If you haven’t heard of the keto diet by now, you probably don’t live in civilization. Maybe you live in a big bubble or in the middle of the mountains with no internet or communication with the outside world. But you’re here, so I’m assuming you don’t and that you have. I know you’re probably confused by it. Everyone knows someone who “lost so much weight” doing the keto diet. But is it really the answer?
What is the Keto Diet?
The Keto Diet is well known for being extremely low carb and high fat for the purpose of weight loss. What the general public doesn’t know is that it was actually created as a medical diet as a treatment for epilepsy, and should be done under medical supervision.
The Keto Diet allows only 5% of calories from carbs. This basically limits dieters from eating virtually anything other than fat and protein.
The Keto Diet works by forcing your body into a state called ketosis. Ketosis is a result of fat being broken down for energy instead of glucose. Glucose is normally the source of energy your body uses.
What You Should Know About the Keto Diet
1. Ketosis can be dangerous.
Ketosis is when ketones (which occur naturally in the body) build up as a result of fat metabolism. This causes our body’s pH balance to be off. This state can also cause diarrhea, upset stomach, dizziness, confusion, and extreme fatigue because your brain performs optimally with 100g or more of carbohydrates, and most on a keto diet eat 20-50g. If not careful, you could also go into ketoacidosis. If you have Type 1 Diabetes, you are more susceptible to this state to begin with, so that is something to consider.
2. The Keto-Diet could increase your risk factors.
If you’re eating a lot of fat, you could increase your cholesterol, especially if you’re consuming most of your fat from animal products. If you’re also eating high protein as a result of less carbs, you could put too much strain on your kidneys and cause kidney failure. While you would have to consume A LOT of protein to do this as a healthy individual, anyone at risk for kidney failure (diabetes, high blood pressure, family history), should be careful.
3. The Keto Diet could make both inflammation and digestive issues worse.
Saturated fat adds to inflammation, and fruits, vegetables, and whole grains help fight it. For anyone who experiences chronic pain, has an autoimmune disorder, or any sort of inflammation in their body, even something small like tendonitis, the Keto Diet could make these issues worse. Excess fat and ketosis can both play a role in digestive issues. If you experience even occasional constipation, diarrhea, or bloating of any kind, you may not feel well on this diet.
4. Most people cannot sustain the Keto-Diet long term.
Despite what you hear, it is very uncommon for someone to stay on this diet for life. The problem with choosing a diet this extreme for a short period of time is that it makes the likelihood of overeating afterwards extremely high. Even without binge-eating, you would still put weight right back on when you start eating carbs again. And, imagine how much more weight you’d gain if you also binge as a result of feeling deprived. If it’s not a long term solution, you really want to reconsider. Otherwise you’ll spend the rest of your life in a dieting vs binge-eating cycle.
5. The Keto Diet is NOT a no-thought diet.
Many people want to go on this because they don’t have to count or track and so they think there is less thought involved. But if you’re eating too little carbs, you risk ketoacidosis. If you’re eating too much saturated fat, you risk heart disease. And, if you eat too much protein, you risk kidney disease. You have to do the work on this diet, making sure to get enough carbs and not too much fat in order to prevent ketoacidosis and to get the right balance of saturated to unsaturated fats.
Is the Keto Diet Right For You?
If you’re asking me, I’m probably going to say no. But I’m not you. I can’t tell you what’s best for you. I just really suggest that you take some time to think about all of the considerations, and weigh the pros and cons.
If you decide that no it’s not right for you, that you don’t want to be on a diet for the rest of you life, join my community and learn more about never dieting again.