How Low Carb Is Keto?
By Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD Updated January 2018 How few carbs are there in a keto diet? It depends. It depends on what youre trying to achieve and who you are. Generally speaking, the fewer carbs the more effective it will be. Faster weight loss without hunger. More rapid and powerful reversal of type 2 diabetes. But also more restrictive and possibly more challenging. Here are three examples of how a low-carb meal can look, depending on how many carbs you eat per day (the yellow stuff is delicious herb butter ). Note that only the left option is reliably ketogenic, for the majority of people. Heres the way we define different levels of low carb at Diet Doctor: Keto low carb<20 gram carbs per day. This is a ketogenic diet (if protein intake is moderate). This level is defined as below 4 energy percent carbs in our recipes , where we also keep the protein level low or moderate (excess protein is converted to carbohydrates in the body). 1 Previously we often called this strict low carb, but as the word keto or ketogenic became commonly used we switched to only use this term, for simplicity. Moderate low carb 20-50 gramsper day. This level is defined as between 4-10 E% carbs in our recipes Liberal low carb50-100 grams per day. This means 10-20 E% carbs in our recipes For comparison, a regular Western diet can easily contain 250 grams of carbs or more in a day, most of them bad refined carbs, including sugar. The above numbers refer to digestible carbs, and discount the fiber. You can deduct them from your carb counts, i.e. eat all the natural fiber you want from vegetables, for example. Another word for digestible carbs, with the fiber deducted, is net carbs. However, dont be fooled by the label net carbs on processed products, like chocolate bars. Thats usually just a w Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should You Eat On A Ketogenic Diet?
If you’re considering going “keto,” keep in mind you’ll need to consider everything — worked out down to the last gram — regarding how many carbohydrates you can consume. One thing’s for sure: the statement “low carb” isn’t open to interpretation. This isn’t a quick fix “fad” diet; it’s meant to promote real and lasting change for your body — change that’s ultimately going to help you become less dependent on glucose and able to melt through fat for energy instead! You need to actually cause a metabolic shift, and just simply guessing if your carbs are low enough isn’t going to be the most efficient way to do that. While you’re on the ketogenic diet, you absolutely must keep your carbohydrate count within the specified range your body operates in — at all times. If not, you won’t reach a state of ketosis, thus rendering the entire program null and void. With that in mind, it’s important to realize you’re doing this as a more long-term process for lasting results. No matter what your goals or desired outcome, eating a lower carb diet than you are now is certainly going to benefit you in the long run. So, How Many Grams of Carbs Should I Have? If you’re a “normal” person — and by normal, we simply mean “non-athlete” — then you’ll be alright following the standard ketogenic dietary ratios. (And we use the word “standard” here because there isn’t just one version of the ketogenic diet — but more on that in a bit.) You can enjoy fantastic benefits going keto, including effortless fat loss, increased lifespan, improved energy, and sharper mental focus. Everyone responds differently to different amounts of carbohydrates, but there are some general starting points. But to achieve those, you’ll need to make yo Continue reading >>
How To Get Into Ketosis Faster On A Low Carb Diet
This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. We may earn money from purchases made through links mentioned in this post, but all opinions are our own. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliates sites. Want to be a fat-burning machine without having to count calories? Here’s a few ideas on how to get into ketosis faster on a low carb diet. Do you want to look leaner for bikini season? Yoga pants starting to feel a little tighter? One way to burn fat fast is to go on a ketogenic diet. The physiological process of burning stored fat instead of sugar, can be achieved within a short amount of time after following a strict keto diet. It is possible to get there in a day. In fact, some people show you how to get into ketosis, this fat burning state, in 24 hours. Do you need to fast? Becoming keto adapted where the body burns fat rather than sugar isn’t as hard as you might think. And, you don’t have to starve yourself to get there quickly. The great news for those who want to know how to get into ketosis faster is, well … you don’t have to fast. Fasting has been used for thousands of years by virtually every religion and traditional society. There are some people who think that a complete fast (not just intermittent fasting) is a way to get into ketosis faster. But the great thing about following a ketogenic diet is that you can eat until your heart—er, stomach—is content. You just have to eat enough of the right foods. And, of course, eat very little of the wrong foods. Is getting into ketosis safe without a doctor? Before reviewing how to get into ketosis quickly, let’s take a look at a quick background: T Continue reading >>
The Keto Diet: A Low-carb Approach To Fat Loss
