Monthly Archives: February 2013

Some while ago Mark Maunder created a blog post describing how to start a “Basic Ketogenic Diet“.

Skinny RepliesIt has developed into quite a little community forum, so far (Feb 12 2013) producing 203 comments and becoming a valuable resource.

However, there are a couple of tiny problems:

  1. Mark’s WP theme means that when you get replies to replies they get too skinny to read
  2. The entire blog vanished for a couple of days recently, making me worry that we could lose the whole resource.
  3. Some comments have been waiting a long time for approval

So I have taken the liberty of taking all the replies and making them easier to read, and adding a few live links to make things easier to follow up.

First thing to say: no one on this site, including me, is medically or nutritionally qualified; anything we say is from personal experience or from reading.  My personal ideal (and, I think, many people commenting here) is that there is little definitive science in the world of nutrition (it’s too difficult to do unless you can seal people up in cages and only feed them precise amounts) so we are all researching that works for us as individuals, and sharing that in the hope that it might provide some useful ideas for others.


This is a seriously long post: you want to check out these, first:[hr]

Ketogenic What is a Ketogenic Diet, in a nutshell?
Ketogenic A Guide to Ketosis
Ketogenic What is the Ketogenic Diet Good For?
Ketogenic Tips for Starting and Restarting Ketosis
Ketogenic On Ketogenic Diets
Ketogenic How to Use the Keto Calculator
Ketogenic Ketone Testing
Ketogenic A one-page intro to Ketogenic Diets, to hand to medical sceptics
Ketogenic 203 Comments on Mark Maunder’s “Basic Ketogenic Diet”

Here they all are:


Ahlam on February 12, 2013 at 3:13 am said:

Hey everyone! I started 14 days ago and lost 6 kgs but i put on 1 kgs a couple of days ago because i fell sick and had to cheat. However , i cant seem to take the smell of food anymore and literally force myself to eat.

If any one knows a sort of curry we can have or how to make protein bread (i heard it has no carbs and is made of Soy) please let me know!

Reply: Brenda Maybelline on February 11, 2013 at 10:14 pm said:

I would like to start this….I’m wondering how long most people stay eating this way? is this a life-style or eating this way until you have desired weight loss? and what happens if I did it for 2 weeks, and then ate back to normal…. would all the weight regain quickly, or has people find it stays off if your eating is appropriate? Thanks for your time…

Reply: James on February 12, 2013 at 4:07 am said:

I don’t know about others, but for me it’s a way of life (should that be “weigh of life”.)

The only difference is that you may want to adjust how much you eat depending on whether you want to lose or maintain your weight.

But if it makes you think more clearly, be more healthy, avoid a host of degenerative diseases, who would want to go back!

Humanity ate this way or 2,000,000 years and was a LOT healthier than we are.

If what you eat now got you to the way you are now, and you don’t like the way you are now, why go back to it when you find something better!?

Reply: Heather Holman on February 10, 2013 at 6:48 pm said:

Hi Everyone,

I am so glad I found this page! It has answered a lot of questions I had about a Ketogenic diet. I am on my 3rd week of Ultra-Lite which is ketogenic based.

I lost 4 kgs the first week ( around 2ish pounds?) sorry I am in Australia. The 2nd week I lost 3 kgs (about 1.5 pounds) Then when I got weighed Saturday I put on 1.5kgs!!! I almost had a heart attack thinking I have done something wrong, however the nutritionist I see has scales that measure body fat, water percentage and muscle mass. Because I was losing muscle the previous weeks, they upped my protein so I had actually gained muscle, but lost 3% body fat. I was relieved that this was the case, plus reading other responses I can see that this is normal. However, will this continue? When would I expect to see actual kg’s lost? Also I noticed some posts stating stay away from fruit, but I am allowed to have either 100g of Rockmelon, or Strawberries or half a grapefruit per day.

Thank you


Reply: James Hardiman on February 10, 2013 at 7:56 pm said:

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="0983490708" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="107"]Hi, Heather, first thing to say is that your kg -> lbs sums are upside down! 1kg is 2.2 lbs, so when you say you lost 4kg in the first week, that’s 8.8 lbs, which is stunning! However, my guess is that a lot of that was water. If you read experts (try Volek and Phinney’s book on low-carb lifestyle) they explain that you lose a lot of sodium on a Ketogenic diet, and hence water that you may have been hanging on to also goes. Also, glycogen bonds with water, and as you burn your glycogen stores they give up water.

This stabilises after a while.

Sounds to me like your nutritionists know what they are doing (and that’s a precious thing!) so stick with them!

In your first two weeks you lost over 15 lbs! That’s stunning (although I have experienced that myself), so putting 3.3lbs back on is not a disaster … especially if your body-fat percentage has dropped.

I found over the long term I was losing about 3kg per week, but I am a BIG man: I should expect a woman to lose less … but, as I say, sounds like to are getting excellent care from your nutritionist … wish I had one that good close to me!

PS: For non-Aussies “Rockmelon” = “Canteloupe”.

Reply: Heather Holman on February 10, 2013 at 9:09 pm said:

Sorry James, I have Mondayitis here : / My nutritionist also measures me each week which is also a good indicator, I have lost so far 37cms from all over. Although I am craving peanuts & cashews (my only craving) I did give in and had some last weekend : / so when I did my ketostick this morning it had no reading. I guess I really shouldnt have those? Especially salted nuts!!!

Reply: Erin on February 3, 2013 at 3:04 am said:

Do we look at the total carbs or “carbs from sugars” on the labels?

Cheers all.

Reply: James Hardiman on February 3, 2013 at 7:58 pm said:

Depends how strict you’re aiming to be. I’m type 2 diabetic and highly carb sensitive, so I count total, and aim to stay under 20. If you’re less sensitive, leave out the carbs from fibre.

Remember, you’re a research study with a cohort of 1.

But tell the world how you get on!

Reply: Olayinka on February 5, 2013 at 7:00 am said:

I discovered this article on Sunday and decided to try it out, but opted for low carbs as opposed to no carbs; yesterday was my first low card day and I woke up this morning 2kg lighter!!! Dramatic!!!

Reply: Brent on January 30, 2013 at 8:24 pm said:

Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, good blog!

Reply: Kayley on January 28, 2013 at 6:10 am said:

Can you have gravy granules or salad cream? Also I know greek yogurt is good for low carb diets. Can someone suggest a low carb one from tescos?

Reply: Kayley on January 29, 2013 at 1:05 am said:

Iv asked a few questions on here now and not got a reply from anyone

Reply: jrider on January 29, 2013 at 10:36 am said:

I just found this site on Google. There are a LOT of questions and replies by many people (other than the author.) You may not get any answers at all! The rule of thumb with KG diets is extremely simple. You can eat “whatever” you want as long as the carbohydrate content is very low. In the case of Greek Yogurt, or any yogurt for that matter, the carbs per serving is probably a tad on the high side to allow you to reach Ketosis. What I do is eat Sour Cream. It tastes and has a very similar texture to yogurt, but is considerably lower in carbs. It’s as simple as that.

Reply: James Hardiman on January 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm said:

Well! That sent me straight to the fridge. Our sour cream is (for a 30g serving) 5gm fat, 1gm protein, 1gm carb, so the ratio is excellent 5+1:1. (makes me wonder what the other 23gms are out of the 30gm serving! Water, I suppose).

So I’ve been spooning it down: really craving fat today. I’d kill for some good, old-fashioned British “pork scratchings”. I don’t know what they do to them here in the USA but they are like orange styrofoam. You could eat them without teeth.

There are two websites that give good nutrition information, and  I try to use Skip The Pie wherever possible, partly because the information is more extensive, and partly because it belongs to Mark Maunder, who started the Basic Ketogenic Diet blog post.  However, its database is not as extensive as Fat Secret’s: I just searched for “Greek Yoghurt” in Skip The Pie and it asked me if I meant “green yoghurt”!

Reply: mhikl on January 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm said:

Be careful of Sour Cream. It must say (hoping it doesn’t lie) “Cultured”. If not, it may be processed by the commercial artist who don’t mind poisoning children and the elderly. (The middle ones are stronger.)

I found in Eastern Canada that did not have a large Ukrainian population that their sour cream was artificially made. In the West we get the real stuff.

Also, good sour cream is at least 18% fat. The extra calories, James, probably comes from corn starch; a modern evil.

Reply: James Hardiman on January 29, 2013 at 5:18 pm said:

No, not extra calories … extra weight. No starch in this (would I have nothing that wasn’t cultured?!)

… we even make our own sauerkraut!

Reply: James Hardiman, on January 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm said:

Yup, getting close: Milk is composed of approximately 87.4% water and 12.6% milk solids

Butter is about 35-65, so I guess cream is in the middle.

Reply: mhikl on January 29, 2013 at 5:41 pm said:

These lines get skinnier and skinner with each level to replies, so Why can’t I?

Curious if your low fat S/C says “Cultured”.

Yup, I’m going to make a boat load of sauerkraut come autumn. I’ve got a mess of 4L pickle jars I used to use for Kombucha.

Reply: mhikl on January 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm said:

Hi Kayley; Bummer when one has a question that doesn’t get answered.

I’m no expert but when I occasionally eat Yoghourt I go for the highest fat content. We get Astro 6% I believe. I think I have seen a Greek one at 9% but wouldn’t swear to %. Also, if you are using it for probiotics, I suspect one only needs a Tbs or two at a meal. —It’ll be a cold day in my probable destiny the time I don’t demolish a tub before a sun set. Remember to check carb, sugar and corn starch content numbers.

Reply: James Hardiman on January 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm said:

Hopefully (he hopes) it won’t have HFCS in it in the UK … although imported stuff (Coke, Pepsi) does, there just isn’t so much in the UK.

I’m going on vacation in Crete in April-May–that’s where you can get yoghurt straight from the farmer who made it.

Reply: Kayley on January 30, 2013 at 1:05 am said:

I saw someone mention pork scratchings are we allowed them? ? I love them x

Reply: James Hardiman on January 30, 2013 at 10:04 am said:

Yes!! And mail some to me, please! ;<)

Reply: Heather on February 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm said:

Known as pork rinds in Canada/us if you are looking.

Reply: James on February 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm said:

American Pork Rinds

British Pork Scratchings

Thanks, Heather … I wish I could show you the difference between US pork rinds and UK Pork scratchings! We are going to make some: I will post a picture.  It’s the same idea, but American pork rinds you can eat without teeth.  British pork scratchings will probably break your teeth!

Reply: El on January 27, 2013 at 5:48 am said:

What about Yogurt??

Reply: James Hardiman on January 27, 2013 at 10:52 am said:

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B001GVIS4M" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="160"]Well, Mmm … Depends on a lot of factors … But …

How about making home-made kefir from coconut milk. Easy, and way better. And it replaces those good gut bacteria.

What’s kefir? Kind of like yoghurt; often made with sheep’s or goat’s milk. Just Google “home made coconut kefir” and you should come up with a ton of recipes. You have to get some kefir culture to start it off: google that, too, or ask at your local health foods store (you can get it mail order if you’re out in the boonies). And you only need it once … you just keep adding coconut milk, and it just keeps fermenting.


Reply: Lpc on January 27, 2013 at 5:57 pm said:

Hi… Read this article and followed it since last Sunday and I’ve lost 4 pounds in a week! Awesome and I feel better now, I did have headaches and a light-headed feeling the first few days but feel myself now. I’m simply following your guidelines above and some of your recipes. I am however, tasting a funny after taste in my mouth and can’t really find any sugar-free gum that is completely sugar-free!? Is this normal? Also, is a cup of coffee in the morning with sugar-free creamer ok for this plan?

Reply: James on January 27, 2013 at 6:45 pm said:

Cup of coffee is great.

Try reading the label of sugar-free creamer:


INGREDIENTS: Water, Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, and/or Cottonseed Oil, Less than 2% of Sodium Caseinate, (Milk Derivative), Maltodextrin, Dipotassium Phosphate, Color Added, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Natural Flavors, & Artificial Flavors, Polysorbate 60, Carrageenan, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Betacarotene. Color.

You really want to put that in your body!?!?!?

Also, notice the second ingredient: Corn Syrup. That’s High-Fructose Corn Syrup. Yuk.

Try heavy whipping cream instead!

As for sugar-free gum:

But I know the feeling–for a long time on this diet I cleaned my teeth way more than was normal for me. My dentist was pleased!

Reply: aisha on January 28, 2013 at 4:18 am said:


my and my husband started this diet last monday we have been following it very strictly on eating the foods listed above.

i weighed my self on thursday and i lost 9lbs(water weight )

today has been a full week on the diet i did the test with the ketostix and it was dark purple but when i weighed my self i had put on 4lbs ???? how is this ?

Reply: James Hardiman on January 28, 2013 at 5:32 am said:

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B002JE2PSA" locale="us" height="48" src="" width="75"][simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B0077L8YOO" locale="us" height="110" src="" width="110"]Here’s an interesting experiment that everyone should do.

First, make sure that you have accurate scales. I live in two places: in the UK I have Withings scales, here in the USA I have FitBit Aria scales.

Now, choose an ordinary day when you will be home all day. Weigh yourself as soon as you get up, then every hour until you go to bed. If you don’t have digital scales, make sure you write down all the weights.

I will be surprised if your weight fluctuates less than +/- 4lbs during the day. And here’s something even more strange … try weighing yourself before and after you visit the bathroom. You’d expect your weight to fall, but often it goes up!

Partly this is due to inaccuracies in the scales. Sometimes I step on the scales and the numbers zoom up and down and it takes the scales ages to settle down and pick a weight … I think this has to do with how still I am standing.

Partly it’s something to do with moment-to-moment fluid levels in the body: Volek and Phinnick talk about that in “Art and Science of Low-Carb Living”.

On the other hand, sometimes you can chug down a quart of water and watch your weight fall.

This is why a lot of people say “don’t weigh”. I disagree. That’s like saying to an airline pilot “don’t look at your navigation instruments”.

You just have to learn their characteristics. If you can step on your scales, step off and step back on 5 times in a row and get the same measurement 5 times, please post here and tell us the brand of scales you use!

So, 4lb weight gain can just be your scales, how still you’re standing, moment-to-moment fluid levels, or some as-yet-unresearched aspect of the human body. Don’t worry: it happens!

Reply: James Hardiman on January 28, 2013 at 5:33 am said:

Oh, and … everything I have said above assumes you’re weighing yourself naked!

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B00472I1V2" locale="us" height="100" src="" width="110"]Reply: aisha on January 28, 2013 at 7:02 am said:

i did it i got on and off the scales 5 times and got exact same readings

im using ozeri precision digital bathroom scales

brought from amazon

Reply: James on January 28, 2013 at 8:31 am said:

They look very smart (and accurate, and cheaper than Withings or Fitbit Aria!)

Now for the every-hour measurements throughout the day …

Reply: aisha on January 28, 2013 at 9:27 am said:

will do as soon as i have a day which im home all day

Reply: James Hardiman on January 28, 2013 at 8:48 pm said:

[simpleazon-link asin="0983490708" locale="us"]From Phinney and Volek: Art and Science of Low Carb Living:[/simpleazon-link]

The other set of assessment tools deserving of comment are those used to determine weight and body composition. Although modern scales are generally consistent and even pretty accurate, they suffer from not being able to differentiate water from muscle from fat. This is particularly important for the individual trying to chart her/his course on a weight loss diet because humans do not regulate their body water content precisely. So if a 70 kg adult typically contains an average of 42 liters of water, over the course of a day that person’s body does not care if it contains 41 liters as opposed to 43 liters of water. Above 43 liters, the kidneys speed their function and clear the excess fluid, whereas below 41 liters, thirst prompts us to increase our water intake. The result is that most people’s weight varies randomly across a range equivalent to 2 liters of water – about 4 pounds.

Reply: Mel on January 25, 2013 at 2:03 pm said:

Hello all, I am very glad to have found a blog up to date (2013)! I started the ketogenic diet on Monday. I had to call of work on Wednesday since I felt extremely ill, as if I’ve had the flu. Tuesday night I must have gotten up 15 times to pee. By Thursday I felt much better, my Ketostix shows that I’m at the moderate level (40 mg/dL), and today I am actually craving fats! I want cheese, chicken thighs, steak, yum! Looking at my fitness pal tracker (I’ve always diligently counted calories), my diet was mostly carbohydrate based, however being gluten free. The funny thing is I had weird dreams last night, and at one point giant corn cobs were floating on the beachshore…Naturally I was dreaming of the beach in this freezing cold KY weather! Hilarious. Anyways, I can’t wait to cook dinner, and I am so excited that wine is acceptable! I thought alcohol was a form of sugar that needed to be avoided..? I typically had the occasional glass of red wine before bed prior to starting this diet. Any particular reds that you suggest? I.e cab sav, merlot, etc? Thank you, keep up the good work everyone!

Reply: aisha on January 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm said:

are you allowed to use spices such as turmeric curry powder or chilly powder and herbs like mint basil?

Reply: James Hardiman on January 26, 2013 at 1:21 pm said:

Absolutely! Turmeric very good anti-cancer. All herbs and spices OK.

Cinnamon very good for controlling blood sugar if you’re diabetic (but beware sugar-cinnamon mix!)

Reply: aisha on January 27, 2013 at 10:34 am said:

thank you for your ur reply

Reply: Florina on January 25, 2013 at 8:30 am said:

I have been on the keto diet for 7 months now and i have lost a total of 20 pounds. I am 26 years old, 5ft 6 and 110lb. Some might say i overdid it but i assure you i did not starve myself in any way, i ate when i was hungry, i did not even controlled my portions that much. Most of the days i cannot consume that much protein so i have veggies and dairy products (most of it is cheese, yogurt or cream). I also alternate cardio and weight training 4 times a week, for like 45 minutes a session but all that started after loosing all this weight just by dieting, to tone me up. I really do feel great. Oh, but i also have a cheat day where i load with carb, usually things that i like but cannot eat such as bananas or cherries or even something with sugar. However, the cheat days have decreased in intensity since i cannot consume that much sugar anymore, makes me sick. I still have cravings but in my cheat days i found that it takes a small snack to calm me down. I could never go back an eating like i used to, with all the pasta, bread, potatoes and sugar. My body just cannot handle it anymore, but only clean products.

Reply: James on January 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm said:

Brilliant! Well done, and thanks for sharing that.

Reply: billy on January 25, 2013 at 6:02 am said:

also about the wine, if one was to have maybe 2 or 3 glasses of wine whilst out socializing how would that effect the diet?

Reply: James Hardiman on January 25, 2013 at 6:21 am said:

Yes, but …

It’s more likely to effect how you think. A few years ago I spent about four months on a Very Low Calorie (VLCD) Diet … 600 calories a day, Total Food Replacement … a special formula you can only get in certain pharmacies in the UK. It was ketogenic, but only just, so strictness was necessary.

It was tough at first, but after a bit there was a certain high knowing that I was doing something special, there was a certain “cleanliness” in it.

I think some of us are addicted. It might be to certain food items (chocolate, cookies, etc) or to classes of nutrition (carbs), or just to eating. It’s difficult to go “cold turkey” if you’re a food addict, which was why I liked the TFR route.

I think “a few glasses at a party” might be the thin end of the wedge. Personally I would say be tough, be strong, be clean … treat it like you’re a recovering carb-o-holic (get yourself a sponsor!) until you reach your goal.

Reply: mhikl on January 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm said:

The addiction point is important. I have tried every diet style, pretty much, over the past forty some years and only the raw Ketogenic life-style seems to deal with addictions for me. Recently I have given up chocolate, pop & Club Soda, ice cream, nuts, potato chips/crisps, beer, wine, ice-cream and fresh ground coffee. Strangely I don’t miss them. Instant coffee and cream, and Scotch, are my last sins and my coffees are getting weaker and less creamy. Understand that my tea and Scotch will have to be torn from my cold, dead hands and shall stay as my few sins to keep me from becoming boringly pious. I have come to suspect that carbohydrates, starch, sugar -whatever you want to call it- is the devil’s doorway to sins of the tastebuds and reinforce food addictions. Would be interesting to hear if others have found this to be the case for them. The mentioned addictions have been a thorn in all my diet regimes before. But maybe it just comes with the length of the tooth.

Reply: Mel on January 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm said:

I love this: “Understand that my tea and Scotch will have to be torn from my cold, dead hands and shall stay as my few sins to keep me from becoming boringly pious.” BRAVO!

Reply: billy on January 24, 2013 at 7:41 am said:

why can you have milk in tea but not in coffee? is there a reason for this?

i’m gonna try this diet, what kind of exercise regime would people use whilst using this diet? i was wanting to do lots of running and biking but bit worried my body will suffer by not having any carb intake during running/biking, any advice peeps?

Reply: mhikl on January 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm said:

billy, new theories on exercise suggest a return to pre-sixties fair. Walks with sudden sprints as though escaping a mad puma, slow pushups, pull-ups, sit-ups, round out the regime. I have given two dogs enlarged hearts by over exercising them and suspect the same happens with running, as the stats suggest in the short lives of long-distance runners. There are some good discussions on this topic on the web.

Reply: James Hardiman on January 26, 2013 at 9:47 pm said:

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="0307279189" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="104"]I just finished Born To Run by Chris McDougall. Completely blew my mind (I am NOT a runner).

You can get it on Kindle.

Also, look at theories of HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training) … Tabata. Just Google that with Paleo.

And look up McDougall’s TED talk. That and the book made me throw out hiking boots. I now have [simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B004LT2Y32" locale="us" height="48" src="" width="75"][simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B003BEER7O" locale="us" height="75" src="" width="75"][simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B004ZFN4AO" locale="us" height="69" src="" width="75"] and my wife just bought VFFs. And we both got Ininji socks.


Reply: mhikl on January 27, 2013 at 8:50 pm said:

There’s some strange language there, James. It will take a while before I can respond. I hope it is all agin heavy workouts as walking & sprints is about all I can accommodate and still be pleasant to live with.

Reply: James Hardiman on January 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm said:

Born to Run isn’t about what we (you and I) “should” do … it’s about what we (human beings) *could* do. I’m probably the least fit person on this forum … I can’t run 1/2 a mile.

But I am inspired to start moving when I learn about people who can (and do) regularly run 50, 100, 200 miles in one go.

I am amazed that humans can outrun any other creature on the planet, given a long-enough distance.

Ketogenic diets are based on what humans used to eat. Born to Run gives an insight on how they used to exercise. It wasn’t lifting weights and it wasn’t wearing Nikes!

Reply: mhikl on January 28, 2013 at 10:31 pm said:

James, I downloaded ‘Born to Run’ and what a great book. It covers so many topics and really sets the stage for truly understanding what human running is all about. I thrive on having my common presumptions overturned (the Greek dude who dropped dead at the finish line leaving scatter dead & giver uppers in his dust- wussies). I have never accepted the idea that the modern understanding of running was correct, otherwise there would be not the injuries we hear about so often.

HIIT I sort of once understood and the search has revived my memory and it is sort of what I do in a limited way. I have watched documentaries on African men running their prey to exhaustion. The parts all come together now.

I used to use moccasins when I taught in Northern Alberta but they do wear out. I will be searching for replacements and suggestions would be appreciated. I do not think I want to try the ones like gloves. Hip damage makes it even difficult to put on a sock and shoe. The pain had mostly gone away since giving up wheat 2000 ([simpleazon-image align="right" asin="039914255X" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="106"]). More improvement is evident on Keto-Primal. Can regeneration be taking place?

Suggestion for all. Check out [simpleazon-image align="right" asin="0738209570" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="123"]. They are really relaxing (not stretching) movements that bring memory back to the muscle and brain. (NB: They are done so slowly that no matter how slow you do them, your are not going slowly enough. Mind and movement are involved.) I started them in my early fifties when I realised I was getting a hump and walking was a strain. I swear I returned to the agility of a thirty year old. Stretch tears, Somatics release and return to earlier realities.

Reply: SS on January 23, 2013 at 7:19 am said:

I’m on day 3 and started with a 2 day fast I rarely eat much fat and am not very keen on it happy to munch down protein tho will i still reach ketosis Waiting on ketostix del. I’m also doing alternate day fasting in an attempt to speed up belly fat reduction will this be effective or is it essential to have a high fat intake. Trying to make things tasty – are garlic and ginger ok?

Reply: James on January 23, 2013 at 7:37 am said:

Garlic and ginger fine. Beware of going too hard on the not eating: you need your nutrition!

If you want to know about Intermittent Fasting (IF), check out the Jaminet’s [simpleazon-image align="right" asin="145169914X" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="106"]. They recommend only eating each day during an 8-hour window (during daylight, mainly) which gives you a 16-hour fast each day.

Michael Allen Smith has some great stuff about IF and his experience of it: … but I think he’s now come down to a max of 16 hours.

Do be careful that you’re not damaging your body by alternate day fasting: the Critical MAS blog will help you understand the pros and cons, and he links to other people who work in this area.

The big risk with fasting is that you start burning muscle rather than fat. What you’re aiming for is “autophagy” where your live cells hoover up dying cells, but not catabolism.

One of the leaders in the field is [simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B007DQ378G" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="113"] with his “Eat Stop Eat” book (which I haven’t read). Michael Smith reviews the book in his blog.  (I think the title may have changed).

Reply: Megha on January 21, 2013 at 7:17 pm said:

Hi! This is a fantastic article and a very informative chat thread! I need to lose atleast 25 lbs so that I can fit into my favorite jeans again! I’m vegetarian and although the meal plan lists a lot of great veggies, I didn’t see any tofu or soy protein being mentioned. Can I eat tofu or soy protein? What about cottage cheese? Thanks in advance for your answers.


Reply: Sam on January 21, 2013 at 10:51 am said:

Hi, It is the first time I am checking my Ketone level after 5 days of starting my diet. the Ketone Level is 150 mg/dl.

GLU is negative. the ketosix became dark after 20 Seconds. is it safe !? am I in the state of ketosis or should I wait for it to come down? Please help me

Reply: James Hardiman on January 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm said:

First thing to say: no one on this site, including me, is medically or nutritionally qualified; anything we say is from personal experience or from reading.

That said: mine never got that high, as far as I’m aware!

I would say that you are definitely in ketosis!

Are you drinking enough? Your pee should be almost clear.

How are you feeling? What is your situation? Have you discussed this with anyone qualified?

I’ll have a look and see if any of my favourite qualified people have anything to say.

Reply: Sam on January 21, 2013 at 10:55 pm said:

Thank you very much for quick response that was very helpful, couldnt sleep last night because of worrying. I called my doctor and he haven’t heard about Ketogenic Diet at all (I live in Iran)! I dont drink more than 2-3 glass of water per day and I dont pee frequently like everyone talk about it. I think I got obsessive about carbs in vegetables I check all the time for everything I want to eat and that resulted to not eating any vegetable at all(all of them have carbs). I couldnt find ketostix here (amazon doesnt work in Iran) but I found “Insight Expert Urinalysis Reagent Strips” yesterday which shows 10 different factors in Urine. anyway the result was as I explained in the last post ( Ketone 150 and Glucose was Negative.I have lost my overeating habit and I kinda hate all the foods which is weird for a guy my size (300 lbs) I have this dizziness in the last 3 days and I believe I have sever Constipation( with no pain) which I believe must be as a result of not eating any vegetable since I started this diet.

