Pros and Cons of Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet is gaining popularity as a quick weight loss diet. As a result of media coverage, sportspersons, and celebrities posting on their social media platforms about the keto diet, it got hype so quickly. But you should not believe all that and must know about pros and cons of keto diet before you start he diet. Assisting with many diseases treatment, the ketogenic diet also promises to lose weight in a short period.
Though the keto diet is gaining popularity, there are questions on studies that support the ketogenic diet as an effective solution to lose weight, maintain a lean body & overall health. Also, some nutrition experts have raised questions that a meal plan of this manner is not sustainable. And may have adverse effects on heart health.
Before following a ketogenic diet you must try to know all the pros and cons of the keto diet. There are various self proclaimed fitness vloggers and bloggers who try to get money out of your pocket. Without knowing the pros and cons of keto diet they get you a high fat meal plan which can adversely affect you.
I have seen people losing muscle mass instead of losing fat due to misguidance. Also there was a case of a young teen athlete who was advised by some gym coach to try a ketogenic diet. The kid was in his teens and he was not fat i can assure you but just to make money that stupid guy mislead that poor youngster. What i want to say to you is that I agree on the benefits of the ketogenic diet. But you must get the understanding of pros and cons of keto diet prior following.
Keto Diet Pros and Cons
Like everything in this world, a ketogenic diet has the pros and cons of its own. People try many things including vegan diet and exercises at home without hiring a certified personal trainer. All this can lead to adverse effects. To know about keto diet pros and cons, read below.
Pros and Cons of Keto diet
Rapid Weight Loss
Professional athletes on ketogenic diet have noted quick weight loss in the first weeks and months of a keto diet cycle. There are lots of reasons behind that, some of which are
- Reduction in appetite due to change in hunger hormones.
- Low-fat storage and using fat as a primary energy source by the body.
- Increased metabolism resulting in the burning of fat a lot faster.
- Rise of thermic effect to break down protein as fuel to convert it to glucose. (Source)
The body undergoes metabolic changes due to high fat and low carbohydrate keto diet. Due to this meal plan, the body is forced to use consumed and stored fat as a primary energy source instead of glucose. This whole process of body using fat as a primary fuel source is known as ketosis. And due to this it results in a decrease in body fat.
Learn more: What is Ketosis?
Also, when you do not eat carbohydrates, the body automatically reduces water content, and you lose weight as a result. But the body balances it out after a week or two. (Source)
Some studies show that a keto diet is beneficial over any low calorie or low-fat diet that surgeons prescribe to patients to lose weight before weight loss surgery.
It is proven by studies that the weight loss occurs at the beginning of the keto diet, but it’s not clear if it promotes weight loss long term and if the weight maintenance can be sustainable. People will regain weight if they resume their old unhealthy diet plans regardless of the diet or training methods they used to lose weight.
While a ketogenic diet is effective for weight loss in the short term, it is not clear if it can promote weight maintenance in the long term.
Increase the feeling of Stomach fullness
Different studies prove that the keto diet is an excellent meal plan to lose weight quickly as the meal plan increases the feeling of fullness and satisfaction. (Source)
There might be less fiber intake in this meal plan, but the foods recommended help you feel full for more extended periods. High fatty foods offer both mouthfeel and satisfying taste that can help you eat less. Also, the protein demands more time to consume and digest it after eating, making you feel full for a more extended period.
A keto diet can bring changes to the hunger hormones. The increased ketone bodies in the blood due to the ketosis lowers the ghrelin levels. As a result, it suppresses hunger and the desire to eat.
Reduce Belly Fat
People try different diets and cardio workouts to promote lean body mass and reduce fat, specifically from their abdomen area. But it is impossible to lose fat from any specific area we desire. But some studies reveal that the keto diet may use belly fat preferentially as fuel.
There was a study published earlier about how deficient carbohydrates diets and low-fat diets affects the body. The conclusion was that a deficient carbohydrate diet provided better results than a low-fat diet for short period fat loss and weight loss, especially in men. One more thing was found that there was an increased fat loss from the truck area. More research is needed to confirm these results.
Enhance Athletic & Sports Performance
Reviews on if ketogenic athletes got benefited from a keto diet; or if sports performance could be enhanced using the high fat and low carbohydrate meal plan.
Studies suggest that a keto diet may help sportspersons and athletes to maintain body weight, reduce body fat, and maintain lean body mass. Also, in some cases, it was revealed that endurance athletes who use keto diet could burn fat more efficiently compared to those who use low fat and high carb diets.
Some more cases revealed that the athletes showed similar muscle glycogen levels and tissue repair at the same rate compared to those with a high carbohydrate diet. Thus this increase of fat as a fuel and the muscle glycogen levels is beneficial for the endurance athletes.
More studies indicated that in high-intensity sports such as gymnastic and weightlifting; the elite athletes were able to maintain their maximal strength while reducing body weight and fat. Keto diet combined with strength training, high-intensity workouts, and high-intensity cardio may allow sportspersons and athletes to maintain lean muscle mass and burn fat.
Online availability of resources
You can get free recipes, cooking advice, tips, and other resources online to prepare for a ketogenic diet. You can get several cookbooks online, which are keto-friendly.
