Benefits and drawbacks of keto diet

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Published: February 22, 2022

The ketogenic diet was developed in the 1920s as a way to treat seizures in epileptic patients. Fast forward to today, it’s one of the most popular diets for weight loss. The general guidelines are a drastic reduction of carb intake and replacing it with fat. This puts your body in a metabolic state known as ketosis, which causes fat to be transformed into ketones in the liver. Therefore, the keto diet increases the fat-burning capacity of your body and the best part is, you don’t have to quit many of your favorite foods to shred excess weight. So, if this sounds good and you’re considering adopting this way of eating, it’s good to examine the benefits and drawbacks of keto diet. Our specialists at DubaiPT will share the main points to consider before you make your long-term commitment.

What is the idea behind the keto diet?

The main source of fuel for your body and brain comes from carbs. However, on the keto diet your carb intake has to be severely limited, so to force your body to look for energy elsewhere. For the sake of clarity, here is a quick comparison of the recommended ratio of macronutrients:

  • Conventional diet: Carbs 55% , Protein 20% , Fat 25%
  • Keto diet: Carbs 5% , Protein 20% , Fat 75%

When you restrict your carb intake your body runs out of glucose. And, it finds the energy it needs in the fat deposits. As a rule of thumb, it takes 48 hours after your last carb consumption for your body to enter a state of ketosis. This metabolic process occurs in the liver, where fat breaks into compounds called ketones, which serve as a fuel.

Tomatoes, avocado, and eggs
To bring your body to use energy from fat rather than sugar is the main objective of the ketogenic diet

While you’re in a state of ketosis, it’s important to maintain the protein balance. Too much of it will throw you out of ketosis, while insufficient amounts will cause you to lose lean muscle mass. Thus, consider following a keto meal plan Dubai nutrition specialists have tailored to your specific weight loss goals. This is also the optimal way to put the pros and cons of keto diet on a good balance and maximize its benefits.

The drawbacks of the keto diet for certain health conditions – are you a good candidate?

In the world of fitness, one size fits all is never the best solution. Whether the objective is to maintain optimal health or lose weight, an individualized monthly meal plan Dubai works the best. The keto diet has its own boons and banes. However, most of them are easy to take on a light note, unless you have a certain health condition. This diet is not recommended for people that have issues with the thyroid, pancreas, liver, or kidneys.

While ketosis in itself isn’t bad or harmful, it means that it puts more strain than usual on some of these organs. Besides, it lowers the pH level of the urine. This, in turn, causes the formation of crystals and consequently kidney stones. Using fat instead of glucose for fuel is a great tool for reducing blood sugar and insulin resistance. However, low insulin levels impact the production of T3 in the liver. Thus, making the keto diet unsuitable for people with thyroid conditions. And so, the benefits and drawbacks of keto diet will certainly vary from person to person. However, if you are in overall good health, the ketogenic diet doesn’t have any serious harmful implications. 

Fish, meat, eggs, and greens
The benefits and drawbacks of keto diet largely depend upon the quality of your food choices

Is the ketogenic diet healthy?

Long-term researches suggest that despite several cons, the potential health benefits of the keto diet are many. It’s certain that it helps you lower blood pressure and the level of triglycerides. Therefore, keto is beneficial for the prevention of multiple heart diseases. But, this is very much conditioned by the quality of food you incorporate into your diet. The ketogenic diet branches into 2 avenues. Choosing which one to follow will surely have an effect on the benefits and drawbacks of keto diet for you as an individual.

  • Dirty keto. It’s also called lazy keto. This allows you to consume processed and packaged foods. Usually, this is the route for people who have no time to prepare meals. However, with this approach, instead of ripping the benefits of keto diet, you’re likely to potentiate its drawbacks in the long run. Less we forget that processed foods and saturated fats lack nutrients, and are packed with additives and a ton of other unhealthy stuff. 
  • Clean keto. The emphasis here is on the quality of food sources. It focuses on whole, nutritious foods which are high in fat and low in carbs. Clean keto also allows you to indulge in processed meals occasionally. However, the staples should be clean and unprocessed foods. 

With this in mind, it’s easy to see how can you single out the pros and cons of keto diet, and turn each in your favor. Besides, a diet low in carbs and high in healthy fats shows great clinical results. It helps in the prevention of cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome. 

The keto diet is a powerful tool for weight loss 

Excess weight is a leading cause of many diseases. When weighing the pros and cons of keto diet, its effectiveness in the weight loss department is a proven fact. Besides, what makes it appealing for many people is that it doesn’t require you to count calories or track the amount of food you eat. So, as long as you keep your carb intake low, or between 20g to 50g per day, you can have all your favorite keto-friendly foods to your hearts’ content. In fact, following your keto meal plan for 8 weeks will help you lose 5 times more body fat than if you’d stick to a low-fat diet for the same period. It’s exactly the weight loss effectiveness of the keto diet that makes it so popular. 

A person with tape measuring waist
Due to its proven weight-loss effectiveness, the keto diet enjoys great popularity in the fitness world

However, if muscle gain and increasing athletic performance is your main goal, the pros of keto diet might be fewer than the disadvantages. Namely, you need a healthy amount of carbs to fuel your workouts. And with the restrictiveness of keto in this regard, you may cut the supply of energy you need to achieve your objectives. 

Benefits and drawbacks of keto diet – the ”keto flu”

If you’re in overall good health, and you’re wise about your food choices, the keto diet will provide more benefits than drawbacks to your overall well-being. But, switching from sugar to fat as a source of energy can be rather unpleasant. So, shortly after starting the ketogenic diet, you’ll experience a range of symptoms known as the ”keto flu”.  These are mainly lack of energy, irritability, and feeling overly weak. They subside in a few days after your body adjusts to the state of ketosis. The ”keto flu” is one of the main drawbacks of the keto diet. You can counteract it by drinking lots of water, or even better, bone broth. Electrolytes and supplements like magnesium will also help you get over it with less discomfort. 

Sustainability of the low carb high-fat diet in the long run 

Withal, it’s not just the infamous ”keto flu” that makes the keto diet difficult to stick to. Not having to count calories and still melt fat sounds fantastic. That’s why so many people jump on the keto wagon in the first place. But, often things are much different in practice than what they sound like. In the match of pros and cons of keto diet, various individual factors determine overall conclusions. However, binging on bacon to suppress the cravings for chocolate can’t work forever. Besides, strict limits on nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, grains, and most vegetables may lead to nutrient deficiencies. Thus, adopting the keto diet as a long-term lifestyle certainly is a challenge, and it could be one of its main disadvantages too.

Final thoughts on the benefits and drawbacks of keto diet

Everyone in the weight loss community talks about the keto diet because it works. Getting into ketosis is a surefire way to shred a good deal of excess weight. But, maintaining optimal levels of fitness and well-being requires dedication. While the benefits and drawbacks of keto diet are many, they all have a different effects on individuals. And whether keto is the latest fad diet or a tool that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals mainly depends on your approach in applying it. For your utmost benefit, consult with a nutrition specialist, and blend your keto meal plan with an adequate workout routine for optimal results. 

 

 

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