How long does it take to get into ketosis and how will you know for sure that your body is producing ketones?
This article will answer these questions and walk you through the best (and most affordable) ways to measure your ketone levels.
You can also check out this explanation for how long it takes to get into ketosis:
There are likely two reasons you want to test the ketone levels in your urine:
REASON 1 – you’ve got type one diabetes (or type two diabetes, in some cases) and you need to test the ketones levels in your urine to help you avoid ketoacidosis.
If that’s the case, skip down to the sections on…
Then, skip straight to the section on…
REASON 2 – you’re on a ketogenic diet and you want to use urine strips to check if you’re in ketosis.
If that’s the case, then don’t worry we’ll also cover:
But skip the section on ketoacidosis – it doesn’t apply to you unless you’re diabetic!
If you’ve just started a ketogenic diet, then you’ll know that it can be really tough to figure out if you’re doing keto right.
Am I eating too many carbs? Too much protein? Should I still be feeling tired? When is the fat burning supposed to start?
It’s confusing, and one of the most confusing aspects is what your optimal ketone levels are supposed to be.
Unlike most other diets, the ketogenic diet is designed to put your body into a state of ketosis in order to get your body to start burning ketones instead of the glucose that it usually burns when you eat a high carb standard American diet (SAD).
Dr. Mary T. Newport, M.D., describes the natural process of ketosis: “The most common way that we experience ketosis is when we do not eat for 10 or 12 hours overnight; we will often be in mild ketosis in the morning until we eat something with carbohydrates (sugar) in it. Ketosis becomes much more pronounced over days to weeks in people who are fasting intentionally, starving, or on a high-fat low-carbohydrate diet.”
But to know whether you’re in ketosis and whether your body has enough ketones circulating for you to use as energy instead of glucose, you have to measure your actual ketone levels and then determine whether they’re high enough for you to be reaping the benefits of the ketogenic diet.
If you’ve tried searching for this information already, then you’ll know that there’s some controversy depending on which expert you follow. So in this article, we’ll tell you exactly what the different experts are suggesting are the optimal ketone levels as well as give you recommendations for what levels you should be aiming for depending on your goals with a ketogenic diet.
“The real ketone magic…[occurs when] we deplete glucose [and] we train our body to produce ketones.”
This is a comprehensive article but if you want to jump to a specific section, just use the table of contents below to do so.
Ketones, ketosis, ketogenic, keto. If you’re confused, then this is the right place to be. Because I’m going to explain all about ketosis in this article…
Ketones are naturally produced by your body to use as fuel. Think of them as super useful little blobs of energy.
When you’re on a ketogenic diet, you’ll be producing more ketones and using them to fuel various cells in your body.
So, the point of a keto diet is to boost your ketone levels. And that’s why this entire post is about ketones. We’ll cover what they are, exogenous vs. endogenous ketones, how to measure your levels, and how to boost your production of them. Want to listen to what the experts have to say? Join me for episode 026 with Dr. Alexis Shields.
Tracking your progress when you first start Keto can seem like a nightmare. Do I need a Keto app to make it easier? And if so, what’s the best Keto app?
(You can click on any of those links above to jump straight to that section of the article.)
And even if you’ve been on Keto for a while, you might still be confused about the most efficient monitoring method to ensure your Keto diet stays on track.
Well, you’re in luck today.
Firstly, you’ll find out how to monitor the following areas of your wellbeing:
Before diving deeper into keeping tabs on your Ketogenic journey, is it even necessary to track your progress on the Keto diet at all?
One of the best benefits of a ketogenic diet is its ability to make you feel less hungry (i.e., it suppresses your appetite).
If you’ve been into weight-loss or dieting, then you’ll know that this is a huge benefit. So much so that drug companies make lots of money selling appetite-suppressing pills. But yet, here’s a natural way to curb your cravings and prevent yourself from overeating all the while eating nourishing foods. Could this be real? And if so, why does it work?
When I first started a Keto diet, it was really confusing!
What do you eat except bacon and eggs? And how do I get my macros right?
I ended up wasting a ton of time figuring out apps, reading nutrition labels, and making mistakes!
That’s why I’ve created this FREE 28-day Keto meal plan (complete with full recipes, macros, and even a shopping list) to help you navigate it all.
Use the table of contents below to navigate through the different days.
The ketogenic, or keto diet, is getting more and more popular, and for good reason – it’s helped a lot of people lose weight, get healthier, and get more energy. So exactly what is keto dieting?
So, in this article, I’ll detail what the keto diet is, what you eat, what you don’t eat, who should do it, and how best to get started.
I’ll answer a lot of frequently answered questions in this post, from how it’s different to Atkins and Paleo to whether you need to take exogenous ketones and how to measure your ketone levels.
Keto can be a fantastic tool, but just like the handy hammer, it’s important to understand what it is, when to use it, how you can use it properly, and what to do when it doesn’t work.
If you want to skip to a specific section, then just use the table of contents below:
In short, the keto diet is a way of eating that causes your body to burn fat (in the form of ketones) rather than sugar (in the form of glucose/glycogen). I’ll explain a little more in detail below, but you trigger fat burning by eating a lot of fat and very little carbohydrates.
There’s a lot of confusion about just how much fat, protein, and carbohydrates you should eat, and that’s because there are now several types of keto diet plans. Most of the research has focused on the very high fat (standard) keto diet. But if you’re looking for weight loss benefits then a high-protein variation of the keto diet might be better for you.
Here’s a really great video the explains the basics of a keto diet plan in more depth:
As you already know, the keto diet is great for weight loss, getting rid of brain fog, decreasing your risk for heart disease, and setting yourself up for long-term health.
