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How Many Carbs Can You Have On The Keto Diet

Are Ketones Really Good For You

How many carbs should you target? â Keto and Low-carb diets

What is ketosis?: Ketosis is a state of the body in which there are no carbohydrates in the bloodstream and lots of ketones in the blood. Ketosis is the metabolic state the body enters when you are on a low carbohydrate diet, such as the keto diet.: What are ketones?: Ketones are a source of energy for the brain. When the body uses ketones instead of glucose , the brain is able to obtain energy more efficiently and in a cleaner manner.: Are Ketones Good For You?: Yes, ketones are good for you! They are:-A potent metabolic fuel source-An alternative fuel source to glucose-A beneficial by-product of ketogenic diets-An essential nutrient and building block of energy

How Many Carbs Can You Have On A Keto Diet

While the keto diet is incredibly popular nowadays, many people dont fully understand how the diet works. The primary goal of the keto diet is to induce the body into ketosis, which helps break down stored fats, which, in turn, aids in weight loss. However, to induce ketosis, you need to starve your body of carbs so that it does not have enough quick energy sources. That brings forth the question, how much carbs is too much? However, the perfect amount of carbs that each person requires daily varies depending on several factors. So, how many carbs can you have on a keto diet? Read on to find out everything you need to know about carb intake while on a keto diet!

Supporting Your Fitness Needs

In addition to using your daily calorie goal, how active you are and the level of intensity you train at can impact your ability to utilize carbs efficiently.

Burning fat for fuel yields an increase in ketones – an efficient energy source that can replace sugars for nearly all of your daily needs. However, ketone bodies likely dont support high-intensity training and explosive movements the same way glucose does.

Thus, if you are working out at higher intensities, regularly, you may be able to increase your carb intake a bit around your workouts without messing with your keto diet.

Bottom line: The more active you are, the more carbs you can utilize efficiently.

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What Happens To Your Body Before Entering Ketosis

For your body to adapt to carbohydrate restriction, it must make many changes from the cellular level to the hormonal level. To get a better understanding of what happens, lets break the path to ketosis into phases.

Phase 1 The Glycogen Depletion Phase 6 to 24 hours after starting the ketogenic diet

During this phase, most energy is provided by glycogen. Due to the lack of dietary carbohydrates, insulin levels start dropping, causing more water and sodium to lost in the urine than usual. Some people may experience mild dehydration symptoms like dizziness and fatigue.

Phase 2 The Gluconeogenic Phase ~2 to 10 days on the ketogenic diet

During this phase, glycogen is depleted, and gluconeogenesis takes over to provide the body with energy. At this point, so much water and sodium are lost that many people experience flu-like symptoms if they dont replenish their fluids and minerals. The window of time for this phase is so broad because it depends on many genetic and lifestyle factors.

Phase 3 The Ketosis Phase ~3 to 10 days on the ketogenic diet

This phase is the phase you want to be in on the ketogenic diet. It is characterized by a decrease in protein breakdown for energy and an increase in fat and ketone use. During this phase, ketones can supply up to 50% of your basal energy requirements and 70% of your brains energy needs. Depending on many genetic and lifestyle factors, it may take you anywhere from 3 to 10 days to get to this phase.

Testing Your Carb Limit

Daily Carbs On Keto. Keto Chicken Enchilada Recipe
  • Once youve been on the keto diet for around three months, you can now start to analyze how many carbs you can have on the keto diet.
  • This helps you understand whether your body can stay in ketosis after taking in a higher amount of carbs.
  • However, you need to test, analyze, and find your carb limit very methodically so that your body isnt kicked out of ketosis.
  • The best way to do that is by slowly increasing your carb intake and continually checking your ketone levels using a blood test kit.
  • You need to stop as soon as your results start getting close to falling outside the optimal ketosis range.
  • While increasing your carb intake, do it in small increments of 5 grams of net carb a day.
  • Keep it at that level for 3 days and monitor your ketone levels.
  • In case your levels still fall in the optimum range, up your intake by another 3 grams of net carbs.
  • However, in case your levels start to drop off, go back to your original plan and stick to it to prevent your body from exiting ketosis.
  • The best time to test your blood so that you get the most precise result would be right before you eat or 2 hours after a meal. Make sure you are consistent with your testing times so that you get reliable results.

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Eating 2050 Grams Per Day

This is where the low carb diet has bigger effects on metabolism. This is a possible range for people who want to lose weight fast, or have metabolic problems, obesity, or diabetes.

When eating less than 50 grams per day, the body will go into ketosis, supplying energy for the brain via so-called ketone bodies. This is likely to dampen your appetite and cause you to lose weight automatically.

Carbs you can eat include:

  • some berries, maybe with whipped cream
  • trace carbs from other foods, like avocados, nuts, and seeds

Be aware that a low carb diet doesnt mean its a no-carb diet. Theres room for plenty of low carb vegetables.

