Carolyn – Low carb eating is often promoted as the “magic solution” to effortless weight loss. But the truth is, no matter how you eat, your body is going to have issues with the process at some point. It’s not unusual to plateau for longer periods with low carb eating. I’ve experienced it myself and I’ve heard the same from other people. There are so many things to look at when you stall (I feel another blog post coming on!!). Do you eat generally low carb or do you eat keto? Each approach has it’s own solutions.
There’s a lot of confusing with Low carb dieting. I did strict keto for 6 weeks back in April and lost 2 inches off my waist which was my goal but found the diet too restrictive so am slowely getting into low carb but am concerned I’ll gain the wieght back. So if I eat enough carbs to not be in a ketogenic state, but not much more than that, thanwhat happens after my body’s used up all the energy from the consumed carbs? Will it then seek fuel from stored fat again – does this mean you could be in and out of keto daily?
Fat loss is dependent on how many grams in fat macros are being consumed. The body doesn’t just lose fat. It taps into those fat reserves to burn it as fuel, ketones. Yes, you can achieve & maintain ketosis with a high fat diet, as long as it is also low carb. Because low carb is the only requirement to be ketogenic. But high fat is not necessary for weight loss. If the body follows a high fat diet, then it will prioritize the newly consumed fat before it turns to that stored body fat.
Also note that most doctors do not study nutrition, much less nutrition that is viewed as “fringe” in any way. So if you need to work with a medical professional, just know that you may have to search for somebody who knows about this sort of eating plan. These folks are not always easy to find, and there are new studies coming out all the time on this type of eating plan. So look for somebody who keeps up with the latest.
Low carb eating is a broad term that can be applied to many different approaches and eating plans. It can be based on just about any number of carbs that are less than what you would typically eat. Every low carb diet out there from South Beach to Atkins will give you a different number of carbs to shoot for. So if you want to eat low carb, but are not interested in a Keto diet, you will need to do your research on the many, many low carb diets available on the market today.
Thanks for the reply. What’s most confusing is that keto introduced many low-carb but high fat, and therefore, caloric foods. So for instance, before keto, I drank black coffee. On keto I switch to full fat cream and I really like it so I’m still drinking coffee with full fat cream but that means I’m consuming about 5 times the amount of calories I would with my coffee. In ketosis it doesn’t matter because that fat is used up directly as fuel for the day, but if I’m not in ketosis should I switch back to black and start counting calories again?
The kilojoule-counter app MyFitnessPal helped me track how many carbohydrates I was consuming and kept my kilojoule intake in check. But the biggest challenge of this diet was the lack of variety – and the enticing allure of carbs at every turn. I was ready to throw in the towel on day four when a cafe owner refused to make me a bacon and egg roll without the roll. "What am I meant to eat?" I blubbered. In fact, studies in keto diets have found attrition rates are one of the highest challenges of the diet.
I have followed the Ket o diet since February of 2018 and I have lost 58 pounds by doing intermittent fasting. I eat one meal a day and the health benefits have been amazing. I no longer take blood pressure medication and do not crave carbs or sugar. I have followed Dr. Eric Berg on YouTube and learned so much about ketosis. I have searched for recipes and found your site and I like the food you prepare. Thanks for the low carb recipes
Long-term effects can include constipation, diarrhea, lack of energy, iron deficiency, vomiting, and kidney stones. Not to mention, eating such a high-fat diet like keto can also contribute to high triglyceride levels, which increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as high cholesterol. Lastly, going keto can also contribute to a weakened immune system (since carbs help boost immunity) and chronic inflammation, says Zeitlin.
While a ketogenic diet can be fast and effective in the short term, it can be hard to maintain because it’s very limiting. This means a large number of people tend to drop out of the diet, contributing to unhealthy, ‘yo-yo’ dieting behaviour. The key to maintaining a healthy weight in the long-term is an eating pattern that you can sustain over time.
The Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) appears to be the most researched particularly with regard to its ability to help people lose weight and control blood sugar. It typically comprises 70-75% fat, 20% protein and 5-10% carbs. When following a ketogenic diet be sure to include plenty of non-starchy vegetables, like kale and spinach which are very low in carbohydrate. 

I enjoyed reading your article! I too have been following a very strict keto diet. I lost 25 lbs in two months!!! I could not believe it. The toughest part was telling myself that it was okay to consume more fats and that even the sugar in most fruits cause them to have lots of carbs. I use to be a smoothie fanatic, now occasionally I will treat myself to sliced up strawberries and heavy whipping cream whipped up.

