Over the last few months, we have interviewed five people who have used the keto diet to each lose over 100 pounds. They shared with us the different kinds of life changing habits they developed along their keto journeys - the habits that kept the weight off. How do they deal with cravings? What was the hardest part? When did they decide to make a change? What do they eat every day? Listen to the interviews over at the Keto For Normies Podcast or stay and read them here! 
Unfortunately, our current food environment is nothing like what the human race initially evolved to handle. Today, we are constantly bombarded with endless processed food options, food ads, and smells that trigger our desires. As a result, the oldest parts of our brain motivate us to hunt for that food, which we now have a 100% chance of getting — and we don’t have to exert much effort at all to get it.
It reduces risk of disease. A growing number of studies suggest that people who follow a Mediterranean diet are less likely to die of heart disease than people who follow a typical American diet. (1) What’s more, evidence is emerging that shows people who eat this way have a lower risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer, and some head and neck cancers, according to studies published in September 2016 in the British Journal of Cancer and in February 2018 in the Journal of Urology. (27,28,29)

Your individual fat adaptation period. Remember your body needs time to become fat-adapted and that time depends on your metabolism. For instance, if you’re coming off a Standard American Diet (SAD) and your adult body has never run on ketones before, your adaptation period might take a little longer. You’ll only experience the true weight loss effects of keto when your body is actually running on ketones.
A study of 39 obese adults placed on a ketogenic very low-calorie diet for 8 weeks found a mean loss of 13% of their starting weight and significant reductions in fat mass, insulin levels, blood pressure, and waist and hip circumferences. Their levels of ghrelin did not increase while they were in ketosis, which contributed to a decreased appetite. However during the 2-week period when they came off the diet, ghrelin levels and urges to eat significantly increased. [11]
Just like most health issues, many different factors contribute to obesity. The factors most responsible for the obesity epidemic seem to be our genetics and the environment, and how they interact to create our eating behavior. To gain a deeper understanding of how they contribute to obesity, let’s explore the organ responsible for our eating decisions — the brain.
After 12 weeks, the decrease in body weight and body fat was significantly greater in the MCT group than in the LCT group. The decrease in the area of subcutaneous fat in the MCT group was also significantly greater than that in the LCT group, which suggests that the MCT diet might be able to help reduce body weight and fat in individuals who need to lose weight. (3)
Elena Paravantes, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Writer and consultant specializing in the Mediterranean Diet and Cuisine. She has been active as a clinician, consultant and lecturer for 20 years, both in the U.S. and Greece. An expert on the Greek Mediterranean Diet, her interviews and articles have been published in many publications including CNN, U.S. News and World Report, Prevention, NPR, and Shape. Elena has collaborated with a number of organizations including Loyola University, Yale University, University of Missouri, Louisiana State University, and the American College of Greece.
Your daily habits. Your daily habits will make or break your weight loss efforts. Consistency is the key to keto success. Are you eating clean keto foods or high-fat junk foods with low-quality ingredients? Are you watching out for hidden carbs? Are you exercising? Eating the right foods in the right amounts for your goals and adding more physical activity to your daily life are the most important pieces of a smooth and successful body transformation.

When the data were examined, it was clear that people who ate a diet where fruits and vegetables, grains, beans, and fish were the basis of daily meals were healthiest. Topping the chart were residents of Crete. Even after the deprivations of World War II – and in part, perhaps, because of them –  the cardiovascular health of Crete residents exceeded that of US residents. Researchers attributed the differences to diet.
The most important part of the ketogenic diet is consistency. Approach this diet (or any other diet that you try) with the mindset that you will make it into a long-term sustainable lifestyle. When you hit a plateau, don’t give up — we all hit plateaus eventually. Take it as an opportunity to recalculate your calorie needs, adjust your goals, and implement new strategies.
Both MCT oil and coconut oil are beneficial for balancing bacteria in the gut microbiota, which in turn has positive effects on the digestive symptom, energy expenditure, and the ability to absorb vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. Medium-chain fats can help kill a wide range of pathogenic viruses, strains and bacteria that cause digestive issues, including candida, constipation, diarrhea, food poisoning, stomachaches and so on. (8)
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are fats that are naturally found in coconut and palm kernel oils. They’re more easily and rapidly digested than other types of fats. MCTs are readily absorbed from the GI tract and are metabolized very quickly by the liver, where they are reported to encourage the use of fat for energy rather than for storage.* Numerous studies suggest that substituting MCT oil for other fats in a healthy diet may therefore help to support healthy weight and body composition.*
As a gut health doctor, this is my biggest pet peeve about keto diets: They sometimes overemphasize foods high in dietary fat like meat and full-fat dairy at the expense of gut-supporting plant foods. Knock your gut flora out of balance and you're almost sure to hit a plateau since gut health affects weight loss. Even on the strictest keto diet, you can incorporate fermented and cultured foods including sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir.

