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The keto diet is one of the most popular weight loss tools.

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The ketogenic diet (or keto diet) is a diet that is low in carbs, high in fat, and moderate in protein.

Carbohydrates are used in the body as the main source of energy. The body stores carbohydrates in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscles. When glycogen stores are depleted, the body switches to burning fat, which leads to the formation of ketone bodies.

Typically, carbohydrates found in foods are converted into glucose, which is then transported throughout the body, which is especially important for brain function. However, if there is very little dietary carbohydrate, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, which replace glucose as an energy source. Thus, the ketogenic diet causes the body to burn fat not only from incoming food, but also body fat and is therefore good for weight loss.

Weight loss occurs mainly due to a decrease in the mass of visceral fat. Muscle mass and strength are preserved.

The standard ketogenic diet plan is extremely low in carbohydrates: 75% of all calories should come from fat, 20% from protein, and only 5% from carbohydrates.

The keto diet is one of the most popular weight loss tools.


The difference between a ketogenic diet and a low-carbohydrate diet is that the ketogenic diet specifically aims to maximize blood levels of ketone bodies, (chemicals produced by burning fat). This is why a high-fat diet is so important on a keto diet, not just restricting carbohydrates. So the body learns to use another source of energy, alternative to glucose.

The ketogenic diet is very similar to the low-carb Atkins diet, limiting only carbohydrate intake.

The keto diet was developed to treat childhood epilepsy, although it can be used to treat adult patients, but it is currently used for weight loss. Elevated levels of ketone bodies in the blood, a condition known as ketosis, lead to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures, with the effect persisting even after the diet is stopped.

But in this article, we are only talking about adults and only about losing weight with a ketogenic diet.

The keto diet is one of the most popular weight loss tools.


In order for the body to start using ketones, it must be gradually taught this. Fasting for the purpose of losing weight is undesirable. With a sharp onset of hunger, the body is not trained to use ketone bodies. Their concentration increases in the blood and acidifies the blood. There is ketoacidosis. It is for this reason that a keto adaptation is needed, which gradually introduces the body into ketosis. Without experiencing a shock, the body begins to intensively spend fat on the 3-4th day of ketosis.

Ketosis copies all the positive effects of fasting and is an absolutely normal physiological process that helps cleanse the body and lose weight.

Ketone bodies are a more efficient source of energy than glucose.

In addition to weight loss, the ketogenic diet has a number of health benefits. This:

  • Stabilization of blood glucose levels and reduction of cellular dependence on glucose
  • Neuroprotective action
  • Reduction of free radicals in the brain
  • Increase in the number of mitochondria and normalization of ATP levels in the tissues of the brain, heart and muscles
  • Anti-inflammatory effect

The keto diet is one of the most popular weight loss tools.


The duration of a ketogenic diet can be 1-2 months. With its long-term use, a number of adverse health side effects may occur, which will be discussed below.

Studies have shown that a 21-day ketogenic diet does not impair nutritional status or cause negative changes due to changes in dietary composition, including sarcopenia, bone mineral density, liver, kidney and blood lipids.

6 weeks of keto diets do not affect physical health to a clinically significant extent.

Slight deterioration in the condition of the vessels begins to be observed after 3 months of the ketogenic diet. But these changes are reversible.

For the period of the ketogenic diet, products made from flour, rice, legumes, potatoes and starchy vegetables with a high content of carbohydrates (beets, carrots, pumpkin), as well as milk, cereals, fruits are completely excluded.

The list of foods used in the ketogenic diet includes: beef, lamb, pork, lard, chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, eggs, cottage cheese, full-fat sour cream, nuts, avocados, vegetables, butter, olive and other healthy oils. The most beneficial for weight loss is coconut oil.

Coconut oil is most suitable for individuals with an increased appetite who can hardly tolerate the restrictions of the ketogenic diet. Using coconut oil allows you to introduce more carbohydrates into the diet without breaking ketosis.

Spreading coconut oil on bread on a ketogenic diet is not possible due to the fact that bread is not allowed on this diet. But coconut oil is ideal for cooking because of its resistance to heat. Read more about the benefits of coconut oil in the article "What oil to choose for frying?".

Coconut oil can also be added to hot drinks instead of milk: tea, coffee, cocoa.

The keto diet is one of the most popular weight loss tools.



Possible Side Effects of the Ketogenic Diet

With long-term use of the ketogenic diet for weight loss, there are some risks associated with being extremely low in carbs and high in fat. Most of these risks relate to a long stay on a keto diet.

Elevated blood triglyceride levels increase cardiovascular risk by impairing lipid metabolism.

Increased risk of kidney stones.

Increased risk of bone fracture.

The general recommendation for a keto diet is no more than 2000 calories per day in order to ensure that you do not gain weight. For faster weight loss, it is better to stick to 1500 calories per day.


Sample ketogenic diet menu


One of the meals:

  • scrambled eggs with bacon, tomato and cucumber salad with olive oil
  • fried bacon with green beans (cauliflower, broccoli)
  • cheese plate, olives, vegetables, herbs
  • fat cottage cheese with fat sour cream
  • boiled eggs with mayonnaise, 50 g butter
  • boiled sausages or sausages, vegetable salad with mayonnaise or vegetable oil

One of the drinks:



One of the first courses

  • Chicken, meat or fish broth with herbs
  • Ear (without potatoes)
  • Vegetable soup (without potatoes, carrots and beets) in fatty meat broth. You can use tomatoes, cabbage, onions, celery, bell peppers, tomato paste, butter.

One of the main courses:

  • Boiled beef with butter, vegetable salad with olive oil
  • Ham with vegetables, cheese, nuts
  • Shrimp, squid boiled with mayonnaise, salad.
  • Fried or boiled oily fish (mackerel, sea bass, trout, salmon)

One of the drinks:

  • coffee
  • tea
  • cocoa without milk and sugar
  • tomato juice



One of the meals:

  • Steak with mushrooms and onions, vegetable salad
  • Pork chops with vegetable garnish, vegetable salad
  • Boiled or baked fish, grilled vegetables (eggplants, tomatoes, bell peppers) or baked in the oven
  • Baked chicken, turkey or pork, vegetable salad with olive oil, mayonnaise or fat sour cream.

One of the drinks:

  • coffee
  • tea
  • cocoa without milk and sugar
  • tomato juice


Useful video on the topic of the article