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What are the Pros and Cons of the Ketogenic Diet?

The “Keto Diet” has become very popular over the last couple of years. Initially designed to combat diabetes, this low carb, high fat diet caught mainstream attention due to rapid fat loss results and continued long-term health benefits.
In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of the Keto Diet.

Pros:

• Fat loss

The biggest reason people choose the Keto diet is because of fat loss. This may not sound any different to other diets, but the key here is fat loss, not just weight loss. Other calorie restriction diets may help you to lose more weight, but the weight may be water weight or lean muscle. What you really want is fat loss… and keto gives you that.

• Better results compared with other diets

• Better retention of muscle mass

Because of the unique way the Keto diet focuses on fat burning against overall weight loss, the end results give a better body composition. Lower body fat against superior muscle retention gives a more visual appeal.

In a comparison test in 2007, a twelve-month randomized trial concluded that weight loss was greater in the low-carb, high-fat (Keto) group compared with those in the Ornish, Zone, and LEARN diet groups. The overall weight loss after 12-months was also significantly better.

• Appetite reduction

One of the biggest difficulties of following any diet is forcing yourself not to eat. It is the biggest reason most people quit. They just want to eat what they want without any restrictions. The food temptations are too strong to resist. A ketogenic diet reduces your appetite and it’s extremely helpful here. If you don’t feel like eating, the temptation to cheat on your diet is simply not there.

• Lowers insulin

Following a low carb, moderate protein and high-fat diet has been shown to reduce insulin. Lower insulin in the body has huge benefits to your health, including slowing down aging, avoiding type 2 diabetes, and faster weight loss.

• Blood sugar levels become more stable

Lower carbohydrate consumption means your blood sugar should remain at a healthy level. As only small amounts of carbs enter the system, impact is minimal and blood sugar is more stable throughout the day.

• Energy

Ridding your diet of saturated fats and processed food will provide the body a clean source of energy. Adherents to the Keto Diet report energy surges as their body adjusts to a ketogenic state.

• “Feel good” factor

As well as brimming with energy, adherents of the keto diet report feeling better in general, bursting with good cheer and effervescence.

• Less sleep.

Although experts have yet to come to a conclusion as to why this happens, eating healthier and following a low carb diet means you physically don’t need or desire as much sleep. It also becomes easier to wake up in the mornings, without feeling tired and groggy.

Cons:

• Low carb flu

Many people who have tried the ketogenic diet have reported not feeling too well on their first week or so of starting the keto diet, suffering from almost flu-like symptoms. This is all part of the body adapting to this new way of eating. After years of eating a high carb/standard diet, your body will need to detoxify, resulting in these (short term) side effects. 

• Headaches

Dehydration from losing water weight can occur, and this can lead to painful headaches. This can be rectified somewhat by consuming more water with sodium, or meals like bone broth.

• Sluggish digestion

Dehydration and adapting to low carb meals can lead to constipation. This can be remedied by consuming more fibrous, low starch vegetables and drinking more water.

• Difficult to stick to diet at social gatherings

Keeping to the strict dietary rules at social events can make things awkward. There are ways to get around this, cheat days or re-feeds, for example, can be added to your weekly plan. 

It’s clearly evident that the pros to the ketogenic diet far outweigh the cons. Most of the negative effects occur within the first two weeks of starting the diet, and quickly diminish after that. Long term health effects have been proven as beneficial in the long run. Get started on this diet and you’ll reap many benefits from it.

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