Adequate protein intake and developing ketosis are both critical for maximising fat loss and sparing muscle mass during the ketogenic diet. However, it will take up to 3 weeks before your body gets keto-adapted (in some cases even more). During the initial phase of the ketogenic diet, nitrogen losses may occur if your daily net carbs intake is very low. When your carbohydrate intake goes down, your body converts body protein into glucose. Since about 16% of protein is nitrogen, you may lose muscle mass which will cause a decrease in your metabolic rate. This could have a negative impact on fat loss. For example, if your carbs intake is close to zero, you you may have to eat more protein (aka protein sparing modified fast). Keep in mind this applies to zero carbohydrate intake which means it does not affect most people following the ketogenic diet.

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Hey Myriam I am a 21 year old male and I would love to give ketosis a shot, but I am what people would call “skinnyfat.” My first question is, should I loose my fat first and then gain muscle mass? Mind you, my muscle mass in my chest and abdomen is fairly low, but my shoulders and arms are larger; so I just don’t want to look skin and bones after ketosis is over. Now If I have to gain mass first, would ketosis weight gain differ from normal calories in/out? What I mean is, would I gain more muscle mass from a caloric surplus during ketosis, or an average “clean bulk” diet. My idea of ketosis is that it uses fat as a fuel source(fat loss), but I’m not sure if one could build muscle on ketosis. So any recommendations on my macro-nutrient percentages for bulking? I apologize beforehand for the barrage of questions, thank you!

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After increasing water intake and replacing electrolytes, it should relieve most all symptoms of Keto Flu. For an average person that is starting a ketogenic diet, eating 20-30g of net carbs a day, the entire adaptation process will take about 4-5 days. My advice is to cut your carbs to fewer than 15g to ensure that you are well on your way into ketosis within one week. If you are experiencing any more keto flu symptoms, double check your electrolyte intake and adjust.

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Hi Megan, Sorry about that – there was an issue with that section and you should now see it in the FAQ above, explaining how it’s determined. The weight loss per week will depend on how much weight you have to lose, as weight loss happens more rapidly the more overweight you are. But in general, between 0.5 and 2 pounds loss per week is reasonable.
Keto breath, on the other hand, is less of a side-effect and more of a harmless inconvenience (your breath literally smells like nail polish remover). Basically, when your body breaks down all that extra fat on the keto diet, it produces ketones—one of which is the chemical acetone, Keatley previously told WomensHealthMag.com. (Yes, the same stuff that's in nail polish remover.)
DEXA scans are proven to be the most accurate measurement of body fat. They’re commonly available at gyms and some doctor offices when requested. If you don’t have access to this, you can always go the old-fashioned route and use a good quality caliper. The last resort is using a guide to visually estimate – this can sometimes be a little bit inaccurate, so try to over estimate your body fat percentage.

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The amount of fat and protein this calculator has calculated for me is freaking me out! 137 grams of fat and 108 grams of protein. Is it really possible to get that much fat and protein within the recommended calorie intake (1766)? And can I actually lose weight while eating that much fat? Please don’t judge me my these numbers. I know I have a lot of weight to lose.

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After increasing water intake and replacing electrolytes, it should relieve most all symptoms of Keto Flu. For an average person that is starting a ketogenic diet, eating 20-30g of net carbs a day, the entire adaptation process will take about 4-5 days. My advice is to cut your carbs to fewer than 15g to ensure that you are well on your way into ketosis within one week. If you are experiencing any more keto flu symptoms, double check your electrolyte intake and adjust.

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Low-carb diets are an invaluable tool in dealing with health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, lipid disorders, epilepsy, and increasingly, cancer. Martina's work, including her blog, book and apps, have been real gems for the low-carb community. Her real-food approach and attention to detail sets her work apart from many others.

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DEXA scans are proven to be the most accurate measurement of body fat. They’re commonly available at gyms and some doctor offices when requested. If you don’t have access to this, you can always go the old-fashioned route and use a good quality caliper. The last resort is using a guide to visually estimate – this can sometimes be a little bit inaccurate, so try to over estimate your body fat percentage.

