This is a super simplified explanation of what the keto diet is and why it works. If you want a better understanding, start at my in-depth ketogenic article – “What is the Keto Diet and Why dies it work.”
Excerpt from No Cook Keto Meal Plan
What is a Ketogenic or Keto diet?
A ketogenic (Keto for short) diet is a way of eating that is very low in carbohydrates and high in fats. When carbs are strictly limited, your body enters a state called ketosis. (This is NOT the same as ketoacidosis, which is a complication of diabetes.) Keto is not a high protein diet. Protein is a big part of Keto because it is very satiating, and if you are losing weight, you want to make sure you are not losing muscle mass. Protein should be kept at moderate levels because extra protein can sometimes be converted into carbohydrate inside our bodies.
What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a natural, biological state that the human body enters into when carbohydrate intake is very low. When there are no carbs to burn, your body switches to using fat as its primary fuel source for all your muscles and organs. Ketones are a by-product of burning fat. Your brain can run on glucose (from carbs) or ketones (from fat). During ketosis, ketones provided by fat become your brain’s primary fuel source.
Why does a Keto Diet work?
When you eat any kind of carbohydrate, your body produces insulin. One of insulin’s jobs is to tell your cells to store fat. Without carbs as quick fuel or insulin to tell you to store fat, your body begins to burn fat – both from the food you eat AND that you have stored on your body! By eating plenty of fats during these first three weeks, you will ease the transition into ketosis by showing your body that there is plenty of this new fuel source. Plus, protein and fat are very satisfying, so you don’t feel hungry or deprived!
Once you’ve been in ketosis for a bit, you’ll be so good at burning fat that your appetite will decrease. Then you can ease off the dietary fat, so your body can really start burning off your fat stores and you lose weight.
Founder Advantage Meals
Angela earned her Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition 14 years ago and began her lifelong journey of nutrition and wellness learning. She began keto meal planning and cooking over a decade ago when she began working with local clients who were under the direct supervision of a medical doctor. Angela is the author of No Cook Keto, the easiest keto meal plan available.
Disclaimer: I am neither a licensed nutritionist nor a medical professional. I never prescribe diets. I only share my personal experiences and those of my clients for informational purposes only. Nutrition details are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be considered medical nutritional data. You should consult your medical professional before making any major changes in the way you eat.
4 thoughts on “Keto Simplified – What is Keto: The Basics”
I desperately want to start but I’m having problems starting and committing to it. I have gain a lot of weight in the last few years and I’m now considered obese and suffer from high blood pressure. I read article about the keto diet and my pintress page is loading with nothing but people who have lost tons of weight…so what the heck is my problem 🙁 I think my biggest hurdle is knowing how to start. What foods to buy and how to prepare for my fist day.
You are not alone. For so many, starting a keto diet seems complex and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
That’s why Angela created the No Cook Keto Meal Plan…to take the complexity out of starting Keto. Start here: https://www.advantagemeals.com/keto-beginner-resources-starting-a-keto-diet-easy/ and then keep in touch with your Keto Friends in our community. We can help you!
A week ago I started the Keto diet ( with little knowledge). I have also fasted for years by not eating from for our family supper around 6:30pm till dinner around 12:00pm. So I decided to extend my Fast to one meal a day. I now feel like crap! Light headed and aching, no energy. And cheating on my Keto and fasting! Can you tell me how to get back to square one and start over again?
Marsha, I’m sorry to hear you’re not feeling well! I know that’s frustrating and no fun. It sounds to me like there are a couple of possible causes. First, it could be that you have the Keto flu, which is a temporary side effect of the transition away from carbs and into ketosis. Read this article I wrote for more info. Or it might just be that you’re hungry. Maybe you’re not ready to fast for that long a period. I would suggest going back to your previous eating schedule, just make it Keto. Once you are fully in ketosis and feeling good, then you can work on stretching your fasting time longer. Sometimes trying to do it all at once is just too hard for our bodies to handle!