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Keto Diet Results-Is it the right weight loss plan for you? Will you suffer from keto flu or keto constipation?
The Ketogenic Diet may not be Good for Everyone-
It just seems like people will try anything with a promise of fast weight loss. There are shakes, powders, miracle supplements, and even cookies to promote weight loss. And most of these products and plans are debunked over time.
Also, many times we find out that what we did to lose weight was downright unhealthy! Like the high carb movement for example.
So, whenever a diet becomes a fad, we should take a step back and really consider every angle.
We Want Fast Results
Of course, there is no denying that the ketogenic diet is quite popular among people who want to lose weight.
But, why do we gravitate towards fad diets in the first place? That could be another series of posts into the psychology of weight loss. What if we worried more about health than about our weight (which as you've heard is just a number on a scale).
When I was in my early 20's I decided to try a packaged foods weight loss plan. I got skinny fast on boxed, microwaved food. But I gained all those pounds back and more. So, that didn't work out quite the way I planned.
I also got the worst bladder infection I've ever experienced about two weeks in. At the time, I had no idea it could be related to the sudden and drastic change in my diet.
The Good News
So, will this keto movement end up on the list of historically crazy fads?
I don't think that it will. Studies have suggested that keto diet results are actually really good! It has been shown that there are many benefits associated with it.
Although this may not be another crazy fad, I also don't think being in ketosis is necessarily safe or smart for everyone.
So, the question then arises, "Is a keto diet actually good for everyone?" We’ll find that out. But first, let’s talk about what it is, just in case you've been living under a rock and haven't heard of the details of this program.
What is a Ketogenic Diet in a Nutshell?
It is a diet with extremely low-carbohydrate, high fat, and moderate amounts of protein. The diet forces the body into a state that is called “ketosis”.
When a body is in a state of ketosis due to a low-carb diet, ketones start to build-up in the bloodstream of that person.
Blood sugar levels start to drop due to low carbohydrate levels and as a result, the body starts to break down fat to acquire the much-needed energy.
According to experts, ketosis itself is not harmful but patients with low carbohydrate diets tend to regain their lost weight.
All in all, embarking on a ketogenic diet means that you will be burning body fats for energy instead of glucose.
Going in this general direction is good; it could be great even!
We do want stable blood sugars, we also want to burn fat as fuel.
So now is a good time for us to the list of benefits to this diet plan.
Benefits of a Keto Diet
- Helps in weight loss
- Recommended for people with obesity issues
- Suppresses appetite, but in a good way (it helps a person to eat food in moderation)
- Reduces insulin levels in the body and improves type 2 diabetes
- Controls blood pressure
- Enhances lipids, cholesterol, and glucose levels in the body
- Studies have shown it to be effective in the treatment of cancer
- Improves food intake and decreases the craving for irregular food consumption
- Enhances the energy levels in the body
- Helpful for people with bipolar disorder as it stabilizes the mood
- Effective in inflammation management
- Enhances endurance as fat is the primary fuel source and it is a slow burning source of fuel
- This extensive post from nutritionadvance.com lists 19 benefits of a low carb diet; including many we have here, but also a few more that may surprise you. I highly recommend you check it out to learn even more about this topic.
But Keto Diet Results may Not be Good for Everyone
One of the biggest concerns of critics is that keto diet results are only effective in the short-term. Another point to be made is that if not done right, it is not as healthy as advertised.
This ketosis diet can be good for some people, but it requires drastic changes in your eating habits.
You may experience keto flu symptoms, keto constipation or other more serious effects.
According to a clinical dietitian Lisa Cimperman, who is also a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, most of the initial weight lost as a result of a keto diet is water weight.
The body starts to lose muscle once it enters the ketosis state – this often results in fatigue and starvation.
What about Benefits for Cancer?
Some experts strongly recommend using keto diet only under clinical supervision. A public health consultant and a certified clinical nutritionist, Francine Blinten, R.D., believes that keto diets have shown promising results in some cancer cases, but the diet should only be considered in extreme cases.
She also believes that keto diet long term can cause more damage than good and is not healthy for the heart and muscles.
When people start a keto diet, it is quite common for them to experience keto flue which is basically flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and headaches. Given the fact that a person sheds a lot of water as a result of this diet, there are chances that it may also lead to dehydration.
You can read more about the keto flu and how to minimize symptoms right here.
Experts recommend drinking lots of water to counter the dehydration problem that is possibly associated with keto flu.
There are other potential risks of the plan as well, such as vitamin and minerals deficiencies, kidney stones, gastrointestinal distress, and a decline in bone mineral density.
Not Everyone Chooses Healthy Fats
But they need to! Critics have also indicated that although some fats are healthy for human consumption, not all of them are.
The keto diet’s main emphasis is on a high-fat diet,
This means that there can potentially be an intake of unhealthy saturated and Trans fats by those who may not understand the negative aspects of unhealthy fats.
Consumption of unhealthy fats can lead to heart diseases and bad cholesterol.
There is also an opinion that keto diet results can lead to binges since it is so restrictive.
A person may experience lots of sugar and food craving at the start of the ketogenic diet. They may not be able to control the body's cry for help in cutting the dizziness and drowsiness due to lack of energy.
The body knows that it needs sugar and carbs to alleviate this discomfort.
Measuring and Detecting Ketones Properly
In order for this plan to work as designed, monitoring ketones is important. Many people use ketone test strips to solve this problem.
It's not that easy to keep your body in a state of ketosis and so those trying to reach that point and maintain it, would have to be testing.
Some recommend testing ketone levels a couple times a day. This post from perfectketo.com explains in more detail about how to accurately test for ketosis. You can see how this could get cumbersome and expensive.
Which brings me to a more accurate indication of ketone levels. Blood testing is said to be a more accurate way to ensure you're in ketosis. However, it is also more expensive.
This could be due to dehydration and problems controlling electrolytes. Nonetheless, I am sure keto constipation is highly uncomfortable not to mention unhealthy. Those following the keto diet need to drink enough and be sure to eat enough vegetable fiber.
Athletes should also be very careful on a keto diet. Check out this post all about why athletic performance may not always be improved by ketosis.
Signs that Keto Diet May Not be Suitable For You
Here are some signs that can help in distinguishing when a keto diet is not good for you:
- You are pregnant (it is not always recommended by doctors to women who are expecting a child)
- If you have blood sugar complications
- People with a thyroid disorder
- Those with a history of any heart disease or kidney stones
- If you are nutrient deficient or underweight
- It is not recommended for people with enzyme defect
- You feel extreme fatigue when on this diet plan
The Bottom Line
There is no denying that a keto diet is beneficial, but one cannot neglect the fact that it also has some downsides. Instead of opting for the ketogenic diet on your own, it is best to consult a doctor because your doctor can tell you whether embarking on the diet is in your best interest or not.
There are side effects like the keto flu, keto constipation, and fatigue. Some professionals argue that long term ketosis can be damaging to muscles and organs so you must work with a doctor; especially since some studies have indicated that staying in ketosis for a long time is not healthy for the heart.
The Best Answer? Try This Way!
So, why not try a moderate keto option? Yep, there is such a thing. In fact, Dr. Phil Maffetone nailed it with his carb tolerance test and resulting eating plan. You simply eat as many carbs as you can tolerate!
How revolutionary, yet simple is that, right? This method gives you an individuality component to your eating plan. Plus, there's the added benefits that carb control has for reaching your best health.
You may also want to read our post by nutritionist Andea all about her take on diets in general.
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