But how do you know if your keto diet is actually working?
It’s pretty simple: there are specific ketosis symptoms and signs of ketosis you’ll experience so you don’t have to stress if you’re doing the keto diet “right” or not.
And that’s what this article will cover – the 11 main signs of ketosis.
To get you started, here’s a quick video covering the 6 ketosis symptoms:
Here are 11 signs of ketosis. You can use these keto symptoms as a gauge to see if you’re in ketosis. Some of these can be thought of as ketosis side effects. Thankfully, the less pleasant ones are temporary.
Many keto dieters report having a dry mouth and feeling a lot thirstier than usual. If that’s something you’re experiencing, don’t worry. It’s one of the most common signs of ketosis. That means your diet is working!
When you first go Keto, you’ll be excreting a lot of water – that’s one of the ketosis side effects, and it’s related to switching to a diet high in fat and protein, but low in carbs. And you’ll be losing a lot of electrolytes (like sodium, potassium, and magnesium) along with the water.
You’ll not only be losing more sodium than before, you’ll also be eating less sodium than before. And that’s because you’re giving up processed foods. Think about how salty a bag of chips is – most highly processed foods have a lot of sodium in them. And when you cut those foods out of your diet, you’re also cutting out your main source of sodium.
This combination causes a drop in your electrolyte levels and the amount of fluid in your body. So you start feeling thirsty!
If you’re feeling thirsty and your mouth is dry, that’s a good sign you’re in ketosis!
But it’s also important to do something about this symptom: so drink more water, consider adding salt to your meals and make sure you’re eating foods rich in electrolytes.
Feeling less hungry is another commonly reported side effect of a successful ketogenic diet.
That’s because a ketogenic diet affects your hunger hormones in a way that significantly reduces your appetite (there’s a study with proof here).
As a result, one of the best Keto diet side effects is reduced hunger levels (have a look at this study).
“Many dieters complain that hunger sabotages their success,” explains Dr. Vincent M. Pedre, M.D. “Ghrelin is your hunger hormone that tells you to eat. Research shows ketogenic diets suppress ghrelin, keeping you fuller longer. That makes sense: When you’re eating sufficient dietary fat and calories, you’re unlikely to be hungry.”
Plus, most of us typically have weeks or even months worth of energy stored in our bodies as fats. Which means when you’re in ketosis and have a calorie deficit, your body starts using up this stored energy source, greatly reducing your feelings of hunger. (Read more about regaining energy)
If you find you aren’t hungry or are eating less often, you may be in ketosis.
Rapid weight loss in the first week can be a good sign that you’ve reached ketosis.
When you’re in a ketogenic state, your body sheds stored carbs and excess water. And that means you’ll initially see a rapid drop in your weight.
Once the bloating and water weight is gone, you’ll still lose weight – but less dramatically. Your body will start to burn up excess body fat, and you’ll find yourself slimming down in a safe manner.
Rapid weight loss is a common keto diet side effect, as you drastically reduce your carb intake which gets rid of water weight.
One of the less desirable ketosis side effects after first switching to Keto is having unpleasant-smelling breath.
This happens because your body is making ketones which it can’t use yet – it hasn’t become keto-adapted. And it expels some of these excess ketones via your breath, in particular, a type of ketone called acetone.
Don’t worry, keto breath goes away pretty quickly and if it bothers you or your loved ones, then try adding some mint leaves to your water or even a few drops of mint essential oil to your water. Brushing your teeth more often is another option.
Having bad breath is one of the most reliable signs of ketosis.
Although it will disappear naturally, you can take steps to minimize it in the meantime: many keto dieters brush their teeth several times a day, in the beginning, to keep their breath smelling fresh.
Measuring the level of ketones in your blood is a sure-fire way to tell if you’re in ketosis.
When you’re in ketosis, your body starts burning more fat for energy and relies less on carbohydrates/sugars. Ketones are made as a byproduct of the breakdown of fat, and that’s why the number of ketones in your blood will increase when you’re in ketosis.
You can measure your ketone levels by using a specialized blood-ketone meter. It measures the levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) in your bloodstream – which is the primary ketone your body produces when you’re in ketosis.
The most accurate way to tell if you are in ketosis is using a blood ketone meter to test your ketone levels.
And if you want more information on what your ketone levels mean plus what levels you should be aiming for, have a look at our article on What Are The Optimal Ketone Levels For A Ketogenic Diet?
Measuring the levels of ketones in your urine can give you a ballpark estimate of whether you’re in ketosis or not. And the same goes for the ketone levels of your breath.
This study concluded that “breath acetone is as good a predictor of ketosis as is urinary acetoacetate.” These types of ketones are expelled as waste through your urine as well as your breath. Which means it’s possible to measure your ketone levels via breath testers and urine strips.
In fact, Dr. Michael R. Eades, M.D. notes, “If you are righteously following a low-carb diet – especially in the early days – you may produce enough ketones to register on a breathalyzer should you get stopped on suspicion of being drunk.”
The main benefit of breath ketone testing is that it’s noninvasive. For the urine test, you pee on a stick that changes colors depending on the levels of ketones detected. And for the breath test, you breathe into a meter that then gives you a reading of how much ketones are detected on your breath.
However, both of these method of testing can be less accurate and most people wanting to test ketones stick to the blood meter still.
You can measure your ketone levels by using urine strips or a breath analyzer to check if you’re in ketosis. However, both these tests are less accurate than the blood meters.
