The Ketogenic or Keto Diet
The keto diet plan has been seeing increased popularity lately with many people reporting rapid weight loss. Any time the prospect of quick results with minimal effort presents itself it gathers a following. The questions are whether or not it actually works and if it promotes good health.
The ketogenic diet is a strict low or no carbohydrate eating plan. The idea is to force the body into a state of ketosis. In ketosis the body burns fat reserves for energy. On the surface this sounds like a fantastic idea. Burning excess fat for fuel and dining on bacon, butter, and steak is an attractive proposition. A lot of people are reporting dramatic weight loss, so if it’s popular it must be good, right?
Not surprisingly, there are some huge concerns with this whole concept. Ketosis is actually a mild form of ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis mostly affects people with type 1 diabetes and it is the leading cause of death for people with diabetes who are under 24 years of age. This isn’t to say that an otherwise healthy person is endangered by mild ketoacidosis, but it isn’t without risk.
The selling point of burning fat for fuel in ketosis glosses over the fact that the body isn’t so selective in which reserves it starts to burn for energy. It also burns muscle, which can include heart muscle. Before you even get to the point of actually utilizing body reserves for energy there is another primary reason for rapid weight loss. One of the first things that happens in the keto diet is mild dehydration. The scales drop almost entirely from the loss of water weight. All of that will come right back when the cycle of extreme dieting ends.
Beyond all of the debate and studies over the efficacy and hazards of this fad diet is the overarching principle being violated. There is absolutely nothing about the keto diet that provides the human body with the complete nutrition that it requires for optimum health. Even in short term dieting your body needs healthy fuel. In fact, one of the biggest reasons that diets fail is because of the cravings caused by a nutrient-depleted body.
Losing weight is hard. It takes time, discipline, and effort. Trying to take shortcuts can adversely affect your health and quality of life. An unhealthy body is not an attractive one. If we focus on our health first, getting to an ideal weight will ultimately follow. The good news is that the healthy approach avoids all the nonsense and painful techniques of the fad diets.
Helping people get healthy and overcome the challenges of weight loss are my passion. I used to help sell pills and medications, now I help people to not need those things. There is a better way. You don’t have to take health risks to look and feel great. If you need some help, please contact me.
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