Because the high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb diet known as “keto” has been gaining popularity among the masses as a weight loss plan, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star—who recently revealed she weighs 98 lbs.—decided to share her firsthand experience in a new post on her app.
Kardashian was first introduced to the plan in 2017 after her doctor found high levels of mercury and lead in her system, and she writes now that she plans to reintroduce herself to the lifestyle later this year “since it was a really positive experience for me.”
According to Health‘s registered dietitian Cynthia Sass—who created a full outline of the pros and cons of the diet for anyone who is considering it—the goal is to achieve ketosis, or “a state in which the body is using fat as its primary fuel, rather than carbs.” To do so, about 75% to 90% of daily calories will come from fat, 6% to 20% come from protein, and 2% to 5% come from carbohydrates.
“After three to four days on a ketogenic diet, back-up stores of carbohydrates, called glycogen, become depleted and ketosis kicks in, triggering some weight loss and the appearance of a leaner physique,” Sass continues.
For Kardashian, that meant cutting out most carbs including grains, beans and legumes, and substituting in fresh vegetables and lean proteins.
“I would make broccoli rice or cauliflower rice to at least feel like I was eating some carbs,” she writes. “Then I would add protein, so I often ate grilled chicken and fish over broccoli rice, cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash. I mixed in roasted vegetables, fresh salads with homemade dressing, and smoothies made with avocados and bananas.”
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The reality star also experimented with intermittent fasting and started incorporating apple cider vinegar and collagen protein powder into her daily routine to fend off hunger. She consulted her doctor (which she strongly recommends doing if you are considering the plan) and began testing her blood sugar and ketone levels with at-home kits to figure out what worked for her body.
Kardashian reported feeling some headaches and low energy after first starting the diet. “I pushed through this phase, which took a good week or two. I also did a ‘treat yourself’ day once a week, which really helped get me get through the few months that I did this diet,” she says.
If not done properly, the ketogenic diet can have harmful effects on the body, Sass warns, so she too stresses the importance of consulting a physician.
“If you attempt it on your own, I suggest modifying the diet to allow more carbs—especially the ones you know you can’t live without,” says Sass. “In my experience, moderation is generally the key to shedding pounds for good, optimizing health, and living a balanced, enjoyable life.”