FAQ: Keto challenge

 

  1. Questions specifically about the challenge
  2. General low-carb questions


 

Challenge questions

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?

You should use the same amounts, four servings. You’ll need two servings for dinner and two as leftovers for lunch next day. 2 + 2 = 4 servings.

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

All common low-carb side effects and how to cure them

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. More.

Is there scientific proof that LCHF is good for weight / blood sugar / cholesterol / blood pressure?

Yes.

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.

More knowledge

This talk by our founder, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, summarizes the history and science behind the ongoing revolution in diet and health.

 

Return

Return to Preparations

Return to Week 1 overview

Return to Week 2 overview

 
 

More questions

If you still have questions unanswered, feel free to email us at challenge@dietdoctor.com and we will do our best to respond as soon as we can.

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527 comments

  1. Antoinette
    I started Keto last Sunday and lost 2kg by Thursday when I had my blood tests. My cholesterol is around 4 with 40mg artovastatin. My doctor rang me as she was concerned about my blood test result as my cholesterol shot up to 6.7...my doctor said all other blood markers were good but that I should either go back to my regular diet or increase my statins. I chose the former and put on .5kg over the weekend. I’m disappointed that I’ve been advised not to follow Keto...any advice as I’ve read the concern medics should be considering is elevated Hba1c rather than cholesterol.
    Desperate to lose weight and feel great again...
    Reply: #502
  2. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I started Keto last Sunday and lost 2kg by Thursday when I had my blood tests. My cholesterol is around 4 with 40mg artovastatin. My doctor rang me as she was concerned about my blood test result as my cholesterol shot up to 6.7...my doctor said all other blood markers were good but that I should either go back to my regular diet or increase my statins. I chose the former and put on .5kg over the weekend. I’m disappointed that I’ve been advised not to follow Keto...any advice as I’ve read the concern medics should be considering is elevated Hba1c rather than cholesterol.
    Desperate to lose weight and feel great again...

    What you ate over a week is not going to affect your numbers that quickly. It can take 6 or so months for cholesterol numbers to stabilize. You can read more in our cholesterol guide.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/cholesterol-basics

  3. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi,
    I just started the challenge.
    I tried keto before but from what I see in your recipes I was eating different protein to fat ratio.
    My question is around sauerkraut. Raw has 0.9carbs/100g but I'm wondering about the cooked version and it's GI.
    I'm Polish and we love our bigos, which is stew made from sauerkraut, various types of meat trims, bacon and fat.
    Any idea if it's keto friendly?
    Regards,
    JD

    With most foods, you should go by the nutritional measurement and serving size of the pre-cooked weight. Sauerkraut is a great low carb food.

  4. Sarah
    Hi,

    I want to start the challenge but I’m quite busy in the evenings. Can I prepare the meals on Sunday for Monday - Friday? Will they keep?

    Reply: #505
  5. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi,
    I want to start the challenge but I’m quite busy in the evenings. Can I prepare the meals on Sunday for Monday - Friday? Will they keep?

    Yes, the meals will keep in the refrigerator. If there are any that call for mixing the meat and raw veggies, I would save that step until you're ready to serve to keep the vegetables fresh.

  6. Georgina Innes
    Hi there,
    I have been following the Dr Atkins diet since July, 2018 and have lost 17kg, but plateaued at 66kg for about 5 to 6 weeks. I think I started having a few to many ice-creams, which didn't help me. (my weakness!!)
    Thought I would do some research and came across the Diet Doctor website and decided to try the DietDoctor 2 week diet challenge, which I started a week ago.
    I am thrilled to have lost 2 kg in the first week and am now into the 2nd week. I love the food and easy recipes from your website.
    I am now 64kg and my GP says if I can get to 58/59kg that would be my ideal BMI, so I have approx. 7kg to lose.
    At what point should I transition to a maintenance program, so I can stabilise my weight loss?
    Do you have information on your website about managing this phase of my weight loss ?
    Cheers
    Georgina
    Reply: #507
  7. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi there,
    I have been following the Dr Atkins diet since July, 2018 and have lost 17kg, but plateaued at 66kg for about 5 to 6 weeks. I think I started having a few to many ice-creams, which didn't help me. (my weakness!!)
    Thought I would do some research and came across the Diet Doctor website and decided to try the DietDoctor 2 week diet challenge, which I started a week ago.
    I am thrilled to have lost 2 kg in the first week and am now into the 2nd week. I love the food and easy recipes from your website.
    I am now 64kg and my GP says if I can get to 58/59kg that would be my ideal BMI, so I have approx. 7kg to lose.
    At what point should I transition to a maintenance program, so I can stabilise my weight loss?
    Do you have information on your website about managing this phase of my weight loss ?
    Cheers
    Georgina

    Different people approach maintenance differently depending on health issues and personal preference, Some people find that they can increase carb intake slightly while others may add more protein. If you are working to reverse diabetes or insulin resistance, it may be necessary to stay strict keto and your body will naturally stop losing weight as it gets to a healthy weight range.

