What Does A Ketogenic Paleo Diet Look Like?

Update: I did a (failed) ketosis experiment on myself that you can read about here, here, here, and here

Jimmy Moore is dropping weight with the fervor of a college wrestler right now on his experimental ketogenic diet. In fact, he’s lost about 47 pounds in the last 3 months, and he’s still going. He’s an awesome guy and he’s been struggling with his weight for a while now, so I’m psyched for him to say the least.

He gives updates every month or so on his progress, but he never tells his readers exactly WHAT he’s eating. I’m itching to know.

Now, Jimmy isn’t strictly Paleo: he eats full fat dairy, so even if he did report to us what he was eating, it wouldn’t be super helpful to a lot of people. I got to thinking what a ketogenic Paleo diet might look like. Without all that cheese and cream to assume the fat positions, it’d require a lot more tallow, lard, coconut oil, and coconut milk, as well as the fatty meats, eggs, nuts, and avocados.

Here’s a picture of one of Jimmy’s meals to give you an idea of the amount of dairy he’s eating (well, at least at this particular meal). I think that’s sausage, avocado, scrambled eggs, some sort of hot sauce, and heavy cream. By the way, I’m in no way criticizing Jimmy right now. If I could eat dairy, I probably would, and I think this meal looks amazing.

What’s ketosis?
Before I go any further with this, I’ll briefly explain what ketogenic means and why one would aspire to be on a ketogenic diet. Some say you need to eat fewer than 30 grams of carbs per day to be in ketosis. It may be fewer than that to get into a deep state of ketosis, and you must not eat too much protein either. So a ketogenic diet is high fat, low(ish) protein, and very low carb. More on that in a moment.

When you are in ketosis, your body is using ketones more than it normally would for energy. Ketones are made out of fatty acids in the liver in the absence of dietary glucose (carbs) so that your organs can continue to function properly even when you don’t have carbs. Some people say when you’re in ketosis your brain doesn’t get enough energy, but some would argue that the glucose your liver produces on its own when you’re in ketosis is more than enough to feed your brain.

Studies have shown that you can even train endurance activities at an elite level on a ketogenic diet. These people would fuel up with coconut butter instead of Powerade, and their bodies would get very good at using fat instead of glucose as fuel, as would yours if you ate a ketogenic diet for a while.

Isn’t it dangerous?
Ketosis has kind of a bad reputation, and that’s partly because there’s something called diabetic ketoacidosis, which is when a diabetic can’t use glucose as fuel (due to a lack of insulin or insulin resistance) and ketones start to build up in their blood. Too many ketones are not a good thing, but you can mitigate and monitor that on a healthy ketogenic diet. Jimmy uses the home blood tests to check his ketone levels in his blood, which seem to be more accurate than the urine tests. Here’s an interview with Jimmy and Dr. Lauren Noel that explains all that.

Ketosis can actually be therapeutic.
The fact is that you can lose a lot of weight eating a ketogenic diet. It’s been cited as beneficial for autism, alzheimer’s, seizure disorders, ADHD, and others.

I’m not necessarily even advocating this as a way of eating. After analyzing what it would take to get me into ketosis, I’m not sure I’d like it. I do think it’s a good idea for people suffering from myriad diseases and disorders, though. So below is what it would look like on a 2,000 calorie diet. No, everyone should not be on a 2,000 calorie diet, but that’s sort of an average between men and women’s caloric needs, so I thought I’d start there. Jimmy says he gets around 82% fat, 3% carbs, and 15% protein, so I tried to mimic that in my imaginary ketogenic diet for a day.

Imaginary Ketogenic Diet for A Day

4 slices bacon
1 egg
2 tablespoons extra bacon grease

3 ounces salmon
1/2 cup onions sautéed
1/3 cup coconut milk
Cooked with 1 tablespoon coconut oil

10-12 macadamia nuts

5 ounces porterhouse beef steak with 1/8″ fat
Cooked in 1 tablespoon tallow

Nutritional Breakdown (from www.nutritiondata.com)

Calories – 2013
Carbs (g) – 13.8
Fat (g) – 186
Protein (g) – 79.1

Carbs – 2.7%
Fat – 83.2%
Protein – 15.7%

Those percentages don’t add up to 100% and I don’t really know why. I can’t seem to get them to add up to 100% in nutritiondata.com or myfitnesspal.com. I think it’s because some of the individual foods are off a bit, but you get the point. It’s super high fat, super low carb, and low-ish protein. To compare, normal Americans eat anywhere from 200 to 400 grams of carbs a day. I normally get about 30% carbs, 30% protein, 40% fat (no, I’m not doing that on purpose…). Just as a comparison to someone on a non-low-carb Paleo diet.

Things to note…
One interesting thing I noticed when I was making this hypothetical diet was that there’s really no room for vegetables except for the paltry onions I included. I don’t necessarily think that vegetables are a necessary part of a healthy diet, but that’s only when you’re eating the whole animal, so to speak. If you eat organs, bone broth, AND the muscle meat from grass-fed/pasture raised animals and yolks from pastured hens, then you’re getting heaps of nutrients. But if you don’t, you’d really need to supplement on this diet.

One other interesting point came about when I was trying to think of all the fatty Paleo foods I could include. Of course avocado came up on my list, as well as lard, bacon fat, tallow, fatty meats, coconut oil, coconut milk, olive oil, and nuts. However, while one whole avocado contains 322 calories and 29 grams of fat, it also houses 18 grams of carbohydrates. I don’t know how I’ve overlooked that for so long. Those 18 grams alone would’ve more than doubled the carb count of this menu, so I omitted it. Just something to consider.

In Conclusion
If you try eating a ketogenic diet, I strongly recommend you make a menu like this for yourself and record your meals in one of the free diet trackers online so you know exactly what percentages of carbs, fat, and protein you’re getting. You’ll probably be eating more fat than you’ve ever eaten before and I’m assuming it might require some practice. It might be worth being diligent about it: at least in Jimmy’s experience, the further he went into ketosis, the more weight he dropped, at least when he wasn’t doing any exercise. When he was doing exercise his weight loss declined a little bit, but that’s a whole different topic.

Has anyone had any experience with this? Care to share?


  1. I thought the same thing when I saw how many carbs there were when you really start upping your avocado intake.

    I am pretty sure though that with ketosis, its the net carbs you care about. So avocado may have more carbs than you think, however, a lot of it is fiber, so the net carbs stay pretty low.

