If you spend any time being keto, researching keto, or immersing yourself in the keto community, you’ll quickly notice there are some commonly used terms, abbreviations, and acronyms. But what do they mean exactly? We solve the mystery here with the following list. Check it anytime you want clarification on unfamiliar keto terms.
Short for “artificial sweetener” and commonly used to describe sweeteners that have reduced or zero carb-count. Learn which artificial sweeteners are top-rated for keto.
Apple Cider Vinegar. ACV is often used as a dietary aid as well as a cooking ingredient.
In relation to the keto diet, this concept addresses the fact that every body is unique and consequently reacts to foods and diet differently; each person has individual nutritional requirements that work best for them and their unique anatomy, metabolism, body composition, and cell structure. Learn more about bio-individuality.
This stands for Body Mass Index. BMI is a measurement of your weight with respect to your height, though it’s most commonly used as an indicator of your total body fat. An approximation rather than an exact number, it’s calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters and then squaring it.
BMR / RMR
This is your basal metabolic rate, also called your resting metabolic rate. The terms are used interchangeably. These rates are defined as the bare minimum amount of energy your body requires to perform its most basic functions, such as produce cells, breathe, and pump blood.
A nickname for bulletproof coffee, also known as ketoproof coffee. BPC is a popular morning beverage among the keto community and intermittent fasters (see “IF” below). Made with coffee, butter, and MCT oil (see below) mixed in an emulsion blender, it’s a good way to help up your fat content and give you a “full” feeling for the morning.
The maximum amount of daily carbs a specific person can eat and still remain in ketosis. This number varies from person to person due to bio-individuality. The Keto-Mojo meter is the most accurate way to learn what your carb threshold is.
CI / CO
This stands for Calories In/Calories Out and is one of the biggest debates surrounding using a ketogenic diet for weight loss. The theory is that calories consumed must be less than the calories used for energy in order for weight loss to occur. Many ketonians contest this theory.
The technical definition of electrolytes is minerals in your body that conduct an electric charge. They basically keep everything running smoothly when they are balanced; and when they are not, you may feel fatigued, have heart palpitations, get muscle cramps, and more. Since a keto diet is a natural diuretic, it’s important to ensure you are getting enough electrolytes; the most important ones to focus on while keto are sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Learn more about electrolytes here.
A short cut for “extra-virgin olive oil”
The goal of a keto diet is to be “fat adapted,” or to have completely transitioned from burning carbs (sugar) for energy to burning fat (ketones) for energy. It generally takes four or more weeks of consistently being in ketosis to become fat adapted. Learn about the top 7 ways to know you’re fat-adapted here.
A popular keto treat, fat bombs are made with ingredients that are rich in good fats (think nut butter, MCT oil, cream cheese, dark chocolate, etc.). They are commonly used to help you up your fat content for the day or get a quick hit of energy in one or two delicious bites. Usually shaped like bonbons, they’re made in a variety of flavors and are typically sweetened with a zero-carb sweetener, but fat bombs don’t have to be sweet; they can be savory, too. On the keto diet, it’s not uncommon to need a small, easy fat boost to keep up with your recommended daily macros. Fat bombs are a great way to get it. Here is a great fat bomb recipe you can easily make at home.
This describes when the body creates carbs (glucose) from fat and protein. Learn more about Gluconeogenesis here.
Also known as the glucose ketone index, the GKI is a single number that gives an indication of your overall metabolic health. It’s determined through a simple equation that uses your glucose level and ketone level. Learn more about GKI here. Calculate your GKI here.
An acronym for heavy whipping cream which is a welcome ingredient or coffee addition on the ketogenic diet.
Short for intermittent fasting, which is an intentional eating pattern where you cycle between stretches of time when you’re eating and stretches of time when you’re fasting. There are a variety of different intermittent fasting methods, but all of them split each day or week into eating periods and fasting periods. Learn more about IF here.
This relates to insulin resistance, which describes a condition when the body’s cells cannot properly respond to the hormone insulin. Learn more about insulin resistance here.
Unpleasant side effects that occur while transitioning from a carb-heavy diet to a ketogenic diet. Symptoms can include fatigue, headache, dizziness, irritability, nausea, and more. Learn about the keto flu and how to treat it here.
A metabolic state where an individual has raised levels of ketone bodies in their blood. Ketones are an alternative energy source for the body; they’re generated when the body is short on glucose (sugar/carbs). Learn the top 10 signs you’re in ketosis here.
This 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 combined with very high-blood sugar, which can change the normal functioning of internal organs, such as your liver and kidneys. Learn more about ketoacidosis here.
Short for low-carb, high-fat, this acronym sums up one of the most important elements of the ketogenic diet; it’s often used when describing keto-friendly foods.
Your daily caloric intake for the keto diet, broken into categories of optimal fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. They are also your literal map for keto success. Learn more about Macros here.
Short for Medium-chain triglyceride. This term is most commonly used in relation to MCT oil, a popular oil used in the keto community that’s said to help boost metabolism. When MCTs are metabolized, they’re immediately converted into ketones. Learn about MCT oil here.
The total grams of carbohydrates in any given food minus its grams of fiber and sugar alcohols. (The sugar alcohols and fiber are not counted as carbs because they are not digested by the body.) Learn more about net carbs here.
This stands for a “non-scale victory,” meaning progress or accomplishment that is not reflected by declining numbers on the scale. Many keto support groups share NSVs to encourage one another when the scale numbers are not declining as quickly as desired.
“Standard American Diet.” The “sad” acronym seems appropriate considering the majority of calories in America’s diet come from processed sugar-laden foods, while less than 10 percent are from healthy whole foods.
This stands for sugar-free.
“Way of eating”- a term people use to reference their own specific diets.