Now, if you had looked only at the blood lipids of the monkeys eating the monounsaturated-fat-rich diet in this study, you’d have thought they would have ended up with cleaner arteries than those that ate more saturated fat. Compared to monkeys fed the diet high in saturated fat, the monkeys fed the monounsaturated-fat-rich diet had lower LDL bad cholesterol levels and higher HDL good cholesterol levels (similar to what happens in studies with humans). And compared to monkeys fed a diet high in polyunsaturated fats, the monkeys fed the high-mono diet had HDLs that were nearly twice as high (again, just like humans).
Finally, people eat about nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day on a Mediterranean diet. (1) Produce packs an array of disease-fighting antioxidants, and people who fill their diet with these foods have lower risk of disease. Yet as the National Institutes of Health points out, it’s not known if it’s the antioxidants or other compounds (or general healthy eating patterns) that are responsible for these advantages. (5)
Day 5: As fate would have it, 3 p.m. rolls around and we get a message that there are cookies in the conference room. I have been snacking on keto-approved foods like Granny Smith apples (the tart green apple has way less sugar than, say, a red Gala), and full-fat cottage cheese with blueberries (where have you been all my life, snack?) with no real trouble with cravings. But just knowing there are cookies that I can't eat makes me feel a little cheated. (Though These Low-Carb Keto Desserts Help With That.)
Flynn had always had an interest in dietary guidelines and how various diet patterns impact weight and disease risk. She was especially intrigued after having read the Seven Countries Study in the mid-1980s that demonstrated notable cardiovascular benefits from what is now widely known as the Mediterranean Diet, in which individuals consume considerable amounts of healthy fats, especially olive oil. Flynn had also spent time analyzing the literature behind dietary guidelines and recommendations and was “astounded” by the lack of evidence supporting the health claims made by proponents of low-fat diets. She went on to co-author a book, Low-Fat Lies (Lifeline Press, 1999), drawing on the scientific evidence revealing the numerous problems with extremely low-fat diets and demonstrating the positive effects of a more Mediterranean-style eating pattern.
In 2017, Drs. Kevin Hall and Juen Guo published a meta-analysis of controlled feeding studies that compared diets of equal calorie and protein content with variations in carbohydrate and fat content. By designing the study in this way, the researchers could finally find out whether restricting carbs or limiting calories is more important when it comes to weight loss.
From this foundation, Flynn’s plant-based olive oil (PBOO) diet was born. She determined its components based on validated research examining food and chronic diseases. The cornerstone foods of the diet are extra virgin olive oil, vegetables (with particular emphasis on those with deep color and those from the cruciferous family), and starches/grains (ideally those that are whole), with minimal animal protein. Flynn was initially curious as to whether or not her diet would aid in weight loss. She hypothesized that as long as calories were controlled (~1500 calories per day for women, ~1800-2000 calorie per day for men), having healthy fats at every meal, in the form of nuts at breakfast and extra virgin olive oil at lunch and dinner, along with vegetable-heavy lunches and dinners, would help individuals feel more satiated and help them lose weight. Overall, those who follow her diet eat four to five servings of fat daily, most of which is extra virgin olive oil.
Sleep enough – for most people at least seven hours per night on average – and keep stress under control. Sleep deprivation and stress hormones raise blood sugar levels, slowing ketosis and weight loss a bit. Plus they might make it harder to stick to a keto diet, and resist temptations. So while handling sleep and stress will not get you into ketosis on it’s own, it’s still worth thinking about.
Walnuts are packed with tryptophan, an amino acid your body needs to create the feel-great chemical serotonin. (In fact, Spanish researchers found that walnut eaters have higher levels of this natural mood-regulator.) Another perk: "They're digested slowly," said Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale Prevention Research Center. "This contributes to mood stability and can help you tolerate stress."

