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Why the Ketogenic Diet Isn’t A Good Long Term Weight Loss Strategy

The ketogenic diet is the newest trend in health and fitness and is praised by millions as the solution for quick, permanent weight loss. A member of the low-carb diet family, the ketogenic diet works by forcing your body into a state of ketosis. This is done through consuming a diet which prioritizes fat consumption and strictly limits sugar and carbohydrates.

Nothing lasts forever…

Typically, diets as extreme as the ketogenic diet will result in short-term weight loss. It is the low intake of carbohydrates that brings about rapid weight loss. The rapid loss is due to the reduction of glycogen stores. With loss of glycogen, the weight of the water it stored is also lost, and body weight drops. This is the process behind most Keto weight loss tips. The fats are still there, and when the diets are given up, the body quickly regains the proportion of the water lost. Weight is put back on as fast as it was lost.

Normally, carbohydrates are the source of energy for work. Because of this, a level of carb consumption is healthy. Carbs are good for immediate use as a fuel substrate. With the ketogenic diet, carbs are no longer available so the body begins to use stored fat for energy. This is not necessarily beneficial.

Yes, water weight DOES exist

In the absence of carbs, fats cannot be completely oxidized and efficiently put to work. Hence, the body tends to feel fatigued and weak (cue “keto flu” symptoms). In addition, the ketone molecules resulting from the fat-breakdown accumulate in the blood and are excreted through urine. This contributes to dehydration which may lead to headaches, fatigue, and poor performance in the gym.

While the before and after photos may be tempting, it is important to consider how your body feels above all. Adopting a new diet does not come without risk, so be sure to watch out for:

  • Diets that guarantee rapid and permanent weight loss
  • Diet plans not intended for long-term adherence
  • Any negative side effects experienced after starting a new diet
  • Diets that limit whole food choices (fruits and vegetables especially)
  • Diets that require the purchase of products

Ketogenic diets may be popular, but they can take a toll on your body. As always, be careful with any new diet or exercise program and ask your doctor if it is right for you.

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