Without a doubt the question I get asked most often in my Instagram DMs is "what is that Starbucks drink?!?". Hahaha. I post it all the time, but I am going to put it here too! 

My favorite Keto Starbucks drink: 

Venti Americano (hot or iced depending on the weather) with Extra Heavy Cream and Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce (normal amount of pumps). Then sometimes I add a pack of Stevia and sometimes I don't, depends on my mood:) 

 

My daughter's favorite  Starbucks drinks: 

Keto Skinny Mocha: I order her a Decaf skinny mocha, with Heavy Cream instead of Milk. That way it has Sugar Free Mocha syrup, but fatty cream:) Decaf because she is 13 and doesn't need caffeine. No whipped cream (their pre-made whipped cream has sugar in it, the plain heavy cream does not)

 

Keto Pink Drink: I order an iced, unsweetened Passion Tea, with heavy cream and 2 pumps of Sugar Free Vanilla added. If you If you don't want the SF Vanilla you can get one pack of Stevia instead (I like this better that way, she likes the SF Vanilla way better). This is also caffeine free. 


What are macros and how do I keep track of them?

This is a super common question amongst those starting keto. There are lots of videos and resources online where you can get more information, but basically your ratios should be close to 5% carbs, 20-25% protein, and 70-75% fat. The ketogenic diet is not a high protein diet. If you eat too much protein it can turn to glucose, so it is essential to understand that this is a high fat way of eating. It will also tell you what your calories should be depending on how much weight you want to lose and how active you are. Some people count calories, some people don't. Some people track macros, some people don't. As you get more knowledgeable about Keto one thing you will notice is that there is not one answer for everyone. Do your research and then figure out what works for YOU.

Personally I eat under 20 grams of Net Carbs per day. Some people calculate actual carbs, not Net Carbs, it is a personal choice. Net Carbs are when you subtract the total Fiber from the total Carbs. So 1 cup of broccoli has 6g of carbs, but 2g of fiber, so the net carbs for that broccoli would be 4g. It is very helpful in the beginning to track all of your food with an app like My Fitness Pal, Carb Manager, or something similar. You can set the preferences of both apps to your macro settings and you can also set them to count either total carbs or net carbs. 

For more information go to the tab "what is keto?!" which includes a link to the macro calculator I use.


Can I eat low carb tortillas / artificial sweeteners / nuts / etc...

As I mentioned up above Keto is about figuring out what works FOR YOU within the general framework of the Ketogenic way of eating (5% carbs, 20-25% protein, and 70-75% fat). Some people eat processed low carb food all the time and lose tons of weight, some people find it stalls their weight loss. Some people eat cheese and nuts with no issues, others can't do that. 

I know it is tempting when you first start to try to ask other people a bunch of questions, but honestly you have to experiment and figure out what works for your body and your goals! Some people can't do almonds and almond flour... so experiment with coconut flour recipes. There are a ton of resources online google, Pinterest, Reddit etc... are your friend but only you know your body so figure out how to optimize the Keto WOE for yourself! 


What do I do about the "Keto Flu"?

The Keto Flu is what people call the detox time period when your body is flushing out the carbs and working to get your body from a sugar burning body to a fat burning body. If you have been eating carbs your whole life, it is obviously going to be a big adjustment to switch over. The key to controlling this is all about getting electrolytes back in your system. I did not experience this when I went Keto, but my daughter had it pretty rough.

 

The symptoms of Keto Flu include lightheadedness, muscle cramps, nausea, headaches, and fatigue. 

 

For my daughter the answer was Powerade Zero, sipping broth and eating food with Pink Salt. Now some people will say, "what about the artificial sweeteners in Powerade Zero?!" yup it has them- sucralose. So if you don't want that then you can try some of the other methods, but I will tell you that stuff saved my daughter and I drank it recently when I had the flu and it was a lifesaver. Here is a list of other things that help! 

  • Water with electrolytes (I use Smart Water) 
  • Pink Salt (read this article to learn why it is better than table salt), you need extra salt on Keto because you are not eating processed carbs that are full of salt
  • Sip broth 
  • Take a shot of pickle juice 
  • Eat Potassium rich foods (avocado and spinach have way more potassium than a sugary and very non-keto banana)
  • Eat Magnesium rich foods (dark chocolate, nuts, artichoke, spinach, fish) and/or take a supplement. I take this one from Natural Stacks

Also get plenty of sleep to allow your body to rest and recover. 


