Keto Challenge Q&A + Starting Weigh-In

We just kicked off the 2019 New Year Keto Challenge and it’s time for the starting weigh-in. It’s never too late to join in, so join us today if you haven’t already. New people start every single day. 😉

You can weigh in at the Starting Weigh-In thread in our private Facebook group, or leave a comment here on this post if you’re not participating in the group.

You simply put your starting weight as of Wednesday morning, January 2nd (or the day you start, if after that).

The weekly weigh-ins are just for accountability, of course…

The lifestyle change is the REAL goal! ❤

The challenge is FREE, see: for details.

New Year Keto Challenge Questions

Here are the TOP questions about Keto and the Low Carb Challenge that I have received so far – and my answers to them. This post will serve as an Open Q&A too, so feel free to post YOUR questions in the comments. 😉

There’s So Much Conflicting Advice. It’s Confusing!

Question: Some people say NO artificial sweeteners, drink LOTS of water, certain ingredients aren’t allowed, etc. What’s your take on this?

Answer: All of those things are truly just personal preferences. You’ll develop your own preferences as you go but my advice is: keep it really simple to start.

Just do 20 net carbs max and 70% fat minimum – and ignore everything else. That way you can get started without getting overwhelmed. 😉

Using low or zero carb sweeteners is fine. Malitol will most likely upset your stomach, but you’ll figure out which sweeteners you prefer and how they affect you as you go.

I have a video on this topic here: Keto Diet Simplified: What It Does NOT Mean

Keto vs Low Carb

As for water…

Water is great, but if you drink too much water, you just cause headaches and leg cramps – ie flush out your sodium and electrolytes.

Those myths floating around the internet about drinking half your body weight in ounces every day: WRONG! And potentially dangerous. See: How Much Water Should I Drink?

I didn’t drink water when I first started low carb at all. I drank diet coke and coffee all day, and lost weight just fine. 😛

I drink water and coffee now instead, but in the winter it’s usually around 48 ounces a day at most drinking with meals. On hot summer days when I’m hiking it might be a lot more of course.

I still enjoy a diet coke (or half of one at least) on the rare occasion – and it hasn’t killed me yet. 😉

Drink to thirst and just keep an eye on your urine – it should be pale yellow. Any darker and you need more water, any lighter or clear and you’re drinking too much.

I’m Not Sure What To Eat on a Keto Diet

When I first started almost 8 years ago, I used the Atkins20 Phase One Acceptable Food List which is a VERY helpful keto-friendly food list to start with.

From that list on the Atkins website, I took the vegetables and put them in alphabetical order with carb counts for you:

Quick List of Low Carb Vegetables with Carb Counts

Another great food list I found recently is:
Ketogenic diet food list – what to buy (

I also have several posts where you can see MY groceries such as this Low Carb Grocery Shopping post, and this Low Carb Groceries Video where I shared everything I got at the store that day.

Low Carb Grocery List

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Doing Low Carb Instead of Keto

I hear this a lot, and I’m always curious:

What do you consider to be the differences?

I have been eating a very low carb diet for almost 8 years now, to stay in nutritional ketosis for health reasons. I know a lot of people define “keto” in various ways though – but a ketogenic low carb diet is basically Atkins Phase One (or Atkins20) without any restrictions.

“Low carb” can be defined in a number of ways, most basically: anything 100 carbs a day or less. Keto is simply VERY low carb (20 net carbs max and 70% fat minimum) – or eating low carb enough to achieve the metabolic state of ketosis for both weight loss and health benefits.

A lot of people overcomplicate it and put all kinds of other restrictions on it, but those are JUST personal preferences. 😉

Setting Up MyFitnessPal For Keto Tracking

Question: Should I just put in my height, age, weight and just choose “maintain weight” or what exactly? When I change my goals to 5% carbs, 25% protein and 70% fat it gives me a calorie goal. Should I just ignore that calorie goal or stick to it?

Answer: I just ignore the calories and the goals, and stick to doing 20 net carbs max and 70% fat minimum. This is how I set up my MyFitnessPal account: How to Get Net Carbs in MyFitnessPal

In the beginning focus on eating super low carb and plenty of healthy fats, ie the 20/70 – and ignore everything else. There’s a science to the way the ketogenic diet works, so you can ignore calories. That’s something you can revisit later in your weight loss journey, but for now: Keep it simple! 😉

Tracking Fat & Protein: Grams vs Percentages

Question: My protein is 106 and fat is 132. Does that sound right to you? I hear a lot about too much protein, fat should be twice as much as protein, etc. It gets confusing!

Answer: You can’t go by grams because some proteins are also fats (like salmon and eggs and cheese). So you go by ratios or percentages instead.

Protein should be 25% max of your total daily calories, fat should be 70% minimum. Here is a simple explanation & illustration: Macronutrients Simplified where you can see examples of how I get more than the daily recommended amount of protein, while still keeping it under 25% of my total daily calories.

Is Exercise Necessary?

I didn’t exercise at all when I first started. I lost all my weight just eating low carb.

I only started exercising after I reached my goal weight – and just to tone up and build muscle & strength.

Exercise is good for your body though, and great for your mind too! If you CAN exercise, that’s great. If you can’t for some reason, that’s okay too.

I was very sedentary the first few years I was eating low carb and lost weight just fine, but switching to a more active lifestyle has been FUN and also a great way to carve out some “me time” that I enjoy. 🙂

Should you limit dairy?

No – unless you have a specific dairy intolerance.

If you find you’re constipated, eat less cheese – or cut it out altogether to see if that’s the culprit. If you are having a hard time losing weight, lower your dairy intake to see if that helps.

But in general no, dairy is fine!

Do I need to take any supplements like potassium, magnesium, collagen, etc?

I didn’t take any supplements when I started and still don’t. I do like products that have collagen in them like the Roast Chicken Bone Broth and the Chocolate & Vanilla Keto Shakes but I don’t take daily supplements.

You should really talk to your doctor before taking any medication or supplements, and not take advice on that off the internet. 😉

There are low carb foods high in magnesium and potassium naturally. See: Healthy Fats & Super Foods To Eat Daily for a great list of those!

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To give you helpful low carb meal ideas & examples I’ll share my low carb food diaries and MyFitnessPal logs with you as we go, plus recipes & motivation to help you stay on track.

If you have any questions about the Low Carb Challenge, what you’re experiencing, certain low carb foods, etc – just leave a comment and ask! 😉

I have a lot of helpful links in the 2019 New Year Keto Challenge post too that will probably answer most of your questions, so look over that too for even more helpful tips.

How are things going for you so far?

Don’t forget to weigh in today…

Leave a comment and let’s chat!:)

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler


instagram low carb @lowcarbtraveler @lowcarbtraveler @lowcarbtraveler pinterest low carb

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