Reply: mhikl on January 24, 2013 at 10:33 am said:

Sam, if you have constipation it may be because you are not eating enough fat. I remember when on the Atkins diet I ate more protein than fat and had BM problems. We really don’t need much protein as its main purpose is to repair and build muscle. All extra protein is converted to carbohydrates and uric acid- neither being good. I do a ratio of roughly 2 weights of fat to 1 weight of protein and at times five fat to two protein. The more beef tallow (raw or cooked) you add to your diet in comparison to protein, the easier your stools will pass, I find. They should float, if I may be so bold. Too much protein is the culprit usually if you are not eating heavy carbs. When I do my 2 to 1 or other measure of fat to protein, I count protein and carb veggies as one since they have the same calorie count of 4 vs 9 calorie grams for fat. So I gram weigh my protein and carb salads or low carb veg together making sure that the bulk of the mix is protein.

One comment on bran is that it does bulk up the stool but it also scratches the bowls which do repair quickly (almost instantly) but still leave you open to bad things getting into your blood stream. Fat is far safer to ease the travel of waste through this delicate system.

Information on all this can be found at good sites with a search.

But most people on a ketogenic diet usually use too much protein and not enough fat I speculate from experience, research and comments here and elsewhere.

Elsewhere I shall comment on raw paleo, my favourite way to eat.

Reply: Sam on January 26, 2013 at 9:32 pm said:

thank you all for your responses. I believe my high Ketone level was matter of dehydration as James was mentioned and mhikl you are totally right about fat to protein ratio but its a little difficult to change it because I seldom become hungry these days . how about eating MCT Oil? any experience ?

Reply: mhikl on January 27, 2013 at 10:27 pm said:

Sam, I use the MCT, coconut oil and butter along with ground beef and pork fat. I have just always loved fatty meat which may be due to being an O blood. A’s and AB’s tend not to do so well, nor do they tend to like it. Re water: I love water and a slosh of cranberry juice and with a Tbs of Vit C powder in an Arizona bottle 670ml, I;m always refreshed. I also use Clayton Nolte’s structured water[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="1460939425" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="128"] which helps with absorption vs just irrigating the body. Check him out for details on naturally healthy water.

Reply: cavenewt on January 24, 2013 at 10:38 am said:

I had been hooked on a bowl of oatmleal every morning for “regularity.” After going zero-carb, it took a few weeks or months for my system to adjust to less insoluble fiber. I concur with mhikl’s comment about needing more fat and less protein.

Reply: James Hardiman on January 24, 2013 at 11:17 am said:

Anyone else tried konjac noodles? They are supposed to be good (soluble fibre). I was worried as many people say they smell of fish (I hate fish) and are very slimy (don’t do slimy, either), but they are fine if you rinse them and then “dry fry” them just to dry off the moisture.

Reply: cavenewt on January 24, 2013 at 11:56 am said:

I buy’em by the case from No fishiness whatsoever. Usually I throw them in stir fries to bulk things up a bit. My kid refuses to accept them as a spaghetti substitute, though!

Reply: robert f on January 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm said:

I see nuts have a few carbs how much can I eat

Reply: James on January 23, 2013 at 9:43 pm said:

What sort of nuts? Look them up on

Decide what your daily carb allowance is: stick within it.

What’s the ratio of Fat+Protein to carbs?

Reply: Rachelle on January 20, 2013 at 6:31 pm said:

Just was wondering if zucchini and squash are ok on this? I’m going to start it tomorrow and give it a go…

Reply: Max on January 20, 2013 at 11:32 am said:

I really cant believe it is happening. i have lost 4 Kg in just 5 days. I dont know why I dont become hungry at all!

I eat less than 5 grams of Carbs per day is it safe ?

Reply: Jackie on January 18, 2013 at 3:33 am said:

Hi, This all makes sense to me somehow! I am 49 female – can you tell me please if i will need a calcium supplement whilst on this eating plan as I dont see any obvious sources of calcium? Many thanks – started with my poached eggs this morning. i think I will struggle with natural fat – although one of my fav meals is finely sliced sirloin steak stir fry with veg ! I can eat full fat natural yoghurt and cheese? I am used to oats and milk for breakfast which was my only milk source as I drink tea, coffee and green tea with no milk in! Sorry for the ramble – any advice in keeping calcium up be appreciated – I can do without any ill effects on my bones! x

Reply: James Hardiman on January 18, 2013 at 8:34 am said:

Talking to my 63-year-old wife, who cares about these things: she says “the thinking about calcium has changed enormously recently. Taking too much calcium has been shown to actually cause calcium to leach from your bones. Beware all the marketing hype for dairy insisting that you consume it “to protect your bones”. Watch the movie “Perfect Human Diet”: the MD that has so much success with his patients says you don’t need dairy once you’re no longer a baby.

Go on to Mercola’s website and search for calcium, also Micheal Eades’ Protein Power website and Paul Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet.

Basically your concern is not to be consuming too much calcium, rather than too little, I think.

Reply: mhikl on January 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm said:

Another good site to check out is Walter Last, James. Magnesium, I learned forty years ago and am again seeing it mentioned, is the great regulator. My mum in the seventies had a terrible potassium deficiency that sent her to hospital in a coma. This repeated itself until I found the answer a year or so later. I checked out health books at a second hand shop and found a small book that said there were four electrolytes: Salt, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium and that magnesium controlled the lot. Once on high magnesium tablets she never entered hospital for this problem again. However, her two younger sisters died from the same problem. I am very pro magnesium as it kept my mum alive and her leg cramps at bay.

Reply: cavenewt on January 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm said:

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B004USSV36" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="86"]Magnesium is important. Most magnesium supplements are magnesium oxide, which does not absorb well. I use magnesium malate (chelated). Can get it from Amazon.

Reply: aisha on January 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm said:

are you allowed to use spices such as tumeric curry powder or chilly powder and herbs like mint basil?

Reply: livewell on January 19, 2013 at 8:44 am said:

I don’t know the answer at all. And perhaps the combination of foods on this diet negates the effect, but another factor to consider in terms of calcium is speculation that a diet high in animal protein can leach/deplete the calcium from bones.

I am in the midst of getting to ketosis but I only plan to do it for a very short period of time (two weeks or so) specifically due to concerns related to calcium etc. (and I really don’t have much weight to lose so I see this as a fast way to shed the fat and also reduce/rebalance my carb intake which has slowly been inching up and thus the pounds).

Good luck with it though – the ketosis does feel great… I did it once many years ago and never felt better. Clear-headed, no digestion problems, no sleepiness through the day.

Reply: Jackie on January 22, 2013 at 10:15 am said:

Hi – I’m doing well on it so far – one week and losing 1 – 2lb per day. Using the basic diet plan mentioned in the article with turnaround of chicken, salmon, steak strips either with veg stir fry or salad . Dont know if I am in the keto state as I’m not using the sticks! Today I was treated to lunch and managed to choose a steak with salad (no chips/potatoes) and the drink deal was beer, wine or soft drink – bah! Now I like my wine but I’m guessing the white wine (even dry) is way too sugar/carb (and hard to stop at one!) so I had a vodka with soda water – my question is: could I have it with tonic water as tonic actually has a nice flavour – or do you have to ask for low cal tonic? I know the flavour is quinine but I’m not sure if tonic has sugar in it as opposed to soda water which doesn’t? This would help me decide my new drink when out (occasional) and keep me thinking about those carbs/sugars to avoid. I am really enjoying looking at the labels etc and finding out about all these hidden sugars/carbs – even sugar in some sausages ! So far no hunger and no cravings – yeah!

Reply: Bubkiwi on January 17, 2013 at 7:42 pm said:

Am finding it really hard to eat this amount of food. To me it is a huge amount for 1 day, and even though I weigh 128 kgs, have never been a “big” eater,but have been obese my entire 55 years of life. So does it matter if I don’t eat everything on the suggested 3 day menu? I also do not feel hungry ever until later in the day so struggle to eat anything before about 3pm. Would a protein shake at some stage before about noon help? Thanks

Reply: James on January 17, 2013 at 8:10 pm said:

Only eat when you’re hungry!

Reply: Bubkiwi on January 17, 2013 at 8:19 pm said:

Good. Suits me. No probs getting rid of carbs. Hard to up the fat content… but we getting there

Reply: Max on January 16, 2013 at 8:53 am said:

Thank you very much for your post.

Please let me know if yogurts (Greek) , Milks and Mayonnaise are OK.

I am living in Iran and I really dont know how to find ketostix here!

I am 308 Lbs and most of my daily diets used to be : Bread , Rice , Yogurt and Ice cream !

Reply: James on January 16, 2013 at 3:55 pm said:

Sorry, pretty much no to all three: maybe if you made the mayo yourself.

(Since I wrote that, I found this: wonderful!!)


You can get Ketostix from Amazon: Mark has given a link. Any medical establishment should be able to point you in the right direction, or any pharmacy.

Ketostix are made by Bayer, and Bayer has an Iranian company:

Took me 5 minutes or less to find it by Googling.

Reply: Maria Griffinon January 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm said:


I started this diet on 12th Jan 2013 – a week ago and I have lost 10 lbs already …The first 3/4 days were quite hard for me not eating carbs or sugar..However I did eat alot of fat in those first days including sugar free full fat yogurt, cream ( with sugar free jelly), cheese,eggs ,full fat mayo, fish , lamb chops….Sometimes I think I am eating too much and of course I am conditioned to think fat is bad…After 4 days I settled down and cut cream,and reduced cheese/mayo/yoghurt…Also peed alot in first 4/5 days so drank plently water. Still drink my tea with milk. I ordered Ketosis sticks from the internt but I reckon I am in Ketosis anyway as have bad breath and droping weight …. Not hungry now but miss carbs for psycological reasons so must stay vigilent…I am getting inventive with recepies…I guess as I was 250 stating off I plan to be on diet for sometime so I have already began to eat plenty vegetables

Meal I am eating include

- Lamb Curry with Full fat Coconut Milk served with cauliflower mas

-Chicken Shish Kebab

-Beef Bolanese …with peppers,tomatoes,chilli, onion. garlic,steak mince

- Venison Burgers with mixed salad

- Chicken,Mushroom & Leek casserole

- Baked Seabass with mixed veg

- Fried Trout fillets with cauliflower/brocolli cheese

- Chicken Tika with veg curry

- Cauliflower & Stilton Soup

- Mixed Veg Soup

- Mixed Seafood Salad

- Chicken,Avocado salad

- Beef stir fry and oriental veg

- Baked pork chop with mediterrean veg

- Steak & salad

- Spinach, Green bean & asperagus fritatta

Reply: FattyC on January 15, 2013 at 9:53 pm said:

Sorry another qn, just typed almonds into converter and they going into negative due to fibre?? So if fibre is more that carb they are ok? Or even good? Almonds are on the list but the almonds I have and organic almond meal I have has sugar 1.2 per 30g. Do you avoid it because it has sugar? Thanks

Reply: FattyC on January 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm said:

Sorry new to this. If the label says <1 for sugar and carbs is this ok? Or does sugar need to be completely 0? Mainly wondering about condiments etc. does anyone know of a good app to tally it all in a food journal? Am using calorie king and carb master as a guide to track what I eat.

Reply: James Hardiman on January 16, 2013 at 1:16 am said:

At the start just stick to the foods that Mark has outlined, and don’t worry about other foods. Get yourself well established in ketosis (maybe 3-4 weeks) and then you can start experimenting and see if something brings you out of ketosis.

Remember, in all the world there is only one nutritional expert that knows what you should be eating, and that’s you. No one else knows your age, your stage, your goals etc. You are at the beginning of a big learning curve.

Also, think carefully about foods labelled “eat as much as you like”. We don’t ascribe to the idea that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. If you eat 100 calories of sugar it will have a very different effect on your body than if you eat 100 calories of fatty beef.

On the other hand if you eat 5000 calories a day of collard greens you will almost definitley gain weight (and some sort of medal from the collard-greens growers). You don’t need to count calories, but you do need to be aware of what you are eating.

Reply: FattyC on January 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm said:

Thanks very much for your help!

Reply: Chris Hartnup on January 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm said:

I love the whole outlook of this diet and decided to go on it 4 days ago. Well I was stunned when I weighed myself earlier today and found that I had already lost 5lbs. I was also wondering whether or not I could eat fruit with this diet and if so,what can I eat? and how much?.

Thanks for your help in this matter.

Kind Regards

Lord Chris Hartnup.

Reply: cavenewt on January 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm said:

Initial rapid weight loss is mostly water.

Avoid fruit, on the whole. Berries in small amounts are ok; I do eat an occasional apple with cheddar cheese. Avoid really sweet fruits like grapes, pears, and bananas, if you must cheat.

Modern fruit has been bred to be very high-sugar, very unlike what we evolved with.

Reply: Chris Hartnup on January 12, 2013 at 3:17 pm said:

Thats great! Thanks for the info,I will steer clear of fruit from now on. How long does it normally take before you start to lose fat instead of water?

Reply: James Hardiman on January 12, 2013 at 7:11 pm said:

Two tests:

1) When you stop peeing every 90 minutes,

2) When your ketostix show moderate ketones.

If you’re not peeing every 90 minutes it doesn’t mean you’re there, just that you’re lighter and younger than me!

Reply: Chris Hartnup on January 13, 2013 at 4:48 am said:

I dont think i’m peeing that much but that did make me laugh. I will be purchasing some Ketostix very soon, then I will be able to check it out properly.

Reply: Will on January 12, 2013 at 10:19 am said:

Hey, I’ve got two questions.

Do sweeteners raise glucose and hence insulin levels? I know anecdotally that there are some negatives with regard to sweeteners, but how do they work in the scenario of a ketogenic diet?

