Are you looking to lose weight without being hungry all the time? Or, do you find that eating carbs make you feel sluggish, tired or cause “brain fog”?
The keto cleanse program below is a healthy evolution of the popular ketogenic diet.
Unlike many fad diets and detox plans that don’t have a lot of evidence, there is actually a lot of science and data on the benefits of the keto diet. With that said, it is important to know that the keto diet has side effects too. And, just like any popular diet that goes viral on the internet, there are many misconceptions and poor advice.
So, in this keto detox guide, we focused on the key practical keto diet guidelines that have proven to help many. You will also find common mistakes to avoid, and some of the early warning signs to watch for.
We hope this guide will help you enjoy the many benefits of the keto cleanse, enjoy eating tasty meals that you love, and achieve your health and wellness goals.
What is the keto cleanse?
Plan overview, story in nutshell
With the keto cleanse diet, you restrict your carbs and replace them with healthy fats. After a few days, your body carbs storage (glycogen) becomes low, to a point your body has no other choice but to use fats for energy instead of sugars.
Once your body and brain adapts to using fats for fuel rather than sugars, the sugar rollercoaster is gone. To many people, this means freedom.
In particular, some of the related benefits may include:
- Less hunger compared to high carb diets.
- More sustained consistent energy. Including, better brain function.
- And, when you don’t consume extra calories, there’s often a significant weight loss. With much less effort.
Perhaps a key difference between the keto cleanse to many typical keto diets, is that the keto cleanse focuses on healthy food options, that can help to:
- Support the body’s natural detox systems and organs of elimination. Thus, promore natural and gentle detoxification.
- Promote gut health and digestion.
A typical plan duration is 30 days, but you can continue further if you like how you feel.
Keto cleanse diet
In the keto cleanse diet, you focus on healthy whole foods. Not pills and powders. At the same time, you avoid unhealthy foods that can cause inflammation and irritate your gut. Unfortunately, a lot of these inflammatory foods are still common in a typical keto diet eating. Like we said, the keto cleanse is a healthy evolution.
Keep in mind, there is no one diet that works best for everyone. The guidelines we provide in this guide, however, are an excellent start. Use them to tailor the best plan, foods and meals according to your body needs and personal preferences.
Also, a useful online tool to calculate macros, vitamins, and minerals in foods: cronometer.com
Foods to eat on the keto cleanse
See below the list of foods, categorized by: carbs, protein, fats, fiber, spices, and superfoods. On that note, while variation is important, you do not need to eat all of these foods, of course. Find your staples and most importantly, enjoy your meals eating the foods you love.
Carbs on the keto cleanse, how low do you need to go?
Restricting carbs on a keto detox is essential, since too many carbs that convert to sugar can prevent your body from getting into ketosis.
On the other hand, you still want to include whole greens and non-starchy vegetables, so you get enough phytonutrients and fiber (see below) to support digestion and your gut health.
Additionally, greens provide essential minerals and electrolytes that can help prevent muscle cramps many people experience during keto.
But, when it comes to carbs on keto, how low do you actually need to go?
While the amount may vary from one person to another, a good starting point for most people is 50 grams of net carbs a day. To calculate net carbs, take the total grams of carbs and subtract the grams of fiber. These are the carbs that your body can fully digest and convert to sugars.
For the keto cleanse, your carb sources should come from:
- Leafy greens. (Eat as much as you desire)
Good examples include romaine lettuce, spinach, etc.
- Cruciferous vegetables. (Eat generous amounts, but count the net carbs)
These veggies which include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale are known to support detoxification in the body.
You can have them raw, or lightly steamed.
Other non-starchy vegetables that are low in carbs but very high in valuable nutrients include asparagus, celery, and some mushrooms.
- Green sprouts & microgreens. (Eat generous amounts, but count the net carbs)
In particular, broccoli sprouts, but also sunflower sprouts, pea shoots and other microgreens have much more phytonutrients compared to the mature plant, and at the same time, are lower in carbs. For example, broccoli sprouts have 10-100 times the amount of cancer-fighting compounds compared to regular broccoli.
- Fruits like veggies such as zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes are a little higher in net carbs compared to greens, but still adds a lot of essential nutrients and flavor to the diet. So, if you like these, eat good amounts, just count the net carbs.
- Raw nuts and seeds make the perfect keto snacks, or can turn a simple salad into a perfect keto meal. Nuts and seeds are high in healthy fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals, and fiber, but they also include some net carbs, which you need to count. See more on nuts and seeds in the protein section below.
