Low-carb questions & answers

FAQ: Low-carb & keto

Some questions about low carb and keto are very common. Here you can find answers to them. To jump down to each category of questions, just click the topic:

Do you miss any specific question? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

Weight loss


I’m not losing weight as fast as I want to or I have plateaued. What to do?


There are a few things you can think about in order to lose weight, where the ones that might have the greatest impact are:

  • Eat a strict low-carb diet with less than 20 grams of carbs per day.
  • Eat only when hungry and avoid snacking.
  • Try intermittent fasting.
  • Sleep enough (7 or even 8+ hours per night) and avoid excessive stress.
  • Note that as you get closer to reaching your ideal weight, the rate of weight loss will most likely slow down. It’s normal to reach a temporary plateau at some point. Also weight fluctuations of several pounds happen every day. This is all OK, just keep on doing what you’re doing.

    However if your weight loss stops for many weeks or even months, or if you want to speed it up, here are more things to consider: How to Lose Weight

    Do people who stop a low-carb diet and return to their old eating habits regain weight fast? Can low-carb diets cause “carb intolerance”?

    When following low-carb diets people lose more weight than on other diets (on average). So it is logical that when people return to their old diet they regain more. It is simply a bigger step in the wrong direction, compared to going off other diets.

    There’s no evidence for the speculation that low carb would cause carb intolerance.

    However, a temporary “cheat day” may lead to filling up stored sugars in the body (glycogen), which binds more water, adding weight. This water weight (perhaps 1-2 pounds) quickly disappears within days when you go low carb again.

    How do I STOP losing weight?

    For some people it is very easy to drop a significant amount of weight on low carb. Normally weight loss stabilizes within the normal weight range, as long as you eat when hungry and don’t starve yourself.

    However, if you’re concerned that you’re losing too much weight, then you have several options:

    • Eat often, at least three times per day, including plenty of protein, and lift weights to put on muscle.
    • Eat slightly more carbs (like low-glycemic fruits, sweet potato etc.) to put on a bit more fat.

    To summarize there’s normally no need to stop a low-carb diet to stop losing weight. This will happen anyway, as you reach what your body perceives is the right weight for you.

    Should you want to, is it possible to gain weight on low carb?

    It’s very hard to gain fat mass. But it’s clearly possible to add lean mass, like muscle. Check out our guide here:

    How to Gain Weight on Low Carb

     

     

     

    Diabetes and blood sugar

    Is a low-carb diet good for people with diabetes type 2?

    Yes. In diabetes type 2, the body has a hard time to handling all the sugar in the body. The body produces a lot of the hormone insulin, to take control high levels of sugar in the blood by depositing the sugar in the cells. More and more insulin can be required for this, in a vicious cycle resulting in insulin resistance and consequences of high insulin (including weight gain).

    By following a low-carb diet, you reduce blood sugar levels, insulin levels and your need for medication. So yes, a low-carb diet can be very beneficial for patients with diabetes type 2. It can even start reversing the disease.

    Note though – this is very important – that if you are taking medications, especially insulin, you need to monitor your blood sugar levels closely when starting a low-carb diet, and adapt (lower) doses as appropriate to avoid low blood sugar. You should of course consult with your doctor, ideally he or she has knowledge about how to reduce medications on a low-carb diet.

    Learn more:

    Is a low-carb diet good for people with diabetes type 1?

    Yes. It can help stabilize blood sugar levels, and reduce the need for high insulin doses (also helping with weight loss if needed, as a bonus).

    Be very careful when starting a low-carb diet, as you’ll have to adapt your insulin doses. Big changes may be needed, e.g. a reduction by 30-70% depending on your specific situation. This can only be done by testing sugars and adapting insulin doses to your specific needs.

    Learn more: Type 1 diabetes

    Should I be worried about low blood sugar on low carb or while intermittent fasting?

    Generally, you don’t have to be worried as long as you feel fine. Sugars can be slightly lower than normal on a low-carb diet, especially when you are in ketosis. In this situation the brain can rely on ketones for fuel and does not have quite the same need for glucose. So if you feel great you probably have all the blood sugar that your body needs.

    If you’re not feeling well, you should eat something straight away, and break any fast.

    If you’re on medication, like insulin, low sugars is a sign that you may have to reduce doses (especially if you get any symptoms).

    High blood sugar in the morning – why?

    Elevated blood sugars more or less exclusively in the morning is a common concern. This is known as “the Dawn Phenomenon” and occurs due to hormonal effects in the morning. It may actually be even more pronounced on a low-carb diet, compared to other diets.

    Many people get surprised as their average blood sugar (measured as A1c) goes down nicely on low carb, blood sugar is great during the day… but morning sugar may stays elevated.

    This is normally a natural phenomenon, caused by a morning elevation of cortisol and other hormones that cause the liver to release glucose, thus raising blood sugar levels. This can be thought of as a way for the body to prepare you for getting active again, after sleeping.

    Learn more: The dawn phenomenon – why are blood sugars high in the morning?


     

     

     

    Food, hunger and cravings

    Can I eat XYZ?


    There are a few foods that don’t contain too much carbohydrate, but which might not be optimal for health, craving and weight loss reasons. These include:

    • Dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese. Fattier ones such as butter and heavy cream are better. Learn more
    • Sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, acesulfam-K and stevia. Tend to keep one’s sweet tooth alive, possibly causing cravings and overeating. In some cases they also contain quite a lot of carbs. Learn more
    • Nuts – some contain quite a lot of carbs, and they can easily cause overeating due to unconscious snacking. Low-carb nuts guide
    • Oils that are high in omega-6s, ex. canola and soybean oil, might be inflammatory and not optimal for health.
    • Alcoholic beverages that contain quite a lot of carbs. The best options are low-carb wine and pure spirits. Low-carb alcohol guide
    • Fruit. This is candy from nature, that contains a lot of sugar. Low-carb fruits guide
    • Low-carb cookies/bread/pasta. This is not a good idea, given that the vast majority of these low-carb “carb substitutes” are packed with carbs. Examples:

    I’m constantly hungry and craving food in between meals. What should I do?

