Monday, March 19

eat clean, get lean: what to eat on a ketogenic diet!

the ketogenic diet isn't a difficult one to follow. the hardest part is avoiding the foods you shouldn't eat.

if you read about the diet you know by now that you should eat foods that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates. if you didn't read about it, go read this.

the gist:

your body converts carbohydrates into glucose which becomes your energy source. when you eat such a low amount of carbs, your liver starts to convert fats in the body into fatty acids and ketones. the ketones then become your new main energy source. elevated ketones in the body is called ketosis. the goal is to reach ketosis and stay in ketosis. then, you're literally burning fat.

that's why it's so crucial to not interrupt ketosis. it can take days to go into ketosis after eating the right foods. it can only take one bite of the bad foods to kick you out of ketosis!

don't eat these foods:

beer, mixed drinks, bread, milk, pasta, grains, cereal, rice, potatoes, corn, carrots, peas, candy, cake, cheesecake, donuts, fruit juices, high carb fruits (apricots, banannas, peaches, nectarines, etc.), pastries, non-diet soft drinks, rolls, bagels, popcorn, battered foods (fried chicken, etc.), gravy, honey, sugar, and corn syrup.

don't be's a short list. the list of foods you CAN eat is super long. the guys over at did an awesome job of putting one together!

eat these foods:

any meat (such as beef, venison, pork, veal, lamb) in any just about any cut or preparation, though check the carb content of processed meat products like sausages and ensure you don’t buy anything cured with sugar or honey.

any poultry (chicken, turkey, quail, duck etc.). it is preferable to leave the skin on poultry to increase the fat content. poultry must not be breaded or battered, but can otherwise be prepared any way you like, roasted, stir fried, deep fried, baked, grilled or barbecued.

fish and shellfish. they should be fresh – things like imitation crab meat often contain added carbs – and if you buy canned fish make sure it hasn’t been preserved with added sugar. again, it must not be breaded or battered. also, you'll need to add some fat (olive oil or butter or cream) since these foods are generally low in fat.

eggs. you will probably find that eggs become a staple when you are on a ketogenic diet.

cheese. most types of cheese are suitable for a ketogenic diet, though they do contain some carbs, so make sure you include these in your daily carb count to ensure you stay below your limit.

vegetables. vegetables will be the source of most of the carbs you eat, but you still need to choose the lowest carb vegetables with the best nutritional value. green leafy vegetables are the best, such as spinach, all kinds of lettuce and cabbage, watercress, brussels sprouts and kale. you can also eat broccoli and cauliflower, celery, cucumber, asparagus, bean sprouts, radishes and more, but must strictly limit you intake of sugary vegetables like peppers, onions and tomatoes, and avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes.

nuts can be eaten in moderation as a snack.

most kinds of oil, butter and cream can be used in cooking.

heavy cream is a great alternative to milk. use in moderation.

fresh herbs and dry spices can be used for flavor.

mayonnaise and oil based salad dressings are usually ok, but check the carb content on the bottle.

artificial sweeteners such as splenda can be used in place of sugar.

eat these snacks:

a small portion of nuts
seasoned pork rinds
cubed cheese
celery sticks with cream cheese
smoked salmon and cream cheese roll-ups
pepperoni slices
cold cuts
chicken wings
cocktail sausages
hard boiled eggs

keeping track of the fat, protein, and carbs is kind of a pain in the butt. but, the fat on my butt is a bigger pain! so, until the my fat is replaced with muscle, i'll count...everything.

there are lots of websites and apps you can use. find one you like and plug everything in. it only takes a few minutes. don't be lazy. 

i love myfitnesspal! i've got the app on my phone, and i put everything in it. the barcode scanner is awesome!

or you can try this new meal planner.

variety is the trick to successful dieting. i can deal with eating the same breakfast and lunch everyday when i'm dieting. i know it's temporary, and i break up the monotony by eating a different dinner every night. but, most people need to change it up a bit so it doesn't and they quit.

for a month long sample meal plan, check this out!

here's what i eat:

meal 1: 1 whole fried egg (in a 1/2 tsp of olive oil) and 1 slice of bacon
meal 2: tuna fish in oil (or grilled chicken) mixed with 1 tbsp of mayo served on top of 1 cup of mixed greens
meal 3: protein shake (low carb) with 2 tbsp of heavy cream
meal 4: roasted chicken with skin on and steamed veggies
meal 5: varies from day to day (check this to see what i've been eating)

when times get tough, and all you want is a ding dong...remember, eat for the body you want tomorrow, not for the body you have today!

did you like this post? leave me a comment or click one of the links below!


