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Keto Q&A: What You Want To Know About the Ketogenic Diet -keto cake walk-

Today we’re tackling your keto questions! I asked you all on social media to hit me with your questions about the ketogenic diet, and you guys had great questions! If you haven’t yet, check out my Keto 101 post to learn the basics of the diet first before getting into these questions.

Before we begin, I have to give you a little disclaimer. I am not a medical professional, so I cannot give you any medical advice. I just really like to research things I’m passionate about, and keto eating is one of those things! So I’m passing along information I’ve gathered, but you should check things out for yourself and talk to your doctor.

Here’s a quick table of contents so you can jump to your specific keto questions:

  1. Are there basic program “rules?”
  2. Do you have to cut carbs all at once?
  3. Is keto good for type 2 diabetes?
  4. Does keto have an effect on hypothyroid?
  5. How do you eat at other people’s houses?
  6. My husband has a demanding job. Will keto give him enough fuel to work?
  7. Is keto healthy long term?
  8. Can you eat keto and be vegan?
  9. I’m breastfeeding. Can I start keto?
  10. Is it possible to eat keto without spending a lot of money?
  11. What about eating keto with kids?
  12. Are low carb alternatives actually good?
  13. Is keto just another diet fad?

Are there basic program “rules”?

Devi asks, “I’m totally fine to try keto. What’s super hard about it is having to keep track of macros and take supplements like potassium. I would love a simple program with rules, probably why I like the whole30. It’s easy to follow. So the question I guess is, are there basic program rules?”

Yes! There are basic rules to the keto program. Keep your carbs under 20 grams, eat a moderate amount of protein, and eat enough fat to keep you satisfied between meals. I totally get that for some people, tracking is just soul sucking and feels like too much to think about. I really like the Keto Diet App for tracking my food because it’s built for a ketogenic diet. It does cost a little bit to download, but it’s just a one-time fee and it comes with recipes! It will also track your potassium, magnesium, and sodium intakes, which are things that are sometimes hard to get enough of on a ketogenic diet. I also find that after tracking consistently for a while, I get a feel for what it looks like and I don’t need to track all the time.

But if that still seems like too much for you, just eating from a keto-approved food list will keep you low carb. You may end up eating more than 20 carbs this way, but you’re likely to still stay within a moderate low carb diet. You won’t get quite as much benefit from it because you probably won’t be in ketosis, but you will still see many improvements. And making sure to eat foods high in potassium like spinach and avocado, and using high quality sea salt generously on a regular basis will help ensure your levels of electrolytes stay up.

Do you have to cut carbs all at once?

No! In my Make Keto a Cake Walk guide, I explain the different ways you can start keto. You can definitely decide to ease into it if you feel like that’s easier. Just make sure you’re actually moving toward fewer and fewer carbs.

Is keto good for type 2 diabetes?

Yes! A ketogenic way of eating is ideal for type 2 diabetes. My Keto 101 post goes into exactly why that is.

Does keto have an effect on hypothyroid?

Ok, this one is a little bit trickier. There’s not complete agreement on whether or not keto is good for hypothyroid. However, I will point you over to this article from the Keto Diet App blog. Martina, who is the creator of the Keto Diet App, has Hashimotos herself and finds that a low carb diet has helped her, but she feels better when she keeps her carbs between 30-50 grams per day rather than the stricter 20.

Leanne Vogel of Healthful Pursuit has also dealt with hypothyroid issues and has found that a ketogenic diet has helped her, but has also found that doing “carb ups” (occasional higher carb meals in the evenings) helps to keep her feeling good. Check out some of her (many!) articles and podcasts dealing with thyroid health here.

How do you eat at other people’s houses?

“What do you do if you’re invited to someone’s house for dinner and you get there and they’re serving sweet & sour chicken, rice, and corn for the vegetable? You can’t eat it, but you can’t not eat it.” – Courtney

Ok, so deciding to adopt a ketogenic lifestyle does make it a little tricky to navigate social situations at times. At restaurants, it’s almost always possible to find something you can eat that won’t kick your carb counts too high. But at someone’s home, it gets trickier. You don’t necessarily know what you’re going to be served, and in most cultures, it’s rude not to eat what your host serves.

So what do you do? Well, when it comes down to it, a single high carb meal isn’t likely to do a huge amount of damage. I would try to eat the best you can with what you’re given– very small portions of rice and corn in the example above, and more of the chicken, with as little sauce as possible. If you think of it, bring a water bottle filled with water and a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar and drink it before you sit down at the table. Vinegar has an interesting (not fully understood) ability to improve insulin sensitivity to high carb meals. (Read more here.)