    You’re not supposed to have to be hungry between meals on a low-carb diet. Here’s what you should try: Eat more food at meals. Especially eat more fat.

    Add more fat to your meals, until you feel satisfied. Add butter to food. Add olive oil to salads. And perhaps check out our low-carb condiments recipes for more inspiration.

    Also make sure to have some delicious and high-quality source of protein with most meals.

    You’re not supposed to be hungry all the time. If you are, you’re not eating enough. You’re not eating enough fat.

    If I’m lowering carbs and even limiting protein… What do I eat?

    Usually, there is no need to limit protein, it is fine to eat a “normal” amount. Just don’t overdo it with protein, remember that LCHF is supposed to be a low-carb and high-fat diet, not a high protein diet.

    For a standard low-carb meal, you remove the carb-heavy ingredients, like rice. You then add some vegetables and some healthy oil or fat-based sauce. But there are plenty of other options.

    Here are many delicious examples of what a meal can look like: Low-carb recipes.

    I’m craving carbs. Can I have a cheat meal – or a cheat day – once in a while?

    Only you can decide – cheating can be a good idea for some, and a terrible idea for others. It also matters how you cheat. Check out our guide:

    A guide to low-carb cheating

    I’m really struggling with cravings for carbs, even when I’m not hungry. What should I do?

    Learn more about sugar and carb addiction

    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

     

     

     

    Cholesterol


    I have high cholesterol. How can I lower it?

    First of all, you may not need to worry about lowering your cholesterol. Without a doubt there has been too much of an emphasis on total cholesterol during the last few decades. Total cholesterol, by itself, says very little about your future chance of health.

    That said, if your cholesterol is abnormally high – e.g. over 400 mg/dL (10 mmol/L) – you may want to do something about it. If so check out our guide, focusing on elevated cholesterol on a low-carb diet.

    Elevated cholesterol on low carb

    Is it really bad to have high cholesterol?

    In the absence of other risk factors a raised total cholesterol is not necessarily a bad thing. Several studies even show that women with high cholesterol live longer than women with low cholesterol.

    The risk of heart disease is more influenced by many other things, like smoking, blood pressure, and blood sugars. When it comes to cholesterol it’s important to not just look at the total level, but also at the rest of the cholesterol profile, e.g. HDL (high is good) and triglyceride (low is good) levels.

    Learn more about cholesterol

    What do to if your doctor wants to put you on statins?

    Statins are mainly a good idea to reduce risk of heart attacks in people who already have heart disease (although the benefit might be much smaller than you would guess).

    In people without earlier heart disease the risk of side effects from statins (like muscle pain, weakness and doubling the risk of diabetes) often outweighs the chance of benefits. Ask your doctor how big the benefits are likely to be for you.

    There are also steps to greatly improve your cholesterol profile even without taking medications. See this guide about lowering cholesterol naturally.

    It’s likely that statins are way overprescribed, to people who do not benefit from them, in order to increase profits. Perhaps you’d like to watch one of these documentaries for some perspective on it:

    Statin Nation
    Statin Nation 2


     

    Medications


    I’m taking this medication, will it prevent weight loss?


    There are certain medications that might make it harder to lose weight, but not necessarily prevent weight loss. The most important are:

  • Insulin
  • Other diabetes medications
  • Cortisone
  • There are other medications which too might interfere with weight loss, you can read more about that here: How to lose weight: 10. Review any medications

    If you’re doing everything right and not losing weight while on one of these drugs, it might be a good idea to consult your physician to see if it would be possible for you to either lower your dose or quit the medication all together.
     

     

    The science behind low carb


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

    Yes. Learn more

    Is There Science to Support Low Carb? – Interview with Dr. William Yancy
    Also feel free to watch this interesting interview with a doctor who’s been doing some high-quality research on the topic:

    Why are so many Americans obese?

    Because many people eat too much ultra-processed food and highly-refined carbs. Learn more

    Does insulin play a role in weight gain / loss?

    Yes, insulin – the fat-storing hormone – plays a crucial role in weight gain and the development of common obesity. It’s a biochemical fact:

    Is Obesity Caused by Too Much Insulin? – Interview with Dr. Ted Naiman
    Hyperinsulinemia – What Insulin Does in Your Body – Ted Naiman

    Learn more

    Why are Asian people thin, despite eating rice?

    First of all, there is now a huge epidemic of weight problems and type 2 diabetes in countries like China and India. So it’s no longer true that these people are necessarily “thin”.

    But it’s true that these countries traditionally had very lean populations. Probably because they don’t eat a lot of sugar or refined starch, plus a few other reasons. Learn more

     


     

    Common fears about low carb

    fear

    For our full guide to low-carb fears check out this guide:

    Top 14 low-carb fears (and whether you should be worried)
     

    I fear XXX…

    What is the biggest fear that people have when starting a low-carb diet? We recently asked our members this question. Here are the results:

    Other answers include some brave people having no fear at all, concerns about safety, losing sports performance as well as the fear of losing too much weight.

    So what can be done? Here’s our guide to conquering these fears

    Is saturated fat dangerous?

    No. That’s an old and disproven theory. It’s been a mistake from the beginning. Learn much more in the interviews below, or check out our science page for references.

