a) To get started first you need to be solid as to how this Metabolic Therapy works. The first link is to Dr. Thomas Seyfried's article.
b) If the above article is too difficult to get through, this is Dr. G. Ede's plain English explaination of Dr. Seyfrieds book, "Cancer as a Metabolic Disease": On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer by Thomas Seyfried (Jun 26, 2012)
c) Dr. Seyfried suggests that you kick off the diet with a 3 day fast (like Esther in the Purim Megila). I was afraid to do this because I had no medical support for this and if I fainted I knew that I would have been hauled away to the emergency room and given a glucose/saline IV which would have sabotaged my whole kickoff of the diet. (Instead I started with a 30% calorie reduction on my Resting Metabolic Rate which I explain below in part 1.)
d) You need to get Ellen Davis' EBook.
Please read this book carefully (all of it don't just skim). I didn't find it till I was 2 months into the diet and could have saved myself a lot of grief if I had. I printed it out on paper and took it to the FedEx store to have it bound so that I could read it on Shabbat (it's the only occasion during the week that I can carve out a portion of time for myself undisturbed). I found that it is very helpful to have a paper version. I can refer to it at my kitchen table as needed and not always have to go back to the computer to look something up.
And this is Ellens: Low Carb Food List.
e) Then you need to get a glucose meter (get the cheapest you can).
What is expensive are the strips so check it out to get the cheapest you can find, you'll be using a lot of these. I haven't found that any of these meters are very accurate. They meet accuracy standards for diabetes not for ketogenics (so don't waste your money on the hype of better accuracy or performance).
f) For the first 2 weeks you can get pretty accurate results using urine ketone sticks and they're pretty cheap. After that they're not very accurate, but I still use them on the days I don't take my blood ketone measurements just to see if I'm in the Zone without the real numbers.
g) The next thing you need to get is a ketone blood meter. This one is the most accurate
The meter is cheap compared to the strips. In the USA the Cheapest I've found is $5 a strip. I get them from Canada at $2 a piece. Still expensive but do able. The pharmacy is
Be careful when you order that you put in Blood KETONE Strips and not order Blood glucose strips. They won't take it back and you'll be out a lot of money. (If it's easier for you to order by phone, their phone number is 866-456-2456 and they are customer friendly.) You will be checking your Blood ketones twice a week.
h) You need a digital scale that works in grams and can subtract the weight of a plate to measure everything you put in your mouth. This is a good one
Once you have these items you can start the diet. Here is what I did.
1. First I found my resting metabolic rate on this site
This RMR Calculator will average out how many calories you absolutely need a day to support your body weight. Since I decided that I couldn't safely fast without medical supervision. I took my RMR average (which was 1261 calories a day). Then I subtracted 30% (which was 378.3 calories). For those that are math challenged you take your total calories and multiply them by .3 on the calculator. 1261-378=883 calories a day.
Then I figured out the proportions of what I needed to eat daily. For me that was 70g fat, 12g Carbs and 45g proteins a day divided into two or three meals equally. The Ketogenic diet for cancer is divided up roughly to 80% fat, and 12g of Carbs and the rest Protein.
I stayed at 883 calories until I saw my ketones go up in the morning before I ate anything and reached 4.0 on my Blood Ketone Meter and my morning glucose numbers dropped from 110 to 71.
I then went to 1200 calories a day. 12g Carb, 50 grams protein and the rest fat. I continued to loose weight from 133lb to 105lb. I kept upping the fat but was still loosing weight . I finally contacted a dietician with experience with Ketogenics. (I found out that it's the carbs that make you gain weight, fat alone won't do it.) By that time I was down to 103lbs. She made the corrections and now I am 107lbs (the weight I was when I married 37 years ago). Today I eat 2000 to 2200 calories a day to maintain my weight, of which fat is 190g a day, Protein is around 50g a day (some days I let 1 or 2 grams more get in) and carbs are 12g a day.
The way you calculate if you are in the Keto Zone is the G/K Index
To use an example of my numbers are: Glucose is 71mg/dl, Blood Ketone is 4.0 (To convert a glucose measurement in mg/dl to mmol, divide it by 18) Divide the Glucose (71) by 18. Then divide that result by 4.0. That will give you your G/K Index.
Glucose Measurement (mmol) = 1.0 or below Ketone Measurement (mmol)
For me that is 71/18=3.49 then 3.49/4=.8725 Bingo it's less that 1.0 and I'm in the Keto Zone.
It took me a week to get my ketones up and my glucose down. It might take you less it might take you longer (some people take as long as 3 weeks). After that, just follow Ellen's book. You can email her if you have any questions.
2. Oh, last but not least you need to track your food intake and your readings daily (or as best you can on Shabbat)
I use Fatsecret.com I like the features they have on the bottom that shows a pie chart of your fat, carb and protein intake percentages. Also they allow you to choose the columns you want to track your diet in. The most important thing for a ketogenic diet is to measure your NET carb intake, not the overall carbohydrates and this site allows you to do that.
3. Also I (with the help of my son Simcha) created a google spread sheet to track all my numbers and access them from anywhere (including my doctor's office if she wants to take a peak at how it's going). Please feel free to use it or create one of your own. You can create the next day's cells by clicking on 4 on the left of the template (which highlights the row), then click on "insert"(and a drop down menu will appear). Click on ""Row Above" and that will add a new row to add the next day's info. This is so you don't have to scroll down to the bottom of the spread sheet to add your latest info. (This gets really long as you move through months of the diet.)