The information and content currently available online about the ketogenic diet seems to increase by the day.
For many people, this is valuable information that is used in helping them adopt or maintain the ketogenic diet.
But in consuming the content, it can be easy to fail to become properly educated on the diet and what it entails, and fail to look at it objectively to be able to assess its safety and practicality for one’s health and wellness.
Here are some things to consider before jumping in on the diet.
It isn’t for Everyone
The ketogenic diet involves a drastic cut in carbohydrate intake and a high intake of fat. For some people, their body responds well to this lifestyle and they see the results from their work and dedication. For others however, it does not respond the same, and more than that, for certain people it is not recommended. For example, pregnant or breastfeeding women are not advised to follow the ketogenic diet, nor are those prone to kidney stones, who have adrenal fatigue, immunity or hormone related dysfunctions, or those who suffer from diabetes or thyroid problems. Finally, endurance athletes are not always able to perform on this diet, and research is ongoing towards finding out whether this is or isn’t a diet that can be sustained through endurance sports, such as long distance running
It’s a Lifestyle Change
The ketogenic diet is not a diet that yields results overnight. Because ketosis is not the body’s default method of energy creation and extraction, it takes some time to convert it over to creating energy within these means. This is the process of becoming fat adapted. Once fat adapted, it is important to fuel the body with the right foods and the right breakdown of macronutrients in order to ensure the body stays in ketosis. As such, ketosis becomes a lifestyle change that requires a long-term commitment and not simply a shift overnight or a diet that you choose to follow for a few days.
It May (or May Not) Lead to Weight Loss
While many people adopt the ketogenic diet to lose weight, and are indeed successful in this regard, it is not a guaranteed weight loss program for everyone. More than that, it is not a guaranteed weight loss option that will offer a sustainable solution. Some people find they do not lose weight, and simply have other benefits instead. Others find they lose weight, but it is difficult to maintain. Others still, find it is a hard diet to maintain with seemingly minimal, long-term weight loss in return. Everyone’s body responds differently to ketogenesis, and in some cases, depending on your level of activity, metabolism, age, gender and several other factors, the outcome of ketogenesis may not be weight loss. In other words, don’t count on this diet as your new fix for losing 10 kilograms. Try it out, but be open to the results it may provide.
The increased exposure of the ketogenic diet and increased interest from the public means there are lots of products coming out and lots of information being brought to the forefront. If you are considering the diet for yourself, be sure to consider these indications above, make sure your information is from a reputable source, and to contact your doctor before making any changes.
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH