When followed diligently, keto is one of the more effective diets for pure fat loss but it isn’t perfect. Some find the the carb restriction too extreme, and others can’t get past the keto flu. If you’re thinking about starting, here’s the most important ketogenic pros and cons to help you decide if it’s right for you.
Pro: Rapid Fat Loss
Most people don’t just want to lose weight on a diet. They want to lose body fat, which is what makes keto so popular and effective.
The single most important goal on keto is to switch your primary energy source from high energy food (carbs) to fat.
Think about that for a second. While on keto, your body breaks down body fat at an accelerated rate to use for energy. When you see keto transformation pictures, it looks like their fat melted away.
Because it did, lol.
Con: The Keto Flu
Unfortunately, the keto flu isn’t a myth or a rumor. It’s a real thing with real symptoms, and real feelings of misery. It’s the result of your body adapting and switching its primary energy source from carbs (sugar) to fat (ketones).
A loss of water, sodium, and dehydration are also contributing factors to the keto flu.
The good news is the keto flu only lasts a few days at the beginning of the diet. The bad news is it can be unpleasant enough for many to quit, depending on your sensitivity.
If you’re struggling with flu like symptoms, here’s a few ways to get rid of the keto flu.
Pro: Substitute Recipes
Keto is on pace to be the most popular diet of this year. From celebrity trainers, to fitness pros, and even professional athletes – everyone seems to be on keto.
The immense popularity of keto has resulted in a wide range of substitute recipes for everything imaginable. Pizza, chocolate cake, tacos. Whatever you’re craving there’s a keto approved recipe.
When you’re on an obscure diet no one uses, it can be hard to find relevant recipes. With keto, the recipes are everywhere.. and they’re free.
Here’s a few keto recipe sites to check out:
Con: Extreme Carb Restriction
Bread. There, I said it.
It’s what everyone misses, and what everyone seems to crave. Keto isn’t a “kind of” low carb diet. It’s at the extreme end of carb restriction.
The primary goal of the ketogenic diet is to get your daily carb consumption so low, your body freaks out and starts breaking down body fat so you don’t die. Okay, that’s a little dramatic but that is the basic intent of ketosis.
If you can get carbs low enough, your body will break down fat into ketones which your body can use as energy.
The bad part: One or two slices of bread can take you out of ketosis for the entire day.
Pro: All The Fat
For most of your life, you’ve been told to eat certain foods in moderation or avoid them completely. On a normal whole food diet, eating large amounts of high-fat foods can cause health problems and weight gain.
But on keto, when your primary energy source is coming from fat, a wide variety of high fat foods are needed.
Fatty cuts of meat
Nuts (almonds, walnuts)
Oils (olive, coconut, avocado)
Con: Long Term Eating Habits
While there aren’t any long term studies indicating serious health problems with the keto diet, one common argument is the potential to create poor eating habits.
Keto is a very high fat diet, and within the context of the diet it hasn’t resulted in significant problems.
But what happens if you decide to stop following keto? What happens when you return to the real world of needing to choose foods that don’t get you into ketosis?
Some concerns often raised:
1) You haven’t learned a healthy eating pattern on keto
2) You may have adopted a new pattern of eating mostly high fat foods
Because you haven’t practiced making better food choices, if you decide to stop following keto the weight you lost is likely to return.
Note: This can be said with ALL diets. If you return to behavior that caused excessive weight gain, all the weight you lost on the diet is likely to return.
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