  8. Jane
    I have a terrible problem with diarrhea and gas. I cant eat any raw veg (so salad is out) and I have to take dairy carefully. I know everyone else gets constipation but not me! Any ideas as to the cause. If keto draws water from muscles could it be drawing it into my bowel resulting in my problem. Just a thought. I make a chia pudding every day with 2 tablespoons of seeds. This gives me firm bowel movements but adds more carbs than I would like. Any ideas.....
    Reply: #509
  9. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I have a terrible problem with diarrhea and gas. I cant eat any raw veg (so salad is out) and I have to take dairy carefully. I know everyone else gets constipation but not me! Any ideas as to the cause. If keto draws water from muscles could it be drawing it into my bowel resulting in my problem. Just a thought. I make a chia pudding every day with 2 tablespoons of seeds. This gives me firm bowel movements but adds more carbs than I would like. Any ideas.....

    If you are using coconut oil or MCT oil, you may want to try leaving those out for a day or two. Dairy and coffee can also be problematic for some people. You may want to try and keep a food/symptoms log to identify any potential problem foods.

  10. 1 comment removed
  11. Gabriela
    Hello. I'm 55 and started my challenge this week. I adatped meals a little, I live in Panamá and some foods are difficult to find. I tracked down my meals and it turned out that yesterday, it seems that I didn't eat enough. Of my 1230 supposed calories I only used 760. I didn't feel hungry at all but I think this might be a problem as well. I am also doing IF, have no problem with 16/8,just concerned on my intake. Should I add anything else than good? Thanks!
    Reply: #512
  12. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hello. I'm 55 and started my challenge this week. I adatped meals a little, I live in Panamá and some foods are difficult to find. I tracked down my meals and it turned out that yesterday, it seems that I didn't eat enough. Of my 1230 supposed calories I only used 760. I didn't feel hungry at all but I think this might be a problem as well. I am also doing IF, have no problem with 16/8,just concerned on my intake. Should I add anything else than good? Thanks!

    We recommend eating to hunger rather than an arbitrary calorie "goal" or "limit". It sounds like you are on the right track!

  13. Eileen
    I am not receiving my daily emails for the 2 week challenge?
    Can you tell me how to get those coming? Thanks!
    Reply: #514
  14. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I am not receiving my daily emails for the 2 week challenge?
    Can you tell me how to get those coming? Thanks!

    Please check your spam folders, or other folders if using Gmail. My Diet Doctor emails tend to end up in my Promotions tab instead of my inbox. If you are not able to track them down, you can access the full challenge information from this link.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/get-started/prepare

  15. Catherine phelan
    Hi, I would like to know when the recepi says 2g in green, does this mean 2carbs per portion. For example you have a recepi for breakfast muffins. How many cars per muffin. I am just about to start the 2 week challange but am confused as to how many carbs in the meal I will be eating as I believe I have to keep to 20 per day.
    Reply: #518
  16. Kat
    Is there something special about "scrambled eggs" more so than two eggs of any other type? Or, over, for example, the weekend option of bacon and eggs? Or are scrambled eggs suggested only for simplicity's sake for weekday breakfasts because most people are typically more taxed for time on those days?
    Reply: #517
  17. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Is there something special about "scrambled eggs" more so than two eggs of any other type? Or, over, for example, the weekend option of bacon and eggs? Or are scrambled eggs suggested only for simplicity's sake for weekday breakfasts because most people are typically more taxed for time on those days?

    Scrambled eggs are quick and easy. We tried to keep the beginning meals as simple as possible to minimize time spent in the kitchen. You can substitute with any of our other breakfast recipes if you prefer.

  18. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi, I would like to know when the recepi says 2g in green, does this mean 2carbs per portion. For example you have a recepi for breakfast muffins. How many cars per muffin. I am just about to start the 2 week challange but am confused as to how many carbs in the meal I will be eating as I believe I have to keep to 20 per day.

    Yes, the nutrition information listed is always given per serving.

  19. Beth
    Can I drink as much black coffee in AM, as I choose?
    Reply: #520
  20. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Can I drink as much black coffee in AM, as I choose?

