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Starting a Keto Diet for Fun and Profit. And Bacon.

So you want to do a Keto diet? I don't blame you.

Keto diets go by various names: "Atkins" or "New Atkins," "low carb high fat," or "low carb ketogenic." Of these, "low carb ketogenic diet" — "LCKD" — seems to be the currently-popular name, possibly because people are so indoctrinated to believe that high-fat anything is bad that the same diet needed a new name.

"Ketosis" here refers to a metabolic state in which there's little enough sugar in the blood that the body resorts to converting fatty acids to ketones; the body can and does use those ketones, in the form of ketone bodies, for fuel. Some glucose is needed, which the liver can make through gluconeogenesis, the fancy horse-doctor word that means "making new glucose." A ketogenic diet is simply a diet with little enough sugar to push your body into a ketotic state.

There are a dozen variants of keto diets, with various rules and all with proponents who will tell you that their variant is the absolutely most bestest diet ever.

The thing is, the variants seem to vary only very slightly. So here's the 25 words or less version of the LCK diet:

Eat fewer than 20 grams of carbs a day and don't sweat the other stuff.

Now, honestly, if you're not severely type 2 diabetic, as I am, you can probably get away with more, even up to 50 grams a day. But staying under 20 will certainly get almost anyone into ketosis.

How do you do it? I recommend starting with a food diary and a scale: write down everything you eat, figure out the amount of carbs, and stop eating carbs if you get above 20 grams. But after a few days or weeks of that, you get the basic idea and the food diary is less necessary.

An even easier version is to announce that you've become a carnetarian: you only eat meat, fish, dairy and eggs. Stick to that and you're pretty well guaranteed to stay below 20g a day. Now, you can easily include salads, but don't say "salad" as part of your list. Then, when you eat a salad, say a wedge of iceberg lettuce drenched with blue-cheese dressing and crumbled bacon, you're "cheating."

You know, a diet where you can have steak with butter for dinner, and six eggs with cheese and bacon for breakfast, is not so awful.

So, here are some questions and answers.

Q What do you eat?

A It's really easy. Eat all the meat, eggs, cheese, heavy cream, and butter you want. (Watch out for milk, it has a lot of carbs.) Bacon is your friend. Salads are pretty free too. In general, don't eat anything white: no rice, no bread, no noodles or pasta. (Okay, you can eat cauliflower, and it's white, but I can't handle cauliflower rice or cauliflower mashed potatoes. Make something like gobi masala.)