Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe for Weight Loss?

by Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, LDN
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Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe for Weight Loss?

If you’ve been contemplating various weight-loss strategies, you may have run across the ketogenic diet. This dietary strategy, which is often used in a clinical setting to help improve seizure control in children with epilepsy, is picking up steam as an effective treatment for weight loss. But is it right for you? We turned to the experts to find out more.

WHAT IS IT?

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis, where fat is burned for fuel instead of carbohydrate. (This isn’t to be confused with ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition typically caused by a lack of insulin in the body.) According to Dominic D’Agostino, a researcher at the University of South Florida who specializes in ketogenic diets, “The ‘classic ketogenic diet’ used originally for the management of drug-resistance seizures is a 4:1 ratio of fats to protein and carbohydrates.” That equates to about 80–90% fat, 5–15% protein and 5–10% carbohydrates. For weight loss, he says, this diet is typically modified “to allow a more liberal consumption of protein” (20–30%) with the same carbohydrate restriction.

IS IT FOR YOU?

Advocates of the ketogenic diet are quick to point out many of the benefits this diet can have for those looking to lose weight. “Rapid weight loss and a decrease in hunger are the most common and evident benefits,” says Kristen Mancinelli, MS, RD, author of “The Ketogenic Diet: A Scientifically Proven Approach to Fast, Healthy Weight Loss.” D’Agostino references promising studies that have been shown to “lower blood glucose levels, increase sensitivity to insulin, decrease inflammation and reduce triglyceride levels while raising HDL cholesterol.”


READ MORE > 21 DIETITIAN APPROVED TIPS TO JUMP-START WEIGHT LOSS


Although Toronto-based registered dietitian Christy Brissette agrees this diet can promote rapid weight loss, she also cautions on the risks of losing weight too quickly. “Research shows that people tend to regain weight they have lost on low-carb diets because they are difficult to maintain long-term,” she says. “A ketogenic diet cuts or severely limits food choices such as fruits and whole grains, leading to a limited meal plan which may can be difficult to stick to.”

It’s also worth mentioning that low-carb diets deplete carbohydrate stores in the liver and muscles. Since these carbohydrate stores are bound tightly to water, you can expect the majority of weight lost during the first week of a ketogenic diet to be water weight.

Proponents of ketogenic diets agree this form of weight loss is not appropriate for every individual. D’Agostino and fellow USF researcher Andrew Koutnik stress that “individuals with liver cancer or elevated liver enzymes, pancreatitis, fat malabsorption issues, lipid metabolism disorders, gall bladder removal or obstruction, or those taking a drug such as a steroid which may elevate blood glucose levels and inhibit the ability to achieve ketosis, should refrain from following a ketogenic diet.”

D’Agostino and Koutnik, however, state this dietary strategy may be beneficial for those with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They point to research at Duke University that found individuals with Type 2 diabetes who followed a ketogenic diet lowered their A1C level, a long-term indicator of blood sugar control, by 16% along with a 6.6% reduction in total body weight. For anyone with diabetes considering a ketogenic diet, it is recommended that you discuss this dietary strategy with your medical team before proceeding.

TIPS FOR KETOGENIC EATING

Before making any major, long-term changes to your diet, it’s best to check in with a doctor or registered dietitian. Should you decide you’d like to try a ketogenic lifestyle for weight loss, here are a few tips to get you started:

ADJUST YOUR MACROS

To achieve nutritional ketosis, adjust your MyFitnessPal macronutrient goals to achieve a daily intake of 70–75% fat, 15–20% protein and 5–10% calories from carbohydrates.

ANTICIPATE A TEMPORARY DROP IN ENERGY

Transitioning to a ketogenic lifestyle can be a bit challenging in the beginning. “The first few days to few weeks of a ketogenic diet can be tough to get through,” says Mancinelli. “You may experience very low energy, crankiness and foggy thinking.” This feeling of lethargy may last from a few days to a few weeks; however, after it passes, many individuals report an improvement in energy and mood, as well as clearer thinking.

MODERATE YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE

Remember that a ketogenic diet is not a high-protein diet. Consuming too much protein may shift you out of a state of ketosis, as the body can convert excess protein into carbohydrates.

EAT A VARIETY OF FATS

Make sure your intake of fat is balanced between plant-based sources and animal fats such as olive oil, nuts, seeds and coconut, along with fatty fish. This will not only help to improve overall health, but will add variety to your meal plan as well.

KNOW IT’S NOT A QUICK FIX

As with any weight-loss plan, the goal is not just to lose weight but also to keep it off. Before you transition to a ketogenic way of eating, ask yourself whether you can make this a long-term lifestyle change and not just a quick fix that could lead to a cycle of yo-yo dieting.

THE BOTTOM LINE

When followed properly, ketogenic diets have been shown to be safe and effective for weight loss and may provide other health benefits including better blood sugar control, a decrease in inflammation and improved triglyceride and HDL counts. However, in order to achieve ketosis, one must consider this a long-term lifestyle change and follow a very specific eating plan to maintain weight loss over time. As always, consult your doctor or a registered dietitian before making any major dietary changes.

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  • Lester

    I’m a fan I of this, I don’t follow it was strick though. I eat 50% high quality fat and 30 -35 fruit and vegetables, and the rest simple carns . I have dropped 20lbs since and have felt great.

  • britney

    I also am a fan. I just started this week and after 3 days already went down 2.5 pounds. My energy is low but not too bad. I make sure to take a multivitamin and will start walking an hour briskly each day as well.

    • Alyssa Talbot

      Multivitamin and add sodium (5000 MG) and potassium to your diet …. daily and you will feel soooo much better. Esp just starting your keto journey. (Sounds like a lot but totally helps)

      • Carly Koehn

        Magnesium is far more crucial than potassium. Nearly 95% of the first world population is deficient in this critical nutrient due to soil depletion, pesticides, and the like. Make sure to prioritize sodium, then magnesium, before potassium. Potassium is a supplement that needs to be monitored medically, as not everyone needs it. If I take potassium, I dump magnesium in droves, making my ongoing deficiency worse. But I firmly second the sodium, because with a ketogenic plan, your body will naturally dump sodium through a number of processes, so you are just refueling what your body needs.

  • Thanks for the information! Surely going to follow.

  • Prema Prakash

    I’ve been reading a lot about the ketogenic diet and while the explanations are quite convincing, I don’t know if it is even possible to go into ketosis on lacto-vegetarian (plant based foods plus milk & its products) and vegan diets. If I eliminate pulses and legumes, fruits, tubers, starchy vegetables and whole grains, then I am left with only green vegetables, salads, yogurt and tofu….nothing else.

    • Alyssa Talbot

      Idk if you have fb but there are several keto support groups and I know for a fact that they have one/several for vegetarian keto as well as vegan keto. Might be something worth looking into to help you out & get some of those questions answered.

