Who should do the ketogenic diet? What is ketosis best for? Why consider going on keto? These are the topics you’ll learn in this article.
An Attrition of Nutrition
Keto people be like: “Sugar is bad for you. You should eat low carb instead. If you eat that potato, you’re going to get fat and diabetic!”
And the Carb people be like: “Fat will give you heart disease, cholesterol clogs your arteries and meat causes cancer.”
Which ones are right? — NONE OF THEM.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to nutrition. Everyone has their own metabolism with different genetic preferences, energy demands and lifestyle factors.
- You can’t expect to go on a Michael Phelps Diet with 12 000 calories and still expect to stay healthy if you’re sitting in front of a computer all day.
- Likewise, if you’re indeed an athlete, you want to eat in a way that supports your training and goals.
As I mentioned, there’s the Keto People and the High Carb People all promoting their own diets as if they were cults. Which is a very accurate way of describing it.
In addition to those 2 camps, there are Paleo, vegans and many more. Let’s just ignore the Standard American (SAD) Crowd because they don’t really look like they know what they’re talking about.
What’s the Deal With Keto
The Ketogenic Diet is just one out of many out there. Maybe you’ve heard about it and want to try it out because there’s a lot of myths and misconceptions about it – you get to eat unlimited food and a ton of fat while still losing weight.
First off the bat, I must say that keto isn’t some sort of a fad diet.
In fact, it should be thought of as the only non-fad diet out there because it changes the state of your metabolism, unlike the other ones we’ve mentioned. Paleo and Veganism romanticize different ideas of nutrition but physiologically they’re very similar.
When you’re in ketosis, the way your body metabolizes food and produces energy has been completely altered. If you didn’t know already, then:
- When you fast or restrict your carbohydrate intake close to zero, your liver starts producing ketones that give energy to muscles and the brain.
- After a while, the brain adapts to using ketones and fatty acids as its primary fuel source instead of glucose and carbs.
- On a high carb or just a restricted low carbohydrate diet, you’ll still maintain a glucose burning metabolism and that’s how 90% of people’s bodies function.
Once you establish ketosis and become keto-adapted, it’s a completely different story. And that’s why keto isn’t a fad – it’s based on real physiology and more science than anything else.
But Who Is the Ketogenic Diet For?
Traditionally, the ketogenic diet was used to treat epilepsy in the 1920s and it saw a resurgence in the 90s. It’s been proven to be very effective against diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
But over the last decade or so, it’s been used by all types of people – Ironman triathletes, sedentary overweight people, bodybuilders, ultra marathon runners, weightlifters and just regular folks wanting to live a healthy lifestyle.
So, the ketogenic diet can work for many purposes and situations. It’s extremely effective for health and performance because you’ll have better access to your body’s fat stores and it’s very easy to stick to.
Why Need to Have a Real Diet
After the villainization of fat in the 70s, there’s been an epidemic of obese and diabetic individuals. There are now more overweight people than there are healthy ones, which is bizarre. Obviously, there’s a huge problem in the Western society but no real solution has been found.
New research is showing that it’s not the fat or cholesterol per se that causes heart disease or becoming obese. It’s not the carbs either, although excess sugar will still most likely give you diabetes.
Getting fat is a problem of hormonal and contextual mismatch – eating the wrong things in the wrong amounts at the wrong time under the wrong circumstances.
- And that’s why Michael Phelps can eat that many calories while still staying lean.
- And that’s why I think of you’re overweight or have blood sugar problems, you should go on a low carb ketogenic diet.
Because restricting carbohydrates and insulin is one of the easiest and most important ways of improving your body composition and health.
Who Should Do the Ketogenic Diet
So, based on the information I’ve discussed so far, here are a few scenarios you should consider for going on a ketogenic diet.
- If you’re overweight then you SHOULD start a ketogenic diet. Even if you’re trying to shed a few extra pounds or finally lose those love handles, then you can consider keto.
- If you’re diabetic or have other blood sugar problems, then you should as well.
- If you want to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in your body, then you should at least go through a period of eating keto.
- If you want to increase the density and efficiency of your mitochondria, then you should eat a low carb ketogenic diet.
- If you want to eat for optimal cognitive functioning, then you should go keto.
- If you want to protect yourself against cancer and malignant tumors, then you should combine keto with intermittent fasting.
- If you want to improve your body’s ability to burn fat for fuel and increase your physical performance, then do keto, but you’d be better off by incorporating either the targeted or the cyclical ketogenic diet. I have books for both of them.
- If you want to feel less hungry and have more energy during the day, then keto is the best diet there is.
You don’t have to be in ketosis all the time for the rest of your life, but I highly recommend you go through the adaptation period at least once.