What to eat in ketosis

I’d been lying to myself for years. I wasn’t in ketosis, and I didn’t understand why.

After doing a self experiment, the reason became clear – too many carbs.

Now, 1.5 months later, I’ve been in optimal ketosis for weeks. It feels great – way more energy and inspiration, and less hunger.

What do I eat to stay in ketosis?

The ketogenic-morning routine

Yesterday’s a good example of my ketogenic lifestyle.

As usual, I was wide awake by 06:10 am. For once I hadn’t slept well which was annoying, but what can you do.

I got dressed, and 15 minutes later I was at the Diet Doctor office. No one else was there. Nice, I would have my ketogenic-morning routine all to myself.

A few steps from the entrance, just past a bowl of fruit that I never touch, the caffeine master appeared. I elegantly grabbed a cup, placed it on the machine, and clicked the coffee button – all while walking.

As I entered the Diet Doctor workspace, I could hear the sound of crushing beans.

My desk is just by the door so dropping off my bag was quick. Seconds later I returned – the coffee was ready.

There’s a fridge right next to the caffeine master. We’ve asked those who manage it to not just buy crappy skim milk, but cream as well. I wasn’t disappointed – a 0.5 liter bottle of heavy whipping cream (40% fat) was there. I poured a healthy dose in (about 50 grams).

“Ahhh!”, I said loudly as I took the first sip. The day could begin.

What I ate yesterday

Until 5:30 pm, the only thing I ate was that coffee, water, another coffee with cream, and a macchiato at the airport (it has very little milk). Then, just before I started cooking, it was chocolate time.

The Hachez Premier Cru 88% chocolate, is superb. Not only is it delicious, it’s 61% fat and just 16% carbs. I ate a few pieces more than I normally do (around 10 grams in total, meaning about 1.5 grams of carbs) – totally awesome.1

For dinner, I made chicken liver with a little onion, some spinach, and lots of bacon, butter and sour cream. I added salt and pepper, and boiled a little broccoli as a side (about 100 grams). Delicious.


In the evening, I had about 150 grams of cheese, followed by raspberries with cream (around 10 and 100 grams respectively).

My ketones the next morning

1,8 mmol/Loptimal ketosis.

What do you eat in ketosis? Feel free to share in the comments below.


Earlier posts in the same series

  1. Why You’re Not in Ketosis
  2. How Much Protein Can You Eat in Ketosis?


A Ketogenic Diet for Beginners

Top ketosis videos

  1. We take no money whatsoever from the food industry. This is just a personal recommendation.


  1. Otti
    Isn't this too little veggies?
  2. Josh
    If a chocolate bar has a minimal amount of sugar as the one eaten in the article, it doesn't kick you out of ketosis? I thought sugar in foods would kick a person out of ketosis, even a small amount.?
    Reply: #5
  3. BobM
    I find myself moving toward zero carb (basically, you just eat meat). I still eat vegetables now, though, just not many of them. You can eat sugar as long as it's a small amount. I find you have to shoot for zero carbs. I can have some olives, some (full fat or double cream) yogurt, some vegetables, but try to have multiple ones of these, and it's not possible. And my wife makes meat with sauces. Sometimes the sauces are made with onions and tomatoes. I can have small amounts of those, but any more than that, and I'm out of ketosis (especially combined with ANY other carbs). Low carb is one thing, but ketosis is a different level.

    Thus, I find myself going into and out of ketosis. I try to stay in, but minor amounts of carbs kick me out. Some days, I'm stunned when I get kicked out -- I can't determine why. Also, I only get high values of ketones if I fast for many days (at least 4) or if I eat mainly fat. If I eat protein, I don't get the high levels of ketones.

    I personally don't find ketones to cause a smaller appetite or better moods or give me more energy. I find exogenous ketones to do that, but endogenous ketones do not.