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In the first week, many people report headaches, mental fogginess, dizziness, and aggravation. Most of the time, this is the result of your electrolytes being flushed out, as ketosis has a diuretic effect. Make sure you drink plenty of water and keep your sodium intake up.6One of the fathers of keto, Dr. Phinney, shows that electrolyte levels (especially sodium) can become unbalanced with low carb intake.
A keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup. More specifically low-carb, high-fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL and decrease in LDL particle concentration compared to low-fat diets.3A study in the long-term effects of a ketogenic diet shows a significant reduction in cholesterol levels, body weight, and blood glucose. Read more on keto and cholesterol >

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Hi April, Some people stick to the percentages for each meal, others just do it for the whole day. As long as you aren’t eating all your carbs for the day in one meal, in general it’s fine to just make the macros add up for the day and not necessarily at every meal. If you want to be precise, the only way to know is to enter what you are eating (with the amount) into a tracking tool so that you can get the nutrition info. If you are making low carb / keto recipes from Wholesome Yum, the nutrition info is provided on each recipe card. Hope this helps! 

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A keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup. More specifically low-carb, high-fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL and decrease in LDL particle concentration compared to low-fat diets.3A study in the long-term effects of a ketogenic diet shows a significant reduction in cholesterol levels, body weight, and blood glucose. Read more on keto and cholesterol >

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You didn’t convert grams to calories. You must convert the grams of fat and protein to calories and then calculate your macronutrient percentages. Calorie percentages, not gram percentages, are what the recommended keto percentages are based on. Usually, once you account for the fact that one gram of fat has five more calories than one gram of protein the calorie percentages will end up being what you expect from a typical keto diet.

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There’s also some evidence that it might help with type 2 diabetes. “An emerging body of research is finding that a keto plan may have some real benefits thanks to its ability to improve the body’s ability to use insulin and also help control appetite, which can result in easier weight loss,” says Karen Ansel, R.D.N., co-author of Healthy in a Hurry.

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A: The amount of weight you lose is entirely dependent on you. Obviously adding exercise to your regimen will speed up your weight loss. Cutting out things that are common “stall” causes is also a good thing. Artificial sweeteners, dairy, wheat products and by-products (wheat gluten, wheat flours, and anything with an identifiable wheat product in it).

First let me say I’ve tried a few diet apps to track my carb intake, but since going Keto I wanted an app with more specific information - one that closely tracked my food intake AND let me know where I was food-wise (macros) at any given point in the day. This app meets all my criteria and has a lot of other great bonus features. I almost NEVER pay for an app, but I don’t mind paying for this one - IT’S THAT GOOD! And since I started using it 3 weeks ago, I’ve lost 13 lbs. I attribute that in great part to this app. I enter my meals BEFORE I eat and the macro circles show me where I am in consumption as it relates to that particular meal. At that point I can choose to eliminate part or all of a food before I eat it, if desired. It’s very motivating! All said, the only negative is that when you click on any of the individual macros (fat, proteins, carbs), the very, very light and tiny text (yellow, blue, green) below each food item is impossible to read. I need to use a magnifying glass! And if you go over a specific macro, I.e. protein, you want to identify your counts. Note to the developers: why not make the text black for the macro counts and leave the circles at the top in colors? Easy coding fix... Otherwise, I love it and it is definitely worth $1 per month if you are serious about a Keto lifestyle.

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44yr old male, 5’10” 206lbs. I’ve been doing keto on and off for years, under 20g of carbs/day, and have been honing my food intake since last may on this latest round. I find that if I eat according to the bathroom scale (control my carbs AND calories based upon weekly progress), I see steady progress. In this state of watching my scale obsessively, I see what a meal/series of delicious-but-off-diet meals do to my weight specifically and progress over time…. Sometimes you need a pizza and a pint of ice cream, and some Skittles…and a Mexican coke with real sugar with your tacos and rice…. But you will bloat, you will stall for a couple of weeks, you will feel like crap…. But if you truly have learned the routine and discipline of rocking your food intake for long lengths of time previously, you’ll enjoy every bite of crappy foods and then get back to work…on and off…till you eventually have victory in your diet habits and physical goals.

