A keto or ketogenic diet is a low-carb, 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 2-week Get Started program. It’s everything you need to succeed on keto.
1. What is a keto diet?
The keto diet is a very low-carb and higher-fat diet. It’s similar in many ways to other low-carb diets.
While you eat far fewer carbohydrates on a keto diet, you may increase your intake of fat. The reduction in carb intake puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis, where fat, from your diet and from your body, is burned for energy.
What “keto” means
The “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it allows the body to produce small fuel molecules called “ketones.” This is an alternative fuel source for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply.
Ketones are produced when you eat very few carbs or very few calories.
On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run mostly on fat, burning fat 24-7. When insulin levels become 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, less obvious benefits, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy (without the sugar peaks and valleys we can get from 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 by fasting– not eating anything – but nobody can 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.
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