Keto Diet Beginner Guide: Keto Rules for the First Three Weeks

Are you getting ready to start a Keto Diet?

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Good for you!

I absolutely believe that we all deserve to be Healthy & Happy.

Most of us have failed in the past, because we started with a bad plan and bad advice.  With that starting point, it should be no surprise that bad results were the outcome.

When planning how to start a Keto Diet, you are doing a lot of research and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

There is so much information on the internet regarding the Keto Diet, ketones, ketosis, and the history of the ketogenic diet.

It’s so easy for the process of starting a ketogenic diet to seem insanely complex and confusing.

Starting Keto Doesn’t have to be Complex or Confusing.

Many keto beginners suffer from paralysis-by-analysis; and I don’t blame them.

That’s why I created The Rules of Keto Beginners Guide to give you the basic keto rules all in one place.  If you follow these rules you’ll easily crush keto and change your story.

P.S.  If you want a super simple plan to start a Keto Diet, check out my “No Cook Keot Meal Plan” which is the easiest way to start keto.

What Kind of Keto Diet are these beginner’s rules for?

Here at Advantage Meals, we strongly believe that there is no one right way to Keto. Everyone is different, and what really works for you will be slightly different than what works for me.

If your keto gives you the wellness results you are seeking, your Keto is Keto enough for us.


In our experience, starting a Keto Diet by following these tried-and-true Keto Rules for the First Three Weeks will give you the best foundation to achieve and sustain ketosis.

There will be plenty of time to experiment with your keto way of eating later.

Keto is a lifestyle, and you’ll discover that the way you keto will change over time.

However, if you start a keto diet with these rules, figuring out how to tweak it later will be much easier.

The Keto Diet Rules for Keto Beginners

  1. Keep carbs under 25 net grams. Low carb intake is the key to ketosis, and all the rest is just details. Look at the label on the food you are considering. Total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols equals net carbs. Pay attention to labels and nutrition information, and make sure your net carb intake is less than 25 grams per day.
  2. Eat plenty of fat. Between 70-80% of your daily calories should come from fat. As you transition into ketosis, you are training your body to use fat as its main fuel source. Depriving your body of glucose (carbs) will get you there, but you will feel much better and the transition will be easier if you eat plenty of fat while your body is learning. There will be a time later when you may want to lower your fat intake, but not during the first three weeks. If you are having trouble getting enough fat, look to fat boosters (the easiest way) or fat bombs.  I just finished this keto article on 56 Ways to Add More Fat to your Keto Diet.
  3. Eat enough protein. Between 15-25% of your daily calories should come from protein. Too much, and you may not eat enough fat to feel energetic. Too little, and your body will start to cannibalize your muscle tissue for its protein needs.
  4. Follow the Basic Ketogenic Meal Template. As you know, my focus is on making keto easy.  I created the Basic Keto Meal Template to make deciding what your keto meal should look like easy. Each meal should include a palm-sized portion of protein, a handful of non-starchy vegetables, and at least a couple of spoonfuls of fat.
  5. Track your macros. Until you are familiar with how much fat, protein, and carbs are in the foods you eat, it is difficult to keep on track without keeping track. If you aren’t sure what Macros are, start with this article.  Then figure out what your macros should be, then track them daily for three weeks. You can use an app like Carb Manager or MyFitnessPal and enter the foods you eat each day or you can follow a program that has figured it all for you, like No Cook Keto.
  6. Drink water. Ketosis is diuretic by nature, which means you are shedding water faster than when eating a high-carb diet. You don’t want to add dehydration to the process of transitioning into being ketone adapted!
  7. Supplement electrolytes. This is extremely important! Add pink sea salt to your meals to make sure you get enough sodium. Use Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops to make sure you get enough magnesium. { Click to see the Mineral drops on Amazon >>> } Eat potassium-rich foods, such as avocados and dark, leafy greens. (These also have magnesium, but it is not as easily absorbed.)
  8. Don’t skip your electrolytes! Yes, it’s on here again. It’s that important. Make sure your supplements are high enough in the electrolytes you need. Powerade Zero is often suggested, but it is woefully short in magnesium (2 mg), potassium (24 mg), and sodium (100 mg). Once again, use Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops to make sure you get enough magnesium.
  9. Don’t cheat. There will be a time for experimenting with your macros and going on carb adventures later. During your first three weeks, don’t stray from the plan. Even “just a little” sugar (or fries or pasta or crackers or a soda pop…) will be enough to knock you out of ketosis. If you’ve made it through the keto flu, it could even be enough to put you back into the flu. Your body will adjust and eventually, you won’t have to be as strict. For now, stay strong. You can do this!
  10. No Scales.  I know this is going to be hard but stay off the scales during your first three weeks. Weigh yourself on the first day and on the last, but no more.  Your only goal during the first three weeks is to get into ketosis.  Stressing over weight fluctuations will only slow down the transition.

