The ketogenic diet has created a solid following, especially for people trying to lose weight.
According to an analysis by Supplement Place, it is the most popular diet in America, and it’s a worldwide trend on Google searches too.
But of course, with great popularity comes lots of criticisms with some which can be misleading.
So, in this article, we’ll guide you through the keto facts and myths before hopping into the ketowagon.
The ketogenic diet – more than just a newfound trend
Myth 1: Weight loss in keto is permanent, so you can do it inconsistently
Like any other diet, weight loss in keto may be ineffective if you stop it and go back to your unhealthy eating habits. If you have a goal in mind, it is best to focus on this routine until you’ve achieved the results you want for your body.
It’s easy to notice the difference the keto diet does once you are in ketosis. Some of these changes are brighter moods, fat loss, and longer satiation. However, some of its advantages may take time to surface. So, you have to be patient.
Fact: If your goal is to lose weight with this process, the same rule of thumb applies – healthy weight loss is still about one to two pounds weekly. Don’t rush the process because that’s when the yoyo weight loss effect happens. Keto is a big lifestyle adjustment!
Myth 2: Keto is a high-protein diet
While we have established that keto is a low-carb diet, it is far from a high protein. Spiking this muscle-building macronutrient can be counterproductive in your keto journey.
Fact: Most of the amino acids in your body become glucose due to gluconeogenesis when you consume more protein. This process could pose problems on your diet because it prevents your body from shifting to full-blown ketosis.
A keto diet is high in fats, moderate in protein, and very low in carbs. Thus, for the 2000 kcal daily calorie requirement, the carbs should go about 20 to 50 grams. Don’t let your body get stuck in the sugar-burning process because you take an excessive amount of protein.
Myth 3: Eating fats makes you gain weight
“I am on a low-carb diet, and I’m still gaining weight. Is it because I’m overeating?” the truth is, overconsuming any macronutrient, or any food, would make you gain weight. Calories are still calories. So, checking your consumption still applies.
Fact: Fats have twice the calories of carbohydrates and protein per gram. A gram of protein or carbohydrate has four calories, and a gram of fat has nine. This fact shows how easy it is to go overboard with fats. And that is what’s making some gain weight.
It isn’t enough that you are in full ketosis to lose weight. If you’re binging other macronutrients, you’re sabotaging your progress. You still have to observe calorie deficit so that your metabolism runs smoothly and your body burns your stored fats.
Thus, if you think you can go for a bacon spree on your keto diet, you got it wrong.
Myth 4: Keto is only for weight loss
We’ve heard many successful keto diet stories, and most of them are due to the significant number that went down when people step on the scale. However, its wonders don’t end in reducing your body fat or mass index.
Fact: Undergoing a ketogenic diet decreases LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood glucose level. It also lowers blood pressure which is beneficial for people with hypertension.
A low-carb diet limits your carbs in bread, pasta, and sugary foods to go for their high-quality substitute. And this has an impact not just on your weight, but on improving your health as well.
Myth 5: There is the same amount of carbs for everyone
Yes, we know that ketosis only takes place when we consume 5% to 10% of carbs, but it doesn’t mean that the number of grams will be precisely the same for everyone.
There is a keto carb calculator to determine your macros efficiently. After all, there is not much research supporting that the 20 gram of carbs suggestion is for everybody. While the majority opt to go for their “net carbs,” which refers to the total carbs minus fiber, there are various factors that could calculate your carb requirement for ketosis.
Fact: There are things to consider before settling on the number of carbs you’d take on this diet: your calorie requirement, daily activity, previous diet, goal, and your net or total carbs counting.
Myth 6: You are never allowed to eat carbs
There are people who totally restrict carbs from their diet, but it doesn’t mean that you have to when you are in keto.
Fact: As a low-carb diet, you are only limiting your intake to cut off glucose storage and activate ketosis. Eat nuts and fresh veggies that are full of vitamins, fiber and minerals. Go for your net carbs – subtract the fiber from the total carbs of your food!
Your choice of quality carbohydrates would allow you to focus on whole sources of carbs including nuts and veggies. Doing so enables you to fill up essential nutrients while keeping your carb count at the suggested level.