Along with the Atkins diet and the South Beach diet, individuals who are interested in low carbohydrate approaches to dieting will likely want to look into the Keto Diet. Popular among many who are trying to maintain blood sugar levels and lose body fat, the main premise of this diet is, 'eat fat to lose fat'. So How Does It Work? The idea of the ketone diet is to get your body into a process called Ketosis where you stop burning carbohydrates as fuel and instead turn to the burning of what are known as ketones. This will occur when you bring your carbohydrate levels to around 50 grams per day or lower. Many keto activists advise that number to be 30 grams of carbohydrates but most individuals can still maintain ketosis while consuming the 50 grams and this allows for a little more leeway in the diet since you can increase the consumption of vegetables and a variety of flavoring's that contain a few grams of carbohydrates. TKD Or CKD Usually people who are involved with exercise will follow either a TKD (targeted keto diet) or a CKD (cyclical keto diet). TKD A TKD is one where you will eat carbohydrates right before and right after your workouts. This is the best bet for those who are involved in more intense activities and require some carbohydrates to fuel them and who are not as interested in doing carb loads and depletion workouts. CKD A CKD on the other hand is a diet where you will eat a minimum amount of carbohydrates per day (that 30-50 gram number) and then on the weekend (or at a time that is appropriate for you) do a large 'carb-up' phase where you will eat a large amount of carbohydrates in an effort to refill your muscle glycogen stores so you can continue to workout the coming week. Normally right before the carb-up phase you will do a depletion workout wh Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should You Eat To Get Into Ketosis?
Limiting carbs is one of the easiest ways to get into ketosis. It doesn’t require fasting; it doesn’t even require you to eat fewer calories — all you have to do is restrict your carbohydrates and eat just enough protein (and not too much) to stimulate fat burning and ketone production. Other factors like fat consumption, stress, and activity levels are important to consider as well, but knowing how many carbs you need to eat to get into ketosis is a good place to start. How Many Carbs For Ketosis? Regardless of how many variables impact ketosis, it is important to start somewhere, and carbs are the most important metric to start with on the ketogenic diet. For most people, keeping total carbs below 35g and net carbs below 25g (ideally, below 20g) will get them into a deep ketosis after about a week. (To figure out your net carb consumption, simply subtract total fiber intake from total carbs.) Note: Some sweeteners are considered keto-friendly and do not raise blood sugar levels. These can be subtracted from the total carbs as well. For more, read our Guide to Low Carb Sweeteners > To eat such a small amount of carbs, you must be vigilant about your food choices. You may find that many of your favorite foods will put you over the carbohydrate limit for the day with just one serving. Even healthier foods like fruits and vegetables are packed with sugar and carbs, but don’t get discouraged — there is plenty of delicious food you can eat on the ketogenic diet. For example, you can have a Bacon Breakfast Bagel for breakfast, a Thai BBQ Pork Salad for lunch, and a Keto BBQ Chicken Pizza for dinner. Mouthwatering aren’t they? Check out this list for some more ideas of what you should and should not eat on the ketogenic diet: Do Not Eat Grains – wheat, corn, ric Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Per Day On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet?
Although my initial plan was to include this post in All You Need to Know About Carbs on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet, I decided it deserves to be discussed separately. How Many Carbs per Day to Stay in Ketosis? As described in my post How Does the Ketogenic Diet Work? Weight Loss and 3 Main Effects of Ketosis, weight loss on a ketogenic diet is achieved by limiting the daily intake of net carbs and getting your body in a metabolic state known as ketosis. While in ketosis, your body effectively uses fat for fuel. In general, the daily intake of net carbs required to enter ketosis could vary from 20 to 100 grams per day (and very rarely over 100 grams per day). Most people, who have experienced ketosis, claim to have reached that state at about 20-50 grams of net carbs per day. I'd suggest you start at 20-30 grams and see how you can adjust it for your needs. There are two ways to find your ideal net carbs intake: Low to high method Start from a low level of net carbs to ensure you quickly enter ketosis (~ 20 grams of net carbs per day). When you detect ketosis after about 2-3 days, start adding net carbs (about 5 grams each week) until you detect a very low-level or no ketones (using Ketostix or blood ketone meter). This is usually the most reliable and quickest way to discover your net carbs limit. It could be a bit hard the first couple of days, as you have to give up almost all carbs from one day to another but it will be worth it. This method is highly recommended. High to low method Assuming you're not in ketosis, start from a relatively high level of net carbs (~ 50 grams) and keep reducing (about 5 grams each week) until you detect presence of ketones. This is a less difficult approach but not recommended, as you may spend a long time out of ketosis before you find yo Continue reading >>
Ketones And Carbohydrates: Can They Co-exist?