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The ketogenic diet has recently become very popular, and many food companies want to cash in by putting a “ketogenic” or “low carb” label on a new product. Be very cautious of special “keto” or “low-carb” products, such as pastas, chocolate bars, energy bars, protein powders, snack foods, cakes, cookies and other “low carb” or “ketogenic” treats. Read all labels carefully for natural low carb ingredients. The fewer ingredients the better.

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A keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup. More specifically low-carb, high-fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL and decrease in LDL particle concentration compared to low-fat diets.3A study in the long-term effects of a ketogenic diet shows a significant reduction in cholesterol levels, body weight, and blood glucose. Read more on keto and cholesterol >

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All you need to do is scan a product using its barcode. The app recognizes more than four million barcodes! An alternative is to type the name of the food item or the name of the brand in the app’s search bar. Then indicate the amount of the food product that you’ve consumed. The app will show you a breakdown of the foodstuffs you ate including the quantity of carbs, fat and proteins. If you’ve set your personalized macros, you’ll get specific info about how much you should be having.    

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Skinfold Calipers: Skin calipers are affordable and easy to get on Amazon. Your local gym most likely has them too. A skinfold caliper works by pinching one area of your skin that folds easily (like your belly and back), in three to ten different areas of your body to measure your subcutaneous fat. That measurement is then used in a formula to calculate your body fat percentage. If you’ve never done this before, let a physician or coach do it first and teach you how to read the measurements accurately so you can do it at home next times.
If you select Lose Fat (lose weight) as your goal, then you can select the Deficit. The macro calculator will then recommend that you eat this percentage fewer calories than you need. Eating less calories than you need will result in weight loss. For example, if you select 15% as the deficit, the calculator will output 15% fewer calories than your body needs for maintenance.

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Early research into the topic of starvation and low-carbohydrate dieting found that as few as 15 grams of carbohydrates per day can limit nitrogen loss in the body. And raising carbohydrate intake to 50 grams per day severely limits the need for the body to use amino acids for gluoconeogenesis (which is why I suggested setting daily carbs on the low-carb days of The Ultimate Diet 2.0 at 50 grams). This occurs via at least two mechanisms:

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Ketogenic diets have shown great potential in weight loss, overall health and cancer treatment. Martina's valuable contributions to the low-carb community and her involvement in the cancer research project run by our team extend beyond simply helping people follow a healthy low-carb diet. Just like Martina's blog and app, her new cookbook is an amazing resource for anyone interested in healthy living with easy to follow recipes and beautiful photography.

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Lots of apps and websites offer keto diet challenges—basically, a blueprint for the keto diet with a fixed starting and ending point (they typically last for a week to a month, though some may be longer). Speaking of apps, plenty of keto-centric ones are right at your fingertips (a.k.a., your smartphone), like the KetoDiet app, which can help you calculate your macros and track your keto diet effectively.

Once you know what you will be eating on keto, you will probably be wondering how much of you should eat for each meal. Since meal size depends on the individual and his/her goals, we recommend using a calorie tracking app and our carb tracking guide to help you figure out the macronutrient content of your meals. As you track your macros, you will be able to figure out what adjusts you need to make to your diet to reach your goals.

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Here are a few of the most common side effects that I come across when people first start keto. Frequently the issues relate to dehydration or lack of micronutrients (vitamins) in the body. Make sure that you’re drinking enough water (close to a gallon a day) and eating foods with good sources of micronutrients. To read more on micronutrients, click here >
Reduced Risk of High Cholesterol and Triglycerides. (8) Many doctors originally thought that a diet high in fat might increase cholesterol and triglycerides. However, the opposite has turned out to be the case. Most people see a significant drop in their LDL and triglycerides when on a keto diet, although a small percentage of people do see the opposite effect.

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