Have you heard all the buzz about the keto diet and want to know more? Did a friend tell you they’re “in ketosis” and you got interested? Here’s everything you need to know about ketogenic diets and being in ketosis for fat loss, brain function, satiety, and performance.

Editor’s Note: This article is being updated on an ongoing basis.

The only hard and fast rule of health is that health is personal and what works well for one person may not work for someone else.c

Aside from that rule, there are “frameworks” that seem to benefit large groups of people.

One more level down from that are alternative strategies that benefit smaller groups.

Ketosis is likely one of those alternative strategies that works well for certain, smaller groups of people. So, right off the bat I want you to understand that Ketosis might not be for everyone.

I’m going to lay out the case for potential benefits of Ketosis. If it sounds interesting and beneficial to you, then consider trying it.

We’ve put together a free cheat sheet for implementing a practical and sustainable ketogenic eating strategy. Don’t leave without it!

What is the Keto Diet?

A ketogenic diet (“keto diet” for short) is a diet that puts you in a metabolic state of ketosis (more on that in a moment).

The diet is characterized by a specific macronutrient breakdown: high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate.

Sometimes this macronutrient breakdown is confused with a traditional low carbohydrate diet, which is typically high protein, moderate fat, and low carb. Jillian Michaels recently made this mistake by suggesting that keto is simply a rebranded version of the Atkins Diet on her appearance on Steve Harvey, which I heavily ridiculed on my own podcast.

The reason the macro breakdown is important is because many people can’t achieve a state of ketosis when eating too much protein. This is because excess protein is converted to glucose in the body, which prevents (or pulls you out of) ketosis.

By shifting the macro breakdown toward fat as the primary macronutrient, you can keep protein low enough to achieve and maintain ketosis.

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when liver glycogen gets depleted and the body burns fatty acids for fuel.

The primary driver of this state is a very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it also requires a low protein, higher fat intake to match. Following a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet) is what puts you in a state of ketosis.

You can also achieve a state of ketosis by not eating altogether (fasting).

When you’re in ketosis, the body produces something called ketones as a byproduct. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of fuel.

Like glucose, ketones have a unique function and specific benefits tied to them and it’s these unique benefits that are highly sought after by keto dieters.

What can you eat on the keto diet?

I’ll talk more about this later, but if you want your ketogenic diet to be as healthy as possible, it needs to be based on you eating high-quality, real food.

What is real food? Basically anything that was previously alive. I have a real food cheat sheet that you can download, print, and stick on your fridge as a helpful resource for this.

Of course, not all real foods are going to work for keto – it’s about choosing foods that are going to help you hit a macro breakdown of about 60-70% fat, 30%-40% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates (this ratio is different for everyone!).

Mostly what you need to avoid (if you’re using that cheat sheet) are starchy carbohydrates. When you keep carbs very low, then it’s just a matter of playing with your fat and protein ratio to see what your body needs to achieve and maintain ketosis.

Since you need to take in more fat than protein, it’s also unhelpful to choose lots of lean meats. If you’re going eat fish, eat fatty fish. If you’re going to eat a steak, choose a fatty cut of steak. Again, more on this later, but when you’re eating the fat of animals it’s highly imperative that you eat well-sourced animals (grass-fee beef, wild-caught fish, etc.)

Since fat is a store of toxins in animals, eating the fat of poorly raised animals is a step in the wrong direction for your health.

Most keto dieters add pure fat via other sources in order to make the macros work out. Some of their favorite sources are grass-fed butter, avocados, coconut oils, heavy cream, olive oil, cheese, MCT oil, and bulletproof coffee.

You can use keto test strips to measure your ketones (via your urine) to verify whether or not you’re in a state of ketosis.

What role does Ketosis play in human health?

Ketosis allows our bodies to function in the absence of carbohydrates, both physically and mentally. Instead of burning carbohydrates, or converting protein to glucose, the body burns ketones.

This is pretty much a survival mechanism. It allows your body to function in a state of caloric deprivation. This is why ketosis often gets bad press (as it’s linked to “starvation”).

Being a survival mechanism doesn’t make it invalid as a strategy, though. There can still be potential benefits to be had. Let’s cover a few of them…

The Keto Diet and Accelerated Fat Loss

Being in ketosis has a positive effect on hormone regulation. Namely, blood sugar regulation.

Think about someone who eats whole grains at every meal, throws down a Naked Juice, and caps dinner off with a Weight Watchers ice cream bar. What you’re seeing is a person who is on a blood sugar roller coaster.

These blood sugar spikes trigger both fat storage and future hunger. The fat storage is due to the hyper-caloric environment this type of eating tends to put people in. The insulin dysregulation causes constant hunger and cravings.

Now imagine a person who is avoiding carbohydrates, keeping protein to moderate levels, and getting adequate levels of fat. Assuming they’re eating quality foods, they’re getting all the micronutrients they need. Assuming they’re also eating enough calories, they’re not starving themselves. The diet is meeting their needs and their blood sugar is remaining very stable in the process.

Following this high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate model can induce ketosis. Your body’s main interest is to create the ketones it can use for fuel in the absence of glucose. In other words, your body’s main interest is to burn fat.

What’s interesting is that research shows that ketosis reduces body fat to a far better degree than restricting calories. In children, at least (but there are other studies that reflect the same findings in adults).

Now, I want to be very clear about this, because Keto is becoming a sort of religion – you do not need to be in ketosis to burn fat. You can reach all the health and fitness goals that you’ve set without going keto and there is a lot more to think about when it comes to losing body fat than your diet.

The Keto Diet: Disease Treatment, and Health

Besides turning on your fat burning furnace, dipping into ketosis may be beneficial for health and disease treatment. One of the most interesting areas of study has to do with ketosis and starving cancer cells.

Many cancers feeds on glucose, which leads to the obvious question, “What happens when you take away the glucose?” For normal cells, they switch to using ketones for fuel as we discussed earlier. But there are studies that show cancer does not have the ability to use ketones for fuel, thus they starve:

“Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. But cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility. So we can exploit that,” Dr. D’Agostino explained.

Another area where ketogenic diets are being heavily tested is in the treatment of Diabetes. Both Type I and Type II diabetics seem to respond very well to being in ketosis. Keep in mind this is separate from the condition of ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition for Type 1 diabetics.

There are dozens of studies targeting the treatment of a range of health issues using ketogenic diets. I can’t cover them all here, but I’ll give you three more: ketogenic diets have shown to be beneficial for those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Epilepsy. This appears to be due to the neuroprotective nature of ketosis, it’s ability to slow or halt cellular death, and it’s positive effects on inflammation.

Improved Focus and Brain Function on the Keto Diet

At this point I could hit you with a string of confusing science terms. But, Rebooted Body is not about making you feel like you’re back in Biology class preparing for your final exam. And this is a “beginner’s guide” to ketosis. So, I’m going to water this down a little bit.

One of the mechanisms that causes so many brain issues – seizures, migraines, bipolar, ALS, dementia – is neurotoxicity. One cause of neurotoxicity is too much glucose. So, by reducing the glucose supply and asking the brain to burn ketones for fuel, a leveling out of sorts occurs.

There’s another byproduct of all this. Brain function. How clearly you focus, think, and recall information. Ketogenic diets improve brain function through the mechanism of clean fuel production. It appears that ketones are a more efficient and cleaner form of fuel for the brain than glucose.

How so?

To explain, we need to talk about mitochondria, the workhorses of your cells. ATP powers these mitochondria. ATP can be made from glucose or ketones. When ATP is made from glucose, free radicals are a byproduct. Free radicals are those pesky things that cause cellular damage and eventual disease.

ATP production from ketones is much cleaner, producing less of these free radicals.

What if your car’s engine was running on a mixture of gasoline and sugar? You wouldn’t be getting optimal function.

Remove that excess glucose and you’re left with clean burning fuel. Things start to improve, even if there’s prior damage.

The Keto Diet and Satiety

I’ve said before that it’s possible to make the switch from being a “sugar burner” to a “fat burner.” That’s an oversimplified description, but I still don’t see anything wrong with it.

What we’re talking about here is how your metabolic state can shift to rely on glucose. This can happen through years or decades of ingesting far more glucose than your body needs.

So, what happens when you remove or reduce glucose intake from a person who is “sugar-adapted?” Well, they hate life for about three weeks because their cells are inefficient at using fat for fuel in the absence of glucose.

But, what happens after this period of time if you stick it out? You can become what’s called keto-adapted. This is where your body “switches” and becomes more efficient at using fat to run your body’s systems.

This doesn’t mean you should be in ketosis your entire life. What I’m saying is that your body should have the ability to use both ketones and glucose for fuel, seamlessly switching between the two.

As a sugar burner, you’ve got one source to choose from: glucose. When your metabolism is fully functional, you’ve got two sources to choose from.

Best of all, when your body doesn’t need glucose, you enjoy steadier energy levels. You’re not hunting for snacks and more food at all times. Your body isn’t threatening to pass out because you forgot to bring change for the vending machine.

Athletic Performance on the Keto Diet

The last aspect of ketosis is how it affects performance.

You might assume that ketosis sucks for performance because Gatorade has sent you an opposing message your entire life. They say that if you want to perform well, you need to ingest glucose-water.

And that may be true if you’re a helpless, sugar-adapted human. But what about those of us who have no trouble burning fat? Is it possible that I can be the all-star on my flag football or ultimate frisbee team if I start the day off with bacon and eggs? And if I hydrate with nothing more than good old-fashioned water?

This study on gymnasts says that you can perform pretty darn well in a ketogenic state. Another study shows that ketogenic diets have no negative effect on endurance performance or recovery.

Then there’s this video of Dr. Peter Attia doing demanding work in a state of ketosis and he looks like he’s handling it pretty well. There’s also this write up he did about low-carb and performance.

Is a keto diet actually healthy?

A lot of people argue about the healthfulness of a ketogenic diet and while I’m not going to make any claims about the long-term healthfulness of keto, I’ll make one thing clear: there’s a really easy way to make keto unhealthy…

If you want to make keto objectively unhealthy, consume lots of vegetable and seed oils for your fats and consume lots of really low quality, poorly sourced animal protein (like fatty steak from poorly treated, poorly fed animals).

You could also eat highly processed, “low carb” packaged foods full of bad fats and additives.

If you can commit to eating high quality fats, high quality protein, and maintain a solid variety of foods to make sure you’re not getting any nutrient deficiencies, you’re going to be much more well off.

It’s Not All Rainbows and Unicorns: 3 Reasons You Might Want to Ditch the Keto Diet

Okay I’ve spent a lot of time building up the “pros” of the Keto Diet, but it’s important to not get carried away. There are some real cons to the Keto Diet that you need to be aware of.

See, I’m not convinced that most people should be Keto. It’s been billed as a great way to lose weight, which has attracted a lot of attention, but it’s not all roses, unicorns, and fairy dust.

Here’s three reasons why you might want to reconsider your plan to go Keto…

1. The Keto Diet is obsessive.

Ketosis is notoriously difficult to get into, verify, and sustain without bringing back some of the old, obsessive Dieting strategies that we’ve been working so hard to get away from.

Tracking macros, monitoring blood glucose, and testing ketone levels are all required steps in the process for most people.

This kind of protocol attracts people with disordered eating habits. It’s the perfect blend of effective, obsessive, and new. It can also give someone disordered eating habits if they’re not careful.

Keto, after all is becoming somewhat of a religion and the zealotry is off the charts. I’m talking “Keto 4 life!” kinda stuff – it’s bad.

If you’re trying to get into ketosis for medical reasons, then you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. If you want to get into ketosis because you heard it’s great for weight loss or for some other non-medical reason, it’s too obsessive for my taste.

2. The Keto Diet probably doesn’t fit your lifestyle.

You know me—I’m not a huge fan of cardio or long workouts. I’m bearish on exercise as a modern concept, but I’m bullish on functional fitness and DWYLT.

In other words, I want people to do active things they love with a little sprinting and short functional strength workouts thrown in.

In order to actually enjoy those things and feel strong and healthy when doing them, you’ll need adequate glycogen. That’s something that’s quickly depleted through ketogenic eating.

I know the body can replenish glycogen stores through gluconeogenesis, but damn, why go through all the trouble?

Seriously, performing well on a ketogenic diet (I know this from experience) requires a long adaptation period and still results in the loss of explosiveness.

Endurance may be maintained or improved after adaptation, but good luck with those sprints, feeling strong popping up on a surfboard over and over again, covering your friend in a game of flag football, or lifting that sandbag many times.

And I still haven’t talked about the actual eating side of things: if you think it’s tough to get comfortable with social eating on a real-food based lifestyle, good luck with that keto plan. In the real world, most of the people I meet want less obsessiveness and more enjoyment, not vice versa.

Between the obsessiveness, performance issues, and social neediness, I’m getting further and further away from liking keto as a strategy.

3. The Keto Diet may have various negative long-term consequences.

There are a lot of little side effects considered to be “negative” on ketogenic diets. There are some small positives as well (such as increased mental clarity). I’m not going to hash out all the little things here. I want to hit on two of the top negative consequences.

Ketosis requires very low carbohydrate consumption. In my article, The Practical Truth About Carbohydrates, I noted that one of the potential downsides of this is a reduction in your metabolic rate.

The mechanism for this is chronic calorie restriction, which can easily happen on ketogenic protocols due to the satiating nature of fat and protein. In other words, it’s common for people on ketogenic diets to accidentally under-eat because ketosis does such a great job of turning off hunger.

This paradigm is especially destructive when sleep, stress, nutrient density, and inflammatory exercise are not considered. Doing ketosis properly requires having ALL of your ducks in a row.

Another consequence of ketosis is a potentially negative change in gut flora. The mechanism for this is a lack of fermentable substrate—the stuff your gut bugs feed on—as well as a change in the pH of the gut. You can read more about this, if you’re interested, at The Human Food Project.

The study of the gut biome is a relatively new science and is highly complicated. I’m not taking any hard-line stances on this right now, but you should note that if the science continues to trend in the direction it’s moving, it spells potential disaster for long-term, very low carbohydrate or ketogenic protocols (and those following ketogenic diets for medical reasons will need to look at strategic supplementation of fermentable fibers).

What’s the key takeaway?

The vast majority of people don’t need to be worried about getting into and staying-in ketosis. If anything, I recommend a cyclical keto diet, but certainly nothing long-term.

Many people who come to my community ask me questions about ketosis as if they believe it’s now the only path to weight loss. That’s scary. There’s a lot of brainwashing going on.

As I’ve said before, I’m all for experimentation. Unless you’re prone to disordered eating and Diet-jumping, try it out and see what your results are. But know that ketosis is not required and it could potentially be destructive.

