Raise your hand if diet culture made you believe that carbs will make you fat?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet was first introduced in the 1920s to treat seizures in children. A true keto diet isn’t just low-carb, it’s also lower in protein and high in fat. We talk about the importance of carbohydrates and the other macronutrients in an earlier blog post (https://www.macrofitonline.com/general/all-about-the-macros). Remember, carbs are the body’s favorite source of energy. When we restrict carbs in our diet, our body has to adjust for this lack of energy and it does so by using the fat we eat and store in our body to make ketone bodies – this is called being in ketosis and is the basis of the ketogenic diet. Eating carbohydrates or even too much protein can quickly switch your body out of ketosis and back to its comfortable state of making energy from carbs.
It wasn’t until the 1990s, prime time for fad diets and weight loss gimmicks, that the ketogenic diet gained popularity for weight loss – and this popularity skyrocketed in the late 2010s. While there can be short-term success in using a ketogenic diet for weight loss, what we often see is that people quickly gain back the weight they lost (and possibly extra weight) once they add carbs back into their diet. On top of this, there are some negative side effects of following a ketogenic diet when you’re not doing so with appropriate medical supervision. Many people will feel sluggish and fatigued, experience headaches, and intense cravings when beginning a ketogenic diet. You might also find that your workouts become more difficult or that you are more sore after exercising when following a ketogenic diet. The risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is particularly high when using the ketogenic diet and this can cause dizziness, fatigue, mood swings, and more. If you are prone to having low blood sugar, following the ketogenic diet could be very harmful. On top of this, the emphasis on eating more fat often ignores the fact that some fats are better or worse for our overall health. Ketogenic diets tend to be very high in animal-based saturated fats, which are known to increase our risk of high blood pressure and other heart diseases.
With all of that said, the biggest issue with the ketogenic diet is that it requires a massive overhaul of your normal diet and routine in order to actually stay in ketosis. This makes the ketogenic diet very unsustainable over time. If you can’t enjoy a meal with your friends because there’s nothing that you can eat at a party, red flag. If you’re stressing over what you’ll eat at your child’s birthday party, red flag. If you are having such intense cravings that you can’t stop yourself from overeating your favorite “not allowed” food, red flag. If there’s a list of unallowed foods at all, huge red flag! Instead of focusing on fad diets and big changes in our eating habits, focus on making small changes over time that actually fit into a routine that you can continue. We’re looking for sustainable lifestyle changes, not fad diets
The MacroFit team knows the importance of carbohydrates in helping you meet your weight loss and fitness goals. Carbs aren’t the bad guy and you’ll never hear us tell you that. Instead, we focus on helping you learn about eating appropriate portion sizes of all foods, including your favorite carbohydrate containing foods like rice, pasta, and potatoes. With MacroFit, all foods fit. We’ll find a way to help you fit your favorite foods and meet your goals at the same time. That’s when you know you’ve reached a sustainable lifestyle and eating pattern.