The ketogenic diet, which is typically called “keto” or “the keto diet”, restricts carbohydrate consumption so that the liver will start to produce an alternative fuel source called ketones. In the early 1900’s, the ketogenic diet was first studied as a way to treat epilepsy. Since then, the diet has been found to help people lose weight rapidly, improve various blood markers, and reduce the severity of diseases like type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The success of the keto diet is mainly due to two things:
- Limiting carb consumption.
- Being in nutritional ketosis.
By restricting carbs, we tend to naturally eat fewer calories, consume healthier foods, and reduce how much hunger we experience throughout the day. Altogether, this helps us lose fat, decrease inflammation, and improve our overall health and well being in many ways.
After following the ketogenic diet for around 3 days, you will start to enter ketosis, a metabolic state in which you burn ketones for fuel. As a result, you will experience increased energy levels, enhanced cognitive function, and decreased hunger.
The healthiest way to reap the benefits of both carb restriction and ketosis for the long term is by eating a high fat (around 70% of daily calories from fats), moderate protein (around 25% of daily calories from protein), and very low carb (around 5% of daily calories from carbohydrates) ketogenic diet. If you would like to learn more about the keto diet and how to get started, read through our comprehensive beginner’s guide to keto.