The defining characteristic of a ketosis diet is extreme carbohydrate restriction. It differs from many other low carbohydrate diets in that daily net carbs are kept extremely low (typically less than 30g). This puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis (to learn more about this body state read “What is Ketosis“) where the body burns fat for energy instead of carbs. The actual maximum number of net carbs allowed to remain in ketosis will differ for each individual based on a variety of factors including size and exercise level.
To balance out the macronutrient intake, a person on the ketosis diet should consume a majority of their calories from fat and a moderate amount of calories from protein. For detailed instructions to establish a personalized macronutrient profile, read through “How to Set Up a Keto Diet Plan”.
This type of diet has been used since the early 20th century to treat epilepsy and may prove to be an effective treatment for several other illnesses. Patients on these treatments began to notice rapid weight and fat loss as a notable side effect. Therefore, the popularity of carb restricted diets began growing until they became highly popular in the 1970s. However, due to a lack of peer-reviewed scientific studies, particularly long-term studies, there was some concern about health risks. There have been a growing number of long-term studies in recent years that suggest that a ketogenic diet is not only safe, but may actually improve overall health, and is the most effective fat-loss diet. For more discussion on health concerns, read Is Ketosis Dangerous.
The standard ketogenic diet (SKD Diet) is a long-term carb reduced diet for individuals that do not perform high-intensity activities such as weightlifting or heavy cardio, but would still like to reduce weight and body fat percentage. Even though this diet alone is extremely effective for initial weight loss, results can be accelerated with the addition of exercise. If you are able to perform weightlifting or intense cardio, an advanced variation of the diet should be used. Athletes, bodybuilders, and those interested in attaining the lean and ripped look of a fitness model should apply either a cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD Diet) or a targeted ketogenic diet (TKD Diet).
Before beginning any diet, it is always important to learn the basics and the scientific principles that provided the basis for the diet. That knowledge will allow you to determine whether or not that specific diet plan is the best for you. Following a ketogenic diet plan is no different! So, make sure to read through the different articles on this site and make sure you know the rules, potential symptoms and effects of ketosis before you begin.