  1. Hey there...thanks for writing this. I've recently read a lot about ketosis and I'm doing Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting. I'm wondering if you could tell me about butternut squash and if it's a risk to take me out of ketosis, and how about bottled raw coconut water (with or without pulp)? Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    1. 1/2 cup of butternut squash has about 7 carbs. 1 cup of coconut water has about 7-15 carbs depending on the brand.

      you've got to figure out what your limit is for staying in ketosis. it's different for everyone. ketosis stix take the guessing work out it. and, the symptoms are not hard to miss when you know what you're looking for. the real key to ketosis is knowing how much sugar/carbs are in the food your eating and counting them. my max grams of carbs to stay in ketosis was 30. so, if i ate butternut squash and drank coconut water, i'd be just about done for the day. remember to eat plenty of protein and green veggies (super low carb)...that's where you'll get your energy. also, a ketosis diet should be temporary...not long term. it worked for me, and i'd do it again, but it's hard and can really zap your mind and your body. do your research and good luck!

  2. Great !! Very helpfully

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  5. Hi I see that this post was from 2013, but I thought I'd reach out anyway as I'm doing a ketosis diet right now. I'm doing a plan called New You, and although it's only day 2 I'm struggling - I wondered if I were to eat some eggs or canned salmon (one or other, not both) would take me out of ketosis, if in fact I'm actually in it yet. Thanks

    1. hi! so glad you found me. i've been away from blogging for a bit, okay, almost two years. but, i check the comments now and again. the thing with ketosis is that it's up to your body and what your body tolerates. that's why the keto sticks make it easy when you're starting out or have lost a significant amount of weight. they're kind of like pregnancy tests. when you see the color change on the stick after you've done them for a couple weeks, you'll know what your magic carb count is. so, reasonably, it doesn't matter what you eat, it matters how much. that's why a food plan makes it easier. you can pick and choose ahead of time for the big meals and know what you're safe snacks are. for me, staying under 25 grams of carbs a day keeps me in ketosis. remember, it's not a long term plan. if you're feeling a little forgetful or confused or tired, STOP. always talk to your doctor. though there are lot's of references and groups out there with lots of help, you never know how you'll respond. some people carb load for 1 day every week or two. good luck!

  6. Can you eat non-battered fried foods?

    1. Yes, obviously it's not the optimal choice for healthy food preparation, but it sure is tasty. As long as you're monitoring you fat intake, it's fine...fried food really add up quickly. Try to stick with on-hydrogenated lards, beef tallow, real butter, ghee, or coconut oil, since they a bit healthier and have higher smoke points than other oils.

  7. I have been following the diet for about 3 weeks now and my major problem is that I am hungry so much of the time. I try to keep my carbs below 25G per day and have the understanding that one should keep the ratio of fat & protein to a 5 to 1 ration to carbs.
    I am 5 ft 10 and weigh 153. Work out in the gym with weights & do a lot of aerobics type exercises including dancing. It is easy for me to have a ten to one ration of fat & protein to carbs...What do you suggest to appease the hunger?

  8. Hi, getting started for my best me! Yes, I need support; since at age 60, I've been overweight all my life from a toddler. I keep going astray, attempt to diet, then weight gets out of control and frozen. Today, I recalled my past successes of weight loss was watching my ketones. Hoping it won't take too long to obtain some color changes. Between the ketone strips and this blog, hopefully it will lead to success forever. I was reading through the entries and will embrace this site. It occurred to me that motiving for losing weight has to come from the heart; since my mind changes daily/hourly. Cheers to everyone, slim me


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