The Keto Diet
We have all heard of it. It was one of those Fad diets from a few years ago and still has some relevancy today.
When we go to the store it’s not unlikely that we see Keto based snack items to help aid with weightloss.
For those not aware, the keto diet refers to putting the body into a state of ketosis by eating less than 50g of Carbohydrates a day. When this happens, the body stops using glycogen (glucose) to produce energy and instead produces and burns ketones.
The keto diet boasts as a great method for weight loss, and some have even gone as far to say that it can reverse diabetes.
I guess the real question is ‘does it work?’
If you are doing any version of high intensity training, ie. CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting etc. I do not recommend Keto as your diet choice. These training regimens require our bodies to feed off of glycogen to produce more power. If there is no glycogen, then those fast explosive power movements that we know and love will be harder to perform.
For everyone else… It CAN work, but I still think there are better options out there.
I mean let’s discuss how much 50g of Carbs really is… a cup of rice. That’s it! 1 Cup of Rice. Can you imagine going your entire day fueled by 1 cup of rice? I eat 1 cup of rice 3x a day and I’m still looking for more, but hey that’s just me. This is insanely restrictive. If you’re a carb eater, transitioning to this diet cold turkey seems unsustainable and maybe we should re think what the best options are.
Ketones also have this interesting effect where they alter your blood ph to be more acidic causing a strange copper taste in your mouth. If you have ever gotten close to someone really primed in the keto diet, it isn’t the most pleasant.
The high pH also leeches calcium from your system. This can cause brittle bones and weakened muscles. So make sure you have plenty of supplements to combat this interesting issue.
The biggest issue with this particular diet is that you can’t really stray away from it. You are either in ketosis or you’re just fooling yourself. Cheat days don’t exist. The second you come out of ketosis your body sort of freaks out and overdoes it.
When your body no longer utilizes glucose, your pancreas stops producing insulin, but then you reintroduce carbs into your system because the discipline required for this diet is so intense and then your pancreas over produces insulin to bring your blood sugar levels back to normal. Keep doing this and you will have worse problems.
Keto can work for some very disciplined people. They are the few and far between. We don’t recommend it for our athletes as we believe it is unsustainable and potentially dangerous.
With our Nutrition Clients we recommend developing a better relationship with food. Eating whole foods, quality meats and lots of veggies. We allow some wiggle room for joy meals (those meals that we just need to feel happy) and we try to keep everyone as close to balance as possible.
If you are interested in learning more about what we do and how we approach Nutrition, book a No-Snack Intro with a Coach today!
Inspiration provided by Andrew Boimila at CrossFitTradewinds.com.