Simply put, a ketogenic diet is any diet that is very low in carbohydrates and high in fat. Ideally, you would get the vast majority of your calories from fat, have enough protein to maintain your lean body mass, and ingest as few digestible carbohydrates as possible. We will discuss some of the relevant types of diets below, but we do not endorse any particular “brand” of ketogenic diet.
The science of dietary ketosis is complicated. Ketogenic diets are not. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make them easy. The diet Western cultures have adopted relies heavily on carbohydrates as an energy source. Trying to dramatically decrease the carbohydrates you ingest is difficult, not only because you have to learn about the carbohydrates content of each meal, but because of the emotional stress of trying to stick to a new diet.
Although complicated at the biochemistry level, at a basic level, ketosis is just a switch in the fuel source your body uses. Without enough carbohydrates coming from your diet, and once you’ve burned through your body’s storage, your body starts making ketones from the fats you eat. Ketones become the new fuel source for the body. Without enough fat in your diet to meet all your caloric needs, your body starts burning through its fat stores. That is why ketogenic diets are famous for fat / weight loss.
The hardest part of the ketogenic diet (besides the initial carb cravings when starting) is eating enough fat. It is so counter-intuitive that many people make the mistake of not eating enough fat out of concern about heart disease and cultural beliefs regarding what we “should” eat. It is extremely important that your fat intake remains high in order for your body to maintain ketosis. Please see: “What are the types of ketogenic diets?” for the different types of ketogenic diets.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.