    I think staying below 30 NET carbs should keep you in ketosis, as long as you also keep the protein intake low.

  2. I and some diabetic buddies have been following a ketogenic diet for a while now. I’ve always billed myself as “ketogenic paleo”. Though I guess according to your definition I’m primal since I eat high-fat dairy like heavy cream and butter. :)

    I just wanted to say that there is no need to so dramatically cut out vegetables. Some people are able to stay in ketosis eating 50+g of (total) carbohydrates in a day. My friends and I did well between 20-30g of carbohydrate. We were able to eat as much green vegetables as we wanted (e.g. lettuce, broccoli, kale) and there are other vegetables like bell peppers, green beans, cauliflower which if you tolerate them, are a great addition to a ketogenic diet. Don’t tell anyone but I’ve been able to sneak small portions of squash and sweet potato as well without screwing up my blood sugar or ketones. There are many different ways to combine foods and reach your macronutrient goals, it doesn’t have to be draconian.

    Some have found it helpful to consider the ratio of macronutrients instead of absolute maximums. For example, for every 1g of carb, I eat 2g of protein and 4g of fat. Once you get used to what that looks like on a plate, it’s easy to eyeball the ratio without weighing and measuring everything.

  3. Daytona – Thank you for writing in! I love hearing about this. Do you use the urine or blood tests to check your ketones? And have you been successful with your diabetes/overall health on this diet? Type 1 or type 2, may I ask? Also, are you active on this diet? I’d love to hear more.

  4. Yeah, there are tons of low-glycemic veggies you can add to this, still staying very low carb after subtracting the fibre.

    You can subtract the fibre from the carbs in the avocado, making it an excellent low-carb choice.

    Jimmy’s amazing!

  5. I’ve had a similar experience to what Daytona describes above. I’ve been in nutritional ketosis since early July and typically eat about 35 g carbohydrate each day. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Fats are almost always 110 g or more, and protein around 60 g. Just for comparison, I’m 57 yo and postmenopausal, and maintain a Primal diet. My dairy intake consists of butter and heavy cream. LIke Daytona, I can indulge in the occasional butternut squash or sweet potato — about 1/2 cup works for me. I test my blood ketones daily with a glucose/ketone monitor and have lost 14 lbs. eating this way after struggling to lose any weight on a more moderate carb intake. Interestingly, what they say is true: being in ketosis does dramatically reduce appetite which I’ve found has led me to reduce calories without thinking about it. I track my food in myfitnesspal.com and have been surprised some days at how little I’ve eaten. Over the last three months my typical daily calories have dropped from an average of 1700 to around 1400, which has definitely contributed to the weight loss. So for me, calories do matter, though they may not for someone younger.

    1. KMJvet – No, it wasn’t. Not for a lot of things. You should definitely supplement if you were eating like this with no organs, etc.

  6. I’ve used ketosis quite a few times over the years. It always works for me. Right now I’m doing a 3 day pemmican fast. Nothing but pemmican for 3 days. There are a couple people with some good threads over on Mark’s Daily Apple Forum about how they are using Ketogenic diets.


    If you are an athlete you might find Ben Greenfield has a lot of good information on Ketogenic diets.


    And Dr. Peter Attia.


    Dr Colin Champ, the Caveman Doctor has a great blog and podcast as well:


    Most of the time I don’t use as deep Ketosis as what Jimmy Moore is doing. But I think you can get lots of green leafy vegetables and Cruciferous vegetables in and stay around 3% carbs.

    I enjoyed your blog spot.

  7. Neely,

    I have used both urine and a ketone meter to monitor my ketones. I don’t get really high values, (like Jimmy) but they are enough to reduce my fasting blood glucose and overall make me feel better. Most days my fasting ketones are between 0.9 – 1.4 (they rise as the day progresses).

    I have been successful managing my type 2 diabetes on both a low-carb and ketogenic diet. Just using low-carb I was able to bring my A1C down from 10.7 to 5.3. However, when in ketosis, my readings are extraordinary (fasting < 85, PP < 100).

    I am only moderately active now, doing high intensity weight lifting 2x a week for 20 minutes with random walks thrown in. All of my blood glucose control is from my diet, not exercise. I used to enjoy tennis and running but even with my diet changes, have been unable to satisfactorily control my blood glucose and adrenal response. So I stick to what works for me and have enjoyed the increase in strength from the weight lifting.

  8. As a physician, a big fan of Jimmy’s and a fan of many aspects of paleo eating in general, I would say I am not a fan of a ketogenic diet and do not recommend it to anyone as a long term eating plan, except in certain neurological disorders, certain types of cancer and some other very specific disease states. The confusing thing about this diet is that it appears quite beneficial on the surface. Jimmy, for example, is losing weight. In all likelihood, his insulin levels are decreasing and I’m sure his cholesterol panel is looking better and better. That’s great right? Well, there’s no argument that these things commonly happen on a ketogenic diet. But does that mean there is nothing bad happening? Unfortunately, no. Here are some examples of studies and info that have looked “behind the curtain” of seemingly positive effects in the ketogenic diet, to reveal some negatives, some of which would outweigh the positives in my opinion:


    Should a truly healthful diet that is truly biologically appropriate for humans have side effects? I don’t believe so.

    I also become very, very concerned with people on long term ketogenic diets because of the lack of cancer protective nutrients that can only be found in plants and fruits. Jimmy’s breakfast and all of the menus listed in your article are perfect examples. Nearly zero phytonutrients.

    Lastly, I also get very concerned especially with Jimmy’s version of the diet, when I consider the significant load of toxins that will inevitably be present in a menu plan like this. Animal fats bioaccumulate environmental toxins and become significant sources of these things for you if you eat this way. Combine with the severe lack of phytonutrients known to help stimulate detoxification and/or protect our DNA against damage from these toxins and you have a recipe for cancer.

    I’m sorry to be such a downer as I know eating this way appears to be helpful to many, but it is NOT the only way to lose weight, and certainly not the safest.

  9. I have been experimenting with ketosis lately. In general I follow a paleo diet with lots of fruits and vegetables but two or three days a week I do a 16 hour fast. Theoretically I should be going to ketosis during the fast, I need to buy the strips to find out. I lose a lot of fat when I fast that week.

