The Truth Behind The Ketogenic Diet

truth behind ketogenic diet

Keto is not the weight loss plan you’re looking for.

The truth behind the ketogenic diet is that it is a high fat, very low carb eating plan that was created as a last resort to treat neurological diseases, like epilepsy, when medication was no longer effective and it was to be followed under strict medical supervision.  While a healthy adult  would lose weight on this diet, as it is low-calorie and excessively restrictive, there is no evidence to show that is is a healthy option for long-term, sustainable weight loss.

How it works:  This diet has you eating 5-10% of your daily calories from carbohydrates, 20% from protein, and 70-75% from fats.  Our bodies primarily use carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, grains) for energy, by restricting them, you force  your body to find another source of fuel to keep your organs running.   Our bodies then turn to glycogen for energy, which is glucose that is stored in our muscles.  Eventually this process of breaking down glycogen for energy puts the body in an unnatural state known as ketosis, where the diet gets it’s name from.

Why it doesn’t work:  Like all restrictive diets, the ketogenic diet is unsustainable and unenjoyable.  Following this plan will have you losing weight initially, from restricting food groups and drastically cutting calories.  However, most of it will be water weight from the process of glycogen break down, and not actually weight loss that stays off over time.  You are basically just setting yourself up to feel discouraged and shameful when you inevitably fall off this wagon (a wagon you were never meant to be on in the first place!)

Additionally, the research has yet show exactly how this high saturated-fat diet will effect your heart health, like potentially increasing your LDL (or bad) cholesterol.  But, by cutting back on your carb intake, you are drastically reducing your fiber intake, which research has shown will lead to constipation, bloat, irritability, and can increase your risk of gastrointestinal disorders and cancers.

What you should do instead:  If you are looking to lose weight, choose nutrient dense carbs like vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.  Cut back on the refined carbohydrates (like white bread, white rice, cereals), juice, and baked-goods.  Round out the rest of your meals with lean protein (eggs, tofu, dairy, chicken, fish, and seafood) and heart healthy fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, nut butters).

Ditch the dieting for good and let us create your own personalized nutrition plan that fits into your lifestyle without any restrictions or calorie counting.  Email us at brigitte@bznutritionny.com or reach out to us here.

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