  4. BobM
    I'll give you an example. I started the day with ketones of 0.4. I did not eat until about 2pm/1400. I ate beef heart and steak. That's it. No vegetables, a zero carb meal. I got home at 7pm/1900 and checked my ketones. You might expect them to go up. They were 0.3. That's right, they stayed the same or went down (I don't know how accurate these are).

    And this is by no means unusual. I can start at night with ketones of 1.0, while fasting, and wake up with ketones of 0.4. That's normal for me, although I can fast and have ketones go up over night. The other issue is that measuring blood ketones is expensive, around $3 US dollars/test. If you want to measure your ketones twice a day for 7 days, that's $42, $160+/month. So, I try to measure infrequently, but if you measure infrequently, you're most likely out of ketosis, since any carbs = no ketosis.

  5. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Josh!

    A few grams of carbs (even from sugar) will not kick most people out from ketosis.

    But, personally when I eat ketogenic (most of the time I don't) then I use this chocolate: http://www.lindt.co.uk/shop/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/9...

    If a chocolate bar has a minimal amount of sugar as the one eaten in the article, it doesn't kick you out of ketosis? I thought sugar in foods would kick a person out of ketosis, even a small amount.?

  6. goggles
    How about the bloodsugar? Any numbers on that, please?
  7. AgS
    this does not sound healthy at all. You are crazy. coffee during the day and then some chocolate, cheese and livers. where are your veggies? what about water?
  8. Lois
    I agree with Ags -- this daily regimen needs more color from micronutrients! I realize that vegetables, and particularly fruits, have carbs -- but those are what provide our bodies with the tools to be healthy!
    Reply: #9
  9. bill
    Vegetables have no more nutrients than
    meat and fat and many nutrients from
    veggies are less bioavailable than those
    found in meat. Also, many nutrients cannot
    be metabolized without eating fat at the
    same time. This should be emphasized more
    on this website.
  10. Dougie
    I have been folowing diet doctors for about 3 months now,,
    highest mmols I have had is .9 .Today 0.0 mmol.
    I do have bullet proof coffees decaf though.But I fear that I may be having too much protein although I am using your plans.. Is it physically possible to increase fats and reduce protein..
    If so which meals would you consider to be the highest fat ?
  11. Bobbie
    When you are burning ketones efficiently, there won't be as many floating around in the bloodstream, thus your numbers will be lower.
  12. Claudia
    Thanks for this. There are days when I just couldn't be bothered and it's easier to cook up some meat and nuts to fill the gap. I told myself that I eat veg other days so it all works out, yet there's still always that niggling old worry that I haven't got the daily recommended. However I'm leaner and healthier than I've ever been. I guess it's not for everyone, but it works for me.
  13. Paul
    What's the effect on your microbiome in the lower gut, as far as l can see roughage is required along with fermented products along with periods of fasting along with a variety of different foods( these can be micro servings, equivalent to a teaspoon approx every three days so don't be worried by the amount of sugars or carbs) to maximise the variety of organisms that will survive.
  14. Jools
    Agreed with Lois, Paul and Ags above - a Keto diet focusing on coffee, chocolate and meat/fat with no vegetables is a recipe for disaster for our gut microbiome. As a crash diet perhaps but as a long-term healthy way of eating I'd much rather have a modified Paleo diet. This seems like a fad diet for fast-living businessmen and entrepreneurs. Wouldn't touch it with a barge-pole.
  15. Karen
    Noting that Bjarte included broccoli, onions, and raspberries, as well as plenty of coffee, also a veg, that day. We don’t need to eat tons of vegetables for good health. ’Five-a-day’ is another industrial food lobby myth not supported by science.
  16. Geraldine D. Kuss
    I"ve been eating Keto now for almost two years , my weight went from 73 kilos to 58 kgs then it started to creep up. I have done Intermittant Fasting, 16/8 or 18/6, and I haven't changed anything, but I'm steadily putting on weight and now I'm 66kgs. I shouldn't be, as I have a Herniated Disc and the Doctor told me to lose weight . I should be "feather Weight." I've been following Diet Doctor for some time and subscribed too.Now I'm attempting to add more fat and eat less veggies. Putting on weight really upsets me, as my clothes don't fit, and my friends tell me that Low Carb doesn't work. I'm the prime example!
    Reply: #22
  17. Barbara
    @Geraldine. Maybe hormones are playing a role here. check out dietdoctor on this subject
  18. Cathy
    You don't mention fat adapted. I'm not on keto, just low carbs went into ketosis then fat adapted have lost 65 pounds since September 2017. Once you become fa your blood ketones are used more efficiently and you show a lower reading Continue to be fat adapted and stay @ 0.09 since January 1, 2018!
  19. Dan Phillips
    Another aspect I must have missed is exercise? How does aerobic or extreme high intensity affect ketosis?
  20. John
    Are there any posts dedicated to an "optimal" , same thing every day type meal plan? Keeping things super simple helps me, so if there were a group and amount of vegetables I could eat EVERY DAY to know I was getting a full balance of nutrients plus not getting too many carbs, that would be very helpful. I could then put in all the meats, fats, etc on top of it. I don't particularly enjoy the veggies, so just eating what is needed each day would be nice and then just stop worrying about them at all.
  21. Susie
    This is what Bjarte posted in part one.....Eating less than 20 grams
    For the next three days, I ate less than 20 grams of carbs by reducing my vegetable and cream intake, still keeping my protein intake below 60 grams.

