How to find your own personalized keto diet?


In 2KetoDudes episode 156, both Dr Ede and Carrie Brown mentioned that they kept dairies of their food consumption and of their physical/emotional/psychological state of mind as a way to determine what specific foods worked best for them. This sounds so easy. I for one don’t find it so.

Could someone give some practical guidance of how to find one’s personalised keto “foods list?” Food is not the only factor affecting one’s state of mind, and general feeling of well-being. Various stress factors, sleep patterns (amount and time of day/nihgt), some diseases, social relational issues, presumably are also important. Even specific genetic mutations affect how specific nutrients are handled in the body. Presumably what we absorb is heavily influenced by our gut biome(s). How does one filter out all these extraneous factors to determine the specific food (or eating) factors? When undertaking such a search, how long must one continue with each variation in order, for example, to allow for changes in the gut biome?
In my specific case, my use of the “keto diet” has put me at the low end of safe weight range for my age. I have no “reserve” for fasting, and am at an age where losing muscle mass is definitely a “probability.” Eating to satiety would seem to me to be insufficient to put on weight that includes both protein (lean muscle mass) and a fat reserve for use in a 2-3 day fast. I am trying to use the keto diet for holding both T2D and cancer growth under control. T2D so far has been “easy;” cancer control is a much greater challenge I am finding - not least because neither my “family” doctor, nor my cancer doctor know much about diet and nutrition.


Time, patience, and awareness. Mostly awareness.

I got a lot farther, faster, when I factored in mental and emotional focus via epigenetics and applied neuroplasticity. To put it simply, what you think about and how you think about it has massive repercussions on your cells. MASSIVE.

And, despite what the media would like you to believe (because it’s their job to influence you) you have utter control over your thoughts.

(Khara) #3

You’re right. There is a lot going on with ourselves at any given time that would make this very difficult. You’d have to potentially track stressors and any other factors which would make this very tedious to actually get any data from.
That said, I recently did actually start making notes in my food log. I noticed a note option was available and decided to just note some main takeaways from my days. One of them was that after eating out at a restaurant I found myself actually hungry and also fussy and irritable. There may have been other things contributing to my mood, like hormones, but I did feel my response to the meal didn’t feel right in general and so that restaurant/food is off my list. It won’t be all encompassing but it will give me little rid-bits of data that I think will help guide me.


So Khara, do you keep structured notes? I seldom eat out on my own, so that feeling irritable after leaving the restaurant may be as much a result of a disagreeable discussion as the food I ate. Sometimes this would be fairly clear, sometimes not. My partner has some habits that irritate, but she is convinced that all signs of irritability in me is because of the keto diet I try to hold to. I find it difficult to know how much the food I eat increases my irritability towards her, rather than having a short, bad night’s sleep, or the way I was woken up, or how long it was since I ate a full meal. All of them could have contributed something to my state of mind.
Individual incidents like eating out on an appointment, are one thing - determining over time, which specific foods I find “work” or don’t “work” is quite different. Both Dr Ede and Carrie Brown mention that finding out what really worked for them took weeks, and even months.


I cannot speak for you of course, but I do know that I am significantly affected by whether or not it is a raw drizzly day, or the sun is shining brightly. We may have more control over our thoughts than we normally realize, but since our thoughts and moods are directly related to chemical processes in our brains and bodies, it is not always a one-street. If you listen to various keto bloggers you will hear frequenty how the kito diet has “lifted my bain fog,” “increased my mental acuity,” “noticeably improved my problem solving ability,” and so on. Either this is hogwash, or the diet does have neurological benefits in the brain.
Having done a lot of teaching of adults I am also aware that our thought patterns, and “logic,” are also influenced a lot more than we realize by subconscious assumptions and memories that have been shaped over many many years. But that is another and different story.
You mention “awareness.” So do you have any tips on things that I should become aware of, take special cognisance of? There are many things that people are not aware of before they start looking. “Seeing is believing” or “believing is seeing?”

(Khara) #6

Not really structured, no. It’s more of just a big takeaway for the day. Struggling or felt great. That particular day, my lunch went well, the person I was with and conversation was fine. The weather was even nice and sunny and uplifting. A couple hours later I was hungry and irritable like a blood sugar drop. Not what I normally experience with Keto. With starting to log food again, that’s already taking up time in my day and so I don’t really want to add more time with structured notes. I do like a general note of how I feel because I forget as time goes by and being able to look back helps me remember my progress and also what might trigger problems.


Our thoughts are chemical processes in our brains and bodies. Mind blown, pun intended.

Never said it didn’t. I said my own health skyrocketed when I applied focused thought techniques. As a matter of fact, I made a career out of it.

But this is a physically-focused forum, and I get that, so I’ll leave it there. If you resonate with it, you’ll move towards it naturally, no worries.


