The Ketogenic Diet
I think I speak for everyone when I say we all know someone eating Whole30 or practicing intermittent fasting. We see the Kardashians rave about the ketogenic diet on TV and read about JLo’s recent bout with her no-carb diet that got her body ready for her movie role in just 10 days. They’re all over the internet and every social media post ever! I took the time to read up on today’s most popular diet, and I want to break it down into a “Diets for Dummies” format. So let’s take a look.
The Ketogenic Diet
Ah, yes- the beloved Keto. If there’s one diet that you’ve heard someone mention today, it’s probably this one. According to Google’s Year in Search, Keto popped up on THREE out of TEN of the top results in the “diets” and “food” categories. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! This one takes home the prize for the most searched and talked about diet of 2018.
What it is: low-carb, high-fat diet. (If you’re familiar with the Atkins Diet, it’s just a modern spin)
What is does: Carbohydrates are what your body burns for energy. When you take these out of the diet, the body is going to have to find something else to use for energy. As you replace carbs with fat, the body starts to burn the fat you eat for energy instead of carbs. This is called ketosis.
What you eat: FAT. This is where you see people putting butter in their coffee, covering their bun-less burgers in extra cheese, or adding extra tablespoons of oil to their pan of meat to fry.
Why do people do it: Keto advocates advertise this idea that this diet ultimately teaches the body to burn fat faster and easier and help you lose weight without having to count calories
Will this actually help you lose weight faster than all the other diets?
No. This answer is plain and simple. Weight loss and nutrition is a science, not the results of a google search. Bottom line, weight loss = burning more calories than you consume. If you lose weight on Keto it’s because you’re burning more than you’re eating, not because you’re in ketosis. With that being said, Keto or no Keto, you’ll lose weight only when you’re in a calorie deficit.
Is this diet sustainable?
At first glance, this diet seems pretty great. You’re looking to lose 10 lbs and Keto promises to help you lose those fast just by eating more fat, all while telling you that you don’t need to get in anymore gym sessions. Sounds great right? Well, not really. Here’s the thing, this diet restricts all carbs, and you NEED those. Literally, your body was made to need energy, and keto deprives your body of the basic macronutrient used for energy. Fat will work as a substitute because it has to. Your body has nothing else to use, and if it doesn’t find something to replace it fast, it’ll stop functioning! Besides, I’m pretty sure God created bananas to have a greater purpose than just finger food for monkeys. They’re in Walmart for a reason! I love how this article from Refinery29 puts today’s most searched diets in perspective, “The bottom line to keep in mind is that any structured eating plan or ‘healthy eating plan’ that puts excess stress on daily food choices or demonizes whole food groups is a diet, and can fall into the disordered eating realm. And more importantly, most diets don't work, meaning they don't lead to sustained weight loss. Instead, they tend to do more harm than good, and perpetuate the idea that in order to be healthy you also have to be thin.” You see, Keto can’t be sustained for the remainder of your life. I guarantee that when you wake up 45 years from now, you won’t still be doing Keto as a weight loss tactic. It’s not sustainable. And like that article said, by making out an entire food group (aka ALL CARBS) to be the bad guys, you are teaching yourself that food can be bad, even if it’s healthy food! That leads to eating disorders, and that’s definitely not healthy. My biggest thing with diets is that they are not sustainable. If you can’t sustain a certain way to eat for the rest of your life, it’s probably not worth it or all that healthy.
This is the top trending article on the Ketogenic Diet that advocates for it, but you should talk to a registered dietitian- not Google!
The bottom line, like I mentioned above, it’s about science and sustainability, not replacing bread with bacon.