You’ve heard of it, you’ve questioned it, and now you want to learn more: does it work? What can you eat -- and what can’t you eat? What the heck is a ketone? Do I need to give up coffee? Read on for the answers to your burning keto questions.
What are the benefits of a keto diet, anyways?
Following the keto diet can lead to stabilized blood sugar levels, weight loss, better exercise performance, optimized heart function, and improved brain health. By changing the fuel your body runs on, you’re triggering your metabolism to be flexible like our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
How do I know if I’m in ketosis?
Ketosis occurs when your body starts using fats as a source of energy. Since the keto diet means you’re not eating enough calories to provide energy for your body to function, your liver will begin to break down fats into ketones, creating the energy you need to rock your day.
Unfortunately, you can’t start a keto diet today and expect to lose weight and feel like a million bucks by tomorrow. Like most things, it takes time for your body to adjust and kick into ketosis. For most people, this process takes about 2-7 days. Keep calm and read on.
So...what can I eat?
Rule number one: avoid carbs. That means cereals, breads, and most things on the bottom row of the food pyramid you learned about in second grade. Even fruits and vegetables can have hidden carbs, so do your research when you start meal planning.
The good news: you’re encouraged to eat steak, avocado, salmon, and other foods full of healthy fats and protein. Think nut butters, red meat, full-fat dairy, and a variety of cooked and raw fruits and veggies.
What about alcohol?
Alcohol is okay, but you’ll want to watch your carb count. Wine, beer, and ~fancy~ cocktails are full of hidden carbs, so stick with clear liquor and you’ll be good to go.
But coffee’s okay, right?
Of course! We’re coffee-obsessed, and it’d be hard for us to give up the good stuff. Thankfully, you’re still able to drink coffee while following the keto diet. And for even more keto-approved caffeinated goodness, try our Caffeinated Keto Snacks in delicious flavors like Almond Mocha and Almond Coconut.
Is this just the millenial’s Atkins diet?
Sure, both are low-carb, high-fat diets. But Atkins, the fad diet your parents tried in the early 2000s, occurs in phases which introduce carbs back into your diet. That means you’re likely to gain your lost weight back pretty quickly.
Plus, the Atkins philosophy focuses on reducing carbs but not avoiding processed foods. In fact, Atkins has a whole line of shakes, snacks, and meals that are low in carbs, but full of processed junk. The keto diet, on the other hand, is all about lowering carbs and avoiding processed, packaged foods.
What’s a net carb?
Because your body can’t digest fiber, the keto diet doesn’t count fiber towards your overall carbohydrate count. That makes net carbs the most important to keep track of -- your total carbs minus fiber.