Keto Diet: Fantastic or Fadtastic?
Fad diets. They come and go. Here for a good time, not for a long time.
Atkins, Cabbage Soup, Paleo, Baby Food, Dukan. They all shone brightly in celebrity circles before making way for the next big craze. They often require extreme behaviours such as excessive calorie restriction, skipping whole foods for liquids and limiting yourself to just one food. In the quest for weight-loss, people will ignore the obvious flaws in diets, hoping beyond sensibility that this is the diet that will get that fat off and, most importantly, stay off.
But the reality is that when the extremity becomes too much people will fall back into their previous ways, eating all the foods that made them diet in the first place. The difference often being, now they have a damaged metabolic rate. Their body has become accustomed to lower caloric intake and, therefore, burns less calories than it did pre-diet. The result? All that weight you lost? It comes back. With interest.
So, with a host of celebrities now aboard the Keto bandwagon, are we looking at the latest fad diet? Or have we finally found the one diet to rule them all?
What is the Keto Diet?
Put simply(ish) the keto diet is a high-fat, moderate protein and ultra-low-carb diet. It prioritises fats to force your body into a state of ketosis (where your body uses ketones for fuel instead of fat). This is said to be an optimal state for burning body fat as it will draw from body fat supplies when it is in short supply of dietary fat.
How easy is the Keto Diet?
Again put simply(ish), not very. Getting into ketosis can be incredibly challenging due to the fact it requires an incredibly high-fat consumption as well as a fairly low protein and VERY low carb consumption. It can take a while to deplete your glycogen (stored carbs) reserves fully and then prevent your body from replenishing them. To truly live on the keto diet requires constant monitoring using either ketone urine strips (questionable accuracy) or blood ketone testing (expensive).
Does the Keto Diet work?
The million-pound question and, unsurprisingly, the answer isn’t straightforward. Some speculate that carbohydrates are essential to physical performance and that athletes should not consider a low-carb diet as it will adversely affect performance. There are studies which show efficacy for body recomposition and fat loss, but the research is still in its infancy.
Potential Keto Diet complications
Something to consider when you look to move onto a ketogenic diet is intolerance testing. When you introduce a lot of new foods to your diet, you’re potentially exposing yourself to symptoms of food intolerance that could significantly outweigh the positive impact of your keto diet. Intolerance testing will help you identify foods that could cause bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and many other symptoms. We have a range of intolerance testing to suit all budgets that you should look at before you start your keto diet.