Keto: A Healthy Diet or Dangerous Game?

It seems like something always has to be the villain in diet culture. “Oh, fat is making you fat!” “Carbs are like glue, they just stick to your intestines and make you gain weight!” “Don’t eat fruit, it’s full of sugar!” “The only way to lose weight is to stand on your head every time you eat!” (I might have made that last one up, but am I really that far off?) Lately, the biggest trend in diet culture is Keto. Reach ketosis and you will lose 50 pounds overnight, your skin will be glowing, and you’ll gain psychic abilities. But what is ketosis? And is is really possible or healthy to stay in that state for the sake of weight loss? Let’s dive in.

What is Keto?

Keto is a diet that focuses on getting most calories from fat, a moderate intake of protein, and majorly restricted carbs (10-20 grams/day). The goal here is to reach ketosis; when your body runs out of carbs to use for energy, it resorts to burning fat through the creation of ketone bodies.

Does It Work?

Well, that depends on what you mean by “work” and depends on who you are. Will you lose weight following a Keto diet? Probably. It is very easy to overeat on carbs so cutting way back on those will typically lead to eating less calories in general. Better than that, though, Keto has been shown to help with an array of health issues like epilepsy, type II diabetes, PCOS, and more. I’m not a doctor, so definitely talk to one if you are interested in learning more about using Keto to help treat any health issues, but it seems to have some promising implications if that is what you are after.

The Cons

Like any diet that strongly restricts a food group, Keto is tough to stick to. Unless you plan to eat that way forever (and I don’t know many people who do), you will probably balloon back up in weight as soon as you let carbs back into your diet. Beyond that, many people have reported feeling lightheaded, fatigued, having constipation or diarrhea, muscle cramps, etc. Any time you cut out or way down on a major macro-nutrient, your body will rebel against that and you may not like the way you feel on a Keto diet.

Conclusion

Just like Atkins, Paleo, or any other major diet out there, Keto has its pros and cons. While it has its benefits for many, every person has individual needs when it comes to nutrition and there will never be a one size fits all meal plan out there. That is why it is so important to listen to your body and create a lifestyle of health, balanced eating–that is the best way to see long term results without losing your sanity. Do you have any questions about Keto beyond what I covered here? Or questions about healthy eating in general? Leave a comment below and let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

 

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