In 2010, researchers published findings showing MCTs help lower your risk of developing metabolic syndrome,18 which includes a cluster of symptoms such as abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and insulin resistance. Unlike carbohydrates, ketones don't stimulate a surge in insulin. Another benefit is that they don't need insulin to help them cross cell membranes, including neuronal membranes. Instead, they use protein transporters, which allow them to enter cells that have become insulin resistant.

The most important part of the ketogenic diet is consistency. Approach this diet (or any other diet that you try) with the mindset that you will make it into a long-term sustainable lifestyle. When you hit a plateau, don’t give up — we all hit plateaus eventually. Take it as an opportunity to recalculate your calorie needs, adjust your goals, and implement new strategies.


CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
Keep moving — In addition to ketosis, the best thing you can do for your weight-loss journey and your overall health is to get moving! It’s extremely easy to wake up, go to work, sit at a desk all day, come home, and then sit on the couch for the rest of the evening. But when you do this, you aren’t burning calories like you should if you want to lose weight. For best results, take up a combination of resistance training and cardio. Building muscle will give your metabolism a boost since muscle in your body burns more calories than fat, and cardio will further help you burn calories. And even if you don’t want to go to the gym or get outside for a run, try to get in a 30-minute walk 3-4 times per week. A 30-minute walk at a brisk pace can help you burn about 150 calories. Plus, working out will boost your mood and help you stay motivated on your health journey.
So I have tried many things to loose weight and nothing worked, including this. This was a while ago. Then I decided I was not going to eat breakfast anymore, because in order to loose weight, you need to be a little bit hungry. So anyways, I have been doing intermittent fasting (eating at noon and dinner 6-8) and the first day was hard for me but I stuck to it with the help of some lemon water. The next 3 days became easier and easier. Today, I realized I was not at all hungry for dinner and was a little scared, because I didn’t want my metabolism to slow down (I’ve had problems in the past) so I googled up what this means. I saw that it was ketosis and was so excited. When I went to check the ketosis strips, it was actually working and I was so so happy. The fact that I was trying so hard with all of these fancy recipes and eating 3 meals a day frustrated me. I do not count my calories or anything else. I do some excercise for about 30 minutes everyday. For those who are struggling, please please please! Try intermittent fasting if the ketogenic diet isn’t working for you.

Best ever support for intermittent fasting, kills cravings and boosts energy. After only a couple weeks I could nicely fit into a skirt I wore 20 years ago in high school. There are sometimes light headaches due to 200mg caffeine (I’m not used to drinking the equivalent in coffee) but when you move around it’s easy to forget. Overall, I’m truly happy with the results :)
Outside of Reddit, I have never seen what I would call a great write up on keto. Following one of these purchased plans, with lots of expensive supplements, is not only unnecessary but usually contains lots of bad advice. I can't even begin to imagine why you would be told that Granny Smith apples, which come in at around 12 net carbs per cup, are ok but brussel sprouts (~3.5g net carbs per cup) or carrots (11g net carbs per cup grated) are not. Doesn't even make sense. A spoon of peanut butter kick you out of keto? ~4-6g net carbs per 2T! The keto diet is not hard and it is very sustainable as a way of eating permanently. Part of America's problem with weight is that they think everything needs to be handed to them in a bottle or package, with no work or thinking involved. Keep your daily intake of net carbs very low (less than 30 is probably best) and get your carbs from healthy natural foods before you reach for prepackaged food. Moderate protein. Eating tons of fat is not a requirement. Keto is called high fat because in terms of percentages, you are getting the most calories from fat. If you eat moderate protein and very low carb, you need to get the rest of your calories from somewhere. I'm a 40 year old female and lost 100+ lbs eating keto with no purchased plan and no bs supplements. I still eat that way 4 years later. I have arthritis but I run, I lift weights, I ride horses, I ride bikes, I live a very healthy, active lifestyle since losing the weight and finding keto. I have tried to go back on a standard American diet and immediately lose my motivation and energy, my body feels awful. The benefits of keto go far beyond weight loss. The hardest part about eating keto is social because so many people think it's so hard and there are so many misconceptions. It is completely sustainable as an individual.

Additionally, they remarked that “concerns about adverse metabolic effects of the Atkins diet were not substantiated within the 12-month study period.” [16] They acknowledged that more research needs to be done on the long-term effects on cardiovascular and metabolic health especially on men. However, their study supports the idea that a low-carbohydrate diet can help you lower body mass and body fat better than higher-carbohydrate alternatives.


Our European neighbors have known for many centuries of the many benefits of olive oil — they use it inside the body and out! On the skin, they use it as an exfoliant mixed into a sugar scrub or as a moisturizer. But you don’t have to smear olive oil all over you; drinking it will provide known anti-aging compounds, like antioxidants and vitamin E.
"I work in a really corporate environment where there's often donuts and cupcakes around. My coworkers say, 'Nobody will know if you just a have a cupcake,' but I will know! It’s not about beating the system or sneaking in cheat meals. I know the food is going to make me feel bad all day and it's not worth it to me. There’s always a line of people at the coffee machine at 2 o’clock in the afternoon because they’re all so tired after lunch."
The ketogenic or “keto” diet is a low-carbohydrate, fat-rich eating plan that has been used for centuries to treat specific medical conditions. In the 19th century, the ketogenic diet was commonly used to help control diabetes. In 1920 it was introduced as an effective treatment for epilepsy in children in whom medication was ineffective. The ketogenic diet has also been tested and used in closely monitored settings for cancer, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Yet it’s an incredibly well-rounded way to lose weight that ditches gimmicks and doesn’t require calorie or macronutrient counting as other diets do. And with the emphasis on healthy fat, it’s satisfying, too. That said, the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Diets ranked the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 for Best Diets Overall and it ranks 17 in their list of Best Weight-Loss Diets. (3) The reviewers note that it’s not a slam dunk, and all depends on how you eat. Even healthy diets like the Mediterranean aren’t free-for-all eating plans.
How it’s done: Warm up the LEVL or Ketonix meter by plugging it in. Blow into it and wait for the flashing light indicating it’s reading your acetone levels. The software or the color and speed of the flashing light would tell your reading: green for least acetone, red for most acetone, less flashing for less acetone per color, more flashing for more acetone per color.
In 2014, a group of three Brazilian researchers assessed the available literature on the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets in a meta-analysis. They specifically looked at trials that compared a ketogenic diet that consisted of no more than 50 grams of carbs per day with a conventional, low-fat diet with less than 30% of calories from fat. The researchers included 13 studies that lasted 12 months or more with a total of 1577 subjects.
Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvadó J, Covas MI, Corella D, Arós F, Gómez-Gracia E, Ruiz-Gutiérrez V, Fiol M, Lapetra J, Lamuela-Raventos RM. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts. New England Journal of Medicine. 2018 Jun 13. [Note: reference updated in June 2018 due to retraction and republication]
One interesting finding of this eating plan is that it dispels the myth that people with or at risk for heart disease must eat a low fat diet. Although it does matter which types of fats are chosen, the percentage of calories from fat is less of an issue. The PREDIMED study, a primary prevention trial including thousands of people with diabetes or other risk factors for heart disease found that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts and without any fat and calorie restrictions reduced the rates of death from stroke by roughly 30%. [6] Most dietary fats were healthy fats, such as those from fatty fish, olive oil, and nuts, but total fat intake was generous at 39-42% of total daily calories, much higher than the 20-35% fat guideline as stated by the Institute of Medicine. [7]  Risk of type 2 diabetes was also reduced in the PREDIMED trial. [8]

Dietary fiber keeps you full longer and contains prebiotic nutrients that support a healthy gut flora, creating a win-win for weight loss. Getting insufficient dietary fiber (yes, I'm talking to you, all-meat carnivore or cave-man diet folks) adversely shifts your healthy gut flora, which will increase inflammation, insulin resistance, fat deposition around the middle, and weight gain. Leafy green and cruciferous vegetables, avocado, coconut, and berries make great fiber-rich, keto-friendly foods.

Furthermore, the participants who ate the low-carbohydrate diet lost an average of 0.8% body fat while those that ate the low-fat diet gained an average of 0.7% body fat. [18] This suggests that a higher fat diet may improve may lead to more favorable changes in body composition. Subjects in both groups notably reduced their waist circumference. [18] However, the reduction was greater for the low-carbohydrate group. [18]


Just remember that all olive oil is not created equally. Unfortunately, most commercial manufacturers that are trying to ride the health hype on olive oil have rushed to the market with all kinds of fake olive oils, which are imitations and inferior products. The problem is these oils aren’t always harvested or processed properly, which can kill many of their delicate nutrients and turn some of their fatty acids rancid or toxic.

According to the US FDA, having two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease, due to its monounsaturated fat content. Some of the antioxidants present in extra virgin olive oil like oleocanthal and oleuropein are known for their anti-inflammatory action and help in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol which can be a risk factor for heart disease.

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