A keto or ketogenic diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, higher-fat diet that can help you burn fat more effectively. It has many benefits for weight loss, health, and performance, as shown in over 50 studies. That's why it's recommended by so many doctors.
A keto diet can be especially useful for losing excess body fat without hunger and for improving type 2 diabetes.
Here, you’ll learn how to eat a keto diet based on real foods. Get started with our visual guides, recipes, meal plans, and simple. It’s everything you need to succeed on keto
1. What is a keto diet?
The keto diet is a very low-carb, higher-fat diet. It’s similar in many ways to otherlow-carb diets.
While you eat far fewer carbohydrates on a keto diet, you maintain moderate protein consumption and may increase your intake of fat. The reduction in carb intake puts your body in a metabolic state calledketosis, where fat, from your diet and from your body, is burned for energy.
What “keto” means
A “keto” or “ketogenic” diet is so named because it causes your body to produce small fuel molecules called “ketones.”
This is an alternative fuel source for your body that can be used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply.
When you eat very few carbs or very few calories, your liver produces ketones from fat. These ketones then serve as a fuel source throughout the body, especially for the brain.
The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day, and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose – or ketones.
On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run mostly on fat, burning fat 24-7. When insulin levels drop very low, fat burning can increase dramatically.It becomes easier to access your fat stores to burn them off.
This is great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there can also be other benefits, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy — without the sugar peaks and valleys that often occur when eating high-carb meals. This may help keep you alert and focused.
When the body produces ketones, it enters a metabolic state called ketosis. The fastest way to get there is byfasting– not eating anything – but nobody can consistently fast forever.
A keto diet, on the other hand, also results in ketosis and can be eaten indefinitely. It has many of the benefits of fasting – including weight loss – without having to fast long term.