No doubt you have heard of the new “It” diet, the ketogenic (keto) diet.
Celebrities rave about it, and it all sounds pretty great, especially when you hear you can lose so much weight in such a short time (emphasis on the short time).
When it sounds too good to be true, well, it’s worth a second or maybe third look before diving right in. That’s why we’re here to discuss how the keto diet can actually be a bad thing for your health and weight loss journey.
Facts First: How Does the Keto Diet Work?
Normally we get our energy through carbs (sugar) and we store fat. With the keto diet, you substitute the carbs for a higher fat intake, and this eventually forces our body to burn fat for energy instead of carbs. When you reach this acidic level in your blood, you are in “ketosis.” and burning fat for your energy.
There are varied amounts of maximum allowed carbs per day depending on each source you read. Some say 20 grams or less per day, others less than 30 or 50 grams. This inconsistency is one of several little red flags that may make you want to stop and think about whether or not this diet is right for you.
In this state of ketosis you can lose a lot of weight in a short time, hence the popularity of the diet. Now let’s look at its problems.
You Must Do Everything Perfectly
Unless you are hyper-focused about each and every morsel you put into your mouth, this diet will be difficult if not impossible to maintain. Even adding a few more calories or too many carbs on any given day can throw you out of ketosis. Eat a berry or a few nuts too many, or even extra veggies (containing carbs) and it can knock you out of ketosis. When that occurs, you begin to use carbs again for energy, and you are not losing weight. That definitely will put a crimp in your weight loss journey.
Sorry, but the first few days of the keto diet will include diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, and generally feeling terrible. It is sometimes known as the “Keto Flu.” The transition from using fat instead of sugar for fuel causes a pretty significant disruption in your digestive tract. It only lasts a few days, but be aware and prepared.
Can Work Well in the Short Term, BUT…
The best diets should be good for a long term healthy lifestyle. They should include exercise and a balance of nutrients like the traditional Mediterranean diet.
You Can Easily Regain the Lost Weight
Not many people can stay on this diet for extended periods of time, and in fact, it is not recommended for more than 90 days. When you come off or “down” from it, the weight goes right back on. We all understand yo-yo dieting and how unhealthy that can be. Back and forth fluctuations in weight can lead to eating disorders, heart problems, and with the keto diet you can gain more than you lost.
In addition, when you lose weight quickly, you lose lean muscle mass. When someone regains the weight, the muscle returns more slowly than the weight gain.
If you are going to try out the keto diet, and have Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, it should be under the close supervision of a doctor. Ketoacidosis occurs when too many ketones occur in the blood, making it acidic and possibly damaging to the kidneys, the liver, and the brain. If left untreated it can cause dehydration, coma, and life threatening health issues.
It is possible to have ketoacidosis if you are not diabetic, but it is rare. If you experience dry mouth, nausea, frequent urination, breathing difficulties, and bad breath while on the keto diet, consult with Agave Surgical Specialists as soon as possible.
Fad diets rarely provide the results that many of our patients are looking for. Contact Agave Surgical Specialists today to explore other, healthier options to help you lose the weight and keep it off. Call our office in Chandler at (602) 582-5233 or our office in Mesa at (480) 887-4895 to schedule your appointment. You can also request an appointment online today.