    1. Josh – No, I absolutely don’t agree with that. I’ve written a lot on this topic and I think it’s totally doable for people to get enough carbs (or fat – whatever route they’re taking to get their requisite energy) on this diet.

  10. I have found over many years of a very low carb way-of-life diet that I can eat an abundance of green vegetables for vitamin and mineral content as well as fiber intake. To this I have been able to add a nice assortment of colored vegetables (carrots, tomatoes. yellow peppers and mushrooms) so long as I exercise a small amount of portion control of these.

    Though a very low carb diet generally has me above actual ketosis, it is not hard to intentionally dip into small to moderate ketosis by reducing one’s vegetable intake.

    I will say, though, that my experiences have taught me that one’s protein intake can be higher than this article indicates for a ketogenic diet. I would actually differ in the above viewpoint of the article by suggesting a slightly lower fat intake if one wishes to maximize the amount of weight loss on a ketogenic diet. Lower the fat and you will most often encourage your body to metabolize more of its own in search of energy. Really, the only true enemy is the net (aka. impact) carb. And that is very easily limited and controlled when one’s attitude is to primarily eat only green vegetables.

    And yes, the picture of the breakfast above looked just awesome to me. I am wondering if the cream is Sour Cream or maybe Clotted Cream spread well.

    My two cents if it helps anyone,


  11. After rushing to post, I read Dr. Daniel Chong’s thoughts. They are most excellent opinion. Yes, phytonutrients seem to be incredibly important. I hope and believe that an array of green vegetables with some other low starch choices of color supply an ample amount of the phytonutrients in one’s diet.

    Now, as for animal products bioaccumulating environmental toxins, you got me there. Being a staunch and long-time low-carber–with some paleo leanings–I consume large amounts of beef, chicken and dairy; I really don’t have an answer for the inevitable toxin load that I am most likely acquiring. I don’t wholly trust organically-sourced meats as being much less toxic, and they are prohibitivley expensive even at the seasonal Farmer’s markets which I frequent. Any thoughts, Doctor Chong?


  12. one note – it has been shown (MDA had a good post on this) that the brain can run on the by-products of ketosis but it is not ideal long term–

    and this strict no-dairy idea of the more rad paleo community is truly short-sighted – if you are going to accept that conventional wisdom is pretty clueless about nutrition and evolutionary diet – they why does the paleo community accept the clearly mistaken conclusion that no populations of humans were smart or creative enough to domesticate animals that could provide them dairy?

    Besides examples like the Lapp people of northern europe that herd WILD reindeer (and have done so as long as they can remember) to access dairy products, genetic studies of goats indicate that there are numerous markers for “domestication events” tens of thousands of years ago – indicating that goats could well have been tamed and easily travelled with HG groups. The ability of some populations to easily digest goat dairy (as opposed to cow) is only really explained by an evolutionary exposure for much more than the conventional domestication timeline.

    In short – i believe that paleo diets varied tremendously and that much fat was provided by dairy products in those populations that had dairy –

    Here’s my discussion: Goat Dairy is Paleo http://daiasolgaia.com/?p=1302

  13. @Dr Chong

    I know this is an older comment, but I did want to point out some noticeable issues with some of those listed studies.

    This deals only with mice. Mice are a poor proxy in this type of diet study, being herbivores by nature. This study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15561913) shows the well-know effect of feeding a high fat diet to a mouse – far outside what it evolved to eat.

    More statistical magic from the Nurses’ Health Study data. Self reported LC diets, and other issues likely plague this data.

    Many of the others fall into one or more problem categories. Not enough adaption time or the terrible liquid keto formulas. It’s a well know effect that it can take up to a month to adapt to a low-carb diet (keto flu), but most of these studies show poor performance at 1-4 weeks. Also, some use the Ketocal preparations that contain large amounts of O-6 oils and other questionable ingredients. In addition to the formula, the epilepsy diets used to restrict hydration (to enhance BHB production), so that could be a factor in the kidney stones.

    I’m not saying the data is in on the healthfulness of a long-term keto diet, but I also haven’t seen any well-done studies showing it is harmful.

  14. Lots of good science/info in Volek and Phinney’s book, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. It explains what keto-adapted means, among other useful facts. I’ve been wanting to be less sensitive to blood-sugar drops from missing mealtimes and am finding that a higher fat-lower carb diet is helping a lot. I think you still have to pay attention to calories if you want to lean out, at least at my age (64) – not just up that fats. I’ve been following Paleo for at least a year, doing CrossFit 3x/week since August, plus hiking.

  15. My wife has Alzheimer’s and has tried coconut oil. Unfortunately, because of gastrointestinal disorders (irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis) she gets severe diarrhea after every dose. Is anyone aware if the intravenous administration of ketones has been tried on A.D. patients?

  16. Ed Whilst I am not aware of ketones being administered via IV I am curious to know if you have ever heard of the GAPs diet? You stating that your wife has A.D. along with IBS and diverticulitis are exactly what this diet addresses. There is a book written by Natasha Campbell McBride titled, MD “The Gut and Psychology Diet” (GAPs) that explains exactly how and why to do it. It is for people like your wife.
    You may know this (or not) but the reason your wife experiences GI distress with coconut oil is due to its antibacterial properties. When someone suffers from neurological disorders they come from the gut. Leaky gut and gut dysbiosis (too much bad gut bacteria and not enough good). When one starts to heal and seal the gut (by drinking bone broth) and additionally supplementing with probiotics in the form of fermented foods, they must go at it slowly in a step by step process as the introduction of the good bacteria causes die off of the bad and this causes GI distress as well as other feelings of malaise and toxic issues from the gasses from the die off. This is all explained in the writing of Dr. Campbell McBride. In any event, the coconut oil does not come in until later phases in the diet (there are a total of 6).
    It would behoove you and your wife to find out about this protocol as it would have more impact on your wife’s condition than following ketogenic diet. Ketongenic is a band aid to what really needs to happen is healing gut wall, die off of bad bacteria and re-inoculation. As a side many (thousands) of kids with autism and aspergers are healing due to the work of Dr. Campbell McBride.

