Now that we are familiar with the Ketogenic diet, we know that there are people all around the world who have lost weight thanks to it. Also, a lot of people started to talk about the negative side of the keto diet, so, as a person who has lost 33 lbs during my keto journey, I wanted to go through it a little bit deeper.
However, if you are thinking of starting the keto diet, it is always a good idea to do your research and weigh the pros and cons. It’s also always a good idea to speak to your doctor about it and to finally decide if it’s a good plan for you or not.
My journey was simple, I was happy to eat a lot of stuff that I like, and still manage to lose weight. Working out in the gym wasn’t on a regular basis for me, because of my work, but with exercising in the gym 2-3 times during a week, and a list of food I can’t and can eat, it worked out pretty fine. I’m thinking about doing it again, but with all the new opinions circulating around, I started asking myself if it’s really a good idea, so I’ve personally compiled a list of keto diet pros & cons.
Keto Diet Pros
Now, in 2022 it’s obvious that a lot of people lost weight thanks to the Ketogenic diet. Weight loss in the keto diet often occurs because of the elimination of some food groups which can be very beneficial for weight loss in some cases.
2. Less Hunger
Even though you are on a diet, you just won’t recognize it as one, because you feel more sated than on the other type of restricted diet.
3. Enjoying the Food
Burning fat by eating more of it. The fact that while you are on a Keto diet you are allowed to eat high-fat foods such as cheese, butter, red meats, and many other things that you enjoy, simply doesn’t make you feel like you are dieting.
4. Improving Insulin Sensitivity
The keto diet may lower your glucose and insulin levels because of the low intake of carbohydrates.
5. Encourages Healthier, Home-Cooked Meals
Almost all of the food that you take is unprocessed, and everything you cook can be made in a healthier way. While cooking your meals you can take close care of your calorie intake because you can measure all of the ingredients that you are using in your meals.
6. Lack of Free Time
If you don’t have a lot of free time to do your daily exercises, but you still want to lose or maintain your current weight, then your body simply will not require as many carbs as athletes do, and that’s where the keto diet comes as a really good choice.
7. Large Number of Online Resources
Because of its popularity, you can find many online resources that can help you with your meal plans, tips, cooking advice…
8. Brain Health
Low carb diet studies show that the ketones generated from ketosis provide neuroprotective benefits – protection of the brain and nerve cells, better mood, and improved brain focus.
9. Reduces Abdominal Fat
Although we can’t choose in which areas we actually want to lose fat, there is some evidence that a keto diet may target abdominal fat preferentially.
11. Improves Skin Health
Decreasing carb consumption can lessen acne problems in some people.
Keto Diet Cons
1. Lack of Some Nutrients
Because you will constantly be avoiding some of the food groups, your body can suffer from a deficit of some of the nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
2. Feeling Dizzy
Also known as the keto flu, feeling dizzy is usual in the initial stages. It is recommended to take multivitamin supplements, especially in this first period.
Because your diet will lack fiber-rich foods, you could experience constipation while on the keto diet. Constipation may even disrupt healthy gut bacteria.
This is likely due to the very high intake of fat or excessive consumption of sugar alcohols such as erythritol, xylitol…
5. Long-term Health Risks
These risks include the potential appearance of kidney stones and liver disease because kidneys and liver will play the most important role when your body needs to process fat and protein. Some believe that they could be overworked when eating like this.
If you are an athlete or if you are training with weights and want to make progress each week, you should eat more carbs as they tend to promote better performance and energy.
Urinating more frequently is normal when you are shifting into ketosis. The drop in insulin levels can also affect electrolytes which play an important role in hydration.
8. High Cholesterol If You Don’t Choose Your Food Wisely
A lot of foods that you eat on a keto diet are high in unsaturated fats, and in time that can lead to an increase in cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease. If you want to eat a healthier version of the keto diet it can be expensive. That includes foods such as coconut oil, avocado, raw nuts.
9. Risk of Developing an Eating Disorder
The keto diet can be challenging for some people, because of some extreme restrictions.
10. It’s a Temporary Solution
You can experience rapid weight loss, but after that, it can simply “stop working”. If keto doesn’t suit you at all, after the diet and weight loss you could regain weight because of some of the restrictions.
11. Pregnancy Risks
It’s not safe for women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
Tips for Staying Healthy While On Keto Diet
If you want to try the keto diet and stay healthy, here are some tips you should consider:
- Focus your fat intake on unsaturated fats – Always choose fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocados
- During every week of keto diet try to fit in low carb veggies – Veggies such as broccoli, kale, Brussel’s sprouts, bell peppers are a great addition to your meal and they do not have a high amount of carbohydrates
- Use supplements such as Vitamin C – This is especially important in the initial period due to lack of fruits and veggies
As with anything else, the pros and the cons of the keto diet DO exist.
A keto diet is the best when it comes to fast weight loss, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to exercise, while active people that are focused on heavy training should consider eating more carbs on a daily basis.
Some people thrive on eating low carb, but for most people, the keto diet is a bit too restrictive in the long run.
Whether you choose to follow this regime or not the choice is yours, but if you are having doubts we recommend that you listen to an opinion of an experienced doctor, especially if you suffer from some of the diseases.