heart are now operating using primarily ketones. it's possible to enter full-blown ketosis in as little time as an hour thru extreme exercise.

    as far as your blood-glucose measurements, there are too many possible confounding variables to draw any real conclusions in my opinion.

    if you aren't aware of then i suggest you check it out. it's a great and friendly community for keto dieters.

  100. Can someone please give me the real deal on if Caffeine is slightly bad for Ketosis diet?

  101. is it ok to have a tablespoon of coconut oil with my post workout shake?

    some say its good while some say it's a dietary fat and will inhibit protein absorbtion.

    what's your take Arcita?

  102. I've found your work in compiling this information enormously helpful and highly commendable. Reading and rereading the food list, however, one thing has been driving me crazy that I hoped you might clarify...
    You list peanut butter as an excellent foodstuff - this makes sense. But at the same time, you list peanuts as merely 'acceptable'. Nutritionally, peanuts themselves are virtually identical to (natural) peanut butter in every way. The only thing the process of making them into peanut butter adds is a small (virtually negligible) amount of trans fat, so I'm curious about the significant difference in their ratings. Is it just something you didn't delve too deeply into (totally understandable) or is there something else I don't know about peanut butter that makes it preferable?

    (sorry I posted as Anonymous...using an account would require logging in and remembering passwords and a whole bunch of things I just don't have the patience for :) )

  103. Arcita: My goals are fat loss along with muscle gains. So im assuming i should employ CKD, however in your guide, you suggested I employ TKD until my sluggishness disappears. Would TKD throw me out of ketosis ? What is really the best way to lose fat the fastest and gain muscle at the same time. I'm in ketosis for the last week or so

  104. I am a recently diagnosed type 1 diabetic following a very low carb diet. My blood sugar levels are great as a result BUT I am producing ketones most of the time. My doctor is totally opposed to me being on this diet because he thinks it is very dangerous for me to be in ketosis all the time. But is it? A lot of literature on the subject says it's fine for a type 2 diabetic but not type 1. Dr Richard Eades, for eg, says that type 1 diabetics don’t have the ability to shut off ketone production or to retain fat in the fat cells so that ketones increase, acidifying the blood to life-threatening levels. I am desperate to stay on my low carb diet but I don't want to put my health at risk. I would be so grateful for your opinion...

  105. I have been following this program since june 28th 2011, LOVE IT LOVE IT LOOOVE IT!! thank you for all the information! I have found it super easy to stay on track and lose 30lbs, I am still going strong and totally commited. I have 11 lbs to go and I will have reached my first goal, I may just keep on going a while longer before I add any calories to maintain. thanks again!!! greattt informative blog :)

  106. Hi Joseph,

    What a fantastic article. I looked at so many resources and found yours to be the best combination of overall picture the nitty gritty details.

    I used to follow the CKD last year and lost 10 kilos. I work out alot at the gym and the CKD has done wonders for me.

    My question is if I'm not on any training regime and my activity level is just sedentary then would i still have a glycogen re feeding once a week just a single cheat meal ?

    Do individual who follow the diet with no exercise have a cheat meal once a week?

    I would appreciate your response or any one on this blog.

    I stopped training for couple of months.



  107. Tony:

    There'd be no point to a cheat meal if you don't lift weights. I mean maybe psychologically it might help to have one cheat per week, and it might give the false appearance of hastening fat-loss since glucose would act as a diuretic under those conditions which may lift spirits, but other than that it's pointless. The point of a "cheat meal" is to replenish glycogen stores so that one may undergo resistance training in an effort to preserve or even build muscle-mass.

    To everyone else who have left comments: I'm sorry I haven't been able to respond. I appreciate you taking the time though. I assume I'm too late and you've already found your answers.

  108. Hi, I want to try ketosis, but im afraid i wont be able to cut carbs to 5% because I cant completely change my family's diet. Can i cut my carbs to 10% or 15%? Is it worth it? Will I be in a perpetual state of transition and never reach a ketosis state? Thanks!

  109. Hi! I was just wondering if you think that keto is feasible for a vegetarian.
    Also-in regard to getting enough fat, I've read people often use oils like canola oil. This may be a dumb question-but does this mean one can literally just swallow a tablespoon of canola oil to get enough fat?
    Thanks for the informative post!

  110. I realize this is waaaaaay after you've posted this up, and probably won't get seen, but I had to comment after reading the section you put up there about Alzheimer's. ALZ is *not* due to low beta amyloid protein presence in the brain - in fact, the article you've linked to says the exact opposite, as does most ALZ research. What the article does say is that it looks like the BA protein might be doing is keeping the brain from correctly utilizing glucose, and that having a ketogenic state allows the brain to continue to function *even though* it is not using glucose to do so.

    The only reason I'm making this comment is because ALZ research is very near and dear to my heart. While the research you are quoting does support your hypothesis about keto diets and a reduction in ALZ symptoms, the way you have worded your statement is false. Sorry for being a nitpicker!

  111. So, I've lost 120(90 since May 2011) doing the low-carb thing. I absolutely love it, but all of the internet research I've been doing made me fearful that it's unhealthy (and it's going to lead to my demise)! Thank you for the post... I feel better than I have in all of my life, and I want to maintain this! Your post is very informative, resourceful, and certainly one that I am going to bookmark! God bless you!