  17. I have been working with colon problems for over 20 years,lost 30 percent of my colon do to cancer,
    after surgery I started a diet of vegetable juice,and kefir for one hundred days.
    As of today i still eat saturated fats,vegetable juice.RAW kefir raw dairy have been keeping my carbs
    down around 50 grams,This healthy eating is not a diet,if you think that way it will never work for you
    this is a life style. Good luck to all you pioneers. Blessing

  18. Just my experience… I was able to maintain and monitor ketosis on a fast where I allowed for up to 50g of palm sugar a day. That’s a lot of carbs respectively, but just to highlight each body is different. Palm sugar has a very low glycemic indexand spaced out in tbls over a 15hr day kept ketosis

  19. any suggestions for someone with Rheumatoid Arthritis? I have no idea what to eat. I would like to try a smart diet so I can advoid taking hard core meds. thanks patti

  20. Keto only cares about net carbs. Since many vegetables have a high fiber content they are perfect for keto. In fact, onions have a higher net carb counts than others. I stay away from carrots and potatoes but eat plenty of cauliflower, broccoli, etc. I have done keto a couple times over the course of a couple years and always eat vegetables, tons of spinach and lettuces and even cantaloupe, strawberries, etc. in moderation.

  21. “Now, Jimmy isn’t strictly Paleo: he eats full fat dairy, so even if he did report to us what he was eating, it wouldn’t be super helpful to a lot of people. I got to thinking what a ketogenic Paleo diet might look like. Without all that cheese and cream to assume the fat positions, it’d require a lot more tallow, lard, coconut oil, and coconut milk, as well as the fatty meats, eggs, nuts, and avocados.”

    This is very misleading. You make it seem like it’s impossible to do it without dairy or PUFAs.

    Taking your meal sample:

    Breakfast: remove bacon, too much omega 6, not healthy. Change to 3 eggs. Fry them in 3 or 4 tablespoons of beef tallow. You could also slice chuck beef into tiny slices, then marinate overnight. In the morning, just cook it in 3 tablespoons of beef tallow.

    Lunch: 3 ounces salmon isn’t anywhere enough for one person, let alone a grown man. Change it to six or even nine ounces. Cook it in 3 tablespoons of coconut oil. Onions have too many carbs. You can have carrot and broccoli together and still come under the carbs of one onion. Slice them thin, and fry in another 3 tablespoons of coconut oil.

    Snack: NO SNACK! Eat enough at breakfast and lunch so you don’t need to snack.

    5 ounces porterhouse beef steak with 1/8″ fat
    Cooked in 1 tablespoon tallow

    I’m a woman who doesn’t exercise and all my meals are cooked with lots of tallow or lard. I’m dairy free. I can’t eat nuts because of pythic acid. I don’t believe they’re healthy anyway.

    I need to eat like this for health reasons (high blood pressure, thyroid, diabetes, dementia symptoms, muscle wasting, disabling fatigue). It’s very important for me to eat lots of fat like leaf tallow, chicken or beef stock, lots of shellfish, and lots of beef and cod liver.

  22. Vegetables are very important to include in a diet, not because of the defined (well-known) nutrients, which you will certainly get enough of from broth, but because of the many known and very many so far unknown phytonutrients in plants; such as flavonoids (of which each plant can contain many variations) and other compounds. It is these phytonutrients found in unprocessed plants that can help to prevent or cure disease. I’ve seen Apigenin inhibit cancer cell growth with my own eyes (while being otherwise entirely non-toxic); this is a type of flavonoid found in parsley, chamomile, and many other plants. Now imagine each plant you eat has many types of flavonoids and other compunds that each can be greatly beneficial to health, none of which there is an RDA for. Eat as many whole plants as you can stand, especially if you have any type of disease; they can be curative as well as preventative, and supplements are NOT a good source: you would miss all the undefined compounds, and whole natural sources come in amounts and forms the body can use but will not overdose on (unlike supplements, which may be taken in far too high dose and/or are in a chemical form that is not bioavailable/the body cannot use, or which must be converted to a useful form and meanwhile you overdose on the supplement form – such as vitamin A and birth defects).

    For a ketogenic diet there are many types of low-carb vegetables. I found Paleo by first learning about Atkins, and Atkins info has a list of low-carb veggies. Fresh herbs (such as parsley), particularly, are very low in carbs and very high in phytonutrients. Eat plants liberally and please do NOT exclude them from your diet just because of carb content!

  23. I worked to this point gradually. For some reason first time in my life I don’t feel hungry as I cut carbs and it’s wonderful as I have about 30 pounds to lose.

    At the moment I have started having a mid morning breakfast of my usual 4 slices of bacon usually fried in olive oil (not to a very high heat) with 3 egg yolks and I have that every day. Then later my main meal which is usually something like a piece of steak courgettes and every spinach with a little bit of butter (my only dairy). I only drink water. other dinners are salmon (4 times a week) often in an omlet with 2 eggs and green pepper which like courgette is low in carb. Lots of cucumber and celery. Never felt better and am actually losing weight.

    I had to do it gradually – first 3 healthy meals a day with my chocolate after lunch. Then dropped the chooclate. Then dropped fruit which I was abusing and using like sugar – 21 days of very bad withdrawal, candida die off, day 21 the worst, then fine, then dropped the sweet potato, brown rice and only now when carbs are very low (I am 51 and female) has weight started to go. People do differ.

    Not sure if in ketosis as eat quite a bit of protein but might do a urine test this week.

  24. A ketogenic diet can be very effective, if done right. I’ve been able to loose 1-3lbs a week with little activity. I use a website that my husband created to keep me on track. Paleo did help with getting rid of some medical issues I had, but I didn’t care too much for working out. That’s when I decided to go keto paleo.

