Problems You May Encounter
One problem I encountered was extreme weight loss and my ketone level was dropping off. I wondered what the problem was. I finally figured it out. I was not consuming enough protein so my body was scavenging muscle mass instead of good fats. I added more chicken into my diet (stir fries with chicken for my evening meal instead of just salad) and consuming at least one protein shake a day and upped my good fat intake. My ketone level soon began to rise and I actually started to gain weight back as the extra protein was replacing the scavenged muscle mass that I had lost.
I have read of SOME cases where the cancer comes back after using this protocol. The problem is some people may come off this protocol too early even after getting the all clear they are cancer free. It is STRONGLY suggested that you remain on the diet for at least another two weeks because even though current technology is pretty good at detecting cancer there may be some cancerous tissue too small to be detected.
It is also strongly suggested to use the diet as the basis for your ongoing eating habits where you can start adding fruit and medium to high carb sources to your diet which will give you natural sugars and carbs that your body can use for creating glucose. Stay way from table sugar, sugary treats such as chocolate bars and the like. Its best to keep your sugar consumption very low as you have learned that sugar is literally cancer food.
What about cravings, "withdrawal pains" from low carbs??
Some people, but not all, experience unpleasant symptoms during the initial period of switching to low carb eating, such as intense cravings for sugars and sweets, or maybe headaches, fatigue or irritability. This is not a sign of illness, or a reason to quit. Your body needs to clear itself of the excess carbs in your system left over from your previous high-carb and sugar diet. Once your blood sugar and insulin levels have evened out, you will feel better, and cravings should disappear. Most people find this only takes a few days, for a few though, it may last over a week. The best "cure" for intense sweet cravings is to eat PROTEIN. Have frequent, small protein-containing meals and snacks throughout the day; this will prevent blood sugar swings which trigger the cravings. Drink plenty of fresh, plain water or lemon water to keep yourself hydrated and to flush the system of metabolic wastes and by-products.
You can also make ketogenic friendly sweet treats like cookies and muffins using coconut or almond flour instead of regular flour. Use olive oil or coconut oil instead of vegetable oil and Stevia® or Splenda® instead of sugar. Recipes are in this document and coming up!
Low Ketone Readings?
Another problem you may encounter is not being into ketosis enough. Your ketone readings should be AT LEAST moderate to high. If it is below moderate then its time to do an inventory of what you are eating. List everything that you are eating then go down the list checking the amount of sugar and carbs in each. There should be NO sugar in anything you consume THIS INCLUDES FRUIT because fruit has natural sugars and that is why fruit is not allowed. CHECK THOSE CARBS. Google each item and jot down the carb content of each. Your daily carbs should be very low, somewhere between 20-30 grams MAXIMUM but the lower the better. Check the carbs in the veggies you are eating because some veggies have some carbs and also some protein. For instance broccoli has about 3 grams of protein per 100 grams and 7 grams of carbs and kale has about 4 grams of protein per 100 grams and 9 grams of carbs. So you can see that foods you would not think have many carbs may surprise you! So if you eat 100 grams of both kale and broccoli you consume about 16 grams of carbs! Your target is 20-30 grams of carbs maximum.
Check your good fat intake. This is assuming you are ingesting good fats that your body needs to create ketones. If you are trying to lose weight by not consuming fats then check that you actually have some body fat to lose. Try adding some good fats to your diet and see if that corrects the problem.
Check your protein intake. List all the food items such as eggs, meats, protein shakes, veggies and so on then add up the amount of protein after googling them ("how much protein in broccoli"). The average sedentary male needs 56 grams of protein while a female needs 46 grams of protein. If you are an active person or in a profession that uses a lot of body motion and lifting then you will have to increase the amount of protein you consume. I ran into this problem myself. I did the list and checked carbs, sugars and protein. I was losing too much weight and saw in my arms that I was losing muscle mass. When I was done with my list I saw the amount of protein was way too low so I added more protein to my diet in the form of more chicken and protein shakes and soon my ketone readings started to rise. Watch for TOO MUCH protein as excess protein will be turned into glucose. It takes longer for the body to process protein into glucose but it will happen.
These are normal as there is tons of sugar in a lot of foods that we eat. You just have to get over this. Your sugar craving will eventually go away. You can also bake up some cookies or muffins using the recipes described before. Just remember that sugar is your WORST enemy on this diet as sugar will feed cancer cells and also bring down your ketone levels. So no matter how good it looks stay away from anything containing sugar or carbs.
I got a rude awakening how even a small amount of sugar and carbs can affect your ketone levels. I broke down once and had a chocolate chip cookie and a very small piece of cake with frosting on it. It took me THREE days to get back into ketosis.
A good set of scales can be your best friend. If you are using this diet for weight loss and a cancer cure, keep track of your weight. Once you have reached your ideal weight then start consuming good fats such as more olive oil when frying and start taking a couple or more tablespoons of coconut oil each day. Even if you are already at your ideal weight keep track of your weight and watch for weight loss. If this happens then up your consumption of coconut oil and/or other good fats plus read the section above "Low Ketone Readings?"
Since cancer cells do not like an oxygen rich environment then a little exercise and fresh air won't do any harm. A brisk walk while swinging your arms will also exercise and cleanse your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that extend from the neck down to the groin. The lymph system is responsible for disposing of toxins and fighting disease. Here is a short article that explains all about the lymph system and why exercising it is important. The lymphatic system does not have a pump like the blood system in our bodies. Lymph fluid needs motion to move it around.
That's about it. The ketogenic diet which restricts sugar and carbs to starve cancer cells can cure most any cancer with no problem and works as a GREAT weight loss diet if you also restrict the intake of good fats which are normally suggested when using the diet as a cancer cure. So if you are using the diet for fighting cancer AND weight loss simply don't consume much of the good fats suggested and let your body use its own stored fat to create ketones for fuel.