The best time to dedicate your health to a better diet was last year. The second best time is right now.
Welcome to the first step.
The ketogenic diet, know to the cool kids as keto, isn’t a difficult concept to understand, but it can be tough to master. That’s why we’re here: we will help you along the path and hold your hand when you need it or smile, wave, and wipe away a tear as you set out on your own.
At the bones of it, keto is the near elimination of carbohydrates from your diet and replacing that gap with healthy fats and a moderate amount of protein.
Wait, wait, come back, we can already feel you leaning away from your screen. There’s a very important evolutionary and scientific reason for cutting sugar and eating healthy fat and it all has to do with how you fuel your machine: your body.
When eaten, your body and liver turn carbs into glucose, which is just a fancy way of saying sugar. Your body recognizes glucose as a source of energy that it can convert into a quick shot of energy. Fat breaks down at a much slower rate for energy and your body looks at the difference between the two and, being the smart biological mechanism that it is, decides to use the faster burning sugar first so it can focus on the more long-term producer of energy: fat.
The problems arise when you supply a constant stream of carbs and your metabolism never gets a chance to switch away from the glucose so it can start burning the better fat. So what happens? Your body makes a judgment call and parks the fat you’ve eaten off to the side and says, “I’ll get to you when I can. Just as soon as I finish with this glucose.”
More fat enters, no fat leaves, and suddenly the nation has a problem with bellies, love handles, and all sorts of weight related illnesses.
Keto steps in and gets rid of the source of the glucose, the carbs. Instead, keto promotes eating fat so your body switches back to fat for its energy source and it can finally get to the accumulated fat that’s been waiting around for its turn to be burned off for energy.
This process is called entering the metabolic state of ketosis. “I’m in keto,” you may hear a lot from ketoers. That simply means they’ve cut their system off from sugar and carbs and the stores that were already in their body have burned off completely. Now, instead of producing glucose to burn, their body is producing ketones to burn for energy.
Whoa, whoa, there you go leaning back again. Ketones are simple to understand. When you eat a healthy-fat heavy diet, your liver turns the fat into ketones instead of glucose. Simply put, you’re switching to a new, more efficient fuel. It’s like putting premium in your gas tank after a lifetime of 87 octane.
So to answer your question, Keto is the elimination of 99% of your carbs and replacing them with yummy fats like avocados, nuts, butter, bacon, olive oil, and just about any meat. This switches your system over from a sugar-based fuel that leaves you always wanting more and more, to a ketone-based energy source that leaves you satisfied longer and helps you cut the fat you’ve already got hanging around.