Some Keto diet side effects are found most in people who stick to a ketogenic diet long-term. For example, long-term Keto dieters often report reduced brain fog, increased mental clarity and an improved ability to remain focused. Listen in as Dani Conway describes how to build your keto diet to maximize your results.
That’s because following a ketogenic diet stabilizes your blood sugar levels.
Registered Nurse Jami Cooley, RN says, “Ketones are able to generate greater amounts of energy per molecule than glucose. Therefore, the ketones create a much more sustainable energy source for the body and do not cause the blood sugar spikes that glucose causes.”
You’re no longer eating many carbs, so you don’t experience blood sugar spikes followed by crashes. And that’s great news for your brain!
But it takes time for your body to adapt to burning fat rather than carbs for fuel. So if you’ve just started your keto diet, you’ll have to be a little patient before you experience this particular ketosis symptom for yourself.
If you find you feel more clear-headed and your energy levels are more stable, it’s a good sign you are in ketosis.
If you feel weak and fatigued when you first make the switch to keto, that can be a sign that your keto diet is working.
When your body first has to make the switch to burning fats instead of carbs, it can take anywhere from 7 to 30 days before it becomes fully adapted. And while it adjusts, you’ll experience one of the most well known keto diet side effects out there: the keto flu.
“Symptoms of the keto flu include cravings, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, muscle cramps, or nausea,” says Certified Health Coach Dr. Christina Tarantola, PharmD, CHC. “Depending on the symptoms, adding Himalayan sea salt to beverages or food, increasing fat, magnesium, and potassium, and staying hydrated, can all help. This tends to last about 1 week and varies with each person.”
The exact symptoms differ from person to person. Some people get slight headaches. Others find it hard to focus. Others feel tired. This is often called Keto Flu because it can feel like flu-like symptoms, and even though Keto flu feels uncomfortable, just remember that it’s only temporary.
Often many people give up before their body fully adjusts to burning fat, so it’s important you stay motivated and use our 6 Strategies for Curing Keto Flu to get through this initial stage so you can experience the full benefits of Keto. A ketone supplement can also make the transition to Keto much smoother.
Feelings of fatigue and low energy, are common during the initial stages of a keto diet. It’s a sign that things are on the right track and you’re entering ketosis.
And you’ll soon start to experience the opposite effect once your body becomes adapted to burning fat and running off ketones!
This goes hand-in-hand with the keto flu, so a drop in performance can be a sign that things are moving in the right direction.
Naturally, a lack of energy or weakness will also lead to decreased physical performance during exercise. You’ll experience a drop in your athletic performance while your body adapts to its new fuel source.
However, after a few weeks, your performance during your workouts should return to normal as your body will start burning fat more efficiently. Want to try working out with kettle bells? You need to hear this.
Experiencing a short-term decrease in your athletic performance is a sign your body is adapting to ketosis. And you should be back to your normal performance levels after a few weeks!
A ketogenic diet can give you digestive issues while your body adapts to your new diet.
Constipation and diarrhea are common side-effects which early-stage keto dieters experience. And they’re a sign your body is adjusting to a higher fat intake.
Luckily, like many of the other negatives you may experience when first going keto, they’re only temporary. They’ll pass as your body adjusts to a higher fat intake and getting energy from different foods than before.
Registered Dietitian Lauren Popeck, RD, says, “Constipation and diarrhea can result in the beginning as the body adjusts to processing different proportions of food. Eating low-carb vegetables can help.”
If you want to decrease the digestive discomfort, then make the switch to a Keto diet slowly so that your body has time to adjust. Eating vegetables is still important as it helps you get sufficient fiber to help your digestive system stay healthy.
Check out this list of low carb veggies to see which you ones you should adding to your keto diet. And if you need a keto fiber supplement, then CoBionic Foundation is a comprehensive prebiotic fiber that can really help.
Digestive issues are common when your first make the switch to a ketogenic diet, and they should pass with time. They’re just another sign your body is adapting.
However, if you don’t see signs of improvement, it may be a good idea to check if intolerances to specific foods could be causing the problem. And increasing your fat intake gradually can help prevent digestive issues in the first place.
Insomnia is one of the most common ketosis symptoms.
Many keto dieters reporting waking up during the night and experiencing restlessness during sleep. This happens because you’re dropping most of the carbs from your diets, and carbs are known for making you feel sleepy (just think about how much you need a nap after a large plate of pasta).
Insomnia normally goes away after a few weeks. And many folks find that they sleep better than ever before after they’ve been on the diet for a month or so and their body has become keto-adapted.
Another common report for Keto dieters is that they often need less sleep than before! But this is a long-term benefit that you’ll need to wait a few weeks to experience.
Trouble sleeping is common in the early stages of a ketogenic diet. However, sleep usually improves after a few weeks.
Please pin the image below so that you and others can quickly and easily refer to the list and check if you’re in ketosis or not.
As you can tell from the list above, there are various signs of ketosis that indicate your body is producing ketones.
But at the end of the day, if you really want to make sure you’re in ketosis, then testing your ketone levels is the more accurate method.
Here’s a quick recap of the three main ways you can test for ketosis:
The most accurate method is to use the blood-ketone meter. These meters will show you the current level of BHB ketones in your blood, with a high degree of accuracy. The method of testing is similar to blood glucose meters – you prick your finger and draw a drop of blood that you run through a test strip attached to a meter.
The disadvantage is that these meters and their test strips are a lot more expensive than the urine strips or breath analyzers. However, if accuracy is important to you, then a blood-ketone meter is the best choice.
If you want more info about testing for ketone levels or what your optimal ketone levels are, then check out this post here.
And for more specific information about testing ketones in urine (whether it’s worth it and how to do it), check out our post here.