Ketones and Carbohydrates: Can they co-exist? For reasons Im still struggling to understand, the idea of nutritional ketosis (NK, to be distinguished from starvation ketosis, SK or diabetic ketoacidosis, DKA) is often discussed and debated in much the same way as religion or politics. Perhaps this can be said of all nutrition, which is a shame. Nevertheless, in my continued defiance of such sensitive topics, Id like to add another layer of complexity and nuance to this discussion. The rule of thumb for NK is that caloric intake is determined as follows (this excludes a subset of ketogenic diets known as calorie-restricted KD which, as the name suggests, is specifically restricted in calories): Carbohydrate (total, not net): less than 50 gm/day, but ideally closer to 30 gm/day Protein: up to 1 to 1.5 gm/kg, but ideally below about 120 gm/day Let me illustrate what this looks like for Joe (left), Jane (middle), and Jeff (right an example of a calorie restricted KD), three hypothetical people in NK but each with different caloric requirements. As a general rule, as caloric requirement increases the proportion of calories derived from carbohydrate and protein decreases (and the contribution of dietary fat increases), even while absolute intake of carbohydrate and protein increases. Anyone who has bought a blood ketone meter knows how tough it can be to get into ketosis by carbohydrate restriction (since everyone asks, I use the Abbott Precision Xtra meter which uses two different strips: one for glucose and one for beta-hydroxybutyrate, or BHB). Most practitioners consider the minimum threshold of NK to be a fasting serum level of BHB above 0.5 mM. Im a bit more stringent in my practice and like to see fasting BHB levels above 1 mM. To give you a sense of one persons numbe Continue reading >>
Low Carb Vs Keto: Why Ketosis Is Different From A Low Carb Diet
Are you making a critical mistake when it comes to ketosis? I’ve been extremely guilty of it in the past. One of the biggest mistakes for people trying to improve their health is the misconception that a low carbohydrate diet equals a ketogenic diet. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and could be killing your efforts to get all of the health benefits you are looking for. There are some critical differences in what people think a “low-carb high-fat” (LCHF) diet is and what a ketogenic diet is. High carb doesn’t mean diabetic. Just like low carb doesn’t mean ketogenic. If you’re not super down with what ketosis is, it is simply a metabolic state of using fats for energy. This provides a lot of benefits that we can get into later, but long story short, there are numerous benefits that you’re going to be missing out on if you are simply “low-carb” and not definitively in ketosis. Your low carb diet can actually be pretty brutal if it is not a ketogenic diet. As evidence, this is a maddening conversation that bubbles up more and more as I won’t shut up about ketogenic diets: Person: “Yeah, I tried ketosis and it sucked, I felt awful. Doesn’t work for me.” Me: “Hmm, that’s weird, did you check your ketone levels?” Person: “No. But, I was low carb. Ketosis isn’t for me. It sucks.” Me: “Well… low carb doesn’t mean you’re burning fats and utilizing ketones, so your body was still probably trying to use carbs as fuel, but you didn’t have enough around eating low carb, which is why it sucked.” Person: “I’m not tracking. Ketosis sucks. And so do you.” This person was low-carb, not keto. There is a huge difference. By why? Time for some definitions: Low-carb: Eating an arbitrarily “low” number of carbohydrates, or just a Continue reading >>
How To Find Your Ideal Carb Intake
Low-carb, high-fat diets have a number of known benefits for your body and mind. They keep you lean, support your hormones and brain, regulate your blood sugar, stop food cravings, keep you full for hours, and give you license to put bacon on everything. For the vast majority, a low-carb, high-fat diet is miles ahead of a low-calorie, low-fat one. But within the realm of low-carb, there is no one-size-fits-all. Instead, it’s important you find your body’s sweet spot for carb intake and timing. Tailoring your nutrition to your unique biology helps you perform even better. This guide will show you how. Let’s break down how to hack your carb intake, step-by-step. Find the Goldilocks zone of carb intake: not too low, not too high This is where you get to do some personal experimenting. Most people do best eating somewhere between 30-150 grams of net carbs daily. “Net carbs” means you can subtract fiber and sugar alcohols (like xylitol) out of your daily carb count – they don’t affect your blood sugar or get stored as glycogen. Here are three different low-carb approaches within the 30-150 gram range: Cyclical Ketogenic Diet Eat high fat, very low carb (<50g net carbs/day) 6 days a week, then have a carb refeed on day 7 (~150g net carbs). This is what the Bulletproof Diet is based on. Here’s why : Some people (Dave included) have thyroid issues when they do very low carb with no carb refeed . For some people, chronic low-carb eating can lead to low mucous production, which disrupts gut bacteria  and causes dry eyes. A cyclical ketogenic diet works very well for a lot of people. On the other hand, re-upping on carbs once a week will keep you out of deep ketosis, which may cause carb cravings (Brain Octane helps with that). Try a weekly carb refeed and se Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs To Stay In Ketosis
