Achieving this state isn’t easy: You’ll need to severely minimize your intake of carbohydrates, eating no more than 20 to 50 grams (g) of carbs per day to get there and stay there. A single medium pear, for example, contains 26 g of carbs, and even foods that aren’t generally considered high in carbs — such as nuts and nonstarchy veggies — contain a small amount of carbohydrates, and so will need to be limited or avoided on this plan.
Anne, We’re sorry to hear that the burn warning came on when you made this! We updated the recipe above with the following note, which hopefully will help: We’ve tested this recipe upwards of 10 times and have never had the burn warning come on; however, several readers have had the warning come on, so we want to give a tip. In step 1 of the Instructions above, after removing the bacon from the pot, we recommend adding a splash of water, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits that have formed on the bottom to deglaze the pan. After that, continue on with step 1 and press “Cancel” to stop sauteing.
Achieving optimal ketosis hinges on finding the right balance of macronutrients (or “macros” in keto-speak); these are the elements in your diet that account for the majority of your calories, a.k.a. energy—namely, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. By the way, it’s often “net grams” of carbohydrates that are counted toward your daily intake; “net” deducts the amount of fiber in a food from its carbohydrate total.
The concentration of ketone bodies may vary depending on diet, exercise, degree of metabolic adaptation and genetic factors. Ketosis can be induced when a ketogenic diet is followed for more than 3 days.[34] This induced ketosis is sometimes called nutritional ketosis.[35] This table shows the concentrations typically seen under different conditions[1]
Keto recipes that include nachos?! Oh yes. You’ll begin by making the fat head tortilla chips first. Did I mention you’ll use two types of cheese for this step? Delicious. Next, you’ll load them up with a meaty sauce and finish them off with your favorite toppings, like guac, salsa or sour cream. While these make a delicious snack, they’re frankly filling enough to share as a meal.

You can have a completely smooth transition into ketosis, or…not. While your body is adapting to using ketones as your new fuel source, you may experience a range of uncomfortable short-term symptoms. These symptoms are referred to as “the keto flu.” Low-sodium levels are often to blame for symptoms keto flu, since the kidneys secrete more sodium when you’re in ketosis, says Volek. A few side effects:
I like to make a double batch and use them for meal prep throughout the week. They are portable, and reheat well. Great served alone, or with eggs for breakfast. Serve them up with a hearty salad for lunch or dinner. The possibilities are endless. I also like to mix things up a bit and whip these sausage balls up with some cream cheese and fresh herbs. DELISH! What is your favorite way to enjoy keto sausage balls?
Wow Gloria, you really do love this – way to to go! We just need to work on portion control now 😉 The recipe states serves 6. All that info is right at the top of each recipe. Don’t worry, many scroll past it eagerly wanting to get to the recipe itself. It is the beginning of summer there, but I will continue to make this throughout summer as my youngest absolutely loves it.

Debbie, Congrats on your weight loss, that’s awesome! We haven’t tried this recipe with bone-in chicken thighs, but if you want to use them to make this recipe we recommend cooking the thighs in the oven and then pulling the meat off the bone, shredded it, and mixing it with the sauce. The objective with this recipe is to cook the chicken (any way you like, poached, baked, grilled, or even rotisserie) until it can be shredded, and then mix the shredded chicken with the creamy sauce. To cook the creamy sauce on the stovetop, we recommend crisping the bacon in a saucepan and then removing it and adding the water and spices. Once the water is simmering, add the cream cheese a bit at a time (slightly softened would probably work best), whisking until it’s incorporated. Cooked this way, you may need to add a splash more liquid (water or broth, if you prefer) to the sauce, because some of the liquid will evaporate off as the cream cheese melts down. Finally, stir in the cooked shredded chicken and shredded cheddar, and serve! If you try it this way, please let us know how it goes!
Unfortunately, this particular meal plan has dairy interwoven in it, it would be difficult to substitute those ingredients. I have plans to create a dairy-free keto plan. If you’re not subscribed to our newsletter, you can go ahead and do that (scroll up to see the form on this page above the comments) and you’ll be notified when the dairy-free plan is available.
Another mechanism that could be involved in food-regulation during KD is the gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate regulation. Wu et al. demonstrated that GABAergic signaling from the NPY/AgRP neurons to the parabrachial nucleus (located in the dorsolateral part of the pons) is involved in many regulatory sensory stimuli including taste and gastric distension, regulate feeding behavior. GABA signaling seems to prevent animals from anorexia when AgRP neurons were destroyed (Wu et al., 2009). These findings are yet another contradictory aspect of KDs and food behavior; ketosis should increase the availability of glutamate (via diminution of transamination of glutamate to aspartate) and therefore increase GABA and glutamine levels; moreover, in ketosis, the brain imports a huge amount of acetate and converts it through glia into glutamine (an important precursor of GABA) (Yudkoff et al., 2008). The result of these mechanisms, together with the increased mitochondrial metabolism and flux through the TCA cycle, is an increased synthesis of glutamine and a “buffering” of glutamate. These results are not consistent with the well-documented anorexigenic effect of KDs, and therefore the GABA hypothesis cannot be taken into account despite the mild euphoria often reported during a KD that is probably due to the action of BHB (Brown, 2007) and can help to reduce appetite.
Meanwhile, the KD induces a ketosis that is not a pathological but physiological condition occurring on a daily basis. Hans Krebs was the first to use the term “physiological ketosis” despite the common view of it as oxymoron (Krebs, 1966); this physiological condition, i.e., ketosis, can be reached through fasting or through a drastically reduced carbohydrate diet (below 20 g per day). In these conditions, glucose reserves become insufficient both for normal fat oxidation via the supply of oxaloacetate in the Krebs cycle and for the supply of glucose to the central nervous system (CNS) (Felig et al., 1969; Owen et al., 1969) (Figure ​(Figure1).1). It is well-known that the CNS cannot use FAs as an energy source because free FAs cannot cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This is why the brain normally uses only glucose. After 3–4 days without carbohydrate intake (KD or fasting) the CNS must find alternative energy sources as demonstrated by Cahill et al. (Owen et al., 1967, 1969; Felig et al., 1969; Cahill, 2006). These alternative energy sources are the ketones bodies (KBs): acetoacetate (AcAc), β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB) and acetone and the process of their formation occurring principally in the mitochondrial matrix in the liver is called ketogenesis (Fukao et al., 2004). Usually the concentration of KB is very low (<0.3 mmol/L) compared to glucose (≅ 4 mmol) (Veech, 2004; Paoli et al., 2010). Since glucose and KB have a similar KM for glucose transport to the brain the KB begin to be utilized as an energy source by the CNS when they reach a concentration of about 4 mmol/L (Veech, 2004), which is close to the KM for the monocarboxylate transporter (Leino et al., 2001).