If you’re going to ignore the possibility of these downsides and do keto anyway, or you just want to experiment but don’t want to trend toward destructiveness, you need to download our free Keto Diet Cheat Sheet…

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Comments

  • Shannon says:

    Really interesting read…thank you. I wonder, at what point and to what degree do you think someone can adequately burn both forms of fuel before they resort back to being a “sugar burner” (that is, once they’ve successfully gone through keto-adaptation) . It seems like it’s a very fine line, that, I guess, one can only figure out by self experimentation but I’m curious about your take since you seem to be doing so.

    • Kevin Geary says:

      I don’t know that there’s a definitive answer to this. In this regard, the “switch” analogy is likely misleading. These things tend to be a sliding scale. It’s not about your body reaching a tipping point and flipping some switch, it’s more about how your body gets more efficient or less efficient over time at these things.

  • Leslie says:

    Hey, thanks for the article. I’m kinda new here but have been looking into ketosis and watching Peter Attia on youtube. My question, that I never see addressed at all, has anyone looked into or even hypothesized on the safety/benefits/etc of ketosis in children? Do you or any of your readers have any info or recommendations?

    • Shannon says:

      Hi, Leslie. This is just my personal experience: when it comes to kids, change should be gradual. My son is 2 & 1/2 and is highly sensitive to sugar (and I’m not just talking processed-junk-food-sugar…he reacts to things that most would consider perfectly healthy food options like whole grain bread). He shows clear signs of low-blood-sugar within 1-2 hours of eating if the food was mainly carb-based. He has extreme hyper-activity issues, poor sleep and even skin reactions for 1-2 days after eating the “wrong foods”. He has not had any formal medical diagnosis of anything, and I don’t think he needs it. He just very clearly thrives much better on a diet of healthy fats, protein and more natural sugar (such as fruit and honey…though even these need to be moderated) and moderate grains like brown rice. It took a long time (about 6 months) to get him adjusted off of whole grains and the occasional sugary treat. I feel like having done it cold-turkey would have been disastrous. But it was doable over time. For him, it’s simply what works best.

      • Leslie says:

        Thanks for sharing Shannon! I’ve heard great things about children responding well to a paleo diet for issues like that. My problem is that my son, who is almost 12, has always been husky (as have I really) and we follow a mostly paleo approach but he isn’t super active and isn’t slimming down. I don’t want him to develop any worse weight issues and don’t want to put him on diets and things but I wonder if he would thrive on a keto diet. He also started middle school this year and really has a hard time concentrating and remembering things. I’ve never really had focus problems with him before but as he goes into puberty maybe he’s changing? I don’t want to cause any harm to his development though, of course.

      • Kevin Geary says:

        I wouldn’t recommend Keto for kids. I don’t know that there’s anything wrong with it, but at the same time I believe they’d do better with safe carb intake (veggies, rice, potatoes, etc.). Keto can help you lose weight if you have a busted up metabolism, but healthy kids should have a healthy metabolism.

        What does mostly paleo look like? My take is that kids’ hunger is often higher to deal with growth and if kids aren’t active, that’s when you see them get husky. Then as they start to hit their full growth they slim out on the exact same diet as their appetite decreases. I haven’t researched at all in that area so it’s just my opinion.

        I wouldn’t actively decrease his intake but instead work on his activity level. Daily playing outside, getting away from lots of video games, family walks, etc.

      • Leslie says:

        Hi Kevin, thanks for your thoughts! “Mostly Paleo” means we drink raw milk and eat butter, sometimes other dairy products but not as often. It means I buy peanut butter because I can’t always afford almond or other butter. I make “paleo” treats but I really don’t think almond flour is very “caveman”. It also means we aren’t perfect and I am working very hard on being cool with that.

        I think I may have to play devil’s advocate a little and suggest that maybe, genetically, he started out with a little of a busted metabolism. He lost the genetic lottery. That being said, I know that there is a healthy way to “fix” it but it may not look like what it looks like for “normal” kids. Activity is something we work on but it is hard to come by since I work full time, he is a latchkey kid. He does martial arts 3 nights a week and boy scouts 1 night so it doesn’t leave a lot of room. It’s a work in progress so I try to make the changes I can and work around the rest.

        I really appreciate you answering! I love reading your posts. Thanks a lot and Happy Wednesday!

  • Jennifer says:

    This is good information, and timely. I want to start this experiment, but I keep getting hung up on the numbers: 60% fat, 30% protein, 10% carbs. What does a typical meal look like? I cannot seem to find anything or a real menu/diet plan.

    Also, my naturopath has recommended a 24- to 48-hour water fast prior to embarking on a ketogenic diet. What are your thoughts regarding the fast prior?

    • Bec says:

      i use Cronometer.com to track my eating. It will show me the percentage of fat; protein, and carbs that I’ve consumed, against the target ratios I’ve set up. It also adds up the nutrients I’ve consumed every day, which helps me watch out for deprivation of what I need.

      Thanks for the article, Kevin! I’ve been on this for more than 3 weeks now, and I’m definitely in ketosis, and I’ve lost 9 pounds. I’m having fun finding new foods to meet nutritional needs. I actually just learned about stinging nettle tea, made it from the stuff in my own backyard!

      I’m pumped!

    • Leslie says:

      Good questions Jennifer! Following 🙂

  • Alicyn Hargroves says:

    Very interesting post. Thanks for the information. It’s hard to find good information out there. I appreciate your thoughts on this! I have been wanting to know more about Ketosis/Ketogenic Diet.

  • Tony Scarbrough says:

    Great article Kev…your absolutley right about the switching back and forth. When i cut off my sugar intake i go right into fat burning mode with no loss of anything except fat. Only problem is staying away from the sugar. Guess i have to do Decode Your Cravings to solve that problem?

  • Cathyate K says:

    I am not a dieter but I have decided to make a lifestyle change with the onset of menopause. I have been doing #NSNG for 4 days now. I am in moderate ketosis already and the scale is trying to win my heart by showing me a significant achievement already. After serious withdrawals, I am happy, energetic, and optimistic.

  • Emma says:

    I am currently following a ketogenic diet – I’ve been doing really well and have lost a reasonable amount of weight in the 10 days I’ve been doing it. At the weekend though, I’m aware I took myself out of ketosis (I had a ball, and wasn’t going to sit there and watch everybody else eat!) I definitely didn’t binge, just some chicken and veg – but I felt like I was back in ketosis maybe only a day later – is this possible? Does this demonstrate the ability (as you mentioned in your article) to ‘switch’? I’m just curious, I find this all very interesting 🙂

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Hi Emma,

      Have you actually been tracking with a ketone meter of some sort or are you just guessing?

      • Emma says:

        I know I was in ketosis before because of ketostix and I knew I was back in because of ketostix. But I only guessed that I’d taken myself out of ketosis because of how rubbish I felt – the same sort of rubbish I’ve experienced when I know I’ve not been in ketosis before.

      • Gale Hawkins says:

        Emma from my experience getting into ketosis takes time. Perhaps I had a fatty liver that was not at first able to burn fat very well. Leaving off carbs was not easy but I finally have about 20 accidental carbs a day from almonds, cottage cheese, etc. It was 2.5 months after cutting the carbs, watching the protein and mainly living on coconut oil for 80% of my calories did I lose the first pound. I use the $13.97 breath analyzer off of eBay to determine if I am getting into ketosis and at what relative level. If you eat out be aware to keep people coming back some ‘healthy’ food in restaurants has a ton of sugar in it. I am doing keto for pain relief for my arthritis but for any other seasons as will. After the first week or two I Goggled “Dying from using coconut oil” because I was so sick. The kill off I guess it was what was the problem. That passed after 2-3 weeks. Remember everyone can be different. If one is not willing to give it 90 days to trying to get into and stay in a state of ketosis that person may want to skip trying ketosis.

  • Arnie says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Just wondering what your thoughts are on the Carb Nite diet ? (10 days of no carbs and then a back loaded carb day every 7 days)

    Arnie

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Hey Arnie,

      There’s definitely merit to the concept. The problem I have with it is that many people who follow it don’t care about the quality of the carbs they’re eating. This is the same with carb-backloading. So, on that load day (or night) they’re eating pizzas, cookies, etc. instead of low-toxin, low-inflammation, high nutrient carb sources. If you follow the protocol using safe starches and even some properly prepared legumes then it’s fine.

      Does that make sense?

      • Arnie says:

        Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

        I don’t know if you have had a chance to read Kiefer’s book on his Carb Nite Diet? He does say that there isn’t any problem with eating these type of carbs and it’s impossible to be stored as fat? I’m trying to find as many views on his claim, if you make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need elsewhere, do you still disagree that you can eat what you like on these carb backloaded nights?

        Arnie

      • Kevin Geary says:

        Yes, I still disagree because these foods destroy the gut and cause other issues. I haven’t read his book so I don’t know what the context of his claim is. If he means it “doesn’t matter” as far as fat storage goes, then fine. If he means it “doesn’t matter” in terms of health, then I’d whole-heartedly disagree with that.

      • Arnie says:

        That’s fair. I think his theory is that to get a high enough insulin response you have to go for high glycemic carbs, that also gives you the boost to your metabolism. I suppose if you do it long term then with it come the health implications, but then eating a pizza once a week with a dessert or two that an average person might eat over a week can’t be all that bad? And doubly so for someone that regularly exercises?

  • Arnie says:

    Great, thanks for your responses! I will bare this in mind.

  • Aimee says:

    Kevin,

    I’m in my fourth week on low-carb (9-22 net carbs daily; averaging 14 net carbs per day), and I’m having trouble reaching optimal ketosis. I have ranged from 0.2-0.8 mmol/L using my blood ketone meter. Are there any medical conditions that may prevent one from reaching optimal ketosis? I’m a long way off, and weight loss is very, very slow and minimal this time around (8 lbs. in 3.5 weeks). I have tried eliminating all pre-packaged foods and artificial sweeteners. Thanks for any guidance you may be able to provide.

    • Danny says:

      Aimee
      Although it is important to keep your carbs low, what is even more important is to proper fat intake. The ratio of your healthy fats and moderate protein intake plays a great role also. Your fat intake needs to be in the 70% range

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Hi Aimee, I’m afraid your question is beyond the scope of the comments section. There’s simply too many factors that need to be looked at. This is something we do inside of Total Body Reboot.

  • Michelle says:

    Hi Kevin,

    My psychiatrist put me on a ketogenic diet to help balance my moods as I have bipolar disorder. My father did the Atkins diet years ago and is concerned about hypoglycemia. I am prone to this and was wondering what your thoughts are?

  • paul says:

    Hey I started a keto diet because im doing a bodybuilding comp in 3mths. I’ve gone past that keto flu that was crazy. I recently tested my ketones I got 0.7mmol then its dropped to 0.3mmol. My carbs are 20g a day fats 200g protein 180g-200g a day. I just want to achieve optimal range. Could me being 12% body fat be a factor why I cant achieve this

  • Annette says:

    Iv been trying to cut some of my body fat % and I have been seeing a nutritionist who has told me that I have built up some insulin resistance. He has advised me to go on a Keto diet for 4 weeks to see how I go. It has been quite a struggle for me as I am not use to eating so much meat. I wanted to see if anyone knew how Keto works. This time around i found it quite easy to get into Ketosis but i have read around and for some people they may even need to cut out vegetables to reach this same state. Is anyone able to advise whether a persons body can be immune to being in a ketosis state and what would happen if I suddenly ate heaps of carbohydrates? would it take longer to get back into Ketosis? Hope to hear all your thoughts! Thanks

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Hi Annette, I’m not sure I follow. You said you got into ketosis but then said you’re struggling to do so? The meat eating isn’t really a part of ketosis. In fact, if you eat too much protein, you can kick yourself out of ketosis. Do you have a specific question that I can answer?

  • Rachael says:

    Hi Kevin

    I am about to start my ketosis experiment tomorrow. I have always shied away from ketosis diets because I get very dizzy when I miss a meal- basically I burn sugar and my addicted metabolism pushes me to seek more. I had my 3rd baby two years ago and at 32 I am a loose chubby woman. I did the low fat low calorie diet called Slimming World ( I am from Northern Ireland), I lost a stone in 6 weeks and then got fed up of being hungry and just ate like normal.

    My sister made me think of ketosis, so I have been avidly researching it and I have to say your article is definitely the most coherent and seemingly sane argument I have read so far, and I have read a LOT!

    I read some of your other articles about exercise, and chronic exercise- this notion appeals to me. Efficient short period of time vs marathon runs. I am essentially a product of my ancestors and I naturally seek the easiest/efficient route! Some say laziness, I say it’s intelligence.

    I shall check in again in a fortnight, I am hoping I shall see some fat burning results by then.

    I will also stick to my normal 1km swim, and one session of leg toning per week, for the time being. I did have notions of stepping up my exercise to every other day. I think this may be too many variables however, so I will stick with low carbs, good fats and moderate protein for the next 14 days.

    Here goes nothing!

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Thank you for the comment and kind words. Just a heads up: you’re probably not going to feel very good about your performance in exercise during this transition. It takes a LONG time for the body to completely transition to a point where any sort of athletic performance can be realized during ketosis. Some people never seem to get there. So, just a heads up.

  • Pamela says:

    Hi,

    I was wondering about calories and optimum numbers to stay at to lose weight. I’m a bit confused. Some people say don’t count them and other say you need to. I’m afraid I’ll gain weight if I don’t track and eat that much fat in my diet.

    Thanks

  • Aaron says:

    I am 74″ tall & 242lbs today. I started ketosis last week and have lost 9 lbs. Day one was fine, day two ketosis flu, day three I was in the ketosis zone. I could feel it working. For 2013 I swam (161 miles), biked (471miles), strength trained for 45 minutes three times per week and for half that year I kick boxed twice per week (2hrs) as well. I rarely left the 250lb zone +/- 5 lbs for the entire year. Frustrating. My HDL was low, LDL normal Triglycerides high, Cholesterol normal. I believe I have recently overcome a 20 year fatty liver issue with the described workouts above and an alkiline diet plan. Also in 2013 I had a problem with post workout energy drops, like I had been shot with a tranquilizer dart and would sleep for up to three hours post workouts. Enter the nutritionist. In July 2014 my nutritionist read my food diary, noticed my roughly 2500 calorie intake and told me my system was in a state of starvation and soon had me on 4000 calories/day, lots of carbs, medium protien, low fats and I gained weight. She also monitored my body fat with an electronic handheld device and it was 24.8%. My 2014 workouts have changed some because of tendonitis but it sure is nice to lose weight this easily with less workouts. I use turmeric, glucosamine & chondroitin and eat my garden kale, swiss chard and string beans either raw or slightly cooked along with bacon, eggs, cheese, various meats, olive and coconut oils, and pork rinds. Lastly, with the discovery of a growing pollup in my gall bladder and the threat of cancer in 2012, I am happy to report the pollup has stopped growing through a strict 80% alkiline diet for two years where I even drank ionized water everyday. I drink no alcohol, no drugs, use no tobacco products and very few sweets or soda. Green tea with lemon or just water mostly. Recently I found a ketosis web page where I entered in my body info an I am suceeding in weight loss with (9lbs lost!) 233g fat, 187g protein, 25g carbs each day. Even lost weight during a long and fun county fair this past week. Amazing. In the future when I reach my goal weight and my tendons feel better, will I always need ketosis?

