There is no diet that is making more buzz the last couple of years than the keto diet, short for the ketogenic diet. The principle behind this diet is to lower your intake of sugars and carbohydrates while increasing the consumption of healthy fats. This forces your body into ketosis, whereby your body burns fat for energy, instead of carbs.
Sounds like a great plan, doesn’t it? You can’t look anywhere on blogs or social media these days without someone raving about the weight they have lost while following the keto diet. While there are definitely examples out there of some amazing transformations by going keto, what do dieticians have to say about how healthy this is?
Do Dieticians Recommend the Keto Diet?
I came across an article on Yahoo that cites POPSUGAR’s interviews with three dietitians to see what they had to say about this trending diet. While this diet is popular and undoubtedly can lead to weight loss if adhered to, healthcare professionals, on the other hand, have very conflicting opinions on whether or not it is a safe choice for your health.
Reasons Keto is Not Recommended
One dietitian, Audra Wilson from Northwestern Medicine Metabolic Health and Surgical Weight Loss Center at Delnor Hospital, is strongly against using this diet.
As she says, “I feel pretty strongly that ketodo dietitians recommend the keto diet? is not a good idea.
People miss carbs.” She finds that the diet is not sustainable at all for this reason. While, of course, followers of the keto diet will miss savory snacks like cake, it is often that they find themselves missing regular foods like fruit or dairy even more. It is hard to stick with a diet that keeps you from enjoying foods from every food group.
Another dietitian, Michele Fumagalli from Northwestern Running Medicine Clinic, sees the challenges that are presented by “going keto”, which make it even harder to sustain. As she says, “Keto is an all-or-nothing diet. You have to make it your lifestyle … [and with all the restrictions] it’s a very hard diet to make a lifestyle.”
Furthermore, another dietitian explained all of the yo-yo dieting that comes from going keto. Kristin Kirkpatrick from Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, says she has seen “a lot of patients who have tried the keto diet, and many have had success with it. But nearly all of those people have also gained all of that weight back.” As the previous dietitian said, it has to be a complete lifestyle change. Once you eat some carbs, your body snaps out of ketosis and you will lose the fat burning benefits.
Any diet that is so restrictive on what you eat can’t be good for you in the long run. See what happened in this case of a woman following a juice diet, for example. Any healthy diet will include items from all food groups so that your body gets the nourishment it needs. Aside from the physical toll that malnutrition can take, there is also the mental aspect of going keto. It is taxing to make such a lifestyle change and is just not sustainable. You will eventually lose interest, go back to your old ways of eating, and balloon back to the way you were before.
The best course of action to lose weight is to still enjoy some of your favorite foods but making sure you are overall making healthy choices. Don’t skip food groups as your body needs a full slate of vitamins and minerals from different food sources. Practice portion control so you stick to a daily calorie count. Make sure to get some exercise to burn some calories and raise your metabolism. And for a little extra help, adding a diet pill such as PhenQ can support your metabolism, curb your cravings, and give you the energy you need.