Glossary of Keto Terms And Abbreviations
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When you first start the ketogenic diet, you may feel like you’ve landed on an alien planet for all the foreign jargon and lingo you’re hearing. Keto terms are weird.
What’s BPC? Ketosis? Why are NSVs so great? What in the world is a keto baby?
Oh yes, we ALL remember going through this (or maybe you still are!). There are a lot of mysterious keto terms out there and the meanings aren’t always clear.
Either way, I’ve got a solution for you! I’ve been compiling this huge list of keto abbreviations and terms for myself and I thought you might need it, too!
I hope this keto terminology guide is helpful for those days when you’re sipping your BPC with HWC and MCT oil, wondering if you’re in ketosis yet and whether you should start trying IF.
Of course, if you’re trying this LCHF WOE and wondering if telegen effluvium, the keto flu, or a keto baby could happen to you, you’re also in the right place!
There are two sections to this keto word glossary, for convenience:
- List of Keto Terms
- List of Keto Abbreviations and Acronyms
As I come across new keto words or keto abbreviations, I’ll continue adding to and updating this glossary.
List of Keto Terms
Here we go! Here’s the complete list of keto words, all alphabetized for you.
- coconut butter: Whereas coconut oil is made from the oil extracted from the coconut, while coconut butter is made from the actual flesh of the coconut meat and ground up into a paste. If you love the taste of coconut, you’d love coconut butter. Coconut oil has a much milder coconut flavor. Coconut butter has about 3g carbs per tablespoon, so use it sparingly!
- collagen: Collagen is a structural protein that is very abundant in our bodies. It’s found in hair, nails, skin, bones, muscles, organs, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels, and it repairs connective tissue. It’s often called “glue” because it helps hold our tissues together. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, producing more wrinkles, brittle nails, and joint trouble. Taking collagen has been found to be especially beneficial on the keto diet. I like to take it after a workout to give an extra bit of help to my joints.
- dirty keto: Dirty keto is a version of the ketogenic diet where you eat whatever you like as long as it fits your macros. It’s not as concerned with the types of fat or sources of food.
- egg fast: During an egg fast, a person will restrict their diet to only eggs and egg products.
- electrolytes: Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals in the body that are essential to body function. When starting any new diet, there are changes in the water content of the body, which also changes the electrolyte composition. It is very important to replenish electrolytes on the keto diet as well.
- erythritol: A sugar alcohol that is a popular natural zero calorie sweetener. Choose a non-GMO version when possible.
- exogenous ketones: ketone bodies that are consumed as a supplement. A lot of people take exogenous ketones to “jump start” their body’s production of ketones, helping them get into ketosis quicker and alleviating any symptoms of keto flu. I don’t believe they’re meant to be taken long term, however.
- fat bomb: Fat bombs will become your best friend if you’re just starting out! Fat bombs are sweet or savory food items that contain mostly fat. Fat bombs are super helpful if you’re trying to get your fat count up for the day. They’re also great for when you’re craving a sweet treat. Try a few of my favorite fat bomb recipes! The peanut butter cups are a lifesaver!
- fathead dough: No, it’s not an insult. Fathead dough is a popular type of dough on the keto diet. Though there are many fathead dough recipes out there, a typical fathead dough includes almond or coconut flour, mozzarella cheese, and eggs. If you’d like to try a recipe with fathead dough, my Pumpkin Cream Cheese Danish or Open-faced Chicken Pillows are a delicious start!
- Himalayan pink salt: A salt that is unprocessed and retains most of its natural mineral profile. Typical table salt has been processed to the point where many beneficial minerals are no longer present. Himalayan pink salt is especially beneficial on the keto diet because of the flushing of electrolytes that often happens when starting the keto diet (the “whoosh”; see below). Pink salt (and many other types of unprocessed salts) help replenish electrolytes.
- intermittent fasting: With intermittent fasting, a person will cycle between fasting and consuming food.
- inulin: inulin (not to be confused with insulin) is a prebiotic soluble fiber used to sweeten keto foods. This is one of my favorite sweeteners to experiment with!
- keto: Keto is short for ketogenic or the ketogenic diet. When people say they’re on the “keto diet” or ask if something is keto, they’re talking about the ketogenic diet. The point of the ketogenic diet is to get the body to stop using carbohydrates (or more specifically, glucose) as its main fuel and use fat (ketones) instead. Learn more about KETOSIS AND THE KETOGENIC DIET.
- keto baby: This is an actual phenomenon (or miracle for some!) and one of my favorite keto terms. One major benefit of the keto diet is that it balances hormones. For some women, this means becoming frisky and fertile and increasing libido. Their menstrual cycles become more regular and hormones regulate, upping chances of getting pregnant with a keto baby!
