Over the years there have been many diet and eating trends going around. The ketogenic diet is one of them that has been gaining attention. The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that originated as a treatment for epilepsy. With little long term benefits on this eating method, it brings to question, is this a good diet as a weight loss tool? Moreover, what is the impact of this diet on the metabolism?
Keto Diet – Where it Began
Designed to mimic the metabolism of fasting, the original keto diet required drastically decreasing carbohydrate intake and increase the intake of fat. Originally introduced by medical practitioners in the 1920’s, this diet was a treatment for pediatric epilepsy. In a state of ketosis, the body produces substances that benefited children who suffered from seizures. However, with the development of modern anti seizure drugs, the use of this diet declined. By the end of the 20th century this diet as a treatment plan was available in only a handful of children’s hospitals. Throughout the recent years, the diet has gained popularity as a weight loss tool.
How does the Keto Diet Work?
By consuming less than 50g a day of carbohydrates, you deprive the body of carbohydrates, you then go into a catabolic state. Without any carbs to burn, your glucose stores deplete, shifting your body into getting energy from fat. Being in this state over the course of time, you then go into ketosis.
The Impact of Keto Diet on the Metabolism
The keto diet may have gain popularity as a quick weight loss fix, but it is simply not sustainable. The risks of this diet include:
- Increased risk of heart disease and diabetes – Many people go on this diet without the guidance of medical experts and/or nutritionists. High-fat diets like this one, poses a risk of increasing cholesterol levels, and the risk of diabetes.
- Decreased metabolism – keto-related weight changes include the consequence of loosing of muscle mass. By eating more fat and less protein, a lot of the weight loss is muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat, therefore impacting your metabolism.
- Regaining the weight – due to the restrictive nature of this diet, it is unsustainable long term. Just like every other fad diet, the moment you begin to eat carbs again, your metabolism will convert this into fat. Meaning you very soon will regain all the weight you loss. This yoyo-ing is not only detrimental to your metabolism, but it makes weight loss even harder.
The Bottom Line
Originating as a method of treatment for pediatric epilepsy, the keto diet has gained popularity in recent years. Burning fat can be achieved even when the body is not producing ketones. Maximizing your metabolism comes from implementing a change in lifestyle, making conscious nutritional choices and exercise. By doing so, you can avoid these fad diets and keep your metabolism running in a way that allows you to keep at your best. Not to mention not having the heavy price of weight gain from a piece of cake here and there.