Righto, this is going to be a good one.
If you are not aware, the Keto Diet is placing your body into a state of ketosis, where the body produces and uses ketones as a fuel source. This is achieved by eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day and replacing it with fats.
The keto diet has shown great results for weight loss, and believers have even gone as far as to say it can reverse diabetes.
So does it work?
It all depends on what your goals are. I would not recommend a healthy and athletic CrossFitter switching to the ketogenic diet, when they have no problem with their performance or weight. Our muscles and bodies run best off glycogen (glucose) and if you have no problems with your weight or blood sugar levels there is no need to use ketosis as a way of bringing them down. Also the Micronutrients we get from Fruits and Vegetables are important to our health and not worth missing out on.
For everyone else: It CAN work, but it is still not my go to prescription.
There are two camps when it comes to Nutrition prescriptions.
The Low Carb – High Fat (Keto) and The High Carb – Low Fat
So which side should we be on?
For most of us we where brought up on the High Carb and Low Fat diet and most things we eat on a daily basis contain carbs. Switching to a Keto diet, staple foods like milk needs to be monitored because it contains carbs. Pasta, don’t even look at it. Pizza? Only in your dreams. Bread, nope. Fruit, ha—don’t make me laugh. Eating only 50 g of carbs in a day is super restrictive.
But here’s the hardest part of the Keto Diet: You can’t go in and out of ketosis. Cheat days don’t exist.
It can take days to weeks to get yourself into ketosis by restricting carbohydrates to less than 50grams a day and then all it takes is one slip up day, your blood sugars spike and the pancreases has to release high levels of insulin to bring blood sugar back down again.
For these reasons I don’t recommend the Keto Diet to most people, unless you have really struggled with weight loss in the past or are at risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
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Inspiration provided by Andrew Boimila at CrossFitTradewinds.com.