The ketogenic diet, popularly known as the keto diet, promises weight loss by cutting down on carb intake. This means the body goes on a state of ketosis, burning fat in the body (as opposed to sugar) for its energy uses.
The guidelines of the keto diet leave much room for each person to decide exactly what to eat. For example, most of the diet intake should be protein but it can either be animal-based or plant-based protein.
Your choice will determine some of the effects of the keto diet on your body. This is because choosing a diet that is full of animal-based protein and unhealthy fats may help you lose a few pounds. However, your health may suffer.
Thus you might want to know more about the keto diet and the possible implications of adopting it before you actually do.
The “Keto Flu”
This phenomenon is so common and actually happens only to those following this diet. Now the question is, ”what is keto flu?“
The simplest answer is that this is a phase of being ill that quite a lot of people starting the keto diet go through. The symptoms can be quite severe, with vomiting, fatigue, lethargy, and gastrointestinal distress. This happens because the body has no more sugar to use up for energy and has to burn the fat instead. The transition to this new source of energy will weaken you for a few days.
Thus, you might find that you need to drink a lot of water and get tons of sleep to minimize the effects of keto flu. Some people also find that adding some natural energy sources like organic coffee and green tea as helpful in boosting energy levels.
Other Side Effects You Might Experience
A huge switch in the diet like this will truly challenge your body, especially the digestive system. The fact is, the keto diet might lead to the gallbladder (which produces bile that can break down fat) becoming overwhelmed. Another reason for the diarrhea is the lack of fiber in your diet, especially after you cut down on carbs and fail to supplement with other good sources of fiber like vegetables. The last reason can be dairy or artificial sweetener intolerance, as these food items become more part of your diet to meet the high-fat and low-carb diet.
Reduced Athletic Performance
Some athletes claim to see an improvement in their sports performance. The lack of carbs and the state of ketosis limit one’s performance due to its acidic state. So it might be smart to take this perceived benefit of weight loss with a grain of salt.
People with both types of diabetes are warned to not simply follow the keto diet without the supervision of their doctor. The state of ketosis might be good for those who are hyperglycemic but they might have to pay close attention to their blood sugar and glucose levels at all times.
The risk is ketoacidosis, which happens when the body has too many ketones (acids produced after fat is burned). The blood can turn very acidic and damage the kidneys, liver, kidneys, and even the brain. If not treated immediately, it can lead to death.
Less Muscle Mass and Decreased Metabolism
Unfortunately, much of the weight loss that happens while on a keto diet might be muscle mass. The muscles burn more calories compared to fat and this can change your metabolism forever. It may also have huge implications on your weight, should you gain it back, because you are regaining fat instead of lean muscle.
Higher Risk Of Heart Disease And Diabetes
This is where the choices you make while following a keto diet play a huge role. When you swap those carbs with lean animal protein and tons of non-starchy vegetables, then you are doing it right.
On the other hand, if you are eating bacon and butter to up your protein intake and ignore other, healthier food choices, then you might find yourself on the fast lane to heart disease and diabetes. In fact, this disease has been referred to as a ‘cardiologists’ nightmare’.
Thus, do not forget to maintain a balanced, nutrient-rich diet that will give your body what it needs while still losing weight. The benefits may also include avoiding cancer and other serious diseases.
Meal planning can be a bit of work at the beginning of adopting the keto diet, and you will experience quite a bit of discomfort and other related issues. But by making the right food choices, you can fully enjoy the advantages that this diet can bring.