Some people who do not want to cook or cannot cook can get products, programs, and foodservice by several companies that are helping people who choose to follow a ketogenic diet.
Also, you can get the products from pharmacies and drug stores to test the presence of ketones bodies.
Related: Foods I Can Eat on Keto Diet.
Improvement in significant health markers
Studies reveal that significant health markers may improve due to following a keto diet.
A study was conducted to know the effects of the keto diet on fat/obese people. It was concluded that after following the keto diet for 24 weeks; that there was a decrease in triglyceride levels, blood sugar, LDL cholesterol, BMI, body weight, and an increase in HDL cholesterol levels. (Source)
It is not all clear of the effects of a keto diet as there are many variations in how to follow a keto diet and the types of fats consumed.
Helps in Management of Several Medical diseases
The keto diet has been assisting the treatment of several medical conditions, including epilepsy, mostly in children. Those patients who do not respond to the medications can get amazing benefits using a keto diet.
Along with medication, the keto diet is known to provide positive effects in several disorders. That includes Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, headache, cancer, neurological dysfunction, stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, brain trauma, mitochondrial disorders, autism, migraines, and psychiatric disorders.
Keto Diet Cons
Food choice is very limited.
If you follow a keto diet, you won’t be able to get those food items that are a part of a typical American diet. Those saturated fat foods are not advised in this meal plan. You can consume enough calories to maintain a healthy body, but still, a keto diet is highly restrictive. It means you have to change nearly to the opposite to your regular diet plan.
Foods that you are not allowed to eat on a keto diet include beans & legumes, grains & grains products, most fruits, alcohol, sugar, and all starchy veggies.
As the diet is very strict, it becomes tough to maintain this for an extended period. Also, restrictive diets can result in regaining weight as the user undergoes his normal life and meal plan.
Even a piece of cake or a bar of chocolate can kick the body out of ketosis. This will lead the body to use glycogen for fuel rather than fat as a primary source of energy.
One of the most negatives of a ketogenic diet is that it can lead to several minerals and vitamin deficiencies. All this strict restriction and vitamin deficiency can lead to frustration and eat more junk food.
Early-stage side effects
It is tough to maintain the keto diet in the initial phase when the body is changing and adjusting to the ketosis. There can be several side effects when a body is getting into ketosis, sometimes referred to as keto flu. These side effects, including weakness, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, nausea, etc. can last up to several weeks.
If you do not maintain the low carbohydrate, the body will not adjust itself to ketosis. And you may start to see the side effects again. Also, some studies revealed some negatives of ketogenic diets in keto athletes. Free fatty acid levels increased, and ammonia build up in the bloodstream showed up while working out on keto.
High levels of ammonia and fatty acids can lead to impaired metabolism and can cause fatigue in the central nervous system. A sportsperson require many months to adjust to the keto diet for positive results. And it is not so easy for a pro athlete who competes the whole year.
An endurance athlete also require many months for adaption, to see positive metabolic changes. Keto and exercise can only bring positive effects if used for a long period of time. Without the adaptation for a more extended period, an athlete can get several adverse side effects, including hypoglycemia, low muscle glycogen level, and can disturb the athletic performance.
Essential Nutritional Deficiency
A keto diet restricts the consumption of grains, beans, legumes, fruits, and most vegetables. And this can lead to mineral and vitamin deficiency. This is one of the disadvantages that elite sportspersons do not get along with a keto diet.
If you are thinking of trying the ketogenic diet, you must consult a certified nutrition expert first. Guidance from the expert can help you prevent side effects and nutritional deficiencies.
It is Inaccessible and Expensive
A high-fat diet does not mean that you can consume all the fatty foods. It is vital to consume healthy fats only. Those saturated foods such as beef, bacon, and butter can lead to weight gain instead of losing weight. A healthy choice of fats includes MCT oils, omega-3, coconut oil, plain nuts, olive oil and other plant-based healthy fats.
These foods are mostly expensive compared to those commonly used foods in America, such as bacon, rice, pasta, bread, and other processed foods. It is also hard to find keto-friendly foods in regular grocery stores.
Learn More: Healthy Plant- Based Fatty Foods and Oils
You see, you can get an avocado easily, but it is so hard to find avocado oil. And in case you find one, it is damn expensive. Getting those fish-oils and other keto-friendly supplements are also very expensive.
Other Health concerns
There are studies to back up short term effects of a ketogenic diet. But there is less evidence to support long term effects.
Also, the health professionals say that a keto diet is contraindicated in people with liver failure, pancreatitis, carnitine translocase deficiency, pyruvate kinase deficiency, and other disorders of metabolism. People who have diabetes using insulin must consult an expert before trying the keto diet.
There can be adverse effects of ketogenic diet on women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. There is very little evidence of whether a keto diet is good or bad for pregnancy issues.
So these are some keto diet pros and cons we have collected for you. You must always seek expert help before starting any diet or gym exercises. Along with a meal plan you must try yoga, zumba, tabata and healthy foods to lose weight. Compound movements weightlifting with dumbbells, bench press, leg press, and hack squat can also help you to lose weight quickly. If you need any help regarding fitness goals feel free to contact us and shoot us an email.