Image of the rules of keto

Are you starting keto all alone?

If you follow The Rules of Keto you will be successful in starting a Keto Diet…but you might hit some hard days.

However, you can make it easier. What if you could remove all the guesswork from keto? If that sounds good, then you should consider my No Cook Keto Meal Plan and Cookbook.

I wrote The No Cook Keto Meal Plan for people who are confused by what they are what the keto diet is and what they are supposed to be eating and not eating. If that’s you, then you owe it to yourself to at least take a look at No Cook Keto, The Easiest Way To Start Keto.

If you want to say “Thanks” for this free Keto Diet information, just leave me a comment below and share this article with your friends and family.

Those comments and shares mean the world to me.


P.S. I linked some more Keto Diet Beginners Articles for you below.

Some quick notes about these Keto Beginners Rules

These rules are not a master course for the ketogenic diet, why it works or how it works. Instead, this is a list of rules to follow every day for the first three weeks.

Follow these rules, and you’ll be happily producing ketones and seeing results in short order.

Why Three Weeks?  Because almost everyone can make the transition into ketosis within three weeks. Most people can do it much faster if you follow these keto rules.  Sticking to the rules for three weeks allows your body to begin to become fat adapted, which is when keto weight loss becomes effortless.

These Keto Rules are short, sweet, to the point.  However, they are not negotiable.

Too often, we’ve seen people not take these rules seriously and then not understand why Keto is really hard for them or they have trouble getting into ketosis and staying in ketosis.

Missing any of the ketogenic basics defined in these rules often leads to common mistakes that lead to hardship and failure.


Disclaimer: While I have been keto for over a decade and have guided thousands of people through starting a keto diet, I am neither a licensed nutritionist nor medical professional. I never prescribe diets.  I only share my personal experiences and those of my clients for informational purposes only.  Nutrition details are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be considered medical nutritional data. You should consult your medical professional before making any major changes in the way you eat.

Angela Davis

I'm Angela Davis, Co-Founder of Advantage Meals. I have a Bachelors in Anthropology and Masters in Holistic Nutrition. My passion is Ancestral Nutrition and for over a decade I've been helping Keto Diet beginners and those looking for their Primal Diet. "There is no one right way." Below are the most recent articles I've written for

69 thoughts on “Keto Diet Beginner Guide: Keto Rules for the First Three Weeks

        1. Thanks for the nice note. Best of luck as you get your Keto on. Let us know if we can help!

          1. I worry that eating such high fats will increase my cholesterol…fats that are solid at room temperature are supposed to be the worst (ex. Coconut oil)

          2. I understand your worries. I had the same ones when I started keto. I did comprehensive cholesterol screenings every three months for the first year and a half of keto. My total cholesterol when up, but my ratio of good to bad improved to an extent that it blew my doctor’s mind. I’ve seen the same with countless people Angela has coached, and honestly I haven’t personally seen bad cholesterol go up in anyone who I didn’t know wasn’t actually low carb.

            If the idea causes you great worry, keto might not be for you. If your current health concerns outweigh the worries, then work closely with your doctor and don’t ‘kind of’ do keto. Go all in for three months and monitor the results with your medical professional. Then let us know how it worked for you.