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      • Prema Prakash

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  • Chris Shirley

    I’m a huge fan of and advocate for international, cyclical ketosis. I’ve researched for months on it, and come to the conclusion that our bodies do well with shorter periods of ketosis and then longer periods eating healthy, more balanced foods.

    I’m not a doctor, please take these thoughts with a grain of salt.

    I feel that this is not a sustainable, long term strategy. I recommend anyone considering to first research like crazy, then do a so week test. Give your body a few weeks or a month off. Then do a month in ketosis. I like to focus on endurance sports during the ketosis period, like running or hiking, to help my fat burn.

    I’ve been focusing on 70% fat, 7% carbs m and 23% protien, with Bulletproof coffee (XCT oil, grass-fed butter, full cream, cocoa powder, and cinnamon powder) in the morning. I feel so energized and full until lunch, and I feel sharper at work.

    The first week is rough, though, and energy does flag, but in week 2 I felt like Superman! I’m running longer, training harder, and performing better. I just don’t think this is a healthy long-term lifestyle, and should be carefully and intentionally applied. When out of ketosis, macros should be reasonable, sustainable, and if you go back to esting garbage then the weight comes right back!

    Brittany: keep going! The multivitamin will help for sure, but time is the key. And keep in mind from the article above: that first burst of weight loss is water, so stick with it for longer results! Once you get over the low energy and “ketosis flu” hump, you’ll feel FANTASTIC!

    • Ed Credle

      Chris, I agree with you about it not being a sustainable, long term strategy. For me, I could not do it at all anymore. Just by counting my calories and using My Fitness Pal to log my food and exercise, I have managed to become a much healthier person. I am 57 years old and now have an A1C of 5.2 (was 6.0), a total cholesterol of under 100, triglycerides at 74, BP at 117/74 and a resting heart rate that is in the low to mid 50’s. I am also only taking a low dose of Lipitor to stabilize some plaque in two arteries when I had a heart cath almost two years ago. I used to be on two high dose blood pressure meds. But I realize that this is on of those “to each his own” scenarios and that what works for some may not work for others.
      The only advice I can give is to find something that works and do it. Bottom line, do something to improve your health and don’t do what I did for the first 55 years of my life and be a couch potato!

  • Jim Fish

    Having been in ketosis since October 2014 (LCHF for 3 years prior to that) and having escaped the grip of heart disease (heart attack in 8/2004), t2-diabetes, COPD, Metabolic X syndrome and lost 105 lbs; I beg to differ with the above conclusion that a ketogenic way of eating in not only sustainable but life saving. Eleminating refined and simple carbohydrates for the sake of good health, wellbeing and an enhanced quality of life; is not only sustainable but wise and rejuvenating. My A1C has been at 5.1 since I began and all blood work has been normal. Cholesterol is a controversial subject but let it suffice to say mine is also normal. Lastly, I haven’t had to take ANY prescribed medications or over-the-counter drugs since I started my ketogenic WOE.

    • I’m sorry, what article were you reading? This article does not state anywhere that I saw that theKetogenic way of eating is not sustainable, it states one must be willing to make a long term decision to maintain this way of living (extremely TRUE). The closest to stating what you wrote is what Christy Brissette, MS, RD states (not the author of the article) ‘Research shows that people tend to regain weight they have lost on low-carb…’, RESEARCH does show that. The Ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet and does indeed cut many carbs out, so it’s important for anyone that is considering this diet to know this, as not all diets work for everyone.

      It’s wonderful this diet works for you. I think that great, but there are also diets that didn’t work for you, that have for many others, and that just goes to prove my point, and this articles as well…Be informed of what type of diet this is, so you can decide if it’s right for you or not. Remember, just because you are able to maintain the low carbs on a regular basis, does not mean someone else can, or even wants to.

      • papertiger

        Can I point out the rest of the quote you didn’t use in full context. “A ketogenic diet cuts or severely limits food choices such as fruits and whole grains, leading to a limited meal plan which may can be difficult to stick to.” first the point is to remove these items , second almost everything can be made keto or sugar free and lastly there is hundreds if not more recipes for lchf or lcmp online. So there is no lack of choice. This isn’t a diet it is a chemical change to the bodies digestion. It is not deprived of glycogen stores (carb) studies have proven using ketosis as well as carb eating both replace glycogen stores in liver and muscles at equal rate.

        Ketosis takes 3-4 weeks for the enzymes and ketones to replaces sugar as fuel. This isn’t a diet it is a change in lifestyle for the body. All current research is not long term so a 6 week study showing food variance is unreasonable. Since 50% of that time is conversion of human body. Carbs/sugar stimulates the opioid receptors in the brain. That’s the feel goods you get from dessert. So not only is keto a dietary change but almost an addiction therapy as well.

        • I should have been more clear, the Author did not conclude in His conclusion titled the ‘Bottom Line’ what you referred to in “Jim Fish”‘s OP. He placed in the points of view from a few Medical Professionals on this, and then in HER (The author’s) conclusion states: “When followed properly, ketogenic diets have been shown to be safe and effective for weight loss and may provide other health benefits including better blood sugar control, a decrease in inflammation and improved triglyceride and HDL counts”. The worst statement the Author makes is that it is a total change in your lifestyle, which may scare away people since some may take that to mean they are on a DIET (which still has negative connotations in some circle’s, rather than what should mean) for the rest of their life. However, that is also true, and the people who get scarred away, shouldn’t be on the plan to begin with, because they do not apparently want to make that type of dedication.

          As far as the current research, The Charlie foundation has been doing active research in the Ketogenic Diet not only for Seizure in Children, but also as a diet for adults for the past 22 years. There is an extensive amount of choices available for this diet not only on their site, but also on various others.

          What Christy stated, could probably have been reworded differently (agreed), however, she is correct, (in the statement she made with the definition of ‘Limited’ being: “confined within limits”, and the reason is, there are limits of the type of foods you can have, (i.e. no fruits or whole wheats is a limit), and she did not state limited as meaning the quantity of available menu items for that plan, nor does it anywhere in the article.

          Consider this, you are on a 747 that carries on average 150 – 200 passengers daily. However, you did not buy premium, so you can not sit in approximately 20 – 50 of those seats. You still have a vast amount of seats available to you, but if you like First Class, that’s a limitation you may not be able to deal with.

          In the case of what Christy stated, If you do not have the desire to end the majority fruits and whole grains for your whole life, then this diet may not be for you, as it IS limited in that fashion. ALL DIETS, have some limitation some where within them, it’s just a matter of what limitations you are willing to deal with, and it’s equally important to know those limitations before starting such. She wasn’t recommending against the diet as a diet, she just wanted the limitations of THIS diet to be known, which honestly all diets should have this multi-perspective done on it (congrats to the Author for this). As far as 6 week study you are referring to, there is nothing in this article I see referring to that, so I am unsure where you got that information from, as I never stated it either, and all current research has been actively in progress for approximately 22 years, even though the diet itself is much much older.