  • Susan says:

    Going on week 3 of low carbohydrate diet; not thinking I am yet in ketosis but my liver may be depleted of glycogen as I have been suffering with unreal insomnia. Bed at 9, up at 2, yawning, etc. I know my breath is kicked up, which I hope will improve. My blood ketones have only hovered between 0.3 and 0.5……looking for hope here somewhere. I feel as though I eat very carefully, though I am not a calorie counter. I eat 2 eggs in the a.m. when I can (some days I get no breakfast) and a small amount of meat for lunch and supper. I wait at least 5 hours between meals to avoid confounding the leptin and macadamia and pecans have been my only “indulgence”. Words of hope? Anyone?

  • Bri says:

    Hello,

    My boyfriend and I have both been on the keto diet for about 3 weeks so far. He has lost around 6lbs and I have lost 2. I am not on this for weight loss (I have 19.5% body fat), but rather for athletic pursuits. We are both competitive athletes with 2 or more high intensity practices per week (2 hours long each), in addition to weekend tournaments (7-8 games lasting ~1.5 hours each, on the field running for about 20-30 minutes of each 1.5 hour game).

    My question is: is there a way to integrate more carbs in our diet and still remain in ketosis? We are both noticing extremely low energy levels at practices and tournament, and it is having a negative affect on out performance. Any help would be amazing. Thank you!

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Hi Bri — Keto isn’t what I would call an “athlete’s protocol.” There are some athletes who are keto who do very well but most people struggle with it. It also tends to work much better for low intensity, long-duration activities rather than activities that need quick burst, power, speed, etc. The physical demands placed on your body do usually mean you can eat more carbs and stay in ketosis vs someone with low activity levels but there’s a lot of calculating to figure out what the threshold is. For all these reasons, keto remains something I recommend for people who are treating medical conditions and not for every day people. Most of my clients want to stop obsessing about food, not **start** obsessing 😉

  • Janet says:

    Hi i have been wanting to try keto for a long time i went from 135lbs to 127lbs and cannot breakthrough to my previous weight of 115lbs. I am 25 year old female i weight train 3-6 days a week so I know I can’t just be very broad but I need to get my macros very precise to lose the last few lbs, after reading your blog just now I noticed it said it can take weeks even months to even get keto adapted, I guess my question is how do I know how low to keep my carbs to be in ketosis? Right now I am keeping them around 40 net carbs but it is only my third day and I would hate to go three weeks even 8 weeks assuming 40 net carbs is low enough only to find out months later I’m still not in ketosis because I should have been lower …. what do you suggest about how I figure out when I’m in ketosis so that I don’t get discouraged and give up? Also I’ve read some post saying that if you weight train you should pick a day to “carb up” every week or it can hirt your weightloss efforts, I don’t understand how this is true?

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Hi Janet,

      You don’t need to be keto to reach your goals. Based on the situation you describe, it doesn’t sound right for you. By all means, experiment with it. But, based on what I’ve heard thus far it’s not something I would recommend you spend a lot of time on.

  • Lee Kelly says:

    I went from about 232 to a low of 187 on medifast. I stabilized at around 193. By this, I mean that I really didn’t have to pay much attention to what I was eating. I had changed my eating habits and had become accustomed to eating much healthier. That was about 3 years ago. During that time I had ordered medifast for two months. I am currently at around 205 and would like to go back down to where I was and even further. I would really like to be 180. I am married now and drifted a little in my eating habits. Perhaps that is what caused the weight gain. According to ketostix I have been in ketosis numerous times, sometimes for a couple weeks before I screw it up and drop out. After a few days I’m back in the game. It was easy to lose while on a ‘plan’ like medifast. However, I really don’t want to do that again. It is expensive and i’m not so sure it really teaches good eating habits. I would like to achieve these goals by eating what I readily available here. What I am doing now is 4 strips of side pork (un-curred bacon) and about 110 g of mushrooms for breakfast. For lunch I eat a hard boiled egg and an oz of nuts. For Dinner I either do around 8oz of talipia or a can of Tuna and another hard boiled egg. I know some would get tired of this but I really don’t mind doing this for a period of time to get to where I need to be. The problem is, I’m not really losing. I have been aiming for about 5% carbs, 20% Protein and 75% Fat. I am not hungry at all, but i’m also not losing. My calorie intake is around 1200 daily. Also, forgot to mention, for breakfast I cook the pork with 2 tbsp of coconut oil and I also have 4 tbsp of heavy cream daily in tea or coffee. Has anyone else hit a wall in trying to lose fat via ketogenic diet? Any suggestions?

  • Sunshine says:

    I am a vegetarian and I want to do the keto diet for mental clarity reasons. I have been eating lots of carbs most of my life and recently I have hit some serious lows. I have been trying out the keto diet for a few days now and I am beginning to feel a little more stable. I was wondering about how long it takes before I can start feeling completely stable again. Will that happen when I achieve optimal ketosis? Any advice for vegetarian keto folks?

    • Marque says:

      I’m a ova-vegetarian We were was having too many nights of eat, drink and by merry ! I gained 10 pounds It was diet time. I did kick start- zero carbs diet for one week then it goes to a low carb diet after that. I feel great after four or five days my body adjusted. I eat a lot of eggs fried in coconut oil with zero carb cheese with 1tsp cream cheese mixed tastes rich. I I went to the vitamin store and asked the guy at the desk who is a body builder, about a good tasting zero carb high protein drink He said, “people really like the taste of Isopure it is a high protein/zero carb” Simply mix water, ice Isopure, and almond milk in blender what I like about this method works for me . Now I watch I keep my carb intake low, if I we go out eat italian, Indian Thai or garden burger fries… I eat , drink and by merry and not flip out about it , Then next day I get right back to my low carb . I stay away from most sweetners, except I do you Xylitol that is the one my holistic doctor likes and considers it the safest. And I drink tons of Market Spice Decaf, Cinnamon Orange sweet tea it is naturally sweet and has zero carbs, It is $20.00 a bag for 50 tea bags , One bag brews in small tea kettle and makes 3-4 four cups of sweet tea

  • Rachel says:

    I’ve recently started john keifers carb nite solution although I’ve been finding I have no energy at all. I want to cut body fat but build muscle and need energy for the gym to do so.

    Previous I just stuck to moderate low carb diet eating ‘clean’ food but that includes eating lots of fruit and veg? Will that hold back my fat loss?

    I can’t help but think that a diet lacking I’m lots of veggies and fruit is healthy.

  • Keto Lover says:

    Great article on ketosis =)

    Especially the piece on performance!

  • Brooke Reed Hartle says:

    Thank you!!!

  • Neptronix says:

    I’ve just started in at the gym after a year and a month of eating the low carb way and losing 82lbs without exercise. I’ve found that most people spend 30 minutes there, 3 days a week.. i spend 2 hours there on average every day and usually don’t even come hungry afterwards. I don’t get tired either. It’s just that i figure i should go home at some point.

    The ketogenic diet was super easy to start and continue. No other diet worked for me – required willpower beyond what i was able to sum up because i was losing the battle with my metabolism.

    I think you really ought to examine some experiences of successful long term ketogenic dieters and reconsider your position. I am certainly not alone.

    • SSR says:

      I’m happy it worked for you. For me, I almost wreaked my system. I have both hormonal imbalances and hypothyroidism, but, due to comments like yours and every keto fanatic saying “push through it, it gets better”, I suffered from chronic inflammation and lethargy that absolutely killed any desire to work out. Turns out, ketosis is not good for everyone. I went low carb (up to 100 net grams), am out of ketosis, have my energy back and am still losing weight. I’m not saying it’s a bad way to lose weight, but I appreciated this article because most others try to make you feel like a failure if you state the facts that keto is not for everyone.

    • Neptronix I feel the same way. Yes I studied how to get into ketosis and maintain it which took some work but now that I know how much carb, protein, and fat my body needs to stay in ketosis it is extremely easy. If I have a cheat day then yes I am knocked out of ketosis but I start eating healthy again and go back into it within a few days. This is a lifestyle change not a diet so it takes some time to get used to and learn about.
      My energy level is better then it ever has been before and my mental state is happier. Unfortunately articles like this scare people away to try this lifestyle and potentially see amazing health results from it and not just for their body but for their mind. Sad story

      • MH says:

        Hi Sean…don’t ya see…he’s trying to market, promote and sell his product…He does make valid points and seems rather intellectual and bright however he’s too forward in his approach which is essentially why I think he’s anti the keto diet..there’s certainly some downsides but overall, the plusses seem to supersede them. I did enjoy reading your comment btw.

      • Kevin Michael Geary says:

        When an articles main selling point is that something is “too hard” or that Keto is not sustainable because you actually have to be accountable for what you shove in your mouth, it sounds terribly weak minded.

        What’s weak is taking an article that has many arguments and boiling it down into a straw man of the easiest argument you think you can provide a rebuttal for.

        Obesity and high carb diets are killing people.

        Obesity is killing people. There’s nothing inherently evil about carbohydrates. I dismantled that dogma here –– https://rebootedbody.com/carbohydrates/

        I think telling people to start making changes is much better than writing weak articles that make self control of your diet sound “obsessive”.

        I do tell people to make changes. I tell them to make changes that are practical and sustainable rather than extreme and based on what is turning into another dietary religion.

        There’s nothing wrong w a lil obsession about eating healthy and not wanting to become obese.

        But there *is* something wrong with asserting that keto is the only way to not become obese.

      • Kevin Michael Geary says:

        I find your take on Keto to be very flippant and uninformed. Have you even done keto your self? Have you talked face to face with actually keto success stories/people?

        Yes to both. Extensively.

        I just want to make you aware that your article could potentially scare away people from keto who desperately need keto.

        Keto is not necessary for most people. It’s far more restrictive and impractical than most would like. I’m glad you find it easy, but we also have no idea how long you’ve been doing it. Countless people have sung its praises until they realized that it wasn’t so practical after all, did some unforeseen damage, etc.

        I’ve been doing this for years and years. I doubt you’ve been doing keto for that long. So, people can take your comments for what they’re worth and mine for what they’re worth. As always, it’s up to each individual to decide for themselves.

      • Kevin Michael Geary says:

        I did keto for 6 months. Maybe it’s not smart to make assumptions. The rest of what you said is simply conjecture.

      • aly says:

        Jeeze, why no edit function here? Correction #2 “if you’re not counting carbs” should say “if you’re not counting calories”.

        If you’re 5’6 and eating 2500 calories per day, then your body is doing exactly the right thing. There’s still MATH involved.

      • aly says:

        correction: Not a single vegetable other than kale. You’re supposed to ROTATE vegetables. You’re not eating 30 carbs of kale in one day. WHAT carbs are you eating?

    • JP says:

      Excellent rebuttal. My story is similar, but not really. I barely get the gym. I am a busy dad of many kids. I work in a kitchen. And I love my keto diet. I last longer and think more clearly than my fellow parents. I invest time in food but also look forward to my fasting times.
      When I do go to the gym or to karate, i don’t leave tired. Recovered fast.

      Good words, keto is a great lifestyle

    • brunhilda96 says:

      I totally agree! Weekly I spend about 7-10 h at the gym where I do a lot of very high intensity cardio mixed with pilates inspired exercises and a good amount of stretching. On top of that 4.5 h weekly dancing and walking at least 1.5 h daily (because of my lifestyle, i don’t have a car and i’m not a fun of public transport). Before i went keto I could only do half of that and I always felt tired. On keto I get to eat everything I love (cheese, butter and meat!), i eat around 2500 and more daily and I’ve been gradually loosing fat and toning. I did go vegetarian, vegan and paleo before (I do think paleo is a great diet tho) but nothing worked as amazingly as this.

      And mental clarity is not a small positive, but a life changing one. Not saying everyone should go keto, since I know some people do very well on high carb diet, but if your body is good with digesting fats, keto is miracle and makes life sooo much easier. All the negatives of keto you described are dependent on daily routines and lifestyle in general, just because they don’t fit you doesn’t mean its a general truth for everyone. Apart form the gut health argument (which is only potential, highly complicated and not very informative) everything in this post is opinion based and biased.

    • Kija says:

      hi, congratulations on your weight loss. I started the Keto food plan 3 weeks ago and have been testing to be sure I was in ketosis. I was and did not cheat at all. wellll…I decided to go off this food plan and immediately gained 5 pounds in 2 days. Imagine how sad I feel right now. I am not sure if I was taking in too many calories but I did not lose and then gained as soon as I ate a normal carb. Any advice? I read so many stories about people loosing so much weight.

    • Matt says:

      Amen, this article is rather weak.

      • Danie Venter says:

        Yea people think they do keto right but they dont

      • Kevin Geary says:

        The things I’ve mentioned in this article are an issue when people do Keto “right….”

      • Kevin Geary says:

        It doesn’t really matter what Phinney and Volek say when I go Keto and lose explosiveness. They can claim that it won’t happen, but that has nothing to do with the objective observation of it actually happening to me personally.

        In my other article about ketosis, I recommend that people experiment with it so they can very upsides and downsides for themselves personally.

        But please don’t come here saying I’m spouting “unscientific and nonexistent negative effects” when I’m talking about things that have observed in myself and others (not rats, I might add).

        Let’s not be silly and say, “what you experienced couldn’t have really happened because I read this book that says something else.”

        You can believe whatever you want to believe. What you CAN’T do is tell me that what I experienced and what others have experienced didn’t actually happen.

  • Margaret RC says:

    1. It’s not necessary to be obsessive because it’s not important to be in ketosis all the time. Just stay away from sugar (except some low sugar fruit) and starch most of the time, eat when hungry, eat until not hungry any more, and don’t eat again until hungry again. Metabolism only slows down if the body doesn’t get enough calories. But we have calories stored–we just need to be able to access them (by keeping insulin low) and we can get all the calories we need from our food AND our body fat. 2. See 1. If not obsessive about it, it can fit into anyone’s lifestyle. I’ve had no problems sticking with a keto lifestyle for nearly 4 years and I plan to for the rest of my life. It’s not just about weight. It’s about health. 3. Read “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance’ By Drs. Phinney and Volek before making unscientific statements about the (nonexistent) negative effects of keto diets. Being in keto is glycogen sparing, so it is not a hindrance when doing any kind of activity. Drs. Phinney and Volek have been studying keto diets for decades and have numerous peer reviewed scientific papers published in reputable journals. They’re my go to source for information on keto diet and performance.

    • Lisa says:

      Exactly. If you do keto correctly you get to a point where you can be flexible. I can eat 80 healthy carbs and stay in ketosis. My gut is healthier than ever with fermented foods and bone broth.

    • Kevin Geary says:

      @Matt,

      You’re welcome to make an argument to support your position. But simply saying an article is weak without any supporting evidence, is, by definition, as weak as it gets.

