Keto breakfast with eggs and avocado

What Exactly is the Keto Diet and Does It Work?

By: Lauren E., RD, LD & Phalen M., LN

Have you come across Facebook friends and Instagram influencers singing the praises of going Keto? If you’re wondering what the Keto diet is, and if it can help you lose weight, look no further: our experts have all the information you need!

What Is the Keto Diet?

To start, the ketogenic diet (commonly referred to as “Keto”) was first introduced in the early 1920s by modern physicians to help manage drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children.1

Since then, it has also become a popular method for weight loss, based on a low carbohydrate and high fat intake. Consuming fewer carbohydrates increases the utilization of fat stored as fuel, which are then broken into ketone bodies, or ketones. These ketones serve as our energy source until adequate carbohydrates are reintroduced.

What Does the Diet Consist Of?

A typical ketogenic diet consists of the following:

  • High fat (50-60% total calories)
  • Moderate protein (30-35% total calories)
  • Very low carbohydrate (5-10% total calories)2

To compare, the usual American diet includes around 50% of calories coming from carbohydrate. The traditional keto diet food plan focuses on egg, high-fat meats, full-fat dairy, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and non-starchy vegetables. 

What Are the Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet?

Many people believe that the ketogenic diet is the best method for weight loss. To understand how a higher fat diet can lead to weight loss, it is helpful to understand how the diet works with our bodies. 

Our body stores sugar (or glucose) as glycogen for fuel in our liver and muscles. Recent studies have shown that as we deplete our glycogen stores, we begin using fat as our fuel.3 As a result, individuals who have type II diabetes have seen improved blood sugars by decreasing the amount of carbohydrates consumed, which leads to increased insulin sensitivity.2

Fewer cravings of foods like bread, pasta, baked goods and sweets were also observed, and thought to be tied to the reduced total intake of carbohydrates.3

Other Factors to Consider with a High Fat, Low Carb Diet

Although it may sound appealing to eat a 7-layered dip or a keto cheesecake every day, there are many nutritional and health considerations to consider with a keto diet:

  • Elimination of major food groups without adequate supplementation can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
    • Ex: fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains, and beans 
  • You may experience the “keto flu” which can include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, muscle cramps, and dehydration.
  • Constipation is common due to the lack of dietary fiber from the restriction of whole grains, fruit, and vegetables.
  • Kidney stones and higher cholesterol levels may occur while following long-term due to the high amounts of unhealthy saturated fats.3

How is Livea Different?

Livea offers nutritionally balanced, sustainable solutions to help you lose the weight and keep it off long-term. Our doctor-recommended programs are founded on a clinically proven weight loss approach for safe and effective results. We offer customized plans that include programs that incorporate ketogenic diet principles and balance blood sugars through consistent, controlled carbohydrates.

All your nutritional needs are met through easy-to-follow plans.

Contact us today to learn more!


  1. Campos, M. (2017). Ketogenic diet: Is the ultimate low-carb diet good for you? Harvard Health.
  2. Masood, W. (2020). Ketogenic Diet. StatPearls.
  3. Harvard School of Public Health. (2019). Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss. The Nutrition Source.