    Is Saturated Fat Bad?
    The Big Fat Surprise – Nina Teicholz
    The Myth of Vegetable Oils – Nina Teicholz
     

    Will the brain stop working without carbohydrates?

    Does the Brain Need Carbohydrates? – Answers to Common Questions
    Certainly not. The brain runs fine on carbs, but it runs equally fine on ketones, made from fat. In this way you use your very energy-hungry brain to burn fat for you, 24-7. Not a bad thing.

    Check out the video to the right for more details from some very smart doctors.

    Can’t red meat give you cancer?

    This is highly unlikely, although favoring unprocessed meat is the best choice. On the contrary, replacing meat with processed carbs may be one of the worst things that you can do for your health and weight.

    Another interesting interview topic:

    Can Red Meat Kill You? – Nina Teicholz

    Read more: Do unhealthy meat eaters live shorter lives?

    Is salt dangerous?

    No. At least not in moderate amounts. Learn more

    Can you get osteoporosis (weak bones) by eating low carb?

    No. Learn more

    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 term. Learn more

    Can you get hypothyroidism on a very low-carb diet?

    No, hardly on a well-formulated low-carb diet, meaning that you replace the energy from carbs by eating more fat. In scientific studies on LCHF there are no problems with the thyroid and low-carb doctors generally report seeing no new thyroid issues in 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.

    Podcast: Livin’ La Vida Low Carb: Do low-carb diets lower thyroid function? Let’s ask the experts!

     

     


     

    Low-carb side effects


    I’m getting XYZ side effect – should I be concerned?


    There are a few side effects that are quite common during the first few weeks when your body adapts to a low-carb diet. These are usually temporary, and nothing to worry about (even if they can be unpleasant). These include:

    • Induction flu
    • Dizziness
    • Leg cramps
    • Constipation
    • Bad breath
    • Heart palpitations
    • Reduced physical performance.
    The trick that usually works in ameliorating these problems is drinking water with salt (and maybe some squeezed lemon).

    However, if you use blood pressure medications and you feel dizzy, it might be because low-carb diets can reduce blood pressure and you may thus need to lower your medication.

    If you want to learn more about how to treat these specific side effects and other less common ones, use this guide:

    Common low-carb side effects & how to cure them

     


     

    Ketosis, ketones and ketogenic diets

    Keto2

    Is it dangerous to be in ketosis?

    No, ketosis is a natural state, and normally safe.

    People often confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis. This is a dangerous state, caused by a shortage of insulin, that mostly happens to people with type 1 diabetes who take too little insulin.

    There are also certain instances when you might need to be extra careful, such as during breast feeding or if you’re on some other medications for diabetes.

    Why am I not in ketosis despite eating low carb?

    The most common reason why people don’t achieve ketosis is due to too many carbs (maybe because of hidden carbs, or the dreaded carb creep, which is where you after a while eat more and more carbs without noticing).

    Another big obstacle to getting in to ketosis is eating too much protein. To be in optimal ketosis, you should aim approximately for one gram of protein per kg desired body weight.

    Insulin resistance can also make it harder to get into ketosis.

    Learn more about how to get into ketosis

    Do I need to be in ketosis to lose weight, or to burn fat?

    No, you don’t have to be in ketosis to lose weight. And your body is always burning some fat, whether you are in ketosis or not. The difference is that in ketosis you burn more fat.

    Top tips on how to lose weight

    A quick guide to ketogenic diets
     

     


     

    Can XYZ follow a low-carb diet?


    Can people with diabetes eat low carb?

    Yes. Diabetes is too much sugar in the blood, so by eating less carbohydrates that turn into sugar in the body, you can start reversing type 2 diabetes.

    People with type 1 diabetes can also benefit from low carb.

    However, you’ll have to monitor your blood sugars closely to avoid hypos, since the need for insulin drops on low carb.

    How to reverse your type 2 diabetes

    Is a low-carb diet suitable for someone who has had a gastric bypass surgery?

    Yes, very much so. Here’s just one of many happy people who have tried it: “What an amazing journey”

    Can people that have had their gallbladders removed eat low carb?

    Yes. Learn more

    Can kids eat low carb?

    Sure. Children are better off ditching sugars, starches and refined junk food, and eating real food such as healthy fats, meat, poultry fish, vegetables, nuts and low-glycemic fruits and berries instead.

    This is a very nutritious diet for their growing bodies. But there is usually no need for children to follow a strict low-carb diet. Just let them have real food.

    How to raise children on real low-carb food

    Can women who want to get pregnant eat low carb?

    Yes. It can even be a good way to boost fertility, since a common cause of infertility (PCOS) can be caused by too high insulin levels, caused by consuming too many dietary carbohydrates.

    What to Eat to Get Pregnant – Dr. Michael Fox

    Can women eat low carb during pregnancy?

    As far as known it seems to be safe to eat a LCHF diet with real food when pregnant. Many people have done so successfully. However, no scientific studies have ever investigated putting women on low-carb diets during pregnancy, meaning it’s hard to know for certain.

    For this reason we recommend not doing a strict low-carb diet during pregnancy, unless there is a specific reason to do so. It may be wise to do a more liberal low carb diet with more than 50 grams of carbs per day.

    When you’re eating real low-carb food such as natural fats, meat, poultry, fish, sea food, vegetables and berries you give both your own body and the baby enough nutrients to be healthy.

    Learn more: Is low carb safe during pregnancy?

    Can women eat low carb during breastfeeding?

    A diet consisting of real, natural food is a great way to give both yourself and the baby plenty of nutrients to stay healthy and keep excessive weight off. However, we don’t recommend a strict low-carb diet, since it, in very rare cases, might cause a condition known as ketoacidosis.