  25. I’ve been doing a ketogenic diet for 7 weeks, although the first 3 I was easing into keto while trying to eliminate my beloved raw goat milk. I’ve been eating a whole food diet for 4 years now and have seen remarkable relief from all sorts of illnesses and disease. The one thing I haven’t overcome is being overweight (I’m a 55 yr old female), hence the keto diet. On the plus side, eating a whole food diet and avoiding processed foods at all costs makes the urge to cheat almost non-existent. (I think people who eat poor quality foods are more tempted by the vast array of garbage food available) Another plus, is the fact that it is a natural appetite suppressor and all cravings for sweets and the urge to eat when not hungry have vanished. In addition, brain fog gone, mood much better, and lots of energy to get through the day. That last one (energy) is enough reason for me to do the diet.
    I want to say, regarding any negative aspects of doing a keto diet, I think food quality makes all the difference in the world. “Organic” meat will not make you healthy. (Organic grains are still grains and cows are not designed to eat them) I eat local grass-fed meat from farmers I trust. I buy by the side or half (freezers are cheap) and it cuts the cost way down, sometimes cheaper than the garbage sold in grocery stores. The eggs I buy are pastured and soy-free. (Try to find THAT at your local Whole Foods market) I make my own yogurt from raw cow or goat milk (eaten in careful moderation) and use only raw heavy cream. I use only organic, locally-grown fresh vegetables (or homegrown) when available. I use only healthy fats (coconut oil, tallow or lard I render from trusted animal sources, olive oil, butter, ghee). I incorporate fermented food and drink, such as homemade sauerkraut, beet kvass, and kombucha (none of which throw me out of ketosis).
    Any diet can take you so far, but real food will take you 100% of the way!


  26. Coming across this late, but isn’t Keto commonly 65F/30P/5C?

    I don’t think 15P (~80 grams on 2kcal) is enough to recover for anybody doing the slightly athletics.

  27. Lol! You don’t need to go as low as 13g of CHO! That is just Jimmy’s version of the diet because he is trying to lose more weight and has a history of metabolic syndrome. Everyone is different. Have a look at this keto-calculator:


    Once you are keto-adapted, you can start playing around more with the CHO levels while testing your blood ketones and seeing at what point of CHO consumption they start to drop down. Some people can consume 100g of carbohydrate and still burn large amounts of ketones.

    My optimal level seems to be about around the 50g mark, and I eat a LOT more vegetables of a much wider variety on keto than I ever did previously.

    Have a look at my blog if you want to see how I do that:


    Green vegetables have very little carbohydrate, they are mostly fibre and water. You can actually eat quite a lot of them. I just steer away from the starchies (tubers) and sugaries (carrots, peas, corn, beets, pumpkin). The rest is open slather. Plant fibre is broken down by the gut microorganisms metabolised to fatty acids. So do not count fibre in your CHO calculations because it is not going to end up as glucose in your body.

    Dairy is handy on keto but not essential. When I am needing to stay off it periodically, I use large amounts of coconut oil to cook with, avocados with every meal, activated nuts and an egg every day, and that usually takes care of things. I also keep MCT oil around for it I feel like I need a bit more fat. You can put in coffee or smoothies, or just take a swig of it – it really is completely tasteless.

  28. Would just like to point out that Avocado is great, because although it has a lot of carbs, over 90% of it is fiber which is undigested and so can be ommitted.

  29. Great article. While I’m not on a full blown paleo/keto diet, I am completely wheat free, not gluten free just wheat and wheat gluten free. I strive for 100% remember wheat is in more things then you can imagine, like soy sauce. etc. I began a wheat free diet after a lifetime of perfect blood work with no cholesterol or glucose issues, no real weight issues other then perhaps being 20lbs above my average adult weight of around 165 at 6′ tall. Last year almost to this day I had my blood work come back with a total cholesterol at a marker although it was high in good cholesterol and also had a fasting glucose of 100 and got that pre-diabetic warning. I’m nearly 61 today. Immediately without hesitation I was faced with the realization that there was really only 2 real sources of excess glucose in my life as I don’t drink any sweetened beverages and eat very few sweets or pastries except for dark chocolate and the holiday cookie here and there, no the only source of glucose for me was wheat, it was every where in my diet and in every meal and snack pretty much, the other source was beer. Well beer is beer and I ain’t giving it up. Wheat lost. Immediately I stopped wheat and began a diet of everything minus wheat and nothing else, I predominantly eat high fat and protein, but don’t avoid any fruits or veggies. I tend to eat most fruit slightly pre ripe like peaches and plums that are super sweet when ripe, just because I like them better that way. I also have added a pro biotic supplement, gut bacteria is a very valuable asset to everyone. I eat fast food like Taco Bell Nachos Belle Grande with double steak of chicken and Wendy’s chilli, McDonalds steak ala carte with eggs and hash browns for breakfast and lots of steaks and chicken and sausage etc at home at better restaurants for example. Look at their websites for the gluten free items, it’s the only way to be guaranteed there’s no wheat. Read the book Wheat Belly, (I read it after quitting it was like deja vu all over again) you’ll quit wheat by the end of the intro. Anyway, when I quit,I was 188, within 3 weeks I was 170, I am now 165 and eat anywhere from nothing some days to 3000 calories. Know this: wheat makes you hungry, quit and your appetite is greatly diminished. I eat a dozen chicken wings if there in the fridge leftover at 2 a.m. if I wake hungry for example. I won’t quote my beer intake, but my 27 year daughter is a master brewer for a major beer company in Colorado. Nuff said. I just don’t drink wheat beer. I eat a variety of gluten free pastas so I haven’t given up spaghetti of tuna noodle casserole etc. I eat french fries whenever I want, I substitute canola oil browned corn taco’s for a sandwich including hamburgers or for chicken salad or tuna salad, so there are work a round’s. It helps to find substitutes looking at gluten free living or talk to a Celiac friend or their parents for advice. Anyway it’s a year later I’m at 164 lbs. this morning, my blood work is text book perfect, I feel better then ever at 60+ I get age guesses in the forties I can hang at any construction site or under hard labor with any young stud, in fact most whine when they have to work for me. I eat a pure high fat protein breakfast when I eat breakfast, which is most days and I never get hungry or break for lunch on a job site. Water is also important, lots of water, If you’re trying to lose weight take your weight and multiply it by x .70 or eg. 200 x .70 = 140 this is the number of ounces of water you should drink per day therapeutically, I have a rule tho that no human under normal circumstances should drink more then a gallon or 128 oz. per day. REMEMBER water is water is water so drink water not diet pop etc. It’s just good sense. If your pee is any shade other then water clear you are dehydrated. Remember vitamins do color your pee though. Remember I am not gluten free, but a gluten free diet shows you how to eat wheat free at restaurants. I have turned many friends onto this lifestyle and every single one when being loyal have the same results and some cheat but none the less are losing weight. Wheat is the real enemy in your diet because of the way it spikes your insulin. My opinion is: produce insulin = burn sugar and store the fat you eat around your belly. Common cake/bread flour spikes your glucose for 2 hours if your diabetic it spikes it for up to 4 hours. Eat pasta (semolina durham wheat) and your glucose spikes for 4 hours and diabetics 6 and more. When I ask does your body find the opportunity to burn fat? Get that book, give up wheat it’s just another option that really works. Remember wheat is addictive, it makes you hungrier, it spikes your glucose and it’s been genetically modified for these purposes. I’m going to go have a beer. Oops it’s still too early! I have a 7 p.m. rule.

