Ketogenic diets have become popular in recent decades for their demonstrated positive effects on weight loss (Bueno et al., 2013), though the precise mechanism of action is not fully understood (Paoli, 2014). In fact there is contradictory data about KD in mice and rats. In fact, there are contradictory data about KD in mice and rats. For example whilst a huge amount of data confirm that KD in humans is effective in weight reduction, improving lipidemia and glucose tolerance (Bueno et al., 2013), it has been recently demonstrated that a long-term KD (22 weeks) caused dyslipidemia, a pro-inflammatory state, hepatic steatosis, glucose intolerance and a reduction in beta and alpha cell mass, all without weight loss in mice (Ellenbroek et al., 2014). Two considerations should be made: (1) the induction of ketosis and the response to ketosis in humans and mice are quite different and (2) mice and humans have different life spans, and results obtained in mice after several weeks on the diet can correspond to months on the diet in humans (Demetrius, 2005, 2006).
Hi Barb, That can definitely be it. Losing when you are close to goal can be more difficult. It could also be that your body’s healthy weight is a little higher than what you’d like – which doesn’t mean you can’t lose, but makes it more difficult. If just eating Keto foods isn’t working, double check the macros for your weight and see if the amount you’re eating needs to be adjusted. You’ll find more help and support in our support group here.
It is known that different dietary components exert some effects on gut microbiome composition, mainly in relation to obesity and inflammatory states. In general, a Mediterranean diet has a positive effect while a high-protein diet seems to have detrimental effects due to putrefaction phenomena (Lopez-Legarrea et al., 2014; Flint et al., 2015). Few data are available at this time about the effects of KD on gut microbiota. For example, a study by Crawford et al. (2009) investigated the regulation of myocardial ketone body metabolism by the gut microbiota and demonstrated that, during fasting, the presence of gut microbiota improved the supply of ketone bodies to the heart where KBs were oxidized. In the absence of a microbiota, low levels of KB was associated with a related increase in glucose utilization, but heart weight was still significantly reduced. The myocardial-mass reduction was completely reversed in germ-free mice feeded with a ketogenic diet. Regarding food control we can hypothesize that the particular metabolic state of ketosis could provide some benefit to weight and food control via synergic actions between butyrate production by gut bacteria and circulating high blood ketones (Sanz et al., 2015).
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:

Hi Kelly, All packaged foods will have a nutrition label that list the macros per serving, including fat, protein and cabrohydrates. Net carbs, which is what most people look at for low carb and keto, are total carbs (the amount on the label) minus fiber and sugar alcohols, as explained in the article above. I have a low carb food list here that gives you a full list of all the foods you can eat, and the net carbs in each. You can also sign up above to be notified about the meal plans, which are a great way to get started.

Yvette, Oh no, sorry to hear about the chicken not being cooked! Was the chicken frozen to start with? If so, be sure to add 5 minutes to your Instant Pot cooking time (on manual high pressure). When we tested this, we literally just put everything into the IP (nestled down into the liquid, of course), and let it do its thing. The cream cheese softened, and when it was done cooking we removed the chicken to shred it, and the sauce stirred together nicely.
Wow!! This was sooo good! Tried another crack chicken recipe with a ranch packet and had to throw away the leftovers…no one would eat them. This, however is much better!! Didn’t change recipe other than use pre cooked bacon that I cut up. Probably would be better with the grease involved, however, this is AWESOME!! Also, my chicken tenders were still 3/4 frozen and I didn’t adjust time. They were just fine. Thanks for sharing!! A def do over say myself, hubby, and kids!!!

I have made this recipe several times now and my family loves it! Hubby is doing a weightloss program and this is really a treat for him. Freeze in popsicle molds and Kids love it too. I make them chocolate and they taste like fudgesicles. But the last two times its really grainy with the coconut fats in the milk after blending and freezing. The first few times it was perfect.Im pretty sure i used the same kind of coconut milk. Any idea what might be happening?? Thank you
As a diabetic and lactose intolerant, this is the only way I can eat ice cream. I add unsweetened cocoa and extra aspartame to make a wonderful chocolate ice cream, then I add chopped up bananas or 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract – yum! Or instead of chocolate, I add lemon and peppermint extracts, together. Great! For the serious chocoholics, melt some dark chocolate in the microwave and add that to the unsweetened cocoa – incredible!

