Ketogenic Diet (Low Carb)
Of all the common regimes I feel the keto diet is one of the most misunderstood & misinterpreted, misleading options out there.
What is a ketogenic diet?
Keto is a low carb not a no carb diet. Keto diets have been around for centuries and originated to treat specific medical conditions most commonly diabetes & epilepsy in children for which medication was ineffective. It has gained considerable fanfare due to the “war on carbs” and sugar free diet trends of many social media influencers & celebrities.
The most common versions of keto diets focus on fat rich sources of food (70-80% daily intake), followed by protein (10-15%) and your remaining intake from carbs.
Who should avoid?
Personally I think most people should avoid the keto diet in general due several factors:
What does the research show?
For the purpose of this post series I'm only going to focus on the major claim of the Keto Diet… That eating a keto diet will turn you into a fat burning machine for both weight loss & performance.
The bottom line is the research just not back the claims. While there may be some short-term benefit in the long term there is no substantial gain. While cutting out many healthy food choices with overwhelming benefits such as fruit and vegetables. Reaching micro nutrient intake (vitamins & minerals) will be extremely hard and could lead to greater health risks if followed for prolonged periods of time. All in all the keto diet just offers too many major pitfalls and risk of severe yoyo dieting. This is not to mention how hard a keto diet can be, it's not the free for all bacon, butter, cheese & pork grinds as many turn it in to. Instead you have to be hyper focused, prepared & vigilant with every food choice.
However if Keto is something you feel you want to try may I suggest instead a modified carbohydrate diet similar to the 10 Day reset we use based on the healthy eating plate model from the Plant Based Diet post that removes carbs (sugar, wheat, root vegetables) that are not fruit or vegetables.
At the end of the day a diet is a diet, they all seek to achieve one thing, calorie restriction. If it helps you make a conscious decision to cut out crappy foods so be it. Just don’t stay on the train too long, keep some fruits and vegetables in your day and if you start to develop any mental fog with the diet take the positive habits you created and move them on to the next phase.