Enjoy fiber’s detox power for your keto detox
So many keto diets restrict fiber which can cause constipation and digestive issues. Fiber, however, (from whole foods, not powders) should always be an important part of almost any diet. (Unless there’s a specific health concern).
In addition to its critical role in supporting gut health and digestion, fiber is a powerful natural detoxifier. Studies have shown that fiber can bind to certain toxins in the gut and at the same time, promote healthy bowel movements that help the body eliminate these toxins.
Simply put, fiber is one of the best natural ingredients you can use to detox your body!
The exact amount of fiber intake can vary from one person to another.
30 grams for men and 25 grams for women is a great place to start.
To easily bring your fiber intake up, on a keto diet:
- One medium avocado (13 grams fiber, but only 3.7 grams of net carb)
- 1 oz of chia seeds soaked in water. (10 grams fiber, but only 2.2 grams of net carbs)
Eat enough fats, but, choose healthy options.
Early keto diets didn’t pay much attention to the type and quality of fats. That was a long time ago, though, and the research has evolved quite a bit since then. For example, we now know that unprocessed red meat can increase the risk of stroke, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
So, it is absolutely essential to focus on healthy fats as a part of your keto cleanse.
Good options of healthy fats include:
- Avocados, a true staple in the keto cleanse.
- Fresh raw unroasted unsalted nuts and seeds such as macadamia nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflowers seeds, hemp hearts.
- Oils and plant based butters: such as raw coconut oil, coconut butter, cold pressed olive oil. For cooking, use coconut oil, as it is much more stable in heat.
- Unprocessed meat from 100% grass fed beef or bison.
- Wild caught small fatty fish such as wild Alaskan salmon. Limit fish to 2-3 times a week to minimize mercury exposure, though.
- Olives. Watch the added ingredients.
Natural unprocessed proteins
Low-moderate amount from high quality sources.
Choose your animal proteins wisely
Commercial meat and farm raised fish are usually fed with a diet they are not supposed to eat. Fish or cows, for example, are not supposed to eat grains or soy! Not to mention antibiotics, GMOs, hormones and other toxic substances that are often used to make the animals grow faster or survive their horrible growing conditions.
The result: highly toxic meat products humans or in fact no other beings should consume. Never. Seriously, the research data on the toxins found in these animal products is unbelievable.
Good sources of animal proteins for the keto cleanse include:
- Unprocessed meat from grass fed beef or bison, pasture-raised free-range chickens or turkey, and wild caught small fish, such as Alaskan salmon. As we mentioned above, limit fish to 2-3 times a week to minimize mercury exposure.
- Pasture-raised free-range eggs. Eat the entire egg. The egg yolk is a powerhouse of many vitamins and minerals.
Certain raw nuts and seeds are also high in protein (in addition to the healthy fats). In particular:
- Raw pumpkin seeds (2 oz, 18 grams, 4.7 grams net carbs )
- Raw sunflower seeds (2 oz, 12 grams, 6.5 grams net carbs )
- Hemp seeds (2 oz, 18 grams protein, 3 grams net carbs )
- Fresh unroasted unsalted almonds (2 oz, 12 grams, 5 grams net carbs)
Eat enough protein
Since the body can convert protein to glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis, some versions of the keto diet restrict proteins to 10% of the total calories.
For most people, however, this may be too low. You still need enough protein to support healing and repair. As a rule of thumb, 0.6 grams protein per pound of body weight is a good starting point for most people. For example, 120 grams of protein for a 200 pounds male, and 90 grams for a 150 pounds female. Athletes and active people, however, may need more.
Algae: Chlorophyll, detox and nutrients
Looking for a natural whole food that is packed with nutrients but have almost no carbs?
Edible algae, despite not being a staple in the western diet, is one of the most potent source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals mother nature has to offer. And, at the same time, has almost zero net carbs.
E3Live® is the only us grown blue-green algae (Oregon), that has one of the highest natural chlorophyll content among all algae and plants. Chlorophyll, the green pigment found in plants, is well known for its blood detoxification, odor control, wound healing, gut health, and immune system support. Even more, due to its superior nutritional profile with unique nutrients we rarely get from the western diet, E3Live® can help support multiple body systems.
E3Live® is also the only algae in north america that comes fresh. (It is frozen-liquid, not a powder). So, if you are lucky enough to live in a place where you can get E3Live®, all you need is 1-2 tbsp in the morning on an empty stomach.
If it is not available in your area, however, two great alternative you can try are spirulina and chlorella. Just make sure they come from a reputable source.
Spices & salts
- Natural salt is important on the keto diet, in order to support initial sodium loss. Replace the standard heavily processed table salt, with natural options such as pink himalayan salt, as they contain additional trace minerals.