If you’re not experiencing any of the ketosis side effects I listed above, you might be worried you’re not in ketosis.
Don’t be: it’s not the end of the world if you aren’t always in ketosis.
Because the truth is, it’s more important to focus on feeling great and losing excess weight. You don’t get too caught up in worrying if you have 3 mmol/L or 2.5 mmol/L of ketones in your blood. If you’re getting results and losing weight, then chalk it up to a win!
And if you need any clarification or help, don’t hesitate to post in our forum. We’re here to help.
The key takeaway I want to you to remember is this: while it’s good to know whether you’re in ketosis or not, you don’t need to get too fixated on your ketone levels it and stress yourself out about it.
Instead, focus on how you’re feeling and the results you’re seeing:
As long as you’re reducing your carb intake, steering clear of processed junk foods, and filling your diet with a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods, you’ll be doing your body good.
And that will be reflected in the way you look and feel, whether you’re in ketosis or not!
I bet you sometimes feel like it’s tough to both eat delicious food and also stay keto, right?
Well, I’ve been doing this for a very long time, and I can promise that it’s easier than you might think.
In this article, I’m going to show you exactly what to eat on a keto diet and what to avoid.
Below are over 200 keto foods – the same foods that I’ve eaten to lose weight and feel better.
The full list of 221 Keto Diet foods is below, but here are 2 helpful notes, plus a shorter list of keto foods.
Basically, keto friendly foods include most meats, most vegetables, most seafood, and healthy fats.
More specifically, you can eat all the foods listed below. In fact, you could probably use this as a short and easy keto shopping list…
Ok – now that you have the short list of keto foods, let’s go a little more in depth…
What is Your Goal Weight?
(How much would you like to weigh - in pounds?)
The keto calculator above is simple and quick.
It will show you exactly how much fat, carbs, and protein (your macros) to eat on a ketogenic diet.
And it works very well for getting you into ketosis, helping you to lose weight, and helping to boost your energy.
*** But there's also a second version of the keto diet calculator below.
The keto calculator above is simple and quick.
It will show you exactly how much fat, carbs, and protein (your macros) to eat on a ketogenic diet.
And it will help you get into ketosis, lose weight, and boost your energy.
*** But there's also a second version of the keto diet calculator below.
A good keto calculator should always give you personalized daily macros (protein/carb/fat intake and calorie limits). These should be tailored to YOUR body and lifestyle.
That's exactly what both keto diet calculators on this page do. They'll help you stay in ketosis - no matter what your goal is (weight loss, more energy, etc.).
And they’ll do that based on your…
So if you use the detailed keto calculator below, you'll need to enter some of this information, but only so that it can give you more accurate results.
2) Easy to Use
A good keto macro calculator should always be simple to use.
It shouldn’t confuse you with complicated questions or require you to do tough calculations.
In fact, you should be able to use a keto calculator without knowing much about a Keto diet or what a “macro” actually is.
The simple macro calculator above is as simple and easy as possible - just one question for you to answer.
3) Fast and Precise
You need to get results fast. Being healthy shouldn't be hard or take a long time.
That's why our Keto calculator gives you immediate results and doesn't ask you to enter an email address.
Both calculators on this page will tell you…
Relying on vague information won’t help - it could be the difference between getting into ketosis or not.
Don't Stress Out!
Remember, Most people do best on a ketogenic diet by ONLY focusing on their carbs (below 20-30 grams/day). So keep it simple.
Here's a more detailed version of the keto diet calculator, but it's still very easy (just 6 easy questions)...
Step #1 of 6: What is Your Weight (in lbs)?
Step #2 of 6: Are You Male or Female?
Step #3: What is Your Bodyfat Percentage?
Step #3 of 6: What is Your Bodyfat Percentage?
Step #4 of 6: What is Your Daily Activity Level (NOT Including Exercise)?
Step #5 of 6: What is Your Primary Goal?
Step #6 of 6: Weekly Exercise
If you want to modify any information, just click the link below...
(NOT including exercise. In other words, how much do you walk and move during the day?)
Below, enter the average amount of exercise that you do per DAY. In other words, 20 minutes per day, 4 times per week, would be 80 total minutes per week, or about 11 minutes per day.
|Calories Burned per Minute||Total Calories Burned|
I suggest that you leave this as-is, unless you're sure that you want to change it.
This is the amount of protein you eat as a ratio equal to grams of protein / your lean body weight. So if your lean bodyweight is 120 lbs, then you would eat 108 grams of protein per day at a 0.9 ratio. In general, you shouldn't go below 0.7 grams per day (on average), and should only go above 1.0 if you're trying to build more muscle.
|Macronutrients||Macro Grams||Kcal per gram||Daily Calories||Daily %|
Calculating macros can be tough.
It’ll be much simpler to use our free ketogenic calculator above, which will calculate your macros for you.
But if you’d still like to calculate them manually, follow along with the formulas below.
As you know,you should be eating less than 25g of carbs per day. Stick to that.
To calculate your protein macros, you should be eating around 1g of protein per pound of lean muscle that you have.
How do you calculate lean muscle?
Take your total weight (in pounds) and then multiply that by your body fat percentage (as a decimal).
So if you weigh 200 pounds and have a body fat percentage of 20%, you’d take:
200 x 0.20 = 40.
That 40 equals your body fat in pounds.
Then you take your body fat in pounds and subtract it from your total weight, like this:
200 – 40 = 160.
The answer you get after subtracting your body fat in pounds from your total weight (in the example above, 160), is your lean muscle weight in pounds.
