The newest fad diet crazes are being combined but, are actually only old diets, revamped, labelled and combined as a marketing ploy. More to the point, they are simply ways to cut caloric intake while still allowing themselves to feel stuffed, full or not hungry. Sad point is, it’s growing in popularity as it did in the 70’s and can be making people ill.
So, what is a Ketogenic Diet?
A Ketogenic Diet is one in which you cut out most carbohydrates while stuffing yourself with meats, proteins and fats. People are adding cream, Stevia, coconut oil and butter to even their coffees in order to keep feeling full all day. Eggs, chicken, red meats, fat and all, fried meats, butters, creams, mayonnaise and everything you’ve been told not to do, this diet allows you to do. The caveat: you cannot eat anything with grains, sugar, fruits or even a lot of vegetables as they all have to be green veggies.
Essentially, this diet program has been dusted off and brought out of mothballs, revamped to add a newer twist and make it seem healthier by adding olive and coconut oils etc. but, it’s really nothing more than a re-labelled version of the old Atkins Diet craze that swept through the 70’s crowds that flocked to it for it’s quick weight loss. I was one of them back then and, I did lose weight but, not without a huge cost to my health in many ways.
What does the Ketogenic Diet Do?
Essentially, like the Atkins diet of the past, the newly marketed Ketogenic diet does what Atkins did. It puts your body into a state of “Ketosis”. Ketosis is a fancy way of saying that your body is literally starving and eating itself. You can prove that to yourself by peeing on a Keto-stix which will show that you’re actually peeing out Ketones. In all reality, your body has become a mean cannibal and is eating itself.
Can you really lose weight on it?
Actually, you can and you will lose weight on it. The reason being, your body is going into starvation mode and when you step onto the scales or measure your waist, you’ll find both pounds and inches, missing. However, what’s really happening is that your body isn’t differentiating between what it’s eating or spewing out. More often than not, it’s water weight loss, electrolytes (yes, you’ll pee a LOT and it will tax your kidneys greatly) as well as muscle mass. The water can go as most will attest to but, the rest, not so much. At least, not without consequences.
What are the dangers of eating like this?
Short term, you’re likely not to do much damage but, we’re talking about a couple of weeks only. You may even feel great at first. Take that longer term and quite a number of things will start happening:
- Flu-like symptoms, headache, body and muscle aches as your body isn’t used to not having carbohydrates at a certain level. You’re also not eating sugars of any kind, including healthy fruits.
- A lot of people experience anxiety and panic attacks. One nurse developed agoraphobia. You may also not able to sleep well because the body needs a certain amount of carbohydrates for your brain to work optimally and function properly.
- Digestive upsets galore because you’ll be eating mostly proteins and fats with very little roughage. How many can eat high fat levels without some sort of digestive issues, let alone digesting a lot of protein that takes forever to break down in your digestive tract?
- Bad breath and body odours because the state of ketosis that you’ll go into while on this diet, is literally throwing off Ketones and eating your body through starvation mode.
- Hair loss from not getting enough B vitamins and other nutrients from meats, proteins and fats.
- Irritability and no, it’s not because you aren’t eating what you really crave most but, because our human brains need carbs to function properly and optimally even in smaller amounts than the typical N. American eating patterns.
- There’s a never-ending list of issues that can crop up if you google “ketosis side effects”.
I will feel full and not hungry, right?
Yes, you will feel full and not hungry because you’re literally stuffing your stomach full of fats, slow to digest proteins and you’re essentially, finding a way to eat foods that will keep you feeling full. How many steaks, fried in butter do you think you can eat without feeling full? How much coffee with cream and coconut oil and butter can you drink without feeling as though you don’t want anything more?
But, isn’t that a good thing?
Feeling at least satisfied if not full, is what most people aim for. No one likes hunger pangs, feeling hungry etc. but, ask yourself what it is that you’re really accomplishing by doing so? Are you learning portion control? Are you keeping your quantities of food about the same as before but with different foods? What have you changed really, other than what you stuff yourself with?
