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You can’t throw a breadstick these days without hitting a keto enthusiast. And, like most people who have made significant lifestyle changes and enjoyed positive results, they love to talk about it. So you probably know the barest basics about the keto diet—it’s low in carbs, and high in fat. And it maybe involves lots of cauliflower? And you can lose TONS of weight! 

But as with any major nutritional shift or lifestyle adjustments you might be considering, it’s always wise to educate yourself in advance, then get the okay from your doctor. So we’ve done the heavy lifting for you—here’s the keto diet explained, including how it works, who should do the keto diet and how to set yourself up for long-term keto success. Let’s do this!

How does the keto diet work? 

Let’s start with some basic science. If you were paying attention in high school biology class, you already know that the human body naturally burns carbohydrates for energy. Simple carbohydrates (like pasta, white bread, processed cereals and other sugary treats) provide the quickest energy; this is why marathon runners and other athletes “carbo load” with massive plates of spaghetti the night before a big event. Complex carbs, like starchy vegetables and whole grains, take longer to digest—and therefore provide a more sustainable energy supply. 

So here’s the keto diet, explained: when you consume less than 50 grams of carbs per day, your body will eventually run out of quick-burn fuel. After three or four days of carb and sugar restriction, you’ll naturally enter a state of ketosis; this means your body has begun to break down protein and fat for energy. As you continue to restrict your carbohydrate intake to maintain ketosis, your body is not only breaking down unwanted fat—it’s also boosting its calorie-burning abilities, because it takes more energy to convert fat into usable energy. 

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What are the basic rules of the keto diet?

Keto differs from other lifestyles in that there really aren’t any ways to “hack” it. It’s based on a very specific balance of macronutrients (or macros): 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs. If you go over your carb limit, or stay under your protein and fat goals, your body won’t reach ketosis—and you won’t lose weight or enjoy any of the other benefits associated with keto.

In order to reap the rewards of the ketogenic lifestyle, you’ve gotta cut those carbs! Keto rules dictate that you limit your carbohydrate intake to under 50g (or 20g net carbs) per day. So what DO you eat on the keto diet? Now for the good news! Instead, though, you get to eat SO much good stuff—including full-fat dairy (hello, cheese!), nuts and seeds, eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, and even (within reason) some sweet berries!

Finally, at the risk of repeating something you’ve already heard ten times today—you’ll need to drink LOTS of water. With a standard American diet (SAD) carbohydrate intake, your body stores glycogen in your liver, where it binds to water molecules. All low-carb diets deplete your stores of glycogen; this allows you to burn fat (yay!) but it also reduces your ability to store water. So it’s easy to get dehydrated; we recommend doubling your daily water intake.

man in water

Who should do the keto diet?

As we mentioned before, you should always consult your doctor before making any serious nutrition shifts, particularly if you live with a metabolic or blood sugar condition, like Type 1 diabetes. But if you’ve been wondering, “who should do the keto diet?” and you’d like a better answer than “basically every single one of your Facebook friends,” we’ve got you!

Many people initially start the keto diet in order to lose weight, as it has been proven to be more effective in the first three to six months than many other diets; some believe this is because high-fat, high-protein diets are more satiating than calorie-restricting diets. The ketogenic diet may also be beneficial for those who struggle with high cholesterol, people at risk for heart disease, and women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

In addition, ketogenic eating has been used to treat epilepsy since the 1920s—and it’s believed to be beneficial for other nervous system disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Any others who should do the keto diet? We’re glad you asked! Pre-race carbo-loads aside, endurance athletes often prefer to Keep it Keto™ during training. Over time, the ketogenic diet improves the body’s muscle-to-fat ratio, and helps to boost blood oxygenation as well.

And there are considerations beyond health, too. Many people love the ketogenic diet and lifestyle because their constitutions or taste preferences favor high-fat foods, or because they naturally consume a lot of protein in their daily lives. For these folks, “keeping it keto” is a breeze, because keto requires requires that 60–80% of daily calories come from fat. In addition, due to links between systemic inflammation and sugar, some dermatologists have recommended low-carb diets like keto for patients with severe cystic acne.

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Does the keto diet work?

One need only spend a few minutes scrolling through keto #fitspo Instagram accounts like @ketotransformations to see the dramatic effect that smart, sustained ketogenic nutrition can have on one’s’s health...and one’s life. 

But for long-term keto success, we believe it’s important to be prepared. And that, friends, is EXACTLY why we created Keto Krisp—the ultimate keto-friendly protein bar! From time to time, even the most motivated and disciplined among us is going to experience the C-word: CRAVINGS. It’s 100% natural...and now, it’s also 100% deal-with-able.

With Keto Krisp, we created an on-the-go, keto-friendly snack that would satisfy the mind while fortifying the body. Made with premium coconut/nut butters, MCT oil, whey protein isolate krisps and other wholesome ingredients, our keto-friendly protein bars have next-to-no sugar—just enough to satisfy that pesky sweet tooth—and the perfect balance of healthy protein and good fats to keep your body chugging along in a state of ketosis. 

Considering giving keto a go? Set yourself up for long-term keto success with meal prep, regular exercise, and a ready supply of healthy, keto-friendly snacks like Keto Krisp.

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