What Is The Keto Diet Used For

At first, the keto diet was primarily used as a way to help people with seizures. Over time, experts applied the benefits to several other health conditions, including:

  • Cognitive and memory improvement

The keto diet has been highly effective for certain conditions, especially type 2 diabetes. One study looked at the before-and-after keto diet results for 349 adults with type 2 diabetes over a period of 1 year. It reversed diabetes in about 60% of the participants. The keto diet also helped many of those in the study to lower their dependence on prescription insulin drugs.

If you have a health condition, it’s best to talk to your doctor before you start the keto diet.

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How Much Weight Can You Lose On The Keto Diet

Theres no doubt that a ketogenic diet may help spur weight loss and anecdotal reports of drastic transformations are easy to find. I have clients who have lost a significant amount of weight on a keto diet, but they were obese when starting and had quite a bit of fat to lose. These individuals have fairly drastic body transformations, says Keatley.

In a study published in February 2017 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, 20 people with obesity who followed a very low calorie keto diet for four months lost an average of 44 pounds , mainly from body and visceral fat. In another study published in February 2017, in Nutrition Metabolism, normal-weight adults who followed a non-energy restricted keto diet for six weeks lost about 4 lb in both fat and lean body mass.

But long-term studies show that theres not much of a difference in weight loss between keto and other diets. One meta-analysis published in October 2013 in the BMJ compared adults on a ketogenic diet with those on a conventional low-fat diet. After at least a year, those on the keto diet lost an additional two pounds compared with the group who slashed fat. The bottom line is that diets, including keto, may help you lose the same amount of weight in the long run. With that news, know that there may be a better option out there for you, says Keatley.

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Starchy Vegetables And Sugary Fruit

How many carbs should you eat to stay in ketosis?

Since carbohydrates and sugar must be restricted, both of these naturally occurring sources must be limited in tight moderation to maintain ketosis. Starchy vegetables contain more carbohydrates than others, namely corn, potatoes, beets and yams, among others. On the other hand, some fruits are inherently sweet and can impede your progress towards ketosis you’ll need to cut bananas, mangos, pears, and raisins altogether.

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How Many Carbs To Get Into And Stay In Ketosis

A comprehensive study conducted in 2018 confirmed that a person could consume up to 50 grams of carbs per day while remaining in ketosis. The study also confirmed that a female should limit daily carbs to 40 grams maximum per day to stay in ketosis.

  • Standard ketogenic diet: 70% of your intake is from fat, with 20% from proteins, and 10% only carbohydrates.
  • Cyclical ketogenic diet: an ongoing cycle of 5 low carbohydrates days followed by 2 high carbohydrate dates
  • Targeted ketogenic diet: You can eat more carbohydrates around the time you complete high intensity workouts.
  • High protein ketogenic diet: 60% of your intake is from fat, with 35% from proteins, and only 5% from carbohydrates.

Your Keto Carb Limit: Which Carbs Are Best

If youre eating just 25-50 grams of carbs per day, youll want to make those carbs count.

Carbohydrates include sugar, starch, and dietary fiber. Foods rich in carbs include dairy products, grains such as bread, white rice, quinoa, and starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and green, leafy vegetables.

When it comes to good carbs and bad carbs, keto takes a different approach than most nutritionists. The Standard American Diet encourages people to eat complex carbohydrates, such as those found in lentils, beans, brown rice, whole grains, and starchy vegetables.

They tell people to veer away from simple sugars found in white rice, white bread, and processed snack foods, as most of the nutrition has been stripped away.

Most foods considered healthy carbs by USDA dietetics are eliminated on keto, as they spike your insulin levels .

A keto meal plan consists of carbs that rank low on the glycemic index a tool measuring how much a particular food raises blood sugar levels.

On keto, youll consume whole foods that rank very low on the glycemic index , including green, leafy veggies, healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and MCT oil, and high-quality protein.

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How Many Carbs On Keto Varies From Person To Person

On a ketogenic diet, your goal is to enter the fat-burning state known as ketosis. To do this, youll eat a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, where your daily carb intake hovers between 25-50 grams.

That said, carb consumption will vary from person to person. Depending on genetics, body composition, and exercise routine, your carb intake may be higher or lower than the average.

To get an accurate estimate of your individual macro guidelines, you can either use the Perfect Keto Macro Calculator or continuously test your ketone levels.

Now that you how many carbs on keto you should consume based on your calorie intake, the rest is up to you. View the Perfect Keto recipe library for plenty of low-carb recipe ideas, tips, and tricks to help you enter ketosis.

What Does 30 Grams Of Carbs Look Like

What is the Keto Food Pyramid and why does it matter?

As stated earlier, most keto dieters consume between 25-50 grams of carbs per day when following a 2,000-calorie diet. For most people, the average seems to be 30 grams of net carbs per day. But what do 30 grams of carbs actually look like?