KBs can cross the BBB but not in a homogenous manner. For example, past experiments have demonstrated that BHB utilization is different in various brain areas (Hawkins and Biebuyck, 1979). Areas without BBB, hypothalamic regions and the lower cortical layers have a higher BHB metabolism compared to the lower one of the basal ganglia (Hawkins and Biebuyck, 1979). Also the metabolic meaning of the three KBs is different: while the main KB produced in the liver is AcAc, the primary circulating ketone is BHB. The third one, acetone, is produced by spontaneous decarboxylation of AcAc, and it is the cause of the classic “fruity breath.” Acetone does not have any metabolic functions, but it can be used as a clinical diagnostic marker. BHB acid is not, strictly speaking, a KB because the ketone moiety has been reduced to a hydroxyl group. Under normal conditions the production of free AcAc is negligible and this compound, transported via the blood stream, is easily metabolized by various tissues including skeletal muscles and the heart. In conditions of overproduction, AcAc accumulates above normal levels and a part is converted to the other two KBs. The presence of KBs in the blood and their elimination via urine causes ketonemia and ketonuria. Apart from being the fundamental energy supply for CNS, glucose is necessary for the replenishment of the quota of oxaloacetate, since this intermediate of the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) is labile at body temperature and cannot be accumulated in the mitochondrial matrix. Hence it is necessary to refurnish the TCA with oxaloacetate via the anaplerotic cycle that derives it from glucose through ATP dependent carboxylation of pyruvic acid by pyruvate carboxylase (Jitrapakdee et al., 2006). This pathway is the only way to create oxaloacetate in mammals. Once produced by the liver, KBs are used by tissues as a source of energy (Fukao et al., 2004; Veech, 2004; McCue, 2010): initially BHB is converted back to AcAc that is subsequently transformed into Acetoacetyl-CoA that undergoes a reaction producing two molecules of Acetyl-CoA to be used in the Krebs cycle (Figure ​(Figure22).

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.
Gina, We recommend cooking the chicken thighs first, pulling the chicken meat off, and then combining it with everything else. 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!
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.

Positive science on ketosis coupled with personal successes passed by word-of-mouth have driven more people to explore the ketogenic diet, says Volek. More recently, the keto diet hints at having a promising therapeutic role in cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Research is still early in many areas, but Volek suspects there will more definitive answers on the wider scope of the diet’s benefits within the next decade.

