If you’ve been keeping up with the latest weight loss and diet trends, you’ve likely heard of the fat-dissolving ketogenic diet. Though it’s seeing a rise in popularity, the diet itself has actually been around for a while in more clinical settings, such as hospitals. But what is it? How does it differ from other diets?
For starters, the ketogenic diet is very strict and has many limitations on what you can eat and drink. For example, while on the diet, you’re limited to between 25 and 35 grams of carbohydrates per day. Another 5 percent of your diet will include some sort of protein while the remaining 80 percent of calories will come from fat.
The diet itself differs from others because it’s designed to make our bodies burn ketones instead of carbohydrates for fuel by consuming fewer carbohydrates. When the body has a carbohydrate shortage, fat is more easily broken down and the liver produces ketones, which burn as your body’s fuel. However, while there is evidence of the ketogenic diet being successful for some people, there are several pros and cons to consider before embarking on the diet yourself.
|Ketogenic Diet: Pros|
|Reduces inflammation and lowers insulin levels: The fact that the diet lowers insulin levels is a big perk because insulin makes it easier for glucose to travel to tissues and muscles, forming fat.|
|Possible weight loss results: One big reason why the ketogenic diet has made headlines recently is that so many people have experienced weight loss success while on the diet. However, this is likely because the ketogenic diet is high in fat, which slows digestion and helps balance your blood sugar levels. This often results in less water retention. When people shed water weight, they often look and feel thinner.|
|Detoxifying effects: Because the diet allows for very few carbs, many people will have to limit or eliminate sugary and other unhealthy foods from their diets. As a result, the body will go through a sort of sugar detox while on the ketogenic diet.|
|Ketogenic Diet: Cons|
|It’s super strict: Even the most devout dieter may find it difficult to follow a diet made up of 10 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent protein, and 80 percent fat. In truth, following the diet faithfully requires a level of careful planning and meal prepping that few people might have time for. This is one of the downsides to the ketogenic diet, and one of the big reasons why many people may struggle with it long term.|
|Controversial weight loss results: Did we mention that the ketogenic diet has mostly been limited to clinical settings? It turns out that, as a weight loss diet, the ketogenic diet may not be the best and oftentimes people won’t lose as much weight as they were hoping to lose. It can be argued that this is because the rules of the diet are so strict and hard to follow.|
|Your fiber intake will decrease: Because the diet is heavy in fats, you will likely consume little, if any, fiber and other healthy nutrients found in more carb-heavy foods. In short, when you embark on the ketogenic diet, you won’t exactly be eating a balanced diet.|
These are a few of the pros and cons of the ketogenic diet, but it’s important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another. If the diet interests you, give it a try. Who knows, maybe it will be the diet that works best for you.