      • Daniel Gonzalez says:

        That is quite debatable. However, no one said that Keto was for everyone. Different strokes for different folks. What works for me, may not work for you. There’s always going to be those crazies that say their diet is best. Vegans online tend to prove that.

      • Joshua says:

        What about CKD (cyclic keto diet) or TKD (targeted keto diet). Both of these things address muscle glycogen and explosiveness for exercising. I do heavy bb squats and dead lifts going on a year of keto. But I do tkd. Eating carbs right before and after weights.

  • Haze Anderson says:

    “I wrote this article because I’m noticing a trend in the popularity of ketogenic eating…”

    Back to the drawing board.

  • Rich Kibble says:

    I first heard of Keto via Lyle McDonald. He had always positioned it as something very short and targeted, because it’s so tough to maintain. So much so that he advised some serious appetite suppressants. In the context of short “get shredded for the beach bro” I can see the application. Generally though I dont get why you’d want to do it. Especially long term.

  • Dan says:

    I’ve been doing the Atkins low carb diet for 10 days and it has not been difficult. It is true that I’m eating less calories than I used to but I feel satiated. I don’t feel like I’m starving myself at all. I read that if the Carbs in your diet are low enough your body will use its own fat for fuel. I’m averaging a pound per day of weight loss. I also work up a sweat riding an elliptical for 30+ minutes per day. One side effect I have noticed is that I think my breath does smell bad, although my wife has not said anything yet. I find it very pleasurable to consume the foods that I eat like meat omelets, chicken cordon bleu, steak, salmon, nuts and cheese. I firmly believe that my mental clarity has improved and I agree with you about this diet not being ideal for sports that require explosive bursts of speed. I recently played basketball and I was not as quick but I will be quicker after the fat disappears.

    • Shawn says:

      This is normal. It’s glycogen that replenishes and stocks back up in your liver. The same way, when you get into ketosis, you easily lose like 5 pounds in the first 3-4 days. Again, it’s water weight and glycogen.

      • Liam Foley says:

        “Keto Religion” that does sum it up accurately. People on Keto do preach it with religious zeal. Although I do agree that this diet may be good for some people I also have to acknowledge that for myself it is too draconian and rigid and in the end unnecessary. I am eating what I think is a healthy balanced diet. Sure, I do very well eliminating the bad carbs but I also eat many fruits and vegetables that are now allowed on the Keto plan which demonstrates how restrictive it is. As I said, it’s not necessary. I have lost 32 pounds so far and I’m not doing Keto. I’m doing a diet that is healthy and one I can live with for the long run.

    • Brett Irvine says:

      Your weight gain was water. I have a cheat day every two weeks and last Saturday I did my carb day. On Monday I was up 7 lbs. I went back into ketosis through the week and was down 8lbs by Saturday. Usually i dont put on that much water weight after a cheat day. Usually maybe 4-5 lbs. When you reintroduce the carbs, your blood glucose will rise as will your insulin levels , and the glucose will be stored in the fat cells with an uptake of water. Also when insulin is on the rise, your kidneys are signaled to store sodium (with that comes water). When you go back into ketosis you lose the water weight again. I have lost over 60 lbs in under 5 months on keto and done no exercise. I don’t fear the water weight gain after a carb day. It’s normal. Believe me it is not fat gain. Yes you lose water weight on keto pretty fast and its not all fat. I know that. I probably dropped over 40 lbs in water. I don’t care if it was water or fat. My pants fit a whole lot better with 60 lbs less on me whether it was mostly water or not. 🙂
      Keto worked great for me as exercise was not an option. I created a video course on it if you need help. Mostly because all my friends were asking me about it. http://www.fastketoweightloss.com
      Hope this helps and I wish you the best success!

  • TJ says:

    I have been in ketosis for 6 months and have lost 70 lbs. I want to start my day with oatmeal and not bacon and eggs. Will this intake of steel cut oats take me out of ketosis or would my body adjust?

  • Anna says:

    Hi. Thank you for posting all this information. Just wondering how to do ketosis being a vegan, since eggs, bacon and other meats seems to be a big part of this diet. Maybe harder to get enough fat on a vegan diet as well? Would love to hear some ideas from you who is more experienced with keto.

  • Bruno says:

    Hello Kevin,
    First of all, I like your article, full of useful information and not too much crap that nobody cares about, keep up the good work.
    Now, if you have a moment I’d like you to give me your opinion on my problem. My new year’s decision was to try out the keto diet. I’ve read a lot about how it could take up to 3 months to get keto-adapted, so I didn’t expect much in the begining. Still, I bought a ketone meter maybe 5 days after I started eating lchf. On roughly the 7th day after I started, my ketones were 1.1 mmol/l. I was astounded and happy, as I started feeling great, didn’t have to eat as much or as often, had more energy etc., and so after some time I came to a level of 2,1 mmol/l, which was my peak. After about two weeks I fell sick, and I don’t know if it has anything to do with what happened, but essentially my ketone levels dropped down to a level of 0,2 mmol/l. I tried to get back for the next two weeks, but I failed. Then I went to a bbq party with my friends and ate lots of sugar (bread, cookies, soda and stuff). That was 3 weeks ago. After that day up until now my diet was essentially the same as it was when I got into ketosis in January. Today I measured my ketones again, and got 0,2 again. I measured because I started feeling less hungry again, thought I felt acetone in my breath the other day, so I decided to give it another go. I guess you can imagine I was quite disappointed.
    So my question would be : does it make sense for me to be able to get into ketosis after 8 days for the first time, and then not being able to get back a second time after 3 weeks? I know some people do take a lot longer than that, but I’m starting to think I’m doing something wrong and it’s frustrating not eating all the delicious cakes and cookies that my mother makes, always having to walk past the bakeries that sell all those mouth-watering carbs… If I’m not getting results for whatever reason, I no longer have the motivation to continue with keto, so I’d like to know what you think of this.
    Sorry, it’s quite a long read, thanks for your time and thoughts!
    Bruno

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Hi Bruno,

      As I said in the conclusion, I don’t think keto is right for most people. As you can see, there’s a lot of struggles and challenges. Why mess with it when you can get the results you’re after with an authentic real-food, functional fitness, psychology approach like Reboot or even just following the six pillars on your own?

      • Bruno says:

        Thank you for a fast reply Kevin, and I am always open to new things to try, but the reason I want to get back into ketosis is the way I felt when I was there, I felt pumped up with energy, I was always sated (compared to being hungry most of the time before getting into ketosis). On the other hand, Reboot is again something new that I may consider after a while, when and if I conclude that ketosis may not be my solution after all.
        Best regards

  • Juliet says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Great article, thanks. I have explored keto style a few times, the first time going strictly Atkins for several weeks, and losing weight very quickly. I managed to keep most of that off, even though I reverted to a very high carb diet after a while. Went on and off a few times but couldn’t stick to it because I hit a carb craving intensity that drove me insane. Was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the end of November last year, and knew that keto style is what I need to do, not only to lose weight, but to drop my bsl quickly. This time I have been a lot more relaxed (in some ways) following keto style rather than the strict atkins induction, and have concentrated on making sure I get enough fat, something my lifetime of low fat dieting had instilled a great fear in me of. I’ve found that while I’m not losing weight quite as fast, as long as I have enough fat, I’m not insanely searching the house for carbs in the middle of the night, and I’ve been able to stick to my plan for over 3 months, including the Christmas period, with only 3 deliberate times I’ve chosen to eat something high carb/processed etc. I’ve lot a total of 17 kilos (approx 38lb) in that time, with several plateaus along the way. I’ve also gone from a completely sedentary lifestyle to swimming an hour a day and have just added an extra 30 -45 mins riding a pushbike in also. For me, being able to not only do this amount of exercise, but actually look forward to it, is massive. I still have a long way to go weight wise, but I’m now 67kg down from my highest weight, and still doing well. Over 40 kg of that has been from following keto style, so it obviously works for me. My blood sugar levels have gone from between 16 and 22mmol down to between 4.5 and 6. And that’s in 3 months.
    I really think the key, is re-educating your mind to stop seeing quality fat as evil. I eat whole foods. Low carb, low starch vegies. Olive oil, coconut oil or butter, avocado. Good quality protein (I buy the best I can afford, it’s not always grass fed or organic, but it’s the best I can do). Eggs.
    I’m quite amazed at the level of fitness I have managed to achieve just since Christmas. And the best part is, that I do not crave carbs. I do not need them like I used to. And I highly recommend anyone anyone who is struggling with their weight gives it a try. It takes more than a week or two. Give yourself a good month. The energy I feel is phenomenal compared to how I felt before. I’m no athlete – but for me it has been the best way to change my life for the good quickly. I’ve tried low cal, low fat etc. got fatter and fatter. And on those diets I found I had to exercise 3 or 4 hours a day to keep losing weight. I’m sold 🙂

  • Sue says:

    Hi Kevin,
    I have been trying 2 get into Ketosis for 2 month. I also bought a glucose tear. My gym work outs strength & cardio are worse since going on the keto diet and my blood glucose levels range between 5 – 6 mml. I’m frustrated as I don’t think I will ever get into ketosis. I also fasted 24 hours and ate 60/20/10% fat/protein/carb meal consisting of egg, salad with MCT oil dressing & 1/4 avo. I think I’m doing all the right things and still can’t get into Ketosis my readings on a fast & 7klm run was 4.8. I’m just about to give up cause I feel like crap & can’t work out like I use to. Can you offer some advice before I ditch this & call it a gimmick diet.

  • Kaitlyn says:

    I’ve been doing keto since mid-January, and I’m unhappy with the results. After the first week or so of induction, I felt great, but now I feel like I’m not getting the results I’d hoped for. I’m 5″ 6′ and about 130 lbs. I feel I look better around 122 lbs. I once got as low as 117, but that looked sickly on my frame.

    I got into keto because the insulin theory fascinated me. I’d never heard about it before, and it’s the opposite of how we’re encouraged to eat, with grains and starches at the base of the “pyramid”. Even though it’s been challenging — and expensive — I’ve pushed through in the hopes of finally reaching the “keto grail” I’ve been waiting for: that exquisite moment when my body finally taps into the extra fat I’m holding on to, I have all kinds of energy, and I can restrict with ease because I’m no longer hungry. I was seriously concerned about how I’d add calories back in; that’s how sure I was that the pounds would melt off and my appetite would be nonexistent.

    Instead, what’s happened is this:

    — increased fat on the thighs (I recently noticed cellulite there for the first time);
    — strange periods of fatigue and panic;
    — strange sleeping habits (sometimes I’m dead to the world, other times I sleep fitfully);
    — depletion of gut flora with resultant body odor (I’ve never in my life had that problem until now);
    — intermittent irritation and impatience; and most importantly
    — little to no weight loss.

    Regarding the last point, I have to admit that I haven’t been counting calories. But the biggest thing that drew me to the diet was the idea that I wouldn’t have to, that my body, once freed from the shackles of high insulin, would automatically tap into its fat reserves and self-regulate. But that hasn’t happened. I’m averaging about 2,200 to 2,500 a day (at my goal weight, it should be about 1,600). Granted, I haven’t *gained* weight, but I’m not happy with the way things are going, and I want out.

    Therein lies the rub. I’m now terrified of going back to carbs, even the so-called “safe” ones (like the odd sweet potato). I’m afraid I could end up gaining ten pounds virtually overnight, due to the water retention inherent in carb consumption.

    I live on kale, eggs, cream cheese, palm oil, butter, chicken, erythritol, and sugar-free energy drinks. I feel proud of no longer being enslaved to bread, cookies, and cereal, but now I feel enslaved to the keto foods, because my appetite’s kicked in like whoa, and the more I try to restrict my calories, the more I keep eating.

    At this point, I honestly wish I’d gone a different route. I wish I’d seen articles like this during my research in December, before I decided to give this a go.

    And did I mention it’s expensive? I’m averaging about $40 in groceries every few days.

    Hopefully, someone has something helpful to add. I’d really like to get down to my goal weight with the 80%-diet protocol (i.e., not having to exercise) and stay there. Yes, I’m on my way to review the “Rebooted Body” spiel, but if anyone has some high-level comments on why this isn’t working, I’d be very grateful. Carbs are well under 30 per day, and I’ve been 100% compliant, with nary a “cheat”, because I really wanted this to work and was sure it would.

  • Molly says:

    Are you saying that while I’m in ketosis after a couple of days if I’m doing eveything correctly, I’m not going to experience reduced/disappearance of hunger until I’m in in for a couple of weeks or more? Is it ever less? I feel less hunger, but no great change.

  • Molly says:

    But if I’m in ketosis after two days and not experiencing a decrease in hunger, this doesn’t mean that it won’t change in a few more days? I just don’t understand how I’m in day 4 of ketosis and still quite hungry. I get energy bursts, clear headedness, but my hunger remains.

    • Kevin Geary says:

      If you’re hungry, then you should eat more food. Ignoring your body’s signals isn’t a good idea.

  • christan says:

    fair enough article, but i have also noticed people who say they do keto right, arent doing it right at all; at least from my experience. They keep drinking coffee, eating these weird low carb replacements, eating too much protein, not sleeping right etc.

    Yes keto is somewhat restrictive, and can be obsessive in the beginning when you are trying to adapt and getting your glucose down and ketones up but after a while you know what works for you and you can drop alot of that providing you dont make huge changes in your lifestyle

    Personally keto has been great, I’ve been doing it for 3 years with no refeeds 6’0 male 92kg and 14%bf, since starting keto my asthma and psoriasis has completely gone, and I no longer suffer from bouts of depression. I dont drink coffee, none of the bulletproof nonsense just herbal teas and yeah I did have the flu like symptoms when adapting but after about 2 weeks I felt great, flu symptoms disappeared and my energy levels were better than before.

    I think people should give it a go, but properly. Eat cruciferous vegs, cut out as much toxicity as you can e.g. coffee, excessive nuts and eat decent fats like avocados, fish, offal.

  • Emily says:

    Aw come on, obsessive can be used to describe someone who goes to the gym (or attempts to be physical) 4-5 times a week. In the beginning of anything one gets good at, is at first an obsession. And when this action becomes a part of one’s lifestyle or daily regimen, then there is no need for such focus on it therefor the term “obsession” is no longer applicable. But we all know that weather it be working out, learning to read and or playing and instrument ~ this is good. If my body didn’t function properly and i had to force feed myself oxygen in order to stay alive, at first this would become an “obsession”. But it is needed to stay alive! So why such a negative connotation to the word obsession?