Below, youll find examples of how to hit your 30-gram carb limit on keto both in healthy and not-so-healthy ways.

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Dark Chocolate And Cocoa Powder

Check the label on these, as the amount of carbs depends on the type and how much you consume. Cocoa has been called a “superfruit” because it is rich in antioxidants, and dark chocolate contains flavanols, which may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and keeping arteries healthy.

How Many Carbs On Keto Should You Be Eating What The Science Says


How many carbs can you have on keto? You may have heard 20 grams as the go-to number for achieving ketosis, but as it turns out the ideal carb intake can look different for everyone. Your exact need is more closely related to your overall calorie goal, body weight, metabolic efficiency, and activity level. Meaning, you may be able to eat more or less than you think!

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Will The Keto Diet Give Me Kidney Stones

The development of kidney stones is certainly a concern if youre switching to a diet in which youre eating more protein. Consuming high levels of red meat and not drinking a lot of water may make stones more likely, says Whitmire. She adds that on a keto diet, you need to stay hydrated and replenish electrolytes . If not, this can increase your risk of side effects like stones, she says. Past research gives a small glimpse into how likely stones may be. A study published in the Journal of Child Neurology on children using the keto diet to control epilepsy found that about 1 in 15 developed kidney stones, though supplements of oral potassium citrate reduced this risk. Talk to your doctor if you have risk factors, like a family or personal history of stones, about any precautions you should take when on the keto diet.

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How Many Carbs To Consume On The Keto Diet

How Many Carbs Can You Eat on Keto?

The keto diet allows about 20-50 grams of carbs per day . The complete breakdown of the macros is 70-80% fat from total daily calories, 10-20% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrate.

But there are several versions of the keto diet with variations in the carb content. To make it a true success, learn how to calculate your net carbohydrate intake. While 20-50 grams of carbs seem enough, given the high-carb lifestyle most of us are used to, the keto diet can seem restrictive in the initial stages. Hence, it is important to learn how to calculate your net carbs to consume nutritious and fiber-rich foods while following a low-carb diet.

Also, it is important to know whether your body can achieve ketosis at 20, 30, 40, or 50 grams of carbs. Usually, it differs from person to person. Why? Scroll down to find the answer.

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How Stress Impairs Ketosis And Decreases Your Keto Carb Limit

Stress increases the levels of stress hormones like cortisol in the blood. It doesnt matter where the stress comes from , it all causes the same hormonal response.

One of the hormones that is released in response to stress is cortisol. Cortisol increases the activity of gluconeogenesis to raise blood sugar levels, while simultaneously decreasing insulin sensitivity. This combination of actions causes more blood sugar to hang out in the blood for longer periods of time, which shuts down the bodys need to produce ketones.

Cortisol, however, is not the enemy. It provides us with the boost of energy we need to start the day and power through exercise and stressful situations. Problems will only arise when the body rarely stops secreting cortisol because the mind is always stressing about something.

Not sure if stress is a problem for you? Heres a list of common stressors that can keep you from ketosis:

  • Exercising too much
  • Beating yourself up for past mistakes
  • Overwhelming yourself with work and never taking breaks

As these and other stressors accumulate in your life, your stress hormones remain elevated throughout the day. This limits your ability to produce ketones, lose fat, and maintain muscle mass three things that you want to avoid at all costs on the ketogenic diet. No keto carb limit can save you from these adverse effects. You must take responsibility for mitigating your own stress.

How To Find Your Own Personal Keto Carb Limit

One of the only ways to find out if you can stay in ketosis while eating more carbs than we suggest is by tracking your ketones with a blood ketone meter like the Precision Xtra. You can also use Ketostix, but they are not as accurate.

After establishing ketosis by eating less than 35 grams a day and verifying it with your ketone meter, you can try slowly increasing your carb consumption by 5 grams each day.

This doesnt mean that you can eat sweets and candies. Simple carbs like these can kick you out of ketosis because they tend to increase insulin levels more rapidly than anything else. Instead, increase your carbs by eating complex carbohydrates from plant-based foods like vegetables or low glycemic fruits.

Measure your ketones at the same time each day to see if the increase in carbs decreases your ketone levels. If you are still maintaining ketosis after increasing your carbs, try it again. Your goal is to raise your carbs little by little while maintaining a medium or deep level of ketosis.

Heres a quick overview of what medium and deep ketosis actually mean:

  • Light Ketosis: 0.5 mmol/L 0.8 mmol/L
  • Medium Ketosis: 0.9 mmol/L 1.4 mmol/L
  • Deep Ketosis : 1.5 mmol/L 3.0 mmol/L

The only way to accurately find out if you are in light, medium, or deep ketosis is by using a blood ketone meter like the Precision Xtra.

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