    Our recommendation is that women make sure that they eat at least 50 grams of carbs per day when breastfeeding to stay safe from this rare complication.

    Eating low carb when breastfeeding

    Can healthy, slim people eat low carb?

    Yes, definitely. There will always be health benefits to eating real food and ditching refined food, sugars and starches. If you’re healthy and slim you can take a more liberal approach to your carb intake however.
     

     

    How much should I eat?


    OK… but how much should I eat?

    The short answer is that you should eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full.

    You shouldn’t stuff yourself full, or go uncomfortably ravenous between meals. This is usually easy for people who stick to a low-carb diet with real food. Counting is usually overcomplicating things. It’s better to instead (re-)learn how to listen to our bodies.

    Why don’t you advice people to count calories?

    Because insulin is the main factor determining whether we lose or gain weight – not the amount of calories we consume in a day. By instead focusing on doing things that lower insulin – the fat storing hormone – you can reduce weight without calorie counting.

    It’s much more effective to eat an LCHF diet, intermittent fast, sleep/de-stress and do resistance training (which all serve to reduce insulin) rather than spending time counting calories.

    Counting and restricting calories is not only extra work and usually ineffective in the long term. It often also leads to hunger, and giving up.

    Do You Have to Count Calories to Lose Weight? – Dr. Jason Fung
    What To Do Instead of Counting Calories – Dr. Jason Fung

    How many carbs should I eat?

    When trying to lose weight, the less carbs, the better. Ideally less that 20 grams of carbs per day (a strict low-carb diet).

    People that are healthy and slim usually don’t have to go that low, they will be just as well off with moderate (20-50 grams) or liberal (50-100 grams) low-carb diets.

    How much protein should I eat?

    Once again, there is usually no need to count protein intake as long as you stick to natural low-carb food and eat until satisfied. If you’re losing weight (if that is your intention), there is no need to worry about having too much protein.

    However, if you’re not being successful in losing weight, then you might benefit from counting and moderating intake to around one gram of protein per kg of desired body weight. If you’re an athlete or working out, then you might benefit from a little bit more protein.

    How much fat should I eat?

    If you’re limiting carbs and moderating protein, then you should eat enough fat to feel satisfied. Once again, you shouldn’t eat so little fat that you’re hungry between meals, but you shouldn’t force feed yourself until you’re stuffed either.
     

     

     

    Sugar addiction


    What is sugar addiction?

    Are you struggling with cravings for food or sweets? Many, many people are. All over the world, people are unaware of the fact that they’ve become addicted. Addicted to something that’s added in almost everything. And there is no way to avoid it completely; you need to eat, in order to live.

    In our video course, sugar-addiction expert Bitten Jonsson, RN, presents insights and advice on how to stop food and sugar cravings. She’s been helping people with addictions for decades, as well as battling with her own, to get them under control.

    Do you experience a loss of control when you eat, especially sugary foods? Processed foods perhaps? Then take a look at the video and start taking the control back.

    What Is Sugar Addiction? – Bitten Jonsson

    How do I know if I’m addicted to sugar?

    It’s not entirely easy to know if you’re really addicted, of if you simply have some bad habits. Habits are relatively simple to change, but an addiction may even need professional help. At the very least an addiction requires other tools to bring it under control.

    In this video our addiction expert Bitten Jonsson discusses using a simple 1-page screening test to discover if you could be addicted to sugar or other bad carbs.

    How Do I Know if Addicted – Bitten Jonsson

    What should I do if I’m addicted to sugar?

    Watch our full sugar-addiction course to get required insights in how to get your addiction under control. There really are many things that need to be done right, to maximize your chances of success.

    After having watched the course, here’s what to do today to get started:

    1. Join a support group on Facebook or elsewhere.
    2. Clean out your pantry (free guide via the low-carb challenge), and avoid exposure to junk food etc. as much as possible.
    3. Get shopping lists and meal plans, available by signing up for the low-carb challenge.
    4. If you need a distraction: take a walk and enjoy nature.
    5. Drink plenty of water, or coffee/tea with coconut oil in it between meals.

    Best of luck!
     


    More

    This is the end of the Q&A page. Did you miss any important question? Feel free to ask it in the comments below, and we’ll consider adding it to this guide.

    There is much more about low carb on Diet Doctor. Here are a few of our most popular guides:

     

    Comments

    Feel free to ask your question or discuss with others below.

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

    497 comments

    1. Alice West
      Thank you so much, Kristin! My husband is a fan, I am following but modifying a bit with veggies and some berries. Great website!
    2. Lynn
      Hi can you help I don’t know whether to count carbs or carbs as sugar? Which figure should I read please? Labels are confusing :(
      Reply: #453
    3. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      Hi can you help I don’t know whether to count carbs or carbs as sugar? Which figure should I read please? Labels are confusing :(

      Just take the number that is Carbohydrates/Total Carbohydrates. If you're looking at veggies or other whole foods, you can subtract out the fiber. You can read more in this article - https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-low-carb-is-low-carb

    4. Jane
      Hi will a squeeze of lemon on fish dishes cause a problem?
      Reply: #457
    5. Petko
      Hello,

      1. Can you please be more specific on the protein intake? My goal is to gain weight and my protein intake goes to around 1,5-2 grams per body weight. In the same time I keep the proportion and it is around 20% -25% of my total calorie intake, fat is 70-75 % and carbs I manage to keep around 5%. Is my Keto diet proper?

      Thank you!

      Reply: #456
    6. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      Hello,
      1. Can you please be more specific on the protein intake? My goal is to gain weight and my protein intake goes to around 1,5-2 grams per body weight. In the same time I keep the proportion and it is around 20% -25% of my total calorie intake, fat is 70-75 % and carbs I manage to keep around 5%. Is my Keto diet proper?
      Thank you!

