“How many calories do keto-fasting people eat?”


Are there any studies on people using antipsychotics on an LCHF diet? What can I do to avoid waking up with a cortisol rush at 3 am? And, how many calories do people who fast on keto consume?

Get the answers to these and other questions in this week’s Q&A with me:

Antipsychotics and metabolic syndrome

I work as a psychiatrist and there is a lot of attention to weight and metabolic parameters when people use antipsychotics. With risen hunger usually as the biggest problem. Any studies done on this group with LCHF? And do you think it can reverse the perceived starvation/hunger?


Hi Erik!

To the best of my knowledge, there are no studies on this. My own pet theory is that drugs that act as dopamine antagonists (like antipsychotic drugs) reduce food reward and result in people wanting to eat more to get the same food reward.

In theory, a low-carb diet could help at least partially to reduce this problem, as a low-carb diet tends to reduce hunger. 1


Been on keto for a few months and I wake up at 3 am every morning with a cortisol rush. Any pre-sleep nutrition strategies to delay normal hormone increases to 5 am or later?

I think the dawn phenomenon kicks in around at a very high level at around 3 am, but since I’m a light sleeper, I totally wake up at 3 am, being alert, and can’t easily fall back to sleep. I am not diabetic. Any pre-sleep ketogenic nutrition changes to delay the rush of cortisol so I can sleep uninterrupted until 5 am or later?



Adding a minor amount of carbs (like 20 grams) in the evenings can help, but also reduces the effect of a ketogenic diet somewhat.


How many calories do keto eating fasting people eat per day or per week?

I know that in general, you say calories count, but don’t count them. I get that and use MyFitnessPal to calculate and track my Macros (not really calories, but they are there anyway). However, I have hit a “plateau” of bouncing between 80-85 pound (36-39 kg) loss, (Still have 70-100 pounds (32-45 kg) more to go though). I do a 16-17 hour fast every weekday and eat 2-3 meals on the weekends with family. I understand “Eat when you are hungry, don’t eat when you are not”.

Can you just give me an idea of how many calories on LCHF (Keto) a person typically consume when having a 16:8 hour fast pattern? MyFitnessPal stops working at under 1,000 calories. My friend eats way less than 1,000 calories per day. I usually eat between 1,000–1,500. Can you give me a number to help me with my expectations and understanding? What is ‘normal’? What is “healthy’? How many do normally thin people eat? How many calories do keto-eating fasting people eat per day or per week? I think having had a weight problem my entire life and hearing the wrong information from professionals all those years before Diet Doctor the calorie numbers are still the last bastion of misinformation. (No one should eat less than 1,200 calories a day and that’s even really low etc….)

I really need a ‘keto number of calories’ range.



I’m not sure this is the right question (how many calories?). The answer will generally be “it depends”, and it depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you have a significant excess weight your body could potentially burn those energy stores, and all you’d have to eat is the nutrition you need (protein, essential fatty acids, minerals, vitamins). So I’d focus on eating low-carb and high-nutrition foods, like meat, eggs, and vegetables. I’d focus way less on calories, though the less pure energy (especially sugar and other carbs) you can eat the simpler it tends to be to lose excess weight.

All this said, I think eating 1,000-1,500 calories per day could be a good level for you. I just don’t think it’s the most important thing to track.

Check out this guide: Should you count calories on a low-carb or keto diet?


Keto diet and fasting

I would like to ask when on keto diet and fasting can you still have a keto desert after your meals? And have you any ideas on food choices for me as I’m allergic to dairy and avocados, most meals seem to have a lot in it.

Thank you,


You can have the occasional dessert – but weight loss will likely always be a bit faster without it. Here are our dairy-free recipes.



Keto for beginners

Intermittent fasting for beginners

How to lose weight

More questions and answers

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Low-carb Q&A

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