    Like many of the postive keto commenter’s above, I have experienced an increase in energy and endurance from choosing to replace most carbohydrates with good fat and quality protein. I still love and enjoy salads. And I don’t obsess over being in ketosis. But i do have more strength today in my mid 30’s than i did when i was in my 20’s and kick boxing. I can go all day without eating and not be sluggish. In fact I do all of my workouts on an empty stomach, in the a.m. I have also had a child every year for the past 9 years. Not only can i keep up with my growing brood (walks, tag, bike rides, swimming, etc.) but i do this along with my a.m. workouts which usually consist of 20 minutes of cardio and 15 minutes weight lifting. I do most of the housework, cook for 12 and rear 8 children currently 6 months pregnant. And rest assured, I’m no super human/mom. I could never have done all this when i was eating a high carbohydrate diet. The carbs weighed me down, made me feel depressed and i had to take naps when my babies napped. I’m not here to say it is for everyone. I am just telling you that it has become so popular because it is known to work. Bottom line.

  • AJ says:

    Dumbest, least scientific drivel i have ever read. More proof that if an idot has 49.95 a month to connect to the internet, they can post anything and get saps to believe it.

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Right on. Especially since just eating real food and not worrying or obsessing will work for the vast majority of people.

  • Armando says:

    What a dumb shit article. First of all, idiot, the body becomes much better at storing the little glycogen taken in, on a Keto diet, for activities that require glycogen. Furthermore, you only listed some of the reasons people do a Keto diet. You missed a big one, and that is when the brain is running primarily on beta-hydroxybutrate, instead of glucose, many people feel so much better–things like anxiety, depression, brain fog…they just fall off once you are adapted into that eating pattern.

  • steve godber says:

    There’s one thing that’s not entirely clear to me. You say the “body burns fatty acids for fuel, which create ketones as a byproduct. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of a fuel.”
    can you please explain, a little more, the relationship between fatty acids and ketones. We burn one to get to the other which we also then burn ?

    • Denise says:

      Hi. I’m trying a ketogenic diet under the direction of my functional medicine physician. I’m using the Wahl’s protocol, and I’m finding it hard tho get into ketosis. Lowered my carbs dramatically, but I’m still not there. Suggestions?

  • acsmith8213 says:

    It is definitely easy to follow and not obsessive. I have a medical condition (Insulin Resistant PCOS) that makes it very difficult for me to lose weight. I’ve even had surgery in order to help with it and gained everything back after adding all the “healthy” carbs back in. This is literally the only thing that has allowed me to lose weight on my own. My own blood work showed that my A1C was brought down after being on the ketogenic woe. I am now off of Prilosec because I do not need it anymore. I am going back for more blood work per my doctor for monitoring but she is THRILLED that I am continuing this woe. It is not for everyone and diabetics should be monitored by their doctors, but this is by far the best I’ve felt since I was a teenager and there are more doctors who have done research on this saying it IS something people may want to consider and there IS something to it than there are saying the opposite. There are several on Brian Williamson’s podcast you may want to check out.

    • Jeffrey MacDonald says:

      A ketogenic diet is man’s natural way of eating. Fat, protein, the body needs these things. The body can make it’s own carbohydrates, we are not designed to eat them in large amounts from external sources. The fact that we do is the cause of our obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease epidemics.

      • Brenda G. says:

        I have ADHD, and an obsessive personality. Personally, it serves me well because it often makes me great at things, hyper-focusing is an incredible thing. I don’t think obsession is always unhealthy. Of course there can be unhealthy obsessions like a stalker for example, or people with anorexia, which is what most people think of when they hear the work “obsession,” its sort of a trigger word that connotes a negative trait.

        I’ve been on Keto for about 3 weeks and I find I like the results. Yes, the first week and a half were hell, and I get “sick” here and there, but that might also have something to do with a new medication I’m currently in the process of adapting to. I was 274lbs on the first week of January, now I’m 259. I don’t feel hungry all the time, but I feel really thirsty, which is good because I was always dehydrated before I started this. Anyhow, becoming obsessive with it has driven me to learn new ways of cooking, try a lot of new meats and vegetables, making my own desserts from scratch. I don’t feel deprived in any way and personally it helps with sleep (which I’ve had problems with since my teens), stomach issues, depression, anxiety, and my overwhelming amount of nervous energy because of my ADHD. I also have hypoglycemia, which was one of the big reasons to start doing this, besides losing weight. I intend to go back to eating any type vegetable and fruit I want–in moderation of course–after I lose the weight, but I decided to stay away from grains for the most part, and definitely processed food for the rest of my life.

        I do understand its not for everyone, and I’m a true believer in getting all your info straight before you jump head first into something like a new lifestyle, or for some people a diet. In my case, my medical and emotional issues drove me to this, and have done wonders for my mood, and my energy.

  • Denise K says:

    I started Keto about 6 weeks ago. I eat 30g or under of carbs a day. I don’t cheat. I have lost about 15 lbs, but I am sorry I went on Keto. I have several health problems and I have been in terrible pain with acid reflex. I had GERD before I started and it is worse now. They put me on an ulcer medication to help, but it doesn’t always help. My doctor said I will probably end up having my gallbladder out if I stay on this, and yet she want me to stay on the diet. The most I have gone into ketosis is a trace. I am Type 2 Diabetic but my levels started going so low they took me off my pills. Now I don’t know what to do. My kidney doctor and my cardio doctor said they would like me to be on a different diet but now I am afraid to quit and gain back the weight. So I would say it isn’t the fix for everyone.

  • Travus Reimers says:

    I somehow found myself on this webpage and seen that a lot of the “disagreements” in the comments are about if a Keto “diet” is “obsessive”. Just because you have to “worry” about if your in ketosis does that mean it’s an obsession. I’ve been on keto for about a year and in my personal opinion I don’t believe that it is an obsession. At first used an app to log all the things I ate thoughout the day usually logging the meal as I was perperring them. (Like most people do on any diet) but after about a month of doing so I stared just eating throughout the day and at the end of the day I would log all the things I ate. A month after that I quit using the app completely because I knew what I could and couldn’t eat. I would say I was in ketosis most of the time if not all the time. Of course I never checked my ketones and stuff like that but Since starting keto I’ve lost over 100lbs. So that’s why I’m pretty sure I was in ketosis but like I said I have no proof but you can’t tell me just because I never checked, that I wasn’t in ketosis. A lot of people who diet or like to eat healthy, count calories. How Is that any less of an obsessive than what I’ve what I’ve been doing? The point is the “diet” it’s self isn’t obsessive it’s the person doing the “diet” that is being obsessive. Anything can become an obsession and just in case you forgot the definition of obsessed here it is. (preoccupied with or constantly worrying about something) I would say alot of people have obsessions whether its a tv series, a phone, or a diet. So my point is not any one thing/diet is more obsessive than any other thing/diet. But I would rather be “obsessed” over any “diet” then most of the other things people obsess over. Also some people believe true goals should become an obsession. I’ve read all the comments and I’m mainly just stating my opinion so please if you choose to reply know that this is just how I feel about the subject I’m not in any way trying to make you upset. I just believe this article is very one sided and I want people to understand that they shouldn’t listen to any one person that they should do there on research.

    • Daniel Gonzalez says:

      Sorry to say, but there are many that also do this on a long term basis. Even those who are athletic. You need to get out more.

      • Kaitlyn says:

        While I’d disagree with your categorization of “obsessive” — I think of it more as following the stated rules so as to rightly expect success — I thank you for taking the time to reply. Everyone who complains that keto isn’t working gets lectured about how they’re not “doing it right”, and I wanted to be sure that none of the usual proclamations (that I hadn’t stuck to macros, hadn’t consumed enough calories, hadn’t allowed enough time) could be accurately applied to my situation. In any case, I’ve gone back to what works for me (running and thermogenics), but I again appreciate the response.

  • Dr. Jay Wrigley says:

    I’m confused ? As a Physician who has taken the time to extensively study this subject, I just have to ask…..Why would you engage your opinion on this matter, knowing people might actually believe you are a guidance point but clearly this is just your opinion. I am all for you and your following, but please allow people to look at the facts and not be persuaded by how you think things should be. You have a platform and some good supportive audience. Be thankful for that and be aware of the responsibility of that. I wish you well in all your influencing. Truly…Dr. Jay Wrigley

  • Vincent Joyce says:

    A big issue with ketosis is the ease of finding information. Why is this an issue? It kills the “Guru” mystique of “trainers” on Instagram and Facebook who make a living selling abs and biceps. The “Guru” phenomena is based on BIG smiles and personality, high energy feel good quips on a beach and or sunsets. There is a very popular MMA diet and weight cutting “expert” who rails against Keto for this exact reason. You do not need advice and pay $ when the science and culture is already out there. For free. If you are a high level athlete competing in a combat sport of elsewhere, you are probably under the age of 30. I am not sure why you would do a keto diet honestly. If you are a non competition, normal human being just trying to live a maximized lifestyle, and or over the age of 30, well, Keto is absolutely for you.

    • Eddie says:

      Yes. Oats will kick you out of Ketosis. While they’re more on the side of complex carbs, they are still total carbs.

      • Heather says:

        I’m of the opinion that everyone and everyone’s body is different. What works for some won’t work for everyone. What works for the majority, won’t even work for everyone. I think it’s a good thing that you found out that keto wasn’t right for you, that way you can move on and find the way of eating that will work best for you and your system/body. I do feel that the article is villifying the ketogenic way of eating unjustly. I wouldn’t say that whatever system you do end up following is bad, just because it isn’t keto. It is just different, if it is good for you, that’s great!

      • Spyder Byte says:

        I am hypothyroid with weak adrenals and started the process after a major adrenal crisis, and this is the first time I’ve been able to go off my thyroid meds in 10 years. I hate to be the bearer of bad new but the reason KETO doesnt work for many people is because they dont have the information, patience, and/or discipline to do it correctly, which honestly most people dont, so if you know your limitations, then yes it’s not for you, but not because it doesnt work..to put it bluntly..it’s because you’re doing it wrong. It isnt for part-timers and yes you do have to go through the crappy transition and suck it up, like most things worthwhile in a world of quick fixes and instant gratification. It’s a lifestyle not a diet.

      • Hitesh says:

        Hi SSR,

        I went through your article. Loved your insight on the topic. In the first few weeks your body plays many tricks but it do calm down after two weeks.

        I can say this as I started following keto diet to lose weight and in my first try I quit the idea after 1 week as it became unbearable. After gathering some will power I started the diet again and I promise you that I had never felt better as there is no hunger and your senses start becoming sharper and sharper.

        Yes it’s true that keto is hard as you not only need look over your macros but you need to maintain your micros too. This is where most people fail.

        Quick Hacks that makes Keto the best diet ever.

        1. Add veggies. Green veggies <3.(For micro nutrients and fiber for gut.)
        2. When you feel lethargic eat fat.
        3. Enjoy your steak and chicken with butter and your faviourite dressing.
        4. Make better choices.For Eg. Instead of soda try lime with sparkling water.
        5. Use yogurt and pro biotics to improve gut bacteria.
        6. Find new recipes
        7. Use Stevia as sweetener.
        8. Psyllium Husk for irregular bowl movements.

        *Keto diet is a really incredible diet but it is completely new lifestyle for all of you and to have a smoother transition we should do the adequate research before doing any diet for that matter of fact.

        Regards

      • Liam Foley says:

        That’s a bit of all or nothing thinking there. There is a type of eating that’s between Keto and junk food. Just because someone isn’t eating Keto it’s not accurate to think that junk food is the next option. There are many types of good healthy nutritious food that isn’t on the Keto plan but isn’t junk food either.

      • Deliah says:

        Some typos in there. My apologies. To correct the bottom sentence I was saying that getting rid of processed food was a no brainer for me.

      • Lydia says:

        I totally agree, I started keto 3 months ago after my cancer metastasized in my liver and both lungs. I am also diabetic and have hypothyroidism. My cancer Dr wanted me to immediately start chemo. Which I refuse. My primary Dr suggested keto. Sugar, glucose feeds cancer! Your body does not turn fat you eat into glucose, it converts it to ketones. Cancer can not grow on ketones. In 3 months I’ve lost 32 lbs, my A1c has went from 8.4 to 5.5. We’ve reduced my synthroid medication. Plus my cancer lesions and nodules have stabilized. They are not growing. My cancer doctors are amazed! I’m a 65 year old female. I refuse to die without some quality of life and believe me the keto diet has enhanced my life. More strength, more endurance, less pain and inflammation. And a wonderful clarity of mind. There’s nothing obsessive about it, its simply how we use to eat before we introduced sugar and growth hormones into most of our foods. Too much sugar and carbs contribute to most diseases and health problems we have. Get real, do keto !

      • Deliah says:

        Yeah I tend to agree with you. I’ve been on the Keto diet since October 2017 and have found the health benefits to be incredible. This includes the reduction in thinking about food all the time. It’s hard to be obsessed when you’re not even thinking about food most of the day. I was surprised that she said nothing about Keto’s benefit of getting away from processed food. All in all I found the article to be disturbing and misleading at best.

      • J-dizzle for shizzle says:

        This is about what I took away from it as well.

      • Kevin Michael Geary says:

        Thanks for your comment, Mark.

        The first two reasons are it’s too hard, and it will inconvenience you.

        Considering the fact that one of the most common causes of failure is following impractical and highly restrictive advice, I’d say this is good reasoning (and people with decades of failure will surely agree). Most people want a framework that’s built for the long-term and that’s practical. Keto is not that.

        Do you think keto dieters only eat meat and fat?

        Many of them do, yes. But no, I never said they all do.

        And besides, most informed people know sugar, grains and alchohol feed candida, which destroys gut health. A ketogenic diet is great for gut health.

        This argument is a non sequitur. While the first sentence is true in many cases, it’s not evidence that supports your second sentence. The gut is extremely complex. Grains can be bad for your gut and so can keto.

        So you are telling me that activating metabolites that burn fat and create energy has no advantage…After reading this I wouldn’t trust anything from this clown. It is obviously written with an agenda.

        I never said there were no benefits to keto. In fact, I wrote an article detailing the benefits and even linked to that article in this article you’re commenting on. But, it seems you responded very quickly and didn’t quite do enough research on my arguments.

      • Sarah says:

        Your husband isn’t doing it right. Doesn’t mean it isn’t right for other people.