  112. Hi, I've made a more exact food pyramid from your ratios, here is the reddit discussion about it:

    You can use it freely if you like

  113. after the my goal weight is met, what is the best way to return to a regular diet without gaining the weight back?

    1. Hi Ann,
      I would recommend staying within the parameters of a TKD, for life. There is no real benefit to grains/legumes/sugar/carbohydrates in general. We have been taught this abundantly fabricated lie for over 10,000 years beginning with "Agricultural" boom and more recently in the last 100 years to keep the farmers in the lime-light. Everything on earth regardless of origin comes from wilted crops, nitrogen-enriched soils and harsh living conditions. Basically "dead" soil, unless grown organic, this is what you're eating- hence the "VITAMIN" craze of the 1930's and now in fully-effect BILLION industry recognition.
      I have done every validated, reasonable, healthy, diet-crash, impossible "what the hell are you doing" diets that there has been in the past decade and none have made me feel more energetic, more focused, and more healthy than this. Granted, I don't eat processed meats, cheeses, mayonnaise, nitrated meats, but I do enjoy everything else under the sun. I did this diet consistently for 6 weeks and had my levels checked. My overall cholesterol was "165", my resting glucose levels were above average, and my hydration level were off the charts. Meaning I was more in shape eating fat and meat 100% of the time, than I was moderately ingesting carbohydrates and fruits for my energy. These are great for people who have body fat levels under 3% (I read an article that stated the ideal for men was 3% or under, and for women, a whopping 7% and under). Though I don't agree with these numbers, "MAN" wasn't meant to be fat and overweight. It defies genetics and adaptation and creates an alarming rate of diseases that we're seeing now. Stick this for as long as you can and make sure you stay active. When you get to the point to where you "just want more"- whether it be from foods, exercise, etc., switch to the TKD 3x a week with 25g of CHO before your activity, and 25g of CHO after. This will STILL keep you in ketosis because your body will use the readily available energy immediately without overturning your ketones.
      That's my 2 cents. Hope it helps :)
      Your Keto in Crime

  114. Hi, Very informative piece! Do you have any information on this diet with respect to having hypothyroidism? I am taking meds to control hypothyroidism, and wonder how successful I would be in losing weight that I've gained since being diagnosed. Thanks for this wealth of information!

  115. Hi Joseph, Great Blog! I started the Diet about a week ago, just wondering what signs should i look for to know my body is "fat adapted", i know you said 10-30 days. Thanks Sam

  116. Thank you for all the detail! I found the testimonials especially helpful to me. As someone who's been on this diet for the past 3 months, I can say that it definitely works but you do hit plateaus if you're not careful.

  117. Can someone help? i was in ketosis before i went to sleep i did a test this morning and it was negative???? how cant that be? i slept for 9 hours and havent eaten a thing? how can i not be producing ketones???

  118. Love Love Loved this information!! My eyes have been opened to a whole new way of thinking and eating. I just started my induction 3 days ago and I have already lost a few lbs. I am doing moderate exercise along with no more than 20g of carb/day. I am enjoying eating all the fatty foods that society programmed me NOT to which, thus far, has kept me from craving my favs, chips & dip. I even happily warmed up my lunch today, Tuna Melt & Spinich, with cupcakes, donuts, and choco-covered fruit within my reach at work. My only problem with following this plan, that I can forsee, is Alcohol. I am a social drinker and, although, I plan to make a conscious effort to leave it alone for a month or so, realistically telling myself that I will just "not drink" any more would be a lie. I have done a little research on the carb count in various alcoholic beverages and found that gin, vodka, and rum have 0 carbs and thought this may be alternative if mixed with a diet soda or other no carb beverage. I wonder if you had any thoughts on the subject?

  119. I started keto on Monday, but am somehow concerted about the vitamin intake. Which vitamins in particular I should look for in a supplement, being on keto?


  120. Excellent overview of ketosis. I am restarting a K diet after some time off; I did not feel good off ketosis. I seem to be very sensitive to any carb foods and have to monitor carefully. I see how this sensitiviy has increased with age. I sleays heard that your metabolism slows down and most people put on weight as they get into older years (as in over 55), and I can attest to this for myself, so even if in youbger days a person seems to "get away with" eating more carbs, I believe there is accumulated damage that eventually creates both weight and health problems.