          • papertiger

            You referred to studies most main stream keto based studies are short term. Even if the charlie foundation has been studying this way for 22 years it doesn’t mean all 22 years is one study. The oldest medical study I’m aware of off hand for lchf was a doctor John Rollo published in 1797. It was controlling weight and blood sugar of diabetes. Type 2 today as no insulin available until 1924. Buy he was able to keep juvenile diabetic children alive for a few weeks post diabetic ketoacidosis. Then a death sentence. Sorry side track, my main course of lchf has been based on diabetes. I’m type 1 for 20 years last a1c was 4.9 (better then most nondiabetic adults) using low carb high fat and moderate protein.

          • First, I never referred to studies on the Ketogenic diet in my OP. I referred to studies that have shown that low carb diets (Yes, the Keto is low carb diet, but by far not the only one) failed, and that is true, long term research has shown that, even though I never stated that myself, Christy actually did, I simply requoted WHAT she stated with the emphasis being on Low Carb, not on the Keto Diet.

            Furthermore the studies I state about the Charlie Foundation is not one study, nor did I imply or assume such. You should know they have participated in both short and LONG term studies throughout the 22 years, and I was recommending them as a guide for starting the diet, NOT as a reason to not be on the diet. Also, I never stated, nor meant for this to be taken or implied that this diet is not to be used. I praise this articles author because she for the most part also recommends this diet, and can’t understand why people she’s stating otherwise. That was my whole and only point to the OP to begin with. SHE RECOMMENDS THE DIET, as a legit diet, for those who are willing to make a life change, WHICH IS REQUIRED FOR THIS DIET. I, nor the author means anything other than that.

            Also, I did not mention anything about the Diabetes or any other diseases as not being receptive to this diet. What I did state is true, that the body under certain circumstances has a harder time going into a state of Ketosis under certain circumstanses (Diabetes was not one of them), which is a MUST in order for this DIET to work. That is the closest that Christy or myself came to not recommending this DIET.

          • Lee

            I think when I was reading the article, it was hard to discern whether the author was for it or against it, but it ended up being a PSA which is a moot point since anyone choosing this diet, already have taken the plunge in this manner of eating. For me, when I chose this diet, watching carbs rather than calories (even though I set my calorie limit) helped immensely. It’s like flying a plane and not reading the right indicators. Now, I feel blessed that with the Keto diet, I am watching the right indicators and it has been helping a lot with my energy, well-being, and have gradually started to lose weight and have taken an interest in walking and bringing more activity in my life. This diet is simple and what is pretty much excluded is obvious as opposed to many other diets where there is this long list of foods you can have or not have, etc. Reducing calories for me allowed me to eat a lot of carbs. I took offense at the statement of: ““Research shows that people tend to regain weight they have lost on low-carb diets because they are difficult to maintain long-term,” – Well, to me, isn’t that pretty much ALL diets? Of course, we are all coming from a different angle on KETO and for me, when I looked at this years ago it didn’t make sense but when I came upon a site that explained in detail and downloaded an IOS app, and once I began “planning” and changing the dial I look at (Carbs instead of calories) I found that I came way under my calorie goal easily, while still feeling full and sustained. For once, I began to understood foods much better

      • Tatyana

        Any dieting you do it has to be with an exercise. I did Keto with exercise, lost the weight and haven’t gained it back, even though I eat everything. Three months have past.

    • Rich Cook

      Jim…congrats on getting off meds with the ketogenic diet. That is my goal. About to start (in the learning/prep phase). I’m encouraged to see this work for someone else in my situation (t2, etc.). I’d love to get off the meds (metformin makes me ill but insurance won’t pay for Janumet!). I’m curious about your cholesterol because I’m on cholesterol & blood pressure meds not because either is high but doc said is SOP for t2 (so is a high carb diet for diabetes so we know how good SOP is!).

      • Charles Van Heusen

        Rich,

        I cut 70 pounds in 100 days using the Nutrimost program. It offered a wider variety of foods to consume and they also teach you how to maintain your weight.

        I’d previously gone through the Atkins version of the high fat , low/ no carb program and I gained all the weight back plus 10% over the course of 2 years because I did t understand what to do to maintain the healthy balance once I was at my weight goal set point.

        My blood pressure is the bests it’s been in 15 years as well as my glucose. The only pills I take now are for a back ache, head ache, and daily supplements.

        • tchamp77

          Aren’t you limited to 500-700 calories per day and not allowed to eat fats? That sounds very restrictive.

      • Tajai Alderman

        I think you may need to find another doctor…as a nurse I have never heard of doctor putting a patient on bp and cholesterol medication just because they have type 2 diabetes. I encourage all my patients to advocate for their own healthcare, get second opinions, research things on your own, and never ever be afraid to ask questions! Long gone are the days where doctors just tell patients what to do with no educated rationale. I hope you get your blood sugars under control and off meds soon because metformin will ruin your kidneys! My grandmother is ESRD after years of being on metformin. I lost 50lbs in under a year with proper diet and exercise and am now off of bp meds. You can do it…just have to find what works for you!

        • Shari

          Actually, doctors prescribe cholesterol and blood pressure-lowering medications all the time for people with diabetes. Diabetes is a major risk factor for developing heart disease and kidney disease. Aging and being male are also additional risk factors that we can’t even control with medicines. New guidelines actually recommended that people with diabetes start cholesterol lowering meds depending on risks. Diabetes also does enough damage to the kidneys. You don’t need high blood pressure wreaking havoc on the kidney as well. Those meds are just preventing other associated illnesses that diabetes can predispose to.

      • Tajai Alderman

        Also have they tried prescribing you glyburide instead of Metformin? What about regular insulin? I apologize if I’m being invasive; I just hate seeing people suffer because insurance companies control our care, not our doctors! I wish more doctors fought to have certain medications approved for patients who really need them.

        • Rich Cook

          I’ve never heard of glyburide. I’ll look into it. And I did dump my doctor. Actually, any doctor who doesn’t pass a simple test about what I should be eating as a T2 diabetic, high card or low carb.

          I’ve found that a LCHF diet crushes any meds in results. When I can stay off carbs, my blood sugar normalizes and the diet does far more than the meds.

          Unfortunately, I’ve found I’m carb addicted and am struggling to avoid them. Plus, my allergies are terrible and I needs antihjust to breathe. They mess up my meds and blood sugar. Walfinate is the only antihistamine I’ve found that doesn’t effect my meds or sugar but it does nothing for my allergies. Just makes me sleep!

          And re your other comment … EVERY doctor I’ve had since being diagnosed as T2 has pushed by & cholesterol meds; even prior when I was diagnosed with fatty liver (although no explanation of what that meant or could lead to was ever given…just the prescriptions).

          Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement. 🙂

    • Loveable Ma

      Your Awesome Jim, my son is Epileptic and Diabetic and I’m hoping to get him into this WOE as well

      Changing to this woe for your health is beneficial and I commend you

      • There is some excellent research on the subject at the Charlie Foundation, which was setup 22 years ago by the father of Charlie, who had severe seizures when he was a child. The orginization explores even past that with the diet availability and research. They are one of the most active groups in the field of this plan. They even have lots of great recipes as well

        I don’t know if we can post links here, but if you google Charlie Foundation it will be at the top.

        • Loveable Ma

          We took my son to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore when he was younger and. He was not a candidate because of his Autism. I’m hoping to get him to start enjoying the foods and back off carbs. One day at a time with him, he doesn’t like change.

    • Rose Urban

      Jim, I started with the Ketosis diet 4 months ago. I lost about 15 lbs. I’m down one size. My mother was diagnosed with diabetes while pregnant, and struggled with many illnesses stemming from diabetes, such as heart attack, stroke and toe amputations. I started to notice some inflammation in my legs and feet and got scared. I’m 52 and want to be around and mobile for the next 20 years at least. I’m feeling better, and don’t miss the carbs all that much! Totally sustainable. But I agree, not for everyone… But perfect for me…

  • RongHua Ching

    What a coincidence, started earlier this month following a diabetic diet where I stumbled upon information related to ketogenic diet guidelines. With MFP I had lost weight 5kg a year ago swiftly and recently another 3 kg over a longer period. But now with onset of diabetes I must lower my weight more and make lifestyle changes. This to avoid cholesterol issues and pressure to take prescribed medications as insuline shots. It”s a fact with type 2 diabetes once started it can’t be stopped! Used online ketogenic calculator to adjust my macronutrient last Friday and finished uploading todays intake when I saw this post feed.

    It is really encouraging to read positive responses of ketogenic practioners and dieters who sustain a ketogenic lifestyle.

    • Stephanie Page

      I have been on Keto for about 5 weeks now. This is after about 6 weeks of a more paleo (higher carb/protein) diet. The Paleo did nothing for me but after increasing my fat intake, my whole body and mind began to change. I am thinner, I have redistributed my weight, I am happier, calmer and much clearer in my thinking. It is much easier to stick to than any other food plan I have ever been on. “Cheating” is actually not even fun because sweets and junk do not taste good to me anymore. Good luck!!!

    • Candy

      I have been following this lifestyle for three weeks now and I’m already off all of my diabetic medication. My numbers were getting so low I had to stop them. I was slowly weaned off of them, though, and kept very close track of my blood sugars multiple times a day to ensure it was working. I also was able to stop taking my blood pressure medication. All of my numbers have been EXCELLENT!!!! I, also, don’t have a gallbladder. This CAN be done and there are endless possiblities as far as food is concerned. Just knowing that I can keep my blood sugar under control without medication is enough for me to stay with this WOE. I’ve lost 22 pounds and keep losing weekly. It has basically saved my life and I have so much more energy and feel wonderful!

  • Karlottap

    I’ve been eating a ketogenic diet for almost 15 months! This way of eating (woe)is very sustainable! Once you see carbs as fake food, you don’t want it anymore! Then this way of life becomes a habit. Have lost almost 60 pounds during this time, and am now in a normal range of BMI! Most if my chronic pain from fibromyalgia is gone! Off of blood pressure medication, and allergy medications too! This will be my woe for life! Why would anyone want to return to eating the foods that made them ill in the first place? I won’t be doing that! For once in my life I now know I won’t be regaining the weight! It’s a wonderful thing to know! Research this for yourself! Plus, there are some awesome groups here who support this woe! The lcd/Low Carber Daily, and keto groups are very active, and full of knowledgeable people who give support for this woe!! Keep Calm and Keto on!

  • Carly Koehn

    As a person who no longer has a gallbladder (it was surgically removed in December of 2000 following pregnancy/delivery), I have to disagree with the fact that ketogenic diet isn’t recommended. I have had to make adjustments to all my dietary intake and supplementing, but this plan has allowed me to identify and treat the underlying issues that likely contributed to the necessary removal of my gallbladder in the first place – the true underlying issue (low stomach acid) was not obvious in the previous 13+ years, but the last 18 months of a low carb, then ketogenic diet helped me identify this issue, as well as insulin resistance, and thyroid dysfunction. I’m well on my way to being the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life.

    A ketogenic diet is restrictive to a degree, but like any dietary plan or exercise regime, you have to find the ways to make it sustainable for you. Modifications are necessary to make any plan work long term. The so-called “keto flu” or adjustment during the first few weeks of induction can be avoided 100% by supplementing with sodium and magnesium, which are naturally depleted due to a number of factors on this plan. The minimum recommendation for sodium is 5000 MG daily, as you are regularly depleting and excreting the levels in your blood. The only people this is not recommended for are those with a genetic type of high blood pressure that reacts to sodium specifically. Those who have obesity related HBP or medically related HBP are not likely to have issues with this sodium level, as it is about keeping a balance of the electrolytes. Many folks are actually able to stop medication for this issue after being on this plan for a while.

    Magnesium is another nutrient that nearly 95% of the first world population is deficient in this critical nutrient due to soil depletion, pesticides, and the like. Make sure to prioritize sodium, then magnesium, before potassium. Potassium is a supplement that needs to be monitored medically, as not everyone needs it. If I take potassium, I dump magnesium in droves, making my ongoing deficiency worse. But I firmly second the sodium, because with a ketogenic plan, your body will naturally dump sodium through a number of processes, so you are just refueling what your body needs. Magnesium should be taken to tolerance, generally starting with a form that is well absorbed (magnesium oxide is one of the absolute worst – triggers loose stools in most folks) at 400 mg daily. Once you have a digestive response to the level you are taking, you should step back one increment and that is your therapeutic level. For example, 500 mg of magnesium oxide daily causes massive loose stool issues for me, but I tolerate 800 mg PLUS of magnesium glycinate (my best absorbed form) very well and can adjust my dosage to my needs, based on dietary consumption.

    There are a number of fabulous resources available as more people learn about the healing properties of making this plan work for you. Not everyone will benefit from this dietary plan, but nearly everyone can take certain aspects of this plan and apply them to whatever plan they follow.

    • I’m glad this is working for you. Wonderful news.

      However, please understand, Doctors and health practitioners do not recommend this diet without consulting your own physician (as with all diets) for people such as yourself that have had their Gall Bladder removed. There are good reasons for this with this diet. It is much much harder for the body to go into a state of Ketosis with the Gall Bladder removed, and this whole diet hinges on the fact your body has to go into the state of Ketosis to work. They don’t state it’s impossible for the body to achieve, however, if your body does not go into that state of Ketosis, you will most likely have the reverse effect desired, and start having other medical problems as well as not losing weight.

      • Loveable Ma

        Why are you so against this WOE? Ppl posting about wanting to do this or successfully doing this must really bother you because your not where you want to be in life
        Stop trying to scare ppl away and go somewhere else

        • That is not I intended. I believe if you reread it, you will see I am glad it’s working for them, and pointing out that my fitness pal is not against the diet either as the OP stated. I did however recommend AGAIN that anyone in her position still needs to consult their physician. No malice or malcontent was at all meant, and I am truly sorry if you felt that way.

