Definition of ketosis diet, How does keto work

Definition of ketosis diet

The ketosis diet or ketogenic diet is a nutritional strategy based on the reduction of food carbohydrate, which “obliges” the body to independently produce the glucose necessary for survival and to increase the energy consumption of fat contained in adipose tissue.

Ketosis diet means “diet that produces ketone bodiesโ€ (a metabolic residue of energy production).

Definition of ketosis diet


Regularly produced in minimal quantities and easily disposable with urine and pulmonary ventilation, ketone bodies reach a higher level than the normal condition. The undesired excess of ketone bodies, responsible for the tendency to lower blood pH, is called ketosis.

Even the ‘ motor activity affects, positively or negatively (depending on the case), on the condition of ketoacidosis.

The presence of ketone bodies in the blood has different effects on the body; some are considered useful in the slimming process, others are “collateral”.

There is not just one type of ketogenic diet and all dietary styles that supply less calories , carbohydrates and sometimes less protein than necessary are ketogenic ; they are certainly low carb and potentially ketogenic, for example, the Atkins diet and LCHF (low carb, high fat – low carbohydrate, high fat).

Uses Of Ketogenic Diet

Some types of ketogenic diet are used in the clinical setting (for example against non-drug-responsive epilepsy, severe obesity associated with certain metabolic pathologies, etc.), but these systems are mainly used in the field of fitness and aesthetic culture.

How does keto work?

Keto work based on the reduction of calories and food carbohydrates. It is associated with a correct level of proteins and a high percentage of fat. They should improve lipolysis and cellular lipid oxidation, therefore total consumption fat optimizing slimming. The production of ketone bodies, which must be absolutely controlled, has the function of moderating appetite stimulation – due to their anorectic effect.

How to start keto diet?

If you are thinking about starting a keto diet, choose the type of diet that’s right for you based on your lifestyle, and to understand which foods to eat and which don’t.

Choose the right diet one for you

First, let’s debunk the myth that the ketogenic diet is completely no-carb: there are carbohydrates, generally between 20 and 100 grams a day, they provide 5% to 15% of calories and come mainly from vegetables, nuts, and dairy product. Most of the calories taken, from 70% to 75%, come from fat, while the remaining calories, from 20% to 25% come from proteins.

There are 4 main types of ketogenic diet, based on the quality and mode of carbohydrate intake:

SDK or standard ketogenic diet: it is the most widespread and recommended, it requires the consumption of carbohydrates from 20 to 50 grams per day, moderate consumption of proteins and high consumption of fats

TDK or targeted ketogenic diet: suitable for those with an active lifestyle and regular exercise. It requires a consumption of about 25-50 grams of carbohydrates 30 minutes or 1 hour before exercising

CKD or cyclic ketogenic diet: ideal for those who do not want to give up carbohydrates for long periods. It includes a few days of standard ketogenic diet alternating with periods of normal carbohydrate consumption. If you decide to undertake a CKD it is strongly recommended to use exogenous ketones to minimize the transition period

Hyper-protein ketogenic diet: similar to SDK but high in protein. It can be the ideal choice for those who have an intense and constant physical activity

What is keto eating

If you decide to follow a ketogenic diet it is essential to know which foods you can eat, to avoid getting out of ketosis unintentionally and to throw away all your efforts.

What to eat

Meat and Eggs – All types of white and red meat are allowed. Pay attention to processed meats such as sausages and cold cuts that often contain added carbohydrates: when in doubt, read the label and choose those that do not exceed 5%

Fish, Crustaceans, and Seafood – Non-farmed ones are preferable, as farmed fish are fed carbohydrate-based foods.

Remember: keep moderate consumption of meat and fish as proteins that exceed body needs are transformed into glucose, making it difficult to maintain the level of ketones needed to remain in ketosis.

Butter, Oil and other fats – Permitted both animal and vegetable fats and high-fat condiments such as mayonnaise and Bernese sauce.