  30. Could you please explain this keto diet to a novice? I’m mainly paleo but need to lose some weight quickly. This is an interesting idea but I’m not certain how it works. Could you explain fully and give examples?

  31. I was wondering (as I have scoured the internet and have found little to no information) if being in ketosis or eating a ketogenic diet is safe for nursing mothers and the baby nursing.

    1. Rebekah – I would not go ketogenic if you’re pregnant currently. That’s something you should be well adapted to before getting pregnant in order for it to be safe during pregnancy. A drastic change in diet like that during pregnancy is absolutely not advisable.

  32. Just found this article but late to the party rather than never. :)

    A nutritional ketogenic diet is an awesome tool for controlling diabetes without drugs (I’m living proof). However, most ketogenic diet proponents do eat many vegatables. I eat a lot of greens and not much fruit (but for other reasons than the carbs).

    My typical meals:


    Eggs + meat (dairy sometimes) cooked in butter or coconut oil and maybe half an avocado or some sauteed low carb veggies (a few pepper slices, a little onion, some greens)

    NOTE: All people are slightly insulin resistant in the morning. With many diabetics, it is much worse so carb count for breakfast has to be tightly controlled.


    A green smoothie with protein powder, superfoods powder (from Amazing Grass), raw eggs, coconut or almond milk, stevia for sweetener if needed, and a couple cups of low carb greens like spinach. I’ll add heavy cream or melted butter/coconut oil to bring the fat content up
    Sometimes I eat sardines packed in olive oil and sauteed greens.


    Some meat or fish (rarely lunch/deli style meats except bacon unless they are organic and uncured minus any nitrates)
    Veggies cooked in oil (olive, butter, coconut)
    Maybe a few pickles, a little sauerkraut, a few olives, or 1/4 cup nuts (small handful)


    More meat or fish
    More greens or other veggies cooked in oil/fat
    Sometimes squash

    Dairy usually is added everyday but not with every meal.

    Here are the guidelines I use:

    * The more natural and the fewest ingredients per input/ingredient to a meal/recipe as possible.
    * Few veggies that grow underground (I do eat smashed turnips once in a while)
    * All other veggies must grow above ground, be organic if possible, be high in fiber and water with few carbs.
    * Meats need to be at least organic but grass fed if I can afford it and I eat the fat if grass fed
    * Organ meats as much as I can stand (usually uncured liverwurst or braunschweiger)
    * All oils are natural and cold pressed if appropriate
    * No industrial seed/nut oils in general (occasionally a little walnut or macadamia nut oil for salads).
    * Protein powders and such are cold/water processes from reliable sources
    * Filtered water from a rented reverse osmosis/multiple stage filter

    If anyone who sees this comment would like to talk, you can post privately or publicly on Google+ and I’ll be happy to respond:


  33. Hi at the end of August 2013 I made the decision to try a Paleo style diet to try to get my blood sugars down , I had been on diabetic medication since diagnosed in 2008 with type 2 Diabetes, last year my sugars started to go up and the doc wanted me to go on more tablets or injections of Bieta , after checking out what was being offered and the various side effects I decided to go of the tabs altogether,i had googled Paleo and read about people getting their sugars down so thought I would give it a go between the end of August and xmas I had lost 14kgs and my blood sugar had dropped from 10 to 7s, I still have to lose 20kgs ,this past week I have had readings lower than 7 over a few days , I didn’t lose any weight since xmas neither did I put on any , I had started to exercise over xmas maybe that was why or maybe it was because it was Mango season and I was having it for desert each evening!!! most days I would have 2 boiled eggs for breakfast or 2 slices of bacon and 1 egg plus tomato , lunch usually salad and some tuna or other fish and in the evenings some veges and meat , fish or chicken ,morning tea was hard at first not having a biscuit with my tea or coffee then I would have a piece of fruit! instead ,I don’t have any dairy except a little milk in my coffee, I drink black tea but need that milk in the coffee,people have commented how well I was looking without knowing what I was doing , I was a bit apprehensive to tell my Doctor what I was doing and that I had gone of my meds but he was very supportive and my last lot of blood work showed all my stats had come down so he was really pleased and said to keep up the good work.Needless to say I am well pleased and encourage people to give it a go , I need to make some small changes to kickstart the weight lose again the bit about the red meat and fluid caught my attention as I tend to get fluid retention now and then and think this may be what is causing it as I used to not eat to much red meat as it constipated me so I think more chicken and fish instead and not to much fruit .I have been using coconut cream a lot so may have to cut that back any comments on that one ? great site by the way very helpful and enjoy hearing what others are saying .

  34. Hey Guys, While Avocados have a high carb content if you look closely most of the carbs are fiber which does not count as your body does not digest it. 150g of Avocado has 13g of carbs but 10g of those are fiber, only 1g is sugars which is more main enemy on keto.

  35. My name is Carlee Edmonds, I’m 23 yrs old and have an unknown form of epilepsy and I’ve heard good things about the ketogenic diet and just started Paleo this week! I think I might give this a shot and incorporate this into my regiment as well! Thank you!

  36. The no room for vegetables thing is completely misleading… You can definitely eat vegetables(and in quite large quantities) while maintaining a decent ratio.

    What you need to understand is that vegetable =/= Carbs.

    To put this in perspective, he used onions. To get 5g of carbs from onions you need 60g of onions. Lets compare that to, say, Bok Choy where you need 300g, or Collard Greens where you need 250g, or Kohlrabi where you need 135g, or Brussel sprouts at 88g, or Radishes at 150g, or sauerkraut at 350+g, etc…

    So you can replace 60g of onions with 300g of Bok Choy or Sauerkraut easily… And there are many other options that are similarly available.

    That being said, as long as you are getting grass fed meat, eggs, etc. Then you don’t really need most of the veggies. If you aren’t(or even if you are) I suggest you take a good multivitamin to make sure you are getting all the vitamins/nutrients/etc. And when you take said supplement make sure you take it with a decent fat source as the fat soluble vitamins cannot be absorbed without dietary fat.