          3. After a 2 week holiday in USA and eating calorific, carb loaded meals, I’m so ready to give this a try !

        2. My father is diagnosed with 3rd degree right heart failure hypertension gout and hyperlipidemia is it risky to start keto ? And for me am not overweight I want a healthy lifestyle if I started keto how can I not lose weight?

          1. You must work closely with his medical doctor before making in major change in his diet.

            As for your diet, if you eat enough calories on a keto diet you will not lose weight yet will still enjoy the other benefits of a ketogenic way of eating. It’s even possible to gain weight on keto and many body builders eat a ketogenic diet.

        3. Thank you for making this so simple to grasp!! So much confusion with other sources. I feel much better about trying this again!!

      1. Weighing in every day was KEY 4 my success! Watching the scale go down every day was HIGHLY motivating… and is what got me to stick to it. I lost 40 lbs in 6 months. It’s been a year and a half since then and I’ve kept the weight off by continuing to eat keto.

        1. I’m so glad you found a way to keto that works for you. As Angela often says, there is no one right way to keto.

          So many of the people that we’ve guided in keto get discouraged when they weigh everyday. During the first 7 to 10 days the pounds just crash off, but for most people weight loss then slows down of even stops for a week or two while they complete the transition into full fat burning mode. We recommend no scales during the first three weeks to avoid being discouraged and experience the full transition and all of it’s benefits.

          Keto on!

      2. Hi, I am new to the Keto lifestyle. The first 4 days I ate nothing other than eggs & sausage. I was not in ketosis. So I did more reading and I found an article that said it was the fastest way to get your body in ketosis. I fasted for 48 hours, absolutely nothing else other that Crystal lite, which it said was okay. What am I doing wrong?? I am staying on this diet but I would love to know the fat was burning.

      3. I am starting week 3!! Had only a couple days of low energy, but fat bombs helped and lots of water, sticking to the plan. I have not weighed since day 1, but clothes seem a tiny bit looser. 🙂 thanks for your excellent tips, reminders, and encouragement!!

        1. Ángela, I’m so confused because I’ve read that doing the Keto diet for long-term (more than 6 months) is not recommendable, is it true?

          1. Karla – There are some people who are not actually familiar with a real Keto diet who think it is dangerous long-term. I have eaten this way for years, and my health is stellar. I easily maintain my healthy weight, my blood pressure is rock solid, my triglycerides are low and my HDL has been over 100 for 4 years in a row. Every person is different, and you need to make sure that it works for you, but I firmly believe it is a totally viable long-term way of eating. How are you eating now, if I may ask?

      1. Not really.

        A ketogenic (Keto for short) diet is a way of eating that is very low in carbohydrates and high in fats. When carbs are strictly limited, your body enters a state called ketosis and produces Ketones. This is NOT the same as ketoacidosis, which is a complication of diabetes

        Many conventional doctors are even beginning to treat Type 2 Diabetes with a Ketogenic Diet (here is an article Angela wrote), and the American Diabetes Association is now suggesting a low carb diet as a treatment for Type 2 Diabetes (another article on our website).

        However, you should definitely be working closely with your medical professional if you choose to try a keto diet with Type 2 Diabetes. Your need for diabetic medications will definitely change when you are successful with limiting carbs and you will need their help adjusting your meds over time.

        *** We are not offering medical advice, just on own experiences. You should always consult your medical professional before making any major changes in diet or exercise.

    1. I have MS and are in a lot of pain. Dr.Wahls recommends a Keto diet. I been doing Paleo for almost 4 weeks with little success. Thanks for your help

    2. Very helpful for let beginners like myself who know nothing of this Diet or should I say lifestyle change. My family is excited to get started!

  1. No other diet for weight loss is near to keto diet. Fast loss of weight was never so easy. This post covers all about keto diet, great job. If you’re new to this diet and wanna know the mechanism, what to eat and not, benefits, types of it, FAQs and some of the biggest mistakes to avoid in a keto diet. Read this and burn fat quickly.

  2. I travel weekly and eat out for breakfast and lunch normally skip. I need help in how to do the keto diet when eating out daily.