Scheme of orexigenic and anorexigenic effects of ketosis. The picture is highly schematic. For more details please see the text. AMPK, AMP-activated protein kinase; CCK, cholecystokinin; GABA, gamma-aminobutyric acid; BHB, β-hydroxybutyric acid; FFA, free fatty acids; ROS, reactive oxygen species; NPY, neuropeptide Y; AgRP, agouti gene-related protein.
Yum! Thank you so much for this great recipe! I used to get this wonderful butter chicken at a restaurant near us that since closed, and have tried many other recipes that just weren’t right. I’m on a keto diet and loved this, but even better, my non-keto eating family all liked it, too! Finding keto recipes that I can serve to my husband and kids without making two versions is so nice!
To make Crack Chicken in a slow cooker, add the chicken and cream cheese to the slow cooker. Whisk together the water, vinegar, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, dill, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl and pour on top. Cook on LOW for 8 hours. Remove the chicken and shred it, and then add it back to the pot and stir in the cheddar. Cook the bacon in a skillet on the stovetop until crispy; cool the bacon and then crumble it on top.
All I can say is WOW! I am a week in on this Keto way of eating and came across this simple recipe. Gotta admit, I didn’t think I would like it…I LOVE IT! So easy to make…took me 20 minutes total! It was light, moist and delicious. I used one small loaf pan, doubled the ingredients and made the regular one and the cheese mix in. Can’t wait to share the rest with my co-workers…we are doing this together. Will be back to check for other recipes. Thank you!
If you’re following the keto diet, you will need protein, but you should limit your intake to about 20 percent of your total daily calories. (1) This is important because when you consume more protein than you need, your body converts the excess protein into carbs through a process called gluconeogenesis. This process pushes your body out of ketosis.
Being in optimal ketosis for a prolonged period of time (say, a month) will ensure that you experience the maximal hormonal effect from eating a low-carb diet. If this doesn’t result in noticeable weight loss, you can be certain that too many carbs are NOT part of your weight issue and not the obstacle to your weight loss. There are, in fact, other causes of obesity and being overweight. The next three tips in this series might help you.
If you’re not sure after your initial test, explore other healthy diets such as clean eating and always have in mind that your number 1 goal should be to avoid overly processed foods (keeping this definition fairly broad of course, as we live in the 21st century and have to adapt to modern age as well, where hardly any of us have time to spend 12 hours a day evolving around food production, gathering and cooking).
Ketone bodies are acidic, but acid-base homeostasis in the blood is normally maintained through bicarbonate buffering, respiratory compensation to vary the amount of CO2 in the bloodstream, hydrogen ion absorption by tissue proteins and bone, and renal compensation through increased excretion of dihydrogen phosphate and ammonium ions.[9] Prolonged excess of ketone bodies can overwhelm normal compensatory mechanisms, defined as acidosis if blood pH falls below 7.35.
Nutrient-sensitive neurons reacting to glucose but also to fatty acids (FAs) concentrations are present at many sites throughout the brain and may play a key role in the neural control of energy and glucose homoeostasis. Central administration of oleate, for example, inhibits food intake and glucose production in rats. This suggests that daily variations in plasma FA concentrations could be detected by the CNS as a signal that contributes to the regulation of energy balance (Moulle et al., 2014).
You want to keep your cheats to none. Be prepared, make sure you’re eating what you need to be satiated (“full”), and make sure you’re satisfied with what you’re eating. If you have to force yourself to eat something, it will never work out in the end. This is just a guideline on how you can eat on a ketogenic diet, so you’re very welcome to change up what kind of foods you eat!