      Those are generally keto ratios, yes! You can read more about gaining weight on a keto diet here - https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/gain-weight

    7. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      Hi will a squeeze of lemon on fish dishes cause a problem?

      It certainly shouldn't be any problem!

    8. David
      I have been on low carb for two years and planning a vacation for a week at the Amalfi coast. My question is a couple of my meals will not be low carb. Is there a good way to to prepare my body for this shock from carbs. (Previously T2D, in remission now). Will go back on diet after 10 day travel?
    9. Deb
      My doctor put me on Prednisone for 9 days due to a respiratory infection that exasperated my asthma. I was suppose to get my lipids and HGA1C done this week, but my last day on Prednisone is on 4/17/19. I know this affects glucose and lipids. How long should I wait before testing? Also what length of IF might be best for flushing my system after I’ve finished? I’ve worked so hard and stayed faithful to my Keto lifestyle since 11/2019. I hate that I have to take this medication, but know it was necessary. Thank-you!
    10. Thaiza
      Hello I’ve just started the Keto diet and I am finding very difficult to get all the measurements on the dot according to a Keto calculator I am supposed to eat 105grams of fat always get a few less 15-20 lower than target. Protein 88 I get between 10-15 lower than target and carbs 20 grams I am eating 5-10 grams OVER target. Not trying to justify but most of the carbs are from the protein food such as eggs or from healthy food such as mushrooms, no sweets no junk food... but still should I be concerned???? Am I not going to get any effect if I can get to those target strictly???
      Reply: #462
    11. Thaiza
      I meant: if I CANNOT follow the target strictly?
    12. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      Hello I’ve just started the Keto diet and I am finding very difficult to get all the measurements on the dot according to a Keto calculator I am supposed to eat 105grams of fat always get a few less 15-20 lower than target. Protein 88 I get between 10-15 lower than target and carbs 20 grams I am eating 5-10 grams OVER target. Not trying to justify but most of the carbs are from the protein food such as eggs or from healthy food such as mushrooms, no sweets no junk food... but still should I be concerned???? Am I not going to get any effect if I can get to those target strictly???

      Some people can see success following a more moderate low carb diet. If you are seeing progress, then this may be OK for you! If you are not seeing the progress you would like, you can try using our recipes and meal plans as they are designed to help you meet keto macros.

    13. Alex
      Is there an app where I can enter an ingredient and see its carb count? Searching online is a pain.
      Reply: #466
    14. 1 comment removed
    15. Debbie
      I meant, is peanut butter ok on a LCHF diet?
      Reply: #467
    16. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      Is there an app where I can enter an ingredient and see its carb count? Searching online is a pain.

      There are many free macro tracking apps and websites that you can find in your app store.

    17. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      I meant, is peanut butter ok on a LCHF diet?

      Peanut butter tends to be higher carb and legumes can be inflammatory. It can be ok in moderation, on occasion though.

    18. gisele guay
      Can I do keto/low carb if I am lactose intolerant? I see that a lot of recipes I've found have cheese..
      Reply: #469
    19. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      Can I do keto/low carb if I am lactose intolerant? I see that a lot of recipes I've found have cheese..

      Yes! We have dairy free recipe categories and meal plans!

    20. Donald
      I need to lose weight quickly for surgery. I already am following the keyo diet. What can I adjust temporarily to lose weight more quickly?
      Reply: #471
    21. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      I need to lose weight quickly for surgery. I already am following the keyo diet. What can I adjust temporarily to lose weight more quickly?

      Make sure to keep carbs as low as possible and avoid any kind of artificial sweeteners. Aside from that, keto works at its own pace and can't always safely be accelerated.

    22. AnneBarbara
      Hello there,
      I had been doing beautifully with Intermittent fasting 18 daily and every 10 days 24 hrs.. lost 109 lbs.. and was not only proud that I was losing but keeping my focus. I took a train ride to visit friends .. and came home with a doozie of a sore throat then the flu got me and next thing I knew I was wheezing, short of breath and asthma kicked in. Dr put me on a 10 dose of prednisone. just threw me into a tailspin. hunger and menopause sweats found me. I'm 75. Menopause was 20 yrs old. yes, I have a history of having to take prednisone for asthmatic flare... I was so worried about my eating and fluid weight gain I tried Keto. I went off the rails. wanting to eat every bit of fat in the house. IT seemed to open my appetite even more than the prednisone. so I returned to low carb and moderate fat.
      Still, no weight loss because I was eating without thinking .. I seemed to have lost my mojo.. but in my favor. I was continuing to fast. no less than 16hr fast have even done a 36 hr fast to see if I could get back on track. all I do now is reproach myself. .. how do I find my way out of this downward spiral?
      yes, I have examined my inner thoughts, looked to emotional eating is not obviously a thing of the past for a year I was on target now I feel like the target.
    23. AnneBarbara
      Oh wish I could edit my above comments. I started the program Jan 4th 2018 and my road trip was Oct 30th became ill with strep throat and then the flu wasn't well until january 2019.. I do continue to fast but eating more food than I should so no weightloss. about 8 lbs up
      Reply: #474
    24. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      Oh wish I could edit my above comments. I started the program Jan 4th 2018 and my road trip was Oct 30th became ill with strep throat and then the flu wasn't well until january 2019.. I do continue to fast but eating more food than I should so no weightloss. about 8 lbs up

      Please don't think of fasting as a way to beat your diet into submission. It sounds like that is not working well for you. Instead, I would recommend getting back on track with our two week meal plan.
      https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/get-started