      • Robert says:

        Excellent reply. I am a lifetime weight yo-yo’r. I’ve been as high as 305 lbs and as low as 205 lbs. The weight fluctuation has come from being obsessive about weight loss and injury. I dropped 100 lbs in 100 day’s by being obsessive in my workouts. I knew my basal metabolic rate and used it as my fat burner. Meaning, I was allowed to eat the amount of calories that I burned in the gym that day. Usually, 1500-1800 calories. Yes, everything about it was obsessive but there is nothing like seeing daily results. Anyway, I kept it off for 2.5 years until I broke my wheels. You see, 3 hours a day at the gym to lose the weight nd 1.5 hours a day after and I was getting strong so I decided to enter an ultra marathon of 31 miles just to challenge myself. I trained 8 miles a day, every day on our local mountain where the race will take place. Let me say that training like that you can eat whatever you want and I did (bad eating habits). During training my feet started hurting a bit so I chalked it up to shoes and bought new ones and fought threw the pain. I ran the race (awesome accomplishment) but I soon discovered that I had plantar fasciitis in my right foot and tore my left fascia. Wheels broke, can barely walk for 6 months until I healed and I didn’t adjust my eating habits. BOOM, I was back where I started 3 years earlier. My next weight loss adventure I got down to 225 lbs by doing the same things I did in the 100 lb journey but instead of getting stronger I was losing muscle and quickly. After testing, I found out my testosterone had fallen off the map (150). My tried and true method for weight loss (so I thought) was not working correctly. So, I got obsessive in a different way. Cabbage based vegetable soup and chicken breasts. Worked great for weight loss but when I reached my goal I was glycogen deficient for months. I couldn’t stop eating sugar. Mike and Ike’s daily. Yup the weight came back and it came back in very different places (lack of testosterone). I went from chubby athlete to a very fat and unathletic body. Using testosterone injections was my last resort and after trying everyway possible to get my levels back to normal I had to resort to injections to build my muscle back. Anyway, I ran across Ketogenics a few times but it really clicked for me when I started reading about intermittent fasting. I fast from 7 pm to 11 am everyday. I’ve always eaten meats and fats so I just needed to cut out the sugar. Easy peasy when when you have tasty fat in your diet, so I still get enjoyment out of my meals. Fat people (no matter my size I still consider myself a fat guy) (the recovering addict is still an addict), are food pleasure driven……period. So, eating cardboard and rubber is not for us. I’m only working out 30 min on an arc trainer and sauna 30 min per day and the weight is falling off but my muscles are building again and I’m not exhausted all the time.
        Here’s the thing that drives me nuts. Articles about health and weight loss are written predominantly by lifetime skinny people. Their physiology is nothing like mine. Once you grow fat cells they don’t go away. The fat cells want to be full of fat all the time. Skinny / athletic peeps have no clue as to what it’s like and what it does to your physiology but it’s different than theirs. By nature, us fat peeps are obsessive, it’s what we do. It’s we get fat in the first place. So to call a ketogenic diet as an obsessive way to eat is true but the author is missing the point because he has no clue what it’s like to be fat. Of all the obsessive things I could be doing, this is the least obsessive. Yesterday I made green Thai curry with coconut milk, chicken, onions, peppers, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. This is my lunch meal for the next week. This dish has more flavor than I can think of and it’s totally Keto. For dinner (if I get hungry) I’ll have a couple hot Italian sausages. Again, lots of flavor. As with all plans, you have to count calories. Keto is not magic. Eat too much and you will get fat but for me it’s really difficult to eat too much while on Keto, partially because of the fluid intake. You really have to keep up your fluid intake to process fats and protein efficiently. Keto works for me and I think it will work for most peeps when paired with intermittent fasting.
        I hope my weight loss journeys wether a success or failure can positively affect others in their personal journeys.

      • Kevin Michael Geary says:

        “Restrictive? Doesn’t fit your lifestyle ? What kind of lifestyle possibly doesn’t fit with Keto besides eating fast food and crap and laying down all day?”

        Did you intend to be manipulative here?

        Are you hoping to have a fair discussion or do you just want to create false dichotomies and straw man arguments in order to defend your position?

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Hi TJ,

      It’s not really something I can answer via a blog comment. It all depends on your individual body, activity levels, and so on.

  • Nana says:

    I can only say that for many years I was not able to lose weight no matter how I tried and as soon as I said the word “diet” I was always hungry. I’ve been participating in the keto diet since the beginning of August anc can honestly say I rarely feel hungry and this way of eating has been very easy to adapt to. I did experience some sugar withdrawal initially (flu like symptoms), but was able to work through it and now I’m so excited to have lost 15 pounds!

  • Jon Schell says:

    This entire article is a shallow, unmerited attack on a wonderful system. Going against the grain for self-promotion is a close cousin to blatantly manufactured #fakenews. This is like reading the CNN of weightless methods.

    • Kevin Geary says:

      This doesn’t really matter. It’s a context-dependent question. eating carbs won’t necessarily take one out of ketosis.

      • Panos says:

        Your loss of explosiveness can be the result of many irrelevant factors. Just check what happens to adrenaline when you consume carbohydrates. Adrenaline levels come into balance with ketogenic diet. Also having energy is way different from having tension. Do not be so absolute and yes your article is weak because the 3 negative things you say are not oibjective at all. Just search and study a little bit more.

      • Kevin Geary says:

        Do you have an actual argument? Nothing you said was of any value because you failed to refute a single point I made in the article. If you feel the article is misguided, present some evidence…

      • Nc96 says:

        A lot of people do keto wrong so they feal not so great doing it. Atkins’s isn’t really the best way, people doing Atkins’s usually eat and drink stuff they shouldn’t. Go to stephanieperson ytb channel or website and see and understand what keto is all about.

  • Andreea campian says:

    I’ve tried keto and I realized it wasn’t for me. Why? Maybe I don’t do it for long enough, but I truly enjoy fruits, the occasional pasta and other carbs. They are not unhealthy. They need to be consumed in moderation like everything else. You know is unhealthy ? Trying to satisfy your sweet tooth with sugar free this and sugar free that. When you can just have an apple instead. Keto is one way but it is not the only way. One can lose weight by eating healthy, on a calorie deficit, and have lots of energy for a workout. If you love keto, that is good for you, but no one should feel pressured into it only to be restricted from delicious, healthy food

    • Dat Boi says:

      This right here. I’ve experimented with my body and find that even eating a pound and a half of (cooked) pasta won’t take me out of ketosis. Neither does twelve beers (~94 carbs) spread out over a ten hour period (consistent carb intake vs sudden)

      I’ll see a big increase in reaction to keto test sticks when I test my urine after high carbs, because my body is dumpling the ketones because of carbs. But after about twelve hours I’ll return back to “normal” test levels as my body goes back to using the ketones instead of flushing them. Since beginning keto, I have never had a negative test no matter what I eat or drink. It’s really not as obsessive as some make it seem. Then again, I have actively lived my life avoiding sugar of all kinds because I simply don’t like the taste. But pasta used to be about 70% of my diet.

      • Paul S says:

        Kevin,

        It certainly isn’t working for the vast majority of people. Have you looked at the obesity rates in the US lately? I do agree that some people can do well on a fairly “high carb” diet, but I don’t believe that anyone does well on a diet high in sugar and processed carbohydrates (even if they appear to be fine, it doesn’t mean that they’re not causing their body damage). And regarding obsessing over food.. I’ve found low-carb to be the easiest diet in terms of not having to obsess about food. When I’m keto I have to remember to eat and when I do eat I feel like it’s much less of a burden because I already know what foods to eat and stock up on them ahead of time. I don’t obsess over ketosis, it just happens.. maybe it’s not that simple for everyone? I do agree that you have to be careful about your fluids and minerals though, especially in the beginning.

      • Daniel Gonzalez says:

        If eating real food means more carbs, then no. After you lose the pounds that you need, you just eat gradually increase carbs to find out where your limit is. After you manage that, maintaining the diet isn’t that hard.

      • aly says:

        OF COURSE you have to “count calories”. You expect to lose weight with 2500 cals per day? if you’re not counting carbs then how do you know this? Also your “diet” is horrible. Not a single vegetable. STOP the “energy drinks”, Stop the CAFFEINE. EAT REAL FOOD. God only knows what you’ve done since you don’t track anything but carbs – you’re doing lazy keto? Lazy Keto is only for experienced people. Sign up for chronometer or myfitnessbuddy and pay attention to your REQUIRED nutrients, proteins, fats, carbs. MACROS. “Not having to exercise”?? Well, you have to MOVE.

        Also get a glucose monitor and start checking your blood levels throughout the day. HOW exactly do you know you depleted gut flora? LOL Did you get an endoscope?

        Lastly, NO, you didn’t just mysteriously get cellulite on your thighs and not losing weight. You probably lost MUSCLE, though. You could have a myriad of problems IE: magnesium deficiency from not paying attention to your nutrients.

        You need more education, unfortunately.

        You’re probably one of the people who’s not cut out for Keto. Go ahead and eat more BENEFICIAL carbs. And use a TRACKER to see exactly what you’re doing.

      • Kevin Geary says:

        There are 3 clear arguments. You’re welcome to refute any one of them. Ad hominem attacks aren’t arguments, however.

      • Daniel Gonzalez says:

        No, some carbs won’t, but hitting over 50 carbs in a day, certainly will.

      • Kevin Geary says:

        Keto requires obsession to “do it right.” There’s really no way around it. So I wouldn’t say I’ve mischaracterized anything.

      • krista says:

        Just eat a bowl of oats! I have raw, unprocessed sugar cane, cocoa butter fudge at my work. I ate one yesterday because I wanted to. Nothing changed. The key to not being excessive is knowing that a few carbs here and there won’t undo all your hard work. Just don’t go back to eating them constantly and you’ll be fine!

      • Kija says:

        I just posted that I did not lose one pound. I am so disappointed and was also waiting and waiting and waiting. lol. After 3 weeks of being in ketosis and also feeling really tired I stopped.2 days ago I ate a normal meal ( more than 20 gr carbs) and gained 5 pounds in 2 days 🙁 wow! I guess we have to keep trying until we find something that works for us. Everyone has a different genetic makeup. The only thing I can think of is that I was only counting carbs not calories. Maybe my calorie intake was too high

      • Kevin Geary says:

        As I mentioned in the post, not everyone tolerates ketosis well and women tend to tolerate it less than men.

        I would end your ketosis experiment and adopt a less obsessive/extreme approach, focusing on the six pillars >> https://rebootedbody.com/six-pillars/

        If you need any help, let us know.

  • terrim says:

    Do you know what could be missing if your body does not go into ketosis? I have the MTHFR double mutation and take Methyl B12, folate, and pyridoxyl-5-phosphate. Even on the HCG diet my body does not go into ketosis. Any suggestions on what else might be missing?

  • Sean W. Lyon says:

    This is the furthest from the truth. Disordered eating habits? One might argue that not giving a single shit about what you put into your body is disordered.

    It does it require obsession. It requires planning. For instance you might have to pack healthy foods for lunch at work. Oh god… what an obsession.

    And as for that google search trend, it was caused by Dr. Simeon’s article being republished in a U.K. Metabolic sciences journal.

    I eat fermented dairy and leafy greens. The backbone of gut bacteria. So your point is invalid regarding gut microbe counts.

    I’d love to hear a review after you’ve done Keto for 90 days.

  • erica jensen says:

    I started keto 2 weeks ago to learn the diet for my 10 year old who suffers from seizures. I really only felt terrible on the 1st and 6th day. After that, I think I’ve got it down. I love the way I feel. Never bloated, never hungry, eating homemade for every meal, sleeping like a baby. It’s wonderful.

    I don’t really need to lose weight, I’m doing it for my daughter, but I may keep with it for a long while because of the way I feel.

    It’s not for everyone, but simple research shows this diet to be quite effective for many ailments.

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Your example of needing oxygen is irrelevant when used as a counter argument to a behavior that is not necessary.

      You just said you “don’t stress over being in ketosis” which means that you’re likely not in ketosis. Or perhaps you’re cycling in and out. But this is an article about pure ketogenic eating, not “maybe” ketogenic eating.

      I’m also concerned that you’re not defining “high carbohydrate diet.” Not in terms of quantity of carbs nor quality of carbs. Your argument doesn’t mean much without more details.

      • Kevin Geary says:

        Are you denying the ketogenic trend?

      • michael says:

        MENTAL clarity aspect on KETO is indeed life changing, I so agree…and so is the stabilization of blood sugar…Carbs lead to inflammation, mood swings, and weight gain (for most people)…The author is misinformed unfortunately.

  • Jane says:

    Thank you for this article! My husband is OBSESSED with doing keto and he eats only for himself and leaves me to feeds our 4 kids. Mealtimes are split up now between him ans me& our kids. I hate it. I cook healthy and I watch what I eat and just need to exercise more. Anytime
    I Reach for a carb (even healthy one), he tells me I have to track it and reminds me I have to do low carb. I have less energy on keto and a huge amount of guilt too. My husband obsesses about his weight every morning and our kids see that and it really bothers me. He thinks it’s fine and educational for our kids (who are not overweight in anyway) but I think it may lead to a problem. When I say I can’t do keto, he tells me I don’t have enough self control! Ha! So I agree – totally obsessive eating. Also, he ends up carb binging every 5 days – Nutella, bread, you name it. And he has no energy ;-( Wouldn’t it be better to have a small amount of carbs even day so as not to spike you rather insulin?

    • Graham Burns says:

      You’re just a dick Mr Geary. You state your negative opinion because you don’t like something, and yet you don’t want anyone else with a positive opinion to have the last say. You just don’t like keto for whatever reason, and you don’t want to believe anyone on keto is doing well, and you especially don’t want it being promoted because it doesn’t fit with your agenda.

  • Bridget Hunt says:

    I was on a ketogenic diet for 2 years and stopped it recently.
    I suffered a hypertensive crisis and have been pretty unwell ( I don’t connect it to my keto diet).
    It’s an interesting debate and thought I would just share my experience:

    The positives for me:

    1) i run ultra distance and became very efficient at long distance runs without hitting a wall.
    2) My energy levels were pretty consistent throughout the day.
    3) I didn’t suffer with post-exercise muscle soreness.
    4) My skin was great, no acne or rashes just nice clear skin.

    The negatives:

    1) I had to be super organised and plan ahead.
    2) When I was getting to runs 3 hours or longer I struggled to fuel them. I tried Generation Ucan but it made me feel nauseous. I tried eating real food but chowing down fat bombs is tricky on the run!
    3) I struggled to eat enough to maintain weight – probably due to my energy requirements in running but lack of hunger was often a factor.
    4) I started obsessing about it.

    My last point is the reason I stopped. I hear some of your arguments for the fact that any healthy eating regime requires some dedication and stringent adherence to the protocol but I was developing a really unhealthy relationship with it all.
    I think it works well for a lot of men and some women…. personally it led to some disordered eating behaviour for me (and I have never had an eating disorder). I realised that for me, the joy of food had gone a bit.
    I worry about people choosing it who have a pattern of disordered eating – it troubles me.

    What I will say is that if you have lots of weight to lose and have a good attitude towards the keto protocol then it is effective, especially if you tend to overeat. I want to see some really long-term studies on it as to how people stay on it for more than a couple of years.
    I am not here to bash it – it has enormous benefits to many people… I just had to stop it and find another way.

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Is that why I wrote an article about the benefits of keto? Perhaps if you did more reading and less name-calling, you’d have a different opinion. I simply like objectivity and reasoned arguments and will challenge people who fail to deploy those two things.