  3. So here is a rookie question – Does the no cook keto, mean actually not cooking anything? I don’t mind cooking eggs or meat, I just don’t like complicated recipes. I like basic food.

    1. At it’s base, No Cook Keto really is no cooking. Mix, Microwave, and Eat.

      However, there is a substitution section with ideas on what you might cook yourself instead of buying precooked. For example, Hard Boiled Eggs, Ground Beef, etc…

      With this keto meal plan, you can cook as much or as little as you want to.

        1. Sure, as long as those 2 carbs fit into your macros. Note that alcohol will slow down your weight loss, even the zero carb choices.

  4. Best thing I ever read in regard to drinking plenty of water. If you wash out the ketones, your body will be forced to burn more fat to get adequate amounts of fuel. It as the best piece of advice I ever read. Plus, your skin gets super hydrated, and you look much younger with well hydrated skin.

  5. Where do you get pinj sea salt and concentrate trace minerals? I would like to start this with my husband. He looks like he has a beer belly and he does not drink! Help please!

    1. In Rule #7 above that talks about electrolytes, you can click on the text for pink sea salt and ConcenTrace Trace Minerals and it will link you to Amazon where you can buy them!

  6. I’m thinking about starting the Keto Diet. I don’t drink a lot of plain water. I usually put Crystal Light in my water. Can I still do that on Keto?

    1. Yes, as long as the carbs are zero, that is fine for Keto! I’m not a huge fan of some of their ingredients from a health standpoint (aspartame, an artificial sweetener, is specifically not great, in my book) but if it helps you get started, use it. If you find that you have trouble getting into ketosis or hit a stall, this would be one of the first things I would look to replace with a more natural option.

  7. I’m drinking Premier protein energy drinks breakfast and lunch. Is this ok? They have 30 grams of protein 1 gram sugar and are 160 calories

    1. Are these the protein shakes you’ve been using? The carbs in them are pretty good (just 2 net carbs per serving), and they seem to have nice electrolytes. Now they are heavily processed and have include small amounts of some ingredients that know would be inflammatory for myself. If they work for you, and fit in your keto macros, go for it!

  8. I’m so blessed to find this article, thank you Angela! This is my 3rd Keto attempt and just about to give up again. I’m going to do exactly what you state!

    I appreciate your simplistic outline and education.. I’m actually understanding what’s written!

    I use Senza app for journaling and food tracking, which is extremely helpful. Daily tracking of food is a burden for me but not going to give up!

    I’m going to push the scale far underneath the bed to it doesn’t tease me “come weigh let’s see if you lost weight from all the cupcakes you aren’t eating”

    3 weeks sounds so simple and doable. We all know it is more difficult.. if you’re trying to loose weight but 3 weeks is only 3 weeks.. I got this

    I turn 50 in 13 months and want to loose just over a 100 pounds. I’ve never been successful at loosing weight. It’s scary and real for the first time ever!

    Taking care of me has never been a priority, new territory.

    I do know, once i tackle this weight, live healthy and love me… I’ll be an unstoppable (probably extra sassy) strong woman.

    Thank you for your written words as they have placed me back into a better mindset.

    1. Oh my goodness, Rachel! I can’t tell you how much your words mean to me. If I can help you make this change in your life, I am honored.

      You can do this! Let go of the past attempts. Today is a new day. And there will be times when it’s tough, but you’re really onto the secret. By loving yourself and taking care of yourself, you are making a powerful decision. Every good decision leads to more, so keep at it!

      Watch for all the successes (and forget about that scale!) and celebrate the wins, even the little ones. You’ll be surprised how many there will be when you watch for them. Improvements in your health and well-being that you didn’t even know you needed.

      I’m so proud of you! Keep me posted. I’m here for you.

  9. Heard great things about Ketogenic Diet and I’m excited to start this plan today. Along with this diet plan is it alright for me to also start taking the Keto Slim Dietary Supplement capsules as well?
    Thanks, Winnie

    1. Winnette – I am not familiar with that particular supplement. I did an internet search, and it looks like it is an exogenous ketone. That means you are putting ketones in your bloodstream by consuming them instead of your body making them yourself. There is some research showing some positive uses of exogenous ketones for things like epilepsy and other brain disorders, but research on using exogenous ketones for weight loss is slim and not very promising. It is my belief that supplements are not necessary, and you are better off keeping your carbs low so your body can make and use its own ketones. There are some people who use supplements of this kind of love them, though. You need to do what you think makes sense for you!