I can't always find Kerrygold butter, is there another one that can be used? 

- submitted by @proud.oma

Groceries stores like Whole Foods usually carry a couple different brands of grass-fed butter, but you can also but it on Amazon! In terms of other brands, Organic Valley and Vital Farms are two other brands I have purchased. In addition Ghee could also be a great option, Bulletproof makes a great grass-fed Ghee.


What is the most satisfying meal you can make yourself? Do you count calories? Weight loss tips! 

- submitted by @ketokaraa

My #1 favorite keto meal is definitely an egg frittata! I have posted a couple versions on the blog, the first is the HAM, PROSCIUTTO AND DILL FRITTATA and the SPINACH AND EGG BAKE. They are great because you can load them up with fat and you can also top them with even more fat! My favorite "fat toppers" are sour cream and Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil

I have gone through periods over the last 14 months when I didn't track, but for the last 3 months I have tracked, which for me means counting calories and tracking macros. I do think it is helpful to keep track. Some people have success without doing it, but as someone who eats a variety of foods and likes to experiment in the kitchen, it is important for me to stay on top of my tracking.

For weight loss tips check out tips and tricks from real people who have had success on Keto! 


Do you count your macros or do you eat until you are full?

- submitted by @evy_heart

I count macros, but of course if I am at my desired percentages (5% carbs, 20-25% protein, and 70-75% fat) and under in calories then I would be totally fine with that! But if I wasn't hungry and I was low on my fat percentage, I would still find a way to get more fat in. My favorite ways to do that are to eat grass-fed butter on some dark chocolate, eat spoonfuls of whipped cream cheese, or drizzle Brain Octane Oil on some avocado. 


How do you make cauliflower rice?

- submitted @proud.oma

It is super easy to make cauliflower rice! 

  1. Get a head of cauliflower and cut it into smaller florets
  2. Put florets in a food processor and shred
  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet and saute the cauliflower rice for about 5 minutes
  4. Add seasoning as you wish! 

You can also buy it pre-riced at lots of grocery stores. I usually buy mine at Trader Joe's. 


What calculator do you use for your macros?

- submitted by @themascaradiaries

I use Carb Manager to keep track of my food, you can download it here for iPhones. You can set your macros in preferences and set it to count net carbs. To count your macros you can find the link here


How do you keep from eating too much protein? 

- submitted @jilliansjourney928 / @chel_nicolee

At first I definitely found myself overeating protein. In fact a couple years ago I did a low carb diet and it didn't work and now I know 100% that the reason was I ate too much protein. One thing that has helped me a lot since going keto is to intermittent fast and only eat 2 meals in an 8 hour period. So my morning meal is either Bulletproof Coffee or an Americano with Steamed Heavy Cream. That makes it easier for me to divide my protein allowance into just 2 meals. 

When you do make those meals, make sure you portion out your protein, look for fattier proteins (dark meat chicken over white meat etc...), and load up on fat around the meal. Cook the protein in fat of course (butter, olive oil, pork lard, etc...) and top the protein with more fat (cheese, avocado, Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil). Sometimes it can help starting with the fats and taking the recipe from there- I definitely never would have thought to top my hard boiled eggs with butter until Keto, but it's delicious:) 

If you are still having issues, I would recommend Quest Keto meals! The macros are perfectly structured, do there is not planning needed! 


Do you feel like quitting when you felt like super tired, what solution can I do when I get really tired especially with PMS?

- submitted by @adrrilopez

If you are tired and just beginning Keto, I would say that an electrolyte imbalance is to blame! Scroll up to read solutions for Keto Flu! Another reason is not enough sodium, potassium, and magnesium- tips on those are up above as well:) Here is a reddit on this same topic:) Keto is a big adjustment for your body, so it should be expected that you will need to pay close attention to getting enough water and salt. During PMS try bumping up the fat and the salt! You can see some more tips here


So I'm starting my second keto run. I noticed this the first time too, but excessive peeing? I woke up today at day 2 and spent a whole 5 minutes whizzing! 

