Posted on September 02 2020
There is a new diet in the market every other day and while I am strongly against fad 'temporary' diet's, I continue to get questions about the same. So here goes my views...
According to surveys, people seem to be more proactive than they were before in matters of health. Individuals have become more aware and mindful of what they consume, i.e. the energy level of food. Dieting has become more normalised in our society.
With an increasing number of people wanting to lose or maintain their weight, people often resort to dieting. It has already become a multibillion-dollar industry in the United States. So, whether you’re looking for a diet to become healthier or help treat a particular condition, you must understand them in full detail.
Keto and the Phatt diet are two of the most common diet trends in 2020 among health enthusiasts. Read on to learn all about them.
What is a ketogenic diet?
Read this blog before you go further:
The ketogenic diet has become a health and wellness trend in recent years. It refers to a short-term low-carb, high fat (LCHF) diet that is effective for weight loss as well as epilepsy. Are you wondering how a high-fat diet helps in weight loss? Let’s learn all about it.
How it works:
When you consume a food item that is high in carbs, your body produces insulin and glucose. As glucose is the easiest molecule to convert and use as energy, your body chooses that as an energy source. Insulin, on the other hand, causes the excess glucose cells to be stored instead of entering the liver to be used as an energy source. However, when you are on a keto diet, you replace the carbohydrate intake with fat.
This induces your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Hence, your body starts burning fat instead of glucose (due to lack of carbs) which produces ketones. This, in turn, leads to temporary weight loss as it causes a significant reduction in your insulin and blood sugar levels. Please understand though, this is not biologically intended and you are going against your biology to use fat as a source of energy instead of carbs. There are irreversible side effects to this type of eating on a long term.
What to eat on a keto diet:
A ketogenic diet limits your carbs to 20-50 grams per day. This is not very easy, some bacis staples of a keto diet includes:
- Non-starchy vegetables such as spinach and Brussels sprouts
- Avocado and berries
- Coconut oil
- Nuts and seeds
- Meat and poultry
You must avoid most fruit, grains, beans, sugar, and tubers at all costs while following this diet.
What is a Phatt diet:
PHATT refers to Putting Health At The Top. This type of eating pattern was really born to sell nutrition and fitness supplements. A phatt diet replaces a lot of the food with supplements and vitamins to help you lose weight. It involves three chief steps which are as follows.
Step 1: Stabilising the blood sugar level
It is in the first three days that you will shift to a nutrition-rich diet. In most cases, after your second day, your blood sugar level would stabilise. On account of this, you would be able to overcome your food cravings and start using fat as an energy source.
Step 2: Losing fat
The second step involves losing the weight by healing your gut and improving digestion. It usually lasts for 27 days. Here, you must stick to eating one vegetable and one protein source. It is extremely restrictive and intends to improved metabolism and bowel function.
Here is also when a tonn of supplements and nutrients are suggested. In case you wish to lose more fat, you can extend this period to 37 days.
Step 3: Maintenance
This stage is crucial in your weight loss journey. This is where you learn how to maintain your current body weight. The gut is expected to have completely healed by now, so you can add a few nutritional items to your wellness routine. Exercising and drinking at least 3 litres of water every day is advisable.
Before you adopt any of the diets mentioned above, you must know its potential side effects.
Why Keto Diet Doesn't Work?
Your body is habitual to breaking down carbs and using them as energy. Hence, shifting to a keto diet may have adverse side effects. Let’s discuss some of them.
As the process of ketosis starts, many people experience the ‘keto flu’. It involves lethargy, nausea, irritability, and gastrointestinal distress. In some cases, this ‘fog’ may last for several days. These are all sign's by the body that you should stop this kind of a foolish eating pattern.
In a keto diet, whole foods such as grain and fruits are excluded. This leads to nutrient deficiencies and excess cravings in your body which may worsen if you follow the diet long term. You will also have hormonal imbalance and often time the weight lost is gained back.
The lack of fibre in the keto diet leads to constipation and deteriorating gut health . This can also be a result of intolerance to dairy products- the consumption of which you might have increased while following the keto diet.
Reduced physical performance
Your body takes time to adapt to using fat as an energy source. This leads to low strength and endurance. Hence, you might observe some limitations in your physical performance.
Why Phatt diet doesn't work:
The Phatt program promises more than it can deliver. Its unrealistic expectations would leave you feeling weak within a week. Stomach cramps, nausea, migraines, constipation, and heart palpitations are a few of the adverse side effects one might feel. It would be best to learn about the program thoroughly before adopting it.
The mentors seem to have no special medical training, and their main focus is only on selling the supplements. Diets should always prioritise the well-being of a person, and the Phatt diet doesn’t do justice to that. It can prove to be dangerous, especially for people with pre-existing conditions.
Why can’t you adopt these diets for the long term?
The Keto and Phatt diet requires dedication towards unscientific principles. One cannot adopt them for the long term as it promotes food habits that if continued for the long term, may lead to severe problems.
Strictly limiting carbohydrates is indeed very difficult. Research suggests that these highly restrictive diets are indeed unsustainable and lead to a plethora of side effects, as discussed above. People often struggle as they figure out what they can or cannot eat throughout their day.
Apart from that, nutritionists today are emphasising on the fact that no single diet is right for everybody. It would be best if you found something that suits your needs perfectly.
If your goal is losing a number on the scale, should this not come with 'gaining health'? As you lose weight, your cholesterol should go down, hormones should balance, metabolic diseases like PCOS should reverse and you should be filled with energy.
Anyways you will lose weight at the same pace, but the path you take towards weight loss with regard to your nutrition will also determine your physical and mental health. If you have to rely on multiple supplements through the day instead of food, it is probably not a good meal plan. Likewise, if you have to cut down an entire food group and look at carbs as an 'enemy', you are probably going to develop food aversions and negative associations with food.
So what is the best diet to lose weight? One that is wholesome and filled with nutrients to heal your body as you lose weight. A whole- food plant based diet has worked not only to prevent, but reverse multiple lifestyle diseases. Read some of my other blogs to understand more.