          • Loveable Ma

            Ahhh ok I understand :0) no worries my friend. We all want to live a long life free from health issues and having to take lots of medicine. My entire family is Diabetic minus my brother and sister (even my husband and son have it)
            This life seems beneficial and I tried when my son was 2 to get him on a Ketogenic diet (he takes 16 pills a day for seizures)
            Your right all diets have good and bad and yes if you don’t change your habits completely you will fail and gain it back. That’s any diet and trust me I have done mostly all of them.

      • janelle DeAnda

        wow I had never heard about the part you mention about not having a gallbladder may take longer to enter a state of ketosis.. Makes sense why I have been struggling to lose.

      • RS

        I have also had my gallbladder removed and have not suffered any adverse effects from the high fat diet. I went into ketosis on day one of the diet by exercising on an empty stomach. It takes some planning to make sure you always have the right foods on hand, but you are allowed bacon haha what’s not to love!!

      • Rosslyn Lim

        I have been on the ketogenic diet since May 2015 (2 years ago), and I feel great. I do intermittent fasting (no food for 15 hours everyday) as well. I don’t know if I go into ketosis or not, but it really doesn’t matter to me, because what I’m doing works for me. I never have to worry about my weight anymore, as long as I stick to this way of eating…it now is a lifestyle, and I love it. Food isn’t the boss of me anymore! I can enjoy fatty foods without worrying. I currently have no health issues…back discomfort, the beginnings of joint pain, allergies… all gone. Who wouldn’t want to to get rid of health problems without medications?? If you are suffering with bad health, you have to try this diet. It will help relieve any health issues you have. There’s nothing to lose, except the carbs and sugar, which is the cause of all health problems.

  • Ask Helen

    I have heard about this Ketogenic Diet but haven’t really tried it. I’ve read quite a few article regarding this and some says that it is effective. I definitely need to try this.

  • Linda Robertson

    Have lost 25 lbs using LCHF Ketogenic way of eating. I do not think of this as a Diet, it is learning to eat differently. My A1C was 7.6 and is now 6.5. Just like any Diet you can fall off, or cheat or even use it in combination with fasting (10 to 15 hours only) My weight loss has not been as fast as some but it works when you follow your Macro’s. I still have a ways to go but after trying so many diets over the years, this is one that works for me and I trust it to help me lose the weight. Also I think the higher Fat keeps me from being hungry. I truly understand that Sugar is poison and I cleaned out all of the Sugar and boxed foods and Grains from my kitchen.

  • Hashim Jibri

    I started in April and I was able to break my plateau. I’ve went from 190 to as low as 173 (post cardio), and I’ve lost about 7 pounds of bodyfat. I think the American diet is heavily carb based. Culturally our diet is heavy on carbs. As a result, we really don’t know how to eat without carbs. The keto diet trains you how to eat without carbs while still eating what you need to be healthy.

  • Ed Credle

    I personally have done the ketogenic diet, and lost almost 70 lbs. I also gained those 70 lbs plus about 10 more back. For me, and I stress for me, it was not sustainable. I ended up listening to my cardiologist and taking the approach that if I take in less calories than I burn, I am going to lose weight. It has taken me almost two years to do it, but I have dropped about 138 pounds just by counting my calories and staying under my target. My target started at 2000, then after about 9 months, I dropped it to 1800. Now I am taking in no more than 1500. His advice to me was to find a way that I can eat that I can sustain for the rest of my life. He also said I HAD to exercise. I am now up to running 4 miles, and have entered three different 5K races in the last 2 months.
    I will stress that this has worked for me, but I am not proposing that anybody else has to do what I have done.
    Bottom line, is a ketogenic diet safe? Probably so. Is it effective on a long term basis? FOR ME, no.

    • Alexis

      I fully agree! I have a friend on keto and she LOVES it but it just hasn’t been sustainable to me. I also just didn’t like falling into the whole group of people who were super into keto. A lot of them mocked fruits and whole grains, calling them “fake foods”. While I love the IDEA of keto and it works great for others, I just don’t like the cult-like following and the strictness with the diet.

    • Zac Carswell

      Even on a keto diet you still have to be in a caloric deficit to loose weight .

  • Greg Dahlen

    The best way I’ve found to lose weight is to tune in to your stomach and simply not eat when your stomach is feeling too full.

    • Kris

      Ive always been a heavy guy, started keto about 4 weeks ago. Going from a overeater to this, it’s strange. I’m used to being hungry at certain times of day after eating X amount of food.. but now I normally don’t eat because I’m hungry, its because im thinking… “It’s 6 oclock, probably should get something to eat before it gets too late”. I’ve also dropped 13 pounds, most of it from the initial water weight that comes off first.

      • Greg Dahlen

        Well, if it were me and I wasn’t hungry, I just wouldn’t eat. Use your lack of hunger as a way to eat less and take more weight off.

  • The Ketogenic diet is healthy for the African American diet. The Ketogenic diet is Paleo friendly for the African American diet

    • Kris

      What is an African American diet…?

      • Well, you ask a good question. They would be all foods mentioned on the US Food Pyramid that does not suppress the Immune System of the O Blood Type in the African American community

  • robinbishop34

    Notice that it recommends a percentage proportion of each macro rather than simply consuming more fat than carbs or protein. This means you still have to know your TDEE to figure this out and still stay in a 20% deficit of that number to lose. There is no silver bullet diet that allows you to lose weight while in maintenance or a surplus regardless of macro proportions. So figure out your daily maintenance, reduce that by 20% and figure your macro percentages knowing carbs and protein are 4 calories per gram, and fats are 9 calories per gram.

  • patstar5

    I’ve lost 80lbs, 50 of that was from starting keto in July of 2015 and I was down to almost 170 from 250 by December.
    I’m still doing keto, I find it way easier to stick to than counting calories all the time. I usually only eat twice a day now. It’s amazing what happens when you get rid of grains and sugar. You no longer are controlled by food. I love being able to fast if I want to.

  • Winder

    Been doing this for about 9 months. Have lost 40lbs and have more energy than ever. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. I have no problems adhering to LCHF. Any sugar tastes terrible now. I rarely have more than 5 grams of sugar per day and that would be just from food.

    As a side benefit, I believe this diet will help in preventing cancer or stopping it. Anecdotal, I know, but I had actinic keratosis on both my hands. Had them burned off a couple of years ago but they came back. Once I went LCHF, they started disappearing and have now basically gone away. Just a small spot where they once were. I was considering going back to have them burned off as they had gotten quite large.

    Evidently cancer cells must have glucose to survive and thrive. They can’t use ketones. Don’t believe me? Google ketogenic diet cancer and you will find numerous studies on this, some going back 60 years. I’m a believer.

