A ketogenic diet is made up of macronutrients, which include fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. The goal is for your daily intake to be low in carbohydrates and proteins, and high in fats. This means most of your daily intake, or 70-80%, are calories from foods that are fats. Think bacon grease or olives!
Ketosis is the process of your body burning fat for energy. While going through ketosis, your extra carbohydrates and proteins are taken to the liver, where the carbohydrates and proteins are processed into glycogen. Glycogen is the stored form of sugar, which your body uses for energy. Once your body uses up its stored glycogen, it will begin to burn fat.
As a result, intermittent fasting is a key element in keto diets. Fasting encourages your body to use up all of its stored glycogen and to burn off fat cells for energy in between meals, which can result in weight loss.
At first, it may be hard to achieve ketosis. If you feel frustrated because you are eating all the “right” foods but aren’t in ketosis, it is probably a reflection of past food habits. If your past diet was high in carbs or proteins, the stored glycogen levels will be much higher, and your body simply needs to burn through what is stored first. It is also important to consider that many resources point to low carbohydrate recipes. While low carbohydrate recipes can be keto, they aren’t necessarily always keto.
Like any program, it is important to look into and research the health benefits and effects of keto. Keto can be very successful for some, but for others it may not be the right program. Before making any major dietary changes, it is always best to consult a physician or nutritionist.