After that, I would recommend spending at least part of the next day fasting to allow the glucose from the previous day’s meal to be used up quickly so you can get back into ketosis right away.

My husband has a physically demanding job. Will keto give him enough fuel to work?

Yes! The way a ketogenic diet works is by switching your body from being a sugar burner to being a fat burner. Your body can only store about 500 grams of glycogen (carbohydrates are converted to glycogen so they can be stored in the liver and skeletal muscles) that can be used as fuel when you haven’t eaten. So if you’re a sugar burner and you don’t eat, there’s a limited amount of sugar your body can release to help you out. And if you’re not used to burning fat, it’s hard for your body to switch over to burning your stored fat.

But if you’re already a fat burner, when you’ve used up the fat from the food you’ve eaten, your body doesn’t have any trouble accessing your fat stores for fuel. And your body has the capacity to store a nearly endless supply of fat. But even if you’re a thin person, one pound of fat is 3500 calories. The estimated calorie expenditure from running a marathon is only 2600. So unless you’re running several marathons every day, you’re not going to be running through your fat stores at an alarming rate.

There are some endurance athletes who swear by the ketogenic diet exactly for the reason of fuel supply. For example, check out this article about the 100-mile American record holder who eats a keto diet.

Is keto healthy long term?

The long term effects of any diet are actually really hard to measure. This is because you can’t measure it in a clinical setting. No one is living 30 years in a clinic where every calorie is accounted for. So the research is based on self-reporting, which is notoriously inaccurate.

There have not been a lot of long term studies on the ketogenic diet. That being said, there are some encouraging results out there.

This study studied obese patients over the course of 24 weeks and concluded a ketogenic diet “significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index of the patients. Furthermore, it decreased the level of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose, and increased the level of HDL cholesterol.”

There have been at least 3 meta-analyses of low carb studies showed that a ketogenic diet was not only beneficial for weight loss but for other health markers as well. You can find the studies here, here, and here.

As a side note, this study compared people in 42 European countries and their eating habits and found that those who ate the most animal protein and animal fat were at the least risk of cardiovascular disease. Those at most risk were the ones who ate the most carbohydrates.

What we do know is that elevated insulin is associated with atherosclerosis, heart disease, and even cancer, so getting your insulin under control is very important for long term health.

I think it’s very important that any diet, including the ketogenic diet, should contain a balance of nutrients. It’s important that you eat low carb vegetables and not just bacon.

Here’s a list of many keto scientific studies.

Can you eat keto and be vegan?

This answer is a “yes, but” answer. Yes, you can eat a vegan keto diet. But it’s not going to be easy. Both keto and vegan diets are somewhat restrictive, so combining the two is going to be difficult. From what I’ve read, you will likely have to eat a higher amount of carbs, like 50 grams instead of 20. But it can be done and there are people out there who are doing it.

Here’s a guide on how to do it.

I’m breastfeeding. Can I start keto?

You can eat a low carb diet while breastfeeding, but you should not eat a strict ketogenic diet while breastfeeding because in exceptionally rare cases it can lead to ketoacidosis. Diet Doctor recommends at least 50 grams per day.

Whether changing your diet like this will affect your milk supply is hard to say. I think it mostly depends on how much you cut carbs. I did find one study that studied breast milk in women on a liberal low carb diet of 150g per day. The women in this study did not have supply changes, but had higher levels of fat in their milk. They also had a greater estimated energy expenditure– meaning they burned more calories. They also had an increase in fat burning. So it’s possible that a liberal low carb diet could keep supply up while helping with post partum weight loss.

It’s best to talk to your doctor before trying a change in diet. Make sure you’re still eating enough calories (cutting calories can definitely decrease milk supply either way) and drinking enough water. It’s also important that your diet is a well-formulated one either way to make sure you’re getting all the proper nutrients.

Is it possible to eat keto without spending a lot of money?

“I want to start, but feel like I will break the bank with changing to Keto.” -Mel

I’ll be honest. Eating keto the way I do is more expensive. But that’s partially because I’m a food blogger! It’s important to me to experiment with lots of different kinds of ingredients and see what’s possible on this diet.