  121. I like how you've stolen most of this post from the forums and reddit. Neato.

  122. He didnt take this, he is the author.

  123. Whoops, my bad.

  124. Joseph are you even on this thing anymore? lol-
    For those of you who haven't yet, "The Ketogenic Diet" by Lyle McDonald is bananas. Like most of you, I hate seeing his name because it's on everything related to ketosis, yet, it's very brief and basic information for those of us that hate to read...(though you wouldn't know it from the 330+ pages of information) that's contained therein. Supposedly, a ketogenic diet is not meant to be sustained indefinitely nor is it a good approach for longevity as the body will begin to become more and more sensitive to insulin through longer periods (how this makes sense...I have no idea). How can the body become MORE sensitive to insulin if bloodsugar is regulated at homeostasis and insulin is never truly "activated"? Although in the book, it states that protein does account for 58% glucose and that for every GRAM of carbohydrate that you consume, 2 protein grams should be eliminated as they will equal 1 gram of carbohydrate digested (makes sense). AND- to produce the results that one is looking to achieve on a diet such as Ketogenic (fat loss) at least 150 grams of protein should be consumed as an average per day (0.8 for sedentary women and 0.9 for sedentary men) per lb. of body weight. Don't get all math-contra on me. When people reference things it's pretty much up for pure analytical tyranny :) All I'm saying is if you want to be physically active and dwindle your body fat down-down-down, ketosis in all categories seems to be the best bet...with carbohydrates consumed pre-workout to sustain the glyco need from your muscles to be engaged in rigorous activity. The CKD to me is just ridiculous- sure 150% mmol/kg for up to 48hrs is great, but why reak havoc on such a "ticking timebomb" hormone? I'm going to be doing a 6mo trial of stictly SKD with DC training to see if my theory is right, that everyone is created differently and some things work differently than others....
    Joseph, would you mind if I posted here of the current progress?

  125. Great article! Really cleared up a lot of things I was unsure of. I have been on a keto diet a few times for the sole benefit of the effects of mentality/focus. It is however quite difficult for me to get through the initial adaptation period and I have this fear of low serotonin levels (as someone who suffers from depression). How is serotonin being manufactured (if at all) under Ketosis if tryptophan needs a large insulin spike to cross the blood/brain barrier?

  126. What's the deal with tryptophan levels under ketosis? How is the brain obtaining serotonin without the insulin spikes of carbohydrates?

  127. I drink and like girls but I also can solve the Schrodinger equation without getting an F :[

  128. I drink and like girls but I also can solve the Schrodinger equation without getting an F :[

  129. I would like to see you post with CKD and DC training... I'm a crossfitter so I can't do full keto or I'd die in our workouts I've tried for a 5 week stink and cut my weight from 235 down to well now 3 months later 187 but I had to bring my carbs up to a moderate 75-100 carb range and I still find myself in keto some days when we have a high metcon based workout... always a pain when mid sprint you hit an instant keto fog, lol. Either way I'm curious to see your results as it always great to learn more from what other experiace.

  130. Anonymous:
    I think it's probably true that ketosis is not meant to be sustained indefinitely. Probably our ancestors cycled through periods of ketosis and glycolysis. Feel free to post your progress here. That'd be great. Though I don't check this page as regularly as I used to so I might not respond in a timely manner, but it seems others are curious as well, so yeah.

    That's a question that I'd be interested in learning more about. I'm not familiar with the biochemistry of serotonin. Given that everything you write is true I still don't really see a problem; insulin is still just as readily produced and active under ketosis; you just don't get a relatively acute production of it as you do with the ingestion of sugars.

  131. You are a genius and have helped me put on muscle, strength, endurance and size keep up the damn good posts
    Find me on Facebook

  132. Awesome! Thanks Joseph! I have gone from 295 at 18%bf to 270 at 24% (new baby and new career = stress city) so finding your blog and the information online put me in a great direction. I also have been in contact with Ellen of who is helping me with a few tweaks before I embark in a full spectrum of DC-training with a keto approach. I will keep you updated on how that pans out and what she recommends be my first "intro" to the plan/phase. I like being a big guy. I do. I think in my previous life I was Basque and now I'm just a German/Italian hybrid lol. I've been thin with a tiny neck before and I looked like Mr. Garrison "M'kay" and hated it. I packed on the weight and lifted the world and got to where I am today. Big, Chubby, and full of smiles. I'm not afraid to admit that I've fallen off the wagon and have had trouble sticking with a diet regimen longer than 12wks...which is why I am grateful that you are allowing me to post my progress to your badass site and see how far I can stretch the boundaries of ketosis and optimal training. Lyle said it himself that not enough studies have been done on the athlete and a pure ketogenic diet. Challenge accepted. Feel free to email me any time guys on any questions or ideas or suggestions:
    Today is day 1: I'll be posting the workout/diet tonight!
    I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy yourselves!

  133. Man I know all too well how crossfit compares to the rest of the world. "DOMINANT". It was a brutal epilogue for about 7 weeks straight. My buddy was ex-special forces and we did hero workouts everday for 31 days straight. I never did so many deadlifts in my life. "Shweeew! Glad that's over!" lol-
    Joseph I'm so grateful that you're allowing me to post! I will keep this updated daily if you don't mind me intruding. I have just spoken with Ellen from ketogenic-diet-resource and she is interested in how this adaptation will work, and is queing me on what approach to take in a full ketosis atmosphere. I'll be doing this as well as DC Training for 12 weeks- hell or high water. Tonight is day 1. Fasting 16hrs from a refeed weekend (yum) this will be an onslaught of destruction and detour to get my glycogen out and begin Krime. I will let you know of my food, training, and feeling daily. Lyle said "we have yet to see extensive research/results in athletes on full ketogenic training state".
    Challenge Accepted!
    feel free to email me guys about any ideas or approaches you recommend.

