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The only requirement for a ketogenic diet is eating low carbohydrate. We recommend an upper limit of 20 g/day. This is virtually guaranteed to lower your serum glucose, and hence your serum insulin, to ketogenic levels. We also recommend a moderate protein intake, 1.0-1.5 g/kg of lean body mass/day, for a number of reasons. You will probably want to eat at the top of that range. Some experts recommend going as high as 2.0 g/kg/day.
We do not recommend eating to a caloric target, because this can cause metabolic issues if the amount is not sufficient. Instead we recommend, in addition to the low carbohydrate and moderate protein, an amount of dietary fat that satisfies your hunger. This may be a lot of food at first, but people with excess fat to shed generally find that their appetite quickly moderates to a level that allows both the dietary and the excess fat to be metabolised.
There is a period of fat adaptation, during which the muscle mitochondria heal, and certain cellular pathways are reactivated. You may notice a drop in performance during this adaptation period. Fear not, it will return. Endurance generally returns to pre-keto levels or better within six to eight weeks. Explosive power takes longer, but by two years into the diet, the glycogen of a ketoadapted athlete is identical to the glycogen of a carb-burning athlete. My belief is that the glycogen probably returns to normal much sooner than two years, but that’s the only data we have at the moment. You may need to moderate your exercise until fully fat-adapted; this is perfectly normal.
I wouldn’t recommend fasting during fat adaptation. Certainly, if you try it and there’s a problem, stop. Many people find themselves fasting almost by accident, and if you get to that point, then certainly it’s fine to fast.
Fat loss is never a linear process. You are probably close enough to what your body thinks an ideal composition for the fat to come off slowly, so don’t get impatient. The primary benefits of a ketogenic diet are metabolic, resulting from low serum glucose and low serum insulin. Fat loss is more in the nature of a side effect. Moreover, it won’t happen on insufficient calories, which is why we recommend eating to satiety. But wait until fat adaptation to judge whether this way of eating is for you or not. That’s my recommendation, anyway.
Give this a shot for about six months. It generally takes that long for blood work to look reasonable. If you have problems along the way, we are here to help.