Keto Terms Explained

  • Date: May 14, 2021
  • Time to read: 9 min.

If you are confused about nomenclature and why your BPC, needs MCT and HWC in it – you’re in the right place! There are a lot of Keto Terms that can make starting your keto journey daunting. Don’t worry, I’ve been there. I’ve created a list of all of the main keto terms and what they mean to get you started and keep you on your keto journey.  I hope this helps!

Keto Terms

Keto Terms / Keto Terminology/ Keto Slang / Keto Words / Keto Lingo / Keto Vocabulary / Keto Jargon / Keto Verbs / Keto Verbiage / Keto Dialect / Keto Language / Keto Linguistics / Keto Lexicon / Keto Nomenclature

See how confusing this can become, that’s over 12 ways of saying the same thing; ‘Keto Terms’.?!

Whatever you want to call the terminology that is used within the keto community, one thing we can all agree on is that it can get confusing!

Not only are there a lot of keto different terms that are associated with the keto way of living, but some of them also are not common terms that the majority of us will have come across before.

When you are starting out this can make you feel overwhelmed by keto and it understandably puts a lot of people off.

If you find this confusing – don’t worry, you’re not alone, we’ve all been there. Some days I still forget what certain terms are and I come back to this guide!

Keto Abbreviations / Acronyms

Not only are there a lot of keto terms that are used, but these are also then turned into abbreviations/acronyms.

Again, there is no need to become overwhelmed by this as I have written an article on the main keto abbreviations to make life as simple as possible for you. There is also a freebie that you can print off so you don’t have to keep referring back to the article!

Main Keto Terms

This is a list of the main keto terms. No need to become confused; either bookmark this to your toolbar or print it off and you’ve got it ready for whenever you’re confused about keto!

Here’s the complete list of keto words, all alphabetized for you.

Here we go, your list of keto terms.

