So... here's a shocking fact:
I have actually spoken with many clients who have been on the keto diet AND successfully lost weight AND report feeling great, energerized, and sometimes even report that cravings go away. 😮
So what's the issue?
When I ask them what happened - why they're no longer on the keto diet - things like this will come up:
"I went on vacation, fell off, and couldn't get back on" 🌴
"It was hard to keep up with family visiting, the holidays, and all of the social events" 🎉
Or "I wanted to try it knowing it was only a temporary diet to lose weight quick"
At the end of the day, it all came down to one main factor:
They couldn't sustain it.
And no kidding. Carbs are all around us. It’s literally 1 of the 3 macronutrients.
And life happens, whether it’s vacation, social events, family gatherings, etc.
That’s the #1 main reason why I don’t recommend the keto diet.
That, plus the fact that carbs just taste really darn good. 🍌🥔🍞🥞🍝🍕🍣🍚🍪🍩
If you can’t imagine life without carbs for the rest of your life (i.e. long term) - then why try eliminating it for just a few weeks or months?
When you’ll gain the weight back after going off the diet, which is exactly what happened to those clients.
Other reasons I don't recommend the keto diet:
May lead to inadequate intake of certain nutrients found in fruits, veggies, whole grains, and dairy.
May lead to constipation from low carb and fibre intake.
May raise "bad" cholesterol levels from high saturated fat intake.
May hinder athletic performance.
That being said, however, it’s on a case by case basis.
While I find the keto diet (<50g carbs/day) isn’t sustainable for most people, some clients have found that a lower carb diet works well for them (note: NOT as extreme as the keto diet).
And that’s fine if:
You genuinely prefer a higher fat diet over a higher carb diet.
You feel good on it.
You can get all the nutrients you need (such as through supplementation).
You can sustain it.
But why does the keto diet work so well for weight loss?
At the end of the day, weight loss comes down to eating less calories than your body needs (being in a calorie deficit).
By cutting out entire food groups in the keto diet - most veggies, fruits, whole grains, and dairy - most people tend to eat less calories a result of this restriction.
Additionally, carbs are hydrophilic 💧- they attract and are stored with water in the body. Every gram of carb is stored with 3-4 grams of water. So in the keto diet, you lose water weight from severely restricting carb intake. Note, however, that loss of water weight does not necessarily mean fat loss, though people often lose a combination of water weight (from carb restriction) and fat (from being in a calorie deficit).
That's why many people drop a few pounds shortly after starting the keto diet. However, most of that would be water weight, since 1 lb of fat is approximately 3,500 calories. So if you lose 2 lbs overnight, that wouldn't be all fat mass, unless you were in a 7,000 calorie deficit overnight.
Before you hop on the keto diet, assess whether it's sustainable for you by asking yourself this one question:
Would I be ok not having carbs for the rest of my life?
If the answer is no, then it's likely a no go.
What are your thoughts? Have you tried the keto diet before? Comment down below or message me and I'll get back to you! 👇