But it doesn’t have to break the bank. Eggs are very inexpensive and are a perfect keto food. You can buy inexpensive cuts of meat rather than fancy ones. Low carb vegetables are not more expensive than other vegetables. And while it’s better to eat organic when you can, and to eat grass-fed meat when possible, you will still see benefits from a ketogenic diet if you can’t afford organic.

Overall, the simpler you eat, the cheaper it will be.

Diet Doctor has several recipes in their “Keto Budget Meals” section that can give you ideas.

If you want to learn more about keto ingredients, check out my Keto Pantry post where I explain the different ingredients you might come across and whether they’re really necessary.

What about eating keto with kids?

I love this question! Here’s the deal. Kids don’t need to go as low in their carbs as adults. But the Standard American Diet (SAD) is way higher in carbs than is necessary. So in our house, I just work on reducing the amount of carbs in their day without applying the same strictness I do to my own diet. I only make one dinner and we all eat it. Our weekday breakfasts are low carb, but they get a little bit of cereal on the weekends.

We’ve cut a lot of processed snacks, and I buy low carb fruits like berries. We’ve switched to full fat greek yogurt. And my kids have actually not complained at all. Like, at all. Having options like low-carb pancakes are a definite bonus. There’s more work to be done, but we’re getting there.

If you’d like an action plan for reducing carbs in your kids’ diet, check out this post on Diet Doctor. It’s written by Libby Jenkinson. She also has a great section on kid-friendly recipes on her blog Ditch The Carbs.

Are low carb alternatives actually good?

Erin asks, “I’ve done some looking around on Pinterest but dessert, baking, treats, and bread…are there QUALITY subs? Do you miss them?”

My totally honest answer: It depends. I’ve tried a lot of low carb pinterest recipes, and some are awesome and others are huge disappointments. I actually find desserts to be the most reliable. I usually cut down a lot on the sweeteners or swap out 85% dark chocolate for sugar free just because that’s my taste preference. You still have to be wary of what ingredients are used in these recipes because some people use ingredients that are questionable.

As far as bread goes– I have found the most success with mozzarella dough (“fathead” dough) recipes, like in my low carb pizza and cheese bread. I also have had great success with these rolls from Low Carb Maven. But I’ve yet to make a successful loaf of bread.

Do I miss them? Eh. Not really. I find this diet to be so much more satisfying than any other way of eating. I can walk past free samples of cookies or doughnuts on the brunch table at mom’s group and I’m not even tempted. For real. I would like to figure out an easy way to make a keto grilled cheese sandwich, though.

Is keto just another diet fad?

I don’t think so.

And here’s why: When I eat this way, I feel like my body is finally running the way it’s supposed to. Like it’s not holding me back anymore.

That being said, like any diet that gains popularity, there are plenty of questionable products coming out to try to jump on the bandwagon. From exogenous ketone powders to meal bars to supposedly low carb syrups that spike blood sugar more than sugar– you name it, it’s there!

I’m not saying all of these products are bad or unhelpful, but they are expensive. Don’t get sucked into the hype! Check ingredient labels religiously and don’t buy something unless you think it could really make your life easier without bankrupting you.

There are people out there who will jump on the keto bandwagon without understanding the science behind it, and they probably won’t stick to it long term. But I plan on eating this way forever, adjusting as needed if necessary. But the drastic difference in the way I feel tells me this isn’t just a fad.

I can’t remember feeling this good in my adult life so I’m going to keep eating this way.

What do you think? Did I answer all your keto questions? Tell me in the comments!

Do you want more? Get all my tips and tricks by downloading my Make Keto a Cake Walk guide!

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47 Comments on Keto Q&A: What You Want to Know About the Ketogenic Diet

  1. Great info Amber! I am just getting started on Keto diet and having a really hard time between getting enuf fat in and not totally blowing the max calories for the day. My meal planning sounds good until i enter info into the tracker app and realize i have hit the daily caloric max but lacking a bit of protein and alot of fat. I really want to take full advantage of this new way of eating but obviously I’m missing something. Do u have any advice or tips on acheiving fat goals without going over in calories? Thank you so much!