- Natural spices such as ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and fresh garlic cloves (count the net carbs).
- Raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. A great way to add nutrients to your drinking water and gently detox your body without worrying about net carbs. Apple cider vinegar also makes a wonderful salad dressing that is completely keto safe. Simply mix it with olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice. Even better, add 1-2 oz of hemp seeds, and pink himalayan salt, and you got yourself a yummy nutritious salad.
Keto cleanse recipes examples
When it comes to foods and recipes, everyone is different. This is not specific to the keto diet, of course. So, it is always best to experiment with the different foods, ingredients and amounts according to your own body needs and personal preferences.
With that said, the recipes below make a great starting point you can use to tailor the recipe to your own needs. If you find that you need to go lower than 50 grams of net carbs a day, you can still use these recipes. Just adjust the amounts or remove some of the veggies to reduce the total net carbs.
- Noatmeal Detox Recipe. Low carb oatmeal alternative with flax seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, almond milk, coconut butter, spinach and broccoli.
- Cauliflower Rice Detox Meal Recipe. A happy, healthy, tasty and super nutritious cleansing cauliflower rice. Ingredients: cauliflower, red onion, cayenne peppers, garlic, red bell peppers, carrots, scallions, hemp seeds, almonds, coconut oil, himalayan pink salt, chipotle chili powder, turmeric powder, and unfortified nutritional yeast.
- Detox Healthy Guacamole Recipe. This recipe is delicious, super nutritious, and can help to naturally detox your body, support weight loss, promote healthy digestion, and even protect your heart. Above all, it will make you feel full, satisfied, happy and energized. Ingredients: avocados, jalapeño chili peppers, tomato, red onion, cilantro, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, lime juice, himalayan pink salt, carrots, and celery.
- Low Carb Chocolate Mousse Detox Recipe. A tasty healthy way to boost energy and mood, reduce inflammation, and promote gut health.
Ingredients: almond milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds, hazelnuts, cacao powder, coconut butter, stevia, monk fruit, cinnamon powder, vanilla extract, and himalayan pink salt.
Foods to Avoid on the keto detox
- Processed or commercial meat, farm raised fish.
- Processed foods and refined sugars.
- High or medium carbs. In addition to the obvious bread, paste, rice, wheat, etc. initially, you may also want to limit sugary fruits and root vegetables such as carrots and beets. Keep in mind, many people can eat small amounts of berries or root vegetables and maintain ketosis. So, once you get used to the diet and see progress, you can include small amounts and see how you feel.
- Inflammatory foods. In particular: dairy.
Most people can’t tolerate dairy, which can cause digestive issues, inflammation and impair the body’s detox systems. Furthermore, dairy products often contain toxins and chemicals that pass from the cows.
- Beans & legumes are also high in carbs.
Keto cleanse supplements
Similarly to the weight loss industry, the keto scene has become a fertile ground for many products, pills and powders. Do you really need any of these? Some may help in the transition, others are completely useless.
Keep in mind, a keto diet on its own takes advantage of the body’s natural ability to use fat for energy. So, from a weight loss/fat burning perspective, you are already covered. Just do the diet right, and let your body do the rest.
With that said, some supplements can help with the transition to the keto cleanse:
Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) , from coconuts
May help with: energy
Due to their chemical structure, the body can utilize MCTs faster than other oils. In fact, studies have found that MCT oils can help improve time to ketosis and the tolerability of the diet.
MCTs side effects include digestive issues, in particular diarrhea and gas. So, if you consider using MCTs, start with ¼ teaspoon a day.
Another option is to use coconut oil or coconut butter which are naturally high in MCTs. Coconut butter is a really great option because it also has the fiber and minerals from the coconut meat. Not just the MCTs.
If you like coffee, MCTs, coconut oil and coconut butter are great options you can add to your morning (black) coffee. With coconut butter, however, it is best to use a blender.
The bottom line: MCTs can help with energy in the first week or so, but, they are not always necessary. Keep in mind, the keto diet most basic and core function is to support consistent energy levels from your own body fat and the foods you eat. Not from supplements.
May help prevent digestive issues and transition to the new diet.
Hands down, the biggest complaints and side effects people report while on a keto diet, are digestive problems and constipation.
Just like any diet, it can take time for the body to get used to new foods. But, specifically to the keto diet, the high amount of fats, and at the same time, the restriction of bulky carbs that help to promote bowel movements, can cause digestive issue.
Taking a digestive enzymes complex with your meals, can help your body to better digest your foods. For the keto cleanse (and in fact, all our gut health protocols), we use VeganZyme.