  • niboned

    Where does total calorie intake factor into this?

    • Loveable Ma

      For men it’s 1500- 2000 and women 1500-1800

  • Charles Van Heusen

    Is t this the same thing as the Atkins diet?

    • James Stuart

      Atkins is a Ketogenic diet. But, there are other versions and methods in addition to Atkins. However, they are all very similar, as there is only one way to get into Ketosis. Cutting the carbs.

      • dragonbait44

        vegetables are carbs. fruit is carbs. I understand cutting out processed carbs. does anyone actually workout on such a diet? or do you live on pills and animals?

        • Ryan

          I do 4 weights sessions a week plus a bit of mountain biking so working out isn’t a problem at all. There are plenty of low carb fruit and veg options such as avocado, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, celery. I don’t take any pills because it’s easy enough to get potassium, magnesium and sodium from the food available. Animals? Hell yeah, I eat a lot of animal 

        • Melilyn

          Your name is apt, bait.

          But I’ll take it. Yeah, I work out. I don’t have a membership to a gym right now, but when I was working out, I’d actually up my carbs before a workout (berries, avocado for example), then burn them doing treadmill/elliptical and weights, and follow up with some kind of protein after. You can eat more than 50 carbs a day even on Keto if you’re using them as fuel, but that’s called a cyclical Keto diet.

          What kind of vegetables can you eat? Avocad, almost any green veggie, cauliflower, carrots, garlic, ginger, onions, even tomatos and corn sparingly if you don’t have a whole lot of it! As for fruit, just know how many carbs are in it and you can find what works best for you. Berries are high in fiber, low in carb, high in antioxidants. Don’t eat a whole apple, but have a few slices with the rest of your meal. A little bit of cantaloupe won’t kill you.

          You don’t even HAVE to have pills to supplement this, if you make your own broths and find sodium rich foods. For example, I like miso soup. Vegetarian enough for you?

        • Kristina MW

          Two years on Keto, work out three times a week. My favorite meals are mostly veggies with butter and a protein. Zucchini, cucumber, spinach, cabbage, edamame, lettuces, mushrooms, olives and avocado are on heavy rotation.

          I need lower calories to maintain at my height so the crazy bacon and ground beef creations some people love on the diet are out for me. I make a lot of egg frittatas and salads with homemade dressing. I eat a lot of fish and chicken wings. It’s been a satisfying and sustainable diet.

        • S S

          Eat fibrous fruit and veg and count the net carbs. You can eat plenty of fruits and veg.

    • Walt Corey

      Atkins, in the Initiation phase 2weeks to whenever is as they suggest you limit all carbs to below 10g/day. As you progress into the following stages carbs rise past 10g/day.

      South Beach, for instance, is a derivative of Atkins that does allow fruit, or maybe it was Zone…there are some Atkin knockoffs out there.

      Oh…aminals..yum yum.

  • Gilbert Maldonado

    Started Keto back in Jan 2015 as a New Year’s Resolution. As of today I’m down 170lbs and in better health than I was in my 20s. No packaged BS, to clubs to join, no excess working out, although I started building lots of muscle because I wanted to fill in the loose skin with some real beef. Now my wife can’t keep her hands off me.

  • Walt Corey

    For those interested, and even those not. There is this keto calculator I ran across.

    http plus a : plus twp forward slashes plus keto-calculator.ankerl plus a . plus com

  • Cheryl Scott

    Wow! There is a lot of success with the keto WOE. Its improving the quality of life for so many people.I am wondering about keto breath? Was it / Is it a problem for you?

    • La Bandita

      It’s bad. Unless you already have someone prepare to be forever alone.

      A guy at work on it, was trying to explain it to me and I almost passed out. He lost weight, but had the extra skin.

    • Kristina MW

      I have been on Keto on and off for two years, the breath comes just when I am readapting and then goes away. It can be a little weird but passes.

  • La Bandita

    I think w/the commenters that have to loose 100 pounds – this will work.

    For the rest of us (me) who just want to maintain a size between a 0 & 2 until we die this may eliminate diabetes I don’t have, but give me high blood pressure or a heart attack.

  • Kristina MW

    I’ve been Keto for two years and have lost 55 pounds and kept off all of it. My doctor has been closely monitoring it and been very supportive. My blood pressure went from “time for meds” to normal. My cholesterol went from “time to be worried” to normal. I had PCOS that has all but resolved itself.

    This isn’t for everyone. It’s hard to break the sugar and carb habits that you’ve had for ever. This diet has been the most successful I’ve ever been on and the most satisfying I’ve ever been on. You have to be dedicated and ok with being the weird one at the pizza party who brought their own lunch. The health benefits have made it something I plan to sustain for life.

    I was very strict 20 or under carbs for the first year. Now that I’m close to goal weight I’ve upped my carbs to around 50 a day, which keeps me in ketosis but allows for more fruits and different veggies. It will work for many people, but if it isn’t for you that is also OK. It is sustainable for some. It is the best decision some will ever make. I am living proof that you can make the shift in diet and have it be the new normal.

    • NAT

      Any suggestion for diet plan – web sites,books? Thank you

  • Clay Walton

    I have some relatives who have lost quite a bit on the keto woe and would like to start that myself. The question I have is there a book of recipes or something that could help me to eat better?? I travel a lot for work so my eating is done at fast food places and restaurants. Please help!!

    • S S

      Go on youtube; there are some amazing content providers that will help you.

  • Erin S.

    I have been following this lifestyle for quite a few months and though it can be a pain when out on the town or at friends houses for dinner, I couldn’t be happier. I lost 20 pounds in about a month and have kept it off. I enjoy raw foods and my stomach pains have dissipated after removing grains from my diet. The first two weeks or ‘keto flu’ are brutal but you’ll be suprised how much you don’t miss eating poorly if you can just make it through the rigorous 14 days! From there on it’s about moderation, at least that’s how I went about it.

  • msbecky12

    After 1 week on this diet I had to stop taking my daily dose of 50 units insulin!

  • laura

    Why would anyone want to go low carb? That seems horrible. High carb low fat for the win!

    • Floridajan

      Yes .I totally agree. I have tried South beach with success but was very difficult to do. Recently I went on vegan keto for 5 days. I lost 5 pounds but feeling awefull and weak. my fasting blood sugar went up to 139 despite only 50 grams of carb. Terribly constipated. Then I came across a video on insulin resistance which stressed that the cause is fat. Importance of low fat diet about 15 percent fat to reduce insulin resistance. I followed a low fat regimen of 25 gms of fat ( this may be a little higher than recommended) and 150 net carbs and 45 gms protein. My weight came down and fasting blood sugar has average of 97 in 25 days. I lost st 9 pounds in 25 days. Feel full with all my favorite fruits ,vegetables , potato, legumes and whole grains. I am full in less than 1200 cal. Low fat is the way for me.

  • David A.

