FAQ: Keto challenge
I’m not ready to start on Sunday, I want to postpone the challenge and do it next week, or later.
To postpone the challenge, please press “unsubscribe” at the bottom of any challenge email. Then, during the week before the Sunday you want to get started, go to the Diet Doctor’s 2-week keto challenge page and sign up again.
I’m cooking dinner for one person but the recipe says 4 servings (e.g. the first Sunday dinner). What do I do?
Change to 2 servings to get the appropriate amounts. You need one serving for dinner, the second as leftovers for lunch next day.
Of course, if you’ve printed the recipe you can’t change the number of servings automatically, you’ll have to do it manually. Or print the recipes again, with the appropriate number of people:
I’m cooking dinner for two people but the recipe says 4 servings, what do I do?
If I’m cooking for two and the recipe says 1 serving, what do I do?
You should multiply the amounts by two if it’s breakfast or four if it’s dinner (so there’s leftovers for lunch next day).
I wonder if the servings are too big – too many calories – will I really lose weight eating this much food?
You should only eat as much as you need to feel satisfied. If there’s too much food for you, save the leftovers for later. If there’s too much every day you can of course reduce the amounts a bit.
As long as you stick to the challenge and only eat when you are hungry, your chances of losing excess weight are very good. There’s no need to count calories on this diet, because your appetite will be reduced. You may even burn around 300 more calories per day.
Should men and women eat the same amount of food? Do I have to adapt portion sizes for men or women?
Eat until satisfied. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat.
That takes care of all differences between sexes and all differences between people.
I’m still hungry after a meal, what do I do?
The serving sizes are calculated so that most people should not feel hungry after eating. But everyone has different needs, so you might need to add more food. What should you add? Add fat. Add butter, mayo, olive oil etc.
What do I do if I’m hungry between meals? What snacks are allowed?
Most people get way less hungry, meaning there is zero need to snack between meals. In fact, if you’re really hungry between meals you’re probably not doing something right. You may want to eat more at mealtime. Specifically, you should consider adding more fat to your food. Like butter or olive oil.
We recommend no snacking between meals during this two-week challenge. After these two weeks you may want to add an occasional low-carb snack, even if you choose to stay on low carb. Not because you need it, because you likely won’t, but simply because it can be enjoyable.
We recommend that you wait until after the challenge is done, though.
How much weight will I lose during the challenge?
Most people with excess weight lose 4-8 pounds (2-4 kilos) during the two-week challenge. Some lose much more. But it is impossible to know the exact answer in advance.
I’m taking the challenge and it’s working great, I’m not hungry at all. I really want to skip a meal. Can I?
Yes. Just make sure you have leftovers prepared for the next day if you’re skipping dinner.
General low-carb questions
Here are common questions and answers about low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) nutrition and health:
Is saturated fat dangerous?
No. That is an old and disproven theory. It’s been a mistake from the beginning. Here’s why.
I started eating low carb / keto and I feel dizzy / have a headache / am tired
Dizziness / headaches and similar symptoms are common in the first week as your body adapts to a very low carb diet. These symptoms usually go away in a few days.
Adding a bit more carbs to meals reduces the symptoms, but can slow down the adaptation (and weight loss).
Another possibility is that you are dehydrated or low on salt. When starting a very low-carb diet there is extra loss of salt and fluids through the kidneys in the first weeks, until the body adapts. Drinking more fluids and adding some extra salt to your food during the first week can help avoiding this problem and often cures the symptoms. Alternatively, you can drink some bouillon a few times a day.
Do you use blood-pressure medication? A very low-carb diet can lower high blood pressure, and medication may need to be reduced in that case. Low blood pressure may result in dizziness.
I have other beginner’s problems on low carb
Check out our full guide on common low-carb side effects and how to cure them. Alternatively, you can jump right to the section that interests you. Here are the most common early problems:
I have longer-term problems on low carb
I’m eating a low-carb diet but I’m not losing as much weight as I’d like. Why?
There may be many reasons. Follow the checklist on the How to Lose Weight Page
Can you breastfeed on a low-carb diet?
Yes, but you should probably eat a more moderate low-carb diet with 50+ grams of carbs per day. It’s also important to eat enough food.
It’s not recommended to eat a strict low-carb diet or to starve (restrict calories) due to a rare, but serious, risk of complications
What about gallstones and LCHF?
High-fat food can give you short-term trouble if you already have gallstones. Low-fat food gives you gallstones in the long run. More.
Can you eat LCHF if you’ve had your gallbladder removed? Yes.
Can you eat low-carb cookies / bread / pasta and lose weight?
That is probably not a good idea:
Do you get cancer from eating red meat?
Highly unlikely, although favoring unprocessed meat is the healthiest choice. Replacing meat with processed carbs may be one of the worst things you can do for your health and weight. More.
Do you need to eat resistant starch on low carb to feed your gut bacteria?
Unknown, but there appears to be some potential benefits of doing so
Do you get hypothyroidism on a very low carb diet?
No, hardly on a well-formulated low-carb diet, meaning you replace the energy from carbs with more fat. In scientific studies on LCHF there are no problems with the thyroid and I see no new thyroid issues in my patients going strictly low carb.
However, starvation can lead to hypothyroidism, and if you remove carbs AND fat from your diet you will be starving. So you do need to eat carbs or fat to fuel your body.
Bottom line: An LCHF diet is fine for your thyroid.
Is there scientific proof that LCHF is good for weight / blood sugar / cholesterol / blood pressure?
Are studies showing better weight loss on low-carb diets sponsored by the meat industry or the Atkins foundation?
Yes, a few of them are. But repeated independent studies show the same results.
Does insulin play a role in weight gain / loss?
Yes, it’s absolutely crucial in most cases. Some bloggers have objections but they do not change biochemical facts. More.
Can you drink alcohol on LCHF?
Sure, in moderate amounts. But beer and sweet drinks need to be avoided. Choose wine or non-sweetened liquor. More.
Is salt dangerous?
No. At least not in moderate amounts. More.
What’s a good low-carb breakfast except for eggs?
Here are some excellent low-carb breakfasts
Can you eat fruit on LCHF?
Only occasionally, as an exception, if you want to be strict and get the maximum effect. Fruit contains a lot of sugar. Fruit is candy from nature.
This talk by our founder, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, summarizes the history and science behind the ongoing revolution in diet and health.
If you still have questions unanswered, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to respond as soon as we can.