It usually takes three to four days for your body to go into ketosis because you have to use up your body's stores of glucose, i.e., sugar first, Keatley says. Any major diet change can give you some, uh, issues, and Keatley says he often sees patients who complain of IBS-like symptoms and feeling wiped out at the beginning of the diet. (The tiredness happens because you have less access to carbs, which give you quick energy, he explains.)
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 >

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OK so I started this a week ago. Was going great BUT now I find out the carbs it calculated is for NET CARBS and not actual carbs? Is this correct? Most every recipe I find and people who also eat keto are showing net carbs instead of actual. For the nutrition values! Which is this one giving? It doesn’t state net carbs anywhere on here, unless I’ve overlooked it numerous times. Which am I supposed to go by?? Help!
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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.
Hi Fran, There could be many reasons and unfortunately the comment area is not the place for 1:1 support, but highly recommend our support group here for questions like this. The color on keto sticks does not indicate the amount of fat you are burning, only the amount of excess ketones that are spilling into urine combined with how dehydrated you are (or not). The goal is to be in ketosis, not necessarily a darker color.

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Probably, and there are a few reasons why the keto diet usually equals weight-loss gold, says Keatley. For starters, people usually reduce their daily caloric intake to about 1,500 calories a day because healthy fats and lean proteins make you feel fuller sooner—and for a longer period of time. And then there’s the fact that it takes more energy to process and burn fat and protein than carbs, so you're burning slightly more calories than you did before. Over time, this can lead to weight loss.

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Knowing how many calories you need to eat as well as your macronutrient numbers is important for your success in weight loss or weight gain goals! Generally, you want to keep below 50 grams of carbs to stay in ketosis, but how about your fat and protein? Use our macro calculator to find out exactly what your daily macronutrients and calorie intake should look like. After all, calories are not created equal! You can read more about Calories vs. Macros if you’re interested!

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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!
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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Make things yourself. While it’s extremely convenient to buy most things pre-made or pre-cooked, it always adds to the price per pound on items. Try prepping veggies ahead of time instead of buying pre-cut ones. Try making your stew meat from a chuck roast. Or, simply try to make your mayo and salad dressings at home. The simplest of things can work to cut down on your overall grocery shopping.
When you approach your normal body weight, the weight loss will slow. Just remember, a “normal” body weight differs from person to person depending on our genetics and environmental exposures and may not fit what we see in the popular media. The weight loss won’t go on forever. As long as you follow the advice to eat when you are hungry, you will eventually stabilize your weight.

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Ultimately, a suggestion for developers that would help is if we could deduct food items that we REMOVE from restaurant meals. Example: a certain “unwich” from a common sandwich chain typically has tomatoes. If I have them hold the tomatoes, I’d like to be able to deduct them from the total carb count for that “unwich”. Or, maybe it would be easier to see which ingredients ARE included in the carb count. Even just a quick list of ingredients, so we know what is being calculated, would help. Experienced Keto dieters probably don’t need this function, but it’s definitely something I’ve wished for several times over the past few weeks.

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Hi Michelle, You don’t necessarily have to “hit” macros to get into ketosis. Ketosis is achieved by restricting carbohydrates, that’s it. Fat is needed for satiety and protein is needed to prevent muscle loss. So make protein a goal and carbs a limit, then eat enough fat to stay satisfied and don’t go over your macros. You can get more individual help in our support group.

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It is now a mainstream dietary regime used wih the intent to reduce weight as it is safe for most people, but one should be especially aware of going ketogenic if one takes diabetes medicine, medication for high blood pressure or is breastfeeding. Typical foods include cheese, eggs, fish and seafood, natural fats, meet, vegetables that grow above ground. The key to maintaining the diet is low carb intake - usually with the goal of eating less than 50 grams or even less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. The fewer the carbs, the better, usually. Things to avoid include: fruit, potatoes, pasta, beer, bread, soda, chocolate, candy, donuts, etc. 

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Ultimately, a suggestion for developers that would help is if we could deduct food items that we REMOVE from restaurant meals. Example: a certain “unwich” from a common sandwich chain typically has tomatoes. If I have them hold the tomatoes, I’d like to be able to deduct them from the total carb count for that “unwich”. Or, maybe it would be easier to see which ingredients ARE included in the carb count. Even just a quick list of ingredients, so we know what is being calculated, would help. Experienced Keto dieters probably don’t need this function, but it’s definitely something I’ve wished for several times over the past few weeks.

