Is Keto Diet really effective?

There is a recent trend in the ketogenic diet (more commonly known as Keto Diet) as it claimed to be an effective and quick weight loss method. What exactly is a Keto Diet?

A Keto Diet contains food with high amount of healthy fats such as nuts, avocado and fish. It is low in carbohydrates, usually between 5 to 20%. A standard diet consists of 30 to 50% of carbs, so the difference is relatively drastic. This diet aims to force the body into a state of “ketosis”, in which the body begins to burn fats instead of carbohydrates for fuel. It then results in enhanced fat burning and quick weight loss.


Image credit: https://www.rachaelrayshow.com

Hollywood celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Kardashian have endorsed the diet through their love for it. That makes the Keto Diet even more popular. However, is it really effective?

A study done by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that the Keto Diet may not be as effective as it claims. The study is conducted in a controlled environment, involved seventeen overweight or obese volunteers and spanned a two months period. For the first four weeks, the participants ate a high-carbohydrate, high sugar diet with a total calorie count of 2,739 calories a day. For the next four weeks, they ate a low-carbohydrate, low sugar Keto diet with a total calorie count of 2,738 calories a day.

On the surface, it appeared that the results of the study supported the theory that Keto Diet effectively accounted for rapid weight loss, but an in-depth look at the results suggested a different conclusion.

The results showed that while participants lost weight quickly in the first two weeks, the effect plateaued in the final two weeks. It appeared that the rapid weight loss was due to a decreased water retention instead of body fat. While the diet did help to lose some body fat, it slowed quickly and in fact, seemed to break down lean tissue for energy in the final two weeks! The most shocking discovery was the fact that fat mass decreased at a slower rate on the Keto diet as compared to the high carbohydrate, high sugar diet.

 

Image credit: http://nssoee.org/all-fruit-diet-results/

In a separate discussion by the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) last year, the experts explain that while the Keto Diet will result in a rapid short-term weight loss, it may not be body fat reduction. Instead, they believe that it comes from a reduction of appetite that leads to a decrease in total energy intake and the depletion of liver and muscle glycogen stores and water.

The DAA advises that to maintain a healthy weight, it is vital to follow a sustainable eating pattern for the long-run instead of going for a short-term diet plan that may not help with weight loss in the long-run. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all diet plan that can be dished out at will. According to the DAA, the Keto Diet has some limitations that make it unhealthy in the long-run as it drastically reduces essential food groups such as fruits and vegetables, dairy food and grains. It is also low in fibre. Such a diet reduces the body’s ability to fight specific health and heart conditions. It may also cause unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation. In the long-run, it can increase the risk of bowel cancer and other forms of health issues.

Is the Keto Diet really effective?

It is effective as a short-term solution to weight loss, but it is not the best practice for anyone who is looking for a reliable, healthy method to lose weight in the long-run. Anyone who is keen to try the Keto Diet should seek advice from a doctor before going ahead with it.

If all else fail and you are in desperate need of professional advice from slimming specialists, you can consider engaging someone from a slimming centre to help you. The professionals in these centres can provide you with excellent solutions instead of an extreme lifestyle change or painful dieting. They will also teach you how to eat well and healthily. Some of these treatments are great for targeting stubborn fats in specific body areas where exercising and diet cannot change.

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Source of featured image from: https://coach.nine.com.au/2017/02/15/13/29/ketosis-ketogenic-diet