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Keto Pros and Cons

February 21, 2019

Although many diets consist of limiting daily carbohydrate consumption, the keto diet does it in a much different way. While the keto diet can be used for drastic weight loss, it has even been reported that it can help those maintain more energy, and in some cases, help type 2 diabetes management. The diet consists of limiting daily carb intake to less than 50 grams, which can be initially drastic for those with poor eating habits to transition into. Considering that you will only be limited to 50 measly grams of carbs, you must now replace your meals with high fat and protein packed options.  

After eating on the diet for anywhere from three to seven days, a state known as ‘ketosis’ should begin to take place within your body, which is where the fat-burning and weight loss should begin at a rapid pace. Ketosis can be defined as a metabolic state characterized by raised levels of ketone bodies in the body tissues, which is typically pathological in conditions such as diabetes, or may be the consequence of a diet that is very low in carbohydrates. While it may be challenging enough to focus on restricting your food options, it is also very encouraged to create your own daily caloric deficit as well as tracking the molecules that our bodies use to create energy, also known macronutrients (macros). These macros are measured in grams and can be calculated by looking at the nutrition labels on food packages and adding together a total of listed proteins, carbs and fats within that particular food.  

Even though the keto diet can be known for being simplistic, it can be pretty overwhelming for those following the Whole30 diet (strict 30-day keto challenge) coming from previously having horrible eating habits. For example, keeping track of macros can be a pain on its own, and, most of the time, people choose to meal prep and make their meals at home, which can be annoying and nearly impossible to accurately guess.  

On another note, ketosis is often glamorized as this wonderful state of weight loss and bliss, but there are many people who have experienced what is called the ‘keto flu.’ While symptoms of this condition can include nausea, sugar cravings and overall feeling very poor, there is also a large number of people who have had to be hospitalized for their critical state. The problem stems from people not realizing that they are experiencing the keto flu quick enough. For many people, the keto flu will begin at the three to five-day mark, which is coincidentally when ketosis is supposed to be in full effect. While many may feel as though they are experiencing the fat burning sensation, they are really just experiencing the keto flu, in turn worsening their health since continuing on the diet. However, when you think of it, it is common to experience normal things such as intense sugar cravings and laziness after starting a pretty restrictive diet, so people logically do not suspect that it is the keto flu.  

While those who just want to test out the keto diet may just try the Whole30 diet, it can be very beneficial for those who choose to make this a lifestyle. Not only is keto widely popular by the thousands of success stories, but it is also scientifically proven that the ketosis state occurs by metabolizing fat. Many in the health profession have deemed the diet safe, while many ‘fad diets’ cannot be scientifically proven to be beneficial or not. Also, when you successfully enter the state of ketosis, you will experience a loss of appetite, loss of water weight (as much as five to ten pounds) and increased energy.  

Overall, the lifestyle can be very rewarding for those whose bodies can handle the drastically different change in their eating habits. However, those who are on the diet have to make sure that they continuously nourish their body with enough calories because without proper nourishment, no diet will properly work and help you to maintain your weight loss.  

Although tracking macros can be very beneficial and an accurate way to make sure that you are staying on track, I think that even without it you can still see a difference in your life, from weight loss to increased energy. It can be hard for people on the go and those who choose to meal prep to accurately count their macros. Overall, ketosis can be a great way to lose weight, both temporarily or as a lifestyle.  

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