What Is A Keto Diet? Ketosis Diet Explained


Written by: ASN



Time to read 8 min

The ketogenic (keto) diet seems to be the “in thing” at the moment. I mean, maybe it is the moment. But what is the ketogenic diet all about? How does it work?

The likes of Kim Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow and Lebron James have all dabbled in the world of ketogenic dieting.

But, like every new buzzword or dieting style that does the rounds in the fitness industry, it is important to fundamentally understand the keto diet trend before you attempt to implement it.

So, what is the ketogenic diet?

The keto diet explained. Put simply, a ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate diet that puts the body into a state of ketosis. This is due to the lack of carbohydrates your body has to break down into glucose (the body’s main source of energy).

Typically speaking, most diets limit carbohydrate intake to 30 – 50g per day or ~5% total calories. The fat intake makes up between 60 – 70% of the total caloric intake. And finally, protein fills the remaining 25 – 35%.

A quick recap

Fat : 60 – 70%
Protein: 25 – 35%
Carbohydrates : 5% or less.

So, what is ketosis?

Ketosis is the metabolic process of using fat as the primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates. When your body is in a state of ketosis, it's fuelled by ketones, which the body produces by breaking down fat stores (instead of using glucose which comes from carbohydrates).

A few things to keep in mind when considering a ketogenic diet:

A ketogenic diet is not the magical unicorn that will undo years of poor dietary habits.

Following a ketogenic diet can be a convenient way to control cravings, and regulate appetite.

There is also one common misconception about the keto diet. A keto diet does not put your body into ketosis due to the high fat intake. Your body goes into ketosis due to the absence of carbohydrates. We cannot stress this enough as it is a primary reason why many fail to experience the benefits of a ketogenic diet.

A high intake of dietary fat does not make a diet ketogenic and does not make your body produce ketones. Only a low carbohydrate diet, containing less than 30 – 50 grams per day does.

The Good, the Bad and the Scientific Facts About Keto Diets

The Good

A keto diet can be fantastic for those who have issues with:

  • Food cravings
  • Difficulty controlling blood sugar
  • Those who are sensitive to certain types of food
  • Weight management
  • Brain fog
  • Low energy

Due to the low carbohydrate nature of a keto diet, reducing the consumption of grains, fruits and other sources of carbohydrates can provide great relief from digestive issues and brain fog that often plague people who follow a moderate to high carbohydrate diet. This is often one of the most commonly reported keto diet benefits.

Another benefit of the keto diet, is the appetite control effect. Due to fat being a more satiating (i.e. it makes you feel fuller) macronutrient than carbohydrates, most on a keto diet note a significant reduction in appetite (Gibson, A et al. 2015). This often makes losing fat and controlling your caloric intake much easier.

Energy levels on a ketogenic diet are often a concern. During the initial adaptation phase of a ketogenic diet, you may feel fatigued and your workouts may feel like a drag. This is normal for most people. And the tiredness is only short-lived, while your body adapts to running on ketones for energy, instead of glucose. However, most people find their energy levels are much more consistent while on a ketogenic diet, but this varies from person to person (Ma, S & Suzuki, K. 2019).

Eating out is easy. Almost every place you eat has the option of salads, a source of protein and a source of healthy fats. This might be as simple as removing the dinner roll that comes with your meal or skipping the roasted potatoes with your steak. Choose the right option and you’ll have no issues. 

The Bad

Keto diets aren’t for everybody

If you have issues digesting fats or have significant stomach discomfort when embarking upon a keto diet, it is best to consult with a doctor and/or dietician. Always ensure you aren’t doing yourself any harm.

It can take a while to get used to

Some people are able to adapt within a week, others may take a month or two. Just like everything, you need to be patient. Your body is a complex organism and it will take time to adapt, especially when you are used to fuelling your body with glucose (your body’s preferred source of energy).

High-volume training might not be suitable for a ketogenic diet

Many people during the initial stages of a keto diet find it difficult to push through their training sessions without experiencing fatigue (Batch, J et al. 2020). This is largely expected, but if you are someone who experiences fatigue and low blood sugar levels already, this could pose a risk.

There are many foods you have to avoid

Almost an entire macronutrient is removed from this diet. We know we’re stating the obvious here, but for anyone who didn’t catch the rest of this article - it’s carbohydrates. The tastiest treats and cheat meals are usually comprised of carbohydrates and fat. Don’t you think? Carbohydrate consumption under 50g daily makes it difficult to fit these foods into your daily intake. Bye-bye hot chips and gravy.

It can be easy to exceed your daily caloric target

Due to the calorie density of fats (9 calories per gram), it can be easy for people to go over their target caloric intake without realising it. 50 grams will not only look different but feel different between eating carbohydrates and fats. To put this into perspective, 50 grams of cottage cheese (fat) roughly equates to 4 tablespoons. The calories can vary depending on brand, but generally for full-fat cottage cheese is up to 80 calories. Whereas, 50 grams of potato roughly looks like two small potatoes (carbohydrates). The calories from this can range from 50-60 calories. This is why it's important to plan your meals effectively, especially if you’re looking to do keto for weight management.

The Science

It is important to understand that if your goal is fat loss, the most important factor in achieving fat loss is achieving a calorie deficit. Calories in, calories out. Without creating a calorie deficit, whether it be through calorie restriction or exercise, you will not lose fat.

Although a ketogenic diet has your body utilising fats/ketones for energy, if you are still consuming too many calories for what your body requires, you will not lose any body fat. This again goes back to the calories per gram in fats vs carbohydrates.

Take two identical twins. One was to put on a ketogenic and the other on a non-ketogenic diet, both with the goal of fat loss. With all factors taken into account and equal, and provided they were both in a calorie deficit, they would both lose the same amount of body fat over any given period of time. 

Keto Supplements

Now for one of our favourite topics...

Supplements to help improve gym performance, energy and focus while on a keto diet. As the ketogenic diet grows in popularity, so does the range of ketogenic supplements in Australia. Some of the most common ingredients found in ketogenic supplements include MCT oil, green tea, caffeine and ketones.

Switch Nutrition Keto Switch

For those who want a keto-friendly supplement that is rapid-acting and potent, look no further than Switch Nutrition Keto Switch. This standout formula is low in calories, high in key electrolytes and vitamins for the ultimate metabolic support.

Supporting a ketogenic diet, Keto Switch is vegan-friendly containing ketogenic amino acids in L-leucine, L-lysine, MCT oil, L-tyrosine and goBHB and other critical co-factors. Collectively, these support ketosis, mental clarity and energy production while being on a ketogenic diet. 


BYS Thermo Coffee

Are you a coffee lover on keto? Look no further than Before You Speak’s Thermo Coffee . Whether you’re headed to an early 5am HIIT session or just love your morning coffee in the office, this jam-packed cup of goodness does the job.

This naturally-sweetened keto-friendly coffee elixir is loaded with GoMCT®, L-carnitine, Green tea extract, Cell Charge™, Grains of Paradise and Chromium Picolinate to support your body goals while maintaining ketosis. 


Switch Nutrition Coffee Switch

For those who love nothing more than a hot cup of liquid gold aka coffee, then Switch Nutrition’s Coffee Switch is for you.

Containing an elixir of GoMCT®, certified organic super 7 mushroom blend, Turmeric extract and Huperzine A this keto-friendly coffee formula is a convenient and delicious alternative to your regular instant coffee (with all the added benefits!).


Bucked Up Woke AF Pre-Workout

If you want to take your workouts up a notch, American brand Bucked Up has a high-stim and heavily-dosed pre-workout known as Woke AF.

This pre isn’t for the feint of heart. It’s pumped with caffeine, Deer antler velvet, AstraGin®, beta-alanine, Senactiv® and more for a powerful workout that gets you results. Perfect for the serious gym-goer, this pre-workout has zero sugar, is paleo and keto-friendly, and zero calories.


ATP Science Amperage

Want more out of your workouts? ATP Science has you covered with their all-natural, vegan-friendly and keto-friendly pre-workout oil Amperage, designed to support the body in ketosis and performance in the gym.

Conveniently manufactured as an oil for easy on-the-go use, this pre-workout contains pomegranate seed oil, coconut oil, peppermint cold-pressed oil, high linoleic safflower oil and grapefruit peel oil.


X50 Revolver MCT & Collagen Coffee

Want a vegan-friendly and keto-friendly coffee that tastes as good as it performs? Get more out of your morning coffee with X50’s Revolver MCT & Collagen Coffee!

Revolver MCT & Collagen Coffee boasts 3.5g of coconut MCTs and 5.1g of hydrolysed collagen so you can get the best of both worlds - peak performance and the ultimate skin glow. This two-in-one formula supports being in ketosis while fuelling you for the day.


Final notes

By now you probably know what keto is, and that it’s not purely a high-fat diet and rather a diet low in carbohydrates. You probably also realise there are two camps of people. The first are those that love keto and swear by it. The second are those who are strongly against this diet. If you are considering the keto diet it’s important to consider the reason why you’d like to try this diet and consider both the pros and cons. And with any new diet it’s important to consult with a trusted healthcare professional to see if this will work for you. But if you’re looking for more on the ketogenic diet, check out our article Ketogenic Diet 101: Things You Need To Know.


Batch, J et al. (2020, August). Advantages and disadvantages of the ketogenic diet: A review article. Cureus.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7480775/

Gibson, A et al. (2015, January). Do ketogenic diets really suppress appetite? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity reviews: an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.12230  

Ma, S & Suzuki, K. (2019, February). Keto-adaptation and endurance exercise capacity, fatigue recovery, and exercise-induced muscle and organ damage prevention: A narrative review. Sports (Basel).  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6410243/