Is a 'Keto' Diet Right For me?
Question: What do you, as trainers, think of the Keto diet? Yes? No? Thanks.
This question was asked by one of our clients, Cathy. This was Jeff's response to Cathy's question!
Firstly, when I look at, or design any 'diet'....
the first and MOST important thing to take in to consideration is adherence, ie can you stick to it for a sustained amount of time (think years and years!)
The best diet anyone can follow is the one that they can adhere to over the long run - and that's going to be different for everyone.
Diets are adhered to when they are; realistic, flexible, and 'fit' with somebody's lifestyle (among other things).
So with that said, let's look at the Keto diet - a diet that has reared its head at least twice in the last 10 years or so.
Keto-followers remove most, if not all forms of carbohydrates from their diets.
Somewhere around the 7-14 day mark, your body will start to use ketones as a source of energy instead of glucose (which is what carbohydrates are broken down into).
This process is not usually very pleasant, and comes with headaches, sleepiness, and a lack of energy as your body tries to adapt to a glucose-free environment.
Now, most people who 'go Keto' report that they lose weight in that first few weeks - 5 to 10 pounds, sometimes even more.
Although that's what the scale says, what they usually don't realize is that the vast majority of that weight loss is simply water.
1 gram of glucose can absorb and hold around 3 grams of water.
So if you suddenly stop consuming carbohydrates (glucose), all the water that was binding to the glucose in your body, is now gone - and voila, you've lost weight!
That's not to say that people who follow a Keto diet are only losing water weight.
We know that outside of adherence, a successful fat loss diet MUST produce an energy deficit...
Calories out have to out weigh calories in.
So ultimately, Keto diets work because they create a caloric deficit for an individual and......*drum roll*.....that individual can adhere to the lifestyle of a Keto diet - and that's really it!
So...after that long-winded drivel of mine, what do I think of the Keto diet?
I think that it works for many people.
And in case anyone is wondering, there isn't a single body of research which shows that a 'low or no' carb approach is superior to a moderate carb approach in terms of fat loss.
When total calories and protein are controlled for, the results are virtually identical.
So if you enjoy carbs and not feeling like death during a workout - eat up, and just make sure you're in a slight caloric deficit if fat loss is your goal!
Use an app like myfitnesspal.com to record your calories!