    • Hi Jamee!
      So there are a few thing to consider. First, look at your calorie goals. Are you trying to cut too many calories? I find that with the keto diet, I didn’t need to cut calories at all in order to lose weight. In fact, I mostly don’t pay attention to my calories at all. Second, you only need to eat as much fat as is necessary to keep you from being hungry. If you’re not hungry between meals, you don’t need to add any more fat. In fact, eating a little less fat may mean your body burns more of your own stored fat (which is good if you’re looking for weight loss.) Finally, if your calorie goals aren’t too restrictive, but you’re still finding that your macros are off, I’d suggest limiting your carbs a little more to get a better balance in your diet. I always find it easier to plan out what I’m going to eat for the whole day before I start eating anything so I can adjust as needed. Prioritize your protein and fat goals and then see where you can add a few carbs. Alternatively, you could try following a keto meal plan like you can find at Diet Doctor.
      Does that answer your questions?

  2. Hello Amber, I have a question about the fats on the Keto diet. I have been doing a bunch of research and will be starting the diet soon, however I wanted to know how you calculate fats from food. For example, if I wanted to eat some tuna that has 8 g of total fat, 2g of sat. fat, 1.5 g of poly fat, and 4.5 g of mono fat and input it in for my daily fat intake, would the ‘total fat’ of the tuna equal the total fat on the can (8g) or the total fat of ALL of the fats in the can (total fat + Saturated + Poly+Mono)? Thank you

    • Hi Issa!
      Thanks for your question! On nutrition labels, the total fat is the sum of all the types of fats (saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated) so you only need to count the total fat. 🙂

  3. Hi! I am doing keto and I love it! I track all of my macros and intake through ” my fitness pal” . I take 1 serving of collagen peptides, and MCT oil everyday. Should that really effect my calorie intake? Each one is about 140 calories, and 120 calories which seems like alot. It goes over a little bit on my “fats” as well. I just want to make sure if this will effect weight loss because I am very careful with everything. Hopefully thid makes sense. Thanks!

    • Correction: the collagen is only 40 calories. I take two servings on the mct oil ( one serving is MCT energy boost, the other is keytone oil “brainfood” . It all equals out to about 300 calories . Should I worry if that makes my 1300 calorie goal go over. It also makes my ” fats” go over a tad on my macros. Just want to know if that should really play a role in my diet. I would hate to eminate that or something else because I am so strict. I only have about 13- 19 carbs a day ( if that helps to know) . Thanks again! I am new to this so just being careful.

      • Hi Paige!
        Any calories that you take will contribute to your overall calorie intake, even if they’re from MCT oil or collagen. I personally don’t think adding MCT oil is necessary, but if you feel better when you take it, go ahead.
        As far as your calorie goal goes, I find I don’t need to be anywhere near as strict with my overall calories when eating a keto diet, since my hormones are working in a way that helps with weight loss instead of hindering it. How long have you been eating this way? Are you finding you’re still losing weight at a higher calorie goal?
        In general, you should aim for keeping your carbs under 20 g (I count net carbs, but some find they need to count total) and an appropriate amount of protein for your size. After that, you should eat enough fat to keep you satiated between meals. Don’t snack. Any fat beyond that will be used for energy instead of stored fat.
        I can’t say definitively what your calories should look like because it depends greatly from person to person. My metabolism on keto is considerably higher than when I was eating the Standard American Diet. So where I used to eat around 1500-1700 calories to lose weight before, I eat 1800-2000 on a keto diet and have lost more weight than I could counting calories alone.
        Does that answer your question? Feel free to ask me to clarify anything!

        • Hi, i’ve Been on the Keto diet for almost 1 month,in the first 2.5 weeks I lost 10 pound,but nothing since.i write every thing down, I do find i’am low with my Marco numbers.i’am 162 pounds,it tells me I need 150 g fat , 93g protein,25g carbs,and 1800 calories. How important is it to meet your macros? I’am 48 ,5’6 , not used to eating so many calories,scared about putting weight on. Help please

          • Hi Tamera!
            Please note I’m not a medical professional and cannot give you medical advice. However, I wouldn’t get super hung up on exact macros. Make sure your carbs are low enough (I suggest 20g net carbs, but some argue for counting total carbs) and eating only enough fat to keep you full between meals. Focus on your hunger cues– eat when you’re hungry, don’t eat if you’re not. Also, make sure you have at least 12 hours per day that you’re not eating at all– between dinner and breakfast.
            It’s very common to lose the most weight the first couple of weeks and to go more slowly after that. Also, know that as you near your goal weight, you’ll lose weight more slowly.
            Some people find they need to cut out dairy, as in some people it spikes insulin too much. You’ll likely have to experiment a little to see what works for your body.

