Personally, I have nothing against the ketogenic diet, I only have a problem around the misinformation that is being spread to try and market people into consuming this diet for fat loss and better health.
Let me make one thing clear, anyone who demonizes food and markets their diet as the best diet the planet has ever witnessed is clearly trying to lure you into their biases and is probably trying to sell you something... mostly a book. You have to watch out for these people. There is no one diet for fat loss, and the best diet is the one that you can adhere to for the rest of your life and help you maintain a healthy body weight, and if that's the keto diet, then so be it, I'm happy for you, just don't go spreading all the lies and misinformation you're hearing from a biased doctor on Instagram who has a chiropractic doctorate, not a nutrition one.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is one that is very high fat and very low carbohydrate with a moderate amount of protein intake. It promotes a state of ketosis. Ketosis, is a process in which your body may go into when you stop eating carbohydrates (basically, you stop using glucose as a fuel source and only use fat as a fuel source). People think that ketosis is when your body starts BURNING FAT. Altough that is true, it's not body fat, it's dietary fat. It's extremely difficult to get into a state of ketosis, because protein and fat can absorb into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis when carbohydrates are not being consumed.
Over the past 10 years, or maybe longer, it has burst onto the scene as the diet of all diets. It was originally created to minimize epileptic seizures in kids and adults. Also, due to it's low caloric nature, because it gets rid of an entire food group (carbs), people have been losing a lot of weight.
Reasonings as to why this diet is wrong:
#1 Carbs are fattening?
Due to the elimination of carbohydrates, people have been losing weight. Unfortunately, this has lead people to spread lies that carbohydrates are fattening, false, carbohydrates are not fattening, and at no stage do carbohydrates absorb and store as body fat, unless you were eating like 700-1000g of carbohydrates a day. But let's face it, this will create a calorie surplus which leads to fat gain.
De-novo lipogenesis is a process in which carbohydrates stores as adipose tissue (body fat) but it's damned near impossible. Another thing you might want to understand, as I want to get all the information out, is that carbohydrates turn off fat oxidation (using dietary fat as a fuel source) when consumed in high amounts with fat. In turn, dietary fat will store as adipose tissue. So, if you are consuming a high carbohydrate diet, let's say for sports performance reasons, try to consume lower fat to minimize any creation of adipose tissue.
The problem is, people actually believe that if they eat any sort of carbs it will automatically turn to fat. Stop thinking that, that's not how your body works.
#2 Eating fat burns fat?
This is a major problem with the keto diet because, once again, people are getting confused as to what fat burning really is. Fat burning a.k.a fat oxidation, is when your body uses dietary fat as fuel, so yeah, when you consume fat only, your body will obviously burn fat, but dietary fat. What's not clear to people, is that it's not adipose tissue. To lose adipose tissue you must be in a calorie deficit. Fat loss and fat burning are 2 seperate things, and that's where they get you.
Fat has 9 calories per gram. That is the highest amount of calories per gram out of any of the macronutrients. Carbs and protein both have 4. I see people adding coconut oil to their coffee expecting to get into a state of ketosis when really all they are doing is adding a shit ton of unnecessary calories to their diet. Coconut oil in your coffee does not help you lose weight.
#3 Sugar is more addictive than cocaine?
This is where I'm going to ruffle a few feathers. Sugar is not inherently addictive; altough, due to it's high palatability, you may have some feelings of well-being after consuming sugar and this may show addictive behaviour patterns. Sugar is not satiating, therefore, when you consume it, you may feel hungry again very shortly. People always say sugar is addictive because of this (you always want more) well, eat something more satiating and you won't feel that way.
Not all carbs are sugar. Yes they breakdown and absorb into glucose, but some carbs such as: whole grains, beans and peas are vary satiating and have many health benefits.
There was a study on rats back in the day that showed them having withdrawls after consuming sugar and they blasted this out to fear people into thinking sugar was addictive. Most recently, they had a study on humans, and interestingly enough, they showed that humans were more addicted to high fat low sugar foods (cookies, cakes), than high sugar low fat foods (jelly beans, starburst).
I'm not advocating that sugar is healthy. I wouldn't recommend consuming it everyday as it has no nutritional benefit. I'm just saying that eating a bag of jelly beans once a week will not harm your health, so don't fear it, it will not turn to fat, nor will it make you addicted.
#4 Insulin causes fat gain?
I really feel sorry for all the type 1 diabetics out there having to listen to these people posting this nonsense. If you can't produce insulin you become type 1 diabetic. If you do not inject insulin into you as a type 1 diabetic you will die.
The common myth is that insulin reduces glucose and stores carbs as fat. Insulin is an important hormone that get's released from the pancreas to reduce glucose levels when there is too much in the blood and stores the glucose into your muscles and liver as glycogen. Glycogen releases into the blood stream when glucose is low in the blood and round and round it goes. At no point is there adipose tissue being stored. Another thing, glucose is your brains primary fuel source, so why would you starve your brain of glucose?
#5 Keto flu
It doesn't exist! It's a stupid made up term to trick people into thinking that your body is getting rid of all the "nasty toxins" in which carbohydrates have fueled your body with. What a load of S#!T. You have low blood pressure and you're dehyhdrated because you no longer eat carbs. Carbs hydrate you.. carb-o-HYDTRATES! For every gram of carbs you eat, you absorb 3g of water too... this is a good thing. You lose an extreme amount of weight in the first 7 days because you have lost a shit ton of water, glycogen and a small amount of fat.
I have no problem with the keto diet, only the lies that come with it. The keto diet has many benefits. If you are the type of person who can stick to it for the rest of your life, go for it, I applaud you, you have found something that works for you. But, if you have a fear of eating carbs due to misinformation, I am here to tell you, carbs are awesome and you can definitely consume them daily as part of a healthy diet.
Benefits of carbohydrates -
They give you energy
They provide fiber which helps you with heart health and digestion
They stop protein oxidation which helps protein do it's job
They allow you to workout to the best of your ability
They improve mood
They can help improve brain performance
I hope this gives you some insight into the keto diet and the lies around it. Personally, I don't like it. I love a variety of different carbs and love training extremely hard in the gym, but it definitely can benefit many people. The main point of this blog was to debunk the myths around the diet. Anyone who gets offended is clearly very biased because they saw great results with it, but remember, you only saw results because you were in a calorie deficit, and a severe one at that. You can lose weight and eat carbs at the same time.