Secondly, do you know if caffeine has any effect on the diet.

I’m really finding sugar cravings difficult, and have been considering going for a sugar free energy drink, that’s all. Thanks!

Reply: James Hardiman on January 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm said:

Depends on the sweeteners. If it’s aspartame, sacharine, if it ends in “ol” or has a very “chemical” name, I’d steer clear of it. Try Luo Han Guo or stevia (but I steer clear of Truvia and Purevia brands of stevia because, I believe, they are GMO: I may be wrong).

Here’s my take on a refreshing drink: ice, a dash of Angostura Bitters (contains both alcohol and sugar, but you only have a tiny dash in an 8 oz glass, so it’s next to nothing: the ingredients list says 0 carbs for a serving, and I have less than a serving) and topped up with sparkling water (Club Soda, if it’s all you can get).

As for coffee: I am saving up to buy Upgraded Coffee from the Bulletproof Exec guy. Until then I have organic coffee with stevia in it. Usually black, but occasionally I’ll have some whipping cream in it; either for luxury, or to up my fat intake if necessary.

Reply: cavenewt on January 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm said:

You’ll find that after some time carbless, you lose the sweet tooth. Till then, try to tough it out, or use a little stevia.

I never took sugar in my tea (don’t drink coffee). But now, in the morning I have no breakfast, just a few cups of black tea with coconut oil and some really nice heavy cream we can get locally. I don’t get hungry till 4pm.

Intermittent fasting is probably a Good Thing.

Reply: kayley on January 10, 2013 at 4:13 am said:

I am wanting to start this diet next week. I did my own low carb diet just before xmas which wasnt a good idea with all the sweet treats and dinner partys i had to attend. I managed to stick to it for around 6 days and i lost 11lb. Although now i have put most of it back on again. My question is can i have Heinz Salad Cream maybe once a day? I eat salad cream with most of my meats although i know i can have mayo. I am also a chocoholic, is there anything in the UK stored i can pick up thats low carb. I cant bake anything and i am going to struggle making meals with my living arrangements at the moment. So everything has to be pretty quick and simple. Meat and salads basically. Also can you have Gravy?

Reply: Chrissy on January 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm said:

Thank you for all of this pertinent information. I do have a few questions though. I just start ed my Keto diet about 6 days ago and from what I have gathered starting out with a 20 gram carb limit should put you into Ketosis within 3-4 this correct? I have also notice that I have been a little bloated? Is this normal too..One are allowed to subtract any eaten fiber from your carbs as long as it comes from the same food. Ex: Cauliflower (2 cups boiled) has 4g of carbs and 7 grams of fiber. The fiber basically clears out the carb intake. But remember, it has to come from the same food, not just a total from the day..thanks again for any/all input!!

Reply: James Hardiman on January 9, 2013 at 3:33 pm said:

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="0553380788" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="98"]It really depends on many things. In the UK they have a Total Food Replacement diet called Lipotrim. First time I did it I went into ketosis in about a week, an stayed there for about six months. Lipotrim gives 60g of carb a day.

Then I fell off the wagon. Every time I tried to re-start it was more difficult. Now I have to be well under 20g.

Michael Eades explains it in one of his blog posts, I think. Will try to find it.

(Why is low-carb harder the second time around?)
Tips & tricks for starting (or restarting) low-carb Pt I
Tips & tricks for starting (or restarting) low-carb Pt II

Reply: Terry on January 9, 2013 at 12:13 pm said:

i have already lost 10 ponds in 3 days. I dont expect this to continue at this rate. My question is I can not find sausage or bacon that doesnt have sugar in the ingredients on the back. so i have been afraid to eat them. Is there a brand that anyone can recommend for me. I live in New Mexico if that helps as well.

Reply: James Hardiman on January 9, 2013 at 3:23 pm said:

Terry, I searched in Whole Foods Market, all the health food stores, went to our local all-organic farm: all had sugar. eventually found some in Winn Dixie (in FL: don’t know if that helps in NM). We’re out right now: will post the brand next time we buy some.

Reply: Terry on January 9, 2013 at 7:36 pm said:

I think I may just be sugar paranoid. I dont have a windixie but we have a natural grocery store, i will try my luck. I say i may be paranoid because i chose a red vinegar over the suggested balsamic vinegar because every balsamic i found listed sugar as an ingredient. I am very over weight and needing to make a change, so I might just be over-thinking this. any regular bacon would probably do. thank you!

Reply: Andreea on January 9, 2013 at 8:01 am said:

I tried before Dukan Diet for 5 days but felt with no energy whatsoever so gave up although I did get results but not so spectacular.

Can you please tell me if vitamins are allowed on this diet? Currently I’m using a multivatimin and would like to carry on with it for at least 1 month.

Also I would be very intrested to know if I can take green tea tablets. Also can I replace one meal with a protein shake; they are tasty and filling and the one that I have now has 24g of protein, 1.3g Carbs for 30g scoop.

Please let me know. Any answer would be highly appreciated.

All the best to all dietars

Reply: James Hardiman on January 9, 2013 at 8:20 am said:

I’m no expert on Dukan … Looks like paleo with a lot of marketing hype and a French accent. But to be fair to them I would suggest that 5 days isn’t a fair trial. On my best-ever diet I felt totally amazing, with boundless energy … but not during the first two weeks, where I felt awful … and I think that was all down to ketosis.

Different people take different amounts of time to switch into ketosis, and if you’re doing it properly (low to zero carbs, otherwise your body might decide not to switch) then, when you haven’t yet switched, you’ll be running on empty and feeling like c**p.

Don’t say it didn’t work after 5 days … give Dukan, or this, at least a month, with no cheating!

And I would say yes re vitamins, yes re green tea and that protein shake sounds good: where did you get it? Most of the ones I checked out have too many carbs … I made my own at the Protein Factory.

Reply: Andreea on January 9, 2013 at 8:38 am said:

Thanks for the reply.

I gave up dukan because it was far more strict than atkins; it includes no fat and at begining no veggies at all (pure lean meat). Also I needed a lot of energy for my job (as all of us do), but will start the ketogenic diet on Mon especially that I’ll stick to it, fingers crossed, especially that I don’t have sweet tooth and eat less in general.

I went into ketosis I think after 3-4 days with previous diet, that’s why I’m confident in this type of diet.

The protein shake that I have is mostly for bodybuilders is called Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein; by the way I’m from UK and don’t know if you can purchase it in a diffrent country. Hope that helps!

Reply: Andreea on January 18, 2013 at 6:50 am said:

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B004CLCEDE" locale="us" height="103" src="" width="160"]Hi. Was wondering did you try yam noodles the ones that are made from konjac fiber. On the label it says that they contain less than 1g carb per 200g serving and also 0% sugar and everything else 0%. Is that ok to have from time to time? Thanks in advance for the reply.

PS: I’m doing good on this diet and like it; happy that I can eat some green veggies on it

Reply: cavenewt on January 18, 2013 at 9:52 am said:

I like konjac noodles. Tons of soluble fiber, zero carbs. I buy’em by the case from

Reply: cavenewt on January 18, 2013 at 9:56 am said:

Keep in mind the possibility that the need for fiber has been overrated. Do some research.

Reply: Andreea on January 19, 2013 at 4:34 am said:

Thanks for the reply. Could you please tell me aprox how much quantity and how often should I have them? Would it be ok if I’d have about 75-80g 2 times per week or would it be too much?

Reply: cavenewt on January 19, 2013 at 11:05 am said:

People are so concerned about specific rules. The best rules, to my mind, are: eat lots of nonstarchy veggies. Eat lots of good fat (not seed oils.) Avoid sugar and grains. Only eat if you’re hungry. Don’t eat anything out of a box or bag, shop the periphery of the store. Read labels! Do research!

Reply: James on January 19, 2013 at 11:17 am said:

Yes, yes, yes! Read labels, do research!

None of the people on this site who answer questions are medically or nutritionally qualified. We spend our time trying to help because we believe in this stuff. And we don’t make a penny.

But in almost every case just spending 10 minutes with Google would have got you the answer. It’s what we all did (well, probably months and years!)

If you’re not going to hand your health over to the health industry, you have to take responsibility for your own health, and that’s going to involve a lot of reading and understanding.

Reply: Julia on January 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm said:

I don’t see any mention of fruit, can I eat fruit and if so which fruits are best or is fruit to be completely avoided?

Reply: James Hardiman on January 8, 2013 at 3:54 pm said:

Avoid fruit! Only go for low GI plants. Avoid carbs in general and sugars in particular.

If you want to play, I suggest being VERY strict while you establish ketosis, then stay there for at least a month. Then try SLOWLY upping carbs, testing all the while with ketostix.

But this way lies purgatory, believe me; I’ve been there.

If it’s on Mark’s list, eat it. If not, don’t.

Reply: Yolanda on January 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm said:

I’m on my 2nd day and I must say, at 1 pm, I’m am still feeling very hungry, despite having consumed already 105g fat and 77g protein and 17g carbs. Is this normal? I can’t figure out what to have at dinner later because I’ve basically consumed my protein for the day, can’t go much higher than 90g tops – eggs in butter I guess? But geez, why so hungry? Everything I read says fat is going to be so satiating…

Reply: James on January 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm said:

My experience is that it can take anything up to a week, worst case. Check with the ketostix if you’re actually in ketosis yet. Drink water. Go to bed early!

Reply: Yolanda on January 7, 2013 at 3:59 pm said:

thanks. I need to learn to be patient!!

Reply: mhikl on January 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm said:

Yo, this diet is a big fat radical change to the typical earthly fair and James is correct that it takes time. The best results for me came from cold turkey (not the bird), high fat, very low protein and zero carbs for the first two weeks. Then, slowly you can add back so extra protein and carbs, but I get my carbs from cream and cured ham and Chinese broccoli in moderation. This diet is a big challenge for most addicted to burgers and pizza, but the rewards are great. Good luck.

Reply: FattyC on January 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm said:

How do you know your protein limit? I thought you can eat as much as you liked??

Reply: mhikl on January 28, 2013 at 10:39 pm said:

Depends upon your age and physical activity, FattyC. Teenagers need more for growth and movement, etc. The old adage of a deck of cards is probably right for an inactive person. Dark and smelly urine (feet smelling like ammonia) are possible signs of too much protein. I notice less body odour after cutting down on my protein intake. One has to learn to read the signs and changes to one’s body.

Reply: James Hardiman on January 29, 2013 at 9:25 am said:

… and … this is one I struggle with. I find it difficult to get my head around eating enough fat: I go out and buy pork and then realise I bought lean pork, which means I’m probably eating too much protein … and it kicks me out of ketosis. Because here’s the mean trick in all of this — if you’re not keto-adapted then your body will need glucose because you’re not using ketones and your liver will make glucose (gluconeogenesis) out of protein!

And mhikl is right: it’s also age dependent: I’m 65 and I’m guessing mhikl isn’t a teenager, either.

But here’s a recommendation from an old guy: get this cracked while you’re young because the older you get the more difficult it is. Our mom used to say, “getting old ain’t for wimps”.

Reply: mhikl on January 29, 2013 at 1:23 pm said:

Dead on James. I still struggle with my weight even with my nightly coco & cream so the tin is in the dump. Other than cream and said Scotch, I am pretty carb free. In early 20′s I fasted forty-fourish days and lost 90lbs; now I can lose four lbs in a week and gain it back with a few treats in a few days. (I have four years to go to get discounts so we are indeed in the same ball park) Have you thought of rendering your own lard? I chop, boil, strain & low heat to evaporate excess water. It can then be added to end of cooking. I also get my beef fat free from some chain grocers and freeze; then dice a few days lot for use. Again, if you cook your meat it can be added to the hot food and it is lightly cooked. My raw mix of chopped round and diced raw fat has more the texture of meat than fat. That is how I am able to eat less protein yet feel I have eaten more. I use some salt, rice or Apple Cider vinegar and hot chilly or pepper and I am in heaven. There are many cultures who eat raw bovine and fat as a portion of their main meal- French, Italian, Muslim. Salmon with beef fat is also excellent raw, either warmish or chilled. (Maybe a slug of Scotch would help get started.

I love Born to run and am going to re-route some shoe strings through my thongs/flip flops till I can find better.

Reply: mhikl on January 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm said:

James said: “… and … this is one I struggle with. I find it difficult to get my head around eating enough fat: ”

I know exactly what you mean. I think we both like to think outside the box; but a box is a box and the walls must be torn asunder.

I believed in fat; in theory & study (internet stuff, personal sense of well-being when eating) but government, medical and commercial interests are soooo powerful- heart probs etc. But my blood tests attest to it being true that fat is primal to health: (We use mmol/L)

Carb diet Tri’s 2.7; hi fat 0.9;

Carb diet Tri’s 7.2; hi fat 4.6

I suspect Triglycerides are the real problem.

Note:; Read somewhere that one of the LDL molecules was actually extremely beneficial. Have to re-research that.

Reply: mhikl on January 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm said:

Rats! My error.

Carb diet Tri’s 2.7; hi fat 0.9;

Carb diet Carbs 7.2; hi fat 4.6ish (Low LDL)

Reply: Tony g on January 7, 2013 at 12:26 am said:

The keto stix measure glucose in the urine, not blood. A blood sugar of zero would be deadly. Be careful of the advice you mete out but I like most of what you are saying.

Reply: Lulu on January 5, 2013 at 10:41 am said:


Is this diet like the belly fat diet where you can sapingly eat sugar free choclate from time to time? Or indulge in Clemmy’s sugar free ice cream? As you can tell I do crave sweets and need a tiny bit each day.

Let me know what you think. Thank-you

Reply: James on January 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm said:

Depends what they replaced the sugar with!

