Keto Frequently Asked Questions
* Reminder, I am not a Doctor, before you make any changes to your diet you should always consult with a medical professional. Please consult with your medical professional, and make sure that you set forth a proper plan of action to discuss exactly how you should approach any dietary changes.
|What are the types of Keto?||Stalled|
|Carb Manager||What can I Drink?|
|Cheating / Carb Cycling||What Foods should I eat and avoid?|
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Types of Keto
Q) What is Strict Keto?
A) Strict Keto is an offshoot of Keto, a 'Dietary Fad' that has begun by the whole food population. It's not a bad thing at all, but it essentially focuses on whole foods and anti-inflammatory foods and not eating inflammatory ingredients as well as remaining "Keto".
Q) What is Lazy Keto?
A) Lazy Keto is someone who follows a Ketogenic Lifestyle but does not track anything except Carbohydrate intake.
Q) What is Dirty Keto?
A) Dirty Keto is someone who follows a Ketogenic Lifestyle but does not care about ingredients, so long as the food they eat meets their 'macros' they will eat it.
Q) Is Atkins Keto?
A) The initial stages of Atkins is Keto. It is a form of Keto that uses High Protein, Moderate Fat and low carb that does engage Ketosis.
Q) Why are some nutritional labels not accurate?
A) Regulatory Commission rules allow for "rounding" on packages. This means that if an item contains less than .5g of Sugar or Carbs, they are allowed to round down to 0g. Usually if it's between .5 and .9g they can put less than 1g.
Q) Is Keto safe for me as a Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetic?
A) Yes, Keto is different from Ketoacidosis. Type 1 Diabetics have a bit more to be worried about than Type 2 as they need to more closely monitor their blood glucose and ketones to make sure they are not in danger of entering Ketoacidosis but yes this diet is safe for both types of Diabetics. As with anything though make sure you are in contact with your doctor, make sure you monitor your glucose and if you feel that something is not right then get with your doctor immediately. (Also before you begin, consult with your Dr and make sure that he says it is safe for you to do!)
Q) Will eating too much protein cause my blood sugar to go up?
A) This is something you can easily test with a blood glucose meter, but the national institute of health has done studies to show that Gluconeogenesis the process by which our body processes the amino acids in proteins and converts them to glycogen (glucose) is so minimal and slow and an 'on demand' process that it really does not cause high spikes of glucose. At least that's what the studies have shown. You may however test and see for yourself.
Q) Can I do Keto without a gallbladder?
A) Yes, you may have to either lower your fat intake or perhaps look into something like an Ox bile supplement which is designed to help the body burn additional fat.
Q) Do I need supplements for this way of life?
A) This is something best discussed with a doctor. Every person is different, and while some people may suffer from low magnesium or potassium you may not need these pills and in fact it may hurt you to take them. So it's always best to discuss with a doctor before you begin taking any type of supplement, especially if you are on any regular medication as well because supplements can interfere with medication you are already taking as well.
Q) Do I need to buy any Keto drinks or products in order to do the Keto diet?
A) No, these products are meant to be used as supplements. While you can purchase them if you desire I have not used a single Ketone product and have lost over 100lbs.
What can I drink
Q) How much do I need to drink every day?
A) You should drink to thirst! What this means is drink only when you are thirsty, as well as with your meals. To make sure you are indeed drinking enough, when you urinate, check your urine output and see what color it is. If it's clear then you're fine. If it's between light yellow and a very light golden color, you could start drinking a little bit more. If it's anything darker then you aren't drinking enough water.
Q) Do I have to give up Alcohol?
A) Not at all, there are alcoholic options, HOWEVER I do want to remind you that alcohol processes in the liver and the liver is the primary control center that controls fat burning so while the liver is having to process alcohol and having to get rid of the toxins from the alcohol it can't burn fat. Depending on the amount of alcohol consumed it could take anywhere from hours up to days to allow the liver to rest and recover before it gets back to burning fat again. So keep this in mind before you go drinking, you may want to keep your drinking to a minimum!
Q) Do I have to give up (Diet) Soda
A) There are Diet Soda options out there, the best I believe is currently Zevia as it is sweetened with Stevia, and certainly any other diet soda is an option even though they are sweetened with Aspartame or other alternative sweeteners but do remember that depending on your body they may affect you differently. Some people have claimed that these drinks do kick them out of ketosis. So you may have to test to see how they work for you, and if they stall you, you may have to find an alternative or remove them entirely.
Q) How much water do I need to drink?
A) Drink when you are thirsty. Monitor your urine output and keep an eye on the color, if the color gets too dark then you need to drink more water.
Q) I don't like plain water, what else can I drink?
A) Coffee, Tea, Enhanced Water (Find enhancers that are natural such as Cucumber, Lemon, Berries, There are flavor enhancers out there, PowerAde Zero, Propel Water, Carbonated Water, etc. There are a lot of drink options, do keep in mind that not all drinks work for everyone and that some kinds of drinks due to artificial sweeteners may affect you differently.
Q) Which is better MCT or Coconut Oil for Bulletproof Coffee or to add to recipes?
A) They both have their advantages, but ultimately MCT Oil is a more direct shot of energy, and will absorb faster than the Coconut Oil. You will want to start with only a teaspoon of MCT Oil and build up a tolerance to it before using too much.
Q) How much MCT should I use?
A) Start with no more than a teaspoon, and use that amount for a few days then slowly increase up to 1-2 tablespoons, adding 1 teaspoon at a time.
Q) When should I take MCT oil?
A) First thing in the morning as part of a regimen added to coffee or tea or some sort of drink as a meal replacement. You can also use it before an endurance event to get more energy if need be, or throughout the day if you are feeling drained.
Q) Can I have Peanut Butter?
A) If you are Strict Keto, no because Peanuts are a legume and can cause inflammation. If you are dirty keto then yes, you can have it sparingly but you'll want a peanut butter that is as natural as can be preferably only peanuts, or peanuts and salt.
Q) Can I use Honey?
A) Technically you can use anything you want, but remember that Honey is almost pure sugar at over 15g per tablespoon those carbs add up very quickly. As a pure product, the Glycemic Index of Honey is around 55, which is lower than sugar so it is better for you than natural sugar but not by a whole lot.
Q) Can I use Agave?
A) Much like Honey above, Agave is still also a sweetener which is often hailed for being a pure product but it also like Honey is still fairly high in carbohydrates at again roughly 12-15g per tablespoon. The Glycemic Index of Agave is often hyped because it is less than 20 (at around 15-17) however it has a ton of Fructose which can wreak havoc upon the metabolic system.
Q) Can I use Coconut Sugar?
A) Coconut sugar is refined from the sap of the coconut palm. It is still very much a sugar, and still relatively high in carbs at around 12g per tablespoon. The Glycemic Index of Coconut sugar is between that of Agave and Honey @ around 35.
Q) What is the best sweetener to use?
A) Due to the nature of the taste buds and the way we perceive sweetness, you will have to do some trial and error here. From the discussions I have seen most people either like Stevia (or one of it's 'brands' like Natvia or Truvia), or if they don't like one of those, then they usually like one of the Erythritol or Monk Fruit brands like Swerve or Lakanto. I am working on a conversion chart to post.
Q) Can I eat Fruit?
A) Yes, to some degree. Berries are edible in certain quantities, avocados, olives, coconut. Some people also eat other fruits, do keep in mind that whatever you eat needs to measure into your carbohydrate count.
Q) How many calories a day should I eat?
A) You should aim for at least 1000 calories a day, most people who want to lose weight typically eat between anywhere from 1000-1500 calories a day but it ultimately varies pretty largely depending upon your body composition, weight, height, etc. Based upon my personal research on Metabolism though, I wouldn't recommend going under 1000 calories though as you do not want your Metabolism going into a slowed down state of reservation due to lack of incoming nutrients.
A) It is really up to you, you can choose to do either. Whatever is simplest for you to do. I have noticed most people tend to use Net Carbs though.
