Keto diet

Ketogenic diet (often called just “keto”) is a nutritional approach that aims to induce ketosis by restricting the amount of carbohydrates to a minimum. Ketosis is a natural state that occurs once the body starts burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
The usual ketogenic range for most people is 20-30g net carbs a day, although highly active people can go up to 50g and stay in ketosis. Depending on your individual hormonal levels and the amount of physical activity you do, switching into ketosis can take several days to several weeks.
The modern version of the diet was developed to help alleviate symptoms of certain medical conditions such as epilepsy*. Keto principles were also used in some weight-loss diets (for example, Atkins Induction is ketogenic).
Modified versions of Keto, such as Cyclical Keto Diet (CKD) and Targeted Keto Diet (TKD) are popular amongst bodybuilders, power-lifters and other athletes who need to lose fat without also burning away lean muscle mass.
Ketogenic diets have several advantages over more moderate low-carb diets. In addition to faster weight loss, these include higher energy levels, absence of hunger and minimised sugar cravings.

In a nutshell

Standard Keto

In the standard version of Keto, you would cut the amounts of carbohydrates to a minimum (20-30g a day), while also consuming moderate amounts of protein and high amounts of fat.  You would consume the same ratios of these nutrients throughout the full duration of your diet, until you reach your goal weight. There are several calculators available that help you figure out the exact amounts of calories and carbs/fat/protein.

Cyclical Keto Diet (CKD)

Cyclical Keto Diet follows the standard principles overall, but also includes carb-up phase where you would consume large amounts of carbs to refill your muscles’ glycogen stores. Typically, the carb-up occurs once a week (for example, on a Sunday), but this can vary depending on your training schedule and performance.

Targeted Keto Diet (TKD)

Targeted Keto Diet is based on the idea of consuming carbs just before and after your workout, so that they would get depleted immediately. This tends to be the preferred option for athletes who do intense exercising and need to keep up their performance levels even throughout fat loss stage.

Keto Diet Pros

  • Ketogenic diet has a long proven track record within weight loss, athletic and medical fields.
  • For athletes, keto provides a way of losing weight without compromising performance.
  • Being in ketosis curbs hunger and sugar cravings, and often improves energy levels.

Keto Diet Cons

  • Getting into ketosis requires a lot of discipline, and you might experience tiredness and carb cravings until ketosis actually kicks in.  This can take up to several weeks in some individuals (although 3-7 days is more typical).
  • Some food groups such as grains and fruit will be off limits, so some people might find the diet too boring.

Supplementation

As certain vitamin-rich foods such as fruit and grains are restricted during Keto, you might consider taking a vitamin supplement.
Check out Nutri-Align low-carb diet multivitamin supplement, which contains 19 extra-strong vitamins and minerals, as well as L-Carnitine and green tea extract.
The supplement can support transition to ketosis, as its ingredients contribute to reduction of tiredness and fatigue, normal energy-yielding metabolism and maintenance of blood glucose levels.

Further reading

“Ketogenic” is a generic term used to describe the nutritional approach, so there is no single author who “owns” it. I recommend the following resources:
Lyle McDonald is a well-known authority on low-carbohydrate and ketogenic dieting. His website Body Recomposition has a lot of free information and is a must-read for weight lifters, body-builders and other athletes who are thinking of going on Keto. Lyle also wrote several in-depth books on this subject.
Keto community on Reddit is huge, with a wealth of resources and recipes. Read their FAQ section to get started.
 
* This article is aimed at people who are interested in keto diets in order to lose weight. If you have a health condition such as diabetes or epilepsy, or if you are under medical supervision for any other reason, you should be following specialist medical advice to plan your diet, so please contact your GP or another health professional for guidance.
 

6 comments on “Keto diet

  1. I have started the Keto Diet and was wanting to know if the creamer that I am using in my coffee was okay…
    Coffemate Coconut Cream…here are the nutritional facts…
    Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: 1 tbs
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories: 35
    Calories from Fat: 15
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat: 1.5g
    Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
    Trans Fat: 0g
    Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g
    Monounsaturated Fat: 0g
    Cholesterol: 0mg 0%
    Sodium: 5mg 0%
    Sugars: 5g
    Total Carbohydrate: 5g 2%
    Protein: 0g
    Fat Calories Per Serving: 15 2%
    Protein Per Serving: 0g
    Ingredients
    Water, Sugar, Vegetable Oil (High Oleic Soybean and/or Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed), and Less than 2% of Sodium Caseinate (a Milk Derivative)**, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Cellulose Gel, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan. **Not a Source of Lactose.

    1. Hi Heather,
      That creamer does not look good to me, sorry. 5g carbs per 1 tbs – so that would be 25% of your daily carbs gone – assuming you are on 20g a day for your Keto. Sugar is listed as the second biggest ingredient. So overall – not the right product for someone on Keto.
      I would recommend a creamer designed with Keto diet in mind – like this one, for example: http://amzn.to/2FsbSUs
      It’s a Keto coffee creamer that’s sugar-free with zero carbs.
      Best of luck with your Keto diet!

  2. Hi ive been on keto for 7 weeks.
    I have a few days full of positive energy then I dumped with a few days of headaches, no energy, body sways, brain zaps and depression. I would quit but the few good day feeling, I keep chasing

  3. My Dr. Said to do this diet for inflammation, been super rigid for 16 days, not more than 20 carbs daily(many days far less!)75%min fat daily, 20% max protoen, most days less…just got my Ketone blood tester & it’s only 1.0!!!!!!
    What am I doing wrong, thought it’d be over 2 at least! Major bummed! Please help me , should I cut carbs more, or what!?!?
    Oh, here’s the best part, my cholesterol is usually a tad high but good cholesterol is off the charts, had all that tested today as well, cholesterol at 242 & good cholesterol super low, 7 or something… ok, now I’m just plain freaked out!!! Please help!!

    1. Hi Sandy, sorry to hear you are having problems. Are you tracking and recording all of your food? Here is a link to our latest article on how to break into ketosis faster: https://www.carbophobic.com/ketosis-low-carb-flu/
      If none of these tips works for you, I think the best thing would be to discuss it with your doctor, especially if you have concerns about medical markers like cholesterol and inflammation.
      Best of luck – I hope the diet will work out for you eventually.

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