By now, you’ve probably heard about one of the most popular weight loss programs, the ketogenic (keto) diet. This high-fat and protein, limited/no carb diet gets plenty of praise because people are encouraged to eat butter, bacon, as well as other meats and fish to their heart’s desire (mostly) as it tricks the body into metabolizing fat. As a result, people see the weight drop off quickly and feel motivated to continue. So, is this weight loss strategy for you? We’ve compiled a list of keto pros and cons to help you decide if you want to follow it for your weight loss program.
When you eat a high-fat and low-carb diet, your body goes into ketosis, where it doesn’t break down sugars and carbs stored in the body for fuel, it burns away the fat; many people lose approximately 5-10 pounds within the first week-or-so of jumping on the keto diet. All of the tasty high-fat foods are on the keto menu: burgers, chicken wings, avocado/guacamole, butter, and olive oil. You should also be packing your plate with veggies to round out the meal; avoid fruits as the sugars will just turn into carbs and defeat the purpose of cutting carbs.
Diabetics may find the keto diet a good option for keeping the blood sugar under control. Because carbs break down into sugar, cutting them out entirely makes regulating blood glucose levels much easier and avoids any further health issues as a result.
The biggest pro for the keto diet is the weight loss and the ease of it. All you have to do is track your macronutrients, otherwise known as macros, and make sure you hit the appropriate numbers for protein and fat intake while keeping carbs as low as possible (some foods have small amounts of carbs and or sugars, so the numbers will reflect that). Many people find that they drop weight quickly and relatively easy while following the keto diet.
Now for the cons: for some people, the keto diet may result in stomach troubles since you’ve cut out a major food group entirely. You’ll also likely not get enough fiber in your diet and may need to purchase fiber supplements to guarantee you get enough. You may also want to pick up a multivitamin since you won’t be getting those important nutrients from fruits.
One of the other drawbacks of the keto diet is that it can be easy to fall off the wagon after a bit of time. Many of the snacks we enjoy are carb and cracker based. While on the keto diet, there are no cookies, potato chips, oatmeal and cereal, and more. Plenty of people have a cheat day here and there, but it can be easy to go overboard and forget the diet entirely.
Lastly, a note about weight loss. You will see the weight drop off quickly, but it will be mostly water weight at first. Many people get frustrated after some time because they hit a plateau and get stuck there for a while. This can be disheartening and cause people to fall off the wagon.
If you’re curious about the keto diet, visit your doctor to make sure you are able to follow it and then come in and talk to one of our weight loss specialists to plan out a course for your weight loss journey. We’ll be here!