    25. Kashif
      Hello there,
      So I am a big advocate of LCHF and was able to lose 22kgs in about 6 months, a transformation that was visible without a doubt to everybody around me. I had to redo my entire wardrobe... not complaining :)
      I am 47 and was able to bring my weight down from 102kg to 79kg, then I went off keto in July last year and was able to maintain my weight with a variation of 2 - 3 kgs between the weekend and weekdays by doing IF 24hrs most days of the week.
      Last month I was in London on a business trip for a week and that week turned out to be a full blown cheat week for me and upon my return I noticed an increase of 7 kgs and a clear bulge in my waist line.
      I am back on keto for almost three weeks now with zero progress... not sure what to do, any suggestions!
      Reply: #477
    26. Debra
      I’ve been doing low carb (not Keto) since February and even though I haven’t lost a lot of pounds, I have lost inches and I’m encouraged to continue. My question is that I get steroid injections in my back due to herniated discs, and I’m wondering if they are messing with my blood sugar numbers. My A1C was 5.8 and my concerned doctor called me prediabetic and wanted me to go on a statin too. I am not eating much sugar but these injections may be playing some role. Also, what other lab numbers can the cortisone shots affect? Can you advise?
      Reply: #478
    27. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      Hello there,
      So I am a big advocate of LCHF and was able to lose 22kgs in about 6 months, a transformation that was visible without a doubt to everybody around me. I had to redo my entire wardrobe... not complaining :)
      I am 47 and was able to bring my weight down from 102kg to 79kg, then I went off keto in July last year and was able to maintain my weight with a variation of 2 - 3 kgs between the weekend and weekdays by doing IF 24hrs most days of the week.
      Last month I was in London on a business trip for a week and that week turned out to be a full blown cheat week for me and upon my return I noticed an increase of 7 kgs and a clear bulge in my waist line.
      I am back on keto for almost three weeks now with zero progress... not sure what to do, any suggestions!

      Unfortunately going on and off plan can be detrimental to our health and metabolism. At this point, the best thing that you can do is be patient and make sure you are consistently on plan.
      https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-to-lose-weight

    28. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      I’ve been doing low carb (not Keto) since February and even though I haven’t lost a lot of pounds, I have lost inches and I’m encouraged to continue. My question is that I get steroid injections in my back due to herniated discs, and I’m wondering if they are messing with my blood sugar numbers. My A1C was 5.8 and my concerned doctor called me prediabetic and wanted me to go on a statin too. I am not eating much sugar but these injections may be playing some role. Also, what other lab numbers can the cortisone shots affect? Can you advise?

      Yes, cortisone and some other steroids can affect blood sugar. I am not sure what other numbers they may also affect. You may wish to consider lowering your carbs to help combat the rise in blood sugar.

    29. Kashif
      Kristin hi,
      Thanks for your response, surely I am going to continue with the plan patiently as you suggested. Just curious though that weight loss achieved with keto will be reversed if you go off plan? also, what kind of health risks are associated with going on and off plan?
      Reply: #481
    30. Cat
      I have a question. I started LCHF and intemittend fasting about 1 year or so ago and have had a lot of success with it. One thing I have noticed though is that now that I do intermittend fasting and eat LCHF I can eat and eat and eat like my stomache is a bottomless pit. This then causes me to over eat a lot.
      Eating LCHF went very well for months on end until I thought I could treat myself at times like having a bit of cake at a party etc but it kinda made things complicated now. I constantly have this ""hunger"" and once I start eating its very hard to stop. It kind of feels like Im addicted to sugar but I dont really eat sugary things. I eat lots of nuts, fats and veggies. A lot of people have commented on that its so unsual to see me eat so much for my size and general eating habits. Ive tried fasting for longer periods. The longest was 12/13 days which went quite ok but I worry that that may have put my bosy out of wack (I did drink broth though). Recent fasts make me feel awful physically and mentally though. I did a 2 day fast and it was horrible. Im trying to fast 16-24 hours but I feel "afraid" to eat sometimes because Im worried I will over eat. I suspect its maybe something phsycological but I wonder why this started even though I ate well for months and made only an acception here and there (this mainly being healthy options like fruit, banana bread, vegan chocolate etc). Could you maybe give me some advice or tips on why this is happening and what I could try that could improve it?
      Im a vegetarian and am lactose intolerant and find that there are very little receipies on DietDoctor that I can use to make a plan. I wonder because of not having an overview on the amount of carbs that Im possibly eating more than I should. I find that recently Ive started eating more bread again is it that Im not eating enough because Im trying to eat vegetarian, dairy free LCHF? I look forward to your reply.
      Reply: #482
    31. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      Kristin hi,
      Thanks for your response, surely I am going to continue with the plan patiently as you suggested. Just curious though that weight loss achieved with keto will be reversed if you go off plan? also, what kind of health risks are associated with going on and off plan?

      It can be detrimental to overall metabolic health and it can affect diabetes and insulin resistance as going off plan can affect blood sugar and insulin.

