Keto Challenge Q&A – What You Need To Know


We just kicked off another FUN keto challenge and we’ll weigh-in every week. It’s never too late to join in, so join us today if you haven’t already. New people start every single day. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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

Eating Fat To Lose Fat

Some people believe you should NOT eat high fat if you still have a lot of body fat to burn. If you’re unsure, or have questions on that, watch this video:


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. πŸ˜›

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. πŸ˜‰

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


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. πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜‰

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.

Also see: How Much Protein Should You Eat?

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. πŸ™‚

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. I do like products that have collagen in them like the Roast Chicken Bone Broth and the Ketologie Keto Shakes and I also add unflavored collagen powder to my first morning coffee now.

But supplements aren’t necessary in the beginning.

Just focus on your food choices!

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

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!


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 Keto Challenge, what you’re experiencing, certain low carb foods, etc – just leave a comment and ask! πŸ˜‰

I have a lot of helpful links in the 2020 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?

Leave a comment and let’s chat!:)

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler


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


Netrition – The Internet’s Premier Nutrition Superstore!

Low Carb Snack Box


About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
This entry was posted in Weight Loss and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


40 Responses to Keto Challenge Q&A – What You Need To Know

  1. Lisa DeVogel says:

    Your explanations are so helpful! Thank you. I’ve just started in earnest again. Changed my info on My Fitness Pal to the 20/70. Seems to be working.
    Hesitant to join your challenge- trip to Hawaii mid way through but will continue to track and figure things out.
    Thank you again!!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you, Lisa! Just stick to the challenge until you leave so you’ll look and feel GREAT on your trip. πŸ˜‰ And by then, you may find you’ll enjoy eating keto ON your trip as well.

      I really prefer eating keto when I’m traveling because that’s the LAST time I want to feel bloated, lethargic, etc. Plus there are so many beautiful low carb foods to enjoy when traveling!

      But either way, join in for now at least. πŸ˜‰ You’ll be glad you did!

  2. Jess says:


    For those of us who travel or work and eat out for lunch, could you share good low carb/ high fat options at chain restaurants for salads, burgers or other meals? Sometimes it is hard to know what to order. I usually get a bun less burger but sometimes I want something different.

  3. Debbie says:

    My starting weight on Jan. 2nd was 142.5.

  4. MK says:

    Got started yesterday. All set up with My Fitness Pal and excited to keep on track for the next 90 days.

  5. Becky says:

    Hopefully I can start and stay with this starting weight Jan 3 145lb up from 128lb in June. ‍♀️

  6. Cincha says:

    Starting weight 254

  7. Helga says:

    Question about the Mojo meter: which one do you recommend? How often do you test? Are there different strips for glucose and keto? I can image it gets expensive to test… thanks!

  8. Melissa Seymour says:

    Hey Lynn,
    I’ve been doing low carb/keto for 2 1/2?years. I got to my goal weight, but I have slowly put on 15 pounds (holidays did not help). I have been back to keto for 11 days and I have not lost any weight. I am tracking and following macros. Any advice?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Melissa,

      Are you back in ketosis this time around? You’re doing 20 net carbs max and 70% fat minimum consistently, correct? What do YOU think could be the culprit – any ideas?? Is there something you’re eating or doing different this time than in the past when you got to goal weight?

  9. Janene says:

    Can’t figure out how to post my starting weight on the challenge so I’m just doing it here.

    Starting weight on January 5th: 141.6

    • Lynn Terry says:

      That works too, Janene! πŸ™‚ Are you in the Facebook Group? If so there is a pinned post / announcement at the top of that group and it always has the links to the current weigh-in threads.

  10. Renee Copeland says:

    Hi Terry. I love your blog and read it often. I am morbidly obese and starting over again, again:( I found a blog where you reviewed zero carb breads. I’ve searched for it but can’t find it. Could you give me a little direction please?

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  14. Olga Ferrer-Cintron says:

    I started to eat low carb about a month and a half ago. I was doing great but after loosing 10 lbs it seams that I’m stuck. I keep a journal and I know that I haven’t eat more than 20 carbs at day. What can I do to put my body in gear?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Olga πŸ™‚ It’s actually common to see a “hold” or even slight fluctuations sometimes, especially after the initial weight loss. It’s just your body adjusting.

      The key is to keep doing what’s obviously working so well for you! Just power through that. Of course if you changed or added anything, switch back to what you were doing before. But other than that, know it’s totally normal!

      You’ll see these a lot in the weight loss trend over the long term, lose/hold, it’s a cycle, but over time you’re losing weight and changing your entire body composition (thus the adjustment period) – and getting healthier!

      On the days the scales frustrate you, just ignore them and eat for your health. πŸ˜‰

  15. Emily says:

    Hi there,
    I don’t like eating meat. I will eat it if I’m eating out, but at home I only prepare chicken. I also don’t eat seafood, or much dairy (don’t feel very well after eating dairy). Is there a way that I can successfully lose weight this way? I really hope so. Thanks:)

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  18. Shona Davis says:

    Great advice, thanks so much.

  19. Dorla Jacobson says:

    Starting Jan 6 2020 at 94: Please send me the link for 3iMax.

    Thank you!!!

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  21. Louann Lee says:

    Hi Lynn, I haven’t been doing well long story short. I have with you here since about January 2016. Getting of track here and there. Well this year I struggle since October pretty bad. Then comes Dec.16,2019. The most dreadful day of my life. My 14 year old granddaughter was killed in a side by side accident. While spending the night at a friends. But so I have just fell apart living on Xanax and vodka. Eating anything in front of me. But I know she would not be proud of me. So I’m trying to pull myself together. I can barely put 2 thoughts together. I started with you at 174,4 got down to 121.0 which was to low for me I’m now 57 and 5’3. People thought I was sick. I feel I look my best at between 125.0-130.0. But today is the day I’m taking my life back. But I feel like I don’t even know where to start with this. I just drank keto coffee. Which hopefully will keep me full until about noon. I just wanted to let you know if you have any ideas for me would be great. My husband is a junk food junkie. So this is gonna be tough for a while. Thanks for listening. Prayers I can get back at this I’m so disappointed in my self

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