The Entire Ketogenic Diet in One Sentence


(Larry Lustig) #1

Replace the carbohydrates you eat with fat.

That, in a nutshell is the ketogenic diet.

People seem to have an inherent need to make simple things difficult. That’s true of ketogenic eating too. Yes, there’s some nuance to eating ketogenically, but the basics of the ketogenic diet are simple and the only essential rule is the one above. Eliminate carbohydrates, replace with fat.

Almost everyone who does that will see most of the benefits of a ketogenic diet without worrying about things like precise protein levels, what the “best” fats are, whether tofu is good to eat, or whether a cashew is a nut or not.

And anyone who fails to take that single step is not going to reap the benefits of a ketogenic diet regardless of whether they adjust their protein levels precisely, carry a list of legumes around in their pocket, pee on sticks from morning to night, buy a ketone meter, or exercise.

If you want to start keto and you’re confused, do that one thing – eliminate carbohydrates from your diet and use fat as your fuel. Do it for two or three or four months. Do nothing else (except, if you’re diabetic, measuring your blood glucose frequently) You will, almost certainly, see results. Then, when you’re comfortable with the lifestyle and only if you’re interested in getting deeper into it (or if you experience a stall in losing weight) you can investigate the details.

How do you do it? Before you eat anything, take out your phone, open google, and search for “some food nutrition” (where “some food” is the food you’re going to eat). Find out how many carbohydrates are in 100 grams of that food. Think of how many grams you will eat. Do the math to figure out how many grams of carbohydrates you will eat if you eat that food. Is that number more than four or five? You don’t want to eat that food. Is it two or less? You can eat a few portions of that food each day. The founders of this group recommend that you limit carbohydrates to 20 grams per day. So, keep a running total of carbohydrates consumed and stop if you reach 20.

Of course, that’s going to take a lot of food off the table – anything that comes up with more than four or so grams of carbs in a serving. And so, you’ll be hungry. It is not enough to simply cut out those carbohydrate-rich foods. You need to replace the calories, otherwise you won’t last long eating ketogenically. So look for foods rich in fat. Again, before eating a food, google its nutrition. Does it have lots of grams of fat? That’s good. Yes, I know that’s hard to conceive of.

What about protein? Isn’t that critical? No, not yet. Whatever level of protein you’ve been eating so far has been maintaining your lean body mass. Just keep eating about as much protein as you have been. Later, when you’ve lost body fat, you can do all the complicated calculations to figure out your “optimum” protein intake (something, by the way, that experts do not agree on).

It’s simple. One rule. Results (almost) guaranteed. Ignore the noise, focus on the carbs. Do it today.

Keep calm and keto on! #SimpleKeto

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(Tom Seest) #2

Excellent, Larry.

(kimberlynwebb) #3

I love this!

(matt ) #4

Great post @larry. Simple and to the point. If people want to add complications that’s on them. This is a great plan for getting started .

(Larry Lustig) #5

Thanks @matt. In keto, as in software development, do one thing at a time and maintain a separation of concerns.


I was expecting haiku. :wink:

(Richard Morris) #7

love it.

(Susan) #8


(Louise ) #9

Great introductionary post :+1:t2:

(Clive Butler) #10

Excellent post, very copyable

(jburtonpdx) #11

plan on stealing this!!! with full credit to you of course… awesome post

(Lauren) #12

Perfect! :slight_smile:

(Matthew Standridge DDS FAGD) #13

Eat fat like your life depends on it (because it does).

I love the way you put it. The message has to be simple for it to catch on.

(Frida) #14

Thanks …this is by far the best and most simplest explanation someone has given me about keto.


I am very new to this. So thsnk you for this post. Planning on starting this tomorrow but going full steam ahead come jan 3. It’s certainly foreign and opposite of everything I’ve ever heard or done. In 2010 I lost 50 lbs. kept it off for 4 years. Then in 15 and 16 I’ve put back most of it. Im ready for this. I do have a question. I work out with weights a lot. Can I continue doing that?

(beacheidi) #16

thank you for this! i am sitting here this morning scratching my head over the 9 grams of carbs in the 1/2 avocado i had for breakfast.

(Larry Lustig) #17

No problem. There’s a weight-lifting category on the forums here and lots of people who lift. Many people who were not athletic before keto become more so after a few months and lifting seems to be one of the more common pursuits (bicycling being the other).

If you lift competitively or at the extreme limit of your ability it’s said that your performance may fall of a bit initially and it will take some months to get back to your personal best (the time your body spends becoming completely fat adapted).

(Larry Lustig) #18

Almost all fiber which many (most) people deduct to calculate net grams of carbohydrate.

(Amanda) #19

Great post!


Thank you! Simple is good. This develops a good habit to build on. Keeps my focus more singular. LCHF! Yeah!