With all of the press Keto seems to be getting recently, I felt it was appropriate to share some of my thoughts on the keto Diet. Recently a family member of mine got a promotional email in her inbox advertising the ketogenic (keto) diet. The ad claimed that you could lose 97lbs in less than 30 days.
The keto diet seems to continue to rise in popularity. Many media outlets are flooded with keto diet guides, recipes, and weight loss testimonials. Even morning shows and Dr. Oz promote the ketogenic diet to the public. So what exactly is the keto diet?
The ketogenic diet involves decreasing carbohydrate intake in the diet so severely that that body goes into a state of ketosis. What happens during ketosis you may ask? Instead of glucose (sourced from carbohydrates) being used as the primary source of energy ketones start to release in the blood stream. When carbohydrates are severely restricted to under 50 grams per day the body will start to breakdown fat as a source for energy.
Foods found in the keto diet primarily consist of fat and protein. Food sources include butter, coconut oil, eggs, fish, meat, processed meats, nuts, and seeds.
So is the keto diet a practical diet to follow?
There is strong evidence for the use of the ketogenic diet in children with epilepsy. Although for the average American trying to lose weight not so much. While there is some evidence that the keto diet results in rapid weight loss, if we take a step back we can understand why.
I am sure that if all of a sudden you stopped consuming alcohol and eliminated processed carbohydrates you would probably see weight loss.
The major issues I have with this diet for weight loss is that it is not practical nor sustainable. There is limited evidence on the long-term effects from following this diet.
Basically the ketogenic diet is another “yo-yo diet”. While yes people are seeing rapid weight loss results, how long will the weight loss last? Just like many other fad diets, they usually result in weight fluctuations. Fluctuations in weight have been shown to even contribute to an increase in mortality.
Restrictive diets also can psychologically impact you. This can lead to stress and bad relationships with food and your body.
Instead I encourage people to follow a basic approach to long term overall wellness. Eat foods including a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, heart healthy oils, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and plenty of water. Take care of mind, body, and soul by eating foods that you enjoy, participate in movement you love to do, and reduce stress with relaxation practices.
If you are interested in learning about my nutrition philosophy read more here.