My wife makes chocolate from organic cocoa powder, cocnut oil and sweetens with stevia and luo han. It’s VERY good and perfectly OK (has good fats: coconut oil).

BUT you have to keep it in the freezer!

Reply: amy on January 8, 2013 at 7:49 am said:

Can you post the recipe for the chocolate snack?

Reply: Adrian on January 14, 2013 at 8:35 am said:

Could you give the amounts of those ingredients you (or your wife) use to make that chocolate? I’ve got the organic cocoa powder and the coconut oil, just need to get the Stevia – does she use the powder or liquid?


Reply: john on January 4, 2013 at 2:36 am said:

Your comments about monitoring show you have no understanding of human physiology.

“Blood glucose (if your ketostix show this on a separate color tab) should be zero at all times.”

> NO. Blood glucose of 0 is fatal. In the medically supervised ketogenic diet for epilepsy, regular glucose monitoring is used to detect and treat low glucose levels. However, in the ‘low carb with a few ketones’ diet you are touting this is probably not required.

“The Ketostix I have also measure blood glucose which is useful to test for Ketoacidosis.”

> NO again. blood glucose tests test blood glucose. To test for ketoacidoses you need to test for ketones and acid. In type 1 diabetes, ketoacidosis is usually accompanied by hyperglycaemia, but this is not necessary, and can occur with normal blood glucose. In treatment of DKA, glucose normalises before ketones and pH.

You may be confusing blood and urine testing, which is unfortunate. It is not normal to have glucose in your usine (usually indicates a blood glucose in the diabetic range)

Reply: marcia on December 30, 2012 at 11:44 pm said:

I was in my 20′s when the Atkins diet was the craze! All I can remember is the negative attitudes expressed on how dangerous this style of nutrition affected the body. Fast forward to two years ago and a family member ate this way while pregnant due to diabetes and remained within the acceptable range, another family member took insulin while pregnant. I am confused. Recently I tried a 3 day meat, vegie, and almost no carbs (1 slice of bread in a day) and then eat regular and do it again for 3 day (no more than that at a time). Now I am even more confused.

Reply: Carolyn on December 31, 2012 at 2:05 pm said:

What about mayo? Can i use this in moderation?

Reply: Tim on January 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm said:

Yes, but make your own. Great natural fat source if you use extremely light olive oil non?

Reply: Natalie on December 30, 2012 at 11:28 pm said:

Hi Mark, I’ve been trying to stick to Keto nutrition and make it my lifestyle, rather than a “diet”. I do have problems with the balance though: I found myself constantly craving for sugar (in any shape or form, whether it was sugar-free lollies, or chocolate or hot chocolate or fruits), so I ended up having a sugar binge, then liver pains and I felt really sick for a few days, then start all over again: lover detox, veggie juices, protein etc. So, so far I can’t say I’ve been very successful with keto lifestyle. I find it is a little more manageable if I eat nuts (and I mean, LOTS OF NUTS!!!) I can easily devour half a 300g jar of peanut butter in one sitting, or a bowl of peanuts in the shell. I am particularly addicted to peanuts. So, what can you recommend for me, i.e. how to fight sugar binges, and also, how much nuts is allowed a day on this keto lifestyle not to jeopardise my goal achieving. I have to add, I am doing Crossfit 4-5 times a week, I run (10 km) and do mount climbing, in other words, I am super fit and active pretty much every single day of the week, and I am ALWAYS hungry ((

Reply: mhikl on January 24, 2013 at 11:34 am said:

Natalie, see what I have suggested regarding lower protein and much, much higher fat intake elsewhere. And a beginner with your problem (I had the same experience in the beginning with Atkins) should try two to four weeks with no carbs whatsoever. The high ratio of fat 5 to protein 2 should suffice. Drastic metabolisms and addictions demand drastic (seemingly) solutions sometimes.

Reply: mhikl on January 25, 2013 at 1:05 pm said:

5-2 fat to protein was meant as calories. A simpler measure is by weight on an electronic gram scale: 1 to 1 protein (4 Cal pr g) and fat (9 cal) would give about 70% fat intake.

Reply: PaleoJock on December 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm said:


Thanks for sharing!

Reply: Carolyn on December 29, 2012 at 8:14 am said:

What about Mayo? wuld this be okay mixed with chicken for a meal? With lettus wraps?

Reply: Rose on December 23, 2012 at 3:05 pm said:

Hi Mark

I am interested in starting this diet after New Years and I’m trying to make a plan before I begin. You were very helpful in the way you explained the process but I was wondering if there is another website where it shows how much a person of my size would need to eat. How much protein ( serving size ) and HOW MUCH fat and carbs. The 3 day sample menu you shared looks appealing to me except I don’t think I could eat meat in the morning, only bacon. I usually would have Cheerios and skim milk or oatmeal, but i could eat bacon and eggs instead. Lunch has always been a problem to figure out what to eat but if I could find more simple meal plans that would help out until I get the hang of it.

What about a substitute for sugar, is that not allowed?

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Reply: Phentramind on December 21, 2012 at 8:01 pm said:

obviously like your web-site however you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very troublesome to inform the truth nevertheless I will surely come again again.

Reply: James Hardiman on December 21, 2012 at 8:19 pm said:

Pot? Kettle? Black?

Reply: Stacey on December 21, 2012 at 9:03 pm said:

Ha ha

…couldn’t have said it better myself.

Reply: PaleoJock on December 30, 2012 at 11:38 am said:

Phentramind, really?

Reply: Lee on January 3, 2013 at 12:51 am said:

You guys should learn to recognize an automated spam comment when you see one

Reply: Varga on December 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm said:

I’ve been following a diet very similar to the one you explained for several years now, but I have learned that it only helps me drop body fat down to around 10%. My body fat seems to get locked at 10% and this diet is no longer effective for weight loss purposes. Any suggestions?

Reply: mhikl on January 24, 2013 at 11:28 am said:

Varga, the usual problems for sticky losers (me for sure) are 1. too much protein, 2. use of cream and cheese, 3. too many veggies. I’m assuming you do not use roots and grains or fruit. Elsewhere I have postulated on too much protein. It is the fat that works; what protein your body doesn’t need is turned into carbs and uric acid-not good.

Reply: hcg diet on December 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm said:

I don’t even know the way I stopped up here, however I thought this post was great. I do not recognise who you might be but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger for those who are not already. Cheers!

Reply: karina fajardo on December 21, 2012 at 4:16 am said:


Is it allowed to drink milk, because if one can eat cheese, I think milk would be allowed, but it is not specified. What about carrots and oatmeal and cauliflower? I am just starting the diet, so your answer will be very helpful, since I am figuring out what receipes I can do.


Reply: cavenewt on December 26, 2012 at 10:08 am said:

Read labels. Milk has 7 grams of carbs per cup. Cheese, especially hard cheese, has less, plus you usually don’t eat a whole cup of cheese

Reply: epicuriousbynature on January 4, 2013 at 9:35 am said:

Absolutely NO grains of any sort, including Oatmeal. Comeon… read the post, it tells you the most effect foods to eat. I don’t mean to sound harsh at all, but it’s about educating yourself. There are plenty of low carb/keto websites, blogs and cookbooks out there! Read labels, and research low carb/high fat items. Carrots are high in sugar! Just stick to the list and it’ll be fine. I’ve held this lifestyle for several years and it becomes second nature. Staples in an everyday ketogenic diet should include Avacado, Butter, Whole Eggs, Coconut Oil, Bacon, Sour Cream, 70/30 Ground Beef, Cheese, Fresh Coconut, Dark Chocolate, Cream Cheese, Fresh Liquid Fish Oil, Heavy Cream and Macadamia Nuts!!! They’re miracle workers in keeping fat intake high!!!! I’m 5’9 and hold 135-140 firm with moderate activity and consume very few carbs, 20g or less a day. I don’t eat ANY wheat or grain products, beans or rice. I love the way I eat and never feel like I’m missing out on anything. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love Bacon??!! Hehehehe!!! Skinny is WAY better than any piece of cake I’ve ever had!!!

Reply: selina on January 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm said:

What about margerine I’m not a fan of real butter

Reply: Phil on December 19, 2012 at 12:35 am said:

Hi Mark,

Cheers for the blog. Ive been in solid ketosis now for about 3 and half week. i started with a 17 day water fast just as a clense. I lost nearly 20lb’s in that time. Obviously a fair chunk of it was wanter from various organs while in spring cleaning mode , especially my digestive system. I started back on the Keto diet and gained about 5lb’s which is was expecting due to those ogans needing water again coming “back online” so to speak. I still feel AWESOME since the fast. I can say to anyone though personally this does work. the hartdest part for me has alwasy been other peoples uninformed opionion of what your doing as completely backwards and often mentioned as outright dangerous. I know first hand that this does work and its fun but can also be frustrating when youre looking for something to eat with no or minimal carbs. almost everything these days has some kind of processing with carbs in some way or another added. For me the typical days diest is

Bacon and eggs with a cheesy kransy, lunch is 200g of hot roast pork extra fatty wich crackling (lots!) , pork rinds for afternoon snack and dinner is minced hamburger with 2 fried eggs and a heap of mayonase and melted cheese.

Onestly its insane! at the surface im a poster child for heart attack awareness!

To anyone trying this is DOES take about 3 days to start the process into full ketosis and another (for me anyway) 4 to 7 days to FULLY convert to burning ketones where i start to feel normal and gain HEAPS of energy consistantly, NOTHING like feeling sluggish and hungry looking to binge. Anyone considering it, it DOES take determination to actually get through that first 2 weeks as everything in your head is saying its madness but hang in there and you WILL see the gains.

When youre ready to stop and worried about putting hte wieght back on , expect to gain some weight quickly as our muslces hold water thanks to carbs so expect to gain around 5 to 7(ish)lb’s in a few days but it will flatten out if you dont go back to carb loaded meals. Introduce your carb level SLOWLY to understadn your body’s limits on how many carbs before you spike. once you figure that out for consistant weight gain, back it off and try to manage it.

Atelast all said and done this all works for me , i should , or atleast could, for you too.

Good luck!

Reply: jackie turner on January 10, 2013 at 5:34 pm said:

Thank you very much was so helpfull jacqueline x

Reply: James Hardiman on December 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm said:

I would like to endorse Mark’s recommendation to read Gary’s books, “Why we get fat and what to do about it” (that’s the thin book) or “Good Calories, Bad Calories” (The Diet Delusion in the UK).

If you can’t wait, just Google “What if it’s all been a big, fat lie” to read a NYT article by Gary, or search for his name on You Tube.

Reply: on December 18, 2012 at 12:16 am said:

This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.

I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of

your great post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

Reply: Sheryl Wilson on December 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm said:

Hi Is it ok not to have wine!! Could I replace …. I don”T drink

Reply: jill on December 15, 2012 at 8:42 am said:

Thank you Mark for the extremely insightful information. I have read a few other of your articles and I am impressed. Thanks again

Reply: Barbara on December 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm said:

Can you explain why you cant eat turkey? I dont see the difference between chicken and turkey.

Reply: Kris on December 13, 2012 at 4:43 pm said:

Hi Mark – I just want to make sure I understand – no sugar… but what about natural sugar from fruit? I have a smoothy every morning with frozen blueberries, strawberries and almond milk… but I know fruit has a lot of natural sugars. Thanks for you valuable website!!

Reply: cavenewt on December 26, 2012 at 10:10 am said:

Nope, avoid fruit. Berries are the lowest-sugar fruit, especially blueberries. But not too much. I’ve been ketogenic for 2 years. I will occasionally have half an apple with cheddar cheese as a treat.

Reply: Valerie on December 13, 2012 at 9:04 am said:

Why no turkey meat? I can’t digest red meats so I eat turkey meat to replace ground beef…pork…lamb…etc…I eat chicken and fish and turkey only…can turkey be added? And still work?

Reply: ML on December 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm said:

Turkey contains to high amounts of tryptophan which lowers thyroid function. Bananas are the same but no one should eat bananas on a KD anyway.

Reply: Donna on December 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm said:

This seems like an incredibly stupid question, but thanks to being “anonymous” I can ask it: I am starting a ketogenic diet tomorrow and the thought of it is stressing me out. I’ve just eaten a piece of bread in anticipation of the deprivation. Did you feel this way? How did you deal with the cravings during the first while? I want this to work, but I’m actually quite nervous that my bad habits will overwhelm my desire to follow the diet.

Reply: zenfish on December 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm said:

I have been on a Ketogenic diet for about 3 weeks now and have lost 9 lbs. I would like to lose 30 lbs total. I am already feeling way better in my clothes, and have almost no hunger! The meals described above really satisfy you, and I have been having sugar-free jello with heavy cream for dessert when I have a sweet tooth. It’s really working and I feel very hopeful. Just do it, and stick to it. The cravings just disappear completely! Good Luck!!

Reply: PaleoJock on December 30, 2012 at 11:55 am said:

Sharing my sweet tooth remedy: Empty the contents of one L-Glutamine capsule under your tongue and sit tight for about two minutes (the approximate time it takes to get a snack from the kitchen). I find the cravings will subside. Some suggest tsking 500-1000mg / day to ward off cravings.

Reply: mhikl on January 24, 2013 at 11:10 am said:

Sugar/carbs is the most difficult addiction to overcome. Fat can easily be over come but sugar can take a year or longer. I found this out living overseas in Malaysia, but I was only limiting sugar because the usual chocolate bars and other western sugar deserts weren’t available. On a ketogenic diet, the addiction is overcome more easily in shorter time. Can’t say how long, but it can be done.

Reply: James Hardiman on January 24, 2013 at 11:57 am said:

One of the most important things for me was to understand what sugar was doing to me. Slightly easier for me: I am (was) a type 2 diabetic and can feel what sugar is doing.

