Starting Keto? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Special Thanks to my team and Nicholas Norwitz – Oxford Ketone PhD Researcher and Harvard Med Student – for working diligently on research as well!

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What is the ketogenic diet?

A sustainable and enjoyable high-fat moderate-protein low-carb (~75:20:5) eating lifestyle based on evolutionary logic that is supported by the most rigorous scientific literature.

What are ketones?

Before I talk about the ketogenic diet and weight loss, which is why you’re probably watching this video, I first want to give you the scientific background you need to actually understand the state of ketosis.

Ketones, or ketone bodies, include three simple molecules: β-hydroxybutyrate (βHB), acetoacetate, and acetone. βHB is the main human ketone found in the blood. Ketones are often referred to as the “4th macronutrient” because, like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, they can be broken down by the body as fuel.

However, unlike carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, they are not found in natural foods but made by our livers from our dietary fat or body fat.

Why do we need them (evolution)?

Our big human brains have big appetites (weigh 2-3 pounds but consume 500 kCal, or about 20-25% of our daily caloric intake, per day) and they like to eat glucose. However, during our evolution, glucose usually wasn’t available in our diets. So, rather than eat up all of our lean body tissue turning muscle protein in glucose (gluconeogenesis) to feed our brains’ energy demands, our bodies evolved the ability to make an alternative brain fuel from our body fat: ketones! Without ketones, we wouldn’t have survived evolution. Ketones can also fuel most other organs, like our skeletal muscles and hearts.

How does the ketogenic diet cause weight loss?

There is no better tool to lose weight, and sustain weight loss, than the ketogenic diet. This is mostly because restricting carbohydrates (1) forces your body to learn to use your fat as fuel and (2) decreases levels of the hormone insulin, which is your fat-storage hormone.

Forsythe C. et al. Lipids 2008,

In addition to teaching your body to learn to use your fat as fuel and decreasing insulin, new complimentary data out of Harvard shows the low carb diets also change your metabolism to increase energy expenditure.

Ebbling C. et al. British Medical Journal 2018,

Is the ketogenic diet hard?

The short answer is “NO.” This is an unfortunate misconception. While it does take time to learn what works best for your body, once you have it down, keto can be one of the most enjoyable and sustainable lifestyles in the world.

Athinarayanan S. et al. Frontiers in Endocrinology 2019,

A ketogenic diet is one of the most effective tools for treating and preventing a wide spectrum of chronic including, but certainly not limited to:

Athinarayanan S. et al. Frontiers in Endocrinology 2019,

Heart disease
Jeppesen J. et al. JAMA 2001, show that, if your HDL is high and your TAGs are low, as they are on a ketogenic diet, your total LDL doesn’t affect your risk of ischemic heart disease.


Poff A. et al. International Journal of Cancer 2014, show that mice given ketones (the 1,3-butendiol and ketone ester groups are both ketone groups) exhibit a greater reduction in cancer mass (bioluminescent signal) than either the caloric restriction or control mice.

Alzheimer disease
Newport M. et al. Alzheimer’s and Dementia 2015,

This is a case report of a 63-year-old man with Alzheimer disease. When he was put on a ketogenic diet, he exhibited a rapid improvement in mood, social ability, and memory. He also exhibited significant improvements on cognitive tests and his neurodegeneration stopped progressing.

Nicholas Norwitz – Oxford Ketone PhD Researcher:
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20 thoughts on “Starting Keto? Here’s What You Need to Know

  1. I did well on keto a year ago but I took a break. Now I'm trying to get into ketosis again but I'm so tired all the time. I don't know what I'm doing wrong but I can't seem to get in to the keto state.

  2. It amazes me how the FDA is meant to give us this information, and we have to get it through Youtube…

  3. Why not literally rock your body a little until you start salvating enough to start the beginning enzyme breakdown process of any food including carbohydrates. Your body can handle any reasonable food that you meet with nutritional or drug supplementation. FDA, AdA, meh.

  4. Great video and I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing. However, having said that I hate to rain on your Keto Parade. I have achieved a ketogenic state with time restricted eating where I ate all my calories over 2 meals a day, and withiut all the crazy bat s*it restrictiond of following a ketongenic diet. My macros during that time were not even close to the strict ketogenic prescription. And yet as tested consistently with a blood ketone meter and blood glucose meter both numbers were well within ideal or optimum ranges. My blood ketone levels consistently range between 1.2 to 2.8 mmol/l snd have never fallen below 1.0 even when my carb consumption was double to triple of the ideal keto macro range. I can only speak from my own experience and not others. But my point in responding was to just point out that you can easily enter ketosis through time restricted eating or intermittent fasting with less strict dietary restrictions than those imposed by the Ketogenic Diet. And although I cannot 100% scientifically prove it I was doing Chris Powell’s Carb Cycling before I started intermittent fasting. I had lots of success with carb cycling and only took up Intermittent fasting out of curiousity. I suspect that carb cycling may have primed by body to more easily use Ketone fuel and more easily and quickly fat adapt as soon as I made the switch to intermittent fasting

  5. Trying keto out again starting today. And one thing about the Keto diet that I find really interesting, is that it was used (developed?) for epilepsy treatment. Got to stock up on a lot of things, but I'm looking forward to it.

  6. I've been on Kero for 2 weeks and haven't lost a pound. I've been in Ketosis for 8 days. What am I doing wrong?

  7. There’s nothing beginner about this. I can’t give up carb and dairy the same time nor do I want to. It’s bad enough for a carb junkie to survive the switch and now the cheese and butter ??

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