And remember, since should eat around 1g of protein per pound of lean muscle in your body, you’d multiple your answer by 1.
So this individual should eat around 160g of protein per day.
You first need to determine how many calories you should be eating a day. Again, our ketogenic calculator above will help you figure that out.
Once you have your total calories figured out, you just need to do a bit of math:
Multiply each gram of carb and protein you’ll be eating each day by 4, since there are 4 calories in each gram of carbs and protein.
You’ll be eating around 25g of carbs per day (25g of carb x 4 = 100 calories) and you already figured out your protein intake from above (160g of protein x 4 = 640 calories).
Once you have those two numbers, add them together.
100 + 640 = 740
Then take your total calorie intake per day (let’s say you should be eating 2000 calories per day) and subtract your calories in carbs and protein from that number.
In other words…
So as an example:
Total Calories in Fat Per Day = 2000 calories per day – 640 calories in protein per day – 100 calories in carbs per day.
This person should be eating 1260 calories of healthy fats per day.
But we’re not quite done:
Since fat has 9 calories per gram, divide the “Total Calories in Fat Per Day” number you just calculated by 9.
The answer you get is your total grams of fat you should be eating each day.
1260 calories of fat / 9 = 140g of fat per day.
We recommend that you stay under 25g of net carbs per day to stay in ketosis.
There is more than one way to approach reducing carbs, but Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, M.D., suggests starting out on a strict Keto diet right away. “This will give you the best idea of whether you like how you feel, how it impacts you and what sort of results you get. Then, as you achieve your health and weight goals, you can decide whether to add more natural carbs back into your diet to a level where you feel your best and can maintain your health goals.”
(Sidenote: net carbs are different than total carbs. Don’t worry too much about that right now since I’ve discussed the difference net carbs and total carbs, plus how to calculate net carbs, in the answer right below this one)
When it comes to a keto diet, it’s important to note that every person’s body is different.
And therefore each person will have a slightly different net carb intake to get into ketosis.
Some folks on keto who are very active might maintain ketosis if they eat 35g or even more of net carbs per day while other people on keto will need to eat around 15g of net carbs.
So while we recommend that you stay under 25g of net carbs per day, you may want to consider testing your ketone levels to ensure that you’re actually in ketosis.
Net carbs are not the same as total carbs.
Let me explain why those two are not the same:
While fiber is considered a carb, our bodies cannot digest fiber. So those carbs need to be subtracted from total carbs.
And since getting into fat-burning ketosis is dependent on net carbs and not total carbs, you’ll need to know how to calculate net carbs.
Thankfully, it’s pretty simple to calculate.
Registered Nurse Abby Roaquin, RN recommends getting good at reading food labels. “Don’t just look at the carbs. Look for the serving size and how many serving sizes there are in the entire can, box, or package. That’s how you know how much you can eat to stay within your carb budget.”
You can definitely eat too much processed and unhealthy fat on keto. Stay away from unhealthy fats like vegetable oil or margarine.
Actually, when people come to Keto they’re often a little afraid to eat fat in the first place. Certified Primal Health Coach and Personal Trainer Teresa Heitman assures us that fat is nothing to fear. “Fat is the best macronutrient for fueling our bodies…Fat beats lethargy. Fat beats hunger. Fat beats fat. Fat beats chronic autoimmune diseases. Fat also beats cancer.”
But when it comes to healthy fats, can you just eat unlimited amounts of ghee, avocados, coconut oil, or olives?
While you technically could, it’s probably still not a great idea to do so.
For a start, fats are extremely high in calories.
While there are only 4 calories in each gram of carb and protein, there are over double that in a gram of fat.
Which means, if you’re eating “too much” fat on a keto diet, you may struggle with weight loss even if you’re in ketosis.
Another issue to remember is that while fats are healthy, they’re not the only nutrient you will want to eat! You need a variety of vitamins and minerals that aren’t available in oils like coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado oil.
Whole foods that contain fats (like fatty cuts of meat, olives, avocados) are often better options for getting your fat intake up. They’ll not only supply you with healthy keto-friendly fats, but they’ll also nourish your body with even more essential nutrients.
To be successful you may be doing more of your own cooking. Registered Dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth, RD says, “It’s a challenge to create meals that are so low in carbohydrates and, since most packaged foods are higher in protein and carbs than fat, you’ll need to spend some time cooking most of your own meals and snacks.”
Bottom line…You don’t need to go crazy and slather ghee or coconut oil on everything, but you also shouldn’t be afraid of them.
For a ketogenic diet, everybody’s best macro ratio is going to be different, since every person’s body is different.
Our keto calculator at the top of this page will give you a macro ratios based on the specific information you put in, so it’ll probably be pretty close to your “best macros ratio.”
And I’ll also give our guidelines for calculating your macro ratios below.
But whether you use our free ketogenic calculator or calculate your macros yourself, you still may need to tweak those ratios depending on how you feel.
We already know that on a ketogenic diet you should eat between 20-25g of net carbs to stay in ketosis.
And since each gram of carb has 4 calories, you’ll multiply 20-25g of carbs by 4.
Let’s assume you eat 25g of carbs each day. Therefore 25g of carbs x 4 = 100 calories in carbs.
You should have an intake of 0.8 – 1.2g of protein per lb of lean muscle in your body.
So you first need to calculate lean muscle:
Lean Muscle = Total Weight in Pounds x Body Fat Percentage As a Decimal
So let’s say you weigh 150 lbs and have a 20% body fat percentage.
You’d do the following calculation:
Lean Muscle = 150 lbs x 0.20
After crunching the numbers, your lean muscle would equal 120 lbs.