Surface vegetables – Allow all the leafy vegetables and vegetables that grow on the surface. It is important to eat them every day to bring the right micronutrients to our body, to avoid vitamin deficiencies, and to give a lot of variety to our diet.

Dairy and Cheese – Whole (non-skimmed, non-lean) foods are allowed and if possible you prefer organic food because the animal is fed on grass and not on carbohydrate-based feed. Moderate milk consumption: 1 glass contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates.

Avocado – is the only fruit strictly permitted in the ketogenic diet, although it is considered by many to be more of a vegetable: it is widely used in salads and can be consumed in abundance!

Nuts and berries – Nuts, hazelnuts and almonds, as well as blackberries, blueberries and strawberries are permitted in moderation. They are useful for snacks between meals. Avoid cashews and pistachios due to their high carbohydrate content

Coffee and Tea – allowed without sugar or with sweeteners such as stevia or aspartame

What NOT to Eat

Bread, Pasta and Cereals – All foods based on wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, rye, quinoa and whole grains should be eliminated.

Tip: you can prepare perfect substitutes for bread, pasta, and rice at home, click here for recipes

Tubers and vegetables that grow underground – No potatoes and turnips, carrots can be eaten very moderately, the onion is ok if used to flavor.

Beans and Legumes – although they are widely used by vegetarians for their high protein intake, unfortunately, they are also very rich in carbohydrates.

Fruit – all fruits, except Avocado and berries, should be avoided due to their high sugar content.

Sugars – honey, agave, maple syrup, and all sugar-based products, including fruit juices, should be eliminated.

Alcoholic Beverages – Wine, beer (which is basically liquid bread because it is made with wheat) and liqueurs should be avoided.


When you start the ketogenic diet and cut off carbohydrates, your body needs a short time to adapt. But what can we expect exactly?

The body will find itself lacking in the glucose to burn to produce energy and will go on to burn the fats to get the ketones to use as fuel for muscles and the brain. It is for this mechanism that the ketogenic diet makes you lose weight quickly.

Depending on how much your carbohydrates weighed in your diet, the full transition from a glucose-based metabolic regimen to a ketogenic one can last a couple of days or even a couple of weeks and can affect your energy levels.

During this time you may not feel better and you probably won’t have much energy. We advise you not to stress yourself too much mentally or physically, and perhaps to help your body adapt more quickly by taking exogenous ketones, thus speeding up the transition to ketosis.

The transition may, in rare cases, cause you to experience an effect called “keto-influenza”, with symptoms similar to those of the common flu such as stomach pains, nausea, irritability, mental laziness. But don’t worry: this is just the way your body makes the transition from a carbohydrate-based metabolism to one based on ketones. In these cases, exogenous ketones really help a lot.

Finally in ketosis!

Once the transition phase is complete and the body is in ketosis, these symptoms and drastic changes in energy levels disappear completely. Finally, the benefits of the ketogenic metabolic regimen begin to be felt.

The main benefit, besides the substantial weight loss, is that of feeling constantly energetic. The body is no longer subject to the energy peaks typical of carbohydrates and energy levels remain constant: now the body draws on the reserves of fat and produces ketones constantly to give energy to muscles and brain.

Energy levels will remain constant as long as the body remains in a state of ketosis, so it is very important to keep the level of ketones in the blood under control.

Follow a strict keto diet and study a balanced daily diet plan and you will certainly have no problem staying in ketosis, plus there are systems for controlling ketone levels.

Energy levels in the female body: tips and tricks for a problem without problems

If you are of childbearing age, your cycle can cause huge fluctuations in your energy levels. In the first two weeks and up to ovulation, your estrogen levels are higher, which means that you will have more energy, a better mood and maybe you will be even more extroverted.

But once you get into ovulation, between the third and fourth week of the cycle, the music changes. Estrogen decreases as progesterone increases, so your energy levels collapse, you will feel hungrier and your body will crave carbohydrates to balance negative energy spikes.

For this reason, if you follow a ketogenic diet, it is particularly important to increase the intake of fat and, slightly, of protein to combat the annoying carbohydrate cravings in the third and fourth week of the cycle.