But watching this, for instance, really changed my mind about sugar!

Reply: lisa on December 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm said:

i have been hunting for a good meal plan for the

ketogenic diet and so glad i came across this. I just finished a 7 day protein only diet, eating every 2 hours, and lost 4 kilos. but got bored with it. And was just too much. I am starting the Ketogenic diet tomorrow. Thanks for this information!!

Reply: Mimi Skye on December 4, 2012 at 10:04 am said:

Thanks for the great info on this diet. I distinctly remember a similar type of diet I went on in the early 80s after reading a book called “Eat Fat and Grow Slim”. I can’t remember the author though. The diet actually worked for me and I lost a lot of weight. I never went back on it later when I needed to lose weight, because someone scared me off it. They told me it would affect my kidneys and arteries. Now that I am many years older (I’m 55), I wonder if I should give it another try. I need to lose about 20 pounds, but am worried this diet might have a negative effect on my health. Could you advise me of what I should do? If I go on the low GI diet, how many grams of carbs can I eat per day and how much can I expect to lose in a week?

Thanks for your reply.

All the best to all,


Reply: mhikl on January 24, 2013 at 11:04 am said:

Mimi, the danger is in too much protein. I have mentioned elsewhere that we need very little protein to repair, replace and build muscle. Any excess is turned into carbs and uric acid which you do not want- taxing on the body and kidneys.

Digesting carbs takes a lot of minerals and vitamins so your actual need of these are reduced when you go Ketogenic. Taking a few good supplements is a good idea. A total B formula, Potassium (No Salt brand), a quarter tsp Borax (see laundry aisle – Check out Walter Last on Boron/Borax- the missing mineral) Magnesium (be careful of calcium-again check Walter Last) some copper, zinc and vitamin D (lots). Check out Walter Last. You will find on the Ketogenic diet that you are healthy, tend not to retain water and your memory improves.

Reply: Amber on November 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm said:

6 pounds in 48 hours? i dont know that i beleive it.

Reply: stacey on November 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm said:

…I know, I didn’t either, but I knew it would shed pounds (a few years ago I went on the Dr. Bernstein diet which is strict and different than the ketogenic diet, however still you are in ketosis) and it had the same effect, I lost 7 pounds in 2 days then of course it slows down…I started this diet 8 days ago and have lost 16 pounds! So crazy! I think I may have lost more if I didn’t consume so much dairy (cream in coffee and cheese) I also have started to add salsa and mayo which could slow down the process as well.

Anyway, it took me 2 1/2 days to start getting a good keto burn going (dark purple on the keto strips)….and i should say too don’t expect to have a bowel movement every day on this diet…because I sure don’t lol (maybe too much info tee hee)

I’m not going to lie I still want to eat delicious carbs and sugary foods because I remember what they taste like, not because I’m craving them…and I miss fruit, but remember all in good time you can start to reintroduce foods once you reach your goal weight

Reply: PaleoJock on December 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm said:

Ever notice how puffy and swollen the carboholics (those addicted to carbohydrates) look? Much of that swollen puffiness is the result of the body’s efforts to handle the sugar overload. I’m no biochemist, but my laymen’s understanding is that the body will storethe sugar (a known toxin) where ever it can until it can be abated.

From a 10,000 foot view: When we adopt a ketogenic diet, we cut off the sugar supply, allowing the body time to detoxify; ridding itself of the deadly poison. We first see this as rapid weight-loss and even reduced circumference of certain body parts. Then we start burning our own fat as fuel as we were designed to.

This works! I write this to encourage the skeptical. I lost 68 lbs (US) from March 18 – July 1st-effortlessly, with no exercise due to a back injury. Metabolically, I’m in good shape. My numbers are in the FUNCTIONAL (as opposed to clinical) ranges according to my ND.

Reply: Kayleessa on January 10, 2013 at 6:58 pm said:

Wauw, that’s amazing!! Can you tell me how your daily/weekly meal plan was?

Reply: cavenewt on January 11, 2013 at 10:24 am said:

There is an initial rapid weight loss that is mostly water.

Yes, it can be a long-term diet. I’ve been reading about the metabolic effects of carbs for the last three years, and am convinced it’s the way to live; but over a period of time you will settle on a degree of carblessness that works for you. I am essentially zero-carb (less than 20g/day) and have been so for 2 years.

Reply: Gloria on November 30, 2012 at 12:20 am said:

Sounds similar to The Atkins Diet. Can you explain how they differ? and is this diet somthing people stay on indefinately?

Reply: Yoly Vargas on November 29, 2012 at 11:17 am said:

Hi, thank you for the great info! Do you know what would be a good replacement for the eggs in the morning? I don’t eat eggs It’s a mental thing… lol.. but I do love the rest of your sample eating plan! THANKS


Reply: Miriam on November 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm said:

I also hate eggs. Have since childhood–I think it’s the texture? But even if the texture is hidden, I could never stand things that had a lot of egg flavor, like a quiche, french toast, that kind of thing. So here’s what I do, without eggs:

I’ve been doing this diet for us a couple weeks now (just found this blog today and was interested to read it). It’s been great–lots of energy, weight loss, never hungry. (But I’ll specify here that I haven’t been going for 20 carbs or less specifically, though I have been always under 50.)

Since I don’t eat eggs I’ve been at a bit of a loss, too. For breakfast I often eat a 2-3oz steak (I buy bigger ones on sale, then cut them in half and freeze). I also eat plenty of fresh-cured bacon from a great local butcher (he does turkey bacon and beef bacon, traditional “American bacon” and also English bacon, or “back-bacon.” So we change it up each week to get variety) and sometimes beef or pork sausage (again fresh from the butcher, not mass produced). Probably 20 different kinds, from Farmer’s Pork to Sicilian, so lots of variety in those, too.

I also make my own sausage (the “patty” kind, if you are American or have been there and know what I mean) with fresh ground beef and the necessary spices.

I also will sometimes have some full fat, plain yogurt (which I happened to love even before: never liked sweetened yogurt) and I get unadulterated whipping cream and whip it up with some ground nutmeg and cinnamon to put on my coffee in the morning.

Breakfast is my main meal of the day. The rest of the day I eat only when hungry (which isn’t nearly as often on this diet), and then usually cheese, some sliced peppers and cucumbers with a little feta, a few almonds, some pepperoni or salami, occasionally some fresh cream with a handful of raspberries, celery with a teaspoon or two of natural peanut butter.

For dinner I make us a big salad–lots of greens, bell peppers, cucumbers, onion, tomatoes, crumbled feta or grated chedder or smoked edam, a few olives, a little carrot (usually about 1/3 a medium carrot sliced between the two of us) and all the dressing we like (so long as it’s not full of sugar, as many dressings are. Check, or make your own!). I’ll bake some chicken (wrap in foil, pour in some white wine and a little lemon juice; bakes up quickly in a very hot oven, nice and juicy) and cut it up on top. Or sometimes I’ll do the same with some fish, though we don’t eat that on top. Also sometimes stuff a chicken breast with some cheese and 2-3 slices of pepperoni and bake with some butter. Or steak (also good on salad). If we’re not really hungry, we’ll just eat the salad with no meat. If I’m hungry in the evening (which is very rare) I’ll have a slice or two of cheese, or some decaf coffee with a big scoop of spiced whipped cream.

As you can see, not perfectly ketogenic (a few carbs sneak in there), but delicious, sustainable for the long-term, and working really well for us. We have been losing weight at a steady rate of a probably 3-4 pounds a week, but even more than actual pound loss is the change in how we look. Even when the scale isn’t registering much of a difference, all our clothes fit better, we look better in them, our faces are noticeably thinner.

Reply: Karina on November 23, 2012 at 4:29 am said:

Hi Mark,the info on ketogenic diet is great! I have one question: is it butter aloud? If I m having grilled meat with butter on top is it fine? I don t really like oils to much so I would go for butter.I’m on keto diet for 3days it s my secund time when I try to follow this diet and I m not hungry but I would eat something sweet… Thank Karina

Reply: Ashley on November 28, 2012 at 8:32 am said:

Butter is allowed! But make sure it’s real butter.

Reply: Stacey on November 16, 2012 at 7:16 am said:

Hi Mark!

Thanks so much for sharing, this website is absolutely great! I was just wondering if you had experienced nausea, headaches and lethargy when beginning the diet, how long it lasted for and if you found anything that helped get you through it. Thanks again!

Reply: cavenewt on December 26, 2012 at 10:13 am said:

AKA “Atkins flu”. It will pass. Be patient.

Reply: Lily White on November 15, 2012 at 10:18 am said:

I was wondering how you personally calculate the amount of protein you need?


Reply: PaleoJock on December 30, 2012 at 12:52 pm said:

Do: Chew your food thoroughly. Google (or Bing or Yahoo or whatever) the importance of chewing.

Do: Forget about calculations-just eat until you are satisfied. Listen to your body, it will tell you if it needs more protein, more green leafy vegetables, etc.

Do: Follow the menu plan(s) laid out on this site.

Don’t: Get hung up on measurements and calculations (at least not for the first 90 days or so). You are effetively changing your body’s metabolism and your requirements may even change; now that you’re consuming more real foods that your body was designed to eat.

Reply: Brian on November 14, 2012 at 8:54 pm said:

This is great way to get the advanced keto diet info to the average person. I will just correct one thing (and this is totally being picky) – but in talking about beer…beer contains a sugar maltOSE and not maltASE. Maltase is what our body uses to breakdown maltose. However, since beer is in fact the “devil’s poison,” it should all be avoided altogether. Thanks, Mark

Reply: Norm and Sheree Perkins on November 4, 2012 at 7:21 pm said:

Thank you, Mark, for putting this in “layman’s terms” for us. We have a tropical fruit farm on the east coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Tending the farm in our early 60′s has become a “work smarter, not harder” proposition and your explanation of the basic ketogenic diet has been a breath of fresh air to us. Looking forward to dropping the extra pounds that slow us down! Tonight we will toast to you.

Aloha, Norm and Sheree

Reply: LS on November 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm said:

Mark, Doesn’t the nightly glass of wine adversely affect the Ketogenic status? (I’d love to have one glass of red wine

Reply: Heather G on November 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm said:

Thanks for this post. I searched Ketogenic diet and found your post to be exactly what I needed. It sums it up in a great way. I’m embarking on this (as soon as I get my fill of halloween candy). Thanks so much!

Reply: Ryan on November 1, 2012 at 10:57 am said:


I’m just about to embark on this diet today in preparation for my wedding in 6 months time. The goal is to lose 50-60lbs in that time frame. My question is, is salsa a good thing to use while cooking? I enjoy cooking my chicken in it, as well as in my eggs in the morning. It adds a lot of character and flavour I find. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

Reply: James Hardiman on December 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm said:

Salsa is great … provided you made it yourself and know what’s in it.

But not too much (tomatoes are fruit).

Reply: Genievee on November 1, 2012 at 4:08 am said:


5 months ago I used to weigh 248 lbs. I tried doing the keto diet based on my own research and after a series of frustrated attempts at losing weight through low fat diets. After a little over 5 mos, I am now 198 lbs. Somehow I have reached a plateau and I want to find out ways to break this weight loss plateau.

Reply: Gord 235, Vancouver on October 27, 2012 at 10:30 am said:

Thanks for this blog Mark. It is just what I was looking for as I am not a body builder which most of the other online stuff covers. Also, thanks for recommending Taube’s book. You have done a good job of filtering through all the junk and giving us the important basics.

Reply: jjsaavedra on October 23, 2012 at 4:55 pm said:

Three questions:

1. bad breath. did it happend to you? Been reading some people had it while on the diet,

2. Cheese? I was reading about the bulletproof diet (a kind of Paleo diet) and they… well, are not so much into cheese. So why cheese in this one?

3. For how long did you do this, and what results? Is this diet good to burn any kind of fat? Like belly fat, chest fat, etc.?

I’ll follow this diet starting monday, mainly because of the cheese, haha.

Oh, and how do you cook your meals? butter? Oil? Oven?

Reply: PaleoJock on December 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm said:

I’m posting this weeks after you asked the questions but I just found this site today. Hopefully you started and were successful. If yes, great! Let’s hope others will benefit from my answers.

About cheese. I stuck with hard cheeses aged for at least one year. To me they are more flavorful therefore I use less. Try grating the cheese over the top of your dish AFTER cooking. The bacteria consume a fair amount of the lactose (sugar) during fermentation, in hard cheeses, leaving very little for us. In this case, a slice of American cheese is not equal to say 2T of an aged Parmesean.

About bad breath. Bad breath can happen as you begin to burn fat for fuel. I drink tea made from mint leaves steeped in ht water. I also chew a leaf or two. Grow some mint in a pot. It’s a hearty plant and rolling your own is less expensive.

About weight and belly fat. At first I lost weight (according to the scale), like 7 pounds on day five. Then, my belly became visibly smaller around day 10. I moved to a new hole in the belt after two weeks. I realized an overall reduction in body fat.

Reply: Samantha on October 13, 2012 at 8:01 pm said:

I was born without a thyroid and lose and gain weight easily I’m a 140 pound 21 year old girl so is this going to work for me?

Also I seen there was not much fruits on that list so dose that mean I can’t have any at all. Can I get a list of all foods I can eat and not? Sorry for all the questions

Reply: mark on October 20, 2012 at 5:08 am said:

Samantha you need to consult your doctor about your specific condition. Beware of following generic advice in popular books or on the Internet on blogs like mine that are designed for the “average” person. You are a special case (good special) and need to get tailor made advice on how to proceed.