Remember, you need an intake of 0.8 and 1.2g (for the sake of easy math, let’s just say 1.0g) of protein per lb of lean muscle you have.
So 120 lbs x 1.0 = 120g of protein per day.
Now that you have grams of protein, you need to convert grams into calories:
Protein has 4 calories per gram. All you have to do is multiply your grams in protein per day by 4.
Calories of Protein Per Day = Grams of Protein Per Day x 4
The calculation for the person above would be:
Calories of Protein Per Day = 120g of protein x 4
They’d eat 480 calories of protein per day.
You’ll eat the rest of your calorie intake in fat.
Here’s the formula:
Let’s say the 150 lb person on the ketogenic diet from above should eat 2000 calories per day.
They’d do the following:
Calories of Fat Per Day = 2000 calories per day – 480 calories of protein – 100 calories of carbs.
And after using a keto diet calculator, they’d get 1420 calories of fat per day.
But we’re not done:
Since fat has 9 calories per gram, you need to divide that number by 9 to get grams of fat per day.
1420 calories per day / 9 = 157.777g of fat per day.
Certified Nutrition and Health Coach, Christina Oman
You should strive to eat around 1g of protein per pound of lean muscle each day.
This is the formula:
But before you can do that formula, you first have to calculate your Total Pounds of Body Fat.
And Total Pounds of Body Fat = Total Body Weight x Body Fat Percentage as a Decimal
Let’s say you’re 150 lbs and you have 15% body fat.
Here’s your calculation:
Total Pounds of Body Fat = 150 lbs x 0.15
The answer would be 22.5 lbs of body fat.
Now that you have your Total Pounds of Body Fat, you can go back and plug that number into the first formula.
Pounds of Lean Muscle = 150 lbs – 22.5 lbs
Therefore this person would have 127.5 lbs of lean muscle
Since it’s optimal to eat around 1g of protein per pound of lean muscle that your body has, you’d just multiple 127.5 lbs by 1.
Not too hard of math, huh? Therefore this person should eat around 127.5g of protein each day.
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet, so you’ll be eating very few carbs.
We recommend eating between 20-25g of net carbs per day.
Net carbs are different than total carbs.
To calculate net carbs, do the following calculation:
But it’s important to note that you may need to tweak your net carbs intake to get the ratio that’s right for your body, since everyone’s different.
If you’re highly active and work out for an hour each day or walk 5 miles a day, eating slightly more than 25g of net carbs might work best.
On the other hand, some people need to eat 15g of net carbs or less each day to stay in ketosis.
So again, while 20-25g of net carbs per day is a good place to start, you may need to change that over time.
This is something like two types of keto calculator we have above.
It’s basically an easy way to determine the macronutrient profile you need to eat on a keto (ketogenic) diet in order to lose weight.
For our advanced calculator, you’ll need to enter the following information:
The keto calculator will then use that data to figure out a good macronutrient profile and caloric intake for you to eat on a keto diet.
As you’ve probably figured out from other diets, just restricting your caloric intake won’t necessarily result in weight loss. And worse still, once you relax your caloric intake or decrease your workout regime, all that weight you worked so hard to lose comes back.
That’s why our keto weight loss calculator isn’t designed just based on calories in and calories out. Instead, the calculator takes into account the fundamentals of a ketogenic diet to determine the best macronutrient profile you need to eat.
For example, most weight loss calculators on the internet is just based on basal metabolic rate (BMR) or resting metabolic rate (RMR) calculations. This is the minimum number of calories your body needs in order to carry out its basic functions (like breathing).
The results from the keto calculator will include:
While it’s still an estimate, following this macronutrient profile could help:
Please remember that this calculator provides a great starting point for your keto diet, but it’s still an estimate. Some experimentation will be needed to figure out a keto diet that fits with your lifestyle and body. And it’s not a substitute for working with a nutritionist or medical practitioner.
One of the main goals of a keto diet is to help you get into ketosis and produce more ketones.
And one of the main ways to get into ketosis and increase ketones is to eat a ketogenic macronutrient profile (i.e., reduce your carbohydrate intake and increase your fat intake).
There are two other ways to increase your ketones:
Exogenous ketones will boost your blood ketone levels, but you necessarily won’t receive the same benefits as going on a proper keto diet.
Fasting for a prolonged period (e.g., several days) will also boost your ketones as you deplete your glycogen stores and your body starts burning fat.
However, the best way is to eat a healthy ketogenic diet. You’ll enjoy weight-loss, more mental energy, and boost your ketones naturally.
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Being healthy isn't easy. Your modern lifestyles is stacked against you - from the companies that make your food to the job that stresses you out.
But you CAN feel better. We've been where you are, so we know how it feels. That's why we focus on providing you with the most honest, well-researched guidance possible.
It's harder than ever to know who to trust with your food and your health. That's why we partner with the world's most renowned doctors, researchers, chefs, and academics.
We are relentless about providing the most unbiased and accurate information possible - while also giving you recipes that we've tested multiple times.
Keto Team & Coaches
Co-Founder & CEO
Louise holds a Bachelors and Masters in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University (UK).
She attended Columbia University for her JD and practiced law at Debevoise & Plimpton before co-founding Louise's Foods, Paleo Living Magazine, Nourishing Brands, & CoBionic.
Louise has considerable research experience but enjoys creating products and articles that help move people just a little bit closer toward a healthy life they love.
You can read more about Louise below.
Co-Founder & Director of Product
Jeremy Hendon grew up in Georgia, studied at Emory and UC Berkeley, and practiced law for 6 years in LA and NYC.