  4. I’m just getting started and have a question. If I have had a very low carb day, can I eat a chocolate chip cookie that has 15 grams of carbs?

    • Hi Shirley!
      So technically speaking, if you’re keeping your carbs under 20 net grams per day, you’ll stay in ketosis. So it’s up to you if you’re comfortable doing that. Just know that you won’t get any near the nutrition from a cookie than those same carbs in vegetables, and that for some people it can set off sugar cravings. It can also cause a bit of inflammation because sugar is inflammatory. But if you don’t struggle with cravings and want to eat a cookie once in a while and keep the rest of the day’s carbs low, you will still stay in ketosis. 🙂 Does that answer your question?

  5. Hi….I have lost 13 lbs so far, but I am not losing any more. …. I have kept my carbs less than 20grms…..and I only eat chicken and fish ….so I add butter to almost everything to get my fat intake, I have not deviated from what I eat….so what could be the problem. …

    • Hi Donna,
      It’s hard to say exactly what the cause of your plateau is. How long have you been eating this way? Some plateauing is normal, and you may find that you just need to stick with it and you’ll see more loss in time. Depending on how close you are to your goal weight, you may find the loss go slower the closer you get.
      For some people, dairy can stall weight loss.
      Another thing you can try is intermittent fasting, if you’re not already. Changing up your eating patterns from day to day is a great way to get your body to respond differently.
      I hope that helps!

  6. Hi Wendy!
    Menopause definitely adds a different dimension to it all! It’s hard to know exactly what the issue is without knowing more about what/when you’re eating. It’s possible you’re trying to push yourself into more intermittent fasting than your body is ready for. It’s possible you’re eating too few calories. And unfortunately, if you have any gut issues, it can cause problems with absorbing sodium.
    Additionally, you may be eating TOO MANY vegetables. It’s hard to eat too much spinach, but it’s easy to eat too much broccoli and push your carbs too high.
    You might consider counting for a short time just to see where you’re falling with everything as it would give you a more complete picture. You could also try following a keto meal plan that’s pre-formulated for a couple weeks and see if anything changes for you.

  7. Hi Amber,
    I’m desperate for help. My goal is to be in ketosis, so I’ve combined IF to achieve it quicker and add to the effectiveness. I’ve been intermittent fasting for 11 days. I’ve been eating 1 meal at 9pm every day. This meal is 3 eggs, 2 chicken breasts, spinach, avocado, coconut oil. After a week of this, my test strips are showing minimal ketones.. so I’m thinking, maybe it’s the caffeine in my black coffee? I cut out coffee; minimal ketones present. How is it possible that after no carbs, high fats, moderate protein, no caffeine, apple cider vinegar shots, and after 24hr fast I am not in ketosis? I’m beginning to think my body just isn’t able to burn fat as energy..
    Thank you for your time,

    • Hi Denver!
      Are you using urine strips to test? Urine test strips can show whether or not you’re in ketosis, but they’re really not great at measuring amount of ketones. This is because it measures unused ketones. As your body becomes more adept at using ketones, you’ll expel less in your urine.
      Blood ketone meters are far more effective, but they’re expensive. I actually don’t measure my ketones in any way. Ask yourself these questions: Do you feel good? Do you have more energy? Have you lost weight (if you need to)? Do you have less mental fog? Or are there other positive outcomes you’ve noticed? If you can say yes to even a few of these, you’re probably in ketosis.

      One last note: make sure you’re still eating enough. You shouldn’t be hungry on keto. A ketogenic diet works mostly by re-balancing your hormones to a place where your body is able to burn stored fat and cleanly burn fat as fuel. Eating too few calories will cause problems. You can definitely still do this by eating one meal a day but make sure it’s a large meal. And if your schedule allows for it, consider eating earlier in the day. Your body actually has a higher insulin response to food later in the day.

      Does that help?

  8. Hello Amber,

    thank you very much for all your effort.
    My question is about counting out the fiber.
    If I have a meal with 3 ingredients for example with
    1. Ingredient 1 g total carb, 0 g fiber
    2.Ingredient 1 g total carb, 0 g fiber
    3. Ingredient 1 g total carb, 4 g fiber

    How many netcarb doors my meal has,
    0 g or 2 g ?

    • Hi Marina!
      Net carbs are total carbs minus fiber carbs. But depending on where you live, nutrition labels are a little different. Here in the US, it’s listed as total carbs with the fiber included, and then fiber as a subheading. However, in other parts of the world, total carbs are listed already having the fiber taken out. So given what you’ve included as your example, I would think your labels are made the second way, in which case your net carbs would come out to 3g.

