Keto, in its simplest reference, is actually short for ketogenic or ketosis. It is used as a way to describe a type of lifestyle, a way of eating (WOE), many people are following or taking an interest in.
The body typically uses glucose as an energy source. Everything we do takes energy; breathing, sleeping, walking, etc. When carbohydrates are digested, the body converts them to glucose. Glucose is the fuel source burned by the body to produce energy under normal circumstances.
Did you know that the average American’s daily caloric intake consists of approximately 50-60 percent carbohydrates? To get a better picture of what this means, let’s take someone who consumes 1800 calories, of the 1800 calories, 900-1060 calories would be carbohydrates!
When the body is in a fasting state, when it is not getting enough carbohydrates to convert to glucose for energy, your body begins to burn fat as energy. When you have entered this state, of your body burning its own fat as energy, it is called being in ketosis. However, a person could not sustain this metabolic state of being in ketosis through fasting. Humans have to consume foods and water to survive.
Your body can simulate the fasting state through a low carb way of eating. This is what many refer to as a “Keto” diet or a “Keto” lifestyle.
Now, this is where it becomes a trial and error process. Every person is unique, healthy, medically compromised, blood types, digestive process, insulin resistance, etc. Therefore, each person has to figure out their specific requirements to reach ketosis. For instance, one person may enter ketosis consuming 30 total carbs per day, while another may have to consume less than 20 total carbs per day, and yet another may enter ketosis by consuming 20 net carbs per day. Don’t worry we will discuss total and net carbs later in another post.
Because of the unique nature of entering the metabolic state of ketosis, there is a lot of controversy about what it takes to get there. It is our view that each person is unique and while there can be a foundation with which to get started, it takes a little time, and work on the part of the individual to figure out what he/she requires to become ketogenic.
There is seriously a whole lot more to answering the question, “what is keto?” However, we feel keeping it short and simple is so much better. We plan to do a lot of short posts about the low carb and keto lifestyle. We love feedback! Be sure to drop us a comment below… until next time.