Ketogenic dieting has been around for longer than I can remember but in the last few years, Keto diets have become an increasingly popular method for weight loss.
Whilst known for (potentially) helping people with epilepsy, severe obesity and helping reduce certain conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, keto dieting isn't for everyone.
Here we take a good look at the pros and cons of keto dieting and let you decide if it's right for you.
What is ketogenic dieting?
Keto dieting is basically a way of losing weight by allowing your body to enter a state called Ketosis. Ketosis is perfectly natural and safe for slimmers. In fact our bodies can easily enter into a state of ketosis when it has a reduced number of carbohydrates for a period of time. When your body has entered into that state of ketosis, you are said to be in 'fat burning mode'. This is where your body converts fat already stored on your body and turns it into energy which your body then uses in order to keep you functioning as you usually would. As you are then using your fat as your energy source, you are burning that fat which is why we lose weight so quickly when on a keto based diet.
More information on Ketosis can be found on our website.
Pros of ketogenic dieting...
1. Great for losing weight.
As mentioned earlier, ketosis is a great way of losing weight. Slimmers notice an effect almost within 24 hours. This is because with ketogenic dieting, they are reducing the number of carbohydrates. This can instantly give us a less bloated feeling and look to our stomachs. If you have a larger amount of weight to lose as a slimmer, you will notice that the weight will fall off you quicker. This is usually because with ketogenic dieting, you are eating less refined carbohydrate, less sugars and the effects are instant
2. Ketosis can give an 'euphoric' feeling.
This unfortunately doesn't happen with everyone but a lot of people notice that when they are in ketosis, they usually feel happier and more 'with it'. It may just be a placebo effect or there may be substance to it...
3. It suppresses appetite.
Yes you read that right. Once you're in ketosis, your body doesn't actually have a physical hunger anymore. This is because your body is getting all it needs (energy wise), from stored fats.
4. It can help prevent certain illnesses/diseases
Speaking from personal experience here, a ketogenic based diet is fantastic for women who suffer from PCOS. This is because insulin is a hormone that moves glucose around the body. Ketogenic dieting can help reduce insulin levels and regulate blood sugars. This in turn reduces the chances of contracting Diabetes, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure levels and obesity.
Cons of Ketogenic dieting
1. There are side effects...
In the early stages, people who use keto diets notice headaches and a slight fever as a few of the side effects. This is because of the body actually withdrawing from carbohydrates and sugars. It should dissipate within 3 days . However, some side effects can stay with you throughout such as a dry mouth, bad metallic taste in the mouth (such as a bad breath) and a feeling of coldness. More is explained about this on our site..
2. You need to do a ketogenic based diet for more than a week...
If you only do a keto diet for 3 days, all you'll lose is water. You wouldn't have allowed your body enough time to start the fat burning phase. Then the weight will go back on again. Ideally you need to be on a ketogenic based diet longer than 10 days to truly lose fat and notice a difference.
3. Managing boundaries around nutrition.
We know that certain low carb diets are followed by millions of slimmers accross the world but alot of slimmers mistake these diets and think that if all they eat is meat, then great! They aren't eating a balanced diet of low carbs, high protein or the right fats. Due to this, slimmers following a ketogenic diet may find that they aren't consuming enough fibre leading to constipation. They may also find that they become nutritionally deficient. With the SMLDiet (although we are a diet plan that helps your body go into ketosis), our meal replacements are packed with the good stuff -vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients. This means your body will be getting everything it needs from just 4 of our meal replacements per day.
4. It can be hard to follow and time consuming.
A general ketogenic diet can be quite time consuming. Think about it... you need to ensure you watch your carb intake, protein intake and look at your fats. It's not just about eating steak, chicken or fish for every meal!
With the SMLDiet, we have mapped everything out for you. Each of our packs contains at least 25% of your RDA for vitamins and minerals and they're low in carbohydrate and higher in proteins. This means you don't need to work out your fat intake, protein intake or just eat a chicken leg for dinner (no more Henry 8th i am, i am).
I love ketogenic dieting. The negative side effects didn't bother me and I lost 3 stone with the SMLDiet and have managed to maintain it. I lost it quickly (although we all lose weight at different rates) and liked the fact that with the SMLDiet, i took food out of the equation so all i needed to worry about was my next meal pack flavour.
I'd love to know your thoughts.....
Weight management counsellor.
The SMLDiet is a leading weight loss plan in the UK. Specialising in VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diets), TFR (Total Food Replacement products and meal replacements.