First step — preparation!
Preparation is everything. There are two things to do to get ready for the challenge:
Get to know the challenge
Here are four key things to know for getting ready to start on Sunday:
In a nutshell, a keto diet is about avoiding carbohydrates and replacing them with other, real foods — healthy fats, low-carb vegetables and protein.
In this challenge, we make keto simple. We’ll tell you exactly what foods to get rid of. We’ll supply you with weekly shopping lists, meal plans and all recipes needed.
Just follow the plan to stay under 20 grams of carbs per day. This is highly effective for weight loss and diabetes reversal.1
You’ll cook twice a day. Lunch will be leftovers from yesterday’s dinner, so you’ll save lots of time as well. Win-win! Breakfast is very quick – scrambled eggs or one of our other delicious options.2
Here are some sample recipes, click for a closer look:
Consider printing the meal plans, recipes and shopping lists if you want them available offline. Make sure you select the correct number of people you are shopping and cooking for, the amounts will be updated accordingly. You can also switch between US and metric measurements.
Most people can do the keto challenge right away.3 But in these three situations you may need additional planning or adjustments:
- Are you on medication for diabetes, e.g. insulin? Learn more
- Are you on medication for high blood pressure? Learn more
- Are you breastfeeding? Learn more
If you’re not in any of these groups, you’re ready to go. Keep reading!
3. Do tell!
We recommend at least letting the people you live with know what you plan to do in advance. Their support will make it easier for you to succeed. Perhaps they even want to join you? Here’s a very simple one-page document that you can hand out to explain what all this is about.Good to know
Schedule 2-3 hours on Sunday afternoon for final preparations for the challenge. You’ll go shopping and you’ll finish up with cooking and having a delicious dinner. Sounds like a plan?
For extra support and motivation, and to share your progress in the challenge, consider joining our moderated and members-only Facebook community.
Final prep and start
It’s time! Today — Sunday — is when you start changing your life. Good luck and enjoy!
Follow all the preparations — total time needed is 2-3 hours — and the upcoming week can be a breeze. Start in the early afternoon and end with a delicious dinner.
Get rid of (throw out or give away) all the high-carb temptations in your pantry and fridge. Doing so massively improves your chances of success. Here’s how you do it.
Thinking of bailing out already? If so, you could perhaps benefit from watching our video course on sugar addiction.
Time to buy some great food!
The shopping list contains all the food that you need for the entire first week of the challenge.
If you are allergic to something, have special dietary needs or just want to eat something other than what we’ve planned out for you, you can always choose any other keto meal that works for you.If you’re not a member and want to switch a meal, you will have to do some additional shopping. It’s worth checking out our free membership trial to be able to customize the meal plans if needed. With customized meal plans the shopping lists will automatically adjust. However, the daily emails you will receive won’t contain your hand-picked meals, because we are unable to read your minds — just yet!
When using or printing the shopping list, make sure you select the appropriate number of people you’re shopping for. Also, you can select US or metric measurements.
Consider checking what you already have in your kitchen before going shopping to avoid buying duplicates of spices etc.
Here are two more items you may want to pick up today if you don’t already have them around:
- Scale (for weighing yourself)
- Measuring tape
People start eating keto for different reasons. Usually they start because they want to lose weight. After they have been eating keto for a while they start to notice other health benefits as well. The most common ones are a calmer stomach, clearer skin, better mental focus and more energy.4
We’re all predisposed differently so the only person you can actually compare yourself with is you. Some people lose a lot of weight on keto just after a couple of days and feel great while doing it. Some people don’t lose any weight at all during the first weeks and can even feel a bit poorly (keto flu). This might be because the body needs more time to adjust to using fat instead of sugar as fuel.5 You didn’t put on that weight in two weeks, right? So relax and give it some time.
If you signed up for our keto challenge because you want to lose weight, you might want to track your progress. But if you get stressed out just by thinking about weighing yourself – don’t. There are different ways of tracking your progress. Use your senses. First of all, you’ll probably feel it and see it in the mirror. Maybe you’ve got a pair of favorite jeans that don’t fit you anymore? Try them on as a way of measuring your progress in a practical way without using a scale.
Remember, the most important thing is how you feel. By eating delicious and healthy whole foods, you will finally start providing your body with what it needs to heal. This is where self-love begins.
Here are some tips if you want to document your progress:
- Waist circumference — use a measuring tape around your waistline, just above your belly button.
- Take a full-body picture — ask a friend or take a selfie in the mirror.
- If you have any health issues, make a note of them, to see if they have improved after the challenge.
Now you’re ready to get cooking! We’re starting the challenge with one of our popular recipes: Keto cauliflower chicken Alfredo. You’ve already bought the ingredients. Make sure to cook enough so there are leftovers for lunch tomorrow (i.e. you need 2 servings per person). Put the leftovers in the refrigerator.
Do you have questions about this challenge? Check out the FAQ page.
The idea that fewer carbs is more effective is mainly based on the consistent experience of experienced practitioners, and stories from people trying different levels of carb restriction [weak evidence]
The only intervention study – to our knowledge – that compared different levels of carb restriction was a small trial that found trends towards greater weight loss and greater improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors as carb intake went lower.
Glycemic control appears to improve more the lower carb intake is:
Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2008: Restricted-carbohydrate diets in patients with type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis [moderate evidence, downgraded as it’s comparing effects between different low-carb trials. There is no RCT comparing low carb to lower carb.]
Do you worry about saturated fat or cholesterol in foods like eggs and bacon? There’s no good reason to do so. While still a bit controversial, several modern systematic reviews find no benefit from avoiding saturated fats, or replacing them with unsaturated fats:
The main fear about lower-carb and higher-fat diets has always been an increase in the risk of heart disease. However, interventional studies so far indicate that if anything the risk appears to decrease:
British Journal of Nutrition 2016: Effects of low-carbohydrate diets v. low-fat diets on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. [strong evidence for improved risk factors] ↩
This small non-randomized intervention trial found promising effects:
A low-carb diet is generally a low FODMAP diet, and the latter has stronger scientific support for improving IBS symptoms:
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2017: The evidence base for efficacy of the low FODMAP diet in irritable bowel syndrome: is it ready for prime time as a first-line therapy? [moderate evidence]
A keto diet may result in less acne:
This review article discusses the theory and the science behind this potential effect:
There’s limited scientific support:
Clinical observation suggests that keto-adaptation probably takes 2 to 4 weeks:
While calories count, you likely don’t have to count them for good results. Keto diets tend to result in more weight loss, even though most studies of it do not advocate counting calories:
British Journal of Nutrition 2016: Effects of low-carbohydrate diets v. low-fat diets on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. [strong evidence for more weight loss]