A) Net Carbs are the "Effective Carbohydrates" that are actually consumed by the body and converted to sugars, because not all carbohydrates are converted inside the body. To get this number you subtract Dietary Fiber from Total Carbs. Sugar Alcohols are a bit of a controversy, some people subtract them all, some people only subtract 5, but the standfast rule that I have personally been following is this: If Erythritol is the only Sugar Alcohol then you can subtract them all, if there are any other sugar alcohols then anything above 5g you can divide by half and subtract. IE: 12g of sugar alcohols would end up being only 6g subtracted)
Q) How many carbs am I allowed a day?
A) This is a complex question as it varies per person. The base answer to this that most people follow is 20 Net Carbs per day. The general idea is that no more than 5-10% of your calories should be consumed as carbohydrates per day.
Q) Do I have to eat 75% of my calories as fat?
A) No! This is a common myth, the truth is for weight loss you only need to consume enough fat in order to make sure that your hypothalamus triggers and tells you that you are full. The body has plenty of fat already stored that needs to be consumed and burned off so the only time that you really need to increase your fat intake is during the 'intake' period when you are starting up for the first week or two, just while you get 'adapted' to the lifestyle so that your body understands you are replacing carbohydrates with fats as a fuel source.
Q) Is it okay if I eat too much Protein?
A) It's not something you want to do every day, but if you go over your protein by a little bit it's not going to harm you. GlucoNeoGenesis (from here on in, known as GNG) the process by which your body -can- turn excess protein into glucose is an on demand process which only occurs IF the body needs that glucose. It's a regulatory function in which our body uses GNG to prevent our blood glucose from dropping too low. With this being said, you want to try avoiding to eat more than 1.5x your daily allowance of protein so try to keep this in mind, and be mindful of how much protein you do eat.
Q) How often should I recalculate my macros?
A) It ultimately depends on how much weight you had to begin with, and your goals and progress but roughly every 10-25lbs. Of course if you have stalled then it might be a good idea to check them out as well. If you aren't sure if you are stalled, please check out this page.
Q) Do vegetables count as part of my Macros?
A) That entirely depends on which method you are following, there are people who prescribe that certain vegetables are to not be counted. Me personally I am of the belief that if it goes into your mouth you must count it.
Q) Can I skip meals, or do I have to eat every meal?
A) If you aren't hungry, you do not have to eat. If you feel like you are able to skip a meal then by all means please go for it but make sure you are getting enough nutrition for the day in the meals you are getting. You can find out more about Intermittent Fasting and Meal Skipping by reading this article.
Q) Is Intermittent Fasting required with Keto?
A) No, Intermittent Fasting is merely a tool. It can be used to help with Caloric Restriction, and there are many other advantages to Intermittent Fasting as well that one can take advantage of. Please see the above article for more information if you are interested in learning more about it.
Q) Can I have a cheat meal? (Or anything 'Cheat related')
A) Sure you can, we're all human HOWEVER do keep in mind that every decision has consequences. Once you are fat adapted, you'll likely be able to get back into ketosis pretty quick BUT you'll probably suffer for several days after cheating. Our bodies when we are no longer used to the carbohydrates and we get essentially 'Carb Sick' when we cheat.
Q) Will having a cheat meal kick me out of Ketosis?
A) It is very possible that a cheat meal will knock you out of Ketosis, frankly there is no way to really know until afterwards. The best thing to do is if you do cheat, just climb your butt back up on the wagon and begin eating properly again as soon as possible. This way you can overcome the guilt of cheating, and your body can begin burning the glycogen that your body began to build up from cheating as well.
Q) Will I have to start completely over if I have a cheat meal?
A) It really depends, if you have not become Fat Adapted as of yet, then chances are a cheat meal can set you back a good bit. Not just because it throws your body out of sync but also because you haven't yet fully committed to the lifestyle just yet and haven't put enough time into it to really have the full desire to fully return to it. If you are fat adapted, a cheat meal could kick you out of ketosis and you'd only have to burn off your excess glycogen to get back into ketosis. There is the rare chance though that depending on how large the cheat meal is, you could also kick yourself out of Fat Adaptation though, and this is something you want to attempt to avoid if at all possible as this will essentially cause you to need to start all the way over at the beginning and build back up to fat adaptation again.
