Ketogenic eating may be the most popular trend in the fitness world today. From people with diabetes, to people just trying to lose that extra 10lbs. But Its not as easy as just not eating carbs anymore, contrary to popular belief.
Here’s three reasons why you might want to rethink your big plan to go Keto…
1. Ketogenic eating probably doesn’t match your training style.
If you know me, I’m not a huge fan of cardio or long workouts. I feel like you can get everything you need from strength training in a safe manner and good old HIIT cardio. What I am not a fan of is crossfit and other crazy, unsafe, forms of modernized fitness that is out there.
In other words, I want people to do active things they love with a little sprinting and short functional strength workouts thrown in.
In order for most of us to be able to do this type of training, we need glycogen for energy.
I know the body can replenish glycogen stores through gluconeogenesis, and ketosis, but is it really worth all the trouble?
Even after you go through the adaptation period which can be up to a month until your body really goes into ketosis, you will lose some of that muscular energy and explosiveness.
And I still haven’t talked about the actual eating side of things: if you think eating a regular healthy diet that includes carbs in a social setting is weird, wait till all you can eat is protein and fats. Most people I meet want to seem less obsessive and more socially accepted but still get the desired results.
2. Ketogenic eating takes time and money.
This isn't something you can just jump into by taking out carbs and expect it to be a long term, sustainable diet routine. So much more needs to go into it in order to make sure things run smoothly, that quite frankly most of us are looking to get away from having to do.
Tracking macros, monitoring blood glucose, and testing ketone levels are all things that need to be done to try to sustain a keto diet.
This kind of protocol attracts people with disordered eating habits. It’s the perfect blend of effective, obsessive, and new.
If you’re trying to get into ketosis for medical reasons, then you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. If you want to get into ketosis because you heard it’s great for weight loss or for some other non-medical reason, it’s too obsessive for my taste.
3. Ketogenic eating may have negative consequences.
There are a lot of little side effects considered to be “negative” on ketogenic diets. There are some small positives as well (such as increased mental clarity). I’m not going to hash out all the little things here. I want to hit on two of the top negative consequences.
Ketosis requires very low carbohydrate consumption. This can have a negative effect on your metabolic rate. Slowing things down.
It’s common for people on ketogenic diets to accidentally under-eat because ketosis does such a great job of turning off hunger.
This is especially destructive when sleep, stress, nutrient density, and inflammatory exercise are not taken into consideration. Doing ketosis properly requires proper planning and making sure you dot your T's and cross you I's.
Another consequence of ketosis is a potentially negative change in gut flora. The mechanism for this is a lack of fermentable substrate—the stuff your gut bugs feed on—as well as a change in the pH of the gut. You can read more about this, if you’re interested, at The Human Food Project.
The study of the gut biome is a relatively new science and is highly complicated. But if the science continues in the direction it is headed, it can spell disaster for those with extremely low carbohydrate intake. They would need to supplement with some type of special fiber to stay in good health.
Overall, ketosis can work, I know some people that it works very well for. But it most certainly is not for everyone. If you do decide to give it a try, make sure you are careful and you do your research!