Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard about the Keto diet. With celebs from Kim and Kourtney Kardashian to Gwyneth Paltrow publicly declaring their love for the eating plan, the popularity of Keto has skyrocketed.
So what is the Keto diet, anyway? Short for ketogenic, it’s a low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet that purports to put the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Ketosis is when the liver produces ketones, which then become the body’s main source of energy instead of glucose from carbs. Though it may seem like the latest fad diet, Keto has actually been around since it was first developed in the 1920s as an epilepsy treatment and is still used as treatment today, but its weight loss benefits are still hotly debated.
Similar to its cousin the Atkins diet, Keto requires only small portions of fruit and vegetables but plenty of protein and good fats. Part of the diet’s popularity is its emphasis on foods like steak, bacon, and avocado that taste great and leave you feeling full. So, while you’ll have to say goodbye to bread and pasta, the diet isn’t about full deprivation.
Here’s what you need to know before you get started. And for more diet and weight loss tips, subscribe to the new Eat This, Not That! magazine now! For a limited time, you can save 50 percent off the cover price—click here!
Say Goodbye to Carbs & Sugar
A core component of the keto diet is nixing grains, sugar (even natural ones like maple and agave), fruit (except avocado and berries, in moderation), starchy vegetables, and legumes.
What You Can Eat
But what the diet lacks in carbs and sugar, it makes up for in delicious fats and proteins. Foods that are ok include meat, fish, eggs, veggies like leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower (hello cauliflower “rice”!), cheese, butter, avocado, nuts, sweeteners like stevia, and even saturated fats (so it’s a-ok to toss your kale salad with a fatty dressing).
Do the Math
Though you can just dive in, to truly follow the diet you’ll need to calculate your “macros,” short for macronutrients. This will help you determine the amount of fat, carbs, and protein to consume in order to lose weight on the diet depending on your age, height, weight, activity level, etc. There are many keto macro calculators on the Internet to help. To really keep up with the diet, it’s advised to track what you eat throughout the day, at least while starting out.
Measure Your Ketones
When you first start out you may want to measure your ketones to make sure you’re on your way to achieving ketosis. Urine strips and blood sugar monitors are two possible methods.
The Pounds May Fly Off…At First
If you adhere to the diet, you’ll likely lose a lot of weight fast. Some folks see up to 20 pounds of weight loss in the first week. While it can be super motivating to continue, note that it’s actually a drop in water weight and you won’t continue to lose pounds at that rate.