  10. I have a daughter having seizures
    A ketogenic diet recommended to help
    Easy for her she is bottle fed so a keto formula works

    But I will go keto myself to understand and support

    I just don’t know what to eat
    And no time for fancy stuff

    Where do I start with easy suggestions for breakfast (two hard boiled eggs black coffee?)
    Lunch ( every day salad with balsamic or lotsa friuit and beef jerky)
    Supper is a mystery
    With wife and five kids it’s tough


    1. Frank – Bless you for being such a committed father! We have seen Keto make a huge difference for kids with seizures, and I hope your daughter experiences the same. For you, keeping it simple is really the best way to eat Keto. My Basic Ketogenic Meal Plan fits any meal – a palm-size portion of protein, a handful of non-starchy vegetables, and at least a couple of spoonfuls of fat. Keep your foods simple, there’s no need for anything fancy. Just keep your carbs under 25 net grams per day!

      If you’d like, I created the No Cook Keto Meal Plan just for folks like you who want super easy meals that are fast and everything (including the macros) is thought out for you. You might want to check out my No Cook Keto!

  11. Thanks for this article! I just discovered it and I will surely take on what I’ve been missing 🙂
    I’m on a low carb diet for about 7or 8 months and it has definitely done me good.
    Not that I lost a lot of weight, but the overall well- and fitness is great!
    My biggest issue with this is I’m vegetarian and don’t like dairy too much…
    Is there a recipe guide for those like me as well? that would be so cool!

  12. Oh my word, I had the Keto flu last night and it kind of scared me. At first I thought my blood pressure dropped to a dangerous level. I checked it and it was perfect. It then clicked, this is the keto flu they have been talking about. I felt so weird but hopped on line and found out everything I was experiencing was completely normal. It started with headaches and then all of the sudden I got super dizzy and that’s when I thought my blood pressure had dropped. I got nauseous and very weak, and last night I couldn’t sleep. Once I realized what was happening, I accepted the symptoms and knew I was making progress towards ketosis. Today I feel great! I was hoping this would quickly pass and fortunately it did. That feeling will be enough to keep me on the plan. I DO NOT want to have that flu again.

    I wanted drastic results I keep my net carbs under 19. I never realized that like sugar, carbs are carbs good or bad. I always knew there were good carbs but didn’t really pay attention to that before now.

    Anyway I was passing on my Keto flu experience and am very glad it passed. I have finally found the plan that is going to work for me. I was on Paleo once and lost about 40 lbs. but the things I was missing made it too difficult to follow. CHEESE I had to have cheese and butter. I look at this as how my grandparents used to eat with none of the preservatives. My grandparents never had low fat or fat free or sugar free.

    I use a program called Carb Manager. You can link your Fitbit or another tracking devise to it and it gives you a complete breakdown of total carbs net carbs protein and fat for everything you eat. This has been a very valuable tool for me. Good luck everyone and Keto On!!!

    1. Thank you for sharing your keto flu experience for others to learn from!

      Keto Flu is real and it is not pleasant. You are lucky it passed so quickly, some people will struggle with it for up to a week.

  13. Good evening, really love the article. I have Siggis yogurts, like lemon flavored. As long as I stay under the 25 net carbs can I still eat this?

    1. Sure, you can really eat about anything as long as it fits in your macros. With 9 grams sugar per container you’ll have to track everything else pretty tightly, and it seems to be no-fat which means you’re going to need to add fat elsewhere. Perhaps add Fat Boosters to your other meals.

  14. Can’t get into Ketosis. 20 lbs in 3 mo. Female, 4 ft 11 need to lose 66 lbs. Drink at least a gallon of water and am up 3 4 times a night to use restroom. I cannot figure out what is wrong. I follow recipes I find online and in books. Sugar cravings are gone. No more acid reflux, or gallbladder pain. Won’t quit however getting discouraged. Started this Keto Diet June 19, 2019. I have Vertigo currently & cannot exercise.