    It is really, really hard for me to imagine that a diet providing 70% fat could possibly be beneficial for any American. We eat way too much fat already. A balanced diet low in fat and refined carbohydrates has been scientifically proven to be the best, most sustainable way to a lower BMI.

    • tchamp77

      We may eat too much fat, but we also eat it together with refined carbs. Hamburgers, sandwiches, burgers and fries, fettucini alfredo, etc., etc. The body burns the carbs and stores the fats, leading to obesity and a host of other problems.

    • S S

      “A balanced diet low in fat and refined carbohydrates has been scientifically proven to be the best, most sustainable way to a lower BMI.” This statement is grossly inaccurate.

  • apoteke

    Th article does not discuss what to do once you’ve lost the weight. If a low carb lifestyle is what is best for you(and IMHO that is most people) then after you are at goal start adding small amounts of carbohydrate. When you get to too many grams of carbohydrate, you will notice weight gain or retaining fluid and that is the upper amount of carbohydrate you can handle. I’d also recommend that you only get carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables and eliminate grains and sugar.

    I’ve also notice going to the bathroom much more often when I’m doing it right. This makes sense in 2 ways, you HAVE to drink plenty of water and when you burn things the byproduct is CO2 and Water.

  • apoteke

    “Cholesterol ….is also normal” Proof that dietary cholesterol does not raise cholesterol levels.

  • tchamp77

    For anyone who thinks this diet is crazy or dangerous, imagine that a “normal” meal of meat, potatoes and a veggie that you are eating is replaced by a “keto” meal of meat, a veggie and more veggies. Why would anyone suddenly think this is a risky way to eat?

  • Paul

    I use the std macro setting with my fitness pal and stick to my calorie levels. If I exercise it allows me to eat more. I have been doing this for a few years. I have dropped 11kg and I am sticking to the weight I am now. At one stage I was down 14kg but was fragile, and gaunt looking. At 78kg I am very happy, healthy and very fit for my age. Exercise is vital. I think if it works for you good. Listen to your body. I go to doctor once per year for a complete check and blood tests, they are amazed. Good luck to all of you, find what is right for you….

  • IRC not rootbeer

    It also depends on ones metabolic type, a person who is a carb metabolic person would not do good in keto, a person say like Mike phelps or lance armstrong. Nutritionist dr. Phillip Goglia talks about this in his book, he also got chunky chris Pratt 300 lbs into ripped shape 240 for guardians of galaxy star lord role, and also chris Evans captain America. Water is very important also, an ounce of water per lb.

  • stitch

    I am on the Paleo diet. It is similar but a little less restrictive. I have never felt better in my life. I have fibromyalgia, the symptoms are gone. I am never hungry. I am fulfilled and I love it. I am seeing my doctor in a month and have hopes that besides an 18 pound weightloss in the last month and a half my numbers for other barometers will be better also.

  • Alejandra

    What time of food specifically I need to eat to try this diet.? and which food are should not be eating

  • Ronald Jones

    Is my understanding that the ketogenic lifestyle diet is not appropriate for type 1 diabetics. It is great for Type 2 diabetes, but not type 1. Please check this research point carefully. I would refer you to Dr. Jason Fung “The Obesity Code” for further documentation.

  • Toni

    I a lot of the information in this article is simply not true. Read Keto Adapted by Maria Emmerich or The low Carb Dietitian’s guide to health and beauty by Franziska Spritzler. The Grain Brain and The Fat Switch are also filled with scientific evidence that Ketogenic is for anyone who is insulin resistant, has type 2 diabetes, has auto immune disease, Alzheimer’s disease and more. I’ve been on Keto for 3 months and have never felt better.

  • TonySilveira

    I have been in Ketosis for more than 3 months and I am not going back. I was injecting 2 types of insulin 4 times a day to deal with type 2 diabetes and it’s been 3 months that I don’t need insulin. I dropped my size of pants from 38 to 32-34 and keep losing 1 pound every week. This was a life saver since I did a quadruple bypass last year and became a vegetarian. Vegetables were literally killing me. Keto worked fro me and changed my life, I will never go back to the food pyramid or low fat diets.

  • Juan Lahera

    I have a question. When they say that in order to get into Ketosis, most people need to limit their daily carb intake to 50g per day. Is that 50 grams of carbs or a 50 grams of net carbs?

    • S S

      20 grams of net carbs for 3-4 days should get you into ketosis. After that you can evaluate how much is good for your lifestyle based on activity. There are blood tests, breath analysis, urine strips (least accurate but inexpensive) to determine if you stay in ketosis.

  • Janet B

    i have what might appear to be a dumb question to some but i’m new to this way of eating and i’m curious how you’re able to reduce the protein and eat more fat as most foods that are high in fat that are good for you i.e. milk, cheese, nuts etc., are also a good source of protein! Hence in trying to follow the rule suggested – 70–75% fat, 15–20% protein and 5–10% calories from carbohydrates, i’m finding it hard to maintain the protein level suggested. Any tips/suggestions?

    • Moonkey

      I rely on “fat bombs” to give me the fat I need to get to the macro ratio recommended. Google “fat bomb” recipes and you will see plenty of them. I also try to make my own salad dressing by overloading on Olive or Avocado oil. Eggs are also good…but I only eat the yolks. I save the egg whites for “low-carb bread” where egg whites and be used with Almond flour to make guilt-free bread when you crave a grilled cheese sandwich.

  • Linda DeFever

    Any diet promoting “fast” weight loss, and is a low carb diet is a recipe for failure…….
    I understand using this method to help decrease seizures, but once again..our country is always about fast this fast that, this is not about making Lifestyle changes….what is after the quick weight loss…weight gain!

    • Ben Wagenmaker

      Hi Linda,

      Just to clarify: some people do get rapid weight loss on this way of eating, and thus they promote it as such. But the “diet” itself does not promote “fast” anything. It promotes eating real food, eating when hungry, and stop when full. It limits carbs, without eliminating them completely. For me, this was very important for health reasons, as I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and fatty liver over a year ago, and a high carb diet leads to high blood sugars and high doses or medication to compensate. In contrast, a low carb diet leads to fewer blood sugar spikes and zero medication (in my case). Oh, and I reversed my fatty liver. My weight has been stable for about 8 months now, and so I respectfully disagree with your suggesting that this way of eating is a “recipe for failure.” My health is better than it has been in over 20 years, and I am grateful that I was able to find out about this way of eating, without which I’d be over 70 pounds heavier, on meds, and getting sicker, not better.

  • Nugrahadi Yuwono

    Not recommended for non committed person that have difficulties with sugar addiction. Keto is a lifestyle that I’ve maintained for 60 days. Its something personal & life changing for myself. I’ve lost 32 pounds since March 2017. It works for me but not with anyone else. Its like a great formula for my body.

