Listen, there are some folks who do well on the keto diet, but there are facts they aren’t telling you that I need to get out in the open.
To be clear, this post does NOT say you should not try the ketogenic diet. However I do have some concerns about it that I want to share with you.
So if you’ve been thinking about trying keto, in this post we’ll cover…
* What is “keto”?
* Why is keto so popular?
* Does it result in “weight loss”?
* Are there side effects?
* Who should use it?
* What alternatives work just as well?
OK let’s start with…
WHAT EXACTLY IS “KETO”?
It’s short for ketosis or ketogenic.
This nutritional approach was first introduced as a doctor-monitored treatment for child epilepsy.
Here’s how it’s supposed to work…
Your body basically has 4 fuel sources it can use:
- Glucose (stored sugar in muscle and liver)
- Fatty Acids (stored mainly in body fat)
- Protein (stored mostly in muscles)
- Ketones (no major storage)
Most tissues in your body prefer a combination of glucose and fatty acids.
The exception is the brain which can only use glucose or ketones.
By starving the body of glucose you trigger the production of ketones. And by “feeding” the brain only ketones they’ve shown a positive effect on epilepsy symptoms in children.
Where do ketones come from? They are formed in the body from the breakdown of fatty acids.
You produce them naturally and they supply 2—6% of your body’s energy requirements after your overnight fast.
NOW, WHY HAS KETOSIS BECOME SO TRENDY FOR SLIMMING DOWN?
That’s actually a really interesting question, because the scientific evidence for it is very weak.
For example, one 6-week study looked at 20 subjects — half on a more flexible low-carb plan and half ketogenic.
There was NO DIFFERENCE between the two groups in the changes in weight or fat levels at the end of the study.
So I think the reason keto continues to attract a lot of people is the DROP IN WEIGHT THAT PEOPLE EXPERIENCE IN THE FIRST FEW DAYS.
This is called DIURESIS and is actually a rapid loss of glycogen (stored glucose) and water.
For some folks this can mean several pounds on the scale in just a couple days, which is obviously very motivating.
However most of it is not from fat.
AND UNFORTUNATELY, KETO HAS THE HIGHEST DROPOUT RATE OF ANY MAJOR DIETING CATEGORY.
The US National Weight Control Registry, reports that of those who lost more than 28 pounds and kept it off for a year or more, LESS than 1% had followed a plan classified as ‘low carbohydrate’ — suggesting that this type of diet is not realistic for the achievement of long-term weight loss.
And that isn’t even ketogenic! That’s just low carb.
The amount of carbohydrate restriction required to induce ketosis is often estimated at less than 50 g/day of carbohydrate.
ALSO, BEING IN KETOSIS DOES NOT GUARANTEE FAT LOSS…
If you eat more calories via high-fat foods than you need for your level of activity, your body will store the extra as body fat.
In fact, it’s actually much easier for your body to store fat than to store carbohydrates. The conversion of carbohydrates or protein into fat is 10 times less efficient than simply storing fat in a fat cell.
For example, if you have 100 extra calories of fat floating in your bloodstream, fat cells can store it using only 2.5 calories of energy.
On the other hand, if you have 100 extra calories in glucose floating in your bloodstream, it takes 23 calories of energy to convert the glucose into fat and then store it.
Keep in mind that keto is a high fat nutrition plan. Which means that whenever you overeat, it is very efficient for your body to store the excess as fat.
So eating “keto” is not a free ticket. You still need to limit your calories.
NOW LET’S QUICKLY TOUCH ON SOME OF THE SIDE-EFFECTS THAT CAN POP UP WITH LONG TERM KETOSIS.
Remember, ketosis is NORMAL.
Every night your body starts generating some ketones. And if you do any Intermittent Fasting your body will generate and use some ketones.
However, if you are forcing the body into LONG-TERM ketosis there are some things to watch out for, which is the reason ketogenic nutrition plans were originally intended to be medically supervised…
Some adverse effects reported from long term exposure are…
– acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
– metabolic acidosis (too much acid accumulation in the body)
– kidney stones (in 6% of keto dieters)
– nutritional deficiencies (I’ll cover a few big ones in a sec)
Also, self-reported negative symptoms of long term keto include…
-bad breath (reported by 63% of keto dieters)
-headaches (in 51%)
-hair loss (10%)
With regards to the nutritional deficiencies keto is often low in fibre, thiamin, folate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and vitamins A, E and B6.
Keto is also associated with depression and sleep disruption since low dietary carbohydrates often causes a decline in serotonin.
If you’re going to try doing keto, make sure that you are following a plan from someone very reputable who is putting checks and balances in place to make sure you are doing it right.
WHO IS KETO FOR?…
In my opinion, apart from the specific diseases mentioned previously or other conditions specifically identified by a medical professional — I think keto is best reserved for folks who are dealing with a metabolic derangement like pre-diabetes or for someone who has a significant amount of weight to lose and desires a “reset” button to get themselves started.
In all cases, I still think supervision by a healthcare professional is a good idea.
Keto CAN work if you do it right and it’s right for you.
However, if keto sounds like it might NOT be for you… and you’d like a solid alternative that offers most of the same benefits without the potential pitfalls, then I can offer you an alternative.
I’ve got a simple plan that fits neatly on 2 pages, gives you similar health and weight management benefits of a ketogenic plan, while adding a more balanced approach that makes it easier to stick to and ensures you get all the nutrients your body needs…
And Today, you can download the full Keto Contrarian 2-page weight loss blueprint for FREE:
Just Tell us where to send it:
Adam “Jack” Steer