  37. I use 5% carbs 40% protein and 55% fat,

    Example daily diet

    Breakfast- 4 rashers of bacon and a fried egg or half an avocado, small spoon of cottage cheese and a small palm of spinach leaves

    Lunch chicken breast wrapped in Parma Ham cooked in coconut oil with 5 small tomatoes and a handful of raw radishes

    Snack- 8 pecan halves 2 Brazil nuts

    Dinner- fillet steak fried egg small palm of spinach leaves

    Snack- 40g of cheese depending on my micronutrients percentages.

    I sometimes alter my percentages slightly but I plan ahead, so if I’m hormonal I’ll add 5% carbs and lower the fat intake slightly so I can avoid a hormonal pig out. I also try to conscious of how much bacon I eat because the salt content gives me water retention and I don’t want to get all of my fat intake from animal meat so some days I’ll eat quorn and get my fat from avocados nuts and small portions of cheese. I need to up my gym activity but I have found this diet the easiest to follow because it’s still possible to go out for dinner with friends and not fall off the bandwagon, I never seem to feel hungry and the weight loss is slow but steady

  38. where is a vegetable in that Imaginary menu ?
    One should eat a lot of green vegetable as well as healthy fats on ketogenic diet

    1. Hi Frankie,
      Some people can get into ketosis at a higher carbohydrate levels than others. The menu reflects Jimmy’s very high fat, very low carbohydrate intake in order to get deep into ketosis and burn a maximum amount of fat. There just isn’t any room in such a low carb regimen for many vegetables, even green (I assume you mean leafy greens?) ones. In this post: http://www.paleoplan.com/2012/11-05/my-paleo-ketogenic-experiment-and-meal-plan/, Neely details what her slightly higher carbohydrate goal looks like and as you can see, she was able to incorporate many more vegetables than Jimmy. How many vegetables you eat, green or otherwise, on a ketogenic diet depends on your weight loss and health goals and how deep your level of ketosis needs to be to achieve those goals.

  39. I know this is way late on a post but I want to add since others may find this in a Google search such as I did.

    You can most certainly eat vegetables on a keto diet. I have a small amount of green veggies and mushrooms in every single meal. Also I have half an avocado every day. This idea that you can’t have veggies in keto is just plain wrong.

    Also I stay in keto eating 1g of protein per lb of body weight. You don’t have to keep your protein so low to stay in keto. I workout everyday and sometimes twice a day and also work at a restaurant on my feet. I have lost fat and kept my muscle looking better than I ever have on keto while keeping protein high.

    The main thing is keeping NET carbs lower tha 30g. You can most certainly do this while eating high protein and a moderate amount of vegetables.

    1. Hi Kyle,

      Thanks for you comment. When it comes to getting into ketosis, everyone is different. Very active people who don’t have a high degree of insulin resistance to begin with will be able to eat more carbs and more protein and stay in ketosis than others who are less active and have a high degree of insulin resistance. You lead a very active lifestyle and I suspect you’re not particularly insulin resistant. I’m glad you’ve had such success with ketosis on a relatively generous level of carbs and protein! However, I have also seen people slip out of ketosis from eating just a few extra bites of spinach on a nearly carb-free diet.

      Keeping net carbs lower than 30 or total carbs lower than 50 and protein at 10-15% of calories is a good place to start.


  40. So I need to lose about 20kg (I know its not about the scales and stuff but getting to my goal weight is important for fertility reasons). I started on the OptiFast program and lost like 12kg, and that’s where I learned about Ketosis. Once I had a bit more of an understanding about how to get into ketosis, I tried it out without optifast, and lost another 4kg (so only 4kg away from goal weight). Then I plateaued, and I plateaued HARD then I started gaining weight back again!!! So I stepped up the game and went paleo AND counted calories and carbs (tried to keep it below 50g a day) on myfitness pal (it kept getting upset at me because I wasn’t eating 1200 calories a day, but I was trying to stick to the optifast rules for calorie intake). I discovered that the VEGETABLES (greens, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms) were putting me over my carb limit, but some how I managed to be in ketosis eating a similar amount of vegetables AND three optifast products a day (which totaled 45g of Carbs in optifast products alone). I work out in both cardio and weight resistance about 3-4 times a week, I get decent sleep and I’ve even stopped drinking caffeine (I drink rooibos tea now). I can’t eat alot of animal products, avocados, some nuts, coconut stuff because I’m wary of Cholesterol (my last cholesterol reading didn’t have my doctor very happy, but I take fish oil now, so hopefully that helps). I have to watch ALL sugars (even fructose and lactose) due to possible insulin resistance. Do you have any advice on what to do to try and drop this last little bit of weight???? I’ve done EVERYTHING that I can think of, and I’m currently stuck only 4kg from my goal weight, PLEASE HELP!

    1. Hi Mallen,

      Low calorie diets just do not work long term and that’s probably why you’ve had trouble keeping the weight off, http://www.marksdailyapple.com/7-common-calorie-myths-we-should-all-stop-believing/#axzz3Yk3r3gbh. If you’re insulin resistant, that is definitely not helping matters. Furthermore, a low carb diet, even ketosis, which stimulates fat burning, may be undermined if you are avoiding animal products and adequate healthy fats and calories.

      Regarding your cholesterol fears, the evidence shows overwhelmingly, that cholesterol does not cause heart disease, http://www.paleoplan.com/2015/02-22/have-a-change-of-heart-about-cholesterol/. And since you’re trying to lose weight for fertility reasons, the Paleo diet may be your best bet, http://www.paleoplan.com/2014/09-25/paleo-pregnancy-can-paleo-make-easier-baby/.

      I recommend you give a strict Paleo diet 30 days and see how it goes, http://www.paleoplan.com/resources/paleo-plan-food-guide/. I think if you eat enough nutrient dense, low glycemic food on a relatively low carb diet (not an ultra low carb diet) such as Paleo, and you stop stressing about carb numbers and calories, your body will correct imbalances and bring you to your natural, best weight. If you maintain a Paleo lifestyle and diet, your weight shouldn’t yo-yo.

      If your doctor isn’t on board with this, I recommend you get a second opinion from a naturopath or someone versed in ancestral health, http://www.primaldocs.com and http://www.paleophysiciansnetwork.com. Please keep in touch and let us know how it goes!