But even if you’re not trying to lose weight, the keto meal plans might appeal to you. By limiting sugars and processed grains, you lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Eating an array of heart-healthy fats, like nuts, olive oil and fish, can decrease your risk of heart disease. And while some people stick to a super strict keto diet, with 75 percent of their diet coming from fat, 20 percent from protein and just five from carbs, even a less intense, modified version can help you reap the keto diet’s benefits.
We’re going full on fats with breakfast, just like we did last week. This time we’ll double the amount of ketoproof coffee (or tea) we drink, meaning we double the amount of coconut oil, butter, and heavy cream. It should come to quite a lot of calories, and should definitely keep us full all the way to dinner. Remember to continue drinking water like a fiend to make sure you’re staying hydrated.
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).
Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when ketone levels become too high and poison the body. This condition is more common in people with type 1 diabetes because their bodies don’t make insulin. In the event that their ketone level rises, their bodies are unable to produce insulin to slow down this production. If left untreated, this condition can lead to a diabetic coma or death.
Keep up electrolytes. The major electrolytes in our bodies are sodium, potassium and magnesium. Because a low carb diet (especially a keto diet!) reduces the amount of water you store, this can flush out electrolytes and make you feel sick (called “keto flu”). This is temporary, but you can avoid or eliminate it by salting your food liberally, drinking broth (especially bone broth), and eating pickled vegetables. Some people also choose to take supplements for electrolytes, but it’s best to first consult a doctor that understands and supports keto/low carb lifestyles.
You simply stir everything together, and then either churn it in an ice cream maker OR freeze the mixture in ice cube trays (which can be purchased for as little as 2 dollars at most grocery stores or home stores such as Bed Bath Beyond). Then blend the frozen ice cubes in a Vitamix or thaw enough to blend in a food processor or regular blender. I like to scoop it out with an ice cream scoop for that authentic ice cream shape.
Many questions about the role of such an important intermediate of lipid metabolism remains unanswered, e.g., the role of BHB in food control. For example, whether or not BHB could act as a satiety signal in the brain, considering its role in energy supply to CNS. We have to consider that the effects of KBs on hunger reduction can only be seen after many days following fasting or KD initiation (Paoli et al., 2010); this is consistent with the abovementioned threshold of brain utilization of KB as an energy source, i.e., 4 mmol/L (Veech, 2004), which is close to the Km for the monocarboxylate transporter (Leino et al., 2001). During the first days of fasting or KD there is a rise of BHB and adiponectin concentrations (Halberg et al., 2005). One of the putative causes of hunger in starved humans may be due—together with other causes—to adiponectin. When adiponectin binds to its receptor AdipoR1, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is phosphorylated in the ARC of the hypothalamus (Valassi et al., 2008). The increase of AMPK activity in the hypothalamus may increase food intake and hepatic glucose output in mice while the decrease seems to reduce food intake (Zhang et al., 2009). KDs can also act similarly to a caloric restriction on AMPK (Newman and Verdin, 2014). Interestingly, AMPK seems to have opposing actions on the liver, muscle tissues and the brain: in liver and muscle AMPK activation increases FA oxidation by decreasing malonyl-CoA concentrations (Malonyl-CoA is the first intermediate in the lipogenic pathway and is also an inhibitor of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT-1). CPT-1 activity can be limiting for FA oxidation), through the inactivation of the acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (ACC1). AMPK can also increase the activity of malonyl-CoA decarboxylase (MCD), which enhances the decrease of malonyl-CoA levels.
You've likely heard horror stories of what competitors feel like when they cut carbs low, or when the average bro talks about going keto. However, the odds are that those people were not actually in nutritional ketosis, or more importantly, following a well-formulated ketogenic diet. Yes, you may experience some fogginess and discomfort, but it doesn't have to be intense if you handle it right.
Note: I do all of my food shopping at a bulk / warehouse store to get consistent low prices.  Specifically, I go to BJ’s.  All of the above can be bought in bulk in one trip for not too much money.  Also, certain items last more than a week.  For example I normally buy 5 dozen eggs in one package which lasts multiple weeks.  Same with bacon, cream, etc. That’s it folks!  Let me know what you think or if I forgot anything.  I’ll try and post another one soon! Make sure to like Caveman Keto on Facebook for more updates.  If you try out this meal plan, take a pic of your prepared food and link it in the comments, here’s mine:
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Schele E., Grahnemo L., Anesten F., Hallen A., Backhed F., Jansson J. O. (2013). The gut microbiota reduces leptin sensitivity and the expression of the obesity-suppressing neuropeptides proglucagon (Gcg) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) in the central nervous system. Endocrinology 154, 3643–3651. 10.1210/en.2012-2151 [PubMed] [CrossRef]
I read through most of the comments and deglazed the instant pot after cooking the bacon, laid the chicken breasts in the pot so there was no stacking, cut softened cream cheese into cubes and dropped them in, sprinkled seasonings over everything. After pressure cooking for 15 minutes, I did the manual release (smelled so good), took off the lid, and…the chicken isn’t even close to being cooked all the way through! It wasn’t frozen. What happened?
The trick here is not only to avoid all obvious sourced of carbohydrate (sweets, bread, spaghetti, rice, potatoes), but also to be careful with your protein intake. If you eat large amounts of meat, eggs and the like, the excess protein will converted into glucose in the body. Large amounts of protein can also raise your insulin levels somewhat. This compromises optimal ketosis.

Brandi currently lives in Kansas City, Missouri and is a self-taught cook and fitness enthusiast. She has focused on healthy recipe development and exercise for 5+ years after reaching a fitness plateau and struggling to lose weight and maintain body goals. Brandi’s goal is to share recipes and workouts that support a consistently healthy lifestyle.

I get many questions about intermittent fasting, the health benefits, the weight loss benefits, and the like. People normally use intermittent fasting for both the energy and mental clarity it can offer. But it’s not just good for that. It can offer breakthroughs of plateaus and even benefits in nutrient uptake in exercise. We go more in depth to intermittent fasting in Week 3 and 4, so keep your eyes peeled!