What is Keto – A beginners guide

What is keto?

Keto is an abbreviation of the word ketogenic referring to the ketogenic diet. It is commonly shortened down to keto as it’s catchy and easier to say, especially for Australians (like myself), as making words up, or at least abbreviating them is our favourite past time here down under!

What is keto

 

Tell me more about the ketogenic diet…

Now that we’ve got that covered, what is keto about anyway?

It’s a way of eating that goes against the conventional guidelines in many western countries, as it focuses on low carbohydrates, medium protein and high fats.

The general portions are having up to 20 grams of carbs or 5%, protein 20-25% and 70-80% fat.

It uses fat to burn energy instead of Carbohydrates. Through this metabolic process, it converts your body into a fat burning machine.

 

How it works

Ketosis

What happens when you feed your body fat instead of carbohydrates?  When your body stops relying on carbs for energy, it burns your fat stores. It makes the body produce small fuel molecules called ketones. The ketones become an alternative fuel source produced in the liver which is then used by our bodies and brain for energy.

When you are producing ketones, you are considered to be in ketosis. These ketones are what your body needs to function at it’s optimum level.

When insulin is no longer released and your body is no longer relying on carbohydrates for energy, it allows our bodies to burn fat faster.

Your brain needs a lot of energy to work at its best, which these ketones help it work fabulously, improving your memory, clears brain fog, and gives you an amazing energy boost.

Some people describe this feeling as a natural high. As an added bonus, your body also starts to drop the weight. You also gain increased energy. You also feel hungry less often and eat until you’re full which for most people, means smaller portion sized naturally.

An easy way to measure if you are in ketosis or not is by using ketone sticks which you can get on Amazon such as these.

Foods which help you get into ketosis

Meat – Beef, lamb, pork, chicken. Grass fed is better as it has higher levels of omega 3 present.

Seafood – fish including salmon, sardines.

Avocado

what is keto

Olives

Eggs – grass fed and free range contain the highest levels of omega 3. Eggs contain a high level of nutrition, making an eggcellent start to the day for breakfast.

High fat dairy – Greek yogurt, butter, cream, Camembert, brie, cheddar, Swiss, Gouda, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, feta cheese

Above ground vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, capsicum, cucumber, tomatoes, brussel spouts, spinach, celery, asparagus, lettuce etc.

Berries such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

Nuts – as much as a small handful. For information on which nuts see here.

Herbs and spices

Switch your fats

Going keto means cutting down on carbs (carbohydrates) in your diet to 20 grams of carbs, and switching them for healthier options to mindfully and more consciously incorporate medium amounts of protein and higher amounts of healthy fats.

1 The healthy fatsWhat is keto

The fats that help our bodies produce ketones are:

These oils have high saturated and monounsaturated fats, all of which help our bodies get into ketosis, and help our brains use the right fuel it needs to be alert, and process the neurotransmitters it needs to for us to feel at our best.

2 Avoid unhealthy fats

Unhealthy fats contribute to inflammation which is caused by eating too many omega 6 fatty acids and not having enough omega 3 fats. To get these fats in the optimal level of 4:1, we need to reduce the amounts of omega 6 that we consume.

These are vegetable oils, soybean oil, canola oil. They all have polyunsaturated fats and trans fats, and have high levels of omega 6 which leads to inflammation.

Naturally occurring omega 6 fats are okay and essential found in real foods such as nuts, but in a typical western diet omega 6 oils have been over consumed which has led to inflammation in the body.

In particular, they are added to many processed foods, take away foods and foods in a can or jar for convenience.  For more information on healthy fats see my Brain-Boosting Keto Foods post. Always check the ingredients list to see what oils have been added and if there are extra ingredients that could throw you out of ketosis such as sugar.

For more detailed information, visit my page here.

Which foods to avoid

When aiming to lose weight, get into ketosis and burn fat easily, it’s best to avoid things like:

Bread, Pasta, Potatoes, Corn, Potato chips, Sugar, Fruit, Chocolate, Lollies, Rice, Soft drink, High carb beer & Fruit juice.

Conclusion

Today I have a much greater awareness of what’s low carb and which fats to incorporate into my way of eating, so I can easily adapt and adjust most recipes or reach for the lower carb alternative when I’m cooking or out with family or friends.

It can be difficult to know where to start and whether you’re following a ketogenic diet if you don’t have extra information to help you along your way. There’s a number of resources that can help like this one.