    Coffee can affect cortisol and blood sugar for some people. It's best to enjoy your coffee and then give your body and insulin a break before lunch.

  21. 1 comment removed
  22. Tanya
    I'm just starting the 2 week challenge but I'm lactose intolerant. Can I use lactofree cream as a substitute for heavy cream? I know it's much lower in fat so should I add some extra fat via nuts or something?
    Reply: #523
  23. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I'm just starting the 2 week challenge but I'm lactose intolerant. Can I use lactofree cream as a substitute for heavy cream? I know it's much lower in fat so should I add some extra fat via nuts or something?

    Coconut cream is generally a better substitute than a lactose free cream.

  24. Tanya
    Thanks Kristin
  25. KC
    I’ve just finished my first week and have put 2lb on!! I weighed everything and followed it to the letter, just some wine over the weekend. Any tips on what went wrong?
    Reply: #528
  26. 1 comment removed
  27. Laila
    I started KetoDiet since one month still i didn’t lose any weight I do everything correctly but I don’t count calories or grams
    First quotation why i am not losing weight?
    And I already have constipation
    Before the KetoDiet and now it becomes worse
    Reply: #529
  28. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I’ve just finished my first week and have put 2lb on!! I weighed everything and followed it to the letter, just some wine over the weekend. Any tips on what went wrong?

    Depending on the amount of wine, that could be the culprit. I would recommend avoiding alcohol for the first 30 days or so. Alcohol can be incorporated in moderation, but it can also kick you out of ketosis and trigger cravings for snacks.

  29. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I started KetoDiet since one month still i didn’t lose any weight I do everything correctly but I don’t count calories or grams
    First quotation why i am not losing weight?
    And I already have constipation
    Before the KetoDiet and now it becomes worse

    Here are some links to help you out!
    Troubleshooting weight loss - https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-to-lose-weight
    Alleviating constipation - https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/side-effects#constipation

    Reply: #534
  30. Soledad Contreras
    Hello,
    I'm just starting and I'd like to know the meaning of the colour of circles that highlight the grams of carbs in each recipe. Is green better than orange? Please explain, so far I am avoiding the ones with orange, even though sometimes the quantity of carbs is as low as 5gr. Secondly, is the number of grams always per serving? I am cooking for 1.

    Thanks
    Soledad

    Reply: #531
  31. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hello,
    I'm just starting and I'd like to know the meaning of the colour of circles that highlight the grams of carbs in each recipe. Is green better than orange? Please explain, so far I am avoiding the ones with orange, even though sometimes the quantity of carbs is as low as 5gr. Secondly, is the number of grams always per serving? I am cooking for 1.
    Thanks
    Soledad

    Keto is not just very low carb; the recipes must also be moderate protein and high fat. You can read more about that in this link.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-low-carb-is-low-carb

  32. adriana
    My husband made peppers stuffed with quinoa for dinner. Is this ok to eat?
    Reply: #533
  33. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    My husband made peppers stuffed with quinoa for dinner. Is this ok to eat?

    Unfortunately quinoa is much too high carb count for keto. Additionally, we recommend avoiding grains. You can read more about keto foods to eat and foods to avoid in our keto guide.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto

  34. Sofia
    Hi! I started keto challenge this Sunday but I feel I gain weight in a way that I notice. No alcohol and I went to gym for the past 2 days. I ve read the tips. What else can i try?
    Reply: #535
  35. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi! I started keto challenge this Sunday but I feel I gain weight in a way that I notice. No alcohol and I went to gym for the past 2 days. I ve read the tips. What else can i try?

    Please give it more time! It can take some time for the weight loss to kick in. If you're following the plan consistently you will see improvement.

  36. Joanne
    i've completed the 1st week challenge but didn't lose any weight. not sure if this is only applicable to very overweight folks. i'm trying to lose 8kg from 53kg to 45kg which is my ideal weight. i'm a small frame at 155cm height so although 53kg looks like a small number but it's too much for me. my belly looks like i'm pregnant forever. i'll continue with week 2 challenge but any tips or advise will be much appreciated.
    Reply: #537
  37. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    i've completed the 1st week challenge but didn't lose any weight. not sure if this is only applicable to very overweight folks. i'm trying to lose 8kg from 53kg to 45kg which is my ideal weight. i'm a small frame at 155cm height so although 53kg looks like a small number but it's too much for me. my belly looks like i'm pregnant forever. i'll continue with week 2 challenge but any tips or advise will be much appreciated.

    Hi Joanne, keto definitely isn't for very overweight people; anyone can benefit. You can check out our weight loss troubleshooting tips here - https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-to-lose-weight

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