For much of his life, Jeremy was overweight and unable to consistently find a way to get healthy. That’s a big part of the reason why he co-founded Louise’s foods, 2 health magazines, KetoSummit.com, and now CoBionic.com.
He’s also co-authored multiple books, had his products featured on national TV, and has lived in 9 different countries over the last 5 years.
Becky Williams has a Bachelors in Communications Sciences and Disorders, Elementary Education Certification through Louisiana Resource Center for Educators, and is a certified Health and Ketogenic Living Coach.
Before joining Keto Summit, Becky was an elementary educator for 5 years. She became a certified health coach so she could help people discover an eating style that works best for nourishing their body, fitting their lifestyle, reaching their goals and never having to diet again.
When she isn't online creating social media posts or running her own challenge groups, Becky can be spotted hanging out with her husband, two rascal boys, and dog, Ruby.
You can find out more about Becky at www.FullOnPurpose.com.
Amy Winkler holds an Associate of Arts, Bachelor's Degree, and a Master's Degree in Education. She is also a certified Ketogenic Living Coach, as well as a certified Intermittent Fasting Coach.
Before joining Keto Summit, Amy was a Montessori kindergarten teacher for many years. Now, she uses her passion for education to help teach others how to live healthy and fulfilled lives.
Amy is also the creator of all of the Keto Summit meal plans. Amy is also an expert in the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) and Paleo lifestyles.
When she isn't busy creating delicious meal plans and coaching our Keto Summit social media groups as well as coaching her own clients, Amy can be found spending time with her two sons or relaxing with a good book.
You can also find Amy at www.TheSugarFreeCoach.com.
Kate has been part of the health and fitness industry for most of her life, and she now runs her own successful business helping clients lose weight, get in shape, and take back control of their lives.
A true foodie at heart, Kate believes food is life-giving, and has the power to both heal and energize. Any diet that leaves you feeling hungry or eating food that tastes like cardboard should be kicked to the curb.
This is why she makes Keto living simple, quick, delicious, and fun to make. She wants busy women to learn how to quickly turn their bodies into fat-burners instead of sugar-burners so they feel strong, lean, fit, and clear-minded.
Kate’s passion for the ketogenic lifestyle has led her to create a certification program for other people looking to become Keto coaches.
The Original Keto Summit Expert Team
The Keto Summit started as the world's most in-depth Keto event
Chris Kelly, Dr. Tommy Wood, Jeremy Hendon, and Louise Hendon hosted the event along with 39 Keto doctors, researchers, and academics.
Over 40,000 people participated in the event. After the event finished, we turned this website into a free resource for you achieve the best results from Keto.
Free Keto Resources:
Our Experts From The Keto Summit:
Dominic D’Agostino is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida. And he’s also a senior research scientist of the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. Dominic’s research is focused on developing and testing ketogenic diets, ketone supplements and amino acid formulations for a broad range of therapeutic and performance applications. You can find Dominic at KetoNutrition and on Twitter.
Thomas N. Seyfried is a professor of Biology at Boston College, and his research focuses on the mechanisms by which metabolic therapy manages chronic diseases such as epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. Prof Seyfried is on the editorial board of the Journal of Lipid Research, Neurochemical Research, as well as Nutrition & Metabolism. You can learn more about Dr. Seyfried's work at Boston College or follow him on Twitter.
Dr. Eric Westman is an associate professor of medicine and the director of Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic. He is certified in alternative medicine and obesity medicine and he also has a Master’s degree in
Grace Liu is a trained functional medicine practitioner and clinical pharmacist, who helps clients gain optimal performance through rebuilding their microbiome.
She also has a bachelors in nutritional science and food science and is CrossFit Nutrition Certified by Robb Wolf (and Nicki Violetti). You can find Grace at The Gut Institute and on Instagram or Twitter.
Ben Greenfield has been voted one of the 100 most influential men in health and fitness. He’s the New York Times bestselling author of The Low Carb Athlete and also Beyond Training. He’s also been nominated as America’s top personal trainer.
Prof. Kieran Clarke is a professor of biochemistry at Oxford University in England. Her research is focused on the effects of diet on energy metabolism in heart, brain and skeletal muscle, and thereby on physical performance and cognitive function. She actually started researching ketones in the early 1990s.
You can find out more about Dr. Clarke's work at Oxford University.
Patrick Arnold is an organic chemist. He’s the guy who helped create androstenedione, 1-Androstenediol, and several other popular supplements, also including THG (the “clear”). Patrick is now developing keto supplements, such as KetoForce. You can find Patrick on Twitter.
Mark is a former elite endurance athlete who has made health and fitness his life’s work. He is the author of Mark’s Daily Apple, author of several best-selling books, including The Primal Blueprint and Primal Endurance, and much more. You can find Mark at Mark's Daily Apple, and on Facebook or Twitter.
Professor Tim Noakes is an emeritus professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He has published more than 750 scientific books and articles and has been cited more than 16,000 times in scientific literature. You can find Tim at
For more than 35 years, Dr. Phil Maffetone has been bringing the latest advances in fitness nutrition to health care professionals around the world. He has worked with world class athletes and Phil is an internationally acclaimed author having published more than 20 books.
Menno Henselmans is a certified personal trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association. He is also a board member of the Institute of Nutrition and Fitness Sciences (INFS), India, and FitZonderFabels, the Netherlands. Menno has degrees from Utrecht University in Holland and the University of Warwick in the UK. He is also a fitness model and the director of Bayesian Body-Building.
Dr. Kenneth Ford is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. Dr. Ford received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Tulane University. He is author of hundreds of scientific papers and six books. His research interests include artificial intelligence, cognitive science, human-centered computing and entrepreneurship in government and academia.