  134. Hey Guys,
    For some reason my last 2 posts were unsuccessful. "Thanks Internet!" lol
    So after doing some research and studying, and speaking with Ellen of "ketogenic-diet-resources" I started my embark on DC Training with ketosis. I'm staying within my range of carbohydrates (although I've read on "livin la vida low carb" it states that anything under 150 could induce ketosis in some cases) and sticking with my protein requirements for 12 weeks. I'll be hitting the gym Mon, Tue, Thur and Fri for training and taking Wed/Sat/Sun off. I'm keeping wine in my routine ;) my wife won't let me NOT drink with her. But giving up sugar and starches are ok.
    Last I checked a week ago (sorry for the delay) I was 270 with 24%bf. That puts me roughly in the 200-205 lean body mass but that was last week. I took a week off from the gym and consistency so that puts us at a "Square One"
    I'll update tonights training and body comp tomorrow.
    Thanks again Joe for letting me post here :)

  135. Kizer:
    I just checked and for some reason your comments were being caught in the spam filter. Not sure why. Maybe because you were posting links. In any case I marked them as non-spam. Keep up the great work.

  136. Thank you Joseph. I did use a link to reference Ellen's info/suggestion so that was it.
    Last night was a bit off-keel. I've been IF for the week and eating a big meal at night, kind of like a Warrior Diet approach. I've been dwindling my carbohydrates slowly so by the end of the week I will be in the ratios mentioned above by our good friend Arcita. I weighed myself last night at 266. I fear that I may have already lost a little bit of muscle mass but that could be to the caloric restriction and depletion these past few days so I'm not worried. My main, number one focus is fat loss, and as we all know you cannot serve two masters so I'm going to pay homage to that philosophy and get down to a base stock. I'll check my bodyfat levels tonight and update in the morning.
    Monday begins Week 1 for the DC/Keto approach. The rest of this week will be dedicated to harnessing ratios and rest.
    Keep up the great work everyone! Shoot me some feedback/ideas when you can.

  137. Hi

    I recently started a low-carb diet and after 2 weeks i think i have just gone past the adaption process. My question is, does it matter if i eat A LOT of fat foods (cheese, cream, etc..) ??
    I understand fat fills you in faster hence many people don't feel the need to eat as much...i however love food, so i am wondering if i keep eating as many fatty foods as i like (cheese, peanut butter (4g carbs/100g) etc...will i put on weight?? what happens with the extra energy / calories??

  138. Hiya Guys!
    DC Training is intense- to put it lightly. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the principle, I recommend reading up on the anabolic minds website under Dogg Crapp Training.
    Wednesday looked like this:
    DB BENCH- 80# x 9,4,4 10 xreps followed by 30s dynamic stretching with a 50# DB
    SMYTHE Military Press- 155# x 13,6,6 20 xreps followed by 30s dynamic stretch
    JM Press- 95# x 13,10,7 20 xreps followed by 30s dynamic stretching
    Wide Grip Lat Pull- 110# x 10,5,5 10 xreps followed by 30s dynamic stetching
    Below Knee Rack Pulls- 365# x 3, rest, 315# x 5
    Mind you- each rep consists of a 5 second negative with an explosive contraction. The "xreps" are half reps done to engage the sacroplasmic expansion when the myofibrils are absolutely destroyed. Today is "B1" day and I will update you tomorrow on that big guy. All legs...puke city.
    This is day 8 of a 100% ketogenic diet and I feel great. No headaches, no crashes, no fatigue, just feeling really good so far.
    Take care everyone and have an INCREDIBLE weekend!

  139. This week has been crazy- every tween in the world is at my house for summer vacation. I love my nieces but good Lord LEAVE MY HOUSE already lol.
    Ketosis is going great! Strength has not dropped a lick.
    Incline Smythe Bench:
    225 x 9,5,3 10xreps at 225 then 30xreps at 135
    Heavy Dumbbell Shrug:
    110 x 10,10,10 10xreps
    V-grip Press Down:
    90 x 10,8,7 20xreps
    Then had to bail because my wife came to pick me up from the gym. "Awww" I know. Then I stuffed my face with sundried tomatoes and chicken thighs covered in oil. Some say fat's no good after a workout- I say "get the hell out of my way" :) I do what I want.
    Ok- so week 1 wrapping up and feeling great. I'm sure that will change come week 3 haha!

  140. Curious as to what you guys think-
    Should one solely focus on the deprevation of carbs for fat utilization as energy, or fight the good fight with training and TKD to optimize both?

  141. Kizer:
    Good stuff man. Keep it going.

    If you care about muscle preservation then go for a TKD. If you just want to lose weight as quickly as you can with as little effort as you need to put forth then go for a SKD.

  142. Thank you guys so much for the feed back., send me some ideas, I'd love it. Anonymous:
    I dunno- I understand that CHO's incorporate and recruit "new" muscle fibers to recoop and repair, but to what degree and to what "true" percentage of the bout honestly. I like being a big guy honestly, but not a big soft guy. I feel that I am an above average athletic individual who has a pretty decent inability to process insulin for energy breakdown. I did Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle for a month and lost about 3lbs and my composition didn't change much at all. I did Ori's Warrior Diet for one week and saw 5x the body composition change by eating at night and starving throughout the day. I did MB's IF Leangains and had HORRIBLE stomach issues from consuming a gigantic amount of food all at once (kudos to those who can manage-ick) and I stumbled upon JA's Keto blog and did that for a month- and saw the best of all three worlds combined, with no cravings, no hunger, and strength continuing to pile up through the roof. I will take this to the heavens if I can :)
    This week was my "down week" or my cruise or however you want to call a deload phase. My energy continues to amaze me and I haven't had any fogginess as of yet. I'm going to mark 30days from today as being my "let's see if I'm adapted" phase and then from there, give myself another 30days of training as I am sure I will be in full-ketosis by then, and can judge how well I feel and how well my training is going at that point and time. However, after speaking with numerous entities in the keto world, some mention as high as 100g of CHO still allowing ketosis with the benefit of ATP for workouts (and some say 'forget' that fat also allows ATP) but to beware of gluconeogenesis as that will hinder any fat utilization process if my protein levels are too high..."does that even sound right"? or am I missing the point of the education lol.