    Here’s what I ate on April 21st – the day before I was going to measure my ketones again:

    – 100 grams of cream (3 g carbs)
    – 60 grams of tomato sauce (2 g carbs)
    – 150 grams of butter (1.5 g carbs)
    – 2 eggs (1 g carbs)
    – 100 grams of spinach (1 g carbs)
    – 5 raspberries (1 g carb)
    – 1 square (1 cm x 1 cm) of 86% chocolate (1 g carbs)
    – 4 brazil nuts (0.5 g carbs)
    – 200 grams of ground beef (0 g carbs)
    – 2 cups of coffee = 0 g carbs

    = 11 grams of digestible carbs.

    Game on.

  22. Kathryn
    Hi Geraldine, After 2 years I've also started to see a weight increase. So I have decided to go back to the initial 2 week challenge. What I have noticed is that 1) I had carb creep 2) I have started measuring how different foods effect my blood glucose and too much protein seems to spike it 3) Exercising after my evening meal gives me lower morning blood glucose levels. There is no problem to go back to basics. The carb creep is so gradual you don't notice it. Age, perimenopause, menopause, stress, lack of sleep also play a role. Don't beat yourself up, investigate and get back on track with me.
  23. felicia g hearn
    i dont thank i would go on keto diet cause one mistake and you will fail the whole process i will just stick to Dr. Nowzaradan 1200 calories high protein and low carb.daily diet.....
  24. Carolyn
    Bjarte - did you measure 20 “net” carbs? You mentioned digestible carbs which I believe means net carbs. That allows you to eat more veggies like broccoli and stay in the 20 carb limit. Or did you do a straight 20 carb (not digestible/net)? Can you clarify please?
    Reply: #25
  25. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Bjarte - did you measure 20 “net” carbs? You mentioned digestible carbs which I believe means net carbs. That allows you to eat more veggies like broccoli and stay in the 20 carb limit. Or did you do a straight 20 carb (not digestible/net)? Can you clarify please?

    We count net carbs - https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-low-carb-is-low-carb

  26. James
    Personally, my ketones don't normally get above 0.5 unless I'm fasting, but when I plug my numbers into the calculator here, it shows me as deep into ketosis.
  27. Debster
    Nope, there are a lot of individual differences with how easily people go into or stay in ketosis....I eat 40-50 g of carbs a day, and my ketones are always 1.0-2.5, have been there for nearly 4 years. There is some variability in how our bodies respond, some of us don't need to be as strict, and can still stay in ketosis.
  28. Christine
    That to me is not doable or sustainable and would put people off trying keto

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