The ketogenic diet is probably one of the most meticulous ways of eating out there. For it to actually work you need to be careful and know how many carbs to stay in ketosis. Nutritional ketosis occurs as the result of our body running low on glycogen and the liver producing ketone bodies. It can be caused by either a prolonged period of fasting or by restricting carbohydrate intake significantly. At first, your body will show signs of withdrawal, because glucose is its primary fuel source. To start using ketones effectively you need to go through a period of adaptation. The length this of time this takes depends on several things. How many carbs have you been eaten before. How many carbs are you eating on keto right now. How well your body is accepting ketones for fuel. There isn’t a set magic barrier, that once crossed, will instantly put you into ketosis. As said, the liver will start to produce ketones as a substitute for glucose. The lower your daily carbohydrate intake, the sooner your liver glycogen will be depleted and the quicker your body will start utilizing. For complete adaptation to take place as quickly as possible, you would have to restrict your carbs to under 30 grams per day. NET, that is. Some people have a higher carb tolerance than others. At first, it’s advisable to go even lower than 30 grams, for ketosis to occur faster. Eating less than 20 grams for the initial 2 weeks will definitely hasten adaptation. After this initial period, your body’s biochemistry will have been completely altered. Your liver enzymes will have changed from preferring glucose to loving fat and ketones. Even our hungry brain will be satisfied and won’t create sugar cravings. However, how many carbs to stay IN ketosis is a totally different question. Despite our inc Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should I Eat To Prevent Ketosis?
When you’re on a low-carb diet, your body kicks into action, breaking down fats into ketone bodies to use for energy. This increase in ketones -- called ketosis -- is a normal adaptation to cutting carbs. In fact, the switch to ketosis is why low-carb diets work. Even though you could eat enough carbs to prevent ketosis, it's important to clarify why you want to avoid it. There's nothing unhealthy about ketosis, so you may just need to correct any misinformation to make the best decision for your weight-loss goals. Video of the Day Deal With Concerns Over Ketosis Ketosis is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is unfortunate -- ketosis is normal, while ketoacidosis is a dangerous condition related to type 1 diabetes. Most people on a low-carb diet tolerate ketosis without any problems. Then after the pounds are dropped, carb intake is gradually increased so you're out of ketosis by the time you reach the maintenance phase. If you decide to stay in an induction phase longer than the low-carb plan recommends, consult your doctor to be safe. People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for developing ketoacidosis from lack of insulin. Due to the complex metabolism of diabetes, they end up with high levels of blood glucose and ketones, which upsets the body's normal acid-base balance. When that happens, ketosis becomes ketoacidosis, causing symptoms like thirst, frequent urination, dry mouth, nausea, belly pain, rapid breathing and fruity-smelling breath. If you have symptoms, contact your doctor immediately -- diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency. You may be wary about ketosis because you've heard about "ketosis flu." It's not really flu, but in the first few days or weeks of a low-carb diet, some people experience headaches, dizziness, fatigue, constipation or wea Continue reading >>
A Keto Diet For Beginners
A keto or ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many proven benefits for weight loss, health and performance, as millions of people have experienced already. 1 Here you’ll learn how to eat a keto diet based on real foods. You’ll find visual guides, recipes, meal plans and a simple 2-week get started program, all you need to succeed on keto. Get even more, custom meal plans, ask the experts and low-carb TV, with a free trial. 1. Introduction: What is ketosis? The “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it makes the body produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”. 2 This is an alternative fuel for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply. Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar). Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel throughout the body, including the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day, 3 and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose… or ketones. On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Insulin levels become very low, and fat burning increases dramatically. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is obviously great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there are also other less obvious benefits, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy. When the body produces ketones, it’s said to be in ketosis. The fastest way to get there is by fasting – not eating anything – but nobody can fast forever. A keto diet, on the other hand, can be eaten indefinite Continue reading >>
Is 150 Carbs Per Day Still Considered Low Carb?
