Keto Diet - the Pros and the Cons
I’m sure you would of all heard about the Keto (Ketogenic) Diet - it’s been on the news, in the papers, all over Facebook news feeds - it’s the diet that says you can eat all the bacon and butter you want and you will burn more fat which means you lose weight!
If you haven’t heard of the diet I’ll give you a summary of what it is and the claims they make.
What it is?
The diet is a Zero - 50ish grams of carbs diet, depending on the person depends on the amount of carbs you can have, the reason the Carb limit is so strict is because you need to be in a state of Ketosis, which is where you use Fat as your bodies main source of energy,
But you also can eat too much Protein because your body could turn that into glycogen and use that which takes you out of Ketosis, so not unlimited bacon or steak!
Again depending on the person it can take between 10-30days to get into ketosis and the transition period where you body is getting used to the change is horrific!
Some people faint, some people get something called ‘Keto-Flu’ which is where you feel terrible flu like symptoms during the transition, and most get diarrhoea... like explosive in some cases.
So this very strict diet for up to a month makes you feel terrible and makes you shit pants and because it’s so strict and you can’t go to that nice Italian down the road with your friends, they stop inviting you out, round so you have to find Keto friends or take your own Keto friendly food, but because you feel so terrible you’re probably moody as hell and miserable to be around so congratulations!
But let’s say you make it into Ketosis, so where you are fully using fat as energy, no Ketones and Fat give you better bang for your buck energy wise so you now start to feel Incredible! Energy levels through the roof, you feel awake, alive and amazing.
In the state of Ketosis yes you burn more fat BUT you are eating more fat because carbs are missing, so if you eat more fat(calories) than your body can burn you WILL still put on fat and if you eat the same amount as you burn you will maintain the same amount of weight.
The reason a lot of people see incredible results from Ketosis is because that whole tub of ice cream you are eating isn’t Keto friendly, those cookies, chocolate, crisps, pasta, rice, almost every one of your favourite foods, if not all your favourites are gone, so while you’re trying to figure out what you can and can’t have you calories plummet, so you go into a big calorie deficit lose loads of weight. It’s not the Keto diet that made you lose that weight it’s because you stopped over eating all of your favourite foods!
So the benefits of Ketosis - it’s been proven to help people with Epilepsy, help with the seizures, brain function etc.
Other benefits include:
There are possibly a few health benefits however, these are only possible and the amount of data to say for definite isn’t there yet, but there are other ways to get the same possible benefits.
Now the Cons
So it’s a no from me, I don’t tend to rule out any type of diet for my personal training clients but this is one I do - unless they have epilepsy, even then I would ask that you spoke to good(not just any) dietician.
I hope this helps you decide whether it’s for you or not!
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The Main Author is Dan Grimes, Guest authors will be posting too.