- submitted by @soulfirefitness27

This is super normal actually and people notice this in the beginning of keto, but if you ever have a cheat day/weekend etc... you will also notice this after that.Essentially when you first start the keto diet or if you've had a couple of days of cheating you have glycogen stores in your liver and muscle. Glycogen = glucose+water.

Eating keto breaks glycogen down. The lack of carbs and therefore glucose causes the liver to breakdown its glycogen stores to provide the body with its glucose needs. The excess peeing is just the water from the broken down glycogen.

This usually settles down after you've been on the diet a while. Nothing to worry about.

 

So embrace the peeing:) It will settle down once you are fat adapted. 


Does alcohol throw you out of ketosis? Or is it just net carbs in?

- submitted by @cmsbrooks

I drink alcohol on keto and I stay in ketosis. Of course what alcohol you choose makes a difference. My standard drink is a vodka soda or vodka diet tonic with lime wedges. Hard alcohol is low carb, it is the mixers that get people in trouble. Wine is also fairly low in carbs, so I also drink wine when I have room in my macros. I will say that I feel like I super dehydrated after a night of wine, Keto seems to intensify that a lot for me. 

One thing alcohol does do, is it causes your body to burn off the alcohol before it can continue to burn fat, so that can stall your weight loss. You can read more about that here

All of this being said, the only way you will know if you are still in ketosis after drinking is to test afterwards! 


Can you follow LCHF without being in ketosis and still lose weight?

- submitted by @corryn23

I found this thread that does a great job of discussing this! Keto is just a stricter form of LCHF. There can be a variation of levels of LCHF, some going as high at 100g of carbs a day. Obviously that is a lot higher than a Keto diet will allow, but is still lower than a standard American diet. You can still lose weight on LCHF, but evidence appears to support that being in ketosis will have a stronger impact in weight loss. 


Is there Keto for vegetarians?

- submitted by @bethabrennan

I am about the furthest thing from being a vegetarian, but I found some resources for you! The short answer is yes, but plan to eat a lot of eggs and dairy! 


Can you eat too few calories on this WOE? 

- submitted by @kristen_jackelen

As long as you are getting the correct ratio of fat/protein/carbs then I wouldn't worry about being low on calories. Fat is filling! I have rarely found myself in that position, but it sounds like a great problem to have! You should trust your body, here is a feed on this topic


How do you track your stuff? I've tried My Fitness Pal but not sure how to get it to understand I am on a low carb diet? 

- submitted by @larissamarie06

You can set your preferences/settings on the app to customize your daily goals to your macros and set it to net carbs. 

  1. Create an account at www.myfitnesspal.com.
  2. Set your macros properly: My Home -> Goals -> Change Goals. Select Custom and hit continue. Set the Macros for keto. AKA Carbs to 5%, Protein to 25% and Fat to 75%

If you haven't figured out your macros you can find a link here


I had my blood work taken last week and the results are in and I was surprised to find my cholesterol higher since I've been in ketosis for 3 months?

- submitted by @johny1429

This question is a bit beyond my area of knowledge so I will refer you to this great post and video by Healthful Pursuit. In the article there is also a link to Jimmy Moore's book Cholesterol Clarity which should provide a lot of insight! 


Thanks for your beautiful blog. I was wondering if the keto diet had any long term drawbacks to it for you? Are you still following a keto diet?

- submitted by Mahsa via email 

Yes I have been Keto since January 2016 and continue to follow a Keto WOE. I have not experienced any drawbacks, quite the opposite actually! I was interested in Keto because of the anti-inflammatory benefits and I have experienced that as well as increased energy, better skin/hair, a healthy gut and some weight loss. I find Keto to be very easy to sustain!


What is the difference between Atkins and Keto?

- submitted by @millettemarina 

My friends at Perfect Keto actually have a great blog post about this topic so you can read that and get their take! I have followed both ways of eating, so I can give you my thoughts as well. For me Atkins levels you up on carbs as you go. So you start super low carb, at about 20g of carbs a day, but as you lose weight they introduce other foods back in the diet and raise the carb allowance. Upping those carbs is where I feel like people get in trouble eventually and end up right back where they started because those cravings and bad habits sneak back in.  Protein is another difference in my opinion, now that I am keto I realize how important it is not to overdo protein, but on Atkins I don't remember that ever being a focus. I actually think that is why I failed on Atkins, because I was probably eating way too much protein, which was in turn just turning into glucose. Also when I did Atkins there never seemed to be a focus on trying to eat the best quality of food, like grass fed / organic / etc.... Maybe that has changed, because I read the Atkins book over 10 years ago, but by the looks of the products that are in the stores with the Atkins name on it, I would say that hasn't changed.

 

In contrast I believe that Keto is focused on quality ingredients, it isn't just eating low carb, but the right foods to nourish your body and heal your body. Keto also has very precise macros. I follow the 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs ratio (the Perfect Keto article has the ratio of 60% / 35% / 5% so see what you body likes better), eating this way will change your metabolism and offer amazing long term health benefits by forcing your body to use the ketones for energy. For me personally it has been crucial in healing my gut and lowering inflammation in my joints (I have Psoriatic Arthritis), and then weight loss was totally tertiary for me (I lost 25lbs). 

 

I would also say that Atkins is looked at as a "diet", I look at Keto as a permanent way of eating- not a quick fix and not a temporary solution. Hope this helps! 


I eat under 20g of carbs a day and I am not losing weight, can you tell me why?

- submitted by @timsonpatricia

Everyone is different so I can't tell you exactly why you aren't losing weight since I am not sure of your individual circumstances, health issues, what you are eating, how much you are trying to eat etc... Also I am just a normal person who has learned about Keto as I go, I am in no way an expert. But I can provide some tips that will allow you to take a look at your situation and assess it. 

 

Usually people lose water weight right away on Keto and that is because carbs hold onto a lot of water, so when you stop eating those, your body will release that water and you will lose some initial weight, but it is not fat. Losing fat can take a little bit longer. There are some common obstacles that seem to stall weight loss in some people: dairy, nuts, and sweeteners. You need to figure out for yourself what may be blocking you. All I can say is that Keto is great for weight loss, but that is not the only benefit. It also heals your body, so it is possible that your body may need to heal for other reasons first and then the body can focus on weight loss. I just can't tell you for certain. 

 

I would also tell you to read through all of these interviews with people who have had great success with Keto, because real life stories are definitely the best way to learn and see where you may be making some of the same mistakes they did early on. Lastly, good luck and stick with it! Keto is not a short term solution, it is a lifelong way of eating! 


I recently started a keto program at work for a 90 day program that was scheduled to end June 30th. I have been asked to continue and thrilled for the next 90 days program… How do you know you are in ketosis? Do you test? How? When? Frequency?  I ask this because my current program is through breath analysis. I have always heard of ketones in the urine. Is this your method? 

 

I am happy to say my blood work is the best it's ever been, but my urine did not have ketones. Should i be concerned? My ketone daily breath analysis is a steady low number as has been my weight decrease. I'm  not too concerned, but would love to rev my weight loss a bit more. 

Submitted via email by Jackie D.

This is a great question! From my experience the urine testing works in the beginning, but as you become fat-adapated and your body is using those ketones, the urine test will not be accurate anymore. I have never used the breath analysis, but I do blood test from time to time. I recommend you check out this post by Maria Emmerich who does a great job of explaining each one and comparing the methods to each other.

 

Many people have success on keto without ever testing and then others like to test frequently, it is really a personal choice. If you are reaching your goals, then maybe it is not necessary, that has to be your choice. Personally I bought the blood testing equipment about a year into my keto journey and now, 6 months later, I barely use it. Mostly because the strips are really expensive and it just isn’t something I want to spend a lot of money on. You are very new to keto and most likely are not keto adapted yet, so if I were you I would continue on your keto journey, finish the 90 day challenge, and then decide if you want to start testing once you are adapted!

 

If you are looking for a one stop shop where you can get information on Keto, meal plans, and more I would highly suggest signing up for the plans that Leanne Vogel of Healthful Pursuit offers! She makes it super easy, so there is no guessing or frustration involved! 

Click HERE to purchase her meal plans

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From her site

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