    32. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      I have a question. I started LCHF and intemittend fasting about 1 year or so ago and have had a lot of success with it. One thing I have noticed though is that now that I do intermittend fasting and eat LCHF I can eat and eat and eat like my stomache is a bottomless pit. This then causes me to over eat a lot.
      Eating LCHF went very well for months on end until I thought I could treat myself at times like having a bit of cake at a party etc but it kinda made things complicated now. I constantly have this ""hunger"" and once I start eating its very hard to stop. It kind of feels like Im addicted to sugar but I dont really eat sugary things. I eat lots of nuts, fats and veggies. A lot of people have commented on that its so unsual to see me eat so much for my size and general eating habits. Ive tried fasting for longer periods. The longest was 12/13 days which went quite ok but I worry that that may have put my bosy out of wack (I did drink broth though). Recent fasts make me feel awful physically and mentally though. I did a 2 day fast and it was horrible. Im trying to fast 16-24 hours but I feel "afraid" to eat sometimes because Im worried I will over eat. I suspect its maybe something phsycological but I wonder why this started even though I ate well for months and made only an acception here and there (this mainly being healthy options like fruit, banana bread, vegan chocolate etc). Could you maybe give me some advice or tips on why this is happening and what I could try that could improve it?
      Im a vegetarian and am lactose intolerant and find that there are very little receipies on DietDoctor that I can use to make a plan. I wonder because of not having an overview on the amount of carbs that Im possibly eating more than I should. I find that recently Ive started eating more bread again is it that Im not eating enough because Im trying to eat vegetarian, dairy free LCHF? I look forward to your reply.

      It sounds like the fasting is not a good option for you at this time. You may wish to focus on eating to hunger rather than forcing the fasting periods.

    33. Christine
      Hello,
      I'm wondering how to handle a greens powder supplement, Athletic Greens, specifically, in a daily routine? There are no artificial anythings, nor is there any added sugar. Each serving contains 6g of carbs, with 2g of dietary fiber. Should I take out 6g of carbs elsewhere? I am a newbie, beginning with the 2-week challenge. Thanks for your help.
      Reply: #486
    34. Pamela
      A recent DNA test has determined that my body will only process monounsaturated fats. I was a year on keto and had no weight loss. What do you suggest.
      Reply: #485
    35. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      A recent DNA test has determined that my body will only process monounsaturated fats. I was a year on keto and had no weight loss. What do you suggest.

      We have not seen any scientific evidence that these new DNA tests have any actual relevance.

    36. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      Hello,
      I'm wondering how to handle a greens powder supplement, Athletic Greens, specifically, in a daily routine? There are no artificial anythings, nor is there any added sugar. Each serving contains 6g of carbs, with 2g of dietary fiber. Should I take out 6g of carbs elsewhere? I am a newbie, beginning with the 2-week challenge. Thanks for your help.

      We do not recommend any supplements. The challenge and meal plans are designed to give you the nutrition you need.

    37. Tina
      can I have chocolate
      Reply: #488
    38. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      can I have chocolate

      You can read our recommendations about chocolate in our food policy!
      https://www.dietdoctor.com/food-policy#chocolate

    39. Petko
      Hello,

      is there any danger if I eat too much fat. I have lean body and my consummation of fat is around 200gr per day (my macros are 5%, 15%, 80%). From time to time I feel a bit heaviness on my right side of the body where the gallbladder is. I assume it is because I produce more bile but is it dangerous long term?

      Thank you!

      Reply: #490
    40. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      Hello,
      is there any danger if I eat too much fat. I have lean body and my consummation of fat is around 200gr per day (my macros are 5%, 15%, 80%). From time to time I feel a bit heaviness on my right side of the body where the gallbladder is. I assume it is because I produce more bile but is it dangerous long term?
      Thank you!

      In the absence of carbohydrates, high fat is not generally a problem. If you are concerned about your gall bladder, you may wish to speak with your doctor. You can read our guide to saturated fat at the link below.
      https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/saturated-fat

    41. Ankica
      How does sleep affect ketosis? And more specifically, sleep deprivation?
      I haven't been able to find any answers to this so far, as all the articles I have come across are about how ketosis affects sleep instead.
      As a student I often find myself giving up sleep to work on assignments, and while I know that depriving myself of sleep isn't good, I'd really appreciate a better understanding of why I should prioritise sleep more.
      Reply: #492
    42. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      How does sleep affect ketosis? And more specifically, sleep deprivation?
      I haven't been able to find any answers to this so far, as all the articles I have come across are about how ketosis affects sleep instead.
      As a student I often find myself giving up sleep to work on assignments, and while I know that depriving myself of sleep isn't good, I'd really appreciate a better understanding of why I should prioritise sleep more.

      Chronic stress and lack of sleep can affect hormones and then weight loss.
      https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-to-lose-weight#11

    43. Jeanette
      According to Carb Manager, to lose weight, my macros shud be 20g carbs, 91g protein, 96g fat. I have lost weight following the weekly meal plans, but I am consistently going over the grams of protein and fat. Is this something I should be concerned with, as long as I stay under to 20g of carbs? Are their any tips on how to keep the fat and protein grams down? I started using the meal planner and planner around my dinner first, as that’s my main meal, but still going over these macros. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
      Reply: #495
    44. joanne
      On the keto diet can you use Marsala wine in cooking recipes or are there too many carbs?
      Reply: #496
    45. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      According to Carb Manager, to lose weight, my macros shud be 20g carbs, 91g protein, 96g fat. I have lost weight following the weekly meal plans, but I am consistently going over the grams of protein and fat. Is this something I should be concerned with, as long as I stay under to 20g of carbs? Are their any tips on how to keep the fat and protein grams down? I started using the meal planner and planner around my dinner first, as that’s my main meal, but still going over these macros. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

      We don't recommend following the generated macros; we recommend eating to hunger. The meals here and meal plans are all designed to meet keto macro ratios with no tracking or calculating needed.

    46. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      On the keto diet can you use Marsala wine in cooking recipes or are there too many carbs?

      That may depend on the brand and the amount used. In general, a small amount of a dry wine in cooking should be OK.