Keto TermWhat the Keto Term means
16/8 A type of intermittent fasting (IF) whereby a person does not eat for 16 hours and then will eat within an 8-hour window. 
Beta-HydroxybutyrateBeta-hydroxybutyrate. The most prevalent ketone that’s used in our body for energy. It is the main ingredient of exogenous ketones (which are not needed), but some chose to take on a keto lifestyle.
Carb ThresholdThe maximum amount of carbs (carbohydrates) a person can eat and still remain in ketosis. This number will differ from person to person due to bio-individuality. 
CICOCalories in, Calories out. How many calories you eat vs how many calories you burn in a day
Coconut ButterCoconut butter is made from the flesh of the coconut meat which is ground up into a paste. Coconut butter has around 3 grams of carbs per tablespoon, so don’t go crazy!
Coconut OilCoconut oil is made from the oil extracted from the coconut, as opposed to the fleshy coconut meat which makes the coconut butter. 
CollagenCollagen is a protein that we all have; it is what keeps our hair and nails strong, and our skin plump by repairing damaged cells in the body as well as reducing inflammation, amongst many other things! As we get older our bodies slow down their production of collagen, this is why we get wrinkles. Our skin isn’t as plump and joints start to ache. This is why it is advertised in every magazine as the ‘miracle to eternal youth’!  Taking collagen has been found to be beneficial regardless of your diet.
Cyclical Ketogenic DietCyclical ketogenic diet. This is different from a ‘normal’ keto diet. On a cyclical ketogenic diet person will consume large amounts of carbs 1-2 days a week to replenish glycogen stores. This is usually done in conjunction with extremely intense workouts.
Dirty KetoDirty keto is a version of the ketogenic diet were you eat whatever you want, as long as it fits within your macros. People eating this way are not normally concerned about what they are eating, they just add up the number of carbs, protein and fat they are eating in a day to make sure it is within their recommended limits. 
Egg FastDuring an egg fast, a person will restrict their diet to only eggs and fat for a period of time. People often use this to ‘kick-start’ a stall in weight loss. 
ElectrolytesElectrolytes are electrically charged minerals in the body. These are essential for the body to function efficiently. Water loss results in loss of electrolytes; water loss occurs in the early stages of keto. It is important to replenish electrolytes.
ErythritolErythritol is a sugar alcohol is a popular natural zero-calorie sweetener. It looks the same and granulated sugar and is commonly used in keto baking. 
Essential Fatty AcidEssential fatty acid. These are fatty acids that cannot be synthesized by humans.
Exogenous KetonesKetone bodies are consumed as a supplement by those on a keto lifestyle. A lot of people take exogenous ketones to “jump-start” their body’s production of ketones, helping them get into ketosis quicker and alleviating many symptoms of keto flu. 
Fat BombFat bombs are sweet or savoury food items that contain mostly fat. They are often made from creams cream cheese, cheese, MCT oil and other fatty goodness. Fat bombs are great 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 or just need a keto-friendly snack. Fat bombs can be made in advance and frozen for when you need them 
Fat-AdaptedThe goal of a keto diet is to become, “fat-adapted,” or to have completely transitioned from burning carbs (sugar) to get your energy to burning fat (ketones) for energy. It generally takes four to six weeks of consistently being in ketosis to become fat adapted. Obviously, this will be slightly different for each person 
Fathead DoughFathead dough is a popular type of dough that ketoers use. Though there are many fathead dough recipes out there, a typical fathead dough includes almond or coconut flour, mozzarella cheese, and eggs with a dash of baking powder. This makes a great base for a pizza or as pastry for your sausage rolls or calzone! 
GluconeogenesisThis describes when the body creates carbohydrates (glucose) from fat and protein. 
Glycemic IndexThe glycemic index is a value given to foods based on how slowly or quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose (sugar) levels. A high GI score would indicate that food is likely to cause a ‘spike’ in blood sugar. 
Glycolysis This is the process of breaking down glucose into energy
HIIT High-intensity interval training. This is whereby a person will do a really intense exercise for a short period of time, followed by a period of less intense exercise, i.e sprinting for 30 seconds, following by jogging for a minute and repeating this over and over. This spikes the heart rate and puts the body into a fat-burning zone quickly
Himalayan Pink SaltHimalayan pink salt is  beneficial on the keto diet as it helps replenish the electrolytes that can be last when transitioning onto a keto way of eating
Insulin ResistanceInsulin resistance is when the body builds a resistance to producing sufficient insulin, resulting in high blood glucose levels.
Intermittent FastingIntermittent Fasting (IF) is where a person does not eat for a prolonged period and then will eat within a few hours. The idea being that the body exhausts all of it’s ‘food’ supplies and starts to burn stored fat. 
InulinInulin is a prebiotic soluble fibre used to sweeten keto foods.
KCKOKeep calm, Keto on.
KetoKeto is short for ketogenic or the ketogenic diet. I commonly use this term to refer to everything ketogenic.  
Keto BabyOne major benefit of the keto diet is that it balances natural hormones within the body. Regulating hormones can increase the chances of getting pregnant with a ‘keto baby’!
Keto FluThe set of symptoms that occur in some people as their body is adjusting to ketosis and the keto diet / way of living. For some people, this is a difficult change, but others may only notice positive changes such as increased energy or weight loss; for others, headaches and other symptoms may be experienced initially.
KetoacidosisThis is also referred to as DKA, or diabetic ketoacidosis because it almost exclusively happens to type 1 diabetics. Ketoacidosis is when the body shows dangerously high levels of ketones. 
Ketogenesis This is the chemical process of breaking down fatty acids into ketones.
KetonesWhen the body stops using glucose as a fuel, it begins to make ketones from fat for fuel instead.
KetosisKetosis is a metabolic state where the body makes an increasing number of ketones. When In ‘ketosis’ the body is using fatty acids as fuel instead of carbohydrates. 
Lazy KetoLazy keto is a keto diet that does not follow a strict macronutrient (macro) count. People following lazy keto diet just do their best to stick to low-carb, keto-friendly foods. 
Low Carb, High FatLow carb High fat. It’s what the ketogenic diet is. Very few carbs are eaten, yet foods high in fat are consumed. On a keto diet carbs are kept below 20grams a day, whereas on a low-carb diet people tend to eat between 50-100 grams of carbs a day
Macros Or MacronutrientsMacronutrients 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.
MCTMedium-chain triglycerides. These are a food group that bypass the usual digestion process and are transported directly to the liver to assist in making ketones.
Micro (Micronutrients)The vitamins and minerals that are in our foods.
Net CarbsThe total grams of carbohydrates in any given food minus its grams of fibre and sugar alcohols. (The sugar alcohols and fibre are not counted as carbs because they are not digested by the body).
NSV (Non-Scale Victory)Victories that you should record, opposed to only measuring weight. Examples would be, fitting into your skinny jeans or your favourite top that hasn’t fit for a decade!
PolyolsSugar alcohols are also known as polyols. They are a type of sweetener commonly used in low carb, Keto, sugar-free, or diet-friendly foods. These can be subtracted from the net carbs.
SteviaStevia is a healthy, natural keto sweetener made from the stevia plant. Most varieties have little to no calories and are often used in keto baking
Sugar-Free Sugar-free. Be careful of this term on goods in the supermarket as they may still be high in carbs.
Swerve Swerve is a popular brand of erythritol sweetener, this is used in keto baking
Targeted Ketogenic DietTargeted ketogenic diet is another variation on the ‘normal’ keto diet. This involved consuming carbohydrates prior to a workout. This is often used with by athletes who do intense workouts, however, the standard keto diet does not provide them with enough energy to get through their training. (In case you were wondering, working out that hard that I don’t have enough energy to complete my workout has never been an issue for me!) This is mainly used by elite athletes.
Telegen EffluviumThough 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 any diet/way of living that may cause this. It is normally only a temporary issue.
Way Of EatingWay of eating this is what a lot of people will refer to the keto ‘diet’ as. Keto is seen as a way of eating for life as opposed to yo-yo-ing on a ‘normal’ diet
Way Of Life / Way of LivingWay of Life / Way of living – the keto ‘diet’ is often described as a ‘way of life’ / ‘way of living’ as it is a whole change to your outlook on food opposed to a fad diet that you hop on and off
Whoosh, Or Keto Whoosh EffectRapid weight loss may be experienced when a person starts on their keto way of living. It is believed that this is just “water weight”, as the loss tends to plateau and remain steady after the initial “whoosh”. 

Keto Terms / Keto Terminology/ Keto Slang / Keto Words / Keto Lingo / Keto Vocabulary / Keto Jargon / Keto Verbs / Keto Verbiage / Keto Dialect / Keto Language / Keto Linguistics / Keto Lexicon / Keto Nomenclature Whatever you call them, you should be covered by the above. I do try and update this as I come across terms that are new to me.

If you spot something that missing – add it in the comments below or drop me a message and I will add it to the list???

If you are new to keto and need some guidance check out these articles.

If you’re on your keto journey and want to know the best value places to buy your keto ingredients check out the Keto Pantry.

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