Beauty In a Barbell:Why you should NEVER follow the Keto Diet.

The Keto diet is all the rave these days. I’ve heard about it from friends and people I follow on social media. So I said to myself, “hmmm let me see what this Keto diet is all about”. I didn’t have to dig far before my jaw dropped. The Keto diet is one of the worst things you can do to your body and I’ll tell you why.

What Is The Keto Diet?

The Keto diet is a high fat, low carb diet that was initially used to treat epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates, by going into a state of Ketosis. The liver converts fat into ketones that the body uses as energy instead of carbohydrates.

Why Is The Keto Diet Used?

People go on the Keto diet to lose weight quickly and have more energy. “They” say it is safe for people who are overweight or obese. But “they” lied…

Why The Keto Diet is Dangerous

1. High fat, low carb

The words “high fat” and “low carb” are HUGE red flags. Any “diet” that restricts carbs should be avoided. Carbs are the body’s preferred source of energy, especially for brain function. Complex carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables should be the foundation of any healthy diet. Fats and refined carbohydrates should be avoided.

2. The body goes into starvation mode

Because there are so few carbs in the body, the liver is forced to convert fat stored in the muscles to glucose in order to fuel the body. This is an abnormal metabolic process the body uses only when it needs to go into survival mode. By following the Keto diet you are putting your body in a constant state of starvation.

3. Nutritional deficiencies

Because the amount of fruit and vegetables that you can eat on the Keto diet are greatly restricted, you don’t get the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals the body needs to function properly and as a result, the body has nutritional deficiencies.

4. Kidney Stones and Kidney Failure

The Keto diet consists of eating lots of meat which means there’s excess animal protein and nitrogen in the body. This can take a toll on the kidneys, leading to possible kidney stones and other more serious issues with the kidneys that could eventually lead to kidney failure.

5. Fatigue

6. Dizziness

7. Muscle loss (including the heart)

8. Brain fog

9. Insomnia

10. Bowl changes and constipation

All of these effects are a result of not eating enough fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils which are not allowed on the Keto diet. If they are it’s in such small amounts that it will still lead to the same results.

The Keto diet is something that anyone looking to lose weight should avoid! It is not safe and you are putting yourself at great risk to embark on such a dangerous journey. If your goal is to lose weight here are some tips that will help you reach your goal the right way:

  • Only drink water; avoid juice, soda/pop, flavored water, Gatorade or any other drink. Aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces. Add lemons, cucumbers and mint to add some flavor.
  • Practice intermittent fasting and mindful eating. Eat when hungry, stop when full
  • Cut out refined carbs like chips, cookies, cakes, pies, bagels and muffins and instead eat whole grains like quinoa, whole grain pastas and breads.
  • Eat a variety of vegetables, fruit, beans and lentils.
  • Don’t rush weight loss. It’s a process. It took time to put the weight on and it will take time to get it off. Don’t look to diet, look to make a lifestyle change. Don’t just aim to lose weight, aim to be healthy and whole from the inside out.
  • Respect and love your body. Appreciate all it does to keep you going. It will reciprocate and release the extra weight.
  • Stop looking for an easy, quick fix. Remember, “Easy come, easy go”
  • Keep a food journal to track what you’re eating and how much you’re eating. This will allow you to make necessary changes to reach your goal.

Losing weight should be done the right way and the Keto diet is all wrong. Don’t fall for the hype. All trends are not good. Be careful what “they” say is safe. “All that glitters ain’t gold baby”.

Kathleen Richardson is an African Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. She is founder of Beauty In A Barbell Nutrition whose core mission is to awaken the healer within each and every one of us.