The ketogenic diet, commonly known as the “keto diet”, is a low-carb, high-fat eating plan that has gained popularity in recent years.
It’s been proven to provide several health benefits, including weight loss. As a result, many people use this method of eating to achieve their weight loss goals.
While evidence suggests that the diet can help people lose weight, long-term studies to back up this claim are missing.
Calories, on the other hand, are still important. Even if you eat too much protein and fat and consume more calories than your body burns, you will not lose weight.
Water weight loss contributes to the rapid weight loss people experience with the keto diet results at first. Your body stores carbs with water, so when you use up your carb storage, you lose water weight. Since most people don’t burn enough calories to shed more than two pounds of fat per week, keto diet results that are higher than that are most likely due to water weight loss.
Weight regain is quite prevalent on the keto diet, as most people are unable to maintain this diet for long periods, and if carbs are reintroduced, weight gain and decreased keto diet results are common.
Does the Keto Diet work?
Carbohydrate intake is restricted to fewer than 5–10% of total daily calories while following the typical keto diet.
This permits your body to enter ketosis, a state in which the body uses fat as its primary fuel source rather than carbohydrates, and ketones are created in the liver.
Increase fat intake to roughly 70–90% of calories, or 155–200 grams for a 2,000-calorie diet, to compensate for the lower carb intake.
Protein consumption is moderate, averaging around 20% of calories, or 100 grams for a 2,000-calorie diet.
Although long-term research is lacking, there are several proposed weight loss mechanisms related to the ketogenic diet. However, it results in fast weight loss as compared to other diets. Once you stop the keto diet, there are high chances that you will regain all the weight you lost.
Is the Keto Diet Safe?
While eating a diet rich in protein/healthy fats and low in carbohydrates is typically safe, there are some health risks associated with the keto diet, including:
- Low blood sugar levels, particularly among diabetics who are on medication:
If you have diabetes and are committed to following this diet, it is strongly advised that you speak with your doctor about how and if you should change your medications throughout the diet, as low blood sugar levels can be fatal.
- Increased cholesterol levels, which can raise the risk of heart disease:
A diet high in saturated fats and high-fat meats can raise cholesterol levels, raising the risk of heart disease.
- Risk of nutrient deficiency:
Multiple food groups are eliminated or severely restricted, putting a person in danger of nutrient deficit (fruits, whole grains, dairy, and limiting vegetables). The longer the diet is followed, the higher the danger. Yes, you could take a multivitamin, but most vitamins are better absorbed when eaten rather than taken as a tablet, and they don’t provide the same antioxidant effect as whole meals.
- Kidney illness patients are at risk:
People with kidney illness should avoid this diet because the increased protein that commonly comes with it can accelerate the progress of the disease.
You may suffer some side effects as your body adjusts to a new fuel source when you initially start the keto diet. The first couple of weeks may be packed with promising keto diet results, but the adjustment period may leave you with symptoms of “the keto flu,” as it is known.
The “keto flu” is a nickname for feelings of exhaustion, lethargy, minor headaches, hazy, slow thinking, lightheadedness, and hunger that you could experience after starting a keto diet.
Final Words – Is the Keto Diet Sustainable?
In general, the keto diet can help you lose weight in the short term, but it’s not a long-term solution to your weight issues. It is not sustainable. When you stop following the keto diet, you will most likely regain the weight you lost. That’s why, rather than short-term diet fads like the keto diet, we always encourage long-term, healthy, and sustainable diet choices. After all, studies show that eating a nutritious, low-calorie diet that includes carbohydrates can result in similar and long-term weight loss.