Posted on November 21 2020
Touted by the world’s most popular celebs like the Kardashians, the Keto diet is all the rage now. A diet introduced to help with childhood epilepsy somehow found it's way into the multi billion dollar fat loss industry. A keto diet is a high- fat eating style, defying science in every angle possible. Eat fat to lose fat- whaaaaaaat?
Before you decide on going on a diet, ask yourself a simple question. Is the ketogenic diet for you? Read on to know the seven reasons why it is not!
1) Go for it if you are okay with having the Keto Flu.
As discussed in the intro, the ketogenic diet is low on carbohydrates and high on fats. Many experts have already warned that it is non-sustainable and extremely restrictive. It can cause serious conditions like ketoacidosis, high cholesterol, and other nutritional deficiencies. But did I tell you that these are the long term-problems that set in much later. The immediate effect of a Keto diet is the 'keto flu'.
What is Keto Flu? It is a combination of physical and emotional symptoms like irritability, brain fog, unusual fatigue, confusion, cramping, and nausea. These are screaming signs of your body begging you to give it nutrients. Humans are not biologically designed to switch from carbs to fat as its main fuel source. This is not 'bio- hacking' but sheer stupidity with long term consequences. Many Keto diet proponents say that these symptoms that look like the flu are temporary. And that several remedies can eliminate or reduce them altogether. But why would you want to subject yourself to a diet as crazy as this one? Watch this video by Dr. Joel Kahn (top cardiologist based in the states) for some clarification of the effects of Keto diet:
2) Swear by the diet if you want to reduce your athletic performance.
Radom fitness experts on the internet will tell you that a Keto diet improves performance, but this is far from the truth. A study published online stated that participants on a keto diet delivered a terrible performance when they ran or did high-intensity cycling. But, those were on a high-carb diet performed comparatively better. This topic is also vastly covered in the documentary The Game Changer which I insist you watch. This diet may help you lose a few initial little pounds, but when it comes to athletic performance, you need carbs. Your muscles are fuelled by carbs and athletes do not look to mere surviving but rather thriving.
Besides carbs, proteins are vital for good muscle health. A keto diet is also extremely low in proteins and whatever little proteins you are getting, is from dairy sources which comes in with cholesterol, saturated fats and cancer promoting IgF- 1. Read the below blog to understand why dairy based protein is poisonous to the body:
3) Opt for it if you have no qualms about regaining the weight.
This diet is restrictive and lacks a suitable plan that people can follow for the long-term. It is a fad diet, to say the least, and the problem with the diet lies in the fact that it causes weight fluctuations back-and-forth. If you have issues with binge eating or portion control, then you will only form negative associations with food on this diet. You need to get in touch with a professional counsellor and lifestyle coach to fix the issues.
With the keto diet, whenever you switch back to the carbs, you regain the weight you lost because of no fault of your own. A keto diet lacks in fibre, leading to symptoms of constipation and insulin resistance. But due to the lack in fibre and excess ketones (toxic by product of a keto diet) in the body, the liver and kidneys try and flush out these toxics through urine. Frequent bathroom trips will show a marginal difference in the scale that people confuse for weight loss. The truth in fact is that you did not lose weight in the first place. When you start consuming carbs like a normal person, the body will hold onto water again, giving you an illusion that you gained weight. This creates a negative association with food in general. If you are okay with the weight regain and forming a lifelong negative association with food, then Keto is definitely for you. Here is another cardiologist talking about the keto diet:
4) If you don’t mind having hepatic steatosis, opt for Keto.
You know that the keto diet emphasises restricting carbohydrates and ingesting lots of fats. Yes, this diet is an attractive one because you can gorge on cheese, red meat, and Ghee without guilt. But, metabolising the huge amount of fat can make existing conditions of your liver worse. As per research done on the mice, it was proven that NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver) could be a reality for keto dieters. But wait, in moderate quantities, isn't Ghee good for you? Well I have another video for you here:
5) The long-term effects of this fancy diet include kidney stones.
When we talk about a 'diet', you want to weigh the pro's and con's to ensure the pro's are more than the con's. Chemotherapy is great for losing weight. I am serious! But chemo treatments which is the last resort even for cancer patients will leave your immune system compromised and weakened. This leaves you susceptible to diseases and weak. Can you lose weight though? Sure! but at the cost of your long term health. A keto diet is no less.
This diet causes high pH in your urine, encourages crystal formation and kidney stones in years to come. The result of a keto diet is acidosis that causes your bones to demineralise and stones to form in your urinary track. Think about it, are painful kidney stones and partially working kidneys really a good price to pay for fat loss? Especially when you have better options where not only do you lose weight, but gain health. Think of thriving and not barely surviving.
6) Greenlight the keto diet if you don’t mind having diabetes or heart diseases.
Let's first discuss the cause for diabetes and the role of carbs in diabetes reversal. Read the blog I wrote below for details:
A high-fat diet will raise your cholesterol levels and put you at risk of developing diabetes later. Clogged arteries and not only a welcome sign for insulin resistance, but also the leading cause fo heart diseases. No wonder it is called the "cardiologist's nightmare." According to a Lancet study, people that followed a high-animal protein and low-carbohydrate had a higher early death risk. Those who continue to consume carbohydrates in moderation have the lowest risk of dying from cardiovascular conditions and cancer.
But which is the best diet then?
But if not Keto, what is the alternative for 'fast weight loss'? In all honesty, you could fast and be better off. But no fad diet is sustainable and will give you rapid fat loss. Aim for no more than 2-3 kilo's of fat loss every month (that adds upto an estimate of 30 kilo's in a year!). This is sustainable and will come at the cost of health gained.
The easiest diet to follow without any caloric restriction is a WFPB diet. The reason you do not have to count calories on a whole food plant- based diet is because it is naturally high in fibre and starch. Fibre fills you up and boosts insulin sensitivity. It teaches your body to use up glucose and store calories only as temporary glycogen instead of long term triglycerides. For every 18 grams of fibre you increase per day, you naturally will eat 200 calories less (without portion control).
Besides this a whole food diet is loaded with starch and unlike fat and carbs, starch is very low in calories. Fat is 9 calories per gram and starch is 1 calories per gram! So you could eat 9 times more starch than fat and still calorically eat the same amount! This makes it very hard to overeat food on a whole- food plant- based diet, leading to fat loss.
So where do I get started? Checkout my customised fitness and nutrition plan.