Hi Tiffany! I’m a big fan of the keto diet and have been following it for a while. Out of interest do you practice any carb refeed days? I have found that if I add a small amount of carbs to my evening meal twice a week (not a lot – just for example, 1 piece of fruit or half a sweet potato), I fare a lot better. I think this is because I came from a place where I had a lot of healing to do (adrenal stuff). Interested to know your experience?
Made famous by the Atkins Diet and other similar weight-loss plans, low-carb diets are most well-known for shedding pounds fast. And despite what might initially come to mind when you think about low-carb diet plans or what you may have been told about why low-carb diets are bad for you, research suggests that a balanced low-carb diet poses few health risks if done right.
The problem is that when your body is used to burning primarily carbohydrates – as is the case with most people are today – your fat stores are not easily available, and they can’t fuel your brain. This results in your constantly having to fill up by eating before, during and after longer exercise sessions. Or even just to fuel your daily activities and avoid “hanger”.

I have been following a fairly strict Keto diet for the last 4 months. 20g total carbs and have lost 17 lbs and feels so much better. Unfortunately, the way of eating has also given me out of control digestion problems, gas, bloating and serious runs. I am going to back off the Keto and add a few more carbs and hope it helps my tummy and that I can still lose a bit more weight. Another 10 would be perfect.
When your body burns its stores of fat, it can be hard on your kidneys. And starting a ketogenic diet -- or going back to a normal diet afterward -- can be tricky if you’re obese because of other health issues you’re likely to have, like diabetes, a heart condition, or high blood pressure. If you have any of these conditions, make diet changes slowly and only with the guidance of your doctor.

Low carb eating is a broad term that can be applied to many different approaches and eating plans. It can be based on just about any number of carbs that are less than what you would typically eat. Every low carb diet out there from South Beach to Atkins will give you a different number of carbs to shoot for. So if you want to eat low carb, but are not interested in a Keto diet, you will need to do your research on the many, many low carb diets available on the market today.
Maintain a moderate protein intake. A keto diet is not meant to be a very-high-protein diet. We recommend 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kg of reference body weight per day. This means about 100 grams of protein per day if your lean body mass weight is around 70 kilos (155 pounds). Check out our target protein ranges to find out how much protein you should be aiming for each day.
Blood sugars are often high in the morning (dawn phenomena). If you are only on 15-22 carbs per day I would check every label of everything you are eating to ensure carbs are not sneaking in somehow to still give you a reading of 200, or is your protein too high? Do you have insulin resistance? These are all factors which may be at play here. Healthy fats won’t raise BS at all.

My husband and I are following keto. We started January 1st. We recommend being under doctors care if you have any medical issues. We both have heart disease, needed to lose weight and my husband was diabetic type 2. I suffered from kidney issues. Our journey has brought us to lose (husband) 41 pounds (me) 74 pounds. My husband is off all medications (he was taking 7) down to one, with blood work being normal. His heart doctor of course can’t wrap his mind around this diet and even though the blood work is normal he wants to still have him on 3 medicines for preventative purposes. He is no longer on any diabetes medicine and has more energy than ever before. With me the kidneys were a big issue so getting levels every three weeks was not fun, but with keto you must drink at least eight glasses of water. I drink 12 glasses of water a day. We will definitely stay on keto and watch macros. We use 5% carbs, 70% fat and 20% protein.

Definitely! To successfully maintain weight loss from either (or any) diet, Zeitlin advises focusing on doubling your veggies, eating lean proteins (fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, shellfish, lentils, tofu), healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil), fresh fruit, and whole grains. “That is what is going to help the weight come off and stay off,” she says.
I have been on a Keto diet now for 6 weeks and although I have lost about 6 lbs, I find I am constantly mildly nauseated. I talked to my doctor about it and he doesn’t know what to recommend. I have come to the conclusion that it is the amount of fat I eat, which is in keeping with the keto directions my doctor gave me. Granted being nauseated does keep my appetite in check, but it is not a fun feeling, especially since as a meal time rolls around, I know I need to eat, but nothing appeals to me. Any suggestions?
I eat a diet that varies from ketogenic to simply very low carb, and I love it. After a lifetime of being overweight and unfit, I am now, in middle age, in the best shape of my life. I weigh less and wear a smaller size than I did in my teens. I am also stronger and fitter than ever. In addition, my physician was "keep[ing] an eye on" a number of health issues of the type that most people assume are the inevitable result of ageing: Elevated blood lipids; elevated blood pressure; elevated blood sugar. I attribute a great deal of my success to the fact that I was motivated this time much more by health than vanity. They wanted me to go on statins, and I just refused. I applied myself in earnest to a low-carb way of eating, and in the course of my research I learned about ketogenic diets. I normally eat about 75 grams a day of fat; when I am riding regularly, that's often 100 or more; during long-distance rides, 150+.
What about your lean body mass that is mentioned several times above – how do you figure out what that is? This is the weight of everything in your body that isn’t fat. The calculator will automatically figure this out based on the body fat % that you enter, which you can estimate using the chart below. You could also manually calculate it if you’re curious: