Let’s talk keto, the ketogenic diet, probably the diet I get asked
more about than any other. Maybe that’s just because it’s
the most popular right now. So I’ll start off by
saying, I’ve done keto. I did it 20 years ago,
when it was called Atkins. You see, any of these diets are usually something that’s been done before, was really popular for a
while, and then fell off. Then, 10, 15, 20 years later gets revived, gets named something else,
gets spun in a different way, and more people try it. So, that’s just, I think, indicative of the diet industry in general. People are always looking
for that quick fix, that simple magic thing they
can do that’s going to work. But if that existed, we’d all be doing it. Like, if there was one clear diet that worked for the majority of people, for the majority of time,
that’s what we’d be doing. We wouldn’t be on to keto,
and then intermittent fasting, and paleo and whatever
the next thing will be. So, to talk about keto
specifically though, ketogenesis is basically where
you’re starving your body of carbohydrates intentionally,
and just eating protein and fat, to try to get your body to switch over the energy it burns to primarily fats and ketones,
which is this byproduct when your starving
yourself of carbohydrates. I won’t go into all the science of it. I won’t go into all the medical debate around what’s really happening there. I’ll just say that, for a lot of people, keto works very well short
term, not well long term. And that’s, there are exceptions to that. There are some people who does work short term and long term, but
for the majority of people, the reason why it works short term, is because when you starve
your body of carbohydrates, you drop a bunch of water weight. You see, carbohydrates
get turned into glycogen, which gets stored in
your muscles with water. It’s glycogen and water
combining, going in your muscle, being ready to be used as energy because carbohydrates are your body’s preferred energy source
for most activities. So when you start starving
yourself of carbohydrates, your body doesn’t have any
glycogen, you’re losing water. So when you see that 5 or 10
lbs in the first two weeks and your thrilled with keto, just know that, with any diet, you should only be able to lose about a pound or two of tissue, either body fat or muscle mass which you wouldn’t want to lose, but if your body is losing
or gaining body tissue, it’s usually at a rate of only
about a pound or two a week. Anything more than that, is water weight. So you might still be
happy, well it’s fine, I’m down in weight, but
that won’t be sustainable. After that initial drop
off of 5 or 10 pounds, now you’ve got to lose body fat, which is going to be
much slower and harder, but also, the reason you lost that water is because you lost that
glycogen in your muscles. So now, what’s the problem with that? If you try to work out. For most people, trying to work out in a carb-depleted state
is really, really tough. You’re going to feel weak,
you’re going to feel tired, you might even feel sick. And so, for those people,
if that’s the issue and their answer is stop going to the gym, that’s a real problem because
you want to keep building or at least maintaining that
muscle mass while your dieting. If not, if you keep in a calorie deficit and don’t do anything
to offset the signals your body is getting,
which is I’m starving, I need to give up some tissue somewhere, let’s give up muscle mass because that actually burns calories. Then you’re going to lose
your muscle that helps you stay strong, stay injury
resilient, burn calories. Muscle mass keeps your metabolism
up, balance your hormones. So without that exercise, you’re going to start losing all that. And, then you’re going
to run into a real issue. So you’ve got to find a
way to maintain activity while you diet, or else
it’s not a good diet. Now again, there are exceptions. There are some people I
know who have gone on keto and still been able to do their workouts, train jiu jitsu, do many other activities, live a healthy life, a very active life, while being in ketogenesis or
on ketogenesis, in ketosis. If that’s the case for you, that’s great. For the majority of people it isn’t, and that’s why this diet came up big as Atkins and then dropped off. The majority of people
could not sustain it. They couldn’t sustain that way of eating. Just all meat and fats
and no carbohydrates. But they also couldn’t
sustain any activity. So if that’s you, recognize that. Don’t consider it a loss, I mean, it was a good trial, you learned that you can’t
stay on this long term. Hopefully, maybe you dropped
some weight in the short term that wasn’t just water weight. But now, transition to something
that’s more sustainable. Keep the healthy proteins and
fats you put in your diet, be happy you cut out a bunch
of garbage carbohydrates that probably made you
feel like crap anyway and caused a lot of inflammation. Now put some more fruits and
vegetables back in your diet. Don’t worry about ketosis. Just start eating healthier, but keep up that physical activity. Your gym routine, your sports activity, whatever else you were
doing, and just move on to a more sustainable
maintenance phase of your diet. So again, overall, is keto bad? Not necessarily, it just doesn’t work for the majority of people. They get really excited early on, then they start to struggle and then they’re really
frustrated and confused. So if that’s you, that’s what’s going on. You dumped some water, you
lost your muscle energy, you’re feeling tired, weak, maybe a little sick
when you try to workout. And, trying to double down on
the keto is not the answer. So shift into something more sustainable. I hope that helps. If you have any questions
about it, send them my way. If you’ve got great
success stories from keto, you’ve been able to do it for years, please tell me about it. And, if you’ve also struggled
and gotten off of it but then found something else that worked, send me those stories as
well, I’d love to hear it. I’d love to share those
stories with others. I hope that helps, I’ll see you guys!