What is the Keto Diet?
The Keto diet is well known for being a low carb and high fat diet. It goes by many names, including ketogenic diet, low-carb diet, LCHF, Banting, etc. At its absolute basic, it is essentially a diet that uses fat as the body's primary source of energy. This state is referred to as ketosis.
The History Behind the Keto Diet
Although the popularity of the Keto diet is on the rise, it is by no means just a fad. It has roots in the medical world of the 1920's, where it was used as a therapy for epilepsy after doctors found that higher elvels of ketones resulted in fewer seizures. There has also been growing evidence that it assists in symptomatic treatment of a number of other illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, and even acne.
Recently, the keto diet has regained popularity thanks to celebrity endorsements and thousands of keto recipes and lchf guidelines found everywhere, from Pinterest, to keto dedicated websites, Facebook pages and blogs (much like this one).
The Science Behind Ketosis
When you eat foods that are high in carbohydrates, your body produces glucose and insulin. Since glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy, your body will choose glucose as its primary energy source, over alternative energy sources. The result, your body doesn't use and of the fats that you eat as its energy source, but rather stores these fats.
By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state of Ketosis. During the state of ketosis, our bodies produce ketones by breaking down the fats in the liver. Essentially, this means that ketosis works by changing the way your body turns food into energy.
How to Reach Ketosis
Ketosis happens when your carbs are very low. It usually means eating between 20 - 50 net carbs per day. But everyone is different and some people can eat more carbs and still be in ketosis, while others may need to eat even less carbs. A good rule of thumb is to keep your net carbs below 20 grams per day.
Keto is a diet that is high in fat, moderate in protein and very low in carbs. Ideally, your fats should be about 70% of your nutrient intake. Protein should make up about 25% of your daily nutrient intake and carbs only making up the remaining 5%.
Again, this differs from person to person, and if following a keto lifestyle is in your plans, I encourage you to use one of the many free keto macros calculators available online to figure out what the right macros calculations are for you based on your height, weight and level of activity.
How do I know if I am in Ketosis?
For healthy people, ketosis usually kicks in within 3-4 days of eating less than 20grams of net carbs per day.
Signs of being in ketosis include:
What is Keto Flu?
Keto flu is caused by your body being too used to receiving carbs from the food that you eat and your body having a hard time switching its energy source when you stop eating carbs. It is essentially a withdrawal from sugar, which your body has slowly become addicted to
Keto flu is a moniker describing the flu-like symptoms that many people experience when starting a low carb diet. Symptoms include fatigue, sugar cravings, dizziness, brain fog, nausea, irritability and difficulty sleeping.
I know, this sounds terrible, why would anyone want to put themselves through this? Well not everyone experiences keto flu and if you do, the symptoms should subside in less than a week and there are many "solutions" which can help alleviate the symptoms. Once you have rid your body of the sugar and carb cravings, you will be on top of the world.
Are you ready to start the keto way of life? Why not try some of these great recipes to get you going:
We follow a Keto lifestyle and love sharing our tips and tricks on what makes this way of eating work for our family.
We realize that there are lots of definitions and guidelines of what exactly a keto or low carb lifestyle entails. We prefer not to put ourselves in a box and we follow the definition of "keto" that works for our lifestyle. This helps us ensure that we can stay on track and receive the results and the benefits that this way of eating provides.
There may be affiliate links in this post. By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items, I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Making This Home when you shop. See my full disclosure policy for more information.