I'm sure that question has crossed your mind a few times
Especially if you've been trying to lose weight for a while and have about had it with dieting it self.
Trust me, I get it!
Keto seems to be an easy way to shed pounds FAST and get you looking like a god or goddess in no time. Or so it seems.
But, the keto diet that you're seeing on Instagram, facebook, Pinterest and in the media is not what the ketogenic diet is.
It really isn't as easy as cutting out all your favorite carb foods like apples (some keto-ers consider apples evil because of the carbs), bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and every other carb-y goodness food you could ever want.
Sure it sounds easy to say okay to ditching all those great foods, but it's not as easy as you think.
First, let's talk about what a ketogenic diet is, who it is supposed to by and it's uses.
The Ketogenic diet was originally made for children who have epilepsy issues who's symptoms and disease have not been able to be managed with medications. It is sometimes seen as the last ditch effort to help suppress the seizures as it helps to alter the genes involved in energy metabolism which then helps to stabilize the neurons in the brain to stop the seizures.
The ketogenic diet that is prescribed to children is very strict and the children must be admitted to the hospital to be closely monitored as they transition into ketosis (the process of making ketone bodies and using them for energy within the body). Their labs need to be perfect and the diet is completely controlled.
The diet prescribed to the children is a 4:1:1 ratio of Fat to protein and carbohydrates. Like 100g of fat, 25g protein and 25g carbohydrates a day. Protein must be limited as protein can very easily be turned into glucose within the body through gluconeogenesis and prevent ketosis from occurring. Think like drinking heavy cream instead of milk, adding butter to EVERYTHING, and trying to eat avocados all the time.
These children continue to be CLOSELY monitored by their doctors and dietitians throughout the entire process and don't stay on the diet forever.
Yep, you read that right.
The child really only stays on the ketogenic diet for 2 years max. If it doesn't help them by then, then they are transitioned off. If the diet does help them, they are still transitioned off around 2 years later and continue on with normal life!
So, then what is the issue with the "keto" diets people are using for weight loss?
First, we still don't know the long term effects of being on a very high fat diet. We are starting to see more and more people end up in the hospital with heart issues and elevated blood fat panels after following a keto diet.
Second, the keto diet people on right now is not a true ketogenic diet. These modified keto diets are too high in protein to allow the body to go into ketosis. Their diets are primarily fatty meats, chicken and fish, 2 of the 3 are lean proteins.
Those lean proteins have more protein than fat in them, which is then broken down and turned into glucose, preventing ketosis.
So, why are people seeing such a drastic weight loss?
When you cut major sources of carbohydrates out of your diet, your body is forced to use the carbohydrate stores that are in your muscles. When you use those stores, your body also releases the water that is stored with the carbohydrates in your muscle, thus resulting in a fast "weight loss" within a few days that is really only water weight lost.
Essentially, over time you're starving your body and making it use the protein stores as well as the fat stores in your body to keep its energy going. Which can also result in weight loss, however, if you're wanting to preserve your muscle mass, then you really shouldn't be dabbling in this.
More times than not, after a few weeks or months, the person will find themselves in a situation where there's carbs that they have been restricting for a while, everywhere, and they can't do anything other than eat them all.
The cycle of restriction gets broke with a binge on foods you've told yourself are bad and that you cannot have.
Then you're feeling bad about yourself and what you've done and see the weight come right back on.
You'll often see that once someone decides that they are done losing weight on keto and transitions off, they first don't know how to start eating again. And then, find that they've added more weight back on.
That's the problem with diets, once you're done losing, what are you supposed to do the keep the weight off? They surely don't tell you that!
If you haven't learned yet, I am not a fan of restriction. Therefore, any diet that tells you you cannot have something is not my first go to.
But, I want to know your opinions? Have you tried keto? Was it successful for you? Are you still doing it?
Let me know in the comments!
Also, if you want to read more on the flaws of the keto diet that celebrities are pushing? Click here and check out this article I've been featured in!