Jason Fung is a Nephrologist from Toronto and author of the best-selling health book, The Obesity Code. He has written two other best-selling health books, The Complete Guide to Fasting and The Diabetes Code, and co-founded the Intensive Dietary Management program. You can find Jason at
Travis is a Molecular Biologist and Science Writer. He’s also the author of Tripping Over the Truth: The Return of the Metabolic Theory of Cancer Illuminates a New and Hopeful Path to a Cure, which currently has 166 reviews on Amazon.com and a 4.8 star rating. You can find Travis at
Dr. Mike T. Nelson has a PhD in Exercise Physiology and a BA in Natural Science and an MSc in Biomechanics. He’s spent 18 years of his life learning how the human body works, specifically focusing on proper condition to burn fat and become stronger, more flexible and healthier.
Chris Masterjohn is an Assistant Professor of Health and Nutrition Sciences at Brooklyn College in New York where his primary research focus is on fat-soluble vitamins. He also writes a blog and produces a podcast called Mastering Nutrition. You can find Chris at Chris Masterjohn PhD
Ivor is a Chemical Engineer who spent the last 25 years engineering problem solving in complex high volume consumer products in the medical device industry. In 2013, he began to research cholesterol metabolic syndrome and became obsessed with it. You can find Ivor at The Fat Emperor
Luis Villasenor is an amateur bodybuilder who has built his body almost entirely while on a ketogenic diet. Luis is a certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition (SFN) from the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). He’s also the founder of KetoGains.com and runs communities with tens of thousands of people on Facebook and Reddit. Luis can also be found at KetoGains and Instagram.
More About Louise & Keto Summit
My journey to Keto started before people called it "Keto."
In 2012, I was deep into the low carb movement, and I went on the Low Carb Cruise with Jimmy Moore. I still remember being introduced to the concept of a Ketogenic diet and being in "ketosis" by Dr. Eric Westman and Dr. Andreas Entfeldt while on the cruise. (1)
The LCHF (low carb high fat) movement was just taking off in Scandinavia back in 2012, and we joked about Norway running out of butter. Butter smuggling even became a "thing!" (2)
That was the start of my journey to long-lasting health and wellness, but only a few years previously I had been seriously unhealthy.
I have a Bachelors and a Masters in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University in the UK. And I come from a line of scientists (on both my parents sides...in fact, I shamed the family by not getting a PhD!). You'd think my rigorous scientific background would have helped me realize the secret to health wasn't calories a bit earlier on, but nope!
I spent most of my time during college eating pot noodles, frozen chicken pot pies, cheese on toast, or counting calories excessively. My friends would hate going shopping with me because I would read the label of every product checking the calories.
Of course, I developed a slew of health issues in my early 20s...
You'd think with so many health issues, I'd have been more motivated to find a solution. But I became quite satisfied with the medications my doctor put me on.
It wasn't until I finally started a low carb Paleo diet to lose the weight that I had gained in law school that I finally had my "AHA' moment.
I no longer had brain fog or felt like I needed a nap after each meal. For the first time in many years, I felt energetic and excited about life.
My chronic heartburn vanished (in just a few weeks).
My bloating disappeared and my clothes fit better. The weight slowly came off as well.
The digestive and autoimmune issues took longer to fix, but with the addition of gut-healing bone broth, supplements, autoimmune protocols, extra sleep, and de-stressing, I was finally able to kick those problems too.
I've been off all autoimmune medications (and all medications in general) for over 3 years now, and I feel so grateful every time I think about.
And it wasn't just me that benefitted from Keto...
My father has type 2 diabetes (for several decades now), and after going on a Paleo/Keto diet, he was able to come off his insulin completely. His doctors were amazed!
My husband, Jeremy, first introduced me to a Keto diet. He's the one that loves researching and reading every single study. He's fascinated by what works and optimizing our lives.
For him, a Paleo/Keto lifestyle has helped him lose weight and gain muscle as well as stay productive.
Changing my diet was the first step in a journey that has had a profound impact on my life. Initially, all I cared about was losing weight. But by doing a healthy Keto diet filled with nutrient-dense foods and avoiding toxins like gluten, I suddenly started feeling amazing.
It was such a night and day shift that it forced me to question why I would choose to live any other way.
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard of the Keto diet by now. But exactly what is Keto and how does it affects your body?
If you are the kind of person that asks the tough questions about a new diet, then you are in the right place. This article is a deep dive into the science of the Keto diet.
By the time you are finished with this article, you will have a solid understanding of how this all works. Let’s jump right in and cover the basics.
Whether you’re following Keto for weight loss or for overall health benefits, it’s highly likely you’ve encountered the concept of intermittent fasting.
Don’t worry, we’re not going to be talking about starving yourself today, and there’s no reason you should feel compelled to fast.
If this idea is something that interests you, though, you’re in for a treat today.
Read on and find out if intermittent fasting while following the Ketogenic diet seems like an appropriate course of action for you to meet your goals.
You’ve most likely heard of MCT oil – whether you’re new to Keto or you’ve been following the diet for some time. But is it everything it’s cracked up to be?
There are so many Keto pills, powders and supplements out there. It’s important to get informed about what is just a fad vs what can actually benefit your body.
That’s why this article dives into the science around MCT Oil and explains exactly what MCT Oil is, where it comes from, and how MCT Oil affects your body.
MCT Oil does have powerful health-boosting benefits, and it could make your Keto diet easier. But don’t just take my word for it! Read on to see the evidence for yourself…