  143. Right on Joseph, really appreciate this broken down information. I have been studying the basics of Ketosis over the last 6 months as I am partnering with a doctor to star a metabolism and weight management clinic. I went on a keto diet for a month back in the beginning of the year so I could experience and understand the keto protocol at a deeper level. 1 month and I was changed forever. I lost 20 pounds in that 1 month and lowered my body fat % substantially. I have never felt better in my adult life....mental clarity, focus, sustained daily energy, and an overall feeling of euphoria. While I have never struggled with being very fat, I have always wanted to perfect my bodybuilding efforts. I am getting ready to head back into a keto diet but now more as a permanent lifestyle. I read your bits in the article about building muscle mass while in keto and will use those as a starting point. I would appreciate more advice or direction to resources that might be helpful in my quest to live in a keto state, while achieving an anabolic state for muscle mass development. * Also, have you read much on Glycated proteins? What are your thoughts there? From what I have read, it's enough to make me seek to live in a keto state for my overall health and longevity.

  144. Very informative article, used the cambridge diet to getinto ketosis, for 2 weeks
    Now my issue is that i want to continue lossinf the weight my challenge is that i live in african were most of the foods are staple food,and the food we have here are very diff from ur suggestion list , so pls can u suggest a better list for the african readers

    Thanks michelle

  145. Before I began this "venture"- I saw everything from carb cycling to carb 'back-loading' which in itself isn't a bad idea. but if you're one of the lucky ones like me who hovered around 270-280 at 22%+ bodyfat, you're better off serving one master, doing what you can in the gym to keep your muscles there, and assisting in burning the fat through some form of "off the couch ass" routines as possible. It's taken a VERY, very long time to get this through my beautifully thick skull. But alas, that ship has finally left port and on its greatest navigation yet. The tricks of carb cycling, anabolic property endulgences (protein/supplement timing and sequences) will always have their place for you, they aren't going anywhere, AND like most things "Fitness", will probably change in another 6months or better. Ketosis is and has always been like math "always proving and never changing". So I would recommend sticking to your guns, make a determination of what your REAL goal is, take the "STEPS" to get there, and go all out. The weight will always be there, the exercises you love will never go away, you just need to do your Freshman year of fitness the way that everybody else did.....THE HARD WAY.
    Your friend in Ketosis

  146. Day 1- Shred Me
    Today is the beginning of the rest of my life. A goal in vain is a goal never obtained. That's where I was a month or so almost 2 now. Crazy where time goes. I recently demoted my previous psyche and drafted a confident, true blooded determinor destined for greatness. So here I am, completely vulnerable and 100% accountable for my affirmed goal to drop 30lbs, 5% body fat, and 1 pantsize by Halloween. My goal is to:
    Workout 5 days a week, take weekends off
    Strict Ketosis based off of formula provided
    No CKD-TKD. Just SKD
    Supplementation is Creatine, BCAA, Glutamine, BEta-Alanine and Leucine.
    3-5 meals a day depending on schedule
    and 5 days of cardio beginning at 30min (LISS).
    Weight Training will be 6-8 reps, 4 exercises per body group, in a traditional M-F split (due to time and availability of doing cardio post training) Creatine and BCAA will be taken between meals, pre and post training.
    If you can, I would love to be held accountable and be "kept track of" during this short term goal so any feedback on my personal email would be great- if you guys and gals can find the time.
    I'll post pre-progress pics tomorrow morning when I get in-
    Thank you for any support! And thank You Joseph for keeping this feed open!

  147. So far- so strong:
    Bench 225 x 8x3
    Inc DB 90 x 6x3
    Decline 225 x 8x3
    Cable Flye 60x10 @ 4:2:2 ratio
    Vgrip Pull down 140 x 8x3
    Yates Rows 235 x 8x3
    Tbar Row 160 x 8x3
    Bent Over DB lat raise 15x10 @ 4:2:2 ratio
    feeeeeeeling great

  148. I am 50 and in Menopause. I eat about 85% clean through the week...I do cheat a little on weekends. I have always stayed as clear from fats (trans and saturated) as possible. I eat health fats though. I drink things like almond milk and I love eggs, lean meats, and even fish. I teach Zumba twice a week as well as four other routines. I do it with the class so I get the FULL effects. Outside of that I perform weight training three days per week and I drink a whey shake with Almond milk (unsweetened) after that. I do eat fruit, usually about twice/day. I look younger than I am and I am fairly fit in comparison, but I cannot get where I want to be and I am bordering 'overweight' by my body weight and bf of over 30%. Will this diet breakthrough the way my body is storing fat to replace the lost estrogen or will I just be wasting my time? I've tried so many things and spent so much money...that I just feel like giving up sometimes :-( Man! would I love to feel comfortable eating ranch dressing again!!! HELP!

