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The ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet, is the idea of transitioning your body from burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. The body produces two substances when carbohydrate intake is high:

  1. Glucose: Glucose is the easiest molecule for the body to convert to energy. This is the reason that carbohydrate intake will negate the ability of the body to enter ketosis. If carbohydrate intake is high, the body defaults to using glucose for energy.

  2. Insulin: Insulin aids in the transport of glucose around the body. When you reduce your carb intake and replace it with fat, it puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.

Ketosis is defined as the process by which your body breaks down fatty acids to produce ketones in the liver, which can supply both the brain and body with energy.

Ketones come in three forms:

  • Acetoacetate (AcAc)

  • Beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB)

  • Acetone

Simply put: carbs must be avoided if you want to stay in ketosis. Generally, you want to stay under 25 grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) per day.

You also want to watch your protein intake. Protein is not the enemy, as with carbs. You want protein to make up a significant part of your diet. Protein provides plenty of essential functions that are still valuable to your body’s function in ketosis. However, keep this macronutrient to only a quarter of your diet.

In ketosis, fat is king. The rest of your calories should come from fat. This is the new energy source that your body will be breaking down for energy in the absence of carbs.


When it comes to the keto diet, there are several types. The variety of keto diets include:

SKD: Standard Ketogenic Diet

The SKD is the standard diet an individual new to the keto diet would follow if they were first starting out. This diet follows the general guidelines of keto including low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat intake.

CKD: Cyclical Ketogenic Diet 

The CKD is more suited for athletes and active individuals alike who simply need the carbs to fuel their intense training sessions. This diet involves a period of higher-carb refeeds during the week. An example would be 5 days of following the SKD and then 2 days of high-carbs (anywhere from 400-600 grams).

TKD: Targeted Ketogenic Diet 

The TKD is also meant for more active individuals who struggle with energy during their workouts, but it's less intense compared to the CKD. The TKD follows the SKD for the most part, but with an additional 25-50 grams of net carbs around your workout times (about 30 minutes pre and post-workout).

HPKD: High-Protein Ketogenic Diet

This type of ketogenic diet isn't too far off from the SKD, however, it does include more protein. Compared to the 25% of protein included in the SKD, the high-protein ketogenic diet often includes up to 35%.

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  1. BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate): a ketone produced by the body either through fasting or a high fat low carb diet. BHB has some amazing benefits, especially for the brain!

  2. BPC: Bulletproof coffee. A lot of people drink bulletproof coffee to reach their fat quota for the day. It’s very common with keto to either skip breakfast (fasting) or just drink a BPC instead. People make it different ways, but the original recipe called for MCT oil and grassfed butter, with no sugar or non-keto sweeteners added.

  3. CICO (calories in, calories out): The calories in, calories out theory is widely debated. CICO tells us that obesity is caused by the consumption of too many calories. It does not take into account the type of calorie (fat vs. carbs) or the source. I believe CICO is losing credibility in many circles.

  4. HWC: heavy whipping cream. Ah, yes, my favorite of the keto abbreviations! For extra fat, a lot of people like to add heavy whipping cream to their beverages and sauces. Mmmm!

  5. IIFYM (“If It Fits Your Macros”): When people say “IIFYM,” they are typically of the mindset that the food choice itself does not matter, as long as the calories it contains align with your daily macronutrient goals.

  6. IF: Intermittent fasting. With intermittent fasting, a person will cycle between fasting and consuming food. There are many ways to do IF. One example of IF is 16/8.

  7. LCHF/HFLC: low carb high fat or high fat low carb

  8. MCT oil: Medium-chain triglycerides. Fatty acids that are extracted from coconut oil. These triglycerides are easily absorbed and thus a faster source of energy. I add this to my coffee!

  9. NSV: Non-scale victory. This is one of my favorite keto words! A lot of people do keto to see the number on the scale go down. But SO many people (myself included!) have other reasons for doing keto: reducing inflammation, maintaining glucose levels, balancing hormones, mood stability, better sleep, etc. A non-scale victory can be any benefit you’re seeing from the keto diet that has nothing to do with the scale! For example, If you’re experiencing a huge increase in energy, that’s an NSV for sure!

  10. OMAD: One meal a day. This is a type of intermittent fasting where a person would only eat one large meal in a 24 hour period.

  11. TDEE (total daily energy expediture): the amount of energy you burn each day, in calories. You can find several TDEE calculators online.

  12. WOE: Way of eating. A lot of people prefer to call the keto diet a way of eating instead of a diet, making it a lifestyle, not a yo-yo diet or trend.

  13. ACV: Apple cider vinegar

  14. BG: Blood glucose

  15. EVOO- A short cut for “extra-virgin olive oil”

  16. Fat-Adapted- The goal of a keto diet is to be “fat adapted,” or to have completely transitioned from burning carbs (sugar) for energy to burning fat (ketones) for energy. It generally takes four or more weeks of consistently being in ketosis to become fat adapted.

  17. Fat Bomb- A popular keto treat, fat bombs are made with ingredients that are rich in good fats (think nut butter, MCT oil, cream cheese, dark chocolate, etc.). They are commonly used to help you up your fat content for the day or get a quick hit of energy in one or two delicious bites.

  18. Keto Flu- Unpleasant side effects that occur while transitioning from a carb-heavy diet to a ketogenic low-carb diet. Symptoms can include fatigue, headache, dizziness, irritability, nausea, and more.

  19. Ketoacidosis- This is also referred to as DKA, or diabetic ketoacidosis, because it almost exclusively happens to type 1 diabetics. Ketoacidosis is when the body shows dangerously high levels of ketones combined with very high-blood sugar, which can change the normal functioning of internal organs, such as your liver and kidneys.

  20. Macros- Short for macronutrients; your daily caloric intake for the keto low-carb high- fat diet, broken into categories of optimal fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. They are also your literal map for keto success.

  21. Net Carbs-The total grams of carbohydrates in any given food minus its grams of fiber and sugar alcohols. (The sugar alcohols and fiber are not counted as carbs because they are not digested by the body.)

  22. SF- This stands for sugar-free.

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