If, on the other hand, you are thinking of starting a ketogenic diet, we advise you against starting it in the ovulatory phase: since you already have little energy, it is not ideal to ask your body to change energy sources at the same time.

The best time to start the ketogenic diet for a woman of childbearing age is in the first week of the cycle. The body is full of energy due to high levels of estrogen and is more likely to cope with the transition period. He will be ready to support the repercussion of the ovulation phase of the third and fourth week.

With this little trick, you will overcome the transition phase and avoid feeling the need to use carbohydrate-based snacks to balance energy losses.

How do I know if I am in ketosis?

The optimal range for the correct functioning of the ketogenic diet is between 1.5 and 3 mmol ketones per liter of blood.

For information, these are the 4 ranges of ketone levels:

  • Below 0.5 mmoles of ketones per liter of blood is not considered ketosis
  • Between 0.5-1.5 mmol / l we speak of light ketosis
  • With 1.5-3 mmol / l the ketosis is defined as optimal
  • Values โ€‹โ€‹of over 3 mmol / l, besides not being more effective, compromise the state of health

In general, it may take about 2-3 days to reach complete ketosis. But each person reacts differently to the change of diet, the only way to be sure of this is to measure the level of ketones in the body.

There are 3 types of tests you can do at home:

  1. Urine test – it is the cheapest but the least accurate and is done with a urine strip
  2. Blood test – is the most accurate and is done with a glucometer
  3. Breath test – is performed with a breath meter

Is a ketone diet safe and healthy?

When starting a new diet – not just the ketone diet one – it is important to do it safely. Make sure that it is suitable for your lifestyle and health conditions. For this reason, it is important to know that the ketogenic diet is contraindicated in the following cases:

  • pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • kidney failure
  • liver failure
  • type I diabetes
  • porphyria, angina, recent myocardial infarction
  • alcoholism
  • mental disorders

Keto sample menu

Keto Diet Day 1


Raw ham             50 g       

Rye bread           50 g


Roasted and salted pistachios    50 g


Rocket salad       100 g

Slice of salmon (grilled) 150 g

Olive oil                20 g


Milk flakes          100 g


Zucchini                200 g

Grilled kid            200 g

Olive oil                10 g



Diet Day 2


Bresaola               50 g

Bread rye            30 g


Sweet almonds 50 g


Green beans      200 g

Slice of salmon (grilled) 250 g

Olive oil                20 g


Grain     50 g


Salad tomatoes 200 g

Lettuce 100 g

Beef, semi-fat cuts          150 g

Olive oil                10 g



Diet Day 3


Speck    50 g

Cheese slices     30 g

Rye bread           25 g


Roasted peanuts              50 g


Lettuce 200 g

Pan-fried trout  200 g

Olive oil                10 g


Protein shake    30 g


broccoli                250 g

Chicken egg (2 whole + 2 egg whites)     150 g

Olive oil                10 g



Diet Day 4 (RECHARGE)


Partially skimmed cow’s milk       250 g

sugar     10 g

Wholemeal rusks             100 g

Marmalade         50 g


Semi-skimmed milk yogurt         130 g

Kiwi        100 g


Parboiled rice    200 g

Grated Parmesan cheese             10 g

tomatoes            200 g

Tuna in oil drained           100 g

Olive oil                10 g


Apple    200 g


Whole grain bread           150 g

Slice of swordfish (grilled)            100 g

Olive oil                10 g

spinach 200 g



ketone diet benefits

In the absence of sugar, the body is forced to spend more calories to convert fat and protein into glucose.

At the same time, the secretion of hormones is promoted which promote the elimination of fat and reduce appetite.

For these reasons, if the goal is to lose weight, the ketogenic diet is effective.

However, initial weight loss is due only to the consumption of the body’s glucose supplies (glycogen) and water loss.

Instead, it takes a few days for the actual weight loss to begin, associated with the disposal of fat reserves.


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