  149. Oh I am 5 ft. 2 and I weigh 138 lbs. :-(...yes I have some muscle, but I've noticed lately I have more fat too, especially back fat and under my arms on my sides (bra fat). My arms and legs are fairly shapely, but I have a 31 inch waist! I would love for someone to do a study with menopausal women who want to be really fit!! I'd be first in line!

  150. Skip to the end of this link.A ketone diet can raise the acetone content in the body,with scary consequences.

  151. Hydration is essential for those in ketosis, 2-3 liters of liquids daily takes care of acetone build up and the bad breath or body odor.

  152. I'm willing to try the diet. Heck I've tried everything else: Visalius--lost 3 lbs in six weeks :-(....Nutrisystems--GAINED 4 lbs in about 2 weeks!!! :-(...HCG--this worked for about a year, then I had to come off hormones and I gained EVERYTHING back. Pretty much IMMEDIATELY :-(. I tried it again not on hormones and within two months I gained it all back. I am willing to try things, but being healthy is important to me. I really don't want to get sick trying something. Looks like hormone balancing is KEY--but I'm not sure I'm willing to go back on hormones :-(! I work out HARD. Weight training: squats, bench presses, etc. --HIIT: Burpees, push ups, squat jumps,running and Zumba, etc. I just want RESULTS for what I do! Everyone keeps telling me because I'm 50 I have to 'learn to live' with a 31 inch waist line and I have to 'accept' that I am not 25 anymore. Okay, I accept I am older, but why can't I get results for what I am willing to do??? Basically what I am hearing is 'give up!' That's NOT me. I am a doctor of health education, which basically means I seek out ways to teach overall health. This is intriguing to me and I'd like to try it. I have NO health problems and I'm up for anything healthy. Is this for me... Dr. P.

    1. Sounds like you might be insulin resistant, and that makes weight loss very tough. I speak from experienc. I stay in ketosis most of the time, and have justnordered a blood ketosis meter to maximize the ketone production.

  153. What does the series of yellow stars after the coconut oil mean?

  154. Just started Keto diet this week, Thanks for the great information!!

  155. Yes, I too would like to know what the yellow stars mean, after the coconut oil and also after eggs. Thanks

  156. What do the stars mean? I was initially going to rate each item on a scale of 1 to 5 stars based on several factors, but I never finished this. Sorry for the confusion.

    I suggest the keto subforum on Interesting about the role of accumulation of glycation on proteins in diabetes. Reading about it now. Thanks.

    Dr P:
    As long as you maintain an energy deficit for a sufficient period of time, you should see results. Keto might make this maintenance easier. Give it a try.

    Looks like a pretty decent workout. I thought you said you were doing crossfit?

  157. I am curious about the role of artificial sweetners and ketosis.

  158. Thanks very much for this article, I found it both informative and interesting. I've cycled low carb diets for many years after reading such books as 'Hard to Stomach' and 'Breaking the viscious cycle', not for weight loss as such, but for health reasons. I've had IBS and Colitis for over 10 years and instinctively found that low carb diets helped me when the doctors said they wouldn't make a difference.

    I've also always enjoyed weight training and always made the mistake of slipping back into old eating habits because I felt that to gain muscle I had to eat carbs everyday. As a result my health always deteriorated again. I now realise that my 'low carb' days probably weren't even that, I was cutting out grains but still having 2x bananas a day, some grape juice and some sweet potato. I have currently been very ill again and have decided to go 100% Paleo/low carb for 1 month before following a TKD approach with banana/sweet potato refeeds only after weight training.

    My question is this: During this 1 month phase of zero (or very very low) carb eating to correct my health issues, I understand that I should concentrate on resting and getting better. To help maintain muscle mass during this period would it be wise to do a couple of full body weight training workouts per week, or would this really have a bad effect whilst on zero carb?

  159. I suggest to all- do your research. There have been multiple studies from multiple areas of experience and science (John Kiefer, Lyle McDonald, Jimmy Moore, Mark Sisson, etc.) showing that from 30-100 carbs a day can put someone in Ketosis. The key is, that our bodies, from years of abuse, are primarily geared to store fat (in the form of toxins from excess sugars) and are almost insulin resistant. This is what we want to correct and avoid in the future. There are many benefits to carbohydrates of course, but for what you need vs what you use them for, are not required. Do you 'need' 3 pieces of toast? No. Does your body require that many grams to efficiently produce ATP to create energy for your fitness? No. Actually your body doesn't need them at all if you want to be 'technical'. But the more active you are and want to be, the more they become a part of your life. If you want your body to be efficient at burning fat, lay off of sugar, alcohol, artificial sweeteners (sans sucralose-only one that does not engage in an insulin response in your body) and anything that resembles a grain....I believe there are over 100 that fall into this category. Use your fruits, veggies and tubers. Dope yourself with heavy caffeine (2-800mg) to activate your mTOR, and go do something. The more active you are, the better your body will respond to food. Keto is necessary to kick start antiobesity, but it's not a necessary way of life to always try to consume less than 30g of carbs. Be good. Reward yourself when you start seeing progress. :)
    Your Partner in Krime-
    PS- KETO + DC Training = MONSTER