Having some recipe ideas can also help in going low carb and keto for you to get started or click on the picture below and visit my favorite blogger :).

what is keto

 

Happy keto’ing my friends


16 thoughts on “What is Keto – A beginners guide

  1. Wow, mind opening. I had no idea what was behind all this keto talk out there. I came to the right place to learn, thank you. I can't wait to learn more about this diet plan.
  2. Hi there, this is interesting. I already heard about this Keto food but was never really explained what it all is about. Now after reading your entertaining post it makes a lot more sense. Fewer Carbs and more ketos, I have to remember that. What all include Carbohydrates I can check out my self and where to get healthier oil and butter I know. Thank's for the information
  3. I myself have recently started keto. I find your article hits the nail on the head. Keep sharing you experiences.
  4. Hi Kathleen really liked your post and happy I clicked your link as I am on the Keto diet at the moment. I have been doing the keto diet for 5 months now and have dropped 10kgs. It is true the keto diet does go against the western norm, but really works if followed correctly. I am still keeping it up and trying to tackle my stubborn love handles haha. Personally cutting out sugar from my diet didn't really bother me however my biggest struggle was the reduction of carbs. I find cooking for yourself is great you can control what goes into your food and be very conscious what you picking out from the grocery store. Good luck with your journey. Sebastian :)
    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Sebastian. Glad to hear you're on a keto woe too, well done. I agree that cooking foods yourself is a much safer and healthier option to ensure you can establish and stay in ketosis and are more aware of what you're eating. All the best with your keto lifestyle :).
  5. First off, that picture makes me super hungry so thanks for that lol. But in terms of your article, I have to say it really helped me understand keto. I've heard that term thrown around so much recently so it's ironic I happen to come across a post explaining exactly that. I feel like it would be hard to start though, is it?
    1. Hi Jasmere, thanks for your comment. Starting requires a little knowledge to identify what's keto friendly and what isn't, so you can then be more aware of what to eat. Start by categorizing foods into 3 groups, carbohydrate, protein and fat. From there it takes a bit of research to remember the low carb alternatives which you adjust to with time. The very start would be to cut out bread, potatoes and pasta. Incorporate more protein and above ground vegies and add butter or olive oil to your cooking. I hope that helps.
  6. Keto sounds a real twist on how we perceive dieting, thanks to your article I understand to cut down on the carbs to stop my body relying on burning them, instead owing to their absence it will concentrate on using my fat stores to produce energy thereby produce a loss in weight. This is the first time I've ever heard of ketosis. Us Brits are still hell bent on burning carbs as we're told this is the only way to lose weight yet few of us do. Ketosis makes so much sense the way you describe, thank you, Simon.
  7. This is a real eye opener for me, great insights to keto which I've never heard before. Your articles are beautifully written and so easy to understand for someone like me who often struggles with scientific terminology. Thank you for sharing your incredible knowledge and enlighten us with your personal experiences. Loving your dedication in creating this awareness to healthy living :). xx
    1. Thanks for stopping by HM. And thanks for the feedback. Scientific terminology is challenging for a lot of people! I'm glad this has helped you gain a greater awareness and understanding :).
  8. I find this very interesting. I seem to be almost doing a keto diet with a few exceptions that after reading I will need to change. I am however, not a big fan of seafood nor a big meat eater. How would I need to adjust my diet in order to still maintain a keto diet? I find this very interesting and am inclined to keep this up. thanks for your help.
    1. Hi Brad, thanks for stopping by. It is possible to follow a ketogenic way of eating while not eating meat or fish. This will take conscious effort and reminding yourself which foods you need to consume to be sure to receive the right balance of low carb, high fat. Hemp seed oil is an excellent option which contains the majority of the amino acids that are required. Here's a link to my post on it's health benefits. You probably already do, but you would also consider avocado, nuts, seeds, numerous vegetables and low carb fruits such as strawberries and blueberries, as well as dairy and eggs if you're not vegan. All the best.
  9. Hello, I stopped by your site and was immediately drawn to this post. I've been really curious about keto diets and just haven't understood how you can eat high-fat but still lose weight. I will definitely be checking back and reading more articles!
    1. Hi Lynne, thanks for stopping by and checking out my site :). It's very confusing and overwhelming when you first come across new information that is contradictory to what we have been told and led to believe for so long. It is even more amazing when you put it into action and the weight just drops off lol! I'm in the middle of writing an article about healthy fats so be sure to come back and check up on it. All the best :)
  10. HI KAThleen, thank you for a beautiful insight into the world of Ketogenic diet. I am forever on and off a dieting regime but can never stick to it because it lacks food that I find interesting to eat. It always seems to be going on a diet has to be a form of punishment, but from what I have seen on your website this diet appeals to me because it includes so many varieties of food that I enjoy eating :) I am seriously going to give this form of dieting a lot of consideration, and if I can convince my partner to join me in giving it a try, it will be all the easier to succeed. Many thanks for your very informative website that I shall be bookmarking for future reference.
    1. Hi Jo, thanks for your feedback, I'm glad to hear that you've found some helpful information here for you to follow to help you with your ketogenic journey. It takes time to get your head around the changes that are required initially, but once you get the hang of it, suddenly things change for the better and it gets easier. I've been doing this way of eating for 4 years now, and can say I feel that I have found what works for me. Many people find with consistency, things will improve and shift. Feel free to reconnect and check in if you need any questions answered :).

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