What is the Keto Diet?
The Keto Diet is short for Ketogenic Diet. The ketogenic diet is a medical diet that was used to treat epileptic seizures. You can read more about the history of the ketogenic diet on Wikipedia. But for our purposes, it was discovered that people who follow a low carb/higher fat and adequate protein diet are able to lose weight more effectively than other diets, without all the associated pain of other diets. The Keto diet switches from burning glucose for fuel to burning fat.
On a keto diet, you pay less attention to calories and exercise, and more attention to eating to fit your macros. What are macros?? A macro is defined as the percentage of the big 3 nutrients that you eat throughout your days. Everyone has slightly different macros based on their height/weight and body fat percentages. There are a bunch of macro calculators out there. When I started following the keto way of life, this is the calculator I used: Ketogains Macro Calculator.
So you calculate your macros and find out what percentage each nutrient you should be eating. Everyone has different Fat and Protein needs, but on a keto diet, you want to stick to about 5% of total calories coming from carbohydrates.
It might seem fairly complicated to eat within your macros. However, once you get used to it, it’s fairly easy to follow. I personally used an app called Myfitnesspal to calculate every piece of food I put into my mouth. You can search for food and find and track your nutrient totals. Some people say if it fits your macros, you can eat it. With some exceptions of course, you want to completely stay away from sugar and grains.
So in a nutshell, keto is eating very low carb (under 20 grams of total net carb). Moderate protein (based on your macro needs), and you eat as much fat as you need to keep you satisfied (within your macro)