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Keto Diet 101

How do I know if I have reached Ketosis?

The ketogenic diet has evolved over the years, with many different versions coming onto the scene.

  • Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD)Refeeding days allowed, with five standard keto days and two high-carb days.
  • Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD)About 5% carbs, 20% protein, 75% fat. Known for its low carb, moderate protein, and high fat.
  • High-protein Ketogenic Diet: A difference in the standard keto diet around the protein, with the same 5% carbs, but 60% fat and 35% protein.
  • Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): Consume carbs only around workouts

The diet started with the standard ketogenic diet, but how is it different from the other keto diets? Let’s look at the main differences:

Other keto diets modify the carbs or the protein, mostly the carbs. The standard ketogenic diet has 5% carbs, which many people may find hard to hit with most of our foods containing sugar.

Macro breakdown calculations

SKD Macros = [ fats 75% , protein 20%,  carbs 5% ]

For example, a 2000 calorie diet multiplied by 75% is equal to 1,500 calories. Divide the 1,500 by 9, which is roughly 166.6 grams of fat. That is how much fat you should be eating on the SKD.+

Fat Macro Calculation = 2000 calories * 0.75 = 1500 calories

                                    = 1500 calories / 9 = 166.6 grams of fat

Protein Macro Calculation = 2000 calories * 0.2 = 400 calories

                                          = 400 calories / 4 = 100 grams of protein


Carbs Macro Calculation = 2000 calories * 0.05 = 100 calories

                                        = 100 calories / 4 = 25 grams of carbohydrates

The general rule is as follows:

  • 9 grams of fat in 1 calorie
  • 4 grams of protein in 1 calorie
  • 4 grams of carbs in 1 calorie

On a 2000 calorie SKD diet the macro breakdown should be:

  • 166.6 grams of fat
  • 100 grams of protein
  • 25 grams of carbs

To hit your macros, you must eat specific foods. Continue reading to find out what foods you should eat and avoid while on the standard ketogenic diet (SKD).

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

BMR Definition : The base number of calories the body burns to  perform basic (basal) life-sustaining function such as breathing, blood circulation and organ function.

BMR Calculation :

  • Male: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
  • Female: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)


  • Male: BMR = 66.5 + (13.75 x weight in kg) + (5.003 x height in cm) – (6.755 x age in years)
  • Female: BMR = 655.1 + (9.563 x weight in kg) + (1.850 x height in cm) – (4.676 x age in years)

Harvard Review of Weight Loss Benefits from the Ketogenic Diet

  • meta-analysisof 13 randomized controlled trials following overweight and obese participants for 1-2 years on either low-fat diets or very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets found that the ketogenic diet produced a small but significantly greater reduction in weight, triglycerides, and blood pressure, and a greater increase in HDL and LDL cholesterol compared with the low-fat diet at one year. [10] The authors acknowledged the small weight loss difference between the two diets of about 2 pounds, and that compliance to the ketogenic diet declined over time, which may have explained the more significant difference at one year but not at two years (the authors did not provide additional data on this).
  • A systematic review of 26 short-term intervention trials (varying from 4-12 weeks) evaluated the appetites of overweight and obese individuals on either a very low calorie (~800 calories daily) or ketogenic diet (no calorie restriction but ≤50 gm carbohydrate daily) using a standardized and validated appetite scale. None of the studies compared the two diets with each other; rather, the participants’ appetites were compared at baseline before starting the diet and at the end. Despite losing a significant amount of weight on both diets, participants reported less hunger and a reduced desire to eat compared with baseline measures. The authors noted the lack of increased hunger despite extreme restrictions of both diets, which they theorized were due to changes in appetite hormones such as ghrelin and leptin, ketone bodies, and increased fat and protein intakes. The authors suggested further studies exploring a threshold of ketone levels needed to suppress appetite; in other words, can a higher amount of carbohydrate be eaten with a milder level of ketosis that might still produce a satiating effect? This could allow inclusion of healthful higher carbohydrate foods like whole grains, legumes, and fruit. [9]
  • A study of 39 obese adults placed on a ketogenic very low-calorie diet for 8 weeks found a mean loss of 13% of their starting weight and significant reductions in fat mass, insulin levels, blood pressure, and waist and hip circumferences. Their levels of ghrelin did not increase while they were in ketosis, which contributed to a decreased appetite. However during the 2-week period when they came off the diet, ghrelin levels and urges to eat significantly increased. [11]
  • A study of 89 obese adults who were placed on a two-phase diet regimen (6 months of a very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and 6 months of a reintroduction phase on a normal calorie Mediterranean diet) showed a significant mean 10% weight loss with no weight regain at one year. The ketogenic diet provided about 980 calories with 12% carbohydrate, 36% protein, and 52% fat, while the Mediterranean diet provided about 1800 calories with 58% carbohydrate, 15% protein, and 27% fat. Eighty-eight percent of the participants were compliant with the entire regimen. [12] It is noted that the ketogenic diet used in this study was lower in fat and slightly higher in carbohydrate and protein than the average ketogenic diet that provides 70% or greater calories from fat and less than 20% protein.