FAD DIET RANT No. 134
What is a Keto Diet?
A diet known as a Keto diet is essentially the elimination of Carbohydrates from your dietary intake, thus living off Protein and Fat sources only. Providing that you don't replace your calories you were consuming from Carbs with more calories from Fats and Protein, this type of diet generally creates a CALORIE DEFICIT and therefore results in FAT LOSS.
When our Carb intake is at 0g per day, and all of our stored Glycogen (carbs) in our muscle and Liver have been completely depleted, our bodies then turn to the breakdown of FAT and MUSCLE to be burnt and used as an energy source.
Our Central Nervous System (CNS), which is made up of our Brain, Spinal Cord, Nerves etc etc, prefers blood Glucose (blood sugar) as it's primary energy source. Adequate levels of Glucose in the blood will therefore result in high concentration, better mental alertness, quicker reaction times and all of the other effects that good brain energy has on the human body. So, as you can imagine, when our Carb intake is at 0g per day, our blood Glucose levels are non existent. The CNS must then find a secondary energy source to fuel it's daily tasks, and this energy source is KETONES. When body fat is burnt and used as energy it creates a by-product called Ketones, and with the absence of blood sugar available for the CNS to use as fuel, it then turns to these Ketones as an alternative fuel source. This is where the name KETO DIET comes from. This is perfectly healthy and normal, it's just not as good of a fuel source as blood sugar. So, if you are following this dieting approach, expect to feel drowsy, tired and a little bit 'out of it'.
Based on what you've just read, does the Keto diet work because:
A: Carbs are evil and the ultimate cause of fat gain, so eliminating them causes fat loss?
B: It results in a calorie deficit?
C: Voodoo magic?
The answer is of course, B, it results in a calorie deficit! Do not let people tell you that "Keto is the best diet for you" for any other reason than that...
PROS AND CONS OF THE KETO DIET:
1. If you are competing in a high level sport that requires you to hit a weight class, dropping carbs can result in A LOT of water loss, thus making you lighter for that crucial weigh in.
2. If you're Type 2 Diabetic the reduction of Carbs and therefore blood sugar is crucial.
3. When carbs are not replaced with other food sources, they result in a calorie deficit 9 times out of 10.
1. A lack of Carbs may result in drowsiness, sleepiness, and lack of concentration.
2. A lack of Carbs may seriously effect performance in your training/the gym such as strength decreases, lack of pump, low energy levels etc.
3. Carbohydrates are MUSCLE SPARING, no carbs means a much higher risk of muscle loss.
4. Carbs are filling, 200 calories worth of brown rice is like a mountain compared to 200 calories worth of Avocado. Why would you want to be hungry?
5. Carbs are nice, I like bread, don't you?
6. You can easily create a calorie deficit whilst consuming carbohydrates, which will still result in your fat loss goals, just a less miserable way of doing so!
WHO IS THIS DIET GOOD FOR?
As previously mentioned, if you are an athlete looking to drop water weight for a competition, go ahead!
If you're suffering with type 2 diabetes, I would highly recommend this approach.
If you absolutely HATE Carbohydrates, or the consumption of Carbs causes an internal combustion and imminent death, then this dieting approach is ideal for you.
If you're not one of the above, I'd probably steer clear, as there are much better ways of losing fat!
Remember, the most important variable to losing fat is being in a calorie deficit. If you have an option of consuming 2000 calories per day with 200g carbs included, or a second option of consuming 2000 calories a day with 0g of carbs, I can tell you the fat loss results will be virtually the same!!!!
So, which one are you going to choose??....