The 8 Most Popular Ways to Do a Low-Carb Diet
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The goal of a keto diet is to keep carbs so low that your body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis.
In this state, your insulin levels plummet and your body releases large amounts of fatty acids from its fat stores.
A lot of these fatty acids are transferred to your liver, which turns them into ketones. Ketones are water-soluble molecules that can cross the blood-brain barrier and supply energy to your brain.
Then, instead of running on carbs, your brain starts relying largely on ketones. Your body can produce the small amount of glucose still required by your brain via a process called gluconeogenesis.
Some versions of this diet even restrict protein intake because too much protein may reduce the number of ketones you produce.
However, there are other variations that involve strategically adding carbs:
- Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD). In this version, you add small amounts of carbs around workouts.
- Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD). This type has you eat a ketogenic diet on most days but switch to a high-carb diet for 1–2 days each week.