  • Sandy Webster

    What I’m surprised isn’t mentioned is that Dr. D’Agostino created a formula for exogenous therapeutic Ketones out of a grant from the Department of Defense. It puts your body in ketosis within 60 minutes of taking it, instead of having to go through the painstaking 5-6 day process to get your body in that state. Partnered with a ketogenic diet the results are nothing short of amazing. It elevates your ketone levels, giving you energy and suppressing your appetite. I have not gained a single pound back since I’ve been on Keto//OS and I’ve been traveling internationally and eating junk. That’s the great thing. You can cheat with carbs, but then drink your Keto//OS the next morning and get right back into a state of ketosis.

  • Viri Ticalinda

    I quit eating white carbs and refined flour products since May of 2016. I had to lose only 20 lbs but I lost a little more than that. I adopted a lifestyle after I read the book “The grain Brain” and my life changed. I love the way I look, my hair, nails and skin look better. I dont crave white carbs at all (pizza, bread, pasta, rice, cookies and crackers) and I feel energized…I worked out for an hour a day on the first 6 months but it got cold in CT and I stopped, I didnt gain any weight during the winter, so this way of living WORKS!
    I eat LOTS of quinoa, I make quinoa tortillas and with them I make quesadillas, tacos and even banana bread with quinoa flour which I make by grinding regular quinoa in my magic bullet. I substituted rice for quinoa and all recipes that require rice or refine flour and IT WORKS! I eat dark chocolate when I have a sweet craving. I am so happy to finally fit in my skinny jeans and little dresses….Last year I started with a weight of 152 lbs and I am 5’5″ and I am now in 128 lbs. I went from size 10 to size 4-6. Throw away all your refine carbs….they are also inflammatory to your brain and body leading to diseases as Alzheimer and Parkinson.

  • Brianna Kathleen Schlauch

    Hi, thanks for posting this article.
    I just started ketosis a week ago. I am watching my calorie intake as well as where they are coming from fats, proteins, and carbs. I understand the transition of how the body will burn fat in ketosis, and I’m trying to eat healthy fats (avocado, beef, olive oil, nuts, nut butter etc). I am wondering once I lose the weight, will I be able to eat more fruits and vegetables (natural carbs) while still monitoring and eating less carby food (breads, pasta, sugary items) without regaining it back?

  • Margaret Owens Floeter

    The ketogenic way of eating has saved my life. I went from almost 400 lbs to 162 lbs in less than two years, and what’s left is mostly excess skin, not fat. My bloodwork–rather than showing I was waiting for a heart attack–shows perfect numbers every time. I feel wonderful, and my pain level has gone from a constant 10 to 0-2 at most. Keto is a completely sustainable way of eating. There are plenty of LCHF recipes out there which easily substitute for starchy, sugary foods, so I never feel deprived. I think the important message for anyone considering a particular diet or lifestyle change is to understand that everyone’s bodies are different. There is no single diet that will work for everyone, and people who claim there is are simply mistaken. I dieted constantly for 30 years, but nothing worked. Then I changed to keto and the weight fell off. This is because the way my body processes insulin is very problematic. Being severely insulin resistant, my body thought everything I ate had to be stored as fat; I didn’t even start metabolizing food for almost an hour, while a “normal” body starts metabolizing within five minutes. While many studies show that most obese people ARE insulin resistant (meaning a keto diet is probably best for them), many people aren’t and have other issues that make other “diets” better for them. Frankly, though, I think everyone should at least try the keto lifestyle for a while and see how they do on it. I’ve never felt better in my life!

  • Mitch

    Is that really true that too much protein can throw you out of ketosis? First I’ve heard of that

  • davedave12

    just because some weirdo’s do it does not mean professionals should support it

  • davedave12

    healthy eating does not require measuring anything by the gram

  • Us

    Thank you so much for this article. We’re intrigued.

  • Barbara

    I was diagnosed w T2D two years ago. LCHF saved my life. My BS is now in normal ranges as is my weight. Off insulin. Currently walking at least 12 miles a week and just started swimming, but frankly, exercise isn’t required to achieve normal blood sugar or weight loss following this way of eating. However, my stamina has increased and I really enjoy excercise! So I’m very thankful for Drs like Dominic Agostino, Sarah Hallberg, Eric Westman and the entire LCHF community!

  • Neil Ashton

    I am an avid cyclist and have been on the ketogenic program for about 6mo. It helped me immediately drop 20# and I have not noticed a huge drop in performance though you would thirk I should. For endurance athletes Ketosis is actually beneficial since fat calories are usually more plentiful than carbs. That said once you get really lean there may not be enough fat calories to access. End of the day as others have said eliminating sugar (and starches turn into sugars) has so many more benefits that it is worth the effort.

  • Greg Dahlen

    my diet worked pretty well for losing weight. for about ten years i’ve been living more than 90% on fluid milk products, cow milk and cow cream. so every day more than 90% of my diet is some kind of milk–skim, 1%, 2%, whole–plus i more than occasionally buy pints of half-and-half or pure cream and drink them straight (cream of course does have a lot of fat.) When I started this diet i was about 255 (at 6 feet one inch), very quickly dropped to 175 and easily maintianed, then a couple of years ago tuned in to my body more and now rather easily maintain around 165. it’s rather nice living close to exclusively on one food because there’s fewer temptations as you know all you will buy at the store is fluid milk products. plus it’s hard to get fat on this diet cuz it fills you up but it fills you with water which is zero caloiries–yet it tastes good cuz it’s milk.

    disclaimer: this diet hasn’t been proven to be safe by any medical authority but it has worked great for me and my body isn’t too different from many’s.

  • Dave C

    I had eaten low fat for may years and had not had any medical problems including the symptoms mentioned in this article so I wanted to try the ketogenic diet in January. Four days in to the diet, with my gall bladder working harder than it had in years, I had a gallstone get in front of my pancreas. I spent a month in the hospital and my pancreas is now 50% dead and my gall bladder had to be removed. The doctors agreed that the ketogenic diet likely had triggered these events and that a visit to the doctor would not have predicted this outcome. While this is rare you may want to start slowly or just consider another diet especially if you now eat a low fat diet. Also the article did not mention that any low carb diet including the ketogenic diet is not a good match if you are doing strenuous exercise or trying to build muscle.

  • Tommy S Carpenter

    All Im going to add in is that this is the only way of eating that Ive not been hungry at all on. Im having success on it and I find myself going long periods without thinking about food where as before the carb insulin spikes and crashes had me hungry every two or three hours. So for me Keto is a lifetime way of eating. Ill never go back to endless hunger.

  • Kristi Francis

    Week One and down 4 pounds. I know that a lot should be water weight, but I already feel better even though my Keto Breath is killing me! I know that it will pass. I let my doctor know today what I was doing and he was totally on board and glad it is working for me right off the bat. Now I just have to avoid my carb addictions and leave the pizza crust on the plate and the candy in the dish. Those are my struggles. Everything I have eaten tastes great. I’m not starving. My body feels great, I just need to get my brain and it’s crazy desires on board.