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But people who started following the keto diet noticed weight loss for a few reasons: When you eat carbs, your body retains fluid in order to store carbs for energy (you know, in case it needs it). But when you’re not having much in the carb department, you lose this water weight, says Warren. Also, it's easy to go overboard on carbohydrates—but if you're loading up on fat, it may help curb cravings since it keeps you satisfied.

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Your glycogen stores can still be refilled while on a ketogenic diet. A keto diet is an excellent way to build muscle, but protein intake is crucial here. It’s suggested that if you are looking to gain mass, you should be taking in about 1.0 – 1.2g protein per lean pound of body mass. Putting muscle on may be slower on a ketogenic diet, but that’s because your total body fat is not increasing as much.5Note that in the beginning of a ketogenic diet, both endurance athletes and obese individuals see a physical performance for the first week of transition.
Years ago I was on Atkins diet for 6 months. I lost weight but then I got acute kidney failure. Had to be hospitalised with iv therapy and careful blood monitoring. My bun ( blood urea nitrogen) and creatinine was abnormally high. An indicator of kidney function. I was taken off the Atkins diet. Since then my BUN has been high showing a permanent effect on kidney function. I was worried that the keto or low carb diet could put me in jeopardy. What do you think about appropriateness of the diets for me?. Now I am Pre diabetic and obese. I was not ten years ago when on the diet
Martina’s newest cookbook is not just a comprehensive guide to eating for the ketogenic diet, it is also gorgeous eye candy! It is sheer pleasure just to browse through her gorgeous photographs, wile you drool over the delicious recipes. I love Martina’s recipes especially because they are made with wholesome, real food ingredients, and she is very knowledgeable on how to best source ingredients so they are both tasty and health building. Every recipe is explained clearly and well organized, so you can always get great results when making them at home. If you are following a keto or low-carb lifestyle this book is a must have!

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Natural fat, high-fat sauces – Most of the calories on a keto diet should come from fat. You’ll likely get much of it from natural sources like meat, fish, eggs etc. But also use fat in cooking, like butter or coconut fat, and add plenty of olive oil to salads etc. You can also eat delicious high-fat sauces including Bearnaise sauce etc., or garlic butter (recipes).

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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More good news: Snacks are totally allowed (and I'm not just talking about carrot sticks). There are plenty of packaged options out there designed for keto fans. FATBAR is one of them. These snack bars have 200 calories, 16 grams of fat, and four grams of net carbs. They're also plant-based and are made with almond or cashew butter, cocoa butter, coconut, pea protein, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds.

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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.

Lauren is the food photographer, recipe developer, and author behind the healthy living website Wicked Spatula. With a focus on mindful and sustainable living she aspires to show her audience that healthy eating doesn't have to be boring, complicated, or tasteless and that healthy living is all about getting in touch with yourself and your surroundings.

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Martina’s newest cookbook is not just a comprehensive guide to eating for the ketogenic diet, it is also gorgeous eye candy! It is sheer pleasure just to browse through her gorgeous photographs, wile you drool over the delicious recipes. I love Martina’s recipes especially because they are made with wholesome, real food ingredients, and she is very knowledgeable on how to best source ingredients so they are both tasty and health building. Every recipe is explained clearly and well organized, so you can always get great results when making them at home. If you are following a keto or low-carb lifestyle this book is a must have!


That’s good to know, thank you. Heading poolside in 30 days and fully intend to live it up for a few days. 😀 I’m not worried about falling off the wagon permanently. I was very surprised at how easily I cut carbs, once I knew it was net, not total. I usually have 15+ of my 25 remaining at the end of the night. Intermittent fasting (IF) helps immensely with that – less snacking = less chance to slip up. I do 22 fasting and give myself 2 hours to get it all down the gullet. 😀


The Carb Manager is a comprehensive and straightforward app that counts net and total carbs — but that’s not all. Keep a daily log of nutrition and fitness, use the calculator to set your net macros and weight loss goals, and get detailed nutrition information about your logged data when you need it. Use the app to visualize your macros every day to stay on track.

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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.

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