With a total of 20 plant based digestive and systemic enzymes, it can support the digestion of fats, animal proteins, nuts, seeds, plants and greens. The addition of the systemic enzymes supports the body’s ability to break down allergens, excess yeast, candida, mucus and other toxins.
Also, to optimize gut health, make sure you take a clean source of plant based probiotics. Especially, if you have a history of digestive issues.
In our gut health protocols, we use Floratrex.
Electrolytes & minerals
Due to initial water loss
Due to the low insulin levels, you may experience water loss in the early phase of the keto diet. This often includes loss of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium leading to muscles cramps, and weakness.
For these concerns, taking electrolytes and some key minerals (especially magnesium and zinc) is a very reasonable strategy to avoid deficiencies.
If you consider taking electrolytes, make sure to check the sugar content.
May help support mitochondria function. In particular, if you are over 40.
Also known as the battery of the cell, mitochondria produce cellular energy. Simply put, they “power” almost every cellular activity in the body.
Here’s the exciting part. Studies have found that keto diet can actually improve mitochondrial function, with a very long list of potential benefits, due to the critical role mitochondria play in our health.
Since mitochondria function naturally decline as we age, a practical anti-aging and longevity strategy that may help to take advantage of these benefits, is to support your mitochondria health with certain nutrients.
Dr. Group’s COQ10 & PQQ is an excellent natural mitochondria booster option, that based on our experience, can make a significant change in people over 40. The formula combines two of the most potent clinically studied patented mitochondria boosters, Kaneka Q10® Ubiquinone, and BioPQQ®. PrimaVie® organic purified shilajit was added to enhance the absorption of CoQ10 and BioPQQ. As all Dr. Group line of supplements, there are no artificial fillers or binders.
Manage “keto flu” side effects
If you already started a typical keto diet and experience side effects, below are some of the most common symptoms, and natural home remedies you can do that may help.
Mind-mood imbalances: irritability, poor concentration, feeling down, and headaches
BrainOn is a wonderful natural green blue algae extract that is high in two natural components that can help in these situations:
- Phenylethylamine (PEA).
Helps regulate dopamine and support mood, focus, and brain function.
The blue pigment in blue-green algae, may help with inflammation, pain, headaches and migraines.
Take 1 scoop of BrainOn in the morning and when needed, up to 2-3 times a day.
To promote restful sleep, take 1 dropperful of valerian extract before bedtime. Multiple studies found valerian as an effective natural alternative that can safely help improve sleep quality and relieve anxiety.[9,10]
Oxy-powder (ozonated magnesium oxides) uses natural oxygen in the colon to loosen accumulated waste buildup. The body then can easily release these with the stool. It’s a very effective and safe home remedy for occasional constipation that also cleanses your entire digestive tract.
- Start by taking 4 capsules at night with a 16 ounces distilled or spring water on an empty stomach. (At least two hours after your last meal).
- Expect the next day to have 3-5 bowel movements. Since your body will get rid of a lot of waste buildup, it is best to stay home that day.
Generally speaking, when it comes to constipation prevention, it is important to drink enough liquids, and meet your daily fiber needs.
For other digestive issues such as excess gas, bloating, and stomach pain, possible things to check/do:
- Are you still eating processed foods? “Keto friendly” doesn’t mean “gut friendly”. For example, artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols are known to cause digestive issues.
- Perhaps you are sensitive to raw veggies such as cruciferous vegetables?
- As we mentioned, in the initial phase of the diet, it is helpful to support your digestion with enzymes. Take 2-3 capsules of VeganZyme with your meals.
Other symptoms of keto diet (usually during the first week) may include:
- Muscle cramps and muscle soreness. These are usually due to loss of electrolytes. Consider taking an electrolytes supplement, and increase consumption of leafy greens.
- Weakness, low energy
- Sugar cravings
Is it possible to avoid keto detox side effects?
Despite what you may have heard, it is possible to minimize and even prevent the keto flu. One of the best ways to do so, is to ease yourself into the diet. Especially, if you are used to eating high carb diet or a diet that is high in processed foods. Here are a few tips that may help:
- Clean up your diet from all junk and processed foods. This can be done instantly. Replace with the healthy options from the keto cleanse diet menu.
- Avoid all refined carbs. Instead, eat natural healthy whole foods. For example, replace white bread or white pasta with quinoa and steamed veggies, or one baked sweet potato.
- Cut down all sugary beverages. If you eat a lot of sugars, you may want to follow our sugar cleanse. Sugar additions are real, and can be hard to deal with.
- Slowly reduce your carb intake and replace with the options from the keto cleanse diet menu.