5 Things You Should Consider Before Going Keto For Weight Loss
The Ketogenic or “Keto” diet has gained popularity in the general public for visible weight loss results. However, most of the research for the Ketogenic diet actually exists as a non-pharmacological treatment for epileptic seizures and it’s use as a weight loss therapy hasn’t been as thoroughly investigated in the research world.
The Ketogenic diet was developed to mimic starvation in the body. During starvation, the body’s main fuel source, glucose, is missing. Instead, the body uses fat as a new energy source. Fat is converted into ketone bodies - through ketogenesis - which is a form of energy that the brain can use. This is thought to help promote fat breakdown leading to fast weight loss. Once glucose is re-introduced into the diet, this becomes the preferred energy source and ketogenesis stops. Therefore, following the correct macronutrient content to maintain this “ketogenic state” is very important to success in this diet.
Normally, carbohydrates should account for about 40% of our diet and acts as our main fuel source. In the Ketogenic diet, carbohydrates account for only 0-5% of our daily intake. The rest of our calories come from mostly fat (about 75%-80%) and a small percentage from protein (about 20%). That makes the Ketogenic diet ultra low carb, in comparison to the “low carb” diet. Below is a chart comparing the macro nutrient percentages of a low carb diet and Ketogenic diet.
Diet Protien Carb Fat
Low Carb ~40% ~10% ~50%
Keto ~20% ~0%-5% ~75%-80%
If you are thinking about trying the Ketogenic diet, here are 5 things you should consider before going “keto”:
1. Going “keto” doesn’t mean eggs and bacon everyday.
Yes, the diet requires you to eat almost 80% fat but there are healthier fat options out there such as coconut oil, MCT oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, ghee, flax seed, and chia among others. Do a quick google search on Keto friendly healthy fats for creative culinary inspiration.
2. Achoo – You got a case of the Keto Flu.
After a few days of being on the Keto diet, you might feel like you literally have the flu. The symptoms of brain fog, fatigue, dizziness and insomnia can last for a few weeks until your body fully adapts to the new diet.
3. Constipation station.
It is difficult to get enough fibre through the Ketogenic diet, due to the carbohydrate restrictions. Thus, if you already suffer from constipation, your symptoms may get worse.
4. Don’t forget your vitamins.
Due to the restrictive nature of the diet, it may also cause inadequate intake of vitamins such as Vit B, C, and D as well as inadequate mineral intake such as calcium, magnesium and iron.
5. Consult your health care provider before beginning the diet.
I can’t stress this enough. Before beginning the diet, you should be screened for risk factors such as kidney disease and monitored throughout as this diet is an aggressive approach.
Although, you may see fast results with the Ketogenic diet and it may help with insulin regulation, this diet is not for everyone. I do find it extreme and for that reason not a sustainable form of weight loss. As soon as carbohydrates are re-introduced when returning to a regular diet, you will likely gain a few pounds back of purely water weight. I am more interested in helping you find ways to loose weight and key point – KEEP IT OFF. Please do your research and consult a doctor before starting any new diet.