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How Does the Keto Diet Work?

By Sarah Nauman


The Keto Diet promises to make you lose weight quickly and look fit. This strapline secured the attention of millions, including celebrities like Kim Kardashian and star athletes like LeBron James. Quick and short term effects of the diet has it ranked as the most popular, fad diet of present times.

The ketogenic diet, now reckoned an effective tool for weight loss however, originates from way back as the early 1920s. Health experts developed it to treat epilepsy in children! In recent times, the ketogenic diet is an effective tool to lose weight in a few weeks for a short period of time.

What is a Keto Diet?

The name – Keto – comes from a chemical process where the liver breakdowns stored fat molecules into ketones. Most of the body's cells prefer to use blood sugar from carbohydrates in the form of glucose, the main source for energy for the body. This diet forces your body to use a different type of fuel. Instead of providing your body with glucose a ketogenic diet forces your body to burn fat instead of carbs for energy.

The keto diet sends the body into a state of ketosis by mandating foods high in fat and low in carbohydrates. Once there, the health experts say, the body burns fat instead of sugar for energy. The standard Keto diet consists of 75% fats, 20% protein and 5% carbs.

The Keto Process

Normally it takes as less as two to four days to reach a state of ketosis; when fat becomes a main source of energy. Nevertheless, this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet plan to begin producing enough ketones.

For most people to begin using stored fat as fuel, they need to limit daily carbohydrate intake to fewer than 20 to 50 grams depending on body size. (For comparison, a medium-sized banana has about 27 grams of carbs.)

A true ketogenic diet is different and calls for up to 90% of your daily calories to come from fat. That is often hard for people to maintain. However, research has shown that people can achieve faster weight loss with a keto diet compared with a calorie-reduction diet.

Benefits of Keto

Body fat burning is not the only benefit of ketosis. People have reported improved mental clarity and physical energy. The steady blood sugar levels also achieve hormone regulation, acne reduction and improved cholesterol levels.

Drawbacks of Keto

There are not all praises for keto diet. Most people experience the keto flu when they start the diet. Symptoms of the flu include everything from headache and weakness to constipation, nausea, and even vomiting.

The keto flu lasts a week. However, there are other side effects reported, such as decreased bone density and sleep issues. Presently, the ketogenic research is limited; more studies are needed to understand the adverse effects of this diet.

What to Eat on the Keto Diet

The ultimate keto diet includes high quantities of seafood, meat, poultry and eggs coupled with low carb vegetables like spinach, eggplant and cabbage. Fruits low in sugar are recommended, like tomatoes, strawberries and lemons. Nuts and seeds are the best keto snacks. Dairy products are a good source of healthy fats, proteins and calcium.


In the short term, statistics say the keto diet is likely safe to take on. Nevertheless, over time, it is tough to keep off the weight this way. While diet may bring health benefits for limited time periods, it isn’t exactly a ‘sustainable’ diet. However, due to best-selling books and publicized diet plans from celebrities, the keto diet has revolutionized the concept of conventional dieting, with millions of people being inspired to undertake this diet. Regard this (and every) diet with a grain of salt and remember - you know what is best for your body!

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