The Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet: Your Ultimate Beginner's Guide To Going Keto

The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that switches the body from burning glucose (sugar) as its primary fuel to burning fat and ketones, putting the body in a state of ketosis.

What is the ketogenic diet?

At its simplest, the ketogenic diet is a diet that allows the body to transition into and sustain a state of nutritional ketosis. This state is where the body has flipped its metabolic switch from using glucose to using fats and ketones for fuel. 

In this way, a keto diet is essentially mimicking what happens to our bodies when we fast

The suggested ratios of macronutrients on a keto diet can vary among individuals but typically fall within the ranges of:

Fat: 65 to 85%

Protein: 15 to 35%

Carbohydrate: 0 to 10%

What this looks like is no more than 50 grams of total (not net) carbohydrates, roughly 1 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilograms of lean body mass, and fat to make up the remaining calories (or eaten to satiety).

 What the diet does is suppress insulin, just as fasting would. The only difference is that it's the fat from the diet fueling ketone production, whereas during starvation, ketone production is fueled by stored body fat.

That said, if you are eating a ketogenic diet in a calorie deficit or practice some variation of fasting, you will be able to tap into those fat stores.


The keto diet is a diet that allows the body to transition into and sustain a state of nutritional ketosis where the body has flipped its metabolic switch from using glucose to using fats and ketones for fuel.

Water loss

Initially, weight loss can be rapid. This is because when carbohydrates are removed from the diet, you excrete more fluids than usual.

 Every gram of glycogen (stored glucose) holds around three to four grams of water, so when we are burning through this, we are losing all that water, too. But don't worry; fat loss comes next

When it comes to weight loss, the keto diet shines in its ability to provide sustainable energy and suppress appetite.

 In a state of ketosis, you are no longer unhealthfully tied to glucose, needing to frequently refuel throughout the day.

 In contrast, in a state of ketosis you essentially have an infinite source of fuel coming from either the fat that you eat or the fat you need to burn

Appetite control

The keto diet is known for its impressive appetite control and keeping your hunger at bay. This can translate to eating less without even knowing it.

reviewing the effects of calorie-restricted ketogenic diets on weight loss and appetite concluded that ketogenic diets are associated with greater appetite suppression, despite eating in a calorie deficit and losing weight, compared to other types of calorie-restricted diets.

 In other words, the hunger pangs associated with eating less and losing weight may be blunted when done so with a keto diet.

 This is why people find keto (and low-carbohydrate diets in general) sustainable: because your appetite is finally no longer controlling you; you are controlling it.

Muscle preservation

Beyond appetite, keto can help you maintain muscle while losing fat.

 The keto diet does a pretty good job of preserving muscle mass4 during weight loss, improving overall body composition, and preventing metabolic rate from plummeting

Ketones themselves have a muscle-sparing effect, and most people trying to lose weight wants to lose fat, not muscle. This means that losing weight while in ketosis can help prevent the breakdown of our hard-earned muscle, all while losing fat.

 It's also worth noting that protein, too, plays an important role in preserving muscle mass during weight loss, so it's recommended not to restrict protein too much

Other health benefits of the keto diet:


Appetite isn't the only thing that trends with glucose and insulin can, too. Being reliant on glucose for fuel may translate to fading energy levels between meals.

 If you are one of those people who would do anything for that post-lunch nap, the ketogenic diet may help! Energy is less likely to fluctuate throughout the day when in ketosis, again due to constant access to a superior energy source

2.Blood sugar balance

Lifestyle choices that improve how sensitive we are to insulin can be powerful tools. Insulin resistance is tied in one way or another to practically all modern chronic diseases, and the ketogenic diet has been shown to improve glucose control by, of course, lowering glucose exposure but also by improving our sensitivity to insulin.

3.Brain health

The brain thrives on ketones, due to a wide array of mechanisms from energy metabolism to the signaling roles of ketones

Keto diet + intermittent fasting

Keto paired with intermittent fasting can work very well together and create a nice symbiotic relationship. In essence, since the diet is so satiating, it becomes easier to go extended lengths of time without food making intermittent fasting easier, and since fasting is the surest way to enter ketosis, intermittent fasting can make entering and sustaining a state of ketosis easier.

What to eat on the keto diet.

Here are the basic keto-friendly foods you want to focus on with a ketogenic diet to provide your body with ample fat, some protein, and minimal carbs (while still getting in plenty of fiber).





Chicken thighs (skin on)



Leafy greens (arugula, spinach, kale, etc.)









Wild Blueberries

Nuts and seeds

Macadamia Nuts 

Pili Nuts 


Pumpkin Seeds 

Hemp Seeds


MCT Oil 

Avocado Oil 

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil 

Coconut Oil




Heavy Cream 

Full-fat Sour Cream

Full-fat Yogurt (sugar-free)



Coffee (option to add MCT oil or coconut oil)


Sparkling water 

Sugar-free beverages (preferably sweetened with stevia, or other non-artificial sweeteners)

Foods to avoid on the keto diet.

Avoiding these foods is key to keeping your carb count low enough to enter a state of ketosis. 


Grains (e.g., whole grains, flours, baked goods)

Glycemic sweeteners like refined sugar, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave

High-sugar fruits

Starchy vegetables (e.g., potatoes, beets, carrots, yams)

ketogenic diet: 5 tips for beginners.

There really is no right or wrong way to start a ketogenic diet. You can ease into it, eliminating carbohydrates from the diet slowly or dive in headfirst and cut them out entirely.

People tend to overthink the ketogenic diet, especially if you are switching from a very carbohydrate-heavy diet. But you should get the hang of it pretty quickly by following these tips:

Focus on eliminating the carbohydrates first, before focusing on adding the fat. The carbohydrate restriction is really the most important component of the diet if you want to enter ketosis. Once you get used to subbing cauliflower rice for rice or zucchini noodles for pasta, you'll start to realize just how sustainable the ketogenic diet can be.

Make sure to supplement with electrolytes during the beginning stages of the diet to avoid any flu-like symptoms associated with electrolyte imbalances and dehydration.

Don't stress over ketone readings—judge how the diet is working for you based on how you feel!

Track macros in the beginning to learn where hidden carbs may be hiding in your diet—because they can definitely sneak up on you! As you start out, this can be a great tool and teach you a lot about your food choices. But that said, don't forget about your intuition. If you are full but you haven't hit your "targets" for the day, don't force yourself to eat based on this. Always try to eat as intuitively as you can

Don't be hard on yourself, the ketogenic diet is not supposed to be stressful. If you slip up and eat a piece of bread, your diet isn't ruined—just start fresh the next day. One helpful way to think about it: Picture "cheating" as filling up your glucose tank; the more you fill it up, the longer it will take to empty before switching back into ketosis. So if you eat a few extra carbs, don't fall guilty to the "Well, I already had one; I might as well have five" mentality.