A TL;DR checklist for entering ketosis

In case you’re in a hurry, here’s just a quick blurb of the previous post. This is the most basic information, really only as a quic OK OK I’ll stop talking:

To quickly enter ketosis:
Day 1 – eat less than 5% of your daily calories from carbs, or about 20g or less

Exercise vigorously, either high intensity aerobics or some good, heavy weight lifting. Squats, deadlifts, bench presses – large muscle group lifting for maximum glycogen depletion.

Don’t eat anything after 8.


Day 2 – again, eat less than 5% of your daily calories from carbs, again, 20g (this is the standard, for at least 2 weeks, but better for a month).

Exercise in a more even tone, medium intensity walking/jogging. You probably won’t have the energy for heavy intensity lifting, but if you do, do it all out.
By bedtime, if you’re not already in ketosis, by the morning you should be.


How are you going to maintain this? By sticking to less than 20g of carbs a day. I recommend, as do most people who have done this way of eating, to not count calories, at least the first few weeks. You’re going to be headachy, irritable, possibly even feel sick. Eating calories, and supplementing electrolytes will help.

Salt everything. Beef broth at night helps replenish some electrolytes, and it will probably help you feel better.

Magnesium is another one you’re going to probably need to supplement. Spinach has it, as does cocoa powder (the darker the better) but you’ll probably burn through magnesium quickly. If you supplement, use magnesium citrate, or take baths with epsom salts. Other kinds of magnesium have a strong laxative effect, so unless you want that, either steer clear or be sparing.

Drink a lot of water. This diet, especially in the first few weeks, makes you pee a lot. Your body stores glycogen in your muscles with water, and shedding that glycogen sheds that water.

Eat plenty of leafy greens, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, etc. Some people are crazy about limiting carbs, and such they’ll not eat veggies, but the carbs in most cruciferous and leafy veggies are so low, and so packed with fiber, that it’s not worth even worrying about.

FIBER – I completely forgot. Subtract fiber from your total carbs to get your net carbs. This is what you’ll count each day, not total.

You should eventually count calories, but the most important things to keep in mind are:
Carbs at about 25 -50g a day. Some people slow down their weight loss above 30g, but I’ve personally not stalled (I admittedly needed to lose a lot of weight, so that’s probably why) eating closer to 100g while I was weight lifting heavily, but that’s anecdotal and not typical.

Protein should be about .75 – 1g for every pound of lean body mass, or “ideal body weight”. If you’re a male between 5’10” and 6’1″, you should be eating 150-180g of protein daily (as an example). The purpose is your body will begin breaking down muscle for glucose, but if  you’re eating enough protein to stop that, you can mitigate muscle loss during times of lesser caloric intake. This is called nitrogen sparing, but the key is you don’t want to lose 100 pounds and be “skinny fat”. Lifting weights is a huge key to keeping this from happening, but so is adequate protein intake.

Fat intake is essentially the rest of your calories. Eat whatever you need to feel full. Cheese, butter, eggs, etc. Again, you’ll eventually set a caloric goal for weight loss, but in the beginning, you’ll feel loads better if you just eat until you’re not hungry and keep your carbs low. Especially if you have a lot of weight to lose, this will probably be the easiest route. I went from 450 to 300 without paying attention to anything really besides carb intake. Once I started to be able to exercise regularly, and particularly once I started lifting weights, I found that I could even eat a few more carbs a day, since my body was preferentially burning the glucose I was taking in, or converting it into glycogen and storing it in my muscles as it was depleted.

Finding your BMR – a good quick and dirty way to find your basal metabolic rate would be to take your weight and multiply by ten. So at 150 pounds, you burn about 1500 calories a day (depending on average activity level). You should reduce your caloric intake a bit from that in order to lose weight. Just make sure you’re still hitting your macros, especially protein if you’re exercising.

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