More than that, you’re going to eventually look at a carrot as though it’s a delicacy and crave fruits and other vegetables that you cannot eat while on a Ketogenic diet. There’s a difference between the losing weight phase and the maintenance round but, not by that much.
What happens if I slip up and eat some carbs because I’m at a party?
Have you thought about how many calories you’re actually putting into your body with all of these proteins and fats? Slipping up with even 5 grams extra of carbs is going to take you out of Ketosis and you’ll not only stop losing weight but, you could potentially risk gaining weight. It’s a rigid diet even though you eat until you feel full or even stuffed. You cannot deviate even a bit while on it or you’ll risk not only stopping the weight loss but, regaining some of what you’ve lost.
But, I’ll just get back onto it right away!
Do you really think so? Good for you if you can do so however, most people, once they’ve had even a taste of a forbidden food, they cannot stop easily. Once you slip up on a diet that cuts out entire food groups, it’s extremely hard to get back onto it again. More to the point, if you’ve really slipped for a few days (like while on vacation), you’re going to go through that entire process of going through that withdrawal feeling again. It’s not easy. It’s like being an alcoholic or former smoker who takes one drink or one cigarette and tries to stop again. Some people can do it, others can’t. Actually, most can’t do it.
There should be no such thing as a “diet”. Diet’s imply that you’re on a wagon and if you fall off of that wagon, you’re going to have to get back onto it again or suffer the consequences.
Losing weight is a long-termed goal. You didn’t put the weight on overnight so, you’re also not going to lose it overnight either. Think about that. This new style of eating will promise you the sun, moon, earth and stars but, at what cost to you, your body and your lifestyle? When was the last time you went to someone’s home for dinner where they had a lovely smaller roast of beef and other vegetables as well as potatoes and perhaps, even a salad with dressing that you cannot have while on a Ketogenic Diet? Do you scan the table to see what you can eat and eat only that? Is there anything you can eat other than the roast of beef because the rest have dressings, milk or gravies added to them? Do you forewarn your hostess that you’re on a Ketogenic diet and to cook dinner according to your eating patterns? Or, do you simply say…
“Pass the roast, please. You guys can eat everything else,” and proceed to chow down on the entire roast of beef?
It’s not easy to stick to this diet unless you’re an at home cook who never or rarely eats out. And forget fast food restaurants. Even if you were to eat only the meat patty (which I’ve done) and order your burger or chicken sandwich with no condiments on them, you’d have to have 5 or 6 of them and special order a side salad of only greens with no dressing on it. Good luck on that one.
Yes, people get around those things by not eating out or only eating at finer restaurants but, is it something that you can do forever? Not likely. At least, I couldn’t do it and I know many others who have done the same thing as well.
While many on YouTube (mostly young people or those who are trying to sell you on their program aka, Eric Berg a chiropractor who has been disciplined by officials for several things but, taken googling nutrition to a fine skill, will tell you that you’ll lower your cholesterol, not be diabetic anymore and will push things even further by telling you that you should add in “Interval Eating” which is eating only a certain number of hours per day thus, also cutting your caloric intake because who can cram in an entire roast of beef, cream in their coffee and a half pound of butter and oils in only a few hours per day? It’s all a FAD. This too shall pass as will the millions of people who are eating “gluten free” and telling everyone that they are “gluten intolerant”. Only a small percentage of the population of the world is truly gluten intolerant by the way.
So, if you still want to try this, recognize that you’re not learning a new way of living or a new lifestyle that you’ll be able to keep up forever. You’re more than likely to screw up your metabolism and once you do go back to regular foods, you’re going to GAIN weight because your body has been in starvation mode for that time and your metabolism is screwed up through this. It won’t know what to do with a carb except to pack it onto your waistline and buttocks.
Seek out a dietician, nutritionist and doctor’s guidance but, don’t just leap into it because you’re antsy to lose that weight or you’ve watched too many YouTube videos on it, thinking you know it all. You don’t and you need proper supervision medically as well as supplementation. Don’t go it alone.
That’s just my two cent’s worth from my little corner of life to yours.
Be well. Love and Light
Have a wonderful day or evening