Q) Will I gain back a bunch of weight if I cheat?
A) Yes and No. If you have a cheat meal, your body will re-enter it's inflammatory state. This will cause the body to retain water which will cause the appearance of weight gain. Read more about water weight here. However, once you get back on track that water weight should naturally empty from your body as Keto is a naturally diuretic diet and once the inflammation goes down your body has no reason to hold onto that fluid anymore.
Q) I haven't lost any weight or any inches off my body for 6 weeks, but I was losing before, why?
A) Well there are many reasons that you could be stalled. If you track your macros, you should probably re-examine them and make sure that they are still appropriate for your current weight. If you do track and your macros are still appropriate, then there are several things you can do to jump start and get back on track! Please also check out: Am I stalled?
Q) It's been 2-4 weeks and I've not lost anything, or I've only lost a few pounds, why?
A) Unfortunately not everyone will see huge losses immediately on this lifestyle. Some people will because they have a lot of water retention to get rid of, and this lifestyle helps to cleanse that. For more information you can check out my What's to be Expected page.
Q) Why does Carb Manager show a different amount of carbs than the product does?
A) Carb Manager has different entries, it has both custom input entries as well as actual product entries. Even with the actual product entries, there are no guarantees that the information is correct. It's always best if you aren't sure to verify with the product information on the label, and even if you aren't sure by that feel free to ask in group. You can find me in comments or in the group here.
Q) Why does my recipe show so many more carbs than it should be?
A) Make sure you've selected the correct ingredients. Make sure you've entered the correct amounts of each item. There are two columns for each ingredient, make sure both columns are correct. Beyond this, do keep in mind that if you've selected a pre-configured recipe like Scrambled Eggs, they may have different 'ingredients' used in their recipe than you have, for instance they may have used milk in their eggs where you used heavy cream or no cream at all.
Q) How do I know if I am in Ketosis without buying test strips or a something to test for Ketones?
A) Your body typically can only hold up to 48 hours worth of Glycogen. So if you are eating less than 20g of Net Carbs or 50g Total Carbs per day, then within 3-4 days you will be in Ketosis as you will at that point be out of Glycogen and the body will begin producing Ketones. If you wish to speed up this process, you -can- do about 90 minutes of Endurance exercise(s), or about 20-30 minutes if doing High Intensity exercises.
Q) Why do my Urine Strips never show higher than Trace or Moderate?
A) The answer could be one of two reasons. The most likely reason is your body is only producing only the ketones that it needs, and not many more so when it comes time for your body to expel the ketones you aren't using, it isn't expelling very many. The second answer is that your body is overproducing ketones, and they aren't being used yet, but that you are over-hydrated, and because there is so much liquid being dispensed from your body it is diluting the ketones so the ketone to urine ratio is very low.
Q) How long will it take me to get into Ketosis?
A) The body can typically only hold up to 48 hours worth of Glycogen in storage, so after a couple of days of eating only 20g of carbohydrates a day, you will have burned off the excess Glycogen and be in a state of creating Ketones as an alternative fuel source. This can go much faster for those who are very physically active.
Q) What can I eat to get more protein in my diet?
A) Fatty Fish Like Salmon, Trout, Sardines, Mackerel, Cod, Haddock, Flounder, Perch, Halbit are all great choices, as well as Chicken, Eggs, Nuts. If you still aren't able to get enough protein, you could add protein shakes or make your own protein drink to supplement.
Q) Why does my breath smell funny?. Why does my Urine smell so strong?, Why do I have Body Odor?
A) Ketones are the production of acetate/acetone within the body, and when this happens the body expels it in a few ways. It can expel through breath, urine, sweat, and more. You will find that you may have Bad Breath, Body Odor, Strong Smelling Urine for a short period while your body adjusts and begins to learn how many Ketones to produce and begin using them.
Q) What is BMR?
A) BMR is Basal Metabolic Rate. It is the name for the calculation/formulation that is used to figure out the amount of energy your body burns in a 24 hour period without any physical activity.