  160. Where can you find a ketogenic diet food list like the type used for seizures I have the one for the mct oil diet but it allows things that aren't allowed on the other I use 8-9 tbsp mct oil daily if you wanted to fast a patial day how much fluid would you need to consume when first started diet was told could fast 12-24 hours by neuro but this would be done at home again forgot how I did it the first time would something likee heavy cream mixed with unsweetened chocolate and water with meds be okay several of meds contain things like cornstarch any help would be greatly appreciated

  161. how do you fifure the grams per 100grams and what do the three numbers after each food item you mentioned mean if youu are using an extememely large amount of mct oil 8 tbsps per day plu a little bitof other fats approx 180g is about 45-50g carbs set to high there are a couple of other items you could add to your list of foods one is miracle noodles and the other is called shiratake noodles they have 1 gram of carbs per serving the miracle noodles can be bought through I got my shiratake noodles at local health food store they were cheaper than internet also

  162. are there any long term effects?

  163. please state if there are side effects.

  164. Side Effects:
    Rumored to be detrimental to T3 production by the Thyroid gland (though sugarfreesheila has been doing it for 12 years and doesn't seem to have any health issues)-
    Artificial Sweeteners:
    All artificial sweeteners trigger an insulin response (especially aspartame)except for sucralose which literally does not register in the body (though health-nut gurus will say that "your brain can taste it" and release a response in reaction to digesting/consuming this artificial sweetener". Are they right? Who knows.
    Don't chew gum.
    Consume at your own risk. It's nice to have every now and again. Don't think too much into it. Alcohol gets digested at 7 calories per ounce though, wheat (gluten), is an opiate so stay away from Alcohol with anything remotely sweet or you'll regret it the day after. Your body supposedly stops digestion of other macros to eliminate the poisonous presence of ethanol, so if you are going to drink, make it the last thing on your list that night...or the only :)
    Veggie Carbs:
    If you are truly looking to sink into a ketogenic atmosphere, take a few days to meat/fat/cheese it up. 0-30g is the ABUNDANT RESEARCHED AVG that people should consume for an "x" period of days (usually 13-25 days). Some sooner, some longer, it all depends on genetics and your body's sensitivity to insulin (an how long you're on the internet lol).
    First timer recommendations:
    I would suggest FASTING. Wake up- coffee (because we all know we want to) with MCT/clarified butter/cream/or black. Wait 12-16hrs until your first meal, and eat a very hefty plate of meat and fat (stay away from nitrates people, why are you doing this to yourself?) something like:
    5 homemade jalapenos stuffed with aged cheddar
    6oz of ground hamburger patties (2-3)
    2tbsp of feta/blue cheese crumble
    drizzled with Wildtree Garlic oil (something I made last night). Do this for your first 5 days and then begin eating 3-6-8 small meals a day. Just snack. No biggy. Save it for one meal who cares, just eat. Learn to be full. Learn how to listen to satiety. It's there. It's not hidden in oats or rice (the plaguers of a bad engaging fitness culture), but it is in avocados and poultry, some whey/casein in cheese and animal fats. OH- and a side note to help you learn to enjoy your new journey "Fat is the only macro-nutrient that doesn't create fat spill-over INTO fat cells".
    Getting through it:
    Honestly- you just have to. If you want it bad enough, you will find away. Hell I'm married to a gourmet chef and have two little girls who think sugar is God's gift to the earth...imagine when I come home from work to eat "NOTHING THEY'RE EATING"...and surviving. No support group there haha- and how do I do it? Because I know if I can't face those temptations and beat them as little as they are, how can I combat the inner demon that makes me weak and thinks food is the answer? Maybe it used to be and to a lot of us it still is, but control beats temptation every time. Be strong. Do it for yourself so you can attain that sensational you that is just beneath the surface.
    I am ALWAYS up for meeting new people. Friends are too few and far between for all of us. If you ever want to chat or get some good feedback, email me anytime at
    Your friend in krime...

  165. When considering carb intake for the day do we use Total Carbs or Net Carbs? Thanks in advance.

  166. Any idea of why blood ketones may go down after exercise? Maybe an insulin response during exercise?? I have marginal blood ketones with the highest ever being around 1.3 I am 5'2 female so maybe lower blood ketones is okay or maybe it isn't enough to fuel the exercise??

    Any ideas,

  167. This sounds great with the greens! And, if they're lucky, that's even better. The orange and

    sesame dressing is lovely too.
    sesame seeds
    fennel seeds

  168. Hi, Sarel from South Africa here. I did cyclical keto a few times in the past with some success but always had a off day over weekends. This was due to me thinking that I would not be able to stay in ketosis and have a few drinks. Much to my surprise I stayed in the first time I tried it and have been in ketosis for 11 weeks now. My aim in the beginning was to lose fat and I've lost 15kg (33lbs). What I wasn't expecting was the deep sense of wellness I started experiencing after about 4 weeks. I would like to ask you opinion about a few of these. I used to suffer from insomnia, it completely disappeared in about 5 weeks. I now sleep about 3 hours a night less and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed. I also stopped snoring, probably due to weight loss. My work productivity also received a significant boost. No more afternoon sluggishness and mood-swings are a thing of the past. Last night I noticed something amazing though. I am have significantly less grey hair than what I used to. Only noticed it because I let my beard grow for about a week. I had a ring of whiskers around my chin that was in the process of going completely white. Well there is not one grey to be seen. I do however have a few negatives. I have a skin rash on my arms that seems to fluctuate from being just visible to being a little itchy. My lymphatic nodes are swollen all over my body but especially in my arms an neck and I have constantly stiff neck muscles ( this is new ). I also have a vague feeling of my kidneys " being there " for lack of a better description. No pain but not normal either.

