Let’s talk about the keto diet. It’s a popular approach to dieting right now, but is it the best manner in which to lose weight? Here are some fast facts related to it, that may help you decide if it’s right for you.
First and foremost, the ketogenic approach is like most diets in that it too, is quite restrictive. That is the literal definition of going on a diet – to restrict oneself from certain foods, caloric content, or number of calories for medical or weight loss purposes.
Believe it or not, the keto diet is not new. It’s actually been around for more than a century, and some doctors have even used it to successfully treat epilepsy. But, it’s important to note that it’s a very strict low-carb diet. The way it works is by changing your body’s fuel source.
Not only is it low-carb, it’s a moderate protein diet. While on the keto diet, you can’t consume too much protein because once you reach a certain limit, your body will convert the excess into carbohydrates (a process called Gluconeogenesis), which is the very thing the ketogenic approach is trying to avoid in the first place - having too many carbs in your system.
While on the keto diet, the goal is to get into a ketogenic state, also called ketosis - this is the prime time for burning fat in the body. In reality, some people can consume a lot of carbs and still remain in a ketogenic state, but then again, some people can essentially eat no carbs and still struggle with maintaining ketosis. One answer to that for some people is to prolong the diet, or to take keto supplements - both of which can result in feeling ill, or other negative effects.
The keto diet is also high in fat. It almost seems counter-intuitive that to burn fat, you will be consuming high fat foods, but again, it goes back to the idea of changing your body’s fuel source. Instead of burning carbs for energy, you’re burning fat. For many people, this gives them an endless supply of energy because fat is a very slow burning fuel.
Perhaps the most important element of the keto diet is that it’s all or nothing. The goal is to get your body into a state of ketosis, and then burn as much fat as possible in an effort to reach your weight loss goals. That is why you can’t have cheat days, or go off it whenever you feel like it. In doing so, you will likely knock your body out of ketosis and no longer be burning fat. You have to be all in. And, with that comes a lot of prep work before you officially begin the diet. You don’t decide one morning to be on the keto diet, and just begin at lunch. That is asking for trouble, and what causes many people to fail.
If you want to try the keto diet, you need to prepare your home and your life to avoid temptations and distractions. This means getting rid of the carbs in your home, purchasing the right foods to eat, and then committing whole-heartedly to the diet. So, if you want to try it, you need to get prepared, and then do all you can to avoid falling off the proverbial wagon to increase your chances of success.
Keep in mind, weight loss may not be instant. Again, some people take a while to get into a state of ketosis. Every person’s body and chemical makeup is different. As a result of this, some people’s bodies are not equipped to handle the keto diet, and they need an alternative approach for weight loss. It’s why it’s so critical that if you are considering a weight loss diet of workout regimen you discuss it with your doctor first.
Bottom line - Is the keto diet good for weight loss? That’s a complicated question without a strict yes or no answer. Yes, it can be used to lose weight, but it’s a difficult diet for some people to stick to. And, I want to reiterate that it doesn’t work for everyone. Still, it may be the answer to your weight loss goals, and hopefully this post at least gave you more to think about before you just decide to dive in.