Low-carb diets can be an effective way to lose weight, but the exact definition of low carb and the precise recommendations for carbohydrate intake depend on the particular diet you choose to follow. Restricting any type of food or food group can potentially lead to health problems, so discuss your plans with a doctor or dietician before starting any low-carb diet. According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, carbohydrates should make up 45 to 65 percent of a person's total daily calorie intake. Any amount less than this could be considered low carb. For someone consuming 2,000 calories a day, this is about 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates per day. Most low-carb diets limit carbohydrate intake to between 50 to 150 grams per day, depending on the diet. Typical Low Carb Diets In some commercial low-carb diets, the dieter first goes through an initiation phase during which carbohydrates are restricted to an extremely low level. During this initiation phase, which usually lasts about two weeks, the carbohydrate intake is around 20 grams per day. After the initiation phase, a weight loss phase with a daily carbohydrate intake of 60 to 90 grams is typical. The carbohydrate intake may raise further during the maintenance phase, after the dieter has achieved her weight loss goals, but it typically doesn't rise above 100 to 150 grams per day as long as she remains on the diet. Types of Carbs In most commercial low-carb diets, the type of carbohydrate you consume is as important as the total amount. Some plans are based on the concept of glycemic index or glycemic load, which both measure the effect of carbohydrates on blood glucose levels. Glycemic load takes into account the total amount of carbohydrates in a given serving of food as well as the overall blood sugar Continue reading >>
How To Find Your Ketogenic Diet Carb Limit
There is no legitimate carb limit for keto. The keto gods won’t banish you to burn in sugar hell forever if you eat an extra blueberry. The truth is that every person has a different carb limit that they should stick to so that they can trigger ketone production. This “carb limit” also changes depending on the day. Whether your body achieves ketosis or not — the main reason why you are limiting carbs in the first place — depends on many factors. Some people may be able to get into ketosis with a slightly higher carb intake while others need to restrict their carbs below 35 grams per day. So, what does this mean for you? How can you find your very own keto carb limit? Finding Your Keto Carb Limit Although everyone may need to restrict their carbs to slightly different amounts to get into and stay in ketosis, there is a carb limit that almost anyone can use to achieve results. This keto carb limit is 35 grams of total carbs and 25 grams of net carbs. (Net carbs are found by subtracting the grams of the fiber from the total grams of carbs.) If net carbs are further limited to less than 20 grams, then most people will get into ketosis even more quickly. Keeping your carbs consumption at this level and rarely going above it is a reliable way to stay in ketosis (as long as you eat the right amount of protein — more on that later). To figure out how to track your carbs and stay below the carb limit, here’s a guide you can use to keep it as simple as possible. And here is a brief list of what you should and shouldn’t eat to achieve ketosis: Do Not Eat Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc. Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc. Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc. Tubers – potato, yams, etc. Do Eat Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc. Lea Continue reading >>
5 Most Common Low-carb Mistakes (and How To Avoid Them)
A few months ago, I read a book called The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living. The authors are two of the world's leading researchers on low-carb diets. Dr. Jeff S. Volek is a Registered Dietitian and Dr. Stephen D. Phinney is a medical doctor. These guys have performed many studies and have treated thousands of patients with a low-carb diet. According to them, there are many stumbling blocks that people tend to run into, which can lead to adverse effects and suboptimal results. To get into full-blown ketosis and reap all the metabolic benefits of low-carb, merely cutting back on the carbs isn't enough. If you haven't gotten the results you expected on a low-carb diet, then perhaps you were doing one of these 5 common mistakes. There is no clear definition of exactly what constitutes a "low carb diet." Some would call anything under 100-150 grams per day low-carb, which is definitely a lot less than the standard Western diet. A lot of people could get awesome results within this carbohydrate range, as long as they ate real, unprocessed foods. But if you want to get into ketosis, with plenty of ketoness flooding your bloodstream to supply your brain with an efficient source of energy, then this level of intake may be excessive. It could take some self experimentation to figure out your optimal range as this depends on a lot of things, but most people will need to go under 50 grams per day to get into full-blown ketosis. This doesn't leave you with many carb options except vegetables and small amounts of berries. If you want to get into ketosis and reap the full metabolic benefits of low-carb, going under 50 grams of carbs per day may be required. Protein is a very important macronutrient, which most people aren't getting enough of. It can improve satiety and incr Continue reading >>