What is the keto diet?
The standard ketogenic diet comprises very little carbs (5% of your daily calories), a moderate level of protein (20%), and high amounts of fat (75%), White says. The goal is to put your body in ketosis, when your body relies on fat, rather than carbs, for energy and fuel. “[The keto diet] started off as a tool for epilepsy patients—and it’s proven to be very effective—but now it’s become something of a weight-loss dieting trend,” he explains. That’s because you cut weight fast.
“For every gram of carbs, there are three grams of water. So when you start dropping your carbs, you’ll lose water weight,” he explains. Of course, this happens on any low-carb diet. People also drop weight quickly because they were probably eating high amounts of unhealthy carbs before. With the keto diet, your carb allotment is minimal: 5% is only 60 calories for an (extraordinarily low) 1,200-calorie diet, which equates to about two servings of vegetables and/or one serving of fruit. (That means your post-workout shake is probably out of the question, too.)
Some ketogenic diets are as steep as 600 to 800 calories per day. As a dietitian, White does not recommend any diet under 1,200 calories per day. For a list of all the foods you can and can’t eat on the keto diet, read this keto diet blueprint.
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