    47. Hangk
      If you've been on a keto diet for a while but are on vacation and end up having too many carbs - not "normal' amounts but still enough to knock you out of ketosis: is it better to still try and eat no more than moderate amount of carbs -or- as you're already out for ketosis should you use the opportunity to indulge yourself due a while?
      Reply: #498
    48. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      If you've been on a keto diet for a while but are on vacation and end up having too many carbs - not "normal' amounts but still enough to knock you out of ketosis: is it better to still try and eat no more than moderate amount of carbs -or- as you're already out for ketosis should you use the opportunity to indulge yourself due a while?

      It is always better to keep your carbs as low/moderate as possible. This will help keep the blood sugar and insulin in check and make it easier to get back on track when you get home.

    49. Claudia
      Hi,

      I'm new here and wonder ... I'm not hungry most of the time on a low carb way of eating ... am i getting enough protein. I seem to be more tired lately. I really want to stick with this as I have 50 lbs to lose. Very impressed with your site and commend you for helping so many people when low carb was not appreciated.

    50. Maximilien Perez
      Hi there!
      You guys are saying not to count calories, though I am looking to gain muscle. And to do so you need to be in a caloric surplus. So how do I go about adding muscle mass without calories? I currently eat 3000 calories and am 6'0" / 183 lbs and am on a Low-fat diet. Want to do the switch over to Keto while continuing to add muscle weight.
      Reply: #501
    51. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      Hi there!
      You guys are saying not to count calories, though I am looking to gain muscle. And to do so you need to be in a caloric surplus. So how do I go about adding muscle mass without calories? I currently eat 3000 calories and am 6'0" / 183 lbs and am on a Low-fat diet. Want to do the switch over to Keto while continuing to add muscle weight.

      If you have not seen it yet, we have a guide on how to gain weight/muscle while eating low carb.
      https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/gain-weight

    52. Shelley Davis Holmbeck
      I've read about some new studies (granted, in mice) that link a low carb Keto diet to actually causing insulin resistance, not reversing it. I'd like Dr. Fung's opinion.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2903931/
    53. Tracey Ellis
      Hi I’m new to the low carb diet, I have Addison’s disease and have gained a lot of weight. Can I start with moderate low carb? It was my first day today and I was hungry, I had the scrambled eggs with mushrooms for breakfast filled by your Cesar salad for lunch and as I missed veg I made my own dinner but counted the carbs, I came in at 36 carbs for the day.. will I be able to loose weight and go into ketosis or do I have to be 20 carbs and under? Thanks
      Reply: #504
    54. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      Hi I’m new to the low carb diet, I have Addison’s disease and have gained a lot of weight. Can I start with moderate low carb? It was my first day today and I was hungry, I had the scrambled eggs with mushrooms for breakfast filled by your Cesar salad for lunch and as I missed veg I made my own dinner but counted the carbs, I came in at 36 carbs for the day.. will I be able to loose weight and go into ketosis or do I have to be 20 carbs and under? Thanks

      You can try moderate low carb. We have a free two week challenge here - https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/diet-meal-plan

      You can read more about the different carb levels here - https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-low-carb-is-low-carb

    55. Nik Petkov
      Hi guys, I wanted to ask your opinion about my blood tests:
      Cholesterol total 7.63 mmol/l
      Triglycerides 0.61 mmol/l
      HDL- cholesterol 2.12 mmol/l
      LDL- cholesterol 4.7 mmol/l
      VLDL – cholesterol 0.28 mmol/l
      Blood sugar 5.63 mmol/l

      I have around lean body and 10% body fat. I am on LFHC for around 6 months and my macros are around 5%; 20%; 75%. Last two months I consume around 30 net carbs daily. I am aware that high blood sugar can be caused of my fat adaptation and my cells refuse to absorb glucose.
      But my questions are: 1. Is this high blood sugar dangerous for me by oxidizing my LDL cholesterol? 2. Do I need to do something special about my blood sugar or I just continue my diet and wait till it adapts?
      What do you think about my lipid profile?

      Reply: #506
    56. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      I have around lean body and 10% body fat. I am on LFHC for around 6 months and my macros are around 5%; 20%; 75%. Last two months I consume around 30 net carbs daily. I am aware that high blood sugar can be caused of my fat adaptation and my cells refuse to absorb glucose.
      But my questions are: 1. Is this high blood sugar dangerous for me by oxidizing my LDL cholesterol? 2. Do I need to do something special about my blood sugar or I just continue my diet and wait till it adapts?
      What do you think about my lipid profile?

      While we can not offer specific medical advice, I can link you to our cholesterol guide. Please work with your doctor for test interpretation and blood sugar guidance.
      https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/cholesterol-basics

    57. Judy
      So I’ve been on keto for about a year and a half now and it’s has done wonders for me regarding my migraines and high blood pressure. When I first started I had so much more energy and almost felt euphoric from feeling good again. For the last few months I’m always tired and went to my doctor to take all these tests. Everything was normal and I sleep like a baby. So I decided to go see a nutritionist, she was wonderful and told my that by now I am fat adapted and that feeling of energy is something that most people on keto only get in the beginning. She suggested something called carbing up, so eat a healthy carb only one meal a week and see how you feel. I tried that, I gained 2 pounds and it took me about 10 days to get back to where I was, also no increase in energy. Am I doing it wrong, is it a good idea to carb up one meal a week when on keto? Anyone have any experience with this method? Please advise, Judy
      Reply: #508
    58. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

      Am I doing it wrong, is it a good idea to carb up one meal a week when on keto? Anyone have any experience with this method? Please advise, Judy

      We would not recommend carbing up. As you have seen, it can have some detrimental effects. If you're dealing with fatigue, you may wish to examine how much protein you're eating. If you're still taking medications, double check with your doctor about the dosage amount as they may need to be adjusted.

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