    • Hi Kate!
      That’s an interesting question. I know many many people who follow the keto diet who choose to eat them. In general, my feeling is that as long as you stay under 20 grams of net carbs per day, you’re likely to stay in ketosis and have the benefits of that.
      However, in the ingredients there are a lot of starches, wheat flour, and wheat gluten. This makes me question whether they’re really as low carb as they claim. So if you want to try them out, I’d suggest checking your blood glucose after you eat them to make sure you’re not inadvertently spiking it. Also, if you’re at all sensitive to wheat/gluten you’d obviously react to these wraps.
      Does that answer your question?

  9. Hi I have been on the Keto and lost a lot of weight. But now I am plateaued. I am using Net carbs. So I think that’s why. I know all the data says you can use net carbs but I canbudge the scale anymore. Help

    • Hi Sheila!
      It’s really hard to say for sure what’s caused your plateau– there are myriad reasons that it could be. Some people do find they need to count total carbs instead of net carbs, particularly if you have more advanced metabolic disease. But sometimes plateaus happen naturally. And they can also be caused by diary or even inflammation from undiagnosed food sensitivities. Without knowing more about your situation, it’s impossible to even guess. Depending on your current weight, you may be at a place where your body is comfortable, even if you wish you weighed less. So I suggest trying different things and seeing what happens! Give yourself a month to try counting total carbs. Or start intermittent fasting, cut out dairy, or even try going carnivore for a while! I wish there was one set answer to give you, but there’s just not!

  10. I am a male 60 yrs old,. 5′ 11″ 325 lbs
    My calculations are 29 carbs, 170 fats & 140 protein
    Am I correct with these numbers to loose weight?
    Thank you

    • Hi! I am not a medical professional, so I can’t give you medical advice. However, if you want to be in ketosis (the best fat-burning state) you will want to keep your carbs under 20 g. Beyond that, the exact amounts of fat and protein depend a bit on your exact goals and how your body handles different amounts.
      Personally, I don’t count all these numbers. I pay attention to my carbs, try to get adequate protein (personally do better on the high side for protein) and only eat as much fat as necessary to keep myself full between meals.
      If you’re the type who does best with very specific numbers like these, I would suggest checking out Maria Emmerich’s calculator here:

  11. I am 62, menopausal. I have been doing keto for 9 days now. I was hoping it would help lessen my hot flashes but have not experienced that at all. I really do not feel good. Have headaches and nauseous much of the time. What am I doing wrong? Please help. I am getting so discouraged but really want to do this. I am drinking water and Power Ades to replenish electrolytes. Thank you so much.

    • Hi, Pat!
      It’s hard to say exactly what’s going on without having more information about what all you’re eating. I’m not aware of any science behind a keto diet helping with hot flashes, but many people find it to be very hormone balancing. That being said, it takes quite a while for your hormones to balance. Probably months.
      As far as headaches and nausea goes, that is usually caused by a lack of salt. I would not suggest Power Ades for electrolytes as they usually contain sugars or artificial sweeteners that will not be helpful for you transitioning into ketosis. I use electrolyte drops in my water– they contain no added ingredients. The brand I use is called Lyte Show. Don’t be afraid of salt. Increase your salt intake until the nausea and headaches go away.
      Please also remember that I am not a medial professional, so this advice is based solely on my own research and testimonies of what has helped others. I am not qualified to give medical advice, so take this with a grain of salt ;).

    • Bulletproof coffee will definitely kick you out of a fasted state. Some practitioners (like Dr. Fung) allow small amounts of cream in coffee if that helps you get through your fast, but you should try to keep any calories you add very low. Most practitioners allow for bone broth during this time to help replenish electrolytes as well.

  12. I’m sorry this question is more related to cooking for keto. I can’t eat as much chicken as I want because of how much protein it has, but found frozen chicken quarters with unusually high fat content that’s perfect. I get paranoid and fear irs wrong or that they’re including the bones and it’s contents in the nutritional info. I tried cooking it entirely in a crock pot beginning last night and to make broth and then throw out the depleted bones after getting some nutritional broth. It appeared to dissolve most of the chicken fat, which I’m hoping is all in these cells on top of the soup. I just want to make sure the fat is still all there and I’m not losing loosing the keto percentages if I eat all the soup and the chicken and throw out the bones after at least 18 hours of making chicken broth. It’s just melted and liquid form ? Insolvable and hasn’t changed into something else other that far and can’t be lost? I feel silly because I studied this before, but paranoid to sell myself short

    • Hi, Sheridan!
      The fat will liquefy when you make bone broth, but if it cools you’ll see that it hardens right back up! You haven’t lost any of the great fat content, and you’ve gotten excellent nutrition out of the bones after cooking for so long. You should be good to go!

