The Renowned Keto Diet: Is It Really Worth It?
The ketogenic diet, also known as “keto,” has recently become one of the most well-known diets geared to help people lose weight. This isn’t like any ordinary diet where you watch your calories and try to only eat protein, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. The keto diet requires strict eating habits with the goal of achieving ketosis.
Instead, you cut back on carbs to 50 grams a day or less, and focus on consuming more fats so your body can enter a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when ketones, a molecule in the body, build up in the bloodstream due to a carbohydrate decrease. Once this occurs, the body begins to burn fat rather than glucose for energy and fuel.
Many followers of the keto diet will see a drop in their weight within as little as 10 days. So, why wouldn’t they want to stick to this new eating pattern?
Health experts have looked deeper into the keto diet and found that it isn’t necessarily the healthiest method to lose weight. It can be associated with many negative side effects, health risks, and can be quite difficult to maintain for some people.
I’ve put together a complete list of why the keto diet, although undeniably great for weight loss, comes with some risks and negatives-- so before you give it a go, understand the truths and downfalls about the diet first.
You Lose Your Muscle
Being on the keto diet may seem like the best way to lose weight, but really, it’s likely you’ll lose more muscle than fat. As you lose your muscle, you begin to feel fatigued and your metabolism is affected. You may lose weight, but it’ll likely be more muscles because your muscles burn more calories than fat, and your body needs calories to help gain muscle.
As your muscles shrink, your athletic performance can also be affected. A study found that men and women on a keto diet performed worse in short, high-intensity exercises in comparison to those on a high-carb diet. When your body is in ketosis, you’re unable to reach your personal peak performance.
Heart Risks and Diabetes
One major dilemma of the keto diet is that because it focuses on a high-fat diet, people aren’t identifying the good fats versus the bad fats. People hear the word “fat” and think they can indulge recklessly, but, this isn’t necessarily the case.
This is one of the main reasons why health experts are against the keto diet. People aren’t doing it “right” and are taking advantage of the opportunity to eat some of the worst foods for you. Unhealthy, high-fat diets will presumably increase your cholesterol which has been associated with heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Some of the most strict diets aren’t always the most beneficial for your overall health. You’ll definitely lose weight on keto, but in the long run, it may lead to dangerous complications. Maintaining a nutrient-rich diet is the best trend to follow.
Affects Your Sleep
If you’ve tried keto, it’s likely you’ve experienced keto insomnia. When you reduce a vast amount of carbs in your diet and maximize your fat intake, it can have some major effects on your sleep patterns and lead to chronic sleep deprivation.
There has been some research that has found a decline in the quality of sleep when following a high-fat, low-carb diet. Many have trouble falling asleep, sleeping for a substantial amount of time, or difficulty reaching a deep state of sleep.
If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, finding professional care from a local doctor can help you uncover any possible problems with your sleep and allow you to regain your energy. Dr. Ralhan is a certified sleep-dentist in Oakville and Burlington who can recommend different treatments and lifestyle changes to rejuvenate your sleep and help you achieve a full night's rest.
The Keto Flu
When people transition into the keto diet, they often feel sick because of the many body changes they experience. As your body runs out of sugar to burn for energy, it starts to use your fat-- draining you of your daytime energy.
Just as the normal flu, symptoms may only last 24-72 hours, but it can still cause an ample amount of distress to your overall well-being. To help get through your keto flu, increase your intake of fats, water, and sodium.
Keto flu symptoms you may experience, include:
- Stomach aches or nausea
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Brain fog or confusion
- Muscle cramping
- Heart palpitations
- Sugar cravings
The keto diet has been hyped up to be one of the quickest ways to shed extra pounds, but what happens when you stop and transition back into your normal diet? It’s not meant to be followed long-term, so when people stop, many begin to eat carbs again and regain their lost weight.
This can truly happen with any diet-- whether it’s keto, paleo, or the Atkins diet-- once someone shifts back into their old eating habits, they’ll see a weight increase. That’s why it’s important to simply follow a well-balanced diet plan that isn’t so hard to follow and that suits your lifestyle. In the end, following a strict diet won’t provide you with the long-term results you desire.
Know the Challenges You’ll Face Before Trying Keto
If you’re looking for effective, healthy ways to manage your weight, look into talking with a nutritionist to get advice on portion control and discovering which foods are best for your body type. Or don’t be afraid to reach out to a personal trainer like Chris Wong if you need the extra push to get you moving on your feet and following a steady fitness routine.
Just know that although keto can show you the instant results you may think you want, it won’t always be the healthiest route to take. Learning about the negative aspects of the popular diet can help you uncover a better, more long-lasting option.