    1. Hi Katlyn,

      Our Meal Plans are strict Paleo, not keto. They’re generally below 100 gms carb per day but not below 50 gm, where you may need to be for ketosis. You can try our customizable plan for free for two weeks http://www.paleoplan.com/paleo-meal-plans/ and use our flagged ingredient feature http://www.paleoplan.com/link/specific-ingredients-feature to minimize carbs and see if that works for you. Or you can try Jimmy Moore’s low-carb diet plan at http://www.livinlowcarbmealplan.com/. We’re here to answer any further questions you may have!


  41. I am beginning Paleo diet plus trying to control probiotic issues and have this question: how to avoid the sugar grams in
    Probiotic drinks like kefir and Kombucha , and also in probiotic yogurts ? seem to be at cross-purposes with Paleo in general?

    1. Hi Joe,
      Congrats on taking the Paleo plunge! We recommend getting your ‘probiotics’ from whole food sources. There are several ways to increase your microbial diversity. Eating dietary fiber from whole, natural foods at every meal feeds the good bacteria in your gut and colon, helping them to naturally populate. Other foods such as RAW sauerkraut, kimchi and other fermented/cultured vegetables are packed full of living probiotics, and are lower in carbs than some of the yogurts and probiotic drinks out there. The key is to select a brand that is live or raw, meaning the bacteria haven’t been killed via pasteurization. Better yet, you can make your own raw fermented foods! Home-made coconut kefir or yogurt, kombucha, live probiotic drinks can be made to contain less overall sugar if that’s your goal. Having said that, the probiotics in question do need a carbohydrate source to live! One more thing – some folks needing to correct more serious states of dysbiosis (gut microbial imbalance) may need to take a good-quality probiotic for awhile, which you might want to talk to your doc about! I hope this helps!

      In good health,
      Kinsey Jackson, LMP, MS, CNS®
      Paleo Plan Nutritionist

  42. Will this type of diet work for me? My dr. has just told me to eat a low fat/low carb diet. I have gained 10 lbs in one year.

    1. Hi Laurie,
      Hmmm…I would recommend getting a second opinion from a different doctor, perhaps one specializing in Integrative or Functional Medicine, as it sounds like you might have been given some out-dated (potentially dangerous) advice. However, not knowing your unique situation or any illnesses you may be contending with, it’s hard to say what diet would “work” for you. A ketogenic diet is a low carb/high fat diet, and people react very differently to it. If you haven’t ever tried a Paleo diet, I generally recommend that people start with Paleo for several months, and then re-evaluate their goals from there. I hope this info is helpful for you, and I wish you all the best!

      In good health,
      Kinsey Jackson, LMP, MS, CNS®

  43. Hello,
    I’m Paleo (one year tomorrow) keto (one month tomorrow) and I’ve never felt better. The thing is not to assume you’ll want 3 meals and a snack because keto can naturally decrease the appetite. I eat when I’m hungry which is not usually until around noon.

    I use fitday to track my macros and stay at 80/15/5. I make my own dressing which is basically primal, avocado oil and olive oil mayo with a grape tomato(about 20)/garlic(4-6 cloves) /herb base that’s amazing on salad, steamed veggies, raw veggies, hard boiled eggs, sandwiches, etc.

    Today looks like this…

    2 hard boiled eggs, 2 slices bacon, 5 ounces sauteed spinach with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders with .5 tbsp ghee

    Snack if I’m hungry, around 3 or so:
    1 oz raw macadamia nuts (i buy in bulk from BaysideCandy.com)

    Around 6 or when I get hungry:
    5 ounces mixed salad greens with 2.5 tbsp primal dressing
    2 slices fat bread (from feedtheanimal.com), 4 ozs grass-fed beef burger with 1 slice of bacon and a hard boiled egg (super yummy!)

    If I’m feeling adventurous I might whip up some coconut milk chocolate whipped cream, sweetened with xylitol (not Paleo, I know, so very rare) or raw honey.

    This day is just under 1500 calories and 80/15/5 macros. I also make whipped cauliflower, coconut oil chocolate, lots of salmon and crispy chicken thighs. I just keep my protein between 50 and 65 for migraine reasons. Any higher protein kicks me outta keto.

    It’s never boring :)

    1. Awesome Kristin!
      Thanks for sharing your Paleo-Keto experience with us. So glad to hear it’s working so well for you! Some folks following long-term keto end up cycling their carbs to improve their performance or hormone status (i.e. athletes and menstruating women), or using MCTs to increase their fat intake while still including a variety of plant foods to foster microbiome diversity. Keep up the great work and please keep us posted on your progress!

      In good health,
      Kinsey Jackson, LMP, MS, CNS®
      Paleo Plan Nutritionist

  44. I am so confused after reading all of these post, I don’t know what direction to go in. I need to lose weight, (I am 5’2″ 160 lbs) but my biggest concern is the aches and pains, no energy and sinus issues that I really want to fix. I don’t have any allergies that I am aware of, but yogurts and some nuts do seem to bother my stomach, and make me gassy and constipated. any help out there?

  45. Hello, I’ve been doing Paleo lifestyle for awhile…. I am going into my second year =) I’ve been very HaPPy on this lifestyle. I recently came upon the Ketogenic way… via Fat Bombs, just to try them out. I make my own Fat Bombs with Coconut oil, Almond Butter & it varies what flavors I use, Orange & Lemon is wonderful… I use the zest & the juice. The reason I mention these, it is wonderful what these little bombs do? I have a lot more energy than I did before… very happy about that! That’s the only thing Keto I have done so far, I really enjoy my Paleo lifestyle, I’ve gotten really great at “tossing” things together in a Wok & enjoying healthy eating & I make killer Bone Broth ;-) I wasn’t really overweight to start with, just a few pounds but, I did have tummy woes. I am happy, happy to report no more tummy woes. My issues were simple, I was eating Bread, Grains & putting lots of Margarine on them. Now, I don’t miss them anymore and eat yummy Butter with real Foods… I loved doing my own Cooking, now I love it even more Paleo changed my life I love being part of this lifestyle! Tribe sister, Sam

    1. Sam,

      That’s so awesome to hear that you’ve experienced such great results! Definitely keep us posted on how you’re doing as you continue!

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