  169. for the fish section... what about cod? thanks

  170. Okay, getting ready to jump on board here but after my reading am a bit confused.... first time in ten years trying this (ketosis diet n days on were a bit different back then) again so heres the ??... says I wont really hit fat adapted stage for awhile so, do I not have carb up days till then. I'm wanting to drop the weight, then hit the weights hard once I get a handle on this.

  171. Thank you for this post, it's extremely helpful.
    I have a question though, will orange juice be a good enough source of Carbohydrates to take after the weight-training?

  172. ARCITA,

    I am trying to make sense of which fats I should turn to first for food. You suggest the PUFAs.

    Volek & Phinney recommend SATURATED and MONOunsaturated (here, for instance:

    Why do you think this discrepancy?

    Thanks for such a great website!


  173. ARCITA and anyone else:

    I've read that while on low-carb or very-low-carb nutrition, one needs to supplemtent the diet (sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc).

    Why should we supplement while on KETO/PALEO nutrition if our thriving ancestors didn’t? Or, did they?

    I have been keto myself for almost 6 weeks now. One short body-weight HIT (not HIIT) session every 5th day. Doing great with no supplements. Wondering if and why I should supplement.

    Thank you.


  174. Great presentation. My son is aiming to do this and sent me the link to your post. The only problem I have is with the Splenda (sucralose) recommendation. Please look into the problems with
    Splenda. This for example:

    Xylitol and stevia are good. See my post here:

  175. I am so pumped to find this -- and other sites -- which support keto. At the same time, I'm a bit annoyed -- and saddened ... as an "Atkins" veteran, both he and many of those who have been blessed by his discovery of keto were (and often still are) vitriolically maligned for ... what? I'm not sure ... while I'm gladdened and understand the surge to get on the bandwagon and maybe even take credit for delving into the depths of keto to validate what Dr. Atkins had found I think it would be appropriate for every site such as this to say (or have a banner that says), simply ...

    Thank you, Dr. Atkins :-)

  176. hi i am on ketogenic diet for like less than 3 weeks. I went to check my blood condition, n found that my blood ph level is 6

    Is that dangerous state? I have read some says that below 7 cell can stop functioning

    1. Yes, that is a dangerous pH level. You are in ketoacidosis. Are you diabetic? Do you normally require insulin shots? Ketosis is regulated by insulin. Go see your doctor.

  177. Hi! Thank you very much for this resource: I wanted to let you know that one of the links you posted has a 404 not found on it. The proper URL for the Arguments In Favor Of Ketogenic Diets is now:

  178. man this was so informative god bless ppl who do stuff like this for ppl to consume for free I read every word and am going to try keto today, a question I have however is this; If i ate at 6am, fast until 6pm, perform a high intensity exercise routine for 45 minutes-an hour then refeed with a meal high in fats moderate in protein and <2-4 grams carbohydrates would I be in ketosis?

  179. Hi Arcita,

    I reference this thread a lot. So thought i'd drop by with a thank-you. A very, very, big thankyou, that i mean, sincerely, so do not be discouraged by the question I'm going to accompany with my gratitude, haha ;-)

    The carbup/refeed. I'm approaching my first one this weekend (4 weeks into keto with less than 5% carbs a day (had one cheat day, a portion of chips with a pub meal) absolutely mentally hard, i'm so excited for the refeed)

    Is it really as straight forward as you put, high gi for first 24, low gi for the next 24? I heard people suggest liquid carbs after the depletion workout for atleast 12 hours?

    I'm considering doing mine only for a 36 hour window if i'm honest, sunday i will use as a day to get back into ketosis after the refeed, doing some liss etc.

    But yeah, the main question, refeed, do i honestly just have to stick to my macros and not really worry about what kind of carbs i'm eating??

    I see you replied to a post April 25th, so i'm hoping this gets seen and/or replied too :-)

    Thanks in advance

    1. Actually, I probably should have specified that one should avoid fructose and sucrose, and focus mainly on glucose-rich products for maximal muscle-glycogen synthesis. To be honest though, I wouldn't stress about such minute details unless you're a professional bodybuilder who needs that 1% edge for an impending competition, or something of that sort. A cookie won't hurt.

      I'm glad that you find the guide useful. I'm planning to do a major edit of it in the next month or two, so stay tuned for that. =)

  180. hi, i just saw your guide today and decided to get on it. now my problem is, from where i live, getting certain goods could be quite difficult what i can get basically are, milk, salad (veggies), fruits and lots of meat, is that enough and i only eat three times a day and very small quantity, reason why i gained weight was cos i ate lots of carbs,i use a workout dvd (black girls work out too). i really need you help!!!

    1. You need help with what? Looks like you're good to go.