Scheme of orexigenic and anorexigenic effects of ketosis. The picture is highly schematic. For more details please see the text. AMPK, AMP-activated protein kinase; CCK, cholecystokinin; GABA, gamma-aminobutyric acid; BHB, β-hydroxybutyric acid; FFA, free fatty acids; ROS, reactive oxygen species; NPY, neuropeptide Y; AgRP, agouti gene-related protein.


Though the hunger-reduction phenomenon reported during ketogenic diets is well-known, the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms remain uncertain. Ketosis has been demonstrated to exert an anorexigenic effect via cholecystokinin (CCK) release while reducing orexigenic signals e.g., via ghrelin. However, ketone bodies (KB) seem to be able to increase food intake through AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and the release and production of adiponectin. The aim of this review is to provide a summary of our current knowledge of the effects of ketogenic diet (KD) on food control in an effort to unify the apparently contradictory data into a coherent picture.
Meanwhile, the KD induces a ketosis that is not a pathological but physiological condition occurring on a daily basis. Hans Krebs was the first to use the term “physiological ketosis” despite the common view of it as oxymoron (Krebs, 1966); this physiological condition, i.e., ketosis, can be reached through fasting or through a drastically reduced carbohydrate diet (below 20 g per day). In these conditions, glucose reserves become insufficient both for normal fat oxidation via the supply of oxaloacetate in the Krebs cycle and for the supply of glucose to the central nervous system (CNS) (Felig et al., 1969; Owen et al., 1969) (Figure ​(Figure1).1). It is well-known that the CNS cannot use FAs as an energy source because free FAs cannot cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This is why the brain normally uses only glucose. After 3–4 days without carbohydrate intake (KD or fasting) the CNS must find alternative energy sources as demonstrated by Cahill et al. (Owen et al., 1967, 1969; Felig et al., 1969; Cahill, 2006). These alternative energy sources are the ketones bodies (KBs): acetoacetate (AcAc), β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB) and acetone and the process of their formation occurring principally in the mitochondrial matrix in the liver is called ketogenesis (Fukao et al., 2004). Usually the concentration of KB is very low (<0.3 mmol/L) compared to glucose (≅ 4 mmol) (Veech, 2004; Paoli et al., 2010). Since glucose and KB have a similar KM for glucose transport to the brain the KB begin to be utilized as an energy source by the CNS when they reach a concentration of about 4 mmol/L (Veech, 2004), which is close to the KM for the monocarboxylate transporter (Leino et al., 2001).

If you want to slam a protein shake post-workout, that's probably fine as long as you've got room for it in your macros. But shoot for one that is very low—like, zero—in carbohydrates. Pure isolates, such as Signature 100% Whey Isolate, are extremely low in carbohydrate. If you struggle to fit fat in during the day, toss a tablespoon of olive oil in with your shake. You won't taste it, and it gives a quick 13-14 grams of fat.
Although convincing, the bulk of evidence in relation to the inhibitory effects of ketosis on appetite is still anecdotal. Preliminary scientific reports seem to support this phenomenon, and the evidence shows that KD is more effective, at least in the short/medium-term, on fat loss (Paoli, 2014). It was demonstrated that diet-induced weight loss leads to changes in energy expenditure and in appetite-regulating hormones that facilitate weight regain and the return to initial energy homeostasis (Sumithran et al., 2011). This response to alteration of energy balance nullifies the success of many dietary approaches. It is well-known that the long-term success of a nutritional approach is defined by the amount of weight regain and is the main problem regarding the so-called weight cycling or “yo-yo” effect (Jeffery, 1996). A recent study by our group has demonstrated that a brief ketogenic period, if followed by a longer period of correct Mediterranean diet could avoid this yo-yo effect (Paoli et al., 2013). During the ketogenic period subjects reported less hunger, confirming previous studies (Nickols-Richardson et al., 2005; Johnston et al., 2006; Johnstone et al., 2008) on hunger-suppression effect of ketogenic diet. Despite these clinical findings, the mechanisms of action of ketosis on appetite reduction are still not completely understood. Clinical results are suggestive of both direct and indirect (via modifications of hunger-related hormones concentration) actions of KBs on appetite (Sumithran et al., 2013).
“When the body is in ketosis, it lowers the blood pH level, causing the blood to become acidic. To counter this, the body takes calcium away from the bones,” she says. “The increased acidity in the body also increases uric acid, which can lead to the formation of kidney stones.” Therefore, it goes without saying that due to the stress an extremely low-carb diet can have on the body, those with kidney damage shouldn’t try to achieve ketosis or attempt the ketogenic diet. (10)
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