Kind regards,


Reply: Ruby on October 12, 2012 at 2:57 am said:

Hey Mark,

Im keen to start the ketosis diet for about a 4 week period and after the 4 week period i will start to bring back grains like oats, quiona, Amaranth etc. for breakfast and I will also bring back fruit and more carb dense vegetable and legumes. But im wondering how much i should increase my carb intake after the diet like should i add back 50g/week? Also my body dosn’t respond well to red meats so is it ohk if im only consuming turkey, chicken, tuna, salmon and other fish?

I also have a vegan protein powder that has 6gs of protein per serve and it is made out of carob- will that kick me out of ketosis? and is almond milk allowed? there is about 2g/250mls.

Sorry for all the questions, but i would love you help! cheers,


Reply: mark on October 20, 2012 at 5:06 am said:

Hi Ruby,

For me the ketogenic diet is not sustainable because of the bad breath that it creates. So I think switching to a low GI diet, which is what you’re describing, is a great idea.

I’m not a big fan of protein powders and other artificial foods. I prefer getting a complete protein by, for example, mixing rice and lentils. [That will give you all the aminos you need].

You’ll probably find you exit the ketogenic state as you start eating low GI, but that’s OK because I don’t think of the ketogenic diet as a lifestyle. It’s more a rapid “cutting” technique to get off that extra stubborn fat.

Good luck!

Reply: Bud on October 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm said:

Hi Mark! Thanks for the info on the ketogenic diet. One thing kept catching my eye. Several times you mention having blood glucose between 0 & 200. If you have a blood glucose of zero, you are dead. I assume you were measuring with urine sticks. If that’s the case, the numbers make more sense and you are measuring the glucose that is spilling into your urine. Someone with a normal blood sugar (between 60 & 100 after a 12 hour fast) will spill zero glucose in their urine. Someone with an abnormally high blood sugar will spill glucose in their urine.

Reply: Rex on September 27, 2012 at 7:10 am said:

Hi, Mark.

Here’s what I find confusing, and perhaps you could help clear it up.

If a person is dieting (in a calorie deficit every single day) but regularly spikes his or her insulin levels with high GI carbs, what happens? Where does the body get energy if these insulin spikes prevent the use of fat stores for fuel? Does the body burn up muscle tissue? Does the body simply slow its metabolism until the insulin spike is over? Where does the low carb advantage become obvious between two dieters who are in a calorie deficit, but one is eating 60% carbs and the other is eating 15% carbs?



Reply: Neill on September 1, 2012 at 5:50 am said:

Quick question. Is the wine not full of sugars, which would count as carbs? Is it the alcohol that helps the fat burn in your opinion? In which case, could you substitute it for something with less sugar?

Reply: Michelle on September 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm said:

I have the same question. Everyone says stay away from alcohol during ketosis. What about the wine do you think helps (as I sit here staring at a bottle of Chardonnay that I would love to crack open).



Reply: Carlos Ferrand on July 23, 2012 at 6:30 am said:

Excellent explanation about the process but I wonder if you can go on indefinitely with this diet. I follow the low GI way of eating which includes lentils and those low GI beans and have been able to loose weight and keep it off for two years.



Reply: mark on July 24, 2012 at 9:22 am said:

Carlos I strongly recommend reading “Why we get fat” by Gary Taubes. Most of the book is dedicated to explaining why you can reduce your carb intake to 50g per day or less and thrive – and why it’s OK to replace those carbs with fat. It goes against everything that nutritionists, health experts and government agencies have been teaching us for 5 decades, so many people find the change “radical” or “absurd” but the science is solid. Read the book.

Reply: ron dovzak on October 23, 2012 at 9:30 am said:

I haven’t read Gary Taubes’ book yet but I remember Atkins specifying 20-25 grams as the upper limit for allowable CHO intake per day!!

Reply: James Hardiman on December 21, 2012 at 6:24 am said:

Cauliflower: fat+protein almost 2, carbs 5.3, so no; carbs are too high.

But if you go look up cabbage, you’ll find the ratio is still all wrong, BUT the carbs are pretty low. Now look up butter (NOT margarine!). Fat very high. So put a BIG chunk of butter on your cabbage and you are fine.

Elsewhere I commented about balsamic vinegar. Look up balsamic vinegar and you will find it’s carbs are about 3. Look up cider vinegar: carbs about 0.13 from memory. But also look up cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Fat very high. So if you make a salad dressing with either balsamic or cider vinegar, the ratio will be fine.

On this basis of combining things to get the ratio right, you might be tempted to think about cauliflower cheese as a dish. But the cheese sauce has milk in it, and you’d need a TON of cheese to get the ratio anywhere NEAR right, and then you’d be down to going over total carbs for the day (keep it under 20-30).

My thanks to Elaine Cantin (she cured herself of breast cancer in two weeks on a Ketogenic diet) for this simple formula. You can also use it when reading ingredient labels. Fat+Protein compared with carbs. Fat+Protein needs to be more than three times carbs, preferably five times. And if you have eggs fried in coconut oil with SUGAR FREE bacon (try Canadian bacon, in my supermarket it’s the only sugar free bacon) then the ratio is huge.

Using MMs diet plan, plus this formula, I got into the middle of the ketostix in one day.

Also, try looking up lettuce, or any other leafy salad stuff. No fat, no protein, some carbs. Whoops! ratio all wrong. Now look up Helman’s mayo (NOT the light version). Now you not only CAN have mayo on your salad, but you MUST have mayo (or an oil and vinegar dressing) on your salad.

And, if you check the numbers, you can’t have milk in your coffee but you can have cream in your coffee!

Just don’t go too mad! Total calories for the day can’t be too high, either.

The formula also explains why MM’s glass of red wine with a slice of cheese works.

Reply: Kimmer on December 26, 2012 at 9:52 pm said:

Thanks for all your information! I will actually be traveling to Seattle to cook for my Mom who is in the beginning stages of her fight with cancer, and your post has been very helpful. I plan on making it look and taste so great, she wont even know she’s fighting cancer!

Reply: James on December 27, 2012 at 7:03 am said:

Our prayers go with you. I wish we knew all this stuff a year ago; our Mom might still have been with us in person, rather than just her spirit at the Xmas table!

She was fighting the early stages of Alzheimer’s and I believe a switch to ketogenic might have helped her (mind you, she just loved those wheat/sugar-based carbs too much!)

Reply: James Hardiman on December 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm said:

I take it back! I just spent half an hour checking ingredients of commercial mayo. Yuk. They all contain soy, canola, a whole mess of seed oils.

Make your own mayo using eggs, extra virgin olive oil and vinegar (organic cider vinegar). Unless you’re good and have a strong arm for whisking, use a food processor and add the oil SLOWLY in a thin stream until the mayo thickens. Add garlic for extra health-giving properties.

So, if you make your own mayo, or can get mayo only made with olive oil, vinegar, eggs, then it’s great.

Otherwise … don’t go there!

That’s my recommendation.

Reply: mhikl on January 24, 2013 at 10:36 am said:

James, I find olive oil difficult to make mayo with and then I found grape seed oil and it tends to work better. I also chill my oil before making. Just a thought. I have thought about using some home made lard (never use the store bought stuff as it is so processed.) I suspect that a bit of lard would help thicken the mayo.

When I was a kid at school, everyone knew I was stupid.  They had measurements, tests, exams that proved it.

Then, at age 11 we all sat the “11+ exam” which separated the clever from the stupid in preparation for the next stage of our education.

Everyone was amazed that I was one of only four kids in my school who passed.  No one could understand it, but you can’t buck the system, so I went to grammar school.

We were “streamed” according to ability, as measured by tests.  As I was always bottom of the class, what everyone always knew about me was validated: I was stupid.  (I was 30 years old before I noticed that it was the top class of five classes that I was always bottom of).

No-one really expected me to do well at GCEs, but I passed enough to get me into 6th form (university preparation).

Finally I lived up to expectation and failed 2 out of 3 “A-levels”.

Except that, in my 30′s, having noticed the facts above (that we had all missed before) I went to university part time as a post-grad researcher (even though I had never attended as an undergraduate) and got a Master of Philosophy degree (M.Phil. — it’s a sort of “PhD lite”).

My curriculum at school was biased towards the sciences: I studied maths, physics, chemistry and biology.  The “A” level that I did pass was physics.  It was well known that I was a bad student and did no studying in the sixth form; even so, I passed physics.

So here was a set of data, available to people with sufficiently scientific minds that they were employed teaching science, that seemed to indicate that I wasn’t stupid.  I later learned that only 10% of children of my generation went to grammar school.  That fact alone puts me in the 90th percentile.  That I was regularly at the bottom of the top 5 forms puts me at the 98th percentile.

And yet they believed me to be stupid, treated me as though I was stupid.  I’m not whining; I just want to show that these people who believed themselves to be “hard-nosed scientists” could not see beyond their beliefs about me.

If we talk to people about belief they tend to self-sort into roughly four groups:

  1. Religious.  These people believe in God, no question.  ”Faith” is an everyday concept for them.  Many tend to be evangelistic, keen to have other people join their religion, although some religions are exclusive: if you aren’t born into that faith, it’s very hard or impossible to join.
  2. Spiritual.  These people recognise a spiritual dimension in their lives but are often wary of joining a formal religion.  They may want to avoid being categorised.  But they usually have faith in their own expression of spirituality.  These people are seldom evangelistic but are often happy to talk about their beliefs to anyone really interested.
  3. Agnostic.  These people don’t know.  If someone could prove to them the existence of God, or prove to them that God does not exist, then they would sign up.  In the meantime they sit on the fence and probably don’t give the matter much thought.
  4. Atheist (includes Humanist).  These people are quite certain that the whole religion/spirituality thing is a fairy story.  They, like the religious people, are often evangelistic, hoping to persuade others of their beliefs.

Now here’s the interesting thing.  All of these groups require faith to hold on to their position.  Let’s make it really simple.  However much you believe in God you cannot prove God’s existence scientifically; probably not philosophically (unless you create your own system of philosophy that sets out with God as an a priori fact!)  This is obvious to a religious person: they accept as part of their religion that it involves faith.  Faith in God is something they are pleased and proud to proclaim.

But, on the other hand, atheism requires faith, too.  If we can’t prove that God exists, we also can’t prove that God doesn’t exist.  An atheist might say that there is no evidence of God’s existence and a religious person might cite any number of phenomena they they consider proof.  But an absence of proof doesn’t constitute proof of absence, and anyone styling themselves as a hard-nosed scientist/atheist should recognise this logical position. You need faith in the non-existence of God to be an atheist, just as much as you need faith in the existence of God to be a religious person.

I also notice another interesting phenomenon.  If we lay out these four positions on a spectrum with say “Extremely Atheist” on the left through to “Extremely Religious” on the right, it seems to me the people with the strongest faith tend towards the poles: those in the middle are more wishy-washy.  And the tendency to evangelise happens at the poles, too.  I never came across an agnostic standing on a street corner waving a placard saying “I’m not sure whether God exists or not, join me”.

So, what has this all got to do with my school experience?  I am fascinated to look back and notice all those scientists and logical positivists who held a position of pure faith, ignoring facts that might have suggested they were wrong.  Holding me as “stupid” was an act of faith.  It is true that I was gangling, unattractive, socially inept and an idiosyncratic learner.  But they had plenty of evidence to suggest that I wasn’t stupid, and I’m sure they could have found more if they’d looked.  For instance, for many of my years in grammar school I would have Mr Firth for history one year and Mr Hughes for history the next.  It went back and forth for several years that way.  In years when I had Mr Firth for history I usually came somewhere near top of my year in the exams.  In years when I had Mr Hughes I usually came somewhere near bottom of the year.  Not only could no one understand this phenomenon, no one could, apparently, suggest an hypothesis that could be investigated.  No one adult, that is.  All my peers knew the problem.  Mr Hughes liked smaller boys who were still wearing short pants.  Being taller I wore long trousers.

Scientists are human and they, whether they believe in God or not, often hold on to acts of faith independently of evidence that suggests they may be wrong.

We have the ability to be curious.  It’s not exclusive to humans–it is a survival mechanism for many species.  We also have a process for testing hypotheses and adjusting them if the facts don’t back them up.  This is how knowledge progresses.

I have also noticed another fault-line into which we can insert an analysts’s scalpel: those who rely on scripture to find truth and those who seek out truth.  It happens in particular in a corner of the world of nutrition in which I am currently exploring.  There is a nutritional idea called “Paleo” … the underlying idea is that there is considerable evidence that our paleolithic ancestors were significantly fitter, stronger, more disease-free than we are today, and that we might see what evidence we can find about what aspects of their life-style we could emulate for our own benefit.  There is considerable anecdotal evidence that the paleo/primal lifestyle has improved the lives of many, and not a few scientists who can point to some strong epidemiological evidence as well as some molecular models to explain their findings.

There are probably as many different flavours of paleo eating and living as there are adherents to the idea and some of those different flavours are very different from others.  They probably all range themselves against the “Standard American Diet” (appropriately known as SAD) or processed and junk food.  I particularly appreciate the work of Jimmy Moore, founder of the “Livin La Vida Low Carb” website.  Jimmy is running some research at the moment on the effectiveness of the “ketogenic” diet.  He calls it his “n=1″ research … in other words, he only has one research subject, and that’s himself.

This idea is echoed by others, like Dr Holly Lucille who asked in a recent post on her Facebook page “Who Is your Primary Care Giver?“.  (It should be you, if you haven’t guessed!)

This is a loose-knit community of people who inquire within as much as without, who have developed a body of knowledge that they check against the known facts, and then go their own way.

Sometimes I don’t necessarily agree with their way: it wouldn’t suit me.