  13. H i Amber. I have a question about diet sodas and artificial sweeteners. What is the effect of diet soda and/or artificial sweeteners on the Keto diet?

    I am committed to the Keto diet and keep my calories and carbs in check, and have lost almost 30 lbs in 9 weeks, with another 15-20 to go, but my weight loss has stagnated lately, perhaps due to the fact that I have started to drink more diet soda and also rely upon keto friendly meal replacement bars. The diet works for me and I haven’t even begun testing my keytones regularly or gotten back to the gym, but I feel like artificial sweeteners and particularly diet soda is inhibiting fat burning and somehow triggering insulin production. Is this even possible? Thanks for the website.

    • Hi Tom!
      This is such an excellent question!
      Sweeteners are complicated. There are so many different kinds of sweeteners and they all have different effects on the body. The effects can even vary from person to person! And they can trigger an insulin response. I would say in an ideal world, we’d probably avoid all sweeteners. However, I do personally use certain low carb sweeteners in moderation. But I’m very picky about which ones I use. Primarily I use erythritol and stevia. Erythritol has an glycemic index of zero and I don’t find it to affect me negatively. But those are not the sweeteners found in most diet sodas.
      And I would be very careful with keto-friendly meal replacement bars. Many of them use sugar replacements that can raise your blood glucose as much as sugar! So I would suggest trying to cut both diet soda and the meal replacement bars for a couple weeks and see if you notice a change. And always remember that weight loss isn’t linear! It’s amazing that you’ve lost 30lbs in 9 weeks! It’s very normal for it to start to slow down.
      I hope this helps!

  14. Thank you, Amber. That is consistent with my experience and reading. Erythritol and Stevia seem fine for me, but I think the culprit may be Aspertame. a I think the only way I will be able to confirm this is to do some regular blood testing after I try these sweeteners. Of course, as you say, this varies from person to person so this will only be applicable to my body. I will re-post if I learn anything. Thanks again.

  15. Hi Amber, I am new to keto. When counting carbs, do we include carbs from protein and fat? It is a bit confusing.

    • Hi Carol! Protein and fat sources can also contain carbs. You’ll need to count all carbs from all sources. I highly recommend using a tracker like the Keto Diet App to help you with figuring out how many carbs are in each food source. I count net carbs, so I subtract fiber from the total carb count. Does that answer your question?

  16. Hi Amber,
    Firstly I’d like to thank you for your efforts,

    I have a question regarding calculating “net carbs”
    Sometimes, some values such as fiber’s and erythritol’s are not listed directly under “total carbs”, hence do we deduct them from the total carbs or they are already excluded?

    An example of a nutrition facts label:

    -Total carbs…..

    In this case, fiber is included in the “total carbs” value, but is erythritol too? do we deduct it from the total carbs?


    • Yes, fiber and Erythritol (and other sugar alcohols) are counted in the total carbs. I deduct fiber, and I personally deduct all Erythritol as I know it has no impact on my blood sugar. But xylitol, for example, has a much higher glycemic index so I don’t deduct it all. Does that make sense? So in the case of something with 10g total carbs, 5g fiber, and 3g Erythritol, I would say it has 2g net carbs. But not all sweeteners are created equal, and not everyone chooses to deduct sugar alcohols the same. Sorry it’s not a totally straightforward answer!

  17. Hello i have a question… Ive been following the keto diet for 4 weeks now. counting everything on carb manager app. I only eat roughly 15g Carbs daily and average 100g of fat. My protien is on average 50g. I test my ketones and glucose with keto mojo meter. my question is why am i not hitting ketosis? Am i doing something wrong??? Really confused…. any input would help. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Brittany!
      This is a difficult question to answer without more information. Are you counting total or net carbs? Keto Mojo is a good way to be testing your glucose and ketones– is your glucose in a good range? That’s something to consider as well. I don’t know your size, so I can’t say whether those numbers seem appropriate. 50g of protein seems a bit on the low side to me, but there are keto calculators out there that can help you figure out for your size what your macro goals should be. There’s a good one on
      Also, I’m not familiar with carb manager. Are the values for different foods user generated, or from the USDA? I only use the KetoDiet app as it uses USDA data and is more accurate. It’s easy to see things that say “0 carbs” on them but not realize that they have some carbs, still. For example, heavy cream has less than 0.5 carbs per serving, so it says “0” on the nutrition facts, but 1 cup of cream has 6g of carbs, so depending on the amount you have you may be eating more carbs than you think.
      Since you have a Keto Mojo, I’d suggest experimenting a bit and see what you find. Maybe cutting out dairy would help you.
      I’m not a doctor, but if you’d like to talk more about things, you can email me any time!

  18. I am a 200 pound diabetic on keto. I can’t eat more than 75 grams of protein a day without gagging. Is protein powder a reasonable addition? I also am 75 years old.

    • It might be. But you’ll need to be careful. Some protein powders have a lot of additives, so always look for the cleanest option. Also, whey protein can be insulinogenic in many people, so it isn’t the best choice out there. Collagen powder can be a good source of clean protein, and if you tolerate eggs well you can use egg white protein powder. As always, I recommend seeing how you respond to anything new you try– how does it affect your blood sugar and weight, etc.

  19. Can Coconut Flour, Rice Flour or Almond flour be substituted in some way to replace regular white flour in recipes. I have managed to convert quite a few recipes as far as sugars, but have not tried ones with any flour in them

    • Hi Nancy!
      The answer is sort of. First of all, rice flour is very high in carbs, so I don’t recommend it for a keto diet. I use a lot of almond flour as well as some coconut flour in my recipes, but it’s not a 1:1 substitution. Coconut flour is especially difficult to swap for anything else because it’s incredibly absorptive and generally requires more eggs and other liquids.
      What I suggest is finding a keto recipe that’s similar to what you’re looking to make (a keto cake recipe if you’re wanting to convert a cake recipe, for example) and starting there. Then adjust it to make it like the one you’re trying to convert.
      I hope that helps!

  20. Hi Amber –
    Curious to know if the weight loss from Keto is more pronounced than by simply cutting calories. For example, a reduction in daily calories to 1,500 for most overweight people would result in weight loss. Would the same 1,500 calories daily total for the same overweight person consuming the Keto macros produce even more of a weight loss? Assume everything else , exercise, etc., is the same. Thx.

    • Hi Mike!
      In my experience, keto does work better because it shifts your hormones. If your hormones are not imbalanced at all, a reduction in calories will lead to weight loss. But one of the reasons I tried a keto diet in the first place was that a reduction in calories was *not* leading to weight loss for me, and seemed to only serve to slow my metabolism.

      At different points in my life I’ve lost weight with calorie reduction, but I eat *more* calories on a ketogenic diet than I do when I restricted calories, and I lost more weight than I ever lost by counting calories. The mechanism here is reducing insulin. If your insulin is high, you will struggle to lose weight even eating fewer calories. And when you’re eating for hunger, listening to your body cues, instead of eating to a pre-set amount of calories, it’s much easier to stick to.

  21. 3 15 21

    My question is this recipe: Shouldn’t this be a 2 layer cake? i ask, b/c I made another cake last week and it spilled over.

    Chocolate Cake

    3/4 Cup Coconut flour
    3/4 Cup Granular Sweetener
    1/2 Cup Cocoa powder
    2 teaspoons Baking powder
    6 Eggs
    2/3 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
    1/2 Cup Melted Butter

    oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8 cake pan. Add all of the cake ingredients to a marge bowl and mix well with a stand mixer or electric mixer.

    Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 25 minutes or until the center springs back when touched.

    BTW, you no longer are to deduct fiber from the overall carbs.
    My endo told me this is newer. I’m a 50 y/o T1 diabetic.


    • Hi Laurie,

      As this isn’t my recipe, I can’t really say what it would turn out like! You should contact the person who wrote the recipe for any questions you have!

      Counting total carbs or net carbs really depends on your approach, and varies from person to person. Some people advocate for one or the other, but I personally think it depends on your level of metabolic dysfunction. If you’re diabetic, it might be better for you to count total carbs. But if you have less metabolic dysfunction, you likely can count net carbs. I’d encourage anyone to get to know their own body and find out what works best for them, and to test their blood sugars to see how they respond to different foods and carb levels.

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