      • Paul S says:

        I second this. Keto may not be for everyone, but I think that a great many people give up too soon. I am with Denise regarding giving it at least a 2 month try. I remember that it took me 2-3 months one time to really adjust to very low carb. Also, there may be trigger foods that you’re not aware of. I found that cream cheese in large amounts has not worked well for me. Nuts also may be a trigger for some people, especially in the beginning. By “trigger” I mean foods that make you fell unwell. Try eating as simple and clean as you can, i.e., organic and grass fed vs standard. You may find that as your body heals itself you are able to tolerate more and more foods. Look into the GAPS diet for gut healing.

  • ladamaazul says:

    I find this article interesting mostly because I am not experiencing any of this. I have way more energy than before but I also never experienced the carb flu while transitioning so maybe my body just has some sort of carb intolerance. I used to be so tired finding it hard to get up at 7, 8 or even 9 am but now I am able to get up at 4 am to fit in a workout before starting the day and I haven’t changed the time I go to sleep. I suppose it can be “obsessive” at first, trying to unlearn what we were taught (all fat is bad, eat more grains and fruits) but after I got the hang of it it was easy to choose what to eat (high in good fats, low in carbs, etc). Of course every body is different but if there is someone curios about keto reading this article I hope they do their own research before completely writing it off.

  • Linda Mitchell says:

    I have been doing the Ketogenic diet now since last May, I am not obsessive at all i pee on a Keto stick maybe once a month or so i have so far lost 73 lb (averaging 7lb a month) feel great, sleep great enjoy meals out with family no problem, you are right, I am never hungry, because i eat enough at mealtimes to keep me full, est way of eating that I have ever found, it works for me.

  • Cally-Kay says:

    Last year I went from 124lbs to 105lbs by eating a high carb low fat diet (I’m 5ft 3″). I also worked out like an insane person. I spent the whole time feeling absolutely miserable because I was CONSTANTLY hungry but would not eat because I was obsessively tracking all of my calories and needed a deficit. I was eating all healthy foods (no processed foods or sugars) but it didn’t help at all. My work began to suffer because I was so hungry I couldn’t concentrate. Over the winter months I just gave in. I was tired of being miserable all the time and finally ate to satisfy my hunger and ended up gaining 11lbs (although a small portion of this was muscle mass because I lift heavy at the gym). After Christmas I decided to switch to a keto diet.

    Finally I am not starving all of the time. I’ve stopped obsessively counting calories. I had skin allergy issues (just appeared in the last 2 years) that caused terrible itching on the soles of my feet, my hands and my scalp have completely gone away. My acne, which I have been battling with for 5 years since I was pregnant, has finally cleared up. The fog has cleared from my brain and I can work properly again. I did struggle in the beginning because I had a potassium and magnesium deficiency but that is sorted out now. I also found that I personally need to be on the higher end of carb intake to actually lose weight and have energy during the day (up to 50grams of carbs). When I go too low with the net carbs my weight loss actually stalls. Working out at the gym has also been an absolute fail for me because there was a massive reduction in my capability for cardio and lifting. However, with upping carbs slightly has helped with this.

    The point about Keto is that it is not one size fits all and you need to find what works for you. Its taken a lot of trial and error for me but I can honestly say I will never go back to eating high carb again. Now I absolutely savour eating some greek fat yogurt with blueberries. 99% dark chocolate tastes amazingly creamy and rich when before it tasted so bitter and harsh. Without sugar desensitising my taste buds I can actually appreciate food! As with any diet someone strives to undertake there are going to be positives and negatives. Do not be put off by this article that has little scientific evidence to back up its claims and is rather based on spurious claims!

    • Paul S says:

      Interesting.. low carb is the only thing that makes my acid reflux go away. Can you give us an example of a daily menu?

    • Sarah says:

      Denise,

      Speaking from experience this is your body healing from all of the processed, grain and sugar filled garbage you’ve likely been eating. I also suffered from acid reflux and during my first month of Keto I still had it along with constipation and my usual eczema. Fast forward 4 months later and all of that is gone. While I’m not a doctor, I can tell you that Keto does work and leaves you feeling 100% better! I’d suggest trying it for at least 2 months before giving up. Like I said, no more acid reflux, no more eczema, no more constipation. Your body is detoxing right now! It’s a good thing. And yes, I agree with most here. This article is so uninformative and far from reality. Do some current research on it and you’ll see why.

      • Kevin Geary says:

        Thanks for the comment Dan. Just so everyone is clear, the downsides I’ve listed aren’t from short-term use. They develop over time as someone sticks with ketogenic eating longer-term.

        A lot of people have come here saying that they’ve been doing keto for a few weeks and all is well. I totally get that. Nothing I’m talking about is related to short-term use. So, use caution going forward is my main point.

  • JoshaKru says:

    Great article. Thanks for the in-depth explanation. It’s 3 yrs later, but I’m recently getting more and more questions about it from clients.

  • Alisha says:

    You clearly know nothing about the Keto diet. If you knew anything about it at all you would know that your energy source doesnt get “depleted” just because you arent running on carbs. Anyone in ketosis will tell you they have more energy than they ever did on carbs. There is an adjustment period of low energy (some more than others) because your body is used to running on carbs and sugar and take that away your body needs to adapt. Also you think keto is obsessive? How about people with eating disorders who thrive on carbs and sugar? That is what is really obsessive and i would know i have an eating disorder and the keto diet has beena great way to break from the norms that come with eating disorders. Also the keto diet isnt the new fad, it’s a lifestyle change not a quick fix diet. I would suggest do your research before you write an article next time.

    • Kevin Michael Geary says:

      Keto is still not for everyone. At all. so, telling people that it is, is not very helpful.

      • Kevin Michael Geary says:

        Do you think people are going to be persuaded by you just calling people “wrong” and suggesting they need to educate themselves? And then personally attacking them?

      • michael says:

        Hi Christina…love your comment…I just caught sight of it after posting mine, a similar one…check out how I responded to this fool…lol

  • This is a very good article, but what I would like to know is the difference between keto diet and Atkins diet. I know they are both based on low carb intake, but I couldn’t find a precise info on the exact difference. Also, according to this blood glucose levels chart, I am very close to developing diabetes. Should I still consider this diet? Can it affect my insulin level even more? Thanks!

  • debra says:

    Thank you

  • Megan says:

    I need knee replacements, so can’t do a great deal of exercise.
    I’m keen to get my body working better and to loose weight.
    My question is if I do minimum exercise should this way of eating help me loose weight?
    I’ve read a lot of people on this do lots of gym work n weights.

  • Mark Anderson says:

    Sorry but this is nonsense.

    The first two reasons are it’s too hard, and it will inconvenience you.

    The third reason is a display of true ignorance of what a ketogenic diet is.

    Do you think keto dieters only eat meat and fat? Fermentable substrates huh, like spinach, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, kale, avacodo, peppers, onions, garlic, etc…that kind of fermentable substrate, all keto friendly.

    And besides, most informed people know sugar, grains and alchohol feed candida, which destroys gut health. A ketogenic diet is great for gut health.

    My favorite gem is about gluconeogenesis. I lol’ed.

    So you shouldn’t do keto because you will deplete your stores, but you know that your body will metabolize glucose from fat buy why bother. Are you kidding me?

    So you are telling me that activating metabolites that burn fat and create energy has no advantage.

    After reading this I wouldn’t trust anything from this clown. It is obviously written with an agenda. Don’t do that ground breaking diet, do my diet because keto is lie lie lie.

  • Mike J. says:

    Terrible article. Just because someone wants to track their ketosis progress it certainly does not make them obsessive. Also please research the benefits of a Keto diet, it’s not just mental clarity. Keto saved my life, lowered my cholesterol, lowered my triglycerides, lowered my resting blood sugar and helped me lose 35lbs almost effortlessly. Please don’t knock this diet because it truly is amazing.

  • K. Wong says:

    I don’t want to get into the specifics of whether or not keto is for you, or even if I think it’s healthy. I just want to point out that every “problem” noted is noted with most diets, except for maybe the gut flora argument. It kind of feels like the author, in a round about way, said “don’t worry about dieting too much, just live life and be happy.” Which is totally find…just kind of disguised unnecessarily. Even the negative consequences were all “potential negatives,” as there are with literally anything you do diet-wise.

  • Lovey says:

    I think that people who love keto ought to stay with it. Maybe I’m not doing it right, but don’t think I have lost a lot – although my clothes feel a bit looser. I have been at it since Dec 27th 2017, and it’s now Feb 9th 2018. I am hypothyroid, and it’s pretty impossible for me to lose weight, and I am also 66, been battling weight gain all my life. I even tried that Nutrimost system, run by chiropractors, that restrict calories to between 500-800 daily, plus all their supplements. I lost 60 lbs on that diet, but when I lost my beloved husband in Jul 2016, my life all but stopped, and the grief became unbearable. I just didn’t want to live anymore without him, he was my soul mate & love of my life. Turned to food to stuff the sadness & depression down, and regained a lot of weight back. But – I want to take off this excessive weight now – having been spoiled by that earlier 60 lb loss. Can you recommend a plan that is basically low carb, but where you can have a slice of bread once in a while, or maybe even a baked sweet potato? I am battling low energy & feeling weak most of the time. I do plan on getting a Total Gym exerciser shortly, hoping that will help. What about the South Beach diet, or something similar? Thanks for any help you can give me.

  • Deliah says:

    If someone is extreme they will find a way to be extreme no matter what. Cutting out the processed foods and the sugar is the one thing that led me to the Keto diet. I don’t measure my ketones or worry about being in ketosis. I just love the food and they way it makes me feel. All of my previous gut issues have cleared up and I actually feel good. I used to feel like I was on the verge of being sick or getting the flu all the time when I was eating processed flour, sugar, fast food…etc. it’s amazing that now that’s gone and the fresh food I eat has amazing flavor. I also don’t obsess about food because I know that when I get hungry I will eat. I just don’t actually think about it any more. I used to think about food all the time. Using the types of foods that are used in the Keto diet have actually taken away the “food crazies” for me. So yes, people can become obese sad but the benefits of better food and tossing out the processed junk makes it a no Braine right for me.

  • Helen says:

    Brother-in-law is preaching keto like its the gospel truth. My opinion, if you don’t eat cakes, cookies, or pies and don’t snack on potato chips, half the battle is won. as far as breakfast, lunch and dinner is concerned, portion control on rice, potatoes, and pasta. That is my keto diet.

  • Molly says:

    Keto for almost three years and every single thing States was 100% false for me.

    I don’t know any one living any life style instead of SAD who couldn’t be seen as obsessed if you think carrying about your well being enough to sacrifice eating crap is obsessive . Vegans must read EVERY label, ask about ingredients EVERYWHERE they go just like Keto. Even whole food eating required actually reading whats in your food labels, asking questions and restaurants , not eating trash from a drive through bag, taking some basic preparations to have access to healthy fresh food. Keto is absolutely no different. You can go whole food Keto, junk food sugar free substitute Keto, lazy Keto just like you can with any other diet. You can micromanage every single micro and macro nutrient and test your ketones and obsess but it’s 100% unnecessary. Obsessive people obsess doesn’t matter what lifestyle they go for. But personally when I’m rarely hungry because I’m in ketosis im not meal prepping, thinking about lunch at breakfast or dinner at lunch. Hell most people still believe in eating three meals and two snacks a day (despite the many meal too boost metabolism myth being debunked). Seriously? I feel like anyone who needs to carry food around all day like a hamster storing seed, just to leave their house for four hours on their high carb “healthy” life style is insane. If your blood sugar will crash and you’ll be hangry and ready to gnaw your arm off at your desk by noon you’re way more obsessed with food and screwed up than anyone doing Keto. I train at a pretty serious gym and half these people have a giant bag with six plus meals and ice packs , supplements and powders just so they can get through the day without fatigue and the shakes. I eat in the morning. I eat when I get home. No crashes. No shakes. No giant bag of food. Not dragging in my workout like people depedent on glucose.

    Restrictive? Doesn’t fit your lifestyle ? What kind of lifestyle possibly doesn’t fit with Keto besides eating fast food and crap and laying down all day? I literally cannot think of a less restrictive “diet” that has any long term true benefit. There’s nowhere besides maybe a bakery or dessert emporium I can think of where there’s just no Keto options and you simply cannot eat anything. Chinese buffet, Fast food, gourmet restaurants, dinners, grocery store, farmers market, can’t think of an eating environment where they don’t serve meat and vegetables in some form. I went to Denny’s with my emoloyeee this morning had eggs and steak asked for extra broccoli instead of bread or starch. Paleo, vegan, etc etc are all much much harder to be social on. Hell I can even go to a bar and get a diet cranberry and vodka, straight spirits etc etc drink and party without feeling restricted . I go to a party I have veggies and dip and deviled eggs. Go to BBQs and have burgers and hot dogs with out buns. I travel and bring all kinds of great stuff with me that doesn’t need refrigeration like meat sticks, nut butters, protein powder. Lived in the Deep South where frying is an art form and a birth right and still had no problems going out weekly and enjoying myself.

    As far as everyone googling their way through the diet that’s the best part of it in my opinion. The idea that any human who doesn’t have an eating disorder needing to pay someone to help them do the most natural thing in the universe, consuming food that won’t kill you or make you fat, is so beyond ludacris to me. Eating shouldnt be rocket science and on Keto it doesn’t have to be. You can get obsessed with the bro science if it, with exogenous ketones, Keto sticks and low sugar baking and low carb baking or you can go Zero carb and eat fatty meat and drink water. You can also do every single thing in between.

    Tons of ways to protect your gut biome like fermented foods, vegetables, fiber supplements all of which are well discussed virtually everywhere Keto exist. Considering how crappy the SAD the average persons gut biome is likely in a horrid state to begin with (out of control candida anyone ?)

  • Bethany says:

    I find your take on Keto to be very flippant and uninformed. Have you even done keto your self? Have you talked face to face with actually keto success stories/people?

    Keto has been an amazing thing for my life. I don’t obsess about food, I no longer eat unhealthy processed foods and my portions are European! For the first time I don’t obsess about food. I can eat reasonable side portions and make it 16 hours before I need to eat again. I don’t count macros or calories. No need to. I don’t eat sugar and I only eat twice a day (most times). I just naturally eat in a deficient.
    I just want to make you aware that your article could potentially scare away people from keto who desperately need keto. I had three choices: keto, gastric surgery or die young and morbidly obese. I choose to be healthy, I chose to live long for my family, I chose to reverse My PCOS… Simply put I live keto and it’s not a fad or a miracle weight loss. It’s a life change that requires dedication.

    • Kevin Michael Geary says:

      Hi Mike,

      I linked to an article, within this article, to the benefits of Keto. Just because someone has an opinion that’s different from yours doesn’t mean they haven’t done any research.

  • Lisa says:

    you said one of the top negative consequences is

    “it’s common for people on ketogenic diets to accidentally under-eat because ketosis does such a great job of turning off hunger.”

    this could be a positive too for those trying to lose weight

  • Jennifer says:

    Too bad you can’t have a mature conversation with factual rebuttals to these comments. There could actually be an interesting debate with the possibility of learning something new. Unfortunately, you just like picking apart comments, copying/pasting what makes you all butt hurt and making smart aleck remarks.

