Stay on “The Ketogenic Diet” until you are keto-adapted. After that, commit to an anticancer ketogenic LIFESTYLE for a LIFETIME!
The first weeks and months are the most challenging. Keto-adaptation happens relatively quickly, usually within the first few weeks or months. However, your mindset may not make that rapid a
shift. Research tells us that it takes several months to develop new habits.
In my experience, people often need 4-6 months to be fully up to speed with a ketogenic plan. Of course, relief from symptoms or an AMAZING scan will strengthen your motivation and resolve!
Download Top Ketogenic Diet eBook. Click here to download it.
Once you’re keto-adapted, play with the plan a bit to see if minor variations impact your glucose/ketone numbers to any significant degree. Eat out when the mood strikes you, knowing that you can now sidestep the common food traps.
View your plan as a flexible anticancer ketogenic lifestyle. That mindset allows you the freedom to grow and change, making better choices and more informed decisions as you continue on your journey. I am NOT suggesting that you allow non-keto foods to sneak back into your ketogenic diet or to take extended keto holidays. Instead, you might switch briefly to a modified Atkins or low glycemic index plan while continuing to test your glucose and ketones.
You’ll derive the greatest long-term benefits if you remain true to the basics:
- No grains, sugars, or starchy vegetables
- Only small amounts of berries and certain low-glycemic fruits
- Keep protein portions limited
- Limit dairy proteins to condiment-sized portions
- ALWAYS include LOTS of fats and oils!
Once you are keto-adapted, you may not be hungry when you first wake up. You also might be tired of eggs! Experiment with some new ways to start your day.
- Enjoy a cup of decaf (or coffee) with cream, unsalted butter, coconut oil, or MCT. That may be all you need for several hours. If not, what else can you have? A keto muffin? Half of an avocado?
- Another light choice: 2 TBS of chilled European butter rolled in Himalayan sea salt. (Thank you, Trudy, for sharing your treat!)
- My personal favorite: 1 TBS of almond butter mixed with 2 tsp of coconut oil spread on 4 very thin slices of apple. If I’m taking my usual 1 hour hike, I also eat an ounce of cheddar.
Look back over your first month on the ketogenic diet.
- Recall the vegetables you used most often. Did you keep your favorites on hand? Did you step out of your comfort zone? If not, what other are you willing to try?
- How do you currently prepare them? If you steam them, you may need to get creative in order to work in enough fat. Use high-fat sauces or dressings. Some veggies, such as spaghetti squash and
mashed cauliflower, can hold quite a bit of butter or oil.
- You can make dips and sauces using sour cream, mayo, extra virgin olive oil, snipped herbs and your choice of seasonings.
- If you like your veggies sautéed, use lard instead of olive oil. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on them.
- Have you tried fermenting vegetables (e.g., sauerkraut or kimchi)? Fermenting lowers the glucose content. Learn more about it online.
- What are you eating for protein? How do you prepare it? You can put a stir fry meal on the table within minutes if you start with leftovers and heat them in bacon grease or coconut oil. Again,
seasonings make a huge difference! Add curry for an Asian taste or spice it up with hot sauce for a Mexican meal.
- Turn your leftover meats into various salads by dicing them up and mixing in some mayo. These salads travel well to work or school and don’t need reheating.
- Take some weekend time to batch favorite meals or snacks. Having a few ready meals makes it easier to deal with tight work days.
Rotate your foods.
Eating the same foods every day for weeks on end will dull your palate. In some cases, you might even develop intolerances.
- Mix it up by varying your cooking methods (e.g., slow cooker vs. roasted).
- Experiment with new foods in making soups and salads. For example, add walnuts and vinaigrette to your Caesar salad.
- Check out the Keto Recipes on my blog.
Once you are keto-adapted AND at the lower end of normal weight, you may see a rise in fasting blood glucose. Possibilities include:
- You make less insulin because your body is mostly in “fat-burning mode”. The glucose your body makes as a normal response to your pre-dawn rise in cortisol stays in circulation longer as it is not high enough to provoke an insulin spike. Ignore your first reading of the day and focus on your post-meal number. If they remain low and steady, no worries here!
- In any case, you may want to engage in some gentle exercise to allow that AM glucose to be taken up by your muscles. Test before you start moving and again when you finish. If your glucose level
drops, that’s a good indication that your muscle tissue is NOT insulin resistant.
- Of course, you MAY be insulin resistant. If so, you are likely to have other metabolic markers of pre-diabetes. Discuss this possibility with your healthcare practitioner.
Where do you go from here? That’s up to you.
Your personal data is a treasure trove of information that can guide you to the next point in your journey. Take time to review:
- Food records
- Data on glucose/ketone levels
- Changes in weight
- Notes on how you’re feeling now compared to pre-diet
- Notes on what actions worked to help you reduce stress
- Changes in clinical symptoms or lab results
- Changes noted in scans taken 6-8 weeks after reaching ketosis
- Reflection on what has worked and what remains challenging. You can choose to keep the status quo or test some o changes. Remember, you don’t need a break from this lifestyle. Instead, make
peace with what you are doing and find ways to make it your own!