Myth 7: You can’t eat veggies and fruits because they are high in carbs
There’s a misconception that you can’t eat veggies and fruits while on a low-carb diet. Since your only carb requirement is 20 grams, it’s easy to believe that this is true.
Fact: Fruits and veggies are generally not bad, but some won’t fit the goals of the keto diet. So, only go for those that would help you meet the purpose of this regimen.
Avocados, watermelon, strawberries, lemons, tomatoes, raspberries, peaches, cantaloupe, star fruit – these are the options you can incorporate in your daily meals instead.
Myth 8: Exercise and keto don’t go together
Many people brag about losing weight on a keto diet without exercising. While this could happen, it doesn’t mean that you can’t work out while on a keto diet.
Fact: First, If you want to work out even on a keto diet, give your body enough energy to do so. Don’t cut your calories. People who undereat may feel sluggish during physical activity. So, nourishment is crucial! Second, consume enough fats during your meals. Ensure that they are only coming from quality sources.
Lastly, when you are working out during a keto diet, you can recomposition your body. Many studies suggest that moderate-intensity exercise positively impacts your physique. If you have this kind of goal, keto could help you.
Myth 9: Ketoacidosis and ketosis are the same
In a keto diet, people interchangeably use the terms ketoacidosis and ketosis. But, they are not the same. They have critical differences that you should know.
Fact: Ketosis is a safe body response after a highly low-carb diet. Whereas ketoacidosis is threatening and dangerous for it may cause complications that could be bad for your health.
How these two processes differ depends upon the level of your ketone in the blood. It would be best to get a meter to determine yours.
Myth 10: You lose muscle mass in keto
Any drastic diet in general, without resistance training, makes people lose weight, including their muscles. This change could be your body’s initial reaction as you change your eating habits, but you could be good at managing it eventually.
Fact: When you’re just starting with a keto diet, you will most likely notice a drop in your strength and performance, especially if you have been working out for quite a long time. But it is only temporary. It is your body’s way of adapting to ketones.
Optimally building muscle is still possible, nevertheless. Determine the right amount of calories that your body needs. Eat enough protein to support your workout. Once you incorporate regular resistance training and proper nutrition with this diet, you’d gain muscles. Working out for muscle growth twice or even more a week could make you leaner!
Myth 11: Cheat days are okay with keto
It isn’t a secret that keeping up with a strict diet is not easy.
Even the actress Halle Berry swore in 2019 that she gets cheat days while on keto. Are you willing to risk your hard work for that slice of pizza?
Fact: If your priority while in this venture is to lose weight, keto diet cheat days may hinder your progress. They’d kick you out of your ketosis.
Cheat days could help you sustain a strict diet, and if you decided to dip in and out of keto once in a while for your sanity, planning is the key. What are keto-friendly food swaps for anyway? Whether you’re craving choco-chip cookies, ice cream, or pizza, there indeed is an alternative.
It would help if you also kept your portion small because overeating would disrupt your progress. Unlike other diets where you can throw in a cheat meal every week, you have to make it rare in this lifestyle. So, before you cheat, ask yourself – is it worth the cost?
Myth 12: You should do intermittent fasting while on a ketogenic diet
Are you on a keto diet and have been doing it for a long time? You’ve undoubtedly heard of intermittent fasting for many who combine these two eating patterns to maximize their progress.
IF is a new craze that you can supplement to your diet. It’s a meal timing that lets you fast for hours daily, depending upon your current mental and physical state.
Fact: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Pairing these two approaches makes a lot of sense, yes. But at the end of the day, it is still not for everyone. So, where are you in this?
When you are only starting your keto, diving into IF can be extreme. It could be a shock to your whole system. So, it’s best to start with keto for a few weeks first before changing your eating window. The correct timing is also vital. Consider gradually transitioning into this lifestyle!
Ready to commit to a keto diet?
It’s easy to get lured into the newest diet in town. But, you don’t have to fall into a trap at the expense of your health. It takes discipline and commitment to have a healthy relationship with food.
Using fat as fuel helps your body fight inflammation. Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute is committed to giving the tools to be successful in your journey toward better health. It is important to do your own research, consult with your doctor, and enjoy a happy, healthy life!