    I’ve been doing Keto LcHf for years. I started back when Atkins was ‘hot’. I weighed over 300 lbs. I am now down to 140 and have never felt better. I have tons of energy, more mental clarity and my doctors love my numbers when I have labs done. It’s not the lifestyle for everyone. But for many, it’s been a game changer and literally, a life saver.

    PS: It’s too bad you can’t ‘like’ comments here. You have no idea how many I read that I wanted to support. =0) Cheerio!!!

  • Barry says:

    Fascinating article, Kevin. I’ve been fat-adapted for over 5yrs now thanks to converting myself from a dangerous sugar-carb rich diet that actually made me a type2 Diabetic with serious metabolic diseases like High Blood Pressure, High LDL/ Low HDL, High Triglcerides and High Cholesterol just to mention a few! However bad that sounds, today I’ve completely reversed All of them just by eating real organic vegetarian foods, increasing healthy fats (MCT coconut oil, grass fed butter, avocado, even uncured grass fed bacon fat!) and high quality proteins (salmon,sardines, organic grass fed chicken, pork, chia seed, hemp seed, BCAA Whey supplements) with none to minimal refined carbs only whole non-gmo multigrain products) and my ideal diet to start my day goes with large cup of bulletproof coffee, slice of uncured bacon 2 pastured Eggs half an Avocado and Banana for breakfast. That’s usually good for 4-6hrs before my next meal. Since I do intermittent fasting every night, I eat only (1)one major meal after Lunch with another high fat, high quality organic vegetable variety with grass fed butter some herbs and spices with a snack like a handful of Macadamia, Walnut, Brazil, Cashew or Almond multi-nut snack no later than 3-4hrs before bedtime. I used a variety of different supplements to enhance digestion, provide extra nutrient density, and most importantly eat a variety of fermented foods and probiotics which enhances the functioning of both your immune system and the second brain of the intestinal system which helps breaks down and creates both vitamin B12 & Serotonin as well as keeping out foreign pathogenic bacteria and toxic constituents from being absorbed in the gut specifically the villi of the small intestine and the colon lining of the large intestine. The critical functioning of adequate Fiber provided from what you eat is another very important factor to consider since the good bacteria which feeds on it produces Beta HB-Betahydroxybutrate or Beta hydroxybutyric acid which can penetrate the blood-brain barrier (see Biological Activity: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta-Hydroxybutyric_acid#Biological_activity) and creates more BDNF (see reference (8)) This activity increases ketone bodies during ketosis which can result in diabetic ketoacidosis unless the liver has adequate glucose or glycogen in storage. It gets really complicated chemistry described in the same article above under Biosynthesis so I won’t go into any further details here. I think the importance of adequate carbs prevents the bad effects of staying too long in starvation type ketosis, but it’s a tricky slope to balance what the Liver needs to do its job to keep its glycogen storage while primarily breaking down ketones to use as fuel for the mitochondria(the energy producers) in most of our cells. Adding that complexity you can try going to get a PhD at Keto School ( see this article: https://ketoschool.com/the-science-behind-fat-metabolism-60f7a3f678d0 ) and you’ll really understand why it’s so difficult to balance regardless of the variety of our genetic dispositions and numerous adaptations our human bodies have gone through in human ancestry. The effects of our last fifty years of poorly constructed highly industrialized processed refined agricultural food system has most certainly been a major factor in not providing the nutritional requirements of the human body. The number of synthetic artificially produced chemicals in our foods and in it’s endocrine disrupting chemical packaging plastics are a major sources of disruption to the health functioning that can cause both sickness and disease. Even the water from your water tap can be loaded with metabolized drugs, micro plastics that can be in bottled water, fluoride additives from nuclear waste byproducts and other untested constituents so I only drink zero filtered water ( https://www.zerowater.com/zerowater-products.php ) The other factor is the overwhelming usage of antibiotics in farm animals who are confined in what’s called CAFO’s as well as the Herbicides and Pesticides that are sprayed on GMO food crops, the neonicotinoid coated gmo seeds and the overuse of artificial fertilizers are killing the many trillions of helpful microorganisms in healthy soils that plants need for their own adequate health and nutrition is being decimated around the world by Agrochemical corporations like Bayer Monsanto, Syngenta, & Dupont-Dow which makes Billions from Farmers. Support your local farmers markets who grow organically without use of these agrochemicals and carefully eliminate most of these cheaply produced supermarket items that will not provide your nutritional needs

  • SM says:

    When an articles main selling point is that something is “too hard” or that Keto is not sustainable because you actually have to be accountable for what you shove in your mouth, it sounds terribly weak minded. Obesity and high carb diets are killing people. 1/3 of this country is obese. I think telling people to start making changes is much better than writing weak articles that make self control of your diet sound “obsessive”. There’s nothing wrong w a lil obsession about eating healthy and not wanting to become obese. 🙂

  • Christina says:

    WOW that was the most uninformed article I have ever read on Keto Diets. So other then getting absolutely everything wrong about it and how it works… well um yeah… Educate yourself properly on the diet before commenting on it. Shame that because of your ignorance or bias you misinform your readers. Anyone who actually wants to know facts instead of speculation should go to either Dietdoctor.com or DrBerg.com both “educated” sites.

  • michael says:

    Let me HELP to DEFY your faulty logic and thinking here:

    “1. Ketogenic Eating Is Obsessive.” –

    WRONG! It’s NOT. It’s a lifestyle that you get used to, after some time, and you’ll feel better than ever…it’s people like you who don’t seem to have the willpower nor the interest to get and feel better; because if KETO diet is done correctly, it’s a euphoric state UNMATCHED by any complex carb, grain, fruit, bs diet.

    “Ketosis is notoriously difficult to get into, verify, and sustain without bringing back some of the old, obsessive Dieting strategies that we’ve been working hard to get away from.”

    WRONG AGAIN…3-4 weeks and it’s an enjoyable process; yes there are some low points but knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and a really bright one will propel one to continue.

    “Tracking macros, monitoring blood glucose, and testing ketone levels are all required steps in the process for most people.”

    First off, it does NOT need to reach this point…it doesn’t have to be this obsessive, unless of course you want it to be…it’s a choice. Many successful keto dieters have never purchased a glucometer, testing strips and so forth…it may help in the psychological department but not much else.

    “This kind of protocol attracts people with disordered eating habits. It’s the perfect blend of effective, obsessive, and new.”

    WRONG! It’s the perfect blend of healthy, happy, full of energy and excited people.

    “2. Ketogenic Eating Probably Doesn’t Fit Your Lifestyle.

    In order to actually enjoy those things and feel strong and healthy when doing them, you’ll need adequate glycogen. That’s something that’s quickly depleted through ketogenic eating.”

    You cannot be MORE wrong!!! After some time, your strength and energy becomes unlimited and you’ll be running off a cleaner source of fuel…this NONSENSE that you’re spewing is quite discouraging for those that want to live better/ healthier lives. We’ve lived without grains for over 250,000 years! Research the Paleolithic era…those folks went days w/o eating…they were never hungry and were able to perform manual labor all day long…HOW? They were KETO adapted, w/o even knowing so…

    “Seriously, performing well on a ketogenic diet (I know this from experience) requires a long adaptation period and still results in the loss of explosiveness.”

    This might be the ONLY thing I can agree on- the explosiveness aspect…it might not be there BUT you can always do a carb (complex carb up) one day out of the month (or so), and you’ll have that explosiveness…it’s OVERALL BETTER!

    “And I still haven’t talked about the actual eating side of things: if you think it’s tough to get comfortable with social eating on a real-food based lifestyle, good luck with that keto plan. In the real world, most of the people I meet want less obsessiveness and more enjoyment, not vice versa.”

    RIGHT! No one eating a grain based, moderate carb diet is happy…they are tired all the time, ‘hangry’ (hungry/ angry), nervous- especially when the blood sugar starts dropping…the folks that are happy however, are KETO dieters my friend.

    “Another consequence of ketosis is a potentially negative change in gut flora. The mechanism for this is a lack of fermentable substrate—the stuff your gut bugs feed on—as well as a change in the pH of the gut. You can read more about this, if you’re interested, at The Human Food Project.”

    STOP the nonsense right there! It’s called probiotics and psylliums husk fiber. Grains are the body’s enemy NOT fat. You have a lot to learn obviously however I will leave it up to other posts to help enlighten you further.

    • Kevin Michael Geary says:

      It certainly is. But my main point about that in this article was that people tend to abuse it or not even realize it. And when you chronically under-eat, it’s not good.

  • Jamie says:

    I think ANY diet is just that. It has the word die in it what about a sustainable way of eating for health? And ANY plan that cuts out whole food groups in my studies and research has been shown to not be realistic nor healthy long term. You might lose weight, but once you eat normal again you will gain it back and than some. Try a balance of all macro and micro nutrients. And this whole low carb garbage is gonna come crashing down. This diet is not a long term fix all. Overall internal health should be your main concern. What good is it that your skinny from the outside but dying on the inside?. Too much of anything is bad for you and this diet emphasizes fat way too much. I tried alllllllllllll the diets you can think of known to man! ,including this one and lemme tell you when I tried keto it just doesn’t work with my body. I also was on it for a long time not just giving up after a few weeks the first time I tried it in 2016 ending a year and half later I actually gained weight that I never took off starting. I tracked everything too. And for experiments sake I tried it again to see maybe it was just a timing thing. Nope. Again almost instant weight gain again of 3 to 4 pounds. I don’t know.what it is. That was a 3 month experiment. I gained 3 never lost it and stayed stuck as long as I was in keto. As soon as I went back on a more Mediterranean and paleo type way of eating I lost the 3 to 4 pds. I find cutting out any food groups isn’t healthy. And I really didn’t see this keto diet working for me. Each there own. And too much of anything is gonna be unhealthy for your body. Even too much water. Also most people who try this plan I’ve noticed are really killing it with eggs and bacon,whilst on it I leaned more towards the healthy omega 3 sources and fats like salmon and avacado and coconut oil. This plan just didn’t work for me. My body just stores the extra fat. I’m not huge either. I could lose maybe 10 15 pounds vanity ones that is, so maybe that’s why I didn’t lose anything on this diet. Glad some like it but I am now very wary about anything that tells you to restrict or cut out certain macro. One size doesn’t fit all. This in my opinion isn’t sustainable or healthy. Much research on myself and with others have demonstrated this.

  • Duh says:

    Learn how to make a real article, loser.

    • Kevin Michael Geary says:

      LMAO. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen someone with soooooooo much keto-religious zealotry. The keto cult is brainwashing people even harder these days, I guess.

  • Deborah says:

    Has anyone done keto successfully with a bad gallbladder (not fujnctioning great), and after a total thyroidectomy and adrenal insufficiency? My friends keep telling me how great keto is, but I have the above problems, and barely have 10 pounds to lose.

  • Zeeshan says:

    The keto diet is crap. It is horrible. Go watch Dr. Berg videos and all the extra things you have to do like take vinegar to keep your gut normal and prevent deficiencies. You really think cavemen had access to all the supplements you need to prevent the deficiencies with the keto diet? The keto diet is joke. And its not how much weight you lose on the scale but how much you trim your waist or wherever your body stores fat. Goal is fat loss and not weight loss. Man people are so uneducated and gullible. Oh and the keto group is a cult just as bad as the paleo cultists.

  • Kingsley says:

    Thank you for this knowledgeable, unbiased article. Coming from a background of very disordered eating (anorexia and orthorexia) I find it really difficult to pull my head out of diet obsession. The fear-mongering that I have found on a lot of keto-supporting articles has got me into a bit of a tailspin and afraid to follow my dietitian’s meal plan, but your article has helped me regain a little bit of clarity!

  • Kevin Michael Geary says:

    There is no such thing as “carb intolerance.”

  • Kevin Michael Geary says:

    You clearly know nothing about the Keto diet. If you knew anything about it at all you would know that your energy source doesnt get “depleted” just because you arent running on carbs. Anyone in ketosis will tell you they have more energy than they ever did on carbs. There is an adjustment period of low energy (some more than others) because your body is used to running on carbs and sugar and take that away your body needs to adapt.

    I can tell by your extremely basic language that it’s you who doesn’t understand and is simply parroting dogma you’ve heard around the internet.

    Also you think keto is obsessive? How about people with eating disorders who thrive on carbs and sugar?

    Huh?

    That is what is really obsessive and i would know i have an eating disorder and the keto diet has beena great way to break from the norms that come with eating disorders

    Please don’t promote a highly restrictive diet as a treatment for eating disorders. That’s irresponsible.

    I would suggest do your research before you write an article next time.

    I love how everyone who is part of the keto religion says, “do some research” at the end of their long diatribe about how keto is the greatest thing on Earth. Why is your assumption that everyone who disagrees with you simply hasn’t done any research?

  • Mike J. says:

    I agree with you 100%

  • Kevin Geary says:

    “It’s not obsessive at all…every diet takes dedication.”

    Obsession and dedication are not the same thing. You can’t claim “every diet takes dedication” as an argument to support the thesis that keto is not obsessive. I wrote an entire article detailing the benefits of keto. Have you read that one?

  • Kevin Geary says:

    The urine strips aren’t very reliable. There are breath meters you can get. But I’m more of an intuitive person and tend not to rely on tracking things.

    Right now just keep doing what you’re doing. Are you supplementing with resistant starch — ketosis doesn’t tend to have a positive impact on gut flora.

    Also, I’d skip having a goal weight and just have a goal look and a goal feel. You can look how you want at many different weights.

  • Chris Tighe says:

    Kevin,

    10 days into it and my blood reading is 2.1 mmol/L and my urine shows that I have a large amount of ketones in my urine. I’m feeling good and not hungry. Im 38, 195lbs, my waist is 35 and I CrossFit 4 times a week. Should I just keep doing what I’m doing to slim down or do I need to do some kind of fast? I’d like to get down to 180 and my waist to 32 or below.

  • Chris says:

    Kevin,
    I love this post! Thank you! I just started my ketosis experiement this week. I’m using a ketone blood test meter to measure my progress. I started at 0.4mmol/L on Tuesday, 0.3 mmol/L Wed morning, and on Saturday I was 0.2 mmol/L. Frustrating because I cut my carbs quite a bit! Im eating eggs in the morning with a little grassfed cheese, bulletproof coffee, some meat at lunch, sunflower seeds, meat at dinner with some kale or something similar, and 3 tbsp of almond butter at night mixed with a tbsp of grass-fed butter and some dark chocolate at night. I’d like to get my blood ketones to 1.5-2.0 mmol/L but it seems I’m going the wrong way despite cutting my carbs. I was thinking that, because I just started, my body is “shocked” by this and my numbers will be messed up. Is this normal?

    Also, what about red wine? Can one drink an occassional glass of red wine and still be ok as long as the diet is on track?

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