    1. Marianne – Your dedication is already paying off with health benefits. I’m so glad to hear that you are noticing a difference in cravings, reflux and gallbladder pain. That’s a big deal! I know you want to lose weight, but your body obviously has other health improvements that are taking priority. Don’t discount those other improvements. Weight loss is a side effect of health, and you are getting healthier! You may find some helpful info in this article I wrote about feeling like you’re not in ketosis yet:

      Are you tracking your food intake? An app like Carb Manager or MyFitnessPal is very helpful!

  15. While I think your answer to my question will be obvious, I’m hoping that there might be a glimmer of hope that you’ll tell me I’m wrong…

    I love carbs…love, love, love carbs. I don’t want to stop eating carbs. I don’t like fatty foods very much, I don’t like meat very much…eggs make me nauseous. I don’t particularly want to start a keto diet, but my doctor says it’s the only way to pull myself out of T2 diabetes. Should I just admit defeat and not even try, or is there even a slightest of chance that this keto-thing could work for me?

    1. Heather – You can do this! Never admit defeat. Your health is in your hands, and a Keto diet has helped many people reverse T2 diabetes. You will need to cut out the carbs, and it will be challenging, especially at first. But it’s so worth it! You’ll need willpower for the first week or two, but after that it gets easier. When you cut out carbs, you change your body’s hormonal reaction to food. Those hormones are a lot of what makes you crave carbs so much, and once you are not fighting against your hormones, your body starts to heal and you are in control of deciding what you want to eat.

      If you want some help with meal planning and super easy recipes, consider using my No Cook Keto Meal Plan (3 weeks of super easy recipes, all planned out for you) and my new No Cook Keto Cookbook. These two downloadable e-books will give you great tasting, satisfying, easy meals and help you stick with Keto!

      I would also suggest you have some Keto alternatives ready for your favorite foods. If you crave pizza and you already have a plan for Keto pizza, you’ll be much more likely to not cave in to the carbs. There are Keto versions for just about everything! Fat bombs were huge for me. This recipe for Keto Peanut Butter Cups was a life saver!

      Good luck! You can do this!

  16. I am excited about starting the Keto diet, but am a little concerned about the amount of fat. I had gastric sleeve surgery two weeks ago, and don’t want to suffer ‘dumping’ syndrome. Have you had clients who have dealt with this? I won’t be able to eat solid food for a few more weeks. Thanks!

    1. We really have no experience with recent gastric sleeve surgery and keto. You really need to work very closely with your medical professionals to make sure this is going to work for you. Best of luck!

  17. Hi! I wanted to let you know that my doctor recommended the Keto diet to me recently. He, his wife and his nurse are all eating that way. I consider him to be an excellent doctor, so if he wants me to eat Keto, I’m going to eat Keto!

    Your website is an amazing source of information – I also got your “No Cook Keto Cookbook” which looks amazing! I am excited to begin!

    Thank you for your hard work in getting this info out to us!

    1. That is so exciting. Seeing medical doctors begin to not only support but recommend a ketogenic way of eating is so exciting. In time, we’ll reverse this obesity epidemic! Thank you for taking a moment to share your story and your kind words of support. It means the world to Angela and me.

  18. I am confused on the amount of protein I have to eat daily. The charts show 80 g to 123 g which equals to about 3-4.4 oz of protein a day. It seems very little

    1. Marinella – Are you using an app to help you track? I’m not sure which chart you are referring to. I use Carb Manager, and when I enter 3 ounces of ground beef (80%), it show 21 grams of protein. So you could eat 12 ounces and be at 86 grams of protein.

  19. I found this article on Pinterest. I have been doing research on the best way to start and most importantly stay on the Keto meal plan. Your article gave me a lot of good insight on how to keep up important minerals in my diet. Any big changes in my body causes me to lose hair by the handfuls. I am hoping with maintaining a good balance will help. I am looking forward to this lifestyle change.


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