How frequently are you doing these 3 day fasts? A few a year shouldn’t pose much of a problem even at a relatively low bodyweight.


Safi, I’m not doing them frequently at all. For the following reasons:

Lost 15 kg in four weeks eating to satiety. I was comparatively physically active then, and still am. Have tried to stay Keto and put on weight for almost 6 months and have managed 1 kg. gain. I’m very sure that a 3 day fast would lose me that kilo and more if I did it now. My dietician (!) is urging me to snack a lot, to eat more carbs, and a LOT more protein.

In the keto comunity a greater part of the conversation seems to be on weight loss (and I have nothing against that), but I did not join the crusade to lose weight - I was at the “right” weight for my height and age. IMHO, there is too little said about, too little advice given on, both the long term maintenance of healthy (physical as well as mental) condition, and for older people (I am over 70).


It’s not a huge gain I’ll grant you but at least your weight has stabilised :slightly_smiling_face: We do generally need more protein as we age so maybe your dietician is on to something there. FWIW I gained 1.5kg by upping my protein & weightlifting but I’m not being treated for cancer & I don’t fast.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #11

I’m certainly not suggesting you go carb crazy but have you considered increasing your carb allowance with healthier carby options such as more veggies, occasional fruit, nuts? You may be able to store some fat but still not destroy your insulin response mechanisms.

I will say I figured out what was right for me by accident. I did Atkins years ago and I thrived and lost weight with a higher protein diet. I also kept a very detailed food journal (ate this, felt this way). This time around I took particular note to headaches after I ate eggs for days on end. I know I get a certain amount of time with them before I start to feel bad so I’m still working this out.

I just read a book about diet recommendations based on blood type. I’m not going to adhere to it necessarily but I have a blood cancer so it was interesting reading. (It said my blood type does best on higher protein diets, so whadaya know!) But it also said not to consume coffee, cream or pork, which are staples in my diet and I feel fine having them.

I would suggest you consider what your goals are and research food that supports those goals and then fit them into the ketogenic diet. Start with a plan, write it all down, tweak as needed, keep great notes. You’ll eventually settle into a way that’s tailored to you.

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #12

One of the benefits of a ketogenic diet is better serotonin management in the brain. I have no idea of what science underlies this assertion, but I have seen a number of posts on these forums about people who have been able to do without their antidepressant on keto.

What I learned from Lustig’s Hacking of the American Mind is that serotonin is made from tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids. Unfortunately serotonin cannot cross the blood-brain barrier and so needs to be made in the brain from tryptophan that has made its way there. And unfortunately, there are so many uses for serotonin in the rest of the body that it is something of a matter of chance how much tryptophan will actually make it to the brain.

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #13

Not optimal for someone with a glucose-hungry cancer, though.

(Erin Macfarland ) #14

No I strongly disagree with you, fasting for longer periods at a low weight or more specifically a low body fat percentage can do more harm than good. I think there is too much emphasis on fasting amongst people doing keto and it’s assumed anyone can fast for two or three days without any problems. But that is not the case.

(Full Metal KETO AF) #15

Mohembo I hope you find the solution you’re looking for. As you said you’re not here for the weight loss, it’s a medical issue. From some things that I have retained from reading, treatment for epilepsy and cancer with ketosis sometimes involves striving for much higher ketone levels than folks who are here for other reasons like weight loss, bodybuilding, or even diabetes. It’s worth looking into a supervised version of keto for cancer treatment if that’s the goal. At least I would be looking into that if it were in the budget. If not reading is mostly free and always worth some personal research. :cowboy_hat_face:


Thanks, PetaMarie, for those constructive ideas.
To some extent this is what I have been doing. One of my big blockages is that I really DO NOT LIKE to cook or generally prepare food. Am very clumsy in the kitchen.


Thanks Emacfarland.
This is my dilemna - because there are positive effects of fasting in the struggle against cancer. But the lack of any fat buffer that I am trying to address. I will definitely not do it, untill I’ve put on a few more kilos.


I agree there is a lot unnecessary of emphasis on fasting for weight loss but the OP is hoping to do it for therapeutic reasons which is an entirely different issue. I was merely pointing out that it may be possible to do fewer fasts & still achieve the therapeutic benefits.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #19

Paul, I agree with you on this, but OP is concerned about being underweight which can also have negative consequences when facing cancer treatment. Folks with more reserves have better outcomes when being treated for cancer. It’s a double edged sword.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #20

I don’t like to cook either. Lately I’ve been approaching it as a new hobby or skill I feel I should have mastered by now (my mother is an excellent cook) and also I’m interested in fueling my body with better alternatives to the quick, cold meals I’ve been eating.

I started with a breakfast casserole and brisket and followed the directions on the label. It turned out well (from someone who typically ruins beef). Maybe give one new item a week a try. It’s kind of fun, I’m finding.