Losing weight has become a universal struggle. Some of us achieve this by paying enormous gym fees, binging on protein shakes, or getting into crash diets. One of the more recent additions to the list is the famous keto diet. If you haven’t tried it out yourself, there’s a good reason should.
The keto diet actually works – we’ll put that out straight away. There’s no denying that this high fat, low carb diet can help you drop pounds on the scale fast. We’ve tried it and we can vouch for the results.
But the keto diet has its share of drawbacks as well. If it were the perfect diet, all of us would be doing it. Unfortunately, nothing in the world is perfect; not even the hottest diet right now.
If you’re considering trying this highly effective diet, you should read on to see both sides of the picture – the good and the bad. We’ve got it all figured out and you should too!
Before we get into the details, let’s talk some facts.
The keto diet originates from the word ‘ketogenesis’. Ketogenesis is a biochemical process in our body that converts fat into special molecules called the ‘ketone bodies’. When we consume a high-fat and low-carb diet, as in a keto diet, more ketone bodies are produced via ketogenesis.
These ketone bodies are then used as the primary energy source for the body instead of sugars.
To put it simply, the keto diet increases the breakdown of fat which causes you to lose significant weight.
Since the keto diet is all about including more portions of fat in your plate, you’ll need to adopt a meal plan that has a higher proportion of fats and proteins, and an extremely low portion of carbohydrates.
This essentially means you’ll need to cut out all sources of carbs you get: bread, rice, sugars and even sugar-rich fruits like bananas.
The standard keto diet meal plan should include around 55-60% of fat, 30-35% of protein and only 5% of the carbohydrate portion.
Of course, this does not give you a free ticket to binge on processed trans-fat foods. Eating healthy fats is the way to truly experience results on a keto diet.
Although you can try out all sorts of meal plans for a ketogenic diet, here are some simple recommendations to get you started:
Breakfast: Eggs, cottage cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, scrambled eggs, omelet, broccoli, peppers, avocado, blackberries, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, yogurt etc.
Lunch/Dinner: Grilled salmon, tuna salad, beef stew, roasted chicken, chicken breast, nuts, avocado, chicken salad, steaks, tofu, kale salad, beef or chicken burger without bun etc.
Snacks: Celery sticks, kale chips, cottage cheese slices, boiled eggs, olives, nuts etc.
As you can see, all of these items are natural fats, dairy, meat products, seafood, vegetables or nuts. You can get creative with what you put on your plate as long as you’re taking out carbs from it.
This also means that you can’t drink alcohol, juices or fizzy drinks because these beverages are all loaded with sugars. Instead, consider smoothies made with almond milk.
The keto diet is highly effective if you stick to it religiously. In fact, you can start seeing results in only a week.
Apart from its effects on weight loss, the keto diet has also been shown to improve overall health. Studies have revealed that a keto diet can reduce the incidence of heart disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.
The keto diet is all the rage because of its explicitly excellent results on weight loss. But there are some glaring drawbacks to this diet that can make it a not-so-perfect diet after all.
For starters, the ‘keto flu’ isn’t just a myth. When you start your keto diet journey, there’s a good chance that you won’t feel your best in the first few weeks until your body gets adjusted to the diet. This is aptly called the keto flu because it causes fatigue, irritability, nausea, headaches, insomnia and poor mental concentration. The good news is that these symptoms are self-limiting and go away on their own after a while.
Another major drawback of the keto diet is its cost. Ketogenic foods aren’t exactly cheap especially if you’re including exotic items like salmon, streaks and avocado. In the long-run, the keto diet can be a bit of an expense.
Last but not least is the fact that this diet isn’t quite sustainable as we’d hoped it would be. Yes, it gives you amazing results but how long can you go on without consuming any form of carbohydrates?
Anything more than 5-10% of carbohydrates portion in the keto diet can render it ineffective. But carbs have a way of sneaking into our diets one way or another. Even if you’re actively trying to keep all sorts of carbs at bay, you simply can’t do it for too long.
This is exactly why the keto diet has earned the reputation of being not very sustainable and a diet that can’t be adopted long-term.
There’s no harm in trying out the hottest diet right now. In fact, it’s great to try new things and you’ll definitely see results if you stick to the meal plan.
However, if you’re looking for something more long-term, the keto diet may not be the best option. How about the Atkins diet instead?
If you want to start a keto diet on your own, try Dieture! Our chefs prepare hundreds of different ketogenic meal plans, so that it never gets dull!