Q. What’s this “Keto Diet” all about, anyway?
A. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. It has a lot of health advantages compared to the standard western diet. Most people do keto because of the weight loss, but it also has other health advantages like lowering risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and much more. (source)
Q. Okay, low-carb. Got it. So how many carbs can I consume in a day?
A. That actually depends. It varies per person, but standard protocol states that you should have less than 50g of carbs per day, but try for less than 20g of carbs per day if possible. (source)
Q. But wait! You said this is a high-fat diet. Isn’t fat bad for you?
A. No! Well, not if you’re eating the right kinds of fat. The idea that “eating fat makes you fat” has been a huge misunderstanding in our modern diets. On the Keto diet, you are encouraged to eat monos and saturates (like butter, olive oil, and coconut oil) for fuel and to limit high polyunsaturated fats (like soy, corn, and cottonseed oils). (source)
Q. Hmm…okay, I’ve got it. But I’m used to eating bread, chips, and pasta. So where do I start?
A. Step 1 is to start looking at the labels on every food item that you purchase. Go through your cabinets and collect all of those high-carb foods. The cereal, the crackers, the candy, the soda. It’s got to go. Then head out to the grocery store with a meal plan. You’ll want to stock up on leafy green vegetables, chicken, beef (the fatty varieties), eggs, seeds and nuts (play close attention to the nutrition labels), fish, full-fat dairy (again, play close attention to added sugar on the labels), and other keto-friendly foods. Pick up some avocados. And bacon. Do NOT forget about the bacon.
Q. I can do that! But what about fruit? Isn’t fruit good for me?
A. Fruit is delicious, and certainly better for you than candy. But unfortunately, most fruit is full of sugar. For example, a single banana has 27g of carbs. If you’re trying to stay below 20g of carbs per day, you’ll need to pass on fruit. With that said, you can feel free to pick up some berries to eat in smart quantities. 1 cup of raspberries, for example, contains 7g of net carbs. If you’re looking to keep up with the vitamins that are naturally found in fruit, consider a supplement like these.
Q. How do I know if I’m successfully in “ketosis”? And…what the heck IS ketosis?
A. First off, you’ll want to check out the wiki page for ketosis here. The long story short is that when your body is in ketosis (which, for most people, will happen after a few days of starting a keto diet), the body is primarily burning fat for fuel and energy. This is how and why so many people effectively lose weight (and body fat) on a keto diet. Once you start the diet, there are a few ways to find out if you’re actually IN ketosis. Click here to read about those ways.
Q. I’m a bit of a party animal. Can I still drink booze on a keto diet?
A. Yes! Many types of alcohol are low-carb. Just watch the calories. Click here to learn more about drinking on a keto diet.
Q. Okay, this all makes sense. But what are some good snacks that I can have on a keto diet?
A. Glad you asked. There are plenty of snacks that you can consume on a keto diet. Certain nuts, string cheese, seeds, pork rinds, and even avocados all travel well for snacking. Click here to learn more.
Q. Great! I think that covers it. But where can I go to learn even more about a keto diet?
Note: I am not a doctor, just a guy with a blog. Please follow this and any other advice at your own risk. Always consult a qualified medical professional before starting a new diet. And ask questions if you’re unsure of anything.