What Exactly IS The Keto Diet?
When we talk about eating keto, we’re talking about eating fat. Probably more than you’ve ever dreamed of eating.
At the most basic level, a ketogenic diet is one that relies on fat as the main source of energy – that may not sound like anything special, but it’s actually pretty profound. Before we get to how and why that works, let’s run through the basics.
What Are Macros?
Fat, protein and carbohydrates are all macronutrients, or “macros” as you’ll most likely hear them. They make up the bulk of our food and the rest are micronutrients – vitamins and minerals that are essential for health.
Fats are abundant in healthy food sources like oils (coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, MCT oil), olives, avocado, nuts and seeds and animal foods such as bacon, steak, ribs and some dairy.
Proteins want to be mostly from high-fat sources like beef, lamb, pork (including bacon), fatty fish (salmon, sea bass), eggs, hard cheeses and nuts (almonds, walnuts and macadamia nuts). Low-fat protein like chicken, turkey and crustaceans will cause a variable rise in insulin – these are fine to consume on the keto diet but must be combined with fat.
Carbohydrates are most abundant in non-keto foods like grains and sugars – bread, rice, pasta, corn, quinoa – however, vegetables and fruits also contain carbohydrates. Keto-friendly carbohydrates come mostly from green vegetables that grow above the ground and fruit like avocados, olives and some berries. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, carrots, turnips etc. and high-sugar fruits like bananas contain much more carbohydrates and should be avoided.
When I first saw the word “keto”, the whole thing sounded pretty rebellious and it totally grabbed my attention. Keto is short for ketogenic, a way of eating that reduces carbohydrate intake, increases fat intake and moderates protein intake in order to achieve a metabolic shift known as ketosis. REMEMBER Ketogenic is a… low carbohydrate, moderate protein, high fat diet.
The vast majority of people today are wandering around right now using energy from their limited glucose – sugar – stores in their body, when those start getting used up, they become hungry and need to eat again by consuming mostly carbohydrates to meet their daily energy needs.
When I was a sugar-burner, I would think about my next meal obsessively, I would pack snacks – which were sugar-laden and crash my energy after an hour, resulting in me needing to eat more… this then kicked off more powerful sweet cravings spiralling into a vicious carb-binge cycle. Then, in an attempt to counteract the binge and prevent piling on more pounds, I would starve myself of proper meals. Food literally ruled my life, and “dieting” was a living nightmare for me.
The ketogenic way of eating switches the body from burning glucose to burning fat for energy. When the body burns fat, whether dietary or body fat, it produces molecules known as ketones in the liver which are the brain’s preferred energy source. When ketones are the primary source of fuel for the body, it’s known as being in nutritional ketosis (a term first coined in the mid-1980’s by Dr. Steve Phinney, a ketogenic researcher). This is the metabolic shift I mentioned earlier.
Now that I’m in ketosis, my body burns fat to meet my daily energy requirements and here’s an example of why it’s more efficient this way… Marathon runners need to “carb up” before a long run, meaning they’re loading their bodies with sugar to burn off during the race. Ketogenic researchers Dr. Steve Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek have noted that a sugar-burner has about 2,000 calories worth of energy stored in their body while a fat-burner has over a whopping 40,000 calories worth of fuel stored That is more than 20x as much! Not only is burning fat for fuel much healthier and more efficient, it’s also a great metabolic tool for improving your overall health.
My body doesn’t need dietary carbohydrates to survive, my body doesn’t need to burn glucose for energy and neither does yours! I’ve jumped off the carb rollercoaster of blood sugar and insulin spikes, and I’m living the good life free from uncontrollable cravings, constant snacking, chronic inflammation, energy crashes, weight gain and body shaming.
And hey, there’s tons of room at the keto table for you. We’re a happy, energetic bunch.. Pull up a pew!
You may have seen many forms of ketogenic eating and possibly feel a little confused, maybe even overwhelmed. Here at Easy Keto Lifestyle, we’re going to be introducing you to a keto way of eating that’s rich in health-promoting whole-foods and fats. You will radically lower your carbohydrate intake for the better, massively increase fat and moderate your protein. A triple whammy that turns your body into a fat-burning machine!
One of the best sources of healthy fats is by taking a good quality MCT oil. You can put it in your Bulletproof Coffee or drizzle it on your salads. Brain Octane is the gold standard, pure C8 caprylic acid MCT which rapidly converts into ketones in your body – get it here:
I have high cholesterol can i so keto diet I heard it was not safe for people who suffer from high cholesterol.
Hi Joya – I’ve written all about the keto diet’s affects on cholesterol here – http://easyketolifestyle.com/cholesterol/
Thank you for explaining it. I was worried about cholesterol but you have put my mind at ease. It all makes sense now.
I’m diabetic so is it safe for me pls I’m no 2 tablets x
Yes Pauline but under the supervision of your doctor. Our Facebook group ‘Easy Keto Lifestyle For Beginners’ has many people with diabetes seeing massive improvements since being on the keto diet – head to our group and ask for their advice and support 🙂
I have a friend who’s daughter is a type 1 diabetic. She folllows a very strict keto diet, it had greatly improved her diabetes control and keeps her in a normal blood sugar range rather than creating crazy spikes and dangerous lows. It os actually standard practice in Europe and other places overseas. The united states is a bit behind (as usual) on this thinking.