For instance, this morning I came across a Facebook page that is new to me: “Primal Journey“.  It is a lovely page, has some stunning photos of food recipes, but the woman who runs the page eats stuff that I can’t eat, and that I may recommend that others don’t eat … if they are like me.  I, by the way, am a  65-year-old-man, with an incredibly low tolerance to carbohydrates, and type 2 diabetes.  The picture shows what she has achieved by following her own interpretation of a primal lifestyle.  Whatever your “paleo scripture” may tell you, it seems to me that she’s certainly got it right in her n=1 piece of research.  I called my wife over; her reaction was that this is the most amazing “before and after” photo we’ve seen (and this world is full of them).  My attitude is, if you’ve found a path that works for you, then follow it.  I believe that is what God asks us to do (oops; shown my hand!)

At the other end of the spectrum is another attractive young lady, Kate Giovino, who also shows us how she looks on her Facebook page. Kate also, clearly, has a regime that works for her (except that we don’t have a “before” picture of Kate, so maybe she was always this slim and fit).

I first came across Kate when she commented on a post from someone who describes himself as the “Primal Toad“.  He likes to post interesting questions on Facebook and see what responses he gets in the comments.  Last Sunday he asked:

There are now HUNDREDS of “Paleo” or “Primal” books available for purchase. And I mean where those 2 words are in the title of the book.

Do you see this as a good thing? Bad thing? Or are you just whatever?

Kate was one of those who responded and a conversation ensued.  It became apparent that Kate was very angry with Stefani Ruper and Nora Gedgaudas.  Well, I’ve been reading up about these two women; I don’t understand what Kate’s angry about.  Nor, apparently, did the Primal Toad.  The discussion became “one-sided” heated with the Toad trying to mollify and see both sides but Kate sticking to her scripture guns.  This led to a new post on the Toad’s website:

Dear Paleo Police,

Please stop your attempt to tell someone how they can or can not eat. There is no right or wrong way to eat “Paleo.”

These internecine fights seem to go on everywhere.  Jimmy Moore was recently attacked and came up with a similar response in his blog post “10 Critical Issues The Paleo Community Must Address“.



I am an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church.  A neighbor recently noticed the “Minister” sticker on my windshield and asked me about it.  He asked “What do you teach?” which turned out to be a profound question for me.  I don’t think I teach anything in the sense that he meant.  What I would like people to learn is, firstly, the most fundamental belief of the ULC:

You have the right to practice your own beliefs, so long as you harm no one.

And next I would like people to understand that scripture as we have it today was written down by a human being, and that human may have got it wrong.  In fact, a very short theological study will show how people can (and do) change scripture to suit themselves.

Back in school I was taught that the sixth of the 10 commandments was

Thou shalt not kill

I was rather surprised to discover recently that in more recent versions of the bible this has become

You shall not murder

which is very different (and in the original Hebrew it is “murder”, which, I guess, is in line with the ancient Hammurabi code and used by the Jews of the time).  I find it interesting that, here in America, Christians who tend to be against gun control tend toward the “murder” interpretation of the sixth commandment, whereas the pinko-commie liberals tend to go for “thou shalt not kill”.  Somehow it seems to line up better with “love thy neighbor“, “turn the other cheek“, “vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord” (in other words, you tend to the beam/mote stuff and leave the big stick stuff to me) and other items of the socialist manifesto (or can we find those things in scripture?)

Of course these arguments about scripture can (and will) go on for ever.  As will the arguments about the existence or non-existence of God, or the “correct” way to pursue a Paleo or Primal diet.  I often have the feeling (I may be wrong: it has been known!) that those who cling to scripture are frightened of something.  Scripture is a set of rules by which we may live our lives, and we all know, do we not, that

rules are made for the guidance of wise men and the blind obedience of fools.  (I’ll send a free copy of Susan’s recipe for totally carb-free ketogenic chocolate to the first person who can tell me who said that, and what he reached for.)

If there is no god then we have to decide for ourselves what is the best way to behave and how we may work out what constitutes ”best”.  And if there is a God then, in His wisdom, He gave us intelligence, morals and ethics, and the freedom to use them to live in the best way we can.  It is part of God’s gift to us that we can pursue science.

If you are living the best way you can then I applaud you and will see what I can learn from you and I ask that you do the same for me.

God or Science?  There is no question: God gave us science and expects us to use it responsibly.  And if there is no God then we humans made up science–and we still have a duty to use it responsibly and not to oppress others with it.

Thank you Jimmy MooreThe Primal Toad, The Primal Journey lady and the millions of others who are true scientists, and who share their results with the rest of us.

Interested in Paleo, Primal, Low-Carb?  These are some of the major works of scripture (although their authors wouldn’t see them that way!)

[simpleazon-image align="none" asin="0470913029" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="106"]  [simpleazon-image align="none" asin="0982565844" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="114"]  [simpleazon-image align="none" asin="0984755101" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="123"]  [simpleazon-image align="none" asin="1591138043" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="101"]  [simpleazon-image align="none" asin="0553380788" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="98"]  [simpleazon-image align="none" asin="1400033462" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="105"]  [simpleazon-image align="none" asin="0307474259" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="104"]  [simpleazon-image align="none" asin="1594774137" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="107"]


If there’s one thing that’s liable to unite all these different factions of the tribe Paleo, it’s if a VEGAN happens to enter the room, and if they are a raw-food vegan, well!

Now I’m at risk of becoming  alienated from everyone here, but, deep breath, here I go.  I have to say that I don’t think the vegan lifestyle would work for me: I am HIGHLY carb-intolerant, I do well on meat, and the weight is falling off.  I once was a vegetarian for about 5 years, but my knees gave out, I had an inner sense that I needed to come off my veggie diet, and within days I had gone from cripple to hiking canyons in the Uzège in Southern France.

Scott Jurek Ultra-runner

But consider Scott Jurek.  Here’s a clip from his bio on his website:

Scott Jurek’s outstanding competitive resume includes victories in nearly all of ultrarunning’s elite trail and road events, including the historic 153-mile Spartathlon, the Hardrock 100, the Badwater 135-mile Ultramarathon, the Miwok 100K, and—his signature race—the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, which he won a record seven straight times.

For those of you unfamiliar with ultra-running, let’s just take one of these races, the Badwater 135.  It is a non-stop, 135-mile race across Death Valley in the Mojave Desert, in the height of summer, with a cumulative climb of over 19,000 ft.  He broke the record, finishing with a time of 24 hours, 36 minutes, 8 seconds.

He’s not only vegan, he’s a raw-food vegan.

I’m sure that all of us paleo/primal/low-cal afficionados can find plenty to criticize about Scott’s diet.

If only we could catch him.

If all this blows your mind, check out these books:

[simpleazon-image align="none" asin="0547569653" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="106"]  [simpleazon-image align="none" asin="0307279189" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="104"]


I put together a page of information for a friend who has furred arteries and whose doctor wanted to put them on statins.

Since we have had experience in our family of the harm that statins can do, I put together a page of information for my friend, and then thought that others might find it useful, so decided to post it here.

Usual warning: I’m not a doctor nor nutritionist nor qualified in any way, other than having hung around this world for the last 64 and a bit years with my eyes and ears open!

If this stuff interests/concerns you, I suggest you go buy copies of the books listed here and lend them to your doctor!  And if your doctor won’t read them, there’s a list of “low-carb doctors” on Jimmy Moore’s blog.

But before we go on, I thought you might appreciate this (recently seen on Facebook):

Statins and your Brain

First, there is currently a lot of concern that doctors the world over seem to be handing out statins like candy.  Many people believe that they do little or no good and may well do harm, in particular causing “cognitive impairment”.  One of the leading voices in this area is Dr Duane Graveline: (, a doctor and retired NASA Astronaut.   He became interested in statins when he started to experience Transient Global Amnesia.  He has written four books:

  • [simpleazon-link asin="0970081790" locale="us"]Statin Drugs Side Effects and the Misguided War on Cholesterol[/simpleazon-link]
  • [simpleazon-link asin="1424301629" locale="us"]Lipitor Thief of Memory[/simpleazon-link]
  • [simpleazon-link asin="1424338697" locale="us"]The Statin Damage Crisis[/simpleazon-link]
  • [simpleazon-link asin="B004774MN8" locale="us"]The Dark Side of Statins[/simpleazon-link]

The Cholesterol Controversy

Chris Masterjohn is a PhD nutritionist and maintains a blog  These are just a few of the articles on his blog that I found interesting:

HDL / LDL Good?  Bad?  Ugly?

Most people seem to have got the message that High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C) is good and Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL-C) is bad.  But there seems to be more to it than that because LDL-C comes in different sizes: no “one-size-fits-all” for cholesterol!

Here’s a very quick summary:

  • there’s LDL-C Pattern A (think A-OK) which may or may not be good for you, but it certainly isn’t bad.  The particles are large and fluffy.
  • then there’s LDL-C Pattern B (“B” for Bad) where the particles are small and hard (think Bullets or Ball Bearings).  Those small particles burrow into your artery walls, I am told, and cause serious plumbing problems.

Pattern A comes from eating Animals, hence the messages we have had about saturated fat may have been misleading, and Pattern B comes from excess carBohydrates, and so the messages about eating healthy carbs may have been way beyond misleading.  That’s it in a nutshell, but if you have a hankering for more detailed academic words, here is an article on effects of low-carb diet on LDL particle size:

Effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet program compared to a low-fat diet on fasting lipoprotein subclasses

Will a Low-Carb Diet Wreck or Refurbish Your Metabolism?

I’m betting my life, at the moment, that the answer is “refurbish”.  If you’d like to explore that in depth, here’s an article from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Low-carbohydrate nutrition and metabolism.  This almost definitely contains more information than you will ever want or need, but if you have any questions about the science behind all this stuff, that’s probably where you’ll find the answers!

Do We Need Carbs in our Diet?

There is much frustration amongst doctors in the low-carb camp with those who say that carbohydrates are a required macro nutrient, and we need a lot of them.

No they are not, and there’s a lot of backward reasoning used to support the “we need carbs” hypothesis that goes something like this.

Type 1 diabetics can suffer from something called keto-acidosis.  In fact people with very serious long-term type 2 diabetes (and who are not taking their medication) can also get into keto-acidosis.  It’s not a nice thing and needs immediate attention.  It is characterised by having extraordinarily high levels of ketones in the blood.  Having much lower levels of ketones in the blood is called ketosis, and isn’t dangerous.  In fact many people would regard it as desirable state and work quite hard to get there and stay there (“nutritional ketosis” that state is called).

To give a parallel case, there is one class of macro-nutrient that most medical people and nutritionists would not regard as a macro-nutrient, and that’s alcohol.  But I have seen “macro nutrient” defined as something that your body can burn to produce energy, and alcohol is quite energy dense; about the same as fat, I am told.  We all know that one can have different levels of alcohol in the blood, and that will have different effects, from the single glass of wine with dinner that may just serve to relax you up to the bottle of vodka that will probably land you either in hospital or jail, depending on what you are doing having drunk the vodka.

The nutritionists would concede that point and say that the reason they would not count alcohol as a macro-nutrient is that we can live perfectly well without it if we never touch a drop in our entire lives.


The same is true of carbohydrates!  The powers that be in the USA define the minimum daily requirement for carbohydrates as 150 grams, on the basis that this amount will stop you going into ketosis and ketosis is bad.  But ketosis ISN’T bad!  It’s keto-acidosis that’s bad.  Well, they would say, humans can’t exist without eating carbs, and this is the point at which we introduce the Inuit paradox into the conversation.

The Inuit Paradox: How can people who gorge on fat and rarely see a vegetable be healthier than we are?  I found this article in Discover magazine.

Emily Deans, MD

Oh, and, it is increasingly recognised that our brains run better on ketones than carbs.  I have experienced this myself, but here’s an article by Massachusetts psychiatrist Emily Deans that explains the advantages of running our brains on high-octane ketones as opposed to low-octane glucose.

 Born to Run?

I have never thought of myself as born to run.  It took me quite a while to appreciate the advantages of walking further than from the house to the car, but I came around eventually (even founded the Walking for Happiness website).  But I stumbled upon the video below and it greatly excited me.

I posted that on Facebook and a friend said that he had enjoyed the book: [simpleazon-image align="right" asin="0307279189" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="104"] “[simpleazon-link asin="0307279189" locale="us"]Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen[/simpleazon-link]” by Chris McDougall, so I bought it for[simpleazon-link asin="B0083PWAPW" locale="us"] Kindle[/simpleazon-link] on my[simpleazon-link asin="B00746UR2E" locale="us"] iPad[/simpleazon-link].  Enjoyed it?  It changed my life!  And it puts a lot of what we are learning here into a whole new light.  Try the video: if it intrigues you, get the book.  Here’s the 15-minute video of him doing a TED talk.


[simpleazon-image align="left" asin="0983490708" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="107"][simpleazon-image align="right" asin="0983490716" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="107"]And finally, here are two books that are our current study focus, Jeff Volek’s and Stephen Phinney’s “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living” and “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance”.

If any of this grabs your attention, those two should be on your bookshelf, right up there with Gary Taubes and the Eades‘ [simpleazon-link asin="0553380788" locale="us"]Protein Power[/simpleazon-link].

Lastly, Dr Jeffry Gerber talks about obesity.  If it wasn’t a 3,700-mile round trip drive from here to Dr Jeff (and balmy and warm here, and all snowy up there), I’d be signing up as a patient of Dr Jeff’s, to help me get through my current “plateau”!


Jeffry N. Gerber, M.D. – Denver’s Diet Doctor
South Suburban Family Medicine
South Suburban Occupational Medicine
7780 South Broadway, Suite 250
Littleton, CO 80122

Telephone: 303-346-9490
Fax: 303-346-930

PS: I had finished this page and sent it off to the editor for review and was getting ready to shut down for the night, when I came across an e-mail telling me that these people were following me on Twitter.  So I couldn’t resist adding this page: Putting The Myth To Rest: There Is No Such Thing As Bad Cholesterol.

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