Keto, if you don’t know, is a lifestyle (note, NOT diet) of very low/no carb eating that proponents claim will shred your body fat, give you amazing energy, and is simple to follow.
Let’s break that down…
Simple to follow? Yes, just don’t eat or drink carbs. That’s simple. But is it simple to fit that into your lifestyle? No alcohol, no bread, no potatoes, no root vegetables, no pasta, no cake – ever…
You see the thing is, eat carbs, you come out of ketosis (more on this) and it takes days to get back into it – all the while your body starts crying out for carb energy and stores what you gave it as fat as it thinks no more is coming.
So, simple, but if you have a social life, even if you enjoy a drink, not so simple.
Shred your body fat? Yep. Not going to lie it works. However…
We are designed to run primarily on carbohydrate energy, when we’re deprived of carbs for a period ( depends on the individual but anything from 7 to 14+ days) our bodies will switch to burning fat as the primary energy source – a state of ketosis.
Sounds good huh?
Except you’ll lose muscle mass as your body burns it for energy, once you’re at maintenance you won’t put on any muscle since new tissue requires carbohydrates, you’ll feel low on energy (I answered the other point), struggle for concentration (as the brain and central nervous system’s preferred fuel is also carbohydrate), oh and your sex hormone levels will fall, leading to loss of libido…
Keto is popular because it works for one specific thing – fat loss – and is simple – don’t eat carbs.
Only it’s not simple. Studies have shown respondents on a balanced macro calorie controlled diet lost the same amount of fat as those on keto given the same exercise conditions. They also held onto or increased their muscle mass.
Even the keto “gurus” don’t follow keto. They’ll talk about “targeted” or “strategic” keto, which essential means they eat carbohydrates around workouts because they worked out that they had no energy for workouts and couldn’t put on any muscle mass.
Avoiding carbs Monday to Thursday then having drinks on a Friday night is not doing keto. Avoiding carbs all week but having pasta/bread/cake at the weekend is not doing keto. Heck, even eating carbs around workouts is not doing keto.
In summary, yes it works, but for 99% of the population the lifestyle needed to maintain it is, if not impossible, highly undesirable. Mines a beer if you see me at the bar 🙂
If you’d like advice on blasting the midlife fat without making huge sacrifices then please reach out.