The Beginner's Guide to the Ketogenic Diet

With the exploding popularity of the keto diet, you’ll undoubtedly find countless approaches and tips out there focusing only on increasing fat consumption or avoiding carbohydrates at any and all costs. These strategies, in my experience, miss the bigger picture of what keto should be—and what is possible with the keto diet. Learn about my version of the keto diet, called The Keto Reset Diet, and why it's a lifestyle approach you can use to improve health, body composition, longevity and more.

Welcome to the Mark’s Daily Apple Keto Diet Hub!

Keto Hub Beginners Guide

Mounting research suggests that keto could represent one of the greatest nutritional breakthroughs of our time—and that it may be the most effective weight-loss strategy ever. Are you ready to reprogram your metabolism, claim better health, and boost your body’s natural fat-burning abilities? Then you’ve come to the right place.

I built this comprehensive online guide to share the science behind keto success, the secrets to becoming fat-adapted, and helpful resources as well as dozens of delicious recipes for planning your individual keto choices. Within these pages, you’ll find I distill the latest medical research and offer honest analysis of popular (and less common but effective) keto strategies.

My aim at Mark’s Daily Apple has always been to provide cutting-edge information for achieving optimal health and sustained well-being—no matter what your current age, weight, fitness or goals. Cruise around this guide, using the sidebar on the right as your navigation source.

Looking forward to sharing the keto journey,

— Mark Sisson, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Keto Reset Diet

Stay in the keto know! Sign up for the Keto Reset Digest, our keto-themed newsletter.

What Is the Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet is a diet that, by way of macronutrient balance (high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate in comparison to the Standard American Diet) induces the body to burn ketones and fat in addition to glucose for energy.

Lucky for us, this flexibility is entirely natural, safe, and beneficial. Contemporary eating patterns, much to our detriment, keep us reliant on glucose, but that’s not the way we’re designed to live.

Keto is a state of metabolic efficiency.

This means you move beyond being dependent on regular carbohydrate intake and into the ability to burn stored body fat and natural ketones (hence the name ketosis) for physical energy, stable mood, and mental focus.

Many of us have unfortunately been told over the years that the body relies on glucose for energy. That simply isn’t the case.

Glucose is one fuel, true. But the body can also burn its own fat stores as well as ketones, which the liver produces as a by-product of fat metabolism. Ketones are a natural source of caloric energy just as glucose is. But there’s a key difference here. The body’s sustained use of ketones and fat (which go hand in hand) doesn’t impose the same inflammatory and oxidative burden as we experience when we’re continually carb (glucose) dependent, which is one reason why keto confers so many benefits to overall health.

The technical meaning of ketosis is the metabolic state in which your body accumulates ketones faster than they’re being burned.

When we’re fat-adapted (a.k.a. keto-adapted), we’re able to enjoy the benefits of burning fat and ketones as first-rung fuel sources.

However, when we’re in ketosis without being keto-adapted (e.g. on a crash diet), we’re likely to excrete these ketones in our urine and breath instead of burning them for energy, which means we’re still left carb-dependent.

To set up the body for the benefits of keto-adaptation, we consume a healthy, rather than restrictive, amount of calories within the following macronutrient profile that includes ample vegetable intake, moderate protein amount and quality fats with a focus on carb content at around 50 grams for most people.

The carb-heavy Standard American Diet is an evolutionary aberration. The constant drip of glucose into our blood is a modern luxury (or, more to the point physiologically-speaking, a modern burden). For most of human history, if we wanted carbs, we had to climb a tree and extricate a bee’s nest, spend hours digging tubers, or wait around for the wild fruit to ripen.

We are designed for periods of low food availability, and, especially, low glucose availability. In short, we’re wired to favor fat and ketone burning.

Plus, humans are remarkably good at slipping into ketosis. Whereas for most other animals ketosis is difficult to achieve, a human will be mildly ketotic just waking up from a full night’s sleep. Heck, breastfed babies spend much of their time in ketosis despite drinking nutritionally balanced milk from their mothers. We’re clearly meant to produce and utilize ketones from time to time, and it’s safe to assume that mimicking this ancestral milieu provides adaptive benefits.

Do I have your interest? Trust me…this is just the beginning. Follow the links in the sidebar to learn about the benefits of keto, strategies for keto-based weight loss, shopping lists, recipes, and more!

I also invite you join the private Keto Reset Facebook Group. With over 26,000 members, you’ll find excellent conversation, knowledgable help, and personal support around successful keto living.

Finally, if you’re looking for the most comprehensive, step-by-step guide for your personal keto journey, check out the New York Times Bestseller, The Keto Reset Dietavailable everywhere books are sold.


Dive Deeper

Before you stock up on ketone strips, make sure you get the basics down first. Learn the ins and outs of the ketogenic diet and, in particular, how the Keto Reset differs from other approaches.

Read More Articles

Keto Egg Wrap with Collard Greens Recipe, 3 Ways

Keto Egg Wrap with Collard Greens Recipe, 3 Ways

05 Sep 2020

Keto egg wraps are a keto dieter's best friend. You can fill them with your favorite taco or burrito fillings, or make a

Continue Reading

Ask a Health Coach: Tuning in to What Your Body’s Telling You

Ask a Health Coach: Tuning in to What Your Body’s Telling You

27 Aug 2020

Hi folks, in this week’s Ask a Health Coach post, Erin is answering your questions about the “keto flu”, what to d

Continue Reading

Is Stevia Safe, or Bad for You? Everything You Need to Know

Is Stevia Safe, or Bad for You? Everything You Need to Know

12 Aug 2020

After cutting back on sugar and carbs for a while, you understandably start to miss sweets. A common misconception is th

Continue Reading

Most Popular Keto Recipes