- keto flu: The set of symptoms that occur in some people as their body is adjusting to ketosis and the keto diet. For some people this is a difficult change, but others may only notice positive changes such as increased energy or weight loss.
- ketones: When the body stops using glucose as a fuel, it begins to make ketones from fat for fuel instead.
- ketosis: Ketosis is the condition of the body making an increase of ketones. This is the goal of the keto diet. When ketones are increased, it means the body is using fatty acids as fuel instead of carbohydrates. Read more about the keto diet.
- lazy keto: Lazy keto is a keto diet that does not follow a strict macronutrient count. People following lazy keto diet just do their best to stick to keto approved foods.
- macros or macronutrients: Macronutrients are substances that our bodies need to consume in larger amounts in order to survive. These are fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and water. The most typical target percentages of macronutrients for the keto diet are 60-75% fats, 15-30% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates.
- net carbs: There are a few ways to track carbohydrates when counting your macros. You can track total carbs or net carbs. To track net carbs, you subtract fiber from the total carbs to get your net carb count. The reason people do this is because fiber is not digested in the small intestine like sugar carbs, so it doesn’t make an impact like sugar.
- stevia: a healthy, natural keto sweetener made from the stevia plant. Most varieties have little to no calories.
- Swerve: a popular brand of erythritol sweetener. Also see erythritol above.
- telegen effluvium: Though very uncommon, with ANY diet, if a person is losing weight too quickly, they may be at risk for telegen effluvium. Telegen effluvium is hair loss that occurs when weight loss is too rapid. Supplementing with biotin can help prevent hair loss on keto.
- whoosh, or keto whoosh effect: Rapid weight loss at the beginning of the keto diet. It is believed that this is just “water weight”, as the loss tends to stabilize and slow down and remain steady after the initial “whoosh”. During this period, it is really important to stay hydrated and maintain electrolyte balance. An electrolyte powder can be really helpful!
- 16/8: A type of intermittent fasting (IF) where a person restricts all food consumption to a span of 8 consecutive hours. A person fasts for 16 hours (typically overnight) and eats for 8 hours.
List of Keto Abbreviations and Acronyms
- BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate): a ketone produced by the body either through fasting or a high fat low carb diet. BHB has some amazing benefits, especially for the brain!
- BPC: Bulletproof coffee. A lot of people drink bulletproof coffee to reach their fat quota for the day. It’s very common with keto to either skip breakfast (fasting) or just drink a BPC instead. People make it different ways, but the original recipe called for MCT oil and grassfed butter, with no sugar or non-keto sweeteners added. I don’t drink coffee, but I love bulletproof hot cocoa and I always put cream in my herbal teas!
- CICO (calories in, calories out): The calories in, calories out theory is widely debated. CICO tells us that obesity is caused by the consumption of too many calories. It does not take into account the type of calorie (fat vs. carbs) or the source. I believe CICO is losing credibility in many circles.
- HWC/hwc: heavy whipping cream. Ah, yes, my favorite of the keto abbreviations! For extra fat, a lot of people like to add heavy whipping cream to their beverages. Mmmm!
- IIFYM (“If It Fits Your Macros”): When people say “IIFYM,” they are typically of the mindset that the food choice itself does not matter, as long as the calories it contains align with your daily macronutrient goals.
- IF: Intermittent fasting. With intermittent fasting, a person will cycle between fasting and consuming food. There are many ways to do IF. One example of IF is 16/8.
- LCHF/HFLC: low carb high fat or high fat low carb
- MCT oil: Medium-chain triglycerides. Fatty acids that are extracted from coconut oil. These triglycerides are easily absorbed and thus a faster source of energy.
- NSV: Non-scale victory. This is one of my favorite keto words! A lot of people do keto to see the number on the scale go down. But SO many people (myself included!) have other reasons for doing keto: reducing inflammation, maintaining glucose levels, balancing hormones, mood stability, better sleep, etc. A non-scale victory can be any benefit you’re seeing from the keto diet that has nothing to do with the scale! For example, If you’re experiencing a huge increase in energy, that’s an NSV for sure!
- OMAD: One meal a day. This is a type of intermittent fasting where a person would only eat one large meal in a 24 hour period.
- TDEE (total daily energy expediture): the amount of energy you burn each day, in calories. You can find several TDEE calculators online.
- WOE: Way of eating. A lot of people prefer to call the keto diet a way of eating instead of a diet, making it a lifestyle, not a yo-yo diet or trend.
What Words is My Keto Glossary Missing? Let